Imagine Classic Literary Characters living in the Modern World. Read Jane Eyre Gets Real, a Novel by Annabelle Troy, available on Amazon!



Woof! It’s #The Year of the Dog

9 Chinese New Year Instagram captions to help you welcome the Year of the Dog

February 16 ushers in the beginning of a new Chinese year; 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Not to be confused with a 2007 indie film of the same name, Year of the Dog signifies the eleventh position in the Zodiac, right between the Rooster and the Pig. Lucky colors for this year are red, purple and green; the lucky flower is the rose and you can bet on lucky number 3. People born during “dog years” include Winston Churchill (1874), Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (both 1946) as well as Mother Theresa (1910) and Madonna (1958); “human dogs” are known for being hard-working, communicative, loyal, stubborn and brave.

David Copperfield, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, was originally created by Charles Dickens. Dickens, though a born Monkey, was very fond of dogs. Not only did he champion the Battersea Dogs Home, a safe haven for London strays, he owned several canines during his lifetime, including bloodhounds and St. Bernards. Perhaps his favorite pet was a sprightly white spaniel called Timber, given to him in 1843. In his diaries, Dickens mentions Timber far more than he does his own wife, Catherine, or his infant children (of whom he would eventually father 10–Charles that is; Timber apparently died without progeny, having once returned “in disgrace and mortification” from an encounter Dickens had arranged for him with breeding in mind). Timber did, however, excel at jumping over sticks and if coaxed would stand on two legs in a corner of the drawing room.


Very Victorian Valentine’s Problems

You Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome From Cutting Paper Into Lace

You Receive A Box Of Caramels But You’ve Just Had Your Teeth Pulled

Your Cat Has A Cuter Beau Than You Do

The Sight Of Your Crinoline Drives Him Wild–Sadly, He’s Just Not Your Type

Your Maidenly Blush Turns Out To Be Scarlet Fever

He Gives YOU A Moustache Cup!

Dear Reader, the characters of Jane Eyre Gets Real wish you a delightful Valentine’s Day


Snow White & Blood Red

Hester Prynne, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, and who was first introduced to the world in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, loves omens and portents. What could be more dramatic than tonight’s Blood Moon? For the first time in over 30 years, a blue moon (the second full moon in a month) has “hooked up” with a supermoon–kind of like the moon’s version of a supermodel–and a total lunar eclipse.

To summon all of the good energy this moon might portend, Hester is sleeping tonight with a bloodstone. Called “heliotrope” (meaning sun-attracting) by the ancient Greeks, the bloodstone is green with red markings, sometimes thought to symbolize the blood of Christ. Not only does it protect against the evil eye, but the bloodstone helps circulation and the flow of energy throughout the body. It’s also been rumored to stop nosebleeds. Also known as plain old jasper, if mixed with honey the bloodstone is said to cure tumors and stop hemorrhaging. Just looking at it, old wives used to say, might prevent eye disease.

On a deeper note, the bloodstone signifies justice and sacrifice. Hester likes to use it to bring mental clarity and courage against bullying–which she really needed with all those finger-pointing Puritans around. Of course, in the old days, she had to be careful to keep her bloodstone well hidden, sewn into a pouch on her dress, lest she be accused of witchcraft on top of adultery.

Enjoy the moon–it won’t happen again until 2037.

How to Build a Japanese Snowman

Alice in Wonderland, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, is a teen model, physics student and lover of all things wacky and different. When it snows in New York City she makes a snowman Japanese-style: using two big snowballs only. You got it–two snowballs, not three. The Japanese word for snowman is yuki.  Last year during the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, over 10,000 yuki were built and exhibited–setting a new world’s record for the number of snowmen assembled in one place. Frosty, eat your heart out!

Yuki can also be used as language teaching tools. Alice recently found this fun video on Youtube–at least she hopes it’s fun and not at all like the video in The Ring, originally a spooky Japanese movie remade for Western audiences starring Naomi Watts and a strange girl who keeps creeping out of the TV.


