Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Literary Heroine Blog Party!

Yes, Gentle Readers, it’s that time of year again—a time we (or at least I) look forward to every February with delight. I’m speaking of course of Miss Kellie’s fabulous Literary Heroine Blog Party, now in its fifth year running.

[Pixie] *Bouncing up and down* We look forward to it, too! *BoingBoingBoing!*


[Bramblerose] Aye, an’ that you may tie to, m’lady.

[Ciára] For certain!

[Lady Cashmere] As you said, Tom, it is an event to look forward to each Winter. A spot of sunshine amid Winter’s gloom.

[Hobbes] Mind you, this Winter has been decidedly milder than in previous years, due the to the more temperate climate we have moved to.

[Huckle] Ooh, but I know our Anka's still been eager for the day of this Party to come!

[Elsa Lightfoot] It will be interesting to see what this festival entails. From what my comrades tell me, it is quite intriguing.

Well, there you have it—this event now has the Peanut Gallery’s stamp of approval. ;-) 
Now then, let the Blog Party begin!!!

~ The Questions ~
1.      Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! At this point in my life, I’m trying, with God’s help, to get back into my creative writing. Of all the talents He’s given me, writing is one of the most satisfying (especially when I’m able to jot down a scene that’s been burning a hole in my stomach for days on end…). This might sound a little weird—or maybe just kinda childish—but pretending the characters in my books are real people, and I’m their appointed historian…well, somehow that’s helped me focus better on not only their stories, but the worlds they live in, as well. It’s amazing!
2.      What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? A true heroine must be, first and foremost, a truly devoted Christian, obedient to God’s leading in her life. She is kind and compassionate, but able to stand up for her convictions, and not afraid to confront wrongdoing. She never gives up on those she loves, no matter how beastly they are at times. She is willing to help, comfort and encourage them in time of need. If she is married, she supports her husband and knows how best to build him up. She expresses her opinions in a calm, diplomatic way and is willing to step back and let Hubby Dearest make the final decision…and she NEVER says “I told you so” when it turns out to be the wrong one. If she is single, she finds other ways of serving the Lord and leading a fulfilled life, seeing her singleness as a gift.
3.      Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

~Jo March (Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women). Like Jo, I’ve always had an active imagination and began writing at a young age. It’s hard for me to adjust to change, and I sometimes wish things would stay the same.

~Elizabeth Bennett (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice). I admire Eliza’s spunk and wit, as well as her willingness to take a good, hard look at her family and opinions and learn from her experiences. And a heroine who walks three miles in the mud to see her sick sister—in an era when such a thing was frowned upon for women—is automatically a kindred spirit. ;-)

~Queen Elsa (Disney’s Frozen). OK, so this one is a stretch. Technically, Frozen is supposedly based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, but the movie is such a far cry from the original (and is actually better, IMHO) that it’s essentially a new story. Anyway, I included Elsa because I really connected with her more than any other Disney heroine. Like her, I have a lot of fear, especially about using my gifts or even telling people about my writing. Some people (especially in Christian circles) seem to think anything imaginative/fantastical is wicked, so in order to appear “the good girl I always have to be,” I shy away from telling people I write fantasy (“conceal-don’t-feel”). Like Elsa, I feel inhibited, trapped inside myself. But I’m getting tired of being so afraid, so perhaps one day I, too, will reach a “Let It Go” moment (but there will DEFINITELY be right, wrong and rules for me!).
4.      Five of your favorite historical novels?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire
by Howard Pyle
Wives and Daughters
by Elizabeth Gaskell
Anne of Green Gables
series by L.M. Montgommery
5.      Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? It’s pretty evenly tied between Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett and Molly Gibson. They’re all spunky, yet respectful to those in authority over them, ladylike yet not weak. I think the prize has to go to Jane, though, for leaving Mr. Rochester even though it went right smack against her feelings. Her convictions about right and wrong were stronger than her emotions…and her integrity was rewarded.
6.      Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? I’m going to say Roger Hamely (Wives and Daughters). His family called him clumsy, but I loved how he took Molly under his wing like a big brother would do. He was loyal to his father, even when the Squire was in a foul temper, and to his brother, despite his somewhat wayward nature. My only beef with Roger is his idiotic puppy-love for Cynthia. Oy!
7.      If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? I’d still dearly love to visit Great Britain and explore my roots. England, Scotland, Ireland…the old castles, the quaint little villages, the breathtaking scenery…*sigh* Sometimes I fancy I can feel it all calling to me….
8.      What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? I’m most interested in the Medieval to Renaissance and Regency eras, and there are certain facets of East-Indian and Japanese culture that are quite intriguing.
9.      You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of? I’m with my mom, brother, aunt and cousin, teaching anyone who wishes some fun little folk dances Mom and Aunt learned as children.
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’ve puzzled over this one off and on for several years now. Most of my favorite heroines are brunettes (or played by them), and since I’ve vowed never to dye my hair and can’t afford a wig, this leaves me up a bit of a creek. However, I might be able to pull off Elsa (if I could just get that Coronation hairdo right), or Snow White from the Brothers Grimm’s Snow White and Rose Red.
11. Favorite author(s)? Ones that are generally good throughout their works:
~L. Frank Baum
~A.A. Milne
~Jeanette Oke
~L.M. Montgomery (with some exceptions)

