7.25.2014

Victorian Houses ~ Peek into Gail's Research


Soon I am off to England, Gentle Reader. One of the things I love about traveling in the UK is the architecture. I'm a particular fan of the mixing of time periods you often find in smaller towns.

Topsham

However, while I am in London, I'll be paying attention to the less flashy Victorian houses, because I have been researching them lately.

In the late 1890s an American visitor to London describes the houses as:

"very tall, and very plain, and very narrow, and quite expressionless, except that it wore a sort of dirty brown frown. Like its neighbours, it had a well in front of it, and steps leading down in to the well, and an iron fence round the steps, and a brass bell-handle lettered 'Tradesmen'. Like its neighbours, too, it wore boxes of spotty black greenery on the window-sills – in fact, it was very like its neighbours . . . Half-Moon Street, to me, looked like a family of houses – a family differing in heights and complexions and the colour of its hair, but sharing all the characteristics of a family – of an old family."
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. li)

Victorian Terrace houses in Leeds, Wiki Commons

In the 1890s a standard house in town would be arranged roughly like so:
  • Top floor: servants and children's bedrooms (usually two)
  • Half-landing: bathroom (often)
  • Second floor: master bedroom, dressing room (in larger houses), second bedroom
  • First floor: drawing room
  • Ground floor: dining room, morning room
  • Basement: kitchen, scullery, possibly a breakfast room
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. li)

The Duchess of Duke Street or You Rang, M'Lord? are both great TV shows to watch to get the feel for houses of this type. (And no, I had not seen You Rang, M'Lord? before I chose Ivy's name.)

The complexity of the bedroom is particularly interesting to me.

Victorian Bedroom Painting

"Mattresses were of organic fibre: horsehair mattresses were the best; cow's-hair ones were cheaper, although they did not wear as well; even less expensive were wool mattresses. A straw mattress, or palliase, could be put under a hair mattress to protect it from the iron bedstead. Chain-spring mattresses were available in the second half of the century, but they were expensive, and they still needed a hair mattress over them. It was recommended that a brown holland square should be tied over the chains, to stop the hair mattress from being chewed by the springs. The hair mattress itself then needed to be covered with another holland case, to protect it from soot and dirt. If the bed had no springs, a feather bed – which was also expensive, hard to maintain, and a great luxury –  could be added on top of the mattress. An underblanket, called a binding blanket, was recommended over the hair mattress."

"After the basics (all of which needed turning and shaking every day, as otherwise the natural fibre had a tendancy to mat and clump), the bedding for cold, usually fireless rooms consisted of an under sheet (tucked into the lower mattress, not the upper, again to protect from soot), a bottom sheet, a top sheet, blankets (three or four per bed in the winter), a bolster, pillows, bolster and pillow-covers in holland, and bolster- and pillow-cases."

~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 11)

Bedding clearly was in just as many layers and just as complex a Victorian ballgown! Speaking of which over on Retro Rack I lay out a fantasy of some of Alexia's underthings.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing. Next month is Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti.}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1870  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Postcard from my Grandfather's travels

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished first draft. Out with Beta readers. Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
80sidol-tumblr talk to me about my love for ormond tunstell and ivy hisslepenny


Quote of the Day:
“Don’t blame a man for the style of his literary apartments and more than you would for the color of his hair of the shape of his nose.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

7.23.2014

Going to San Diego ComicCon? I have a suggestion.


I will not be at San Diego Comic Con this year. Much as I enjoyed my experience in 2012, I feel it was a once in a lifetime thing. I'm not one of those who can go regularly.

However, my publisher is planning on attending. If you are excited about Prudence I highly suggest you swing by the Orbit booth at SDCC and make yourself known to the cool people their as a particular fan. I would do this as soon as you can, as close to the beginning of the event as possible. Because it's a while supplies last kind of thing.

There is not code word needed. 

No, you do not get the book. (How would that be possible while I'm still in revisions?)

Otherwise, oh yes, I am being purposefully obtuse.