Sherlock Holmes & the Mysterious Snowmen of 1511

Sherlock Holmes, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, may not often play in the snow–but he loves to explain weird events (just another way to unravel a mystery). He is eager to tell a winter-bound modern audience about how in Brussels, in 1511, over one hundred strange, elaborate and downright rude effigies, all made of ice and snow, filled the streets. One looked like a defecating demon, another like a woman being sodomized, yet another portrayed a snow boy urinating into the mouth of a snowman; other frosty figures included mermaids, unicorns, prostitutes, randy nuns and humiliated kings.

What would cause an entire town to revert to such a form of expression–which came to be known as “the miracle of 1511?” Apparently, it was a kind of Belgian Woodstock, a way for the underclass–freezing, starving, and otherwise wretched–to express their inner dissatisfaction with the status quo, letting it all hang out in the form of snow sculpture. We don’t know if drugs, musicians or rampant nudity were also present. Holmes thinks that, given the weather in Brussels at the time, the latter possibility must be ruled out.

Visit us again next week as “Jane Eyre Gets Real Snowman Month” continues!


The First Snowman–Recorded by a Woman


This is Mary Dillwyn's photograph of a snowman - believed to be the first time one was picturedJane Eyre, a character depicted by Charlotte Bronte and Annabelle Troy, would like dear readers to note the following:

The first known picture of a snowman (or snowperson, to be politically correct) was taken by a female photographer, Mary Dillwyn, in 1853. Photography was quite a novel pastime then, with Instagram still a twinkle in some future techie’s great=great-grandfather’s eye. Unlike most of her male counterparts, Mary didn’t feel size mattered; she preferred to work with a small camera that required only short exposure times. This allowed her to be more spontaneous when she took photographs, often of children. In this case, her subject was a humble snowman, shot as it was being constructed. If you ever wish to see this photograph in person, it is currently exhibited in the National Library of Wales.

Mary Dillwyn came from a family of wealthy manufacturers; incidentally, she was related through marriage to William Henry Fox Talbot (credited with “discovering” photography in 1839). Her image was captured below, hopefully in a comfortable, warm room full of firelight:

Photographer Mary Dillwyn (pictured) captured the moment the snowman was being built in 1853


Snow Day–with Ballerinas


Jan. 2 is an official “snow day”–read Annabelle Troy’s The Grace of the Hunchback for free, on Amazon. After midnight, Jan 3, the price will be 99 cents all month.

Very Victorian New Year’s Problems

Infant Keeps Stealing Your Top Hat To Personify Baby New Year

New Year’s Resolution Involves Cutting Down On Suet 

All the GOOD Crackers Were Pulled At Xmas, So Now You Have to Make Your Own 

You Keep Singing Old Lang Sign By Mistake

You Actually Look Better At The Party WITH The Lampshade On Your Head

Bagpipe Player You Hired Can’t Show Up Til 12:15 am

All of the characters from Jane Eyre Gets Real Join Author Annabelle Troy in Wishing You A Wonderful 2018!

Hansel & Gretel: Let Them Eat Cake

As a holiday treat David Copperfield took Heidi and Alice in Wonderland to Hansel & Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera. This Humperdinck opera, in a production by Richard Jones, gives viewers the chance to see familiar fairy tale characters in a slightly wacky light–the children get lost in a forest full of trees comprised of besuited men wearing antler-like branches; they are served a banquet presided over by gigantic chefs and a fish-headed butler; the Wicked Witch is like a deranged Italian mama, forcing cake down their throats the better to eat them. In the end, after the Witch is charred to death, all the kids she has enchanted come to life and join Hansel, Gretel, and their parents in a triumphant feast of food and song.

The opera reinforces a basic theme in many fairy tales, which is just as important as love or fortune: hunger. Hansel & Gretel is the perfect vehicle for winter, the time when famine so often killed without mercy. And who better to conquer hunger than children, those eternal emblems of spring, rebirth and the return of nature’s bounty? Like Christmas itself, the misadventure of Hansel & Gretel brings joy and hope to the depths of our longest, darkest days.

As December 25th approaches and the warmth of living rooms all lit-up and filled with good things to eat conquers the frost outside, remember to read Hansel and Gretel Inside the House of Candy by Annabelle Troy.  The book, a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, is available on Amazon:


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