Just noticed there were some really lovely comments that deserved a response:
Jayali, what lovely praise indeed! It indeed was a "labour of love" at the time. I was completely immersed in telling this story and I'm so glad I did it. It pretty well "ate up" my year's sabbatical, but I have no regrets. Thanks for your kind words!
Nadia: I absolutely hate when work gets in the way! LOL! Nevertheless, mine is a really long story, so it's probably just as well that you didn't read it in one sitting! ;) Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me you enjoyed "Happenstance". Even three years after I wrote it, every comment still means a great deal.
Absolutely BRILLIANT!! I have spent over 8 hours reading this today, in one sitting (give or take a few minutes break to go to the loo, make food and feed my calves) I found a link to it on a Facebook group that worships Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, and I have NEVER EVER been more pleased to read previous posts ... I have to say, I've read virtually every published P & P sequel, but this has completely blown me away ... thought it just MAGNIFICENT after a slightly weak start ... have been intensely immersed in it since 2.30 pm today (NZ time) and it's now 22:14 ..... feelng sad it's finished!!!!
Up untilnow I've joined in with most Austenite's derision at sequels ... after reading elen Halsteads Private Performance I was feeling a tad more well disposed to fan fic writers .... but this Happenstance ... it BLOWS ALL OTHER IDEAS AWAY. ABsolutely BLOODY tremendous!!! Thank you xxxxxx
I love it!!!!
The best fan fiction I have read in a long time. Loved it.
I love this fic!!!!!!!!!!!
I received a heads-up e-mail regarding some comments here that I haven't responded to:
Kathryn: For what it's worth, Colin Firth is my favourite Mr. Darcy, so I'm pleased a Facebook group sees him as the Mr. Darcy in "Happenstance"! . I'm blown away by your lovely words. High praise indeed!
Juliana Knackfurst (sorry if that's misspelled) x2 - Thank you for taking the time to comment twice. Lovely!
Carmen: Thank so much! I continue to appreciate every reader even though it's been such a long time that I've written this.
Thanks to all who read and comment. I wish you everything good and prosperous in 2009! oxoxox
I really enjoyed this story. I appreciate the research that went into making it more historically accurate. It was fun to read the little end notes. Thanks for taking the time to create such a well written piece of art.
This story was spectacular. I mean, wow! I enjoyed every second of it (even when I was shouting "no!" to myself in dismay). You have clearly worked very very hard on this magnificent story, and it shows. I can't really express how much I enjoyed this--just know that my heart swelled with joy upon reading it, and I wanted to read it all in one sitting (but alas, I could not). You did such a great job!!!
Abby. I can't tell you enough how much I thoroughly enjoyed your work of art. It is much better than many of the published variations and continuations that I have read (and I am almost obsessive). I love the characters of P&P unfailingly and you did both them and Jane Austen credit. I am sure she would be proud if she could read it today. Thank you for the wonderful gift you have bestowed on us. God Bless.
Again, I've not been checking this forum as often as I should (bloody real life!), but I received a lovely notice of some new comments (thoughtful, lovely Renee!!!) and wanted to once more thank readers of this story. Honestly, I had no clue this would be read beyond my initial posting of it, so you've no idea how pleasant it is to learn it is still being read at all.
Just wanted to particularly thank:
M. Davis: I enjoyed researching the little nuances of the period a great deal, so thank you for pointing that out. Sue's Regency Page really helped. (She's awesome by the way!)
Deja Vu: (I must tell you I love your screen name.) Reading this particular story in one sitting is probably not the best thing to do anyway. Much better to get up, shake your fist at how stubborn D&E became in the early to mid part of it and then settle down for their happy ending. :)
Katie: What a wonderful comment! Such high praise. :)
And to all who read and don't comment, I'm just as appreciative! :)
Hey Abby! I know you don't check this board often (as your previous post mentioned), but I have to tell you how much I absolutely love your story!
