Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Literary Heroine Blog Party!

Hurrah! *Confetti* It’s that time of year again, when the adorable Miss Kellie of Accordion to Kellie hosts her fabulous Blog Party saluting literary heroines, femininity and fun!
This event has become something to look forward to each year, and helps with the Winter Blahs we all feel in the middle of February. Be sure to check out her giveaway, too—lots of goodies for lovers of all things bookish.

Below is my contribution (note: Ive referred back to my two previous entries several timeslots of clicking and scrolling ahead!):

~ The Questions ~
1.      Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! For those visiting my blog for the first time, my name is Rebekah G, although on the ’Net I generally go by Tom (short for Thomasina) or Wild Rose. Click here to see why. My life’s vision is to honor and glorify God in every aspect of my life—especially in the more recreational/creative areas. I’m in the process of fleshing out my wardrobe, striving to make each garment “modest, decent and proper” (see 1Timothy 1:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-5), pleasing to God while complimenting the coloring, figure and personality He’s given me. A (for now) secondary goal for my life is to build miniature room-boxes, a dollhouse or three, and what I call “mini movie sets,” to display all the wonderful “wee folk” God has given me over the years…and to use them to illustrate the stories He’s put into my head.
2.      What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? Pretty much the same as before (here and here), with the addition of being respectful to those in authority over her…but not being a doormat, either.
3.      Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. Pretty much the same as the previous years: Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), Jo March (Little Women), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) and Éowyn (Lord of the Rings). (Check out my previous entries for the reasons.)
4.      Five of your favorite historical novels? 
1.)   Pride and Prejudice will always be a favorite—of all the Austen novels I’ve read, it’s the easiest and most enjoyable to read (narrative voice-wise), plus I love Elizabeth’s loyalty, and her spunk and open-eyed view of the world. Yes, she’s a bit cynical and makes hasty conclusions, but she’s willing to learn from her mistakes when presented with a different look at old data.
2.)   Any book of Robin Hood lore earns my interest and usually ends up in my collection if it has enough different stories than its predecessors.
3.)   Jane Eyre stands out in the world of romantic fiction because of Jane’s refusal to “follow her heart,” as so many stories tell us to do. I love Jane’s speech to Mr. Rochester when he basically says no one will know that she’d be his mistress: she tells him that God would know, and she would know, and she couldn’t live with it. There is also the closest thing to a Gospel message towards the end that I’ve ever run across in secular fiction.
And I can’t think of any others right now….
5.      Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? It’s tied pretty equally between Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre, actually. I like Eliza because of her spunk and intelligence, and Jane for the reasons mentioned above. Elizabeth had pluck, but Jane Eyre had courage.
6.      Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? It’s been so long since I read any of them, I’m afraid I don’t have a favorite secondary character this year. :-(
7.      If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?  We’re assuming money is no object, right? Of course right. I’d travel to England and see some of the usual touristy things, but mainly I’d like to visit the lesser-traveled spots—and this goes for Scotland and Ireland, too—little villages, noble old castles, rolling meadows, the ocean, that sort of thing. Get in touch with some of my roots, as it were—maybe see if there are any Beans or Pickleses or Goodwills still in England (or McSpaddens in Scotland/Ireland) to whom I’m actually related. And pick up some souvenirs here and there, of course.
8.      What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? Regency, Victorian and/or Medieval England, with a dash of American Frontier. And I know fantasy isn’t a time period or culture, but I like it anyway…providing it doesn’t go to the Dark Side.
9.      You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? Instrumental medleys of two hymns, or a hymn and a piece of classical music, played together—for instance, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “Blessed Assurance.” Also some Scottish fiddle tunes and Irish jigs and reels, for the fun of it. I should mention that I’d be playing them with my mother and brother, and any other folk who could play the violin, viola, cello, flute, recorder, Irish whistle…and other folksy instruments…who wanted to play with us.
10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? I’d probably still go as Éowyn because of being blonde and all. :-P I doubt I’d be able to re-create any of her specific costumes, though, so I’d probably make one similar to some of the movie costumes—a “what else is hanging in Éowyn’s closet?” type of thing.
11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? I love it all except extremely dark and bittersweet. The filled kinds are the best, especially mint and raspberry jelly. What I don’t like is all the sugar they put in it to make it palatable. Some day I hope to make my own—with natural, unrefined sugars—so I won’t feel so guilty eating it. ;-)
12. Favorite author(s)? The more I think about it, the less I like authors in general, but more like selected works of different authors. On the whole, however, Jeanette Oke and L.M. Montgomery are generally good reads. There have only been a few of Montgomery’s books (Emily series) and one of Oke’s (The Bluebird and the Sparrow) that I didn’t like. The others I’ve read (barring Magic for Marigold and Pat of Silverbush, of which I couldn’t even get past the first chapter) I’ve enjoyed. A.A Milne has a fun, witty feel to his works, which include some funny poetry (and not just Pooh Bear’s, neither). L. Frank Baum’s writing style is easy to read and generally upbeat and fun—at least in the Oz books. Some aren’t quite as good as others—a few feel forced, and one that was really good ended really lame—but the ones that are up to snuff are very enjoyable.
13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
Mister Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
