Friday, February 20, 2015

Literary Heroines Blog Party - 2015

It’s the time of the Literary Heroines Blog Party once again! Life is pretty full at the moment (as it ever is!), but this is a gala occasion. During the 2014 party I met several people for the first time whom I have since been blessed to begin building wonderful and encouraging friendships with and, hence, I felt the time should most certainly be marked in a celebratory fashion. :) So here are my tag answers for 2015…

And Kellie, thanks so much for hosting—your lovely party is such a highlight of the year!

~ The Questions ~

1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! ~ As a daughter and sister, loving to read and write—with a passion for masterfully crafted story—my greatest desire is to one day (Lord willing) be a wife, mother, and author simultaneously. I find history fascinating; and I love zoos and studying the geography of the world. I love the color blue—French blue, turquoise, periwinkle and sapphire. I love some far-flung places and I love where I live. I love and am thankful for my wonderful family and for my dear friends (new and old)! Most of all I dearly love and am thankful to the One who has bought me—body and soul—claiming me as His own. 

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

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

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

Anne Shirley – Because she’s Anne…

Emma – This is a fairly new one (over the past year), but I realized what a true heroine she is as she learns from and faces up to her faults

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? ~ Heart of Darkness by Josef Conrad, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and The Armourer’s House by Rosemary Sutcliff.

5. Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? ~ Margaret Hale. (Along with Anne Elliot in Persuasion) she’s one of my greatest heroines. (I’ve shared a good bit about her struggles and challenges and why I love her and her story so much here.) 

6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? ~ Oh dear… How did I manage to get Thornton and Wentworth and Rochester all mixed up in the same question? Thornton, definitely Mr. Thornton—with Captain Wentworth running a close second.

7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? ~ I was able to go on it (again!) this last summer. :) The Black Hills, the Badlands, Wyoming, Yellowstone…the Tetons! I had a marvelous, marvelous time traveling with cousins—and I was able to soak up and breathe in story atmosphere so that I can feel it still growing and running out my fingertips.

I’d also love to see the Colorado mountains and Wyoming in spring someday. And, of course, there’s always India and the Taj Mahal. That would be pretty incredible, too.

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? ~ I would love to do some sort of ballet number, but I haven’t done it in public for awhile, so probably something on the piano or fiddle.

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

11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? ~ 90% dark with a glass of milk…the perfect writing pick-me-up!

12. Favorite author(s)? ~ Jane Austen, Josef Conrad, Edmund Spenser, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Caroline Dale Snedeker, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Buchan, C.S. Lewis, P.G. Wodehouse, G.K. Chesterton, B.J. Chute, Charles W. Whistler, the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, Rosemary Sutcliff, 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… ~ Last year’s selection holds true, but to mix it up a little (and since he was already mentioned above):

Mr. Thornton

And also (new to this last year!):

Flynn Rider/Eugene (…he’s hemi-demi-semi literary, isn’t he? ;))

16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. ~ There are so many wonderful places I don’t know that I can make up my mind. But I do love an airy feel with light tones or honey colored woodwork. And to be quite comfortable, there would be plenty of books about (and pictures) and some plants outside—especially roses and basil and garlic and peonies. 

17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. ~ Comfortable, feminine, utilitarian, 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…and, ultimately, I love the story to bits regardless!

19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... ~ A recent selection from this past year: Jape Waltzer in Peace Like a River. It’s a coming-of-age story—and he’s not even exactly the ultimate ‘villain’ of the piece—but he is wicked, unsettling, unpleasant, and a bit disturbing.

20. Three favorite non-fiction books? ~ Job: A Son for Glory by Toby Sumpter, The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken, 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!

22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. ~ I’m not a tremendous hat person (though I do tend to wear stocking hats almost all day in the winter and occasionally baseball hats when necessary outdoors in the summer), but I do love wearing cowls and scarves. And, of course, in films I love bonnets of all shapes and sizes! ;)

23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. ~ It’s been an incredibly full year, but one of the hugest happenings was my amazing trip west last summer. A second is in seeing how much my writing is expanding and changing. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve read and seen some things that have helped me sort out my current work in progress—setting it on fire. It’s somersaulted tremendously from what it was a year ago and I’m thrilled through with the excitement of it. It’s also been a tremendous year of growth and changes—changes in building new and old friendships. There have been difficult times and moments throughout, but overall it’s been a great and weighty blessing.