First, I have to say I was a little skeptical at first, because this is the first Jane Austen fanfic I've ever read. I was under the impression that no one could ever take any of her works or concepts and do them the justice they deserved. However, I was intrigued and eager to see how a novice writer would stand up in comparison to Miss Austen and chose your story first, because your name is the first alphabetically on this site. All of this being said, I must tell you how pleased I was with the entirety of Happenstance. It fulfilled all of the hopes I had for a P&P story, being both lengthy (who wouldn't want to read about Darcy and Elizabeth's angst for one another for as long as possible?) and well researched.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Happenstance is the fact that, although the familiar characters are thrown into a completely different situation than in Pride and Prejudice, the story ends with the same general outcome. Wickham marries Lydia, Mr. Bingley and Miss Jane Bennet rekindle their love, and most importantly, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy wind up living happily ever after. I also found that I generally liked both of the main characters significantly better in your story than I did in Miss Austen's, though I suppose this is mainly due to the double perspectives in which the story plays out and the modern style in which you write.
I also greatly appreciated getting to know Miss Georgiana Darcy better. Her sweet demeanor and naive disposition are quite endearing in your text (though, of course, I couldn't help but love how she told Elizabeth that she suspected that they weren't a happy couple when they were in London the first time). And the way Elizabeth finally told off Miss Bingley! All I can say is bravo, for you're an AMAZING writer!
And (as an afterthought, of course), I feel it is important for me to let you know how greatly I appreciated the...intimate moments...between Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. I was quite on the edge of my seat
Sorry this reply has been so long, I just feel I need to tell you exactly all I felt. Also, I'm eager to read more from you...have you ever considered writing a sequel to Happenstance? Or maybe writing a fanfic for another Jane Austen novel? Or coming up with your own? Sorry if I'm being pushy, but I adored this story so much that I can't help but want more!
Welcome to the ff madness, Eliza...your name rings a bell you know. Abby's was also one of my first ff and I loved it too. However,I am sure you will have many a pleasant time reading other fan fiction authors. Why dont you have a look at the recommendation thread? There are a thousand and one favourite stories there, and I asure you, not one is similar to the other, and yet they are all PP!
Yes, my name is familiar, isn't it? Actually, my middle name is Elizabeth, so I thought it fit with the theme of this place :)
I plan on reading more, I was just giving myself a day to absorb Happenstance before I start a new one. I was actually planning on going down the list alphabetically. That's the way I've done it every time I read a fanfic. I know, I'm weird. :D
Eliza! You are too too sweet. You should write comments for a living. You are that good!
Looking back, I think I wrote this because I had loved so many fanfics (the poster who follows your first comment is right - there are so many wonderful fanfics for you to discover. Perhaps you're in the midst of discovering them already!) and wanted to see if I could do it too. Of course, I had my favourite storyline to work with (forced marriage scenarios between rock my world), but other than that, I had nothing except for a year's sabbatical from work.
I'm afraid once the fire had been lit and I extinguished it by finishing the story, I no longer felt the yearning to do it again. Besides that, it's really hard! All consuming in fact. So "Happenstance" is it for me. For now at least anyway.
But thank you for commenting. I love reading that this story is still being enjoyed. You have totally made my weekend!
I'm glad my comment made your weekend! Knowing that my words made you happy actually makes my weekend! YAY!
I've read a lot of fanfics since first replying to yours, but I still have a soft spot for Happenstance, lol. I'm actually considering rereading it. Also, I've had my own idea for a fanfic, but I'm not sure when I can start it, because I'm so busy with college.
Now I'm officially beginning to consider comment writing as a career, lol.
This was fantastic! I have begun to read some P&P fan fiction that has not made it to paperback on-line, and yours is definitely in my top three favorites (usually depends on the day and mood of ranking)! I thought is was wonderful!
