Monday, February 17, 2014

Literary Heroines Blog Party - 2014

First off, a delighted thank you to Kellie (of Accordion to Kellie) for putting on this lovely party! It was wonderful and thought-provoking fun. Thank you!

~The Questions~

1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! ~ I’m a daughter and sister living at home who loves to write, read, (and organize!) books.
(I’m currently working on an entire “study of history” course using literature for my sisters.) My dearest wish–in God’s good and perfect timing and provision–is to be a wife and mother. I find the geography of the world fascinating and since I was a wee thing I’ve found the zoo thrilling. Eventually I’d like to learn even more on the horticulture and animal life of other countries. I love the color blue–French blue, periwinkle, turquoise, and sapphire–the hue of chicory flowers–and the living blue of the Columbia River under the summer sky. I love where I live. I love all my dear, creative, stimulating family–and all my dear and delightful friends. Most of all, first and foremost, I love the One who has bought me–body and soul–claiming me as His very own.

2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? ~ She is feminine and gracious; clear-eyed, but genuinely charitable. She loves much; she is comfortable leaving time and silence to ripen her words; she is known for her discretion, fortitude, perseverance, honesty, and forgiveness.

3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. ~

Lizzie – I admire her for her family loyalty and how she isn’t too (proud, really) to change her mind and opinions

Anne Elliot – For her sweetness and her patient waiting 

Margaret Hale – For how she strives and perseveres–and for how she learns to rest 

Theria (The Perilous Seat by Caroline Dale Snedeker) – For her–in a sense–clarity of vision and steadfastness of soul 

4. Five of your favorite historical novels? ~ I love how this question is phrased! Not “Your five favorite”, but “five of”! :-) Leaving aside all the obvious ones like P&P, Jane Eyre, Lord of the Rings, etc., we’ll go with a few others:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Constance Garnett translation) – I’d only recommend this for older/adult readers, but it’s stunning in it’s exploration of what sin really is and its consequences 

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – This one’s on the “obvious list”, but somehow it made its appearance here, too 

The next three form a trio (to me, at least) as they were some of the first “grown-up” books (that is, books where romance was involved) that I read myself. :-) And they were probably instrumental in starting my own writing adventure–at least on the historical-fiction end–so this is kind of an honorary selection:

The Forgotten Daughter by Caroline Dale Snedeker – The story of a Greek slave girl in Italy, it’s so fresh and vivid you can smell the herbs on the mountaintops 

Journey for a Princess by Margaret Leighton – Amid all the strife and struggle about her, King Alfred’s youngest daughter blossoms into womanhood 

Song of the Voyageur by Beverly Butler – On the early Wisconsin frontier, a young woman must decide where her heart and future really lie–in the sparkling, cultivated life of the East or in the rough and untamed wilderness

5. Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? ~ In the end, I’d have to say Margaret Hale. There’s so much there, but here’s for a quick summary: part of it is wrapped up in the way the book is written–its tension and reticence, but mostly it’s in how Margaret remains–through all the buffeting and testing (both external and internal)–a true lady, and a true and faithful woman. Taken to utter weakness, she learns to grow and change and let each day build on the last and yet also to let the past go–looking forward and taking everything she has become to step faithfully into the next place God has assigned her.

6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? ~ This would be a toss-up between Baudouin (Journey for a Princess) and Jean (Song of the Voyageur). But then, of course, there’s Thornton. If we’re speaking of the film, it gets a lot more complicated–so we’ll stick with the books. Between the books…we’ll go with Baudouin–the battle-weary young warrior because–well–if I told why it would give away the story. :-)

7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? ~ Wyoming, Yellowstone, the Colorado mountains in the spring. Yellowstone particularly. God’s creation is so incredible there and His hand so visible. I’d walk–and breathe–and soak up the expanse of earth and sky–and know again–intensely–that I’m living anywhere but near a tame lion.

8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? ~ In fiction the 1800’s. In non-fiction ancient Egypt.

9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? ~ “Why, thank you! I’d be thrilled to dance for you. A ballet number would be–oh, you’d like me to make sound? Oh, hmmm… Then I’ll play the fiddle and sing. Delighted, of course!”

10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? ~ Lizzie :-)

11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? ~ Chocolate? Did someone say dark chocolate? And truffles…? Truffles with caramel?

