How did Dickens do it?

 

What if little Oliver Twist had crowd-sourced funding for better gruel at the workhouse? Such was the unlikely anachronism pondered as I sought (for a while) Internet access at the coffee shop this morning. After one large Americano, the connection finally ‘connected’ and the research of the day began. Of course, I soon became distracted and found myself reading. Is that so bad? And it involved Charles Dickens, not just any hack.

I had stumbled across The Dickens Fellowship. I know, I know, almost every famous author now long gone has some sort of fan club or society bent on preserving their literary works, so why wouldn’t Charles have one, too?

Thanks to server issues, though, I did not have much time to peruse. So sometime soon, in my spare time (ha) I will check out the website. It did seem to have a large amount of peer-reviewed information on a writer who is arguably one of the best we have seen. Not sure how if Charles Dickens will figure into my next novel, or the current sequel on renegade Samurai, but you never know.

Interesting to note, there are TDF chapters all over the world. Most of the major hubs have them. There are groups meeting in Sydney, Toronto, London (of course) and then there’s Tokyo. But wait? Denton, too? As in Denton, Texas?

If you are a jazz educator, or appreciate jazz education, you know about Denton, Texas and their local university (University of North Texas, formerly North Texas State University) home to the legendary One O’Clock Lab Band. If you have never heard the band play, in any of its iterations, you should. You’ll become a fan.

But a Dickens Fellowship chapter, too? Kudos, Dentonites. You are one up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

That may change eventually, but for now, I am happy to have found a good source of information on one of my favorite authors.

Cue segue to today’s teachable moment:

And as many of us prepare for November’s writer-slogfest called Nanowrimo, let me remind everyone that you may have a lot going on in your life, and these things take up a lot of your time. I know that. You know that. We all know that. But if you really want to write, you can do it. Take a minute, visit the Dickens Fellowship website and read about the environment Dickens grew up in, lived as an adult in, and wrote in.

And Charles Dickens did not have the help of the Internet.

How did he do it?

Americanos hadn’t been invented yet. He just buckled down and started writing.

And we can, too.

Okay, pep talk over. Back to the ink well, people. The outline for The Milk Chocolate Murders is coming along nicely. This weekend is another round of research for The 13th Samurai (posting on Sunday evening, hopefully) and I just queried a new lit agent about The Apple Pie Alibi. And bonus: I have already found a good killer for the third and final part of the Winnie Kepler series, working title The Wedding Cake Witness.

That’s enough for me. For now.

What are you doing?

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5 thoughts on “How did Dickens do it?

  1. Dickens didn’t have the help of the internet? How about “Dickens didn’t have the DISTRACTION of the internet?” There’s a door that swings both ways, if you ask me. And now you’ve got me thinking I should try some restrictions on my net usage this November. Hmm…

  2. I believe the Dickens Fellowship’s North of Boston branch is responsible for the Charles Dickens conference taking place (next weekend?) in Salem, Mass. Few of the events are at the Hotel where I work. I may sneak in. And yes, it is them, found it: http://www.dickensfellowship.org/Events/pickwickian-endeavours-%E2%80%93-first-bi-annual-north-american-dickens-conference

    I say this to you as I, myself, have become distracted by the internet rather that do what I intended to do… off to a coffee shop without my laptop!

    • Salem MA isn’t so far and the conference sounds very cool, especially with the great great grandson of Charles Dickens attending. My wife said I should go but alas I am volunteering at a local wildlife refuge that day. Dash it all. Maybe next time we can host down at the end of the Eastern Shore…or not.

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