Dear wanderer,

Perhaps you grew up dreaming of receiving your Hogwarts letter, or stumbling upon Narnia. Perhaps you long to visit Pemberley, to Defy Gravity, or to go to the ball. I will write you that letter, and build you that wardrobe. [A metaphorical wardrobe, that is.] Here you will find step-by-step lesson plans with takeaway homework assignments that show you how to embody fictional heroines in the everyday. This means chasing your dreams and making the impossible happen with your own inner magic.

For the full experience, you can Own Your Story, or request letters from Jane Austen.

You have the potential. Heroine Training provides the tools.

Welcome to our headquarters, where dreams meet reality, where fiction is cherished, where magic is real.

Sincerely, your guide on this journey,

P.S. Read more about Heroine Training

Beauty and the Beast Review & Mrs Potts Outfit

Beauty and the Beast Review & Mrs Potts Outfit

Obviously I would be dressing up for the Beauty and the Beast premiere.

I thought about what I own in blue and yellow, because, you know, those dresses by that character, but I couldn’t come up with a Belle-inspired Disneybound that would be creative and specific enough to consider Dressing Up.

And so I reverted to my usual trend of characters with round accessories: Captain America’s shield, R2D2’s head, and now, Mrs Potts and her lid!

You might have seen my Mrs Potts-inspired outfit, and the behind-the-scenes process on Instagram.

Beauty and the Beast Review & Mrs Potts Outfit

How to make the Mrs Potts Fascinator & Belt

I didn’t buy anything new for this project, working instead with found objects around my parents’ house.

The fascinator is a paper plate, red on one side (shhh no one can see…) and white on the other. I used a lavender sharpie to turn it Mrs Potts purple.

Next I affixed a yellow ribbon around the edge of the plate in a zigzag pattern. I started using glue, but it was taking a while to dry and got a bit messy, so I switched to double-stick tape, which proved more efficient.

I was looking for a pink pompom for the top, but couldn’t find one, so used a pipe cleaner instead. The good thing is I could poke a hole through the centre of the plate and hold the pipe cleaner ball in place. I then stuck a bit more ribbon on around the pink top.

I borrowed a yellow hairband, and attached the fascinator to it with a thick piece of parcel tape.

Beauty and the Beast Review & Mrs Potts Outfit

For the finishing touch, I did a quick DIY belt, drawing on the teapot base’s pattern onto a white ribbon in sharpie. This didn’t look quite finished, so I used more double-stick tape to add matching yellow ribbon to the top and bottom of the white belt.

My Kate Spade wedding dress has become my go-to canvas for these Disney-inspired outfits – I had previously paired it with my R2D2 fascinator. Just add an afternoon at Sweet, and the image is complete!

As for the film…

Here are my thoughts on Live Action Beauty & the Beast!

Have you seen the new Beauty & the Beast? What did you think?

P.S. For more on how dressing up can make you feel like your own heroine, RSVP for my free webinar with Kitty Cavalier, Dressing the Part: Express Yourself like a Leading Lady through Adornment.

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

If it’s good enough for Jane Austen, it’s good enough for me.

Is anyone else obsessed with learning about how their favourite authors got things done? It’s no secret that I’m a productivity junkie, but there’s something extra special about learning a tip from a 19th century pro.

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Schedule a typical day like the Alcott Family 

When I visited the Orchard House in Concord as a child, I chose as a souvenir this print of the Alcott family’s Order of Indoor Duties for Children. I was in awe of its orderliness: scripted in a table is a typical daily time table, divided into Morning, Forenoon, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening. (Note to self to start using “forenoon” in life)

I have always loved writing out a schedule for myself, and this one, dated 1846, was reassurance that it was the right thing to do. It’s not dissimilar to my Ideal Week template in my Passion Planner today!

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Index notebooks like George Eliot

In The Road to Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead I learned that George Eliot indexed her notebooks. Ingenious! I always keep a thin notebook for hand-writing drafts, and many a minute is spent flipping through it trying to find a certain article I started. Now I number each page and keep a log of what I’ve written where.

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Make do with a tiny desk like Jane Austen

I’ve already written about Jane Austen as a minimalist hero. When I’m getting as squirmy and cranky as Rory Gilmore when someone takes her study tree, I remind myself that if Jane Austen can write novels at this minuscule table, I can manage in my parents’ dining room, at an airplane tray table, or at the train station Starbucks with patchy wifi. Time to stop being a study diva.

Do you steal tips from favourite authors? Let me know what practices you’ve picked up!

P.S. Taylor Swift Songs that are Actually about Jane Austen Heroines

Polygamy & Fandoms

Polygamy & Fandoms

I turned to a random page in my Writer’s Block for a prompt and landed on polygamy.

So here is my video about polygamy, fandoms, and how it’s totally cool to like lots of different things.

Usually in fiction we get characters with one certain interest, for the sake of the narrative. Even Harry has one hobby in Quidditch, although I do appreciate how he balances it with homework and Voldemort stuff.

So fiction isn’t the best place to turn for inspiration on juggling interests.

I remember how Harry Potter fans turned to Twilight, High School Musical (?), and then The Hunger Games, and how that made me feel sad and then angry at the source of what was taking my fellow fans away. 

But you guys. It’s not a competition. We are all nerds. We can be different kinds of nerd, and we can share our individual love with many things.

This is something I talk about in my book, Own Your Story, in which I grapple with being a climber but not only a climber.

I love Harry Potter and Jane Austen and Punchdrunk immersive theatre. And Survivor. I don’t have to make sense. In fact I like to think my disparate interests make me more interesting. Just like your random interests make you more interesting. 

More random stuff I’m obsessed with these days: 

What about you?