Anne here, introducing the second part of our 8th Anniversary celebration, where we look back over a few favorite posts from the past eight years. The first part was here. In this thrilling episode, Pat Rice talks about getting naked (yes more nakedness!), Susan King expos—er, reminisces about where we work, Mary Jo gives the inside skinny about wearing Regency-era corsets (a post much beloved of German corset fetishists), and finally I wrap up with a little bit of down-under culture in the shape—the very fine shape—of Australian Rules footballers.(The photo below is from this site)
And finally, I list the books we're giving away to eight lucky commenters — one book each.
We'll start with Pat:
Like Jo, I think there’s no better way of celebrating the Word Wenches’ survival of eight years of blogging then with our Getting Naked blog. If nothing else, the “naked” blog was a metaphor for how such different writers could strip down to their souls and reveal themselves in public. Writers are intensely private people, and presenting our thoughts for public consumption was a fascinating and terrifying new idea to us at the time.
The three “naked” blogs were actually a heated discussion behind the scenes. It’s in our private e-mails that we learned about each other and became great friends and a support group that far exceeds the benefits of blogging. The task of pulling all those private emails into a coherent blog only occurred to us later. If anything was a test of our strength and endurance, it was the job of taking all those conversation snippets and forming a complete essay out of them! After that first year of trial by fire, I think we were kinder to our newer wenches, or they were more accustomed to our dangerous meanderings. I hope that our readers have enjoyed the bits of us that we’ve revealed along the way. You can read it here.
Eight Wenches, eight years — surely there's magic in those numbers! Together we've kept the blog going strong and we've produced hundreds of posts (and multiple friendships) since May 2006. Going through those lists lately to find some favorites presented great memories and a generous range of choices. One post that I particularly enjoyed putting together was a group post in 2009 about our work spaces. We each shared a glimpse of our home offices and chatted about our various work environments — cozy, homey, comfy, book-stuffed, sometimes cat-populated, some desks neat, some messy, some lost under deadline flotsam and jetsam.
Talking about our books, writing and history on the blog is something we do all the time — but having a chance to share with readers the places where we actually do all this writing we talk endlessly about was fun and fascinating. I loved seeing the other Wenches' workspaces, and I hope it's a subject we'll revisit in the future. I've got a new desk (which is currently covered in Stuff), and I know some of the other authors have made changes too.
Here's a snippet of the post:
Writers are lucky. We get to work at home, which generally requires a room or a space set aside for the writing to be done, a space that allows for a desk, a chair, a computer, printer, shelves of books, tons of papers... and most importantly, a degree of privacy and comfort. Especially comfort, for if there's one thing about being a full-time writer working at home — many, many hours per week are going to be spent in that office. So creating a work space that works on all levels is something the Wenches take very seriously. Desks, chairs, libraries, organization, feng shui and decor, all carefully arranged... Until we get to work: papers, books, the natural debris that comes with research, brainstorming, notes, writing and revising takes over. Our office spaces can get buried under the chaos of creativity. We make no apologies for the state of our offices. If desk surfaces and floors are not always visible, books pile up on tables, if little things disappear under the avalanche, then so be it. The book is the important thing!
From Mary Jo: Eight years! Who knew that the Word Wenches would still be rocking, still finding fun things to discuss, after so long? My choice for a favorite past post was actually written by someone else. Nina Paules, in the days before she became a cutting edge provider of indie e-book publishing services by starting eBook Prep and ePublishingWorks, was a regular Word Wenches reader and aspiring Regency writer. Which is why she decided to attend a Regency weekend at an early 19th century mansion in Washington, DC. Armed with historically accurate Regency garments, including a corset, made by her talented mother, she became a Regency lady for the weekend.
Her account was so fascinating that I persuaded her to write a blog about her experiences. The Truth About Corsets is both funny and educational as it demonstrates how body strength and movement are changed. You can read about it here. Nina's blog is perhaps our all-time most popular, not least because it was apparently discovered by a German corset fetishist group, and they paid many, many visits. <G> (They were very polite, though. No comments that needed to be removed.) Fun to read, and I'm very grateful for modern lightweight, stretchy underpinnings!
Back to Anne:
And now for the cultural exchange part of the deal. We wenches being an international lot, and interested in cultural exchanges between our countries — cultural mavens, in fact — I thought I'd include a little post that got quite a nice response — wenchly readers also being so very culturally-minded and all. I was trying to decide which of my posts over the years I'd want to link to and Mary Jo said — "Hats -- you did that one on hats." And I was all ready to go with hats, when she said, "No, that one on footballers." So who am I to argue? Here is the post on Australian Rules Footballers.
To celebrate our 8th year of blogging together, we're giving away a book each. Eight lucky commenters will each receive a book. Here's what's on offer:
1) Susan King will give away a copy of The Raven's Moon in e-book (or old paperback if that's the preference).
2) Joanna Bourne is giving away an audioBook for Lord&Spymaster
3) Patricia Rice will give away a trade-size book in her Magic series, to someone in the US. Or if you're outside the US and have an e-book reader, she'll happily send an e-book of her last historical The Notorious Atherton.
4) Mary Jo Putney is giving away an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of her September book — NOT QUITE A WIFE.
5) Andrea/Cara Elliot will give away an e-book of Scandalously Yours, the first of her new trilogy.
6) Nicola Cornick will give away a copy of One Night with the Laird.
7) Jo Bev I'll give a copy of Lady Beware, which was published round about the time of our first anniversary and the naked blog.
8) Anne Gracie will give away a copy of whichever of her books the winner wants (depending on availability)
And finally, a huge big THANK YOU from Mary Jo, Jo, Pat, Susan, Sherrie (and Sparky), Nicola, Cara/Andrea, Joanna and me, to all you wonderful wenchly readers out there in cyberland. You keep us blogging and writing, you make us smile, you make us think, you make us grateful and happy to be a part of this wonderful community. Happy 8th anniversary to us all!