The only thing about Miss D Two that has gone according to plan was the writing of it. Everything since then has been odd. Somewhat unprecedented. Not per the usual. For example, (just one of the many though the only one I'll mention) when I pictured myself writing this Valentine's Day post, it was under the assumption that at least some of you would be in possession of my book.
At this point, not even I am in possession of my book. (And just for the record, neither are me or myself.) Alas and alack!
Rumors abound as to when the physical representation of my work might physically appear in a physical way (as in, not a figment of my imagination, a reality I'm beginning to consider). The vagaries of weather and online book sellers are adding to the plethora of reports, each one more contrary than the next. So, as I confess to you the sins I have harbored for these many months, I suppose you will simply have to pretend you are looking at the very thing I am discussing--to be more specific, (yes, let's shall be!) something known as the Acknowledgements Page.
Once upon a time I wrote a book that didn't find an audience. Over a decade later, after much encouragement and revisions, it did. Happy day! However, it never occured to me I would find the time or means to write another book. My good friend Shirley always hoped I would. "Oh, pshaw!" I would say. "How can I with my sick son and my sick spouse and my sick body?" My friend Becky was the first to suggest I write a sequel to Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind. "Oh, pshaw!" I said. "Sequels are simply not done in this genre. Besides, their story is over." Still, it was a thought . . . Then several others mentioned how they wanted to spend more time with Ginny and Sir Anthony and since I felt pretty much the same way, I began to consider it. Then one day my mother suggested I write another book and I did not say "Oh!" or "Pshaw!" I said, "Okay, Mother darling, anything for you."
And I did.
However, I never would have had the confidence or motivation if it weren't for so many of you.
As a result, I thought a lot about how I could demonstrate my affection for each and every single one of you and came up with the "sage" idea of putting you into the story--somehow. It was a lovely idea but I ran into a number of problems. One, there aren't a great number of new characters in this sequel of mine and very few of them are particularly nice people. In fact, some of them are darn right nasty. (Hilarous (to me) side note: I named the most evil woman in the story after a cousin of mine because it was a good juicy part and she has been so darn sweet to me, only to have her tell me how much she hated the fact that her name is most often associated with women who are darn right nasty. Without letting on that I had very nearly done the same thing (oh, dear, now she knows) I mentally switched names with someone else and, in the end, it worked out quite neatly for reasons I can't divulge at this time. All I can say is that certain persons will get a kick out of it by the end of the story, I warrant.) (Get used to the archaic talk here, people, if you plan to read Miss D One or Two or Again.) Either way, I couldn't get all of you in due to sheer lack of new characters. By the same token, I tried to use names that represented more than one person. (So, if you are wondering if you are that Rebecca, yes! You are! And so are you and you!)
Problem number two: After intense study of census records in England during the early 1800's, I discovered that nearly 50% of the population went by roughly five names per gender: the girls-Mary, Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah (and I've forgotten the other but it was not Kitty for you Austen fans out there) and the boys--John, James, Henry, Richard and Walter. As a result, I went with last names when I could--some of you have splendid, British-sounding surnames--which often means you are named for a man (it couldn't be helped) and in one case, you are named after a dead man. An exceedingly dead man. In another case, you are named after a drunk. Again, nothing personal! Just pure randomness and whimsy. Therefore, the names I did use were based on suitability for the place and time (Regency England). However, try as I might, I couldn't get a Heather or Melissa or Melinda in there to save my life. (Tho, in a moment of rare brilliance, I did manage a Kazzy.) (And this is the moment when I realize that I care way more about this than any of you--like it's some great honor or something!) (sheez!)
Problem number three: For those who didn't get named after a character, I included your name in a paragraph on the acknowledgements page, right under the paragraph of people who did get named in the book. I dedicated the book to all of you.
Guess which paragraph got dumped from said acknowledgements page?
I have to say, I feel horrible about it, just horrible! I wanted all of your names in there somehow, but it was not to be. I guess I just have to write another book . . .(anyone named Herbert out there? Cuz that's what the hero's name is going to be and I would really like to get started on the name-saking thing .. . )
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you sweethearts out there! Thanks so much for being my friend, my encouragement, my support and my inspiration. Here you all are, in the book or not, in alphabetical order (because I am really sensitive like that . . .)