Emma FanFic Remix: 20+ years later, Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill still know how to blunder through a secret engagement

A looooong time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote a fanfic from Jane Fairfax’s and Frank Churchill’s perspectives, filling in the plot gaps in Emma by Jane Austen. Obviously, that negates the “mystery story” element of the novel, but I don’t care. It was a fun exercise to try to get into their heads and figure out what they were thinking, and what kinds of people they really were.

Frank fixes Mrs. Bates' spectacles
Frank fixes Mrs. Bates’ spectacles.

I came to the conclusion that Jane Fairfax really was a superior creature. One who was desperate to find love…and also desperate to not work for a living. Not judging – I totally understand where she was coming from. Here’s a beautiful woman with loads of talent and tons of accomplishments, and she’s on the cusp of spending the rest of her life (? – I mean, Mr. Weston sprung Miss Taylor out of Governess Jail at Hartfield…) as a glorified servant. For a woman who is the granddaughter and daughter of gentlemen (her grandfather was clergy and her father an army officer, two of the gentlemanly professions), it isn’t so unreasonable to expect she’ll be able to live a life that befits a gentlewoman. Obviously, genteel poverty was a thing (cases in point: Mrs. and Miss Bates), but as a young woman, Jane should have had a fighting chance at a decent marriage and living. Maybe not big-inheritance level like Frank ended up giving her, but something better than working for friends of Mrs. Elton for a pittance. 

In Jane’s shoes, I probably would’ve let Frank talk me into falling in love with him, too. Maybe. As for Frank Churchill, I decided he’s a self-centered ass, but not the villain some people make him out to be. He really, really does love her. I mean, here’s a guy with the looks, charm, and money to basically marry just about any well-bred girl he wants, and he picks the poor one. And not just for messing around. He proposes marriage to lock her down. Add all that to his fits of pique at Box Hill and you know he’s got it bad for her. Really bad.

Yeah, he makes fun of Jane’s hair to Emma, which isn’t just an affront to her looks – it’s also a dig at her poverty, as she and her aunt and grandmother can’t afford a lady’s maid to do it for her, but so many of the improper things that come up in Frank’s conversations with Emma aren’t actually suggested by Frank – they’re suggested by Emma. He certainly encourages the topic, but it’s Emma who goes full-Dixon, not Frank. Mmhmmmmm.

Anyway, I rewrote the fic to make it a little less Austen-y and restrained and a little more psychological. When I finished the original version, I wanted to continue the post-canon story of Jane and Frank with some plot ideas that struck me along the way. Unfortunately, life got stupid for a couple of decades and suddenly it’s not just the 21st century, it’s the third decade of the 21st century, and that scares the crap out of me. I’ve only begun to revisit the possibility of continuing with these ficbunnies again. Suffice it to say that some of my ideas will probably piss off the Austen purists, but whatever. Forget it, Jake (Jane?) – this is Fanfiction Town.

So here’s the new version, titled B-L-U-N-D-E-R, currently hosted at Archiveofourown.org. Please check it out and let me know what you think. 

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Unisphere by Kali
Unisphere by Kali.

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Odds ‘n’ Ends

I recently created an index page for Emma 4 at the Emma Adaptations Pages. Hopefully that’ll help keep things organized!

I’ve also closed Storied, our writing workshop. I think everybody’s just too busy to write these days!

Historic Fashion Blogger?

David Joseph Designs is looking for an historic fashion blogger!  If you’re interested, get in touch with David Joseph via his website.

A part-time blogger is currently needed to write about historic fashion for David Joseph Designs, a growing atelier featuring unique fashion design and couture clothing with vintage appeal. This will be a great opportunity for fashionistas and history buffs seeking to stretch their imagination and find captivating topics to discuss on the site. The writer must speak and write fluent English and possess experience in the fashion industry and/or a willingness to learn. The topics must reflect the designer’s passion for historic fashion, its cultural relevance to the period and its lingering affects on modern style. The writer must be willing to conduct online research, when necessary, and provide appealing visual graphics to accompany each and every post. Interested parties should contact the designer with a brief explanation of their field of interest, prior experience and the compensation you expect. The writer should expect to start within the same day of hire.

Introducing…

Storied, our brand new roleplay and writing workshop.

We’re still working out the bugs (and I’ll be retemplating it once the semester’s over), but it’s generally ready to go. Consider this a beta testing phase. 🙂

http://storied.strangegirl.com/

Have a happy holiday season, everyone!

More general goo…

The big news of the moment:  I’m writing an article on fashion in the Northanger Abbey adaptations for my friend Laurel Ann’s “Go Gothic” festival at Austenprose Blog. It’s set to publish on October 15. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, you’ll really enjoy her blog!

Now for the boring stuff:

Kali enjoys simplifying her internet life.  Kali also has trouble letting go of past projects that have outstripped their usefulness.  This means that Kali has trouble making decisions as to what to update and what to delete.

I’m in the process of redesigning and otherwise generally cleaning up Better Haunts & Graveyards.  The current design is something like six years old, and it looks it.  Once that’s out of the way, Halloween-tree.com and Livadia.org are going to have their days of reckoning.

Right now, I’m thinking I’ll just merge the Halloween site with Better Haunts; there isn’t enough left to justify its continued independent existence.  As for the Romanov site, I’m torn.  On one hand, it looks old and we just don’t have the time or interest to update it anymore.  Further, all it seems to do in its current limbo state is invite image-ganking bandwidth thieves and freaky Russian spam.  On the other hand, it would sincerely suck to see all of our hard work on the scrapbooks and such go down the crapper.  As usual, I’m the queen of indecision.

In other news, Strawberry Canyon and Desire are closing up shop.  The current plan per Marsha and myself is to open up a new, joint writing workshop with no sim and a broader focus.  I think most of us were bored with the figure skating premise.

When will it debut? Not a clue. Probably sometime before Christmas.