Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Literary Heroine Blog Party, Part Two

Finally had a chance to get these done. My life is crazy....

~ The Questions ~
  1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! I want to get my wardrobe to the point where it's "modest, decent and proper," (see 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-5); becoming to the coloring, figure and personality God gave me; and also practical. Not too much, not too little, and if at all possible, mostly mix-and-match for maximum versatility. I also have a a strange (to others, no doubt) sort of compassion for broken antique doll heads....
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? One who is unwilling to compromise her beliefs, even though it would mean being separated from the one she loves. A woman who is kind and compassionate, yet unafraid to confront injustice or wrongdoing. Someone who is willing and able to help others in need, yet will also take time for herself (if even to rest a bit so she doesn't get worn out).
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. My answers this year are the same as last year: Anne Shirley, Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett and Éowyn. See last year's entry for details.
  1. Five of your favorite historical novels?
~Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. As I said before, I can really relate to Elizabeth Bennett in several areas (although I'm not bold enough to talk to anyone the way she talks to Mr. Darcy), and the writing style is easier to read than, say, Emma. It gets right to the point of displaying the characters' lives, rather than taking whole chapters to introduce each one. :-P
~The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green. OK, so maybe Robin Hood isn't technically historical, but whatever. The style is a bit more modern than Howard Pyle's version (no doubt because Green's was originally written for children), but there are enough “old” words in to keep it from seeming corny, if you follow me. I especially love Green's portrayal of Maid Marian—the sort of lass who can tie bold Robin in a sword-fight, rather than the simpering, helpless damsel so often seen in movies. <_<
~The Orphan Train West trilogy by Jane Peart. It's actually been a long time since I read these, and I don't remember if these are Christian books or simply talk about God because of the era they're set in, but I really enjoyed them (apart from the “teddy bear error” in the second book). The series follows the lives of three seven-year-old orphans, Zephorina Victorine Todd (“Toddy”), Laurel Vestal and Kathleen “Kit” Ternan. The story begins when they are each left at an orphanage by parents who are unable to care for them and promise (but fail) to return, and the girls are selected to ride the orphan train and be adopted by families out West. Each book then focuses on one of the three girls after they are adopted. Each faces hardship of one kind or another, and each must overcome some obstacle to find true love.
...and since that's technically five books total, I'll stop there.
  1. Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? Probably Elizabeth Bennett because she's so clever, and unafraid to speak her mind (especially in an era where women were expected to utter polite niceties).
  2. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? Betris, wife of George-a-Greene, because she's very like Maid Marian...and it's nice to have another female character in the otherwise all-male cast. :-P
  3. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? Pretty much the same as last year, barring the bit about the family crest (found out the Burchams' crest isn't a red rose, after all), and the “McSpadden tartan” (there isn't one).
  4. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? Either Regency England or Frontier America. The former because women's clothing was so much more sensible and uncomplicated, and they had balls and dinner parties and visits on a regular basis. The latter because everything was new and who can resist a good Western? ;-) saith the Lady and the Tomboy sides of me. :-P
  5. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? I might be persuaded to sing some old hymns, with a few old Irish, Scottish and/or English ballads thrown in for long as I had a couple altos and another soprano to sing with me. :-) kilts and tam o' shanters!
  6. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? First choice would probably still be either Éowyn or Jane Bennett (since I can never be Elizabeth because I'm not a brunette). Second choice would be Maid Marian (I almost said Betris, but everyone would think I was Marian, so I might as well go as her and save myself the headache of explaining who Betris was to everybody and their mother :-P).
  7. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? When eaten in moderation, and savored slowly, letting its velvety goodness sink into your soul, then it is truly delightful...and therapeutic. ;-)
  8. Favorite author(s)? J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Lloyd Alexander, L. Frank Baum and A.A. Milne.
  9. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
    ~My camera and extra memory cards (maybe even a thumb-drive just in case...)
    ~Plenty of money for souvenirs
    ~An extra duffel bag ditto
    ~Booffy Bear! (Although he's kind of an essential himself)
    ~A couple books to read in case (Heaven forbid!) there's nothing else to do
    ~A sketch pad and notebook, in case Inspiration strikes
  10. In which century were most of the books you read written? See last year's post for the answer.
  11. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… OK. I know some have listed Jesus for this question. And I agree that His sacrifice and resurrection were the greatest historical events and the ultimate acts of heroism EVER. Far be it from me to downplay that. But that was HISTORY. To my mind, “literature” is fictional. So I can't list Jesus as the ultimate literary Hero because that would be like saying He's fictional! ...which He isn't. /SOAPBOX
