by Lydia Dare
Luxury. Just the sound of the word makes me think of living the good live. Dictionary.com has the following definition…
a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy,
elegance or refinement of living rather than a necessity.
Mmm. That sounds delightful.
I think this is why I write stories set in Regency England. I get to write about times when men were truly gentlemen and women (at least those I write about) had a more luxurious life than we do today. They had cooks, and housekeepers, butlers, footmen, maids (both chamber and scullery), valets, grooms, governesses, nurses, and my personal favorite – the lady’s maid.
Can you imagine someone’s entire job was to make you look good? To fix your hair to perfection. To make certain the three of four different gowns you’d don throughout the day were pressed and ready to go? Someone to keep you appraised of all the household gossip? (Having a teenager, I can only say that would be handy indeed.)
The rest of your day would be spent meeting with the housekeeper then shopping, calling on friends or having them call on you, deciding which social functions to attend, and practicing your witty repartee.
I think was born in the wrong era and the wrong socio-economic group, but I digress.
Earlier this year, I was fortune to hear Julia Quinn speak at a regional writers’ conference. She mentioned that recently she has begun to take cruises alone in order to write undisturbed. A light went off in my mind. A writing vacation! What a fabulous idea! And talk about luxury!
I am a big advocate of cruises. I’ve seen most of the Caribbean aboard one cruise ship or another; and a few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit more than a half dozen European countries during a two week cruise. Breath-taking ships. Gourmet food. Excellent service. Delicious drinks. And a different country every day.
That is the life. (And fairly reasonable as far as vacations go, but you can discuss that with your local travel agent – which if you’re cruising I highly recommend using instead of an internet service. And there I’ve gotten off topic again.)
Where was I again? Oh, right.
That is the life. In fact, in today’s day and age, cruising one of the few places one can aspire to the luxurious lifestyle of those long ago Regency Ladies. Cabin attendants. 24 hour room-service. Art shows. Non-stop social events of one sort or another. (I could go on and on, but the cruise lines aren’t paying me to sell their wares.)
I am definitely going to have to look into a writing retreat aboard a cruise ship. But I can’t imagine my family would be all right with me just abandoning them to take a cruise all by myself. I wonder how Julia Quinn convinced her family to let her it go alone. And now that I’m thinking about it, the fact she was able to swing this whole solo-cruise thing, she’s my new hero.
I can just imagine sitting poolside with my laptop. The happy island music. The warm sun. The never-ending piña-coladas. Where is my travel agent’s number?
About the author
Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. They are working together on their next paranormal historical trilogy as Lydia Dare, which will be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2011! For more information, please visit http://www.lydiadare.com/.
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