24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. ~ Psalm 21. I was thinking particularly of how it fits with all the ones before it (particularly Psalms 2 and 18) and just before Psalm 22. Viewing it through the lens of its ultimate fulfillment in Christ—our suffering King—it’s stunning!

“The King shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

For You meet him with the blessings of goodness;
You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked life from You, and You gave it to him—
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great in Your salvation;
Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.
For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved…”
Psalm 21:1-7


  1. I just loved reading your answers, Heidi! And Mr. Thornton..he is so wonderful! :)

    1. Sarah,
      Oh, I'm so glad! :) And YES, Mr. Thornton....utterly, entirely and emphatically. ;)

  2. FLYNN!!!

    And oooh, Jape Waltzer -- how could I have forgotten about him? Definitely dastardly.

    1. Hamlette,
      Hee! Flynn.....I Could Not Leave Him Out. ;) And Waltzer! I was wondering if you'd forgotten about him. ;P Yes, dastardly to the umpteenth degree and slightly creepy into the bargain.

    2. He really just blows all other Disney heroes out of the water, doesn't he?

      Yeah, I forgot about Waltzer. Though I have actually read one villain more horrible than him, but I can't remember the name of that book and don't want to.

    3. Hamlette,
      Christoph's pretty good, too (and there are some others), yes...rather.....extremely so. ;) ;D

    4. Well, yes, Kristoff is awesome. But he's not Flynn. I'd put him on par with Aladdin, though.

    5. (Forgot to add it's a highly, highly tingly subject!! ;) Which you already know.... :P)

    6. I was thinking of the Sleeping Beauty prince, too (whom I actually haven't seen in his entirety), but oh dear dear no no no no NO..... Even with Flynn??? I was working hard not to create any such dubious and questionable impression! HE IS THE BEST!!!! (Appearing here with Mr. Thornton -- of whom you know my mature opinion.) Those others are quite and entirely blown out of the water.... Very good some of them, but he just has it all. ;D

    7. It is beginning to sound as though we now need a Disney Hero/Heroine blog party. XD But I completely agree with your sentiments on Flynn! Perhaps it is because I am so much of a Rapunzel myself, I adore him.

      (I also love your picture of the scarves - gorgeous!)

    8. Skyeler,
      Yes, he's just thoroughly and entirely splendid. ;D And thanks -- I'm so glad you loved the picture! :)

  3. I'm loving reading everyone's answers to this tag! XD

    Virtually all the authors you mentioned...I was nodding and thinking, "Yes!" I love Lewis so much (and all the others, but Lewis holds a special place) =)

    How some people can dislike Mr. Thornton is beyond me. I mean, really. Read the book, people! Urrggh. Ahem, anyway, glad you like him too:D

    I really like all the pictures you used!

    1. Arwen Undomiel,
      So glad you enjoyed them! And I always love finding fellow kindred spirits/enthusiasts. Lewis is wonderful, isn't he? And ah yes, Mr. Thornton. It's beyond me as well, but general charity....general charity! ;) And thank you about the pictures! I'm really happy with how they came together.

  4. This was an enjoyable read! I especially like your descriptions of yourself and the heroine, and your character choices. Mr. Thornton was my favorite secondary character this year as well. :)

    1. Paige,
      Thank you, I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! And I'm always thoroughly happy and delighted to find another lover of N&S/Margaret/Thornton! ;)

  5. Of course Flynn/Eugene counts! ;)
    Love your answers and the title of your blog. :)

    1. Lois,
      Thank you -- I'm so glad you love them! And good! ;) Yes---courage, dash, daring, tenderness, strong development, humor, sacrifice---he has it all! In short, he's entirely amazing. ;D

  6. I love your answers. You have a nice taste in favorite authors, a very nice taste indeed. Oh yeah, and put me down for that 90 percent dark chocolate.