    ...and since I 'can't think of any other heroes amongst my favorite books that I'd consider ultimate...I'll stick with Samwise Gamgee.
  12. Describe your ideal dwelling place. Click here and scroll down. I'd like to add, however, that this little slice of Heaven (which is probably the only Place such a house could exist, BTW) would have a swing-seat in the garden (floral, not kitchen), and a big treehouse somewhere in the woods. Either built around the bole (trunk) of the largest tree, or between four or five that are close together, in a ring of sorts. With cargo nets connecting the treehouse to other trees that are good for climbing.
    The pond would have a pier with a rowboat moored to it (no noisy motors for me, thank you), with another one on the island in the middle of the pond. This would be large enough to hold a little Summer teahouse or gazebo, with a flagstone path leading to it. There would also be lots of reeds and cattails and what-not for the ducks to nest in, safe from predators...which would, unfortunately, include my forty-leven precious kitties. :-(
    And methinks I'd like an Irish wolfhound as my Big Dog. And call him Beowolf. :-)
  13. Sum up your fashion style in five words. (Only five??)
    Right Now: Casual. Formal. Feminine. Classic-ish. Experimenting. (Yes, I am a walking paradox. No autographs, please. :-P)
    Working Towards: Feminine. Practical. Becoming. Graceful. Creative.
  14. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? I still say Jane Austen should have named Miss Thorpe something ugly or at least less likable. Maude or Gertrude, for example.
  15. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
    I'm still going to say Claude Frollo. See last year's entry for why.
  16. Three favorite Non-fiction books?
    ~Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Pretty much every question (and I mean the nitty-gritty as well as the usual) you might have had about Heaven is answered in this book. And while I wouldn't go so far as make his theories a basis of my faith (Alcorn himself warns the reader not to build a doctorine on his book), he bases those suppositions on Scripture, and what he says makes sense. This book has given me a new love for my true Home...and a longing to get there sooner rather than later, it must be confessed. ;-)
    ~The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Another book I haven't read in a while. I love stories about people who stand up to the powers that be when those powers go against God's Word, and it's amazing to me how Corrie's sister Bessie held onto not only her faith, but her sweetness and forgiving spirit, despite the horrors they went through in the prison camp.
    ~The Miniature Costumier by Catriona Hall. Ever since I first got into miniature dolls, I just knew there had to be a way to make changeable clothes for them. And this book showed me how! Hall provides the basic pattern pieces and techniques for outfitting a whole family of dolls, from the father to the babe in arms. And while the clothing made straight from her patterns is more modern, I imagine the patterns could be altered for more historical attire, too.
  17. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? (Casting all practically out the window here....) I'd spend it at the beach—by the ocean, mind you. Much as I love living near so many lakes, there's just something about the ocean that really draws me. Perhaps I'm part Elf afterall...anyhoo, I'd spend said Summer afternoon at the beach, swimming in the surf, peering through my mask at the strange world below the waves, maybe searching for treasures buried in the sand (hey, a girl in Hayden found a fancy ring in Lake Coeur d'Alene...), walking along the shore collecting interesting shells and rocks...and sea-glass! Which I'd then use to decorate my sandcastle, and when it was time to go, I'd take them home and make jewelry out of them. :-)
  18. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. The velvet tam o'shanter I described last year: Purple velvet, with looped chain-stitch embroidery in a self-shade in each of the triangular crown-sections, and on the band they'd be gathered to. It would be “full,” if you follow me, but not huge. Roomy enough to tilt the crown in different angles. It would have a purple tassel in the middle, but no earflaps. Earflaps are more casual and utilitarian than this otherwise elegant confection would be.
    And for the Summer, I'd fix my Lavender Canvass Hat so's the brim actually fits my head (shortened) and stiffen up the brim so it won't keep flopping down in my eyes. :-P Then I could dress it up or down with different decorations...unless the occasion was more formal; then I'd put them on my wide-brimmed Straw Hat. :-)
  19. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Probably my mom's wheat/gluten allergy cropping up suddenly last year. Menu planning takes on a whole new meaning when one's favorite dishes are now next-door to poisonous to one of the family! On the up side, though we've recently discovered some gluten-free recipes that, according to the author, are virtually indistinguishable from their regular wheat counterparts, and we're eager to try them.
  20. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. “May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the Name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the Name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.” Psalm 20:1-5 
    This verse popped out at me some time ago, and I recently ran across it again. It's such a beautiful passage—like a blessing or benediction.
    It's been fun to answer these questions; now to go read other people's answers....
    Until next time, Gentle Readers,
    God bless,



