Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Book That Changed My Life

Five years ago, I started wondering if maybe I should move. Not just to a different neighborhood, or even to another city, but abroad. I didn't know why exactly (and I'm still not sure), but I felt restless--like I just wasn't where I belonged.

It didn't take much thought to choose England for my new home. I've been an Anglophile for a very, very long time. Books are probably at the root of the initial obsession as well, but frankly it's been so long I honestly can't remember.

I planned a trip, which I referred to as a recon mission. I wanted to know exactly what I was getting myself in for by moving there. After all, my only previous experience with England was two weeks in London over Christmas in 1997. I was pretty sure things had changed since then.

That trip got postponed at least twice due to finances, but finally I went in March. As you know if you've read my #DarcyHunt entries, I had an absolutely fabulous time. Everything went right. England opened its arms to me and said, "Welcome. You'll feel at home here." (Only this was said in a much more English-y/much less Midwestern kind of way.)

Well... a funny thing happened. Knowing how right it felt made me wonder if I was wrong. I second-guessed myself. Did I really want to move overseas? How would I like England as a permanent resident?

I have spent the last three months in limbo, not sure exactly what I wanted to do. Then on Saturday night, I picked up The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson and I read this:

Home. It was a nice thought. She had missed her parents, her friends... but the word didn't have quite the same meaning anymore. England was home too. So much of her was here.


She wanted this train to break down, for her flight to be canceled, for immigration to tell her that she wasn't allowed to go. She wanted London itself to rise up and refuse to let her pass out of its boundaries.

And just like that, I knew what I needed to do. I know there will be obstacles ahead, legal ones in particular. I know I have financial obligations I need to meet first. I know my cat is absolutely going to hate me for taking her across the ocean, and I know she'd hate me even more if I left her behind.

Despite all that, I know that if I don't do this, I will regret it for the rest of my life. (I swear, I did not intentionally paraphrase the proposal from Runaway Bride.)

England is home, too. Just like Ginny, so much of me is there. I can't wait until the actual me part of me is there as well.

A few giveaway reminders before you go:

1) I launched a website on Monday. is giving away a free Kindle during our inaugural month, so slip on over and enter to win. While you're there, take a look around--it's a site for both indie authors and lovers of Jane Austen fiction. 

2) Remember Absolute Liability, the book I featured in last week's post on writing cross-genre? My friend (and Indie Jane co-owner) Jessica is giving away FIVE COPIES! Check out her blog to win.