  7. You listed Fyodor Dostoevsky as a favorite author. I am impressed! I read Crime and Punishment when I was fourteen and thought it was a wonderful book. It took me a month to wade through it, however, and I promised myself that I would never again read a Russian author. :)

    1. Kelpie,
      Yes, I haven't read much else of Dostoevsky's (yet), but I love C&P! (And don't worry, it took me quite a bit longer than a month. ;)) It was different than I initially expected, but I was blown away and have loved it ever since. It's amazing. As far as other Russian authors.... I'm still only part way into Tolstoy's War and Peace (finding that one harder to keep at), but I have read quite a bit of (and love!) Josef Conrad's work---which would fit into the category. :)

  8. Hello Heidi! Oh! What a delight to read these answers - I feel as if I know you already and look forward to many more pleasurable moments spent reading your lovely blog!
    Indeed, Kellie's fabulous blog party is such a wonderful way to make new friends - already I have gained some new ones which I'm very excited about!! This is my first time participating:)
    I'm so glad you love dearest Meg from Little Women!! I've always just felt so like her in many things - how lovely you can relate her too... Jo is amazingly adorable, too! Actually, all Louisa May Alcott's charcters are loveable, though and I feel as if I know each and every one of them!
    Heidi, I just loved the Psalm you shared - such beautiful words to dwell on!
    And I hope you continue to is a treasured gift that will bless so many!
    Ah! What happiness to meet a dear sister in Jesus! May your day be blessed and filled with the love of the Lord!
    Hugs, Kelly-Anne

    1. Kelly-Anne!
      Thank you so very much for your kind, sweet words.... I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and am delighted to have *met* you, too! ;)

      And thanks so much for the "follow" as well! I look forward to visiting together! :)

  9. Such a beautiful post! Where do you find all of your pictures? They are absolutely gorgeous! have you discovered the Jane Austen and LOTR music books? if not, you should look into them. They are magical treasures:)

    1. Mthopemercantile,
      Thank you! I took some of the pictures myself (the mountain landscapes, etc.) and the others I found on Google images. :) Also, thank you for the music book recommendations!

  10. Lovely answers, Heidi!
    Completely agree with your description of the ideal heroine. You really have a gift with words - I always say a heroine should be feminine, but what I actually mean is the entire section you wrote.

    And yes, Mr. Thornton is just wonderful.

    1. Rose,
      Thank you and I so very much appreciate your kind encouragement! :) I'm hoping to read your post, too as soon as I can. ;)

  11. Margaret Hale is SUCH a lovely heroine. She's my favorite of the Gaskell heroines, my second probably being Peggy Bell (although I'm not sure if she's from the books or just the movie?).
    Did you take that picture of the rose? It's sooo lovely. So yellow and soft and glowing.
    Squee! Mr. Thornton! And you mention Captain Wentworth-my mom and I just finished watching the 2007 version! I liked it a lot, and almost like it better than the older one. There are points to both versions I realize I like and dislike, which I'm glad for-it's fun to get different perspectives on the story!
    Yes, a camera is an essential. I I had to choose between my camera and multiple outfits, I'd pick the camera. haha :)
    Flynn!!! He's the best. My very favorite Disney hero.
    Ooh, the scarf picture is lovely!
    And your signature picture is too. So pink and lacy and beautiful. :)
    Loved reading your answers!

    1. Natalie!
      Yes! I love Margaret. ;) And I'm not sure about Peggy either, but I like her a lot in the movie, too. I'm so happy you liked all the pictures! And yes, I did take the yellow roses (and the mountains). :) (Incidentally, isn't it neat how the roses fell into place right under Margaret -- with all the Thornton references coming up this year, too??? I'm rather extremely pleased about that. ;))

      And yes, Mr. Thornton. MOST definitely! And Captain Wentworth! Funny story: I posted this just shortly before we rewatched the '07 last weekend (for the umpteenth time) and before I reread the ending chapters in Persuasion again and -- quite naturally, of course -- CW has somersaulted to the top of my favorites list again, so he and Thornton are now a solid tie. ;) This comment is going to be long....but we'll HAVE to have a discussion about the Persuasion adaptations! :) (Time, my dear, time.....where does it go??? I'm convinced I have about twenty-two hours in my day. ;p) And Flynn, too! Yes, we have some things to discuss ASAP! ;)

    2. Heidi,
      Wow, both photos are beautiful! :) And yes!! That is amazing how the yellow rose fell by all the N&S items. :)

      I'll look forward to our conversation about the Persuasion adaptions! I have many thoughts about them, thoughts that are too long to mention in a comment, haha. :)
      Heehee, I can't wait to discuss Flynn too.

