Stephanie Burgis
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Hooray! I finished my vampiresses-in-Revolutionary-Paris story this morning. It's tentatively titled "Red Ribbons", which I love on a thematic level (it comes from the red ribbons worn around dancers' necks at the bals des victimes, after the Terror - the ribbons were supposed to signify decapitation by the Guillotine; I also like the symbolic resonances of blood and mutual connection), but I can't decide whether it might be too obscure as a title, since the ribbons themselves are only mentioned once, as a side-comment, in the middle of the story. Ah well. Soon enough I'll get some critiques and find out. But in the meantime, hurray!

I've always been jealous of the people who write on their blogs that they've just finished a story and are ready to pop it in the mail the next day (and sell it, too, quite often). My stories come out too rough in their first drafts for that kind of speedy marketing - I always need to take time to think about them, re-read them weeks later with a fresh eye, and get some trusted critiques, too. This story is no exception, but I am feeling much happier and more confident about this rough draft than about the last few first-drafts I've written, which will take a lot more work before they're ready to be marketed.

But I have a question first: does anyone know when people in revolutionary Paris stopped calling each other "Citoyen"/"Citoyenne" and went back to "Monsieur"/"Madame"? My story is set in the winter of 1794, just after the fall of Robespierre, during the mad celebrations and public balls. I've gone searching through my history books but can't figure out which title is the right one to if anyone has any ideas, please do let me know! (And if no one does, and I can't figure it out...well, then I can always hope that no one will notice if I get it wrong!)

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