12. Favorite author(s)? ~ Jane Austen, Josef Conrad, John Buchan, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, P.G. Wodehouse, G.K. Chesterton, Howard Pyle, Jean Bothwell, Madeleine Polland, Charles W. Whistler, the BrontĂ« sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, Rosemary Sutcliff, Sir Walter Scott, George Eliot, (Dickens)…you get the idea. :-)

13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? ~ My camera! (or is that an essential?) and my butterfly identification guide. Someday I’d love to see some of the tropical Mexican and South American species.

14. In which century were most of the books you read written? ~ The 19th (though the 20th runs a very close second).

15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 
~ Mr. Darcy. Two others near the top are Aragorn and Faramir (in the book–I haven’t seen the movie) and George Bevan in Wodehouse’s Damsel in Distress.

16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. ~ A little house looking like it grew out of its landscape (whatever that landscape may be) with somewhere about it a potager garden with dark soil, feathery dill, roses, and currant bushes…

17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. ~ Comfortable, feminine, and oft-times historically inspired.

18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? ~ Yes, actually. Valancy’s in Montgomery’s Blue Castle. It really trips you up, but then…it’s supposed to…and I’m not sure what a good alternative would be.

19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... ~ Leaving aside all the deserving Crawfords and Murdstones of this world, I’ll say Archimago in the first book of Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”. The Faerie Queene is done in magnificent verse (making it ever-so-much-more-so) and by the end you’re simply sick of his sly, clever, insidiously recurring attacks.

20. Three favorite Non-fiction books? ~ Paedofaith by Rich Lusk, No Idle Hands: A Social History of American Knitting by Anne Macdonald, and Pharaohs and Kings by David M. Rohl

21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? ~ Writing! (though I have been known to get distracted in my garden with the camera). If the temperature really soars on this particular summer afternoon, I might settle down in the basement with some sisters for a good period drama fix. :-)

22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. ~ A Regency bonnet (historical, feminine, heroine-ish) having a straw brim with gathered fabric over the crown portion–the sturdy and the delicate combined together to make an intriguing whole.

23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. ~ I was honored to be in a close friend’s wedding this past fall (which was a most wonderful and blessed experience!), I got my first two books up for sale on Amazon…and I started blogging!

24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. ~ Psalm 139–when I’m both on the heights of the mountains and in the depths of the valleys:

“…Thou knowest all the ways I plan,
My path and lying down dost scan;
For in my tongue no word can be,
But, lo, O Lord, ‘tis known to Thee…

…If I the wings of morning take
And utmost sea my dwelling make,
Ev’n there Thy hand shall guide my way,
And Thy right hand shall be my stay…

…Search me, O God; my heart discern;
And try me, every thought to learn,
And see if any sin holds sway.
Lead in the everlasting way.”
(from The Book of Psalms for Singing)


  1. Loved reading your answers! I'm working on mine as well. I'm afraid my post will be a bit boring... blogger's not letting me upload pictures. :(

    1. Looking forward to reading yours! :-)

      And that's sad... Have you tried signing in and out of blogger?

    2. Well, I just did after your suggestion! It didn't work. :( I've sent multiple "feedback" messages to blogger and am going to try some different things that Blogger help recommends.
      On a completely different note, how do you get your comments to have the "reply" button? I'd like to have it on my blog, but I can't figure out how. Thanks!

    3. I'm sorry about's really odd why it still won't work. On the reply button, I wish I had something helpful...but I'm note sure how it works. It just came up automatically for me. I looked into it on the "settings: posts and comments" page just now, but I didn't see anything that seemed to have any relevance. :-(

    4. If I may... it depends on what style of comments you use. If you have the "Popup window" kind, it doesn't have the "reply" feature for some unknown reason. If you choose "Embedded," it does. Not sure about the "Full page" option.

      What kinds of photos are you trying to add? Blogger only accepts JPG, GIF, and PNG files. Are you trying to add them from your own harddrive, or from another site? Sometimes other sites have themselves protected so you can't use a link to their photo to make the photo appear on your site because it uses up their bandwidth or something (I'm not a computer guru, I've just been using Blogger for 12 years, so thought I might be able to help a little). I usually save a picture to my own computer and then upload it from there because that way it will still appear on my blog years from now, even if the other site removes it.

      Hope that helps!

