In a time when media is king, and using the internet as a tool to get the word out there is necessity, I find myself overwhelmed. Authors no longer have the advantage of holing themselves up to write a book. In truth, I have to wonder if they ever did, or if that’s just Hollywood’s take on it. Anyway, as an author, not only am I writng, not one, but several things at once, but I am also trying to maintain an online presence. That means Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, GoodReads, etc. etc. Part of all of that is this blog. I feel terrible that this blog is the thing that gets left in the dust, the most. For those of you who don’t know, I also work a full-time day job, and take a writng class on my day off, as well as being a member of a writing group. Throw in book signings, appearances at book clubs, etc. and it’s amazing I ever get time to make dinner for my family.
Now I’ve started my third facebook page titled “The Charles Dickens Project” and have been consistantly posting everyday. This is part of my research (oh yeah, I forgot to mention research in the list of things to do) in writing a historic fiction Christmas story in which Mr. Dickens himself will be one of the main characters. I thought, since I made the page public, anyone could read it, but now I’m finding that’s not the case. So in an effort to kill two birds (excuse the cliche’) I am going to post what I write there, here. That way, those of you who don’t use facebook can keep up with my progress as well. Since I’ve been posting for a while, I’ll post one weeks worth once a day until I catch up. Afterwards, I’ll post here once a week. I’m reading all of Dicken’s books in order, and post summaries of where I am in each book. I also post biographical information, definition of Dickensian terms, and fun facts. I hope you enjoy!
Week One –
Bio – Let’s start with a little background information. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on Feb. 7th, 1812 and died on June 9th 1870. He was born to John and Elizabeth Dickens, he had three sisters and four brothers. During his life he and his wife, Catherine had ten children.
Book One – Dickens’ first published novel was “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” more commonly known as “The Pickwick Papers.” The main characters are Mr. Samuel Pickwick, and his traveling companions, Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman, who went out across the country as reporters of a sort. This was published as a serial. I did not read an overview, so at first I was a little confused as to what connection there was between one character and another. I quickly realized that Dickens simply used his main characters as a vehicle to tell a collection of otherwise unrelated short stories. Quite a brilliant idea!
One thing I have to say, Dickens’ chapter titles are almost stories in themselves. Take, for instance, the title of Chapter Seven of “The Pickwick Papers” – HOW MR. WINKLE, INSTEAD OF SHOOTING AT THE PIGEON AND KILLING THE CROW, SHOT AT THE CROW AND WOUNDED THE PIGEON; HOW THE DINGLEY DELL CRICKET CLUB PLAYED ALL-MUGGLETON, AND HOW ALL- MUGGLETON DINED AT THE DINGLEY DELL EXPENSE; WITH OTHER INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE MATTERS. Quite a mouthful, wouldn’t you say?
I’ll stop here so I don’t overwhelm you. Tomorrow, I will get more into the story itself.