As you may know yesterday was International Women’s Day. Being a man, I thought I should best be “quiet.” My piling on with my male opinion was hardly necessary.
Now that we are here the day after, I thought I would offer simply this:
I read none of my Conventions manuscript yesterday beyond glimpsing its cover on Instagram and here in my post about it. I’m taking a few days away from the late 1700s to clear my head before I delve into correcting it from the beginning. I think this is probably the first time in months I have gone a 24 hour period (and counting) not writing or reading any of it.
As part of my “day of rest,” I found myself in a sudden Messenger chat with a friend. She lives in Bristol and was my wife’s friend before she became mine as well. (I have deleted names used.) She is the opening message…
The highly regarded political polling and prediction site FiveThirtyEight reported the other day that if only men voted, Republican nominee Donald Trump would overwhelmingly defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton and win the U.S. presidency:
However, the outcome would be vastly different if ONLY women voted. In that scenario, Clinton would, uh, thump Trump:
On Saturday morning I wrote how friends from Alaska (I was a student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks briefly in the late 1980s) were due to visit with us here in Hertfordshire (about a 30 min train journey north from central London) for lunch. For three weeks, they had driven themselves all around southwestern England and thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the likes of Stonehenge and down in Cornwall. Today, starting at Heathrow, they begin the (2 day) travel odyssey back to Alaska.
At one point we chatted about my books. Eventually we moved on to what my latest one will be about. As I explained it, my friend’s wife jumped in about women’s fashions of that era.
Art and fashion are passions of hers. She began noting how she believed ladies dresses and clothing was “dreadful” by the time of the U.S. Civil War in the mid-19th century. She declared emphatically that in contrast she felt late 18th century styles (the era in which Conventions is mostly set: the 1780s and 1790s) in London and Paris were simply (in her words) “gorgeous.”
If you are reading this, you may be on social media yourself too – with a blog, a Twitter account, Instagram, etc. Recently, some “guy” I’d never encountered before evidently took umbrage with my voicing my opinion on too many U.S. study abroad students’ immature behaviors. Regular visitors here also know I attribute those primarily to overzealous parenting coupled with inexperience with legal alcohol; but apparently “he” thought attacking me on Twitter personally would get a reaction.
I yawned: I’ve seen much worse. When you put yourself out there publicly in even the smallest way, you have to expect criticisms and even degrees of nastiness. We all know it comes with the territory.