Tag Archives: Gayle Mills

Eclipse Sisters? That’s us.

Today we have a sunrise–a real one–after a week of soaking rain. And oh, the difference sunshine makes for the Pacific Northwest. Spring at last!

And spring brings hope for summer.

Tell you what, this summer I’m looking forward to the Great American Eclipse. August 21st has been on my calendar for a while, although it doesn’t need to be. If our skies are cloud-free that morning, we won’t be able to miss what happens.

Map courtesy of GreatAmericanEclipse.com

It’s also cool for us here at Jane Started It because of its path. The total eclipse lies just south of Susan Kaye and me here in Oregon. It also lies just south of Robin Helm and Gayle Mills in South Carolina.

We met on-line, we share a blog. And now we will share the path of the sun’s shadow.

All of North America will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse, according to the Great American Eclipse website. Do have a look around. There’s fascinating stuff there.

How about you? Are you in the path of the eclipse?

Laura Hile (1)


Prayer request for Gayle

Healing prayerMy sister, Gayle Mills, is in the hospital. Layne (our sister) and I took her there yesterday afternoon. Her kidneys were not doing well, and the doctor kept her overnight for  more IV fluids and observation. She required oxygen last night. I’m only my way back this morning. We hope that she will be able to come home today. I’ll keep you updated. Thanks for your prayers.

Beware the Energy Vampires

The Energy Bus

Mark Richt, the head football coach of the University of Georgia, took an unusual approach with his team last year. He had all his players read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon and had an artist draw a huge picture of an Energy Vampire on the wall of their team meeting room. When a player said or did anything which displayed a negative attitude, he put that player’s picture on the wall. No one wanted to be there. By his actions, Coach Richt was telling his players that he would not allow negativity to sabotage the team and their goals.

I think that’s a good thing to do in every area of our lives. Is a friend’s negativity sucking the creativity and positive energy out of you? I know there are times when we need sounding boards and someone to listen to a rant, but if that’s a constant aspect of the relationship, maybe it would be better to avoid the energy vampire and find a few more positive people to include in your circle. Energy Vampire quote

As a writer, I have to have positive, yet honest, feedback. My betas (Gayle Mills, Wendi Sotis, and Stephanie Hamm) are honest about what isn’t working in my writing, but they also encourage me. They are honest without tearing me down. My friend, Laura Hile, is my writing cheerleader. Donna B., a friend of mine from church, always has a positive word for me. I want to be “that” person for someone else.

Who encourages you?


Rhyme Time with Jane!

Welcome all of you to Jane Started It!, home of the Crown Hill Writers’ Guild. We have more visitors than usual today, so thanks to all of you who have come touring from Meredith Esparza’s AUSTEN EXTRAVAGANZA.  Make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the bit of fun we’ve concocted. We’re giving away books, too!


On those dark days when Writer’s Block strikes, we resort to creating limericks! And fooling with words and movie stills.

Come share our silliness!

The Sad Saga of Caroline Bingley (Robin Helm)

Miss Caroline Bingley wore feathers
In horribly foul or fair weathers.
She usually would choose
Ridiculous hues
Of oranges, purples, or heathers.


One day when she wore a fine turban
To places in London quite urban.
Her feathers blew off
Provoking a cough
And causing a scene most disturbin’.


She went to an opera one evening
And sat in a box most deceiving.
She thought she looked fetching
But had the men retching,
Their pheasant and rich cake upheaving.

‘Twas next at a ball she was dancing,
So elegant as she went prancing.
She gracefully twirled;
Her headdress unfurled,
The feathers preventing romancing.


Now Caroline sits by her sister
Without a significant mister.
She has not a clue
About what to do
In order to be an A-lister.

Poor Caro can no longer mingle,
Because she is thirty and single.
Though she was for sale,
She landed no male,
And, therefore, her lips feel no tingle.


PUNishing Peeks at Personalities (Gayle Mills)

Anne pensively gazed at the cloud;
Heart heavy, she sighed aloud.
“Frederick,” she mourned
Fresh heartache was born
And all because Walter was proud.


There was a young actor named Firth
Whose Darcy for certain lacked mirth.
His eyes, they were fine
Took all else from mind
Proving once and for all his true worth.


Lizzy’s ramble was setting a pace;
She walked to extinguish his face.
In love she was tumbling
All the while mumbling,
“For husband, he’s still in last place.”


Mr. Collins was a man of the cloth.
He preached against vanity and sloth.
His breeches revealed
Though he tried to conceal
The damage done by the huge moth.


Mr. Bingley was known as a gent.
His words to all, kindly meant.
His courtship was lacking;
Caroline was packing,
A letter to Jane already sent.


Miss Bingley was hatching her plan
She tapped her chin with her fan.
She opened her mouth
Her deception went south
Miss Bennet was kissing her man!


Why I’m Not A Poet (Susan Kaye)
There once was a middle-aged dud
Whose poetry dropped with a thud.
She tried all the day,
It still was that way,
Poor thing’s got prose in her blood.


Do these people look happy to you? by Susan Kaye
The publicity stills from the 1995 version of Persuasion, starring Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root, do not scream, we’ve-been-cruelly-separated-for-nearly-eight-years-and-can’t-wait-to-get-our-hands-on-each-other to me.

