It’s July and The Ballroom, in one of those amazing time-space thingies, has been temporarily transported to Brighton. I can smell sea air. Through the windows of Lady B’s elegant hired house on the Steyne, I see pretty ladies in muslins carrying parasols, often on the arms handsome rakes who are dressed exactly the same as they would be in London. Lady B comes in wearing an elegant promenade gown accompanied by Albert who, in a concession to the seaside location, has donned his raffish pirate patch.
Lady B Good afternoon, Miss Neville. You appear to have forgotten your stockings and your toenails are painted a shocking shade of pink.
Miranda That’s because it’s summer. As you well know, since you’ve removed to Brighton. How long do you expect to remain here?
Lady B I’m not sure. Lord B enjoys the seaside because the ladies are so lightly clad. I think he might be intrigued by your toes.
Miranda aside Like he’s ever going to see them since we’re never allowed to meet him.
Lady B And Prinny is giving a soiree at the Pavilion tomorrow night. I always like to go and laugh at the décor.
<squawk> chinoiserie gone wild <squawk>
Miranda That bird does have the most amazing vocabulary. I wanted to let you know that most of the Authoresses are going to be very busy for a week later this month. All of us, except Miss Ashe and Lady Gaelen, will be in California for the Romance Writers of American conference. Actually, some of us are in California all the time, but they are also in the Ballroom, but this time they will really be in California. Does that make sense? No, never mind.
Lady B I see. I am not pleased. Except with Miss Ashe and Lady Gaelen. At least someone will be here to amuse us.
Miranda I really hope by “we” she means herself and Albert and hasn’t gone all royal on us.
Lady B So tell me about this California.
I madly check Wikipedia to see if California was around in the Regency. It kind of was, but not quite in its current form.
Miranda Too difficult to explain. Here’s a map. It’s lovely and sunny there. Ladies wear far fewer clothes than they do here. And so, I am happy to say, do the men.
Lady B You interest me greatly. What else?
Miranda I’m really not an expert but I know they have a lot of palm trees.
Lady B Like the kitchen at the Prince Regent’s Pavilion, here in Brighton?
Miranda Just like that.
Lady B And what will my Authoresses be doing among all the undressed gentlemen and palm trees?
Miranda RWA, as it is known, tends to be sadly short of gentlemen, undressed or otherwise. But the six of us will be giving something called a workshop in which we are going to tell people all about you and Albert.
Lady B looking pleased Nothing bad, I trust.
Miranda There’s nothing bad to tell. We’re also going to hold a kind of alternative Ballroom, in the bar.
Lady B Will there be dancing?
Miranda Only on the tables if things get out of hand. I have no doubt that many glasses will be raised in your honor.
Miranda And Albert’s too.
Lady B I wish I could be there, but I fear California is very far away. I have no idea how to get there
Who’s going to RWA? And if you aren’t, how will you help Katharine and Gaelen amuse Lady B. And can you think of how we might transport Lady B to Anaheim, California in the year 2012?
If any of our Ballroom denizens are attending RWA, our workshop will be held on Saturday morning at 9:45. Our Ballroom gathering will on Thursday at 9:30 pm, location to be determined. Please check Twitter, Facebook and the Ballroom Blog for updates. Everyone is cordially invited.