12. In which century were most of the books you read written? Mainly 19th to early 20th, with a very few earlier and/or later.
13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is… Och, it’s been so long since I read any of my favorite books, I really can’t say. So I’m going to vote for Samwise Gamgee again.
14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... Pretty evenly tied between Mr. Brocklehurst (Jane Eyre), Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Hyacinth Clare-Gibson (Wives and Daughters), AKA Horrible Hyacinth. :-P
15. Describe your ideal dwelling place. See my previous entries here, here, here and here. I’ll have to write up a proper in-depth description and post it in serial form in future….
16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. Classically feminine, practical, versatile and comfortable, leaning towards romantic with a generous dash of whimsy.
17. Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
~Making and Dressing Dolls’ House Dolls in 1/12th Scale by Sue Atkinson
~How to Make your Dolls’ House Special
by Beryl Armstong
~The Miniature Costumiere
by Catriona Hall
18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? In Summer, sitting out in the arbor-seat or gazebo, listening to the birds in the woods, watching the ones coming to the feeder and the hummingbirds and butterflies in the flowerbeds, feeling the soft breeze in my hair as I embroider my favorite flowers and other pretty designs on a peasant blouse or tunic (…after we’ve planted the flowers, set up a bird area and the gazebo, that is…).
In the cooler months, you’d find me either playing with PaintShop in an attempt to make Character portraits (and eventually illustrations for their stories), knitting or crocheting, or curled up with a good book and a wee snack. :-)

19. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.  Every year I puzzle over this one, too, since my bangs make hat-wearing rather difficult (and I must have bangs. Trust me). And while I do acknowledge the fact that the right hat can really complete a cute outfit, I find myself drawn to ones that are more serviceable than decorative…although they need to look nice, of course. For Spring and Fall, I find my “Snowbunny” Earflap Stocking-cap works pretty well:

Photo courtesy of my Bro :-D
(Garn, I hate my profile!!)
It’s made from a knitted material that has mohair or something similar in the mix (a Christmas present from Mom), lined with flannel and trimmed with acrylic yarn. It needs some TLC and a bit of tweaking, but overall it serves me well.
For the coldest months of Winter, I fancy something like this:
A knitted “Pixie-bonnet” with ties…only I’d make mine in ocean colors (blues, greens, teals, turquoises, purples), with a tweedy texture produced by twisting two worsted-weight yarns together to simulate the bulky yarn called for in the pattern. I’d also make I-cord ties, add tassels to them and the top point of the hat, and line it with fleece for extra wind protection.
Summer is the hardest season for hat-wearing for me, actually. Being fair-skinned, I tend to burn easily in places (mainly my scalp and oily nose!), so I need a wide-brimmed hat of some type. I actually have one make from strips of white ribbed material (similar to grosgrain ribbon) all gathered together, which works pretty well…but it looks a little plain. Anybody have any suggestions on how to dress up a hat without it looking like a costume accessory??
If I had my ’druthers, I’d try the kerchief look (see below):
Portrait of a Young Girl in a Red Kerchief
It seems like it’d be so much more comfortable…and if they got dirty, I could just toss them in the wash!
20. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Our move to Oregon was pretty significant—and how! I have never seen the Lord’s hand at work so clearly…or so quickly! (Mind you, there were admittedly some thumb-twiddling and downright head-banging rounds of The Waiting Game, but once things fell into place, we hit the ground running to try and keep up with Him!!!) See this post for how it all began….
21.  Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. One of the elders at our church (we’re currently between pastors) has been going through the book of Malachi, and amongst the warnings and chidings from the Lord to rebellious Israel was this passage:

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His Name.
“And they shall be Mine,” saith the LORD of hosts, “in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
Malachi 3: 16-17, KJV (capitols added to Divine Pronouns)

To me, this passage says that those whom God has chosen for His own are as precious to Him as jewels, and He will keep and protect us from His coming wrath. When we surrender our lives to Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord, we are counted as His children. It brings to mind several other wonderful and uplifting Scriptures in Paul and Peter’s epistles, speaking about our “inheritance incorruptible,” which God is “able to keep” until the day He calls us Home. Hallelujah!
* * *
Be sure to stop by Kellie’s blog and read some of the other entries—it’s always such fun to read how other people answer the same questions.

Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,


  1. Oregon! I have always wanted to travel to that state but it is on the complete opposite side of the nation from me!

    Enjoyed reading your answers!

  2. Tremendously enjoyed your answers! And oh yes. I think Elsa slides in all right. But then I am biased. ;p I had Mr. Thornton and Flynn Rider as my (two! *gasp*) heroes..... ;)

  3. Mr. Brocklehurst -- yes! He is truly dastardly. Good answer.


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