  12. I really enjoyed reading all of your answers, Heidi. :) You sound like such a lovely and mature woman of God. I'm happy to "meet" you in the blogging world!

    1. Calamity Rene,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And thank you! I've really enjoyed *meeting* you, too, and hope to visit your blog again soon! ;)

  13. Ah, Thornton and Margaret. I love those two! And you're the second person to mention The Blue Castle. I really need to move it up my TBR.

    Fun answers! :)

    1. Kara,
      Ah yes, Thornton and Margaret!!!! What more can I say? I really start running out of/searching for adequate words on the topic. ;) And Blue Castle -- most definitely! :)

  14. Such graceful answers! The second one is probably my favourite of them.

    1. Ganise,
      Thank you so much for the beautiful compliment!

  15. Another Rosemary Sutcliff lover! I haven't read the one you name though, growing up, I did read as many others as I could get my hands on through our library system. Have you read Mark of the Horselord? Or, Song for a Dark Queen? I loved so many of those.

    Oh, and as a lover of literature and the color blue, I'm guessing you'd enjoy this recent article:

    1. Catsinboxes,
      I've read quite a few of hers(!), but not those two yet (though I've read up on them)! My absolute favorite (along with Armourer's House) is The Shield Ring. Have you read that one? And oh! Have you read her Rider on a White Horse? It's set during the English Civil War, so it's a bit of a different setting from a lot of her work, but very good. She has one about two brothers/friends (can't remember which) during that same war as well (Simon I think is the title, but it's slipping my memory at the moment). I'd like to read that one, too, but it's pretty hard to find. :P

      And thanks for the link! It was quite interesting -- one of those mind-bending, mind-boggling subjects. I've thought before how fascinating it is that blue really does rarely occur in creation (like how there are hardly any "true blue" flowers), and how blue in eye colors can be such a mix (of steel blue, blue with tinges of gold, green-blue) etc. I've heard, too that (and I don't have all the scientific terminology for this) it's because there's something special about the way we perceive blue/the way our eyes and brain recognize it. It has to do with the light reflecting/refracting a certain way (on a bird's feathers, for instance) that is processed differently than other colors. All part of the reason it's really quite fascinating (though sometimes infuriating! ;)); how intangible it is -- hard to grab hold of. I guess all part of what makes it such a precious, living gift! :)

    2. I don't think I've read any of those! I did read one set during the English Civil War, but it was Flame-Coloured Taffeta. Shining Company was another favorite of mine . . . As well as Black Ships Before Troy. Pair Rosemary Sutcliffe with Alan Lee illustrations, and it gets pretty epic, pun intended :-)

      If you like Rosemary Sutcliffe, have you tried Megan Whalen Turner's series, or Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope? They have the same tone, and I suspect you'd enjoy them! (Disclaimer, I've only read Turner's first book, The Thief, but my friends have told me the second is even better!)

    3. . . . And I'm glad you enjoyed the article. It is fascinating! (And have you noticed that cameras cannot always capture an exact shade of blue?) I think it's so neat that God made something as "simple" as a color so complex!

    4. Catsinboxes,
      You should most definitely read Shield Ring and Rider on a White Horse! ;) I didn't know Flame Colored Taffeta was set in the English Civil War -- very intriguing! And no, I haven't read those others, so thanks for the recommendations! I'll keep your disclaimer in mind, but I'm always happy to add more potential good reads to my list!

      And P.S. Oh yes, I have noticed that about blue on the camera -- very frustrating (though at times I have trouble with other colors, too). Sometimes they're simply so "living" they just refuse to be captured! :P

  16. Flynn Ryder is totally a literary character! (There has to be fan fiction on him, right?) Valancy's name is interesting! I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed reading your answers!

    1. Ashley,
      I hadn't thought of that (the fan fiction), but you're quite right! And since it's a spin on a traditional fairytale, its roots go pretty deep when it comes to influencing all sorts of good stories. (That's my not-so-humble opinion anyway! ;D) And isn't Valancy an interesting name?

      I'm so glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for commenting!


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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