February is the swoonest month

January is almost halfway over! And while that’s certainly exciting from a pay-period point of view (here comes the 15th!), what’s infinitely more interesting to me about it is that it means we are just two weeks away from February.

Who cares about February, you ask? Dratted old month, with its school vacations and its societal pressure to conform to a hetero-normative, monogamous relationship model of love…

Well, yes, all of this is still true.

But I have always been fond of February. For one thing, it is blessedly short. It’s such a neat and tidy little span of four weeks, and I honestly wish all months could have such lovely pressed and folded edges. No sloppy oozing over into five Saturdays for February, oh no no! February knows its place and keeps to its station. Love that in a month.

I tire of January very quickly. It always seems like the watery gruel served after all the rich food of the holidays. Yes, of course we all overdid it in December, and nobody wants to eat and celebrate like that all year long, but January is so damned self-righteous about it all, with its New Year Resolutions, rampant dieting and fitness plans, ruthless taking down of decorations, and getting back to the daily work of living of it all.

But then February comes along, and all of a sudden we are allowed to like cheap chocolate and dinners out again. Such a relief.

And of course this year, February means that it’s almost time to go back to London, as Melissa and I head back to Blighty in early March for the superb-sounding Threads of Feeling exhibit, a night at the Old Vic, scones and tea in Bath, and at least one crafty/writery tweet-up at the V&A.

But before we race ahead to the first week in March, and all of its attendant delights, there’s February waiting to beguile us with her many charms.

One February-focused thing to look forward to is a little project put together by the altogether delightful Erin Blakemore of The Heroine’s Bookshelf called Heroine Love. Erin wrote the book on literary heroines, a splendid and life-enhancing tome called The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and if you haven’t purchased and read it yet, I suggest that you do so immediately.

I suggest this to you in the strongest possible terms.

This will prepare you all the better for the literary fun to come in February, when Erin hosts Heroine Love at her blog.  Erin and twelve other bloggers — including me! — will each be celebrating our love of literature’s greatest heroines through a series of love letters to the women who changed our reading lives. Starting February 1, a different blogger will post a paean to her favorite literary heroine on The Heroine’s Bookshelf. At the end of Heroine Love, we’ll draw winners for a truly swoony collection of related books, artwork, and trinkets.

Check out the sexy animated gif in the sidebar of this blog (look! over to the right!) to get a sneak peek into some of the heroines we’ll be profiling.

And yes, my post will be about that greatest of literary heroines (to my mind at least), Jane Eyre. Look for it in the first week of Heroine Love.

In the meantime, you’d better start getting ready for February by eating at least a little cheap chocolate. Just to keep your spirits up, you understand.