NO 1:

Some things you just keep to yourself.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Okay, Mrs. Wentworth, I need you to look wistful. After all, you’ve just gotten your Navy hero back from the sea. Could you rest your head on his lapel there? Perfect! And sir, you keep looking your captainly best. Just hold that pose while I make an adjustment here.

ANNE: (to herself) Yes, do make a few more adjustments, please. I love tilting my head like this for hours. This is the last time I use a photographer recommended by Mary. That bloody gold braid of his is sticking me in the ear. I don’t like any of those paint samples I got at Home Depot. But if I say I want to go back and look at others, he’ll fuss. He always fusses.

WENTWORTH: (to himself) “One if by land, two if by sea, being stuck on the shore is making me cra-zy!”


NO 2:

You always run a risk when making “couple” friends.

Everyone has “that” couple in their circle of acquaintances.

WENTWORTH: (repeats to himself) “Don’t drink too much.” “Don’t tell that story again.” “I don’t care how execrable her pudding is, tell her it was wonderful.” “And please don’t frighten the children before they go to bed. When they are in bed is the only tolerable time of these visits.” Men at sea and their wives on land is so much simpler.

ANNE: (to herself) Just because someone is fun at sea is no guarantee they will be fun on shore. We’ll have to hear about Captain Harville’s last DIY project. And his present one. And the one he’s planning to start. Then she’ll go on and on about what wonders the children are. And to think, at one time, I looked forward to these being my friends.


NO 3:

It never fails, couples always fight just when they really NEED to look enraptured.

ANNE: Frederick Wentworth, you take that back!

PHOTOGRAPHER: Please, Mrs. Wentworth, I need you to keep looking away, demure and wistful.

WENTWORTH: I will not. You know it’s true.

ANNE: It may be true, but it is really too unfair, I know nothing about your father. He may have made my father look like a saint.

WENTWORTH: HA! He didn’t, trust.

ANNE: Ha! trust you. After that little dalliance with Louisa Musgrove? Not likely sailor boy.

WENTWORTH: You leave the Navy out of this! The Navy is providing you a fine life. Unlike your father–

PHOTOGRAPHER: Mrs. Wentworth! Come back! (begins packing up his equipment) This is the last time I take a job from anyone connected to Mary Musgrove!


No one looks happy ALL the time, but we would like our heroes and heroines looking at least a little joyful. Hollywood should work on that.

The care–Susan Kaye


Robin Helm is offering a paperback (winner’s choice) from her Guardian series (USA) and one e-book (International)

Laura Hile is offering a print copy (also winner’s choice) from the Mercy’s Embrace series (USA only)

To enter, simply post a comment below, and indicate whether you are USA or International. Entry deadline is October 3, 2012. We will announce the winners on October 4th.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

The Crown Hill Writers

Susan Kaye, Frederick Wentworth, Captain novels
Pamela Aidan, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, Young Master Darcy
Robin Helm, The Guardian trilogy
Laura Hile, Mercy’s Embrace novels
Gayle Mills, featured at Beyond Austen, the awesome free fiction site
Barbara Cornthwaite, George Knightley, Esquire novels

“The company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation.”

Pamela Aiden signs her books, An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, and These Three Remain, for Jakki Leatherberry (Leatherbound Reviews) and Meredith Esparza (Austenesque Reviews).

The Decatur Book Festival in HOTlanta was a true delight. Meeting authors, readers, and other Austen lovers certainly provided fertile ground for intelligent conversation covering a great variety of topics. Austen had it right in Persuasion. It was not just good company; it was the best.

Robin Helm, Cynthia Hensley, Stephanie Hamm, Jakki Leatherberry, Gayle Mills, Pamela Aiden, and Lucy (Terry) Parker

Ninety eight degrees in the shade didn’t slow us down. We came, we talked, we signed, we read, we ate, we slept, we got lost, we made new friends, we renewed old acquaintances, we laughed a little too loudly, and we had a wonderful time.

Jennifer Petkus, Abigail Reynolds, KaraLynne Mackrory, Barbara Tiller Cole, Jack Caldwell, Amy Cecil, Regina Jeffers, Maria Grace, Pamela Aiden, Karen Cox, and Robin Helm

Gayle Mills reads an excerpt from Jan Hahn’s
The Journey.

Pamela Aiden’s readings were wonderful! I was enthralled by her use of British accents, especially cockney. I am not a shy person, and I love to perform, but I did not have her nerves of steel in front of a literary community. I guess I was so busy listening that I forgot to take a picture.

Next year, I hope that we can talk Laura Hile and Susan Kaye into joining us. Now THAT would be a party!

Robin Helm read from her Guardian Trilogy books, as well as Laura Hile’s Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course.

Thank you to JASNA Atlanta, Barbara Tiller Cole, and Jan Ashe who worked so hard to make this event a success.

I also wish to thank those in the Atlanta area who made the effort to come and visit us. I was so happy to meet one of my betas, Julianne Martin, as well as Kathy Camp King. Gayle and I always enjoy being with Stephanie Hamm, our partner at Beyond Austen (and my excellent plot beta), and connecting with friends we had known only online was especially wonderful. I’m already looking forward to next year!