~Mister Laptop and adapter
~Booffy Bear
~Enough clothes to get me through a week (plus a few extras “just in case”), including a few for cooler/wet weather (’cos I’d only travel in warm weather)
~“Wild Irish Rose” with cabochons to match my tops/dresses, plus extension chains
~One pair studs and one pair “fancy” earrings
~Swimming gear
~A couple good books to read
~My carpetbag with a needlework project or two
…and lots of money for souvenirs and what-not.
14. In which century were most of the books you read written? Mainly 19th or 20th, although some are a bit older or newer.
15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… I’m still voting for Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings), but a close second would be Arthur Clennham from Little Dorrit. Mind you, I’ve only ever seen the movie—and that only once—but I love how noble and conscientious he is, respectful to all and determined to right wrongs. My only beef with him is that he couldn’t see how much Amy loved him until John (I keep calling him Joe) spelled it out for him. Duh!
16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. Click here and here for the first installments of my description. I’ve decided to add to it each year for as long as Kellie hosts these parties, or until I finish describing everything I can imagine about my ideal home. This year, I’m focusing on the kitchen. A country kitchen, to be exact—one with an island in the center with a separate stove-top and sink and a chopping-board. There would be countertops with cabinets under them all round the four walls (save where there are doors and that quaint little window-seat, of course), with spaces for the dishwasher, sink, oven/range and refrigerator. There would be cupboards above them—lots of storage space for extra pots and pans, easily-portable appliances, et cetera. There would also be a walk-in pantry with shelves galore for storing all manner of foodstuffs…except the perishable things, of course. Those would go in the refrigerators (one in the kitchen proper, one in the basement for overflow and bulk grains. I’d also have an upright freezer in the basement). I’d have little shelves hanging on the door to hold jars of dried herbs and spices. There would also be a pegboard on one wall (probably near the oven/range) where I could hang all my most-used pots and pans. The lids would sit in a specially-built rack—like a plate rack—that would hold them on edge, from smallest to biggest, so I never have to paw through the lids to find the one I’m after. I’d have a similar rack for cookie sheets, cooling racks and splatter shields under the island. I should mention here that I fancy the ’fridge and oven/range as being modern appliances with a 1950s look to them, kinda like this picture I saw on Kellie's blog a while back. The color scheme would probably be yellow and white, or blue and white, or blue and yellow, with good-quality linoleum in a stone-grey color on the floor.
17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. I’m still figuring it out (I got a later start than most girls), but it’s developing into classically feminine, yet comfortable, practical and easily dressed up or down.
18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? I’m still mad at Jane Austen for naming Catherine Moreland’s floozy friend “Isabella.” Why did she give such a beautiful name to such a bad, bad character?!
19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... I’m still gonna say Judge Claude Frollo.
20. Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
1.      How to Make Your Dolls’ House Special by Jean Nisbet. Lots of great inspirations for adding realistic touches to your dollhouse, including step-by-step instructions. One of my favorite tips is to use dried used tea leaves, Styrofoam and green spray paint to make fancy yew hedges (waste not, want not)! Mom actually gave me this book for Christmas this year, to boot!
2.      The Miniature Costumier by Catriona Hall. I mentioned this one last year.
3.      Making and Dressing Dolls’ House Dolls in 1/12th Scale by Sue Atkinson. Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make historically-inspired costumes for miniature dolls. Mrs. Atkinson provides full-sized patterns, special instructions and techniques for working in 1/12th scale, as well as a brief overview of the eras the patterns are from. One day I hope to combine her patterns with Hall’s techniques for making the costumes interchangeable.
21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?  Take a picnic lunch to Tubbs Hill with some special friends, explore the hill, swim in the lake, and maybe do some boating…if anyone has a canoe, that is. That, or sit in a comfortable chair on the screen-porch with a book or an embroidery project, listening to some good music and feeling the breeze in my hair.
22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. For Summer, one with a wide brim to keep my neck and face from burning, a crown short enough that it will fit on my cranium without squashing my bangs (and I MUST have bangs, unfortunately). Two, actually—one of canvas for town and casual outings, the other of straw for church and special occasions. Both equipped with several removable ribbons embellished with “silk” flowers and what-not in different colors to match my wardrobe. Nothing elaborate, just festive.
For Winter, several “Pixie Bonnets” crocheted with two yarns at a time, in shades of pink, red, green, aqua/turquoise, blue and lavender/purple, lined with fleece or flannel for extra warmth. They’d each have a tassel hanging from the top point and knitted I-cord ties with tassels at the ends. The velvet tamo’Shanter would have been pretty, but not especially practical.
23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Getting a REAL piano! My brother’s decision to attend to the local college and work towards a degree in Engineering and Computer Science. So many people making me feel special on my birthday this year.
24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. There are several that I’ve been reading off-and-on that, when strung together, flow almost seamlessly into one awesome message of God’s love for us as His children:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.
He gives strength to the humble and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart.”
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are My servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
~Psalm 103:8-14, Isaiah 40:29-31, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Isaiah 41: 9-10, 43:1b-2, Jeremiah 31:3b

Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,


  1. I agree with #12. I have a select few authors who I enjoy every story they've written. But most often, I like one or two books from an author and there are usually a few I don't like from them as well. :)

  2. Wonderful, Rebecca! Loved your post.

    Your dream trip sounds so lovely. right? Of course right. ;D
    And let's do that summer afternoon some time! We used to go to Tubb's Hill all the time when we lived in town. I love that place.

    1. Oh, do let's! Perhaps as part of that DOTT we never got around to? That would be such fun!

  3. Agreed - Claude Frollo is a villain and a creep.

    Loved reading your answers, dear! :)

  4. Hello there! :)
    Oh my, I soooo enjoyed reading your answers, but I must say that the Scriptures you shared were the best part! What a splendid idea to write them all together like that! I am so very encouraged. :)
    Also, I totally agree that Samwise Gamgee and Arthur Clenham are both heroic. :) I just finished watching the Little Dorrit series a couple weeks ago, and I am still entranced by that story. :)
    God bless you, too! :)
    Whimsey Keith :)

    1. Hello, Rebecca!
      I'm glad you were encouraged by the Scriptures I shared. It's so awesome how those words--written by three different men over several years, if not decades or even centuries--could fit together so neatly. It gives a new meaning to the term "Living Word," doesn't it?

      Thanks for stopping by! :-D
      (Another Rebekah in real life)


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