I was sad to leave them when it ended, I was almost hoping for more angst for Elizabeth after she realized she loved him! (Yes, just desperate for more!) :)
Anyway, any plans on publishing this? You have already a guaranteed buyer in me! I have purchased a few P&P fanfics from lulu.com. Not used it myself (from what I can tell it is self-published paper backs), but if you ever decide to publish, I would love to know!
Thanks for the great read!
What an amazing retelling! My head is . I had intended to read the first couple chapters last night, but ended up reading from midnight to 6am! As an English major, it is hard for me to read for the sheer joy of it. I just couldn't put your story down, which hasn't happened to me with a book a long time. Thank you for staying true to the characters. Their transformation from beginning to end was one I think Austen would have approved of. Thank you for such a wonderful read!
So glad I wandered over here because it appears I have some comment-leavers to thank:
Tallfleur: By writing that you were sad to leave this Elizabeth and Darcy, you have paid me the highest compliment! (I can't see myself ever publishing - self or otherwise - but much, much thanks for even suggesting my story was worthy enough for me to do so!)
Beth: Dear girl, you stayed up 6 hours reading my story? Get yourself to bed pronto! Thanks so much for such high praise - and from an English major no less! (yay for fellow English majors!)
I am in the process of doing a re-read on "Happenstance." I love this story and have just finished chapter 10. I gotta say, your Darcy is so very sure of himself and so arrogant and proud. He is the one who has caused all of this...yet...even when he thinks about things or spouts out some statement it is all based on what he wants...what his family wants...how things reflect on him. I don't see him every giving Elizabeth one iota of concern at all.
I love the way you have enhanced his pride and arrogance to coincide with his relatives. They, too, seem to be only concerned with their family name and how things will reflect on them. So much like Darcy, it's scary.
Of course, he can't see how Mr. Bennet wasn't concerned with her getting lots of money and fine carriages, only that she get a fair settlement...Mr. Gardiner was friendly and intelligent and was only concerned with her getting a fair settlement...and he seems to forget that Lizzy wanted to marry for love. He doesn't see his relatives as barging in when the knocker was up as being improper behavior...or that what he did was totally improper.
I had forgotten that Darcy needed a very big wakeup call here. I know Lizzy needs one too, but, given Darcy's arrogance and what he has caused to happen to her....can anyone blame her for being angry!
I'm anxious to get back into this story. I have forgotten so much!
Thank you for your wonderful story and for keeping it out there for many to read and enjoy.
I finally finished it! Yes, it is definitely one of my favorite forced marriage stories. So much angst and mis-cues and misunderstandings.
It really is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for writing it.
For years I've been meaning to read this story as I've met Abby in the flesh and she is a great person. However, Abby, as you know, by the time we met, I wasn't as interested in reading fan fic -- my obsession had waned.
So I come to this story as someone who is no longer sucking up fic after fic. So on its own, it's a very strong story, so well written... and I have to say it's way more angsty that I ever thought! Wow... you had me stressed out. When will those two crazy kids get some sense? However, I do realize they had a lot of growing and self-actualization to get through before they were ready to love. I'm just happy they were already married!
Very steamy, yet poignant love scenes and such a powerful bond they shared because they had gone through so much self-analysis. Thanks Abby!!!
Just now reading this. Only negative it the red background affect on my eyes. I love compromise marriage situations and angst so this story is right up my alley. With so much anger on both sides I wonder if they will even be able to say their vows and then how long before any other words will be exchanged or will the silence be deafening?
Thank you so much for the review. I so wish I could have the background changed, but alas I fear Renee is no longer maintaining this site and hate to bother her after so many years have gone by.
Nevertheless, thank you for the lovely feedback. I'm back to reread the story myself after many years away from it. :)
I'm sorry, but it's true that I'm not really maintaining the site anymore. A thing readers could do though is copy the story and paste it in Word. The site will be deleted next year. So, if you don't have your story in your files anymore, copy it!
Hope you're well, dear Abby. Long time, no hear!
Many things have changed here, and in the meantime I've become a granny and published my first novel.