Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Literary Heroine Blog Party -- 2015
The Literary Heroine Blog Party is always a bright spot in February for me. February is my least-favorite month, but I definitely look forward to this party! I always meet charming people and discover some new blogs I want to follow. If you want to participate too, just visit Kellie Falconer's blog, Accordion to Kellie. There's always a marvelous give-away associated with this party, and this year she's giving away a handmade tulle skirt from her Etsy shop, which she sells for a tidy sum.
I'm going to try to answer the questions differently from previous years, when I can think up something new to say :-)
Here we go:
1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
As you know, I'm Hamlette. I'm 34, I'm a writer, I've been married for almost 13 years, and I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mommy. My son "Sam" is seven, my daughter "Sarah" will be 5 this weekend, and my younger daughter "Tootie" is very 3. I love to write, read, watch movies, blog, bake, crochet, sew, and daydream.
2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
A true heroine helps others. She does not turn away from those in need, but kindly assists other people however she can. She strives to understand others and herself. If she finds she has been wrong or misguided, she learns from her mistakes and becomes a better person, rather than stubbornly going on as before.
3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
I'm trying to be different from my answers in 2013 and 2014, so I'm going to choose these four:
Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch by George Eliot. She's sensible, intelligent, and so warm-hearted. She wants to help everyone around her, and generally manages to.
Thursday Next in Jasper Fforde's wacky series that's named after her. Self-sufficient, intelligent, and manages to keep her head in some very peculiar situations.
Turtle Wexler in The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Determined and intelligent (sensing a theme here?), she solves a mystery that baffles many grownups and learns a lot about human nature in the process.
Jerusha Abbot in Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. A new favorite! She's quirky and fun-loving, curious and yes, intelligent, and an aspiring author.
4. 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 previously, I'll say: Persuasion by Jane Austen, An Antic Disposition by Alan Gordon, Homer Price by Robert McCloskey, Shadows over Stonewycke by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, and The Virginian by Owen Wister.
5. Out of those five books, who is your favorite major character and why?
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 persuaded herself to give up 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 is eventually rewarded.
6. Out of those five books, who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Admiral and Mrs. Croft from Persuasion. I can't talk about one without the other! They're a devoted married couple, and truly enjoy each others' company. They're also clear-sighted and open-hearted, and altogether make me smile every time they appear on the page.
7. 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 New Zealand and seeing all the places where Peter Jackson's Middle Earth movies were filmed. The Shire, the Green Dragon, and anywhere else we could get to!
8. 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 include The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Shadows over Stonewycke by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
I think I'll help with scenery and costumes this year, and let others have the spotlight.
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 chose Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre before, so since I'm on a Robin Hood kick right now, I'll say Maid Marian, and my hubby can go as Robin.
11. Favorite author(s)?
Raymond Chandler, Laurie R. King, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jasper Fforde, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Thor Heyerdahl...
12. In which century were most of the books you read written?
13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Helpful, nice, and practical. You want one specific person? I'll go with Captain Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion this year, since I'm currently rereading it.
14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
I think I'll go with Sauron again, from The Lord of the Rings. He just wants to smash and wreck and break everything. Bad, naughty, evil Sauron.
15. Describe your ideal dwelling place.
Our house, Tir Asleen. I could happily live in this house for the rest of my life. Lots of room for books and my piano. Plenty of space to spread out big, messy projects. Enough floors that I can go off by myself once in a while and find a teensy bit of solitude to recharge or calm down or simply BE, even if it's just for 3 minutes.
16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.
If it's not comfortable, I won't wear it.
17. Three favorite Non-fiction books?
Again, trying to be different from the previous to years, so I'll go with Hamlet: Poetry Unlimited by Harold Bloom, A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz, and The Key: How to Write D**n Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth by James N. Frey. I unreservedly recommend all three.
18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
Writing in solitude.
19. 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. Something a bit like this, which John Wayne wore in The Comancheros (1961).
20. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
Had my gall bladder out in September, which was very unexpected. Other than that, nothing big has really happened :-) I like uneventful years!
22. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
"Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." Psalm 50:15.