I want to go to…

If we could, we would travel the world. Our fancy would take us to exotic and fascinating destinations at a whim. We would visit the most beautiful locations, best restaurants, cafés and, ahem… watering holes. We would seek out the most enthralling exhibitions, museums and attractions, the most beguiling scenery and the most soothing and coveted attractions. The world would be our oyster! Sometimes our frustrations at not being able to adhere to these whims are almost too much to bear and that’s when we stomp our feet, pout our lips, let our brows sink into petulance and exclaim, ‘oooh…

I want to go to…

… Brussels!

A bit surprising, perhaps, since Brussels isn’t exactly known for being the most exciting city in the world but every year they put on a spectacular ’Sonne et Lumiére’ show to celebrate Christmas at Grand Place in the heart of the city and I’ve had first hand reports it is absolutely gorgeous! The Grand Place itself in broad daylight is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The Gothic, Baroque and Louis XIV style houses are truly breathtaking and when coupled with music and lights it creates an amazing spectacle.

Brussels\’ Grand Place Christmas Light Show

And of course, one must not forget the chocolate and the restaurants in the rest of the surrounding very pretty Old Town… Is it any wonder I want to go to Brussels?

Merry Christmas everyone!


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To Begin our Posting with the Beginning of our Posting…

So here’s the story of how we met and started writing, as we plan to tell it to our enthralled grandchildren one day. We’ll sit them down, wide-eyed and eager, we’ll brush off the crumbs and foam from our thin lips with the backs of our withered hands, and after spending a few minutes berating them on how kids these days have no respect for their elders and tradition, then complaining about our various aches and pains, with a quick segue into how we had to walk 10 miles to school, uphill both ways and knee-deep in snow (though, in Tina’s case, that might very well be true), we’ll get on to the story they’ve been begging to hear:

We should perhaps come clean. We met over the Internet. And astonishingly enough, neither one of us are axe murderers. Although it is doubtful the Jane Austen fandom has very many of those. It is, in other words, quite a safe environment and it certainly was a nurturing environment for us because generally speaking neither one of us had much of an online life before that.

It was way back in 2006 and somehow we each managed to find the same small message board where other Austen devotees gathered. Separately we each then started gingerly dabbling in a little role-playing game there – before either of us had ever heard of the concept of online role-playing. Not only was it was great fun, it helped awaken in each a latent, heretofore stifled yearning to write. Fortunately for us, the roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy were already taken, so we were in turn compelled to come up with other characters, Tina choosing a spoiled, yet charming English peer and Gail choosing a poor, yet proud Scottish schoolmistress. In this game we eventually we found ourselves playing almost exclusively off one another, developing a mutual admiration through the banter and interaction of our characters. We took our two kids on their own adventures, probably causing much frustration to the other participants in the game, but giving us great delight and satisfaction.

As Holly and his lordship crept toward the inevitable in our virtual world, we thought it only proper to introduce ourselves to each other, as it appeared our ‘children’ would end up being much more than friends. It soon became very apparent that the bond between us would be every bit as strong as the bonds that were forming between our characters.
And that is how Lord David Baugham, 6th Earl of Cumbermere, and his true love/thorn-in-his-side, Miss Holly Tournier, and our writing team, too, as it happens, came to be. Their story, taken from that original role-playing game on that message board, was polished, embellished, organized, adjusted, edited, re-ordered, re-written, fiddled-with and fine-tuned over the subsequent months and years, resulting in, Twixt Two Equal Armies, our very first published book!

Twixt Two Equal Armies

Twixt Two Equal Armies

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A Study in Contrasts

So we were talking, and as all well-bred ladies should, restricting our remarks to the weather. Gail’s observations were typical of winter in the high desert: clear, cold & windy (as opposed to summer in the high desert which is clear, hot & windy). Tina’s share of the conversation was considerably more interesting and envy inducing: 50 cm of snow!

We thought how fun it would be to periodically share our differences in situation, so without further ado, we present:

GAIL & TINA: THE VIEW DOWN OUR STREET

First – Gail

Note the bright blue sky, and the… the uh… the uh… well, just look at that sky! Click on the picture to see it in its full glory.

Sigh…

And now Tina’s view, taken the same day

Simply breathtaking! Very seasonally appropriate! Makes us want to snuggle up with something hot to drink and a good book. Click if you dare, but watch for flying snowballs.

Gail, however, would like to point out a distinct lack of blueness.

And that is the view from our street today.

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Gasp! Gail and Tina have a Blog!

Actually, this should have been a no brainer. Since we are so used to communicating in any way except the old fashioned face-to-face way (although we have been privileged to actually meet in person, once!), a blog where we get to talk about the stuff that surrounds our lives both between ourselves and to all of you really is a logical thing to do. Besides, we love writing and when real life gets hectic and the muse decides to taunt us with her silence, what a relief it is to have a place to go where we can at least post a little fancy every now and then.

This is our place. Our room of our own. And we will talk about what we like and what inspires us. We will talk about what we love, what we think, what we see and what we read. We live on the opposite ends of the earth, so those things are bound to be different, but one thing we both love to talk about is what we write. So a lot is going to be what happens to us on the way when we write our Holly and Baugham stories. And, since we are prone to wander off on strange research trails in the effort of getting a slight but fascinating detail right, that can be quite a lot.

We hope you are entertained. We certainly plan to be!

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