  1. Chocolate is absolutely therapeutic!!=)

    I was thinking the same thing about listing Jesus as my ultimate hero. Also, He's not a hero, He's my Savior! That's above and beyond being a hero.

    We tried the gluten free thing for a while, hoping that it would help my mom. It didn't, but I know how hard it is trying to come up with good meals.

    I loved reading your answers:)
    And I loved getting to talk to you on the phone! That was awesome=)

    Love and blessings,

  2. Thanks for pointing that out, Tasha. Somehow "Hero" didn't seem like the right term for Jesus Christ, but I couldn't think of a better one. That's what I get for doing these things at 11:30 when I'm supposed to be in bed. *Doink!*

  3. I love your idea of having a treehouse, garden swing, and a lake with pier, rowboat, and ducks, who are probably safe from your kittens in this environment. :)

  4. Hello Tom, I enjoyed your responses about the impact of the classics on your personal point of view in life. Isn't that the timeless quality of good literature? They inspire us, challenge us, and provide scuh fertile food for thought! I fully understand the challenge ot gluten sensitivity and the scope of knowledge that must be acquired for completly changes the diet. Not an easy task! But, the good news is that there are tons of resources on the internet and health food stores, and even general stores are carrying many gluten free products. I don't have a blog, but entered the Blog Party under my name Winnie Nielsen in case you are wondering who I am! LOL! Good luck finding new family favorites. And when you aren't in the "test Kitchen" creating delicious recipes, enjoy your literary pursuits!

  5. Laura--I've always wanted and admired those things, hence their being part of my "ideal dwelling." And you're right; everything else about my "ideal dwelling" is so perfect, I expect the cats would all be well-behaved where the ducks are concerned. ;-)

    Winnie--Very nicely put! Good literature does indeed do all those things, and also uplifts us, spurs us on, and reminds us of Christ and the Godly character traits He wants to help us achieve.
    My mom found some gluten-free recipes from a lady in Australia, and while the techniques are very different from traditional wheat-baking (this lady doesn't knead her bread-dough, for example), I'm looking forward to the challenge of learning new skills...especially since, if successful, the results will be edible by the entire family. :-)

    Thank you, ladies for your encouraging words!
    God bless,

  6. Tom, I just thought of a great gluten tip to consider I case you don't know about this already. King Arthur Flour website offers several gluten free baking mixes that you can order online. Tey are wonderful and all work very well. My daughter and family friend who came for Christmas are gluten free. I used the King Arthur yeast bread mix for our traditional breakfast Christmas bread and it was delicious!! Our Godson is also on a gluten free diet and his Mom told me about King Arthur products. She made him the most beautiful and delicious chocolate cake for his birthday party. You really cannot tell the difference from wheat flour mixes. Also, I have used the King Arthur baking mix for perfect pancakes and waffles too. In addition there are cookie mixes and I believe scones and biscuits.

    1. You had me on "chocolate cake." :-D Thanks for the tip; I'll look it up and pass on the info to my mom.

      And now I'm having visions of myself hosting a tea party and making my guests figure out which of the baked goodies are gluten-free.... ;-)

  7. Tom-- just an FYI. Your site won't let me edit a misspelled word once I hit the edit button. The keyboard freezes and makes me move forward to publish. So I apologize for the spelling errors in my responses but I could not fix them. Anyway,

    1. Hmmm...I just tried to edit a couple of my comments, and it wouldn't let me. I'm thinking the problem may be with Blogger.

      Don't worry about the schpellink errors; it happens to everyone in the Blogosphere. ;-)

  8. Tom- A gluten-free tea party is totally possible!!! King Arthur scones with lemom curd and some Lady Grey tea? And tiny gluten free biscuits with ham slices? Sign me up!! LOL! I will need a plane ticket I fear to get there. Could be an expensive tea party for me!


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