The Jane Austen Social Scene Part II

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Today I bring you the puzzling case of Frank Churchill from Emma. In the novel, Frank Churchill is extremely flirtatious with Emma Woodhouse to the point where those around them speculate that the pair will soon be engaged. By the end of the novel, it’s revealed that Frank Churchill’s flirtations with Emma and slights of Emma’s rival Jane Fairfax were all part of Frank Churchill’s rouse to keep his engagement to Jane Fairfax under wraps until his wealthy aunt died and he received his inheritance. Once that happens it’s all, “Jane! We’re rich! I love you!” and “Good day, Miss Woodhouse.”

To be fair, Emma realizes she doesn’t actually love Frank Churchill and that her feelings towards Frank Churchill were more along the lines of a crush rather than enamor (and that he’s wrong for her). Kudos to Frank Churchill too for keeping his promise to Jane Fairfax. And yet…he totally uses Emma, fooling both her and everyone else (including his own father). Not to mention his insults towards Jane Fairfax, his secret fiancée.

So what do I make of Frank Churchill, both in the story and in the social scene? The Frank Churchill type is very charming, flirtatious, and someone you think is genuinely interested in you romantically. Yet the Frank Churchill type is in fact attached to another whom they rarely bring up (oh, yeah, my girlfriend…) in conversation; they would instead prefer to turn on the charm with you. If you do bring up the subject of their attachment, the charming façade falters as their expression turns serious and their volume lowers a notch or two as if they don’t want others to know. They might be distanced from their attachment by geographic distance or by other factors. Whatever the details of the case may be, the Frank Churchill type will blend with others, easily earning their high opinion.

Be wise to look past the charm of Frank Churchill as they may try to use you as part of their plans or simply to distract/amuse/entertain themselves. Either way, their views towards you can be best summed up as thinking of you as someone to play with. Once you figure out their game, “Shameful!” will come to mind when you think of them and what they did to you and those around you.


The Confession of a So-Called Writer

I believe in the act of personal confession.  Confession helps to ease the burdens we carry by sharing that which we try to hide from others.  Our failures, our shortcomings, our embarrassments.  Confession is admission of being human.

I am in the process of calculating out the final grades for my students.  My students who I told on the first day of classes that the goal of the course is to make them better writers, a goal they have all reached.  Reflecting, I suppose I too have reached that goal and continue to reach that goal.  See, after a semester of reading first year writing students’ work, I’ve come to appreciate my own writing.  I still am insecure about calling myself a writer or even talking about writing, but after reading students’ writing and seeing them look to me as an authority on the subject and in turn seeing the advice and suggestions I give them be used and actually improve their writing, I’ve grown more comfortable in my role as a writer.

Which leads me to confession.  So, here it is: the confession of a so-called writer:

– I unpublished the books I self-published/e-published on Amazon Kindle and Nook stores.  This was mostly due to me realizing that my life circumstances drastically changed from when I first published them, changed in a way that has caused me to admit that I can’t spend enough time on them/building their series.

– I suck at Twitter.  My tweeting could be best described as croaking because that’s how bad it is.

– I never finished my 365 reasons to be thankful under Project Thankful.  I made it to Reason #231, but then stopped.  It kind of just fell by the wayside.  Although I didn’t reach my initial goal of 365 reasons, the process DID make me more thankful for what I have and for the things around me, so I’d still say it was a productive project.

– Going along with that last point, I also used to have a Confessions of a Writer posting series, but that too did not pan out.

– Okay, I tend to start things and let them fall by the wayside/not finish them/not post enough with them.  And that’s OKAY.  Writing is a process, and part of my process is trying things out that may or may not work.  I need to try out a bunch of things to see if anything sticks or even to advance.

– I fully accept that I may never be on The New York Times Bestseller List or have my work published and be put in bookstores. I accept this and move on.

– I’ve also accepted this blog’s randomness.  Hey, it says at the top that the focus of the blog is writing.  I purposely kept the focus somewhat ambiguous because I have a lot of thoughts going through my mind at any given time of day/when the mood moves me to blog.

– Lastly, I’ve accepted that I could be considered “simple” by some.  I like the Muppets and Peanuts and Disney and dark chocolate is my favorite food.  I have a nice persona and can come off as goofy and silly in situations and to people I probably should try to come off as more serious to, but if I try to be more serious, I feel like I come off sounding pretentious and I’d rather be thought of as goofy than pretentious.

So, there you have it.  That’s my confession.  For now.