    5. Hamlette-
      Thank you! Your tip about the comments worked! :)

      Yes, I'm uploading normal JPG photos from my own files on my computer. I used to be able to put photos in my posts, but for awhile now it hasn't been working. I CAN upload them, but when I click "add selected" nothing happens. The little loading symbol will sometimes appear. I can't even click cancel or close the window. :(
      I've tried things from blogger help like clearing the cache and cookies and disabling add-ons but with no solution.
      If you have any more tips or suggestions I'd love to hear them! Thanks!

    6. Hmm. Nope, those were my only suggestions. I'd say contact the Blogger team explaining the problem and see if they can fix it.

    7. Hi Hamlette,
      My problem is solved! Well, that is to say I was able to work around it. I switched from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome and I now have no problems with anything. Even though your suggestions didn't help I appreciate your input! Thanks so much! :)
      Thanks for your input as well! :)

    8. OH! I never even thought to ask what browser you're using. We use Chrome mostly now, though our laptop has Firefox on it. Both of those work fine with Blogger -- I haven't used Explorer in probably 7 or 8 years. Glad you got it fixed!

  2. I'm glad to find another LOTR fan! Those books are definitely high on my favorites list!

    1. Same here! And btw, your blog is very fun...(The goats are so cute.)

      I think we're into a number of similar I'm glad you'll be visiting over here, too! ;-) Thank you for the follow!

  3. It's taking me soooooooo long to find time to everyone's answers this year! Sigh. But here I am at last, and you've added to my determination to read North and South soon -- or watch the miniseries, whichever I can get my hands on first.

    1. I'm so glad! N&S is definitely one of my all-time, absolute top favorites. I hope you can do either one or the other (read or watch) soon. :-)

      (And I think I'm about halfway through reading all the answers, too. But there's still over a week left for the party, right? I guess I'll just spread out the fun and still be official. :-) )

    2. Yeah, it runs thru the end of the month, but last year I was like, reading all the new answers every day, and this year I'm only through the first 16 and we're 5 days into the party. Oh well, I'll get to them as soon as I can, I guess.

  4. I too am a fan of Ancient Egypt! I have many books on the mythology, the history of the country, the culture of the people, current and ancient. The Egyptians have such an amazing history. It's one of my places I'd like to visit one day and see the pyramids.

    1. Jessie,
      Thank you for visiting (and commenting)! I agree: Egypt is fascinating. Re Pharaohs and Kings, there's also a companion film documentary. We watched it years I'm not sure how available it is at the moment.

    2. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll search online to see if I can stream it somewhere. I'm always up for anything with the word Pharaoh in it. :)

  5. Wonderful blog and answers! I love the art work on your sidebar, just beautiful :-)

  6. Can't go anywhere without a good camera!!

    1. I agree! Thank you for visiting! And btw, I really enjoyed looking through both your blogs... :-)

  7. I love all your answers! Plus, I think we have quite a lot in common - with organizing, reading, writing, and North and South! I am looking forward to continuing to read your blog posts. :-)
    Oh, and some of the books you mentioned sound really good. The Forgotten Daughter by Caroline Dale Snedeker sounds particularly good! I may have to look it up. :-)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I do hope you can visit again. I'd love to discuss our mutual interests! :-) And I'd love to hear if you're able to find The Forgotten's very good.

  8. Blue is a wonderful colour, isn't it? ;)

    Crime and Punishment is definitely for mature readers... I had to read it for school years ago and I know I could not have digested it were it not for the bit of hope at the end...

    "If I the wings of morning take
    And utmost sea my dwelling make,
    Ev’n there Thy hand shall guide my way,
    And Thy right hand shall be my stay"
    - that's actually one of my favourite bits of poetry, Bible and otherwise... although, of course, I know it in a Czech translation that actually does not rhyme... Still one of my favourite bits of poetry.
    And with this and your list of favourite authors, I got reminded of authors that have to go on my list. :-)

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think it was C.S. Lewis who somewhere pointed out what a remarkable fact it is that God gave His poetry in such a way that it remains poetry in whatever language it's translated into. Isn't that wonderful? Thank you for commenting and I'm so glad you visited!

  9. Ooh, now I want to read No Idle Hands! Lovely to "meet" you.


    1. Likewise! And No Idle Hands is definitely a fun and very interesting read.


Oh, you're thinking of leaving a comment! How entirely lovely -- thank you and please do!! :) I just ask that all comments be God-honoring and edifying. (And btw, I LOVE comments on old posts! ;))

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