What can I say? Doooo eeeetttt.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1897 Day Dress  1897  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
peashooter85-      Rare and unusual “Femme Fatale” ring pistol, originates from France, third quarter of the 19th century.      Sold at Auction- $11,350

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Strawberry ShortcakeKabaob

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Five Communication Mistakes Almost Every Couple Makes
[Very useful drivers for romantic drama, conflict, and subplot.]


PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Revising. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt


Book News:


Quote of the Day:
card via FB


Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

7.21.2014

If I Were an Actual Celebrity Interview


Gentle Reader, I am always fascinated by those interviews they have at the back of glossy magazines. The ones that are kind of Inside the Actors Studio style. I'm a terrible judgy person (I know, like you're surprised) and I always judge the person being interviewed by his or her answers.

So I thought I would give myself one of those interviews and you could judge me.


20 Questions from Marie Claire Magazine


  1. What food is on your kitchen counter?
    The partial carcass of a papaya. The AB hates them and they are one of my favorite fruits. I buy one every week that they are in season and eat the whole thing myself.
  2. What is the best gift you've ever received?
    My first car: a 1982 Ford Courier (with a Mazda engine) and 200,000 miles on her. My mom's old work truck, Bluebell, became mine on my 16th birthday (so I could commute to high-school myself). She represented so much joy and liberty. Old Bluebell went 300,000 on the original clutch. I loved that truck.
  3. What is your fantasy vacation itinerary?
    Somewhere with good food, tropical fruit, and lots of swimming.
  4. What can you not miss on TV?
    Bob's Burgers. It's the only thing we actually try to watch regularly. Still, we usually forget and have to catch it in reruns.
  5. What is the best advice you've ever been given?
    Success is largely a matter of holding on when everyone else has given up. 
  6. What movie do you think has the greatest ending?
    Latter Days. I can watch him drop that tray over and over again. It's not exactly the last scene but it's the ending. SO GOOD.
  7. What is on your perennial to-do list?
    Vacuum. There is never a time when our apartment doesn't need it.
  8. What is on your bookshelf?
    Science fiction and fantasy baby, all the way.
  9. What is on your feet right now?
    Nothing. 
  10. What is you go-to karaoke song?
    I don't sing, but I make a killer back-up dancer. If you want to catch me embarrassing myself by singing out loud? Firewater by Chome Johnson gets me every single time. 
  11. What is your beauty secret?
    Soaking my feet in hot water and baking soda every night I wear high heels. Nothing is right with the world if ones feet are sore.
  12. What should every woman try at least once in her lifetime?
    Asking for exactly what she wants in bed. And vibrating sex toys. Yeah, I said it, someone has to. Sheesh, ladies. 
  13. Do you have a secret talent? I can cut a perfectly straight even slice of bread, even those super fresh crusty round loafs ~ so long as I have a good knife.
  14. What makes you laugh?
    My friends when drunk and also: wit, absurdity, folly, mimicry, and the occasional bad pun.
  15. What makes you mad?
    Inefficiency, passive aggression, and slovenliness. 
  16. What charities do you support?
    My local Animal Shelter, Kiva, Worldbuilders, and a selection that advocate literacy, health, and education for girls and women. 
  17. What splurge is well worth it?
    Anything to do with health, safety, or natural fibers. More consumerist? Shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and good books. 
  18. Do you have an pet peeves?
    So many. People who can't sit still (jiggly leg ARGHHHH). Ill-disciplined children in public. Weak tea and weak handshakes. Skim milk. Anything smelly.
  19. How did you make your first dollar?
    Aside from the tooth fairy? I was a page at my local library. 
  20. What's the one thing you wish you'd known when you were younger?
    Self defense.

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Red Yellow Cluster Art Bouquet to Art 2014

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Meet The Three Female Medical Students Who Destroyed Gender Norms A Century Ago

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Recollect that to a woman who gets her living by her pen, "time is money," as it is to an artist. Therefore, encroaching on her time is lessening her income.”
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)


PROJECT ROUND UP  



Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt


Book News:


Quote of the Day:
“A horse who invariably preferred his own opinion to that of his rider.”
~ Amelia B. Edwards

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.