Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Nerdiest Thing I have Ever Done

I realize I haven’t written in awhile.  I am sorry, blogger friends.
Here we are at the Wild Card game ( Throwback to JoeyBats' bat flip last year)

Sonja and I traipsed around BC for 10 days. It was amazing. I also checked up on Jem and Merinda all over the place in different bookstores.

I suppose part of it is because I went on holiday in BC with a bestie and we road-tripped to Victoria from Nanaimo while singing Amy Grant , and enjoyed Canadian thanksgiving, and finished a Herringford and Watts novella and worked on a Christmas novella, and did edits for Conductor of Light and did signings and library events for A Lesson in Love and Murder, and saw some theatre and opera and watched Signed Sealed Delivered  and enjoyed Toronto and went to a friend's wedding and saw a production of Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick, Boom and also worked at my real job and read some books. And, of course, there was baseball.  I was even at the Wild Card game where my Blue Jays beat the Orioles and advanced further into the post season.

Also went to Master and Commander weekend which was a Regency fest of food and fun featuring all manner of interesting discussions about Aubrey and Maturin. Held at Montgomery's Inn here in Toronto.

Instagram shot of Orillia over thanksgiving weekend. Lots of writing and autumn and baseball!

 Now,  I return to you to tell you about the Nerdiest Thing I have Ever Done

(one of them)

When I was finishing up at University about a decade ago ( I AM SO OLD), I was super into learning what the great writers I was studying read.   I discovered that C.S.Lewis and Chesterton both liked this historical novel called Precious Bane, published in 1924 and set in Shropshire during the Napoleonic Wars.

I ordered an edition and read it like eight times in a row (and not just because the vernacular is kinda impossible to understand at times). No, I read it because amidst its other brilliant treatises on nature and love, it showed what it was like to be a woman with plaguing insecurity and the belief of being unworthy of love… and it showed it in first person narrative.

Prue Sarn is born with a harelip and thus is obviously undesirable and clearly a witch.  Get out your ducking stools.  She knows she is terrible and cursed and born of the devil (and whatever other nonsense she is fed), but she still enjoys life and snatches at happiness when she can. She’s a good person. She learns to read and write, she works hard with her brother to preserve the family farm and she falls in love with an itinerant weaver who kinda weaves in and out of town now and then when there is work.

She replaces her would-be sister in law in a very weird ritual where she stands naked in the half-shadows in some strange Venus dramatization and she is appreciated for, well, being a hot woman because no one can see her harelip.

And she keeps falling for the weaver, Kester Woodseaves ( the names in this) and the language is gorgeous and Prue loves to read.   And she writes. She writes letters that her illiterate brother can’t throwing in some extra lines for Kester.  It’s awesome.

Also, she saves his life when he protests dog fights and the treatment of poor animals and is attacked by a dog.  Like, he’s a decent guy too.  And she knows it but she also knows that HE DESERVES A GIRL LIKE A LILY ( her words, not mine)

Anyways, life is hard for poor Prue despite the fact that she and Kester like to talk about dragonflies now and then and she still holds the slight promise that somewhere there is a cure for her.  There is death in her family and she becomes blamed for everything and is, of course, judged as a witch and stuff is terrible for a bit.

AND I LOVE EVERY FRIGGIN MINUTE of this, frankly, unreadable at times novel.

SO…. I learned a million years ago that PBS had done an adaptation in, like, 1989. Being a little kid, I didn’t care. But I started to care when I learned it was Janet McTeer and Clive Owen and stuff and I wanted so badly to see it.  So for years I keep surfing youtube and streaming sites and the public library and no one has it. Nothing. You can’t watch this illegally. You can’t watch this anywhere….
okay thanks to the Silver Petticoat Review for also sharing my love, but also providing us with fuzzy images

UNTIL, a random search the other day ( I was committed, guys, I would remind myself now and then to check check check), I discovered a site where I could pay them with paypal for a download avi file.   I was,like, TAKE ALL MY MONEY, please ( it wasn’t that expensive, the price of a movie ticket and I will watch it every day and get my money’s worth) and the kind people who run this rare movie service sent me a download avi file and I watched it and it was AMAZING

Image result for precious bane movie
Just get married already

It is so amazing. It is like word for word from the book and sometimes you have NO idea what they are saying and Kester gives Prue these long, lingering glances.

It’s really quite great and my time and perseverance paid off and that---that whole find, pay, receive download of esoteric very random old rare PBS adaptation is one of the NERDIEST THINGS I HAVE DONE