It's that time of year again! Kellie Falconer is once again hosting her delightful Literary Heroine Blog Party. I'm particularly excited for this event because, last year, this is the blog party that led me out of my blogging shell, as it were, and introduced me to so many blogs and bloggers that I'm so very fond of now. (Look! I used the word 'blog' or a variant four times in that sentence!)
I'm going to try to answer the questions differently where I can -- you can read my answers from last year here. And if you haven't joined the party already, but want to, click on the banner above to do so. Kellie is offering so many lovely prizes for the giveaway again!
Anyway, here are The Questions:
Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
Well, I'm Hamlette. I'm 33, I'm a writer, I've been married for almost 12 years, and I'm a stay-at-home and home-schooling mommy. My son is six, one daughter is nearly 4, and my younger daughter is 2. My house is full of light, laughter, and Legos. Lots and lots of Legos. And books. And movies.
What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
Hmm. I think a true heroine puts others' needs before her own, while not neglecting her own spiritual and physical well-being either. Jane Eyre and Anne Shirley come to mind as characters who achieved this. This is something I'm striving for all the time, to be honest.
Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
I'm trying to be different from last year's answers, so I'm going to choose these four:
Lucy Honeychurch from A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. I just read this for the first (and second) time(s) last year, and I related so much with how she struggled with getting to know her own self, much less those around her. It reminded me a lot of myself in my first two years of college, figuring out was -- and wasn't.
Elizabeth Robinson from The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. She's probably my ideal when it comes to resourceful and courageous mothering. She can cook anything, sew anything, care for animals, keep up the spirits of her entire family, and she rarely complains.
Mary Morstan Watson from The Sign of the Four and other Sherlock Holmes stories by A. Conan Doyle. Sure, she agrees to marry Dr. Watson after they've known each other for only a week or two, and that might seem hasty. But she is such a wonderfully supporting wife -- whenever Holmes summons Watson to go on an adventure, she says, "Of course you must go! Have fun and be careful!" and sends him off without even thinking of complaining.
Anne Elliot from Persuasion by Jane Austen. I think a lot of readers kind of shake their heads at Anne Elliot -- that silly girl who let herself be talked out of True Love. But whatever you may think of Lady Russell, she was basically Anne's adoptive mother, and Anne obeyed the Commandment to honor your father and mother when she broke off her engagement with Frederick Wentworth. Significantly, that's the only Commandment that has a promise attached to it: "it will be well with you, and you will live long on the earth." And sure enough, Anne's obedience to God's will over her own is eventually rewarded.
Five of your favorite historical novels?
I'm again going to assume that "historical novel" means novels set in a time prior to our present day. So to choose five I didn't mention last year, I'll say: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry, and The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle.
Out of those five books, who is your favorite major character and why?
Sherlock Holmes. There are five characters who, over the course of my life, have become infinitely more dear to me than the word "favorite" can imply, and Sherlock Holmes is one of them. I'm talking the Sherlock Holmes of the canon here, by the way, not of any particular TV or movie version, though I do enjoy a lot of those too. I actually just finished re-reading the entire canon (the novels and stories by A. Conan Doyle, not other things written about the characters by other people) in twelve months, and my affection and esteem for this character has only grown. I think one of the things I like best about him is his dogged determination to find answers. He's concerned with higher concepts like justice and truth and right vs. wrong, but his focus is really on finding answers. Solving problems. I admire that level of focus, which I rarely can attain myself. Plus, he's one of those hard-on-the-outside-but-sweet-on-the-inside types that I can never resist.
Out of those five books, who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Alan Breck Stewart from Kidnapped. He'ssuch a fun character, with a quick temper and quicker wits, and again, lots of determination. He makes me laugh, he makes me want to hug him, and he almost makes me cry sometimes. Plus, he's based on an actual person of the same name.
If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
This year, I pick going to England and visiting all sorts of places connected to my favorite books. I'd find that statue of Sherlock Holmes near Baker Street, visit the Shakespeare stuff in Stratford-on-Avon, attend a play at the Globe, visit the Jane Austen house, stop by Tolkien's grave... I would probably need a year.
What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
I love the WWII era, all the various cultures involved. Some of my favorite books that take place during that time included The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
This year, I'll get some of my college friends back together and perform another Monty Python comedy sketch like we did our freshman year. We performed "Buying a Bed" that time, but I think the one about the penguins on the TV set might be awesome too.
If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
I chose Anne of Green Gables last year, so this year I'll say Jane Eyre. I'm fairly plain, and I could make my husband dress up as Rochester :-D
What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
I'm going to limit this to ten of the authors I've read in the past year this time. So I'll say Raymond Chandler, Laurie R. King, Ernest Hemingway, Rex Stout, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jan Burke, and Amanda Grange.
Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
All my cameras, plenty of paper and pens, and books.
In which century were most of the books you read written?
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Helpful and kind. You want one specific person? I'll go with Henry Tilney this year.
Describe your ideal dwelling place.
Our house, Tir Asleen. Though if it had built-in bookshelves in every single room, it would be even more ideal.
Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.
If it's not comfortable, I won't wear it.
Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
Only while reading Dickens.
In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
Well, "dastardly" to me connotes tricksy and conniving, mean and evil and low-down, so I'm going to go with Rebecca de Winter from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.
Three favorite Non-fiction books?
Three different from last year: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson, and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.
Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
Sitting outside Starbucks with a Mocha Light Frappucino, working on my novel.
Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.
A cowboy hat of indistinct color, well-worn and sweat-stained, that fits like I've worn it for years.
Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
My grandma died last summer, at the age of 94. She was a lovely Christian lady, filled with unexpectedly feisty humor and a seemingly endless reservoir of patience. We all miss her.
Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you." (John 14:27a)