Sunday, February 20, 2011

Literary Heroine Blog Party - The Hostess Joins


 
 
~ The Questions ~
 
  • What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
I believe the essence of a true heroine stands in the fact that she is a true lady, in every sense that wonderful word stands for.  She embraces femininity in all of it's glory - regardless of her situation in life, she is an innate homemaker and source of comfort for those she loves.  She is brave, because no matter what trials or dangers she must overcome, she knows her treasures are stored up where moth nor rust can corrupt - and that all she must do to conquer is follow God's leading faithfully, to the end.  She is selfless, supporting those in her life rather than pulling them down, as she knows that true love gives all without expectation of return.  And as God designed love to run in this marvelous way, she is loved in return for illustrating this by her relationship with those around her.
And lastly, when, as a human character, she stumbles and falls, she has the grace to acknowledge her imperfections and the faith to ask for forgiveness, ever learning from her mistakes. 
 
A tall order, no?  But by God's grace, each and every one of us has the power to become that true heroine - a woman after God's heart.  
 
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
-1 Peter 1:15-21
  • Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 
1). Margery MacDougal Forbes, from In Freedom's Cause.  She was charming, brave, and strong, and supported her husband wholeheartedly in the cause he fought for. 2). Helen Herriot from All Things Bright and Beautiful, etc.  According to Seigfried, it was common knowledge that she was intelligent, an excellent cook, and nearly caused a pile-up on market day with her warm, caring smile.  Also, she was wonderful with animals and loved the outdoors!  3). Maggie Wheeler, from Aunt Jane's Hero.  She was thoughtful, self-sacrificing, and an encouragement to those around her.  She loved Jesus Christ above all else, which made her life a thing of rare beauty and joy.  4). Clotilde from The Young Carthaginian.  She was spirited, charming, loyal, and tenderhearted, and aside from being lovely and intelligent, was capable of marching, and if need be, fighting alongside her clan to maintain their right to live in freedom from oppression.
  • Five of your favorite historical novels?
Not counting G.A. Henty. . . I couldn't pick just five favorites out of his works=) The Scottish Chiefs, El Dorado  
(the whole 
Scarlet Pimpernel series
 
, really;)
 
, Pride and Prejudice, The Chestry Oak, Ben-Hur - oh, must I stop now?
    • Out of those five books who is your favorite character and why? 
    Well, I love nearly all of the characters from my favorite books, so it will be hard to choose just one. . .!  However, Sir Percy it is.  Although I love all of the Scarlet Pimpernel books, I think El Dorado shows Sir Percy Blakeney at his finest.  He is absolutely brilliant.  Besides the charms of his excellent sense of humor, his perfect manners, and his indomitable spirit, he is always brave, incredibly cheerful, and possesses a driving vision which nothing can make him stray from.   Although his love for his wife, Marguerite (who is also a favorite character!), seems to be the strongest passion earthly man could fathom, there is yet a call still louder - and he is steadfast and indomitable in his chosen course. It is sometimes hard to remember that if I am ever to one day meet the man God has chosen for me, he probably will not quite match up the ideal I have in my head of this most perfect, gallant, and magnificent of heroes;)  The one thing Iwill measure him by the Scarlet Pimpernel's standards on is that his convictions and beliefs will give him the vision to follow God's calling the way Sir Percy followed the course he set for himself - unswervingly and unfalteringly, to the end.
    • If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
    Anyone who knows me will know what's coming next;)  It's been one of my lifelong dreams to visit the bonnie Hieland home of my ancestors - Scotland.   What would I do there?  Everything!  I'd hike along the path from Lowland to Highland that Francis Osbaldistone trod on his journey to meet the famed Rob Roy of Sir Walter Scott's work.  I'd visit Stirling and Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Frith of Fourth.  I'd go on a week-long horseback tour (without a guide;) across the heather hills, and I'd stuff my suitcases with wool tartans, old books, a Robert Bruce medallion, and sweet-smelling gorse.  I'd take a thousand pictures:)  I'd visit my relations in the little Scottish hamlet of Pitlochry.
    And yes. I'd even try haggis.  With a little salmon to be on the safe side. . .!
     
    And, in addition to all that, I dream of visiting the other European countries - England, France, Germany, Austria, perhaps I'd even end up in Moscow!  And I'd love to go to Australia.  
    In short, some day I dream of traveling.  Everywhere.
    • What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
     Ancient history, 19th century England, and the early American West
    • You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert.  Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
    I love this question - so much "scope for the imagination!" =)  I think it would be fabulous to have an opportunity such as this... My act would consist of the Russian song I "composed" with Tasha, inspired from the movie "Fiddler on the Roof".  Performed by a select group of talented musicians I happen to be acquainted with - accordion, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and fiddle (and a kazoo) would round out the orchestra nicely... and all of the musicians would wear those wonderful knee-high boots and red sashes the Russians sported in the movie. ;D  
     
    Unless, that is, the banjo and accordion get thrown off a cliff. . .
     
    Inside joke.  I couldn't resist=)
    • If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?  
    Here is the question that inspired the Literary Heroine Blog Party!  For my birthday last year, I held such a party, and it was wonderful.  I attended as the Lady Marguerite Blakeney.  If I ever attended such a party again, I think I would choose to represent either Rowena of Rotherwood (Ivanhoe)  or perhaps Clotilde of Gaul (The Young Carthaginian). 
    • What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?  
    Dear me, what a question.  My sentiments are such that they quite overcome me, at times. . .*faints*  
    Seriously, I adore chocolate, and consider it something to be savored, not gobbled.  It is magnificent alone, awe-inspiring paired with cherries or ginger, and a masterpiece when combined with mint. . .
    • Favorite author(s)? 
    G.A. Henty, Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Baroness Orczy, Kate Seredy, and James Herriot, to name a few...
    • As a small, imaginative, red-haired damsel might query; would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?  Why?  
    Why do little girls ask such impossible questions?  Really, how to choose?  Now I know just how Matthew felt when Anne Shirley popped him that question! =)  When pressed, I believe I would rather be angelically good, as that would be of most use to those poor individuals that must live with me in this world. . .
    • In which century were most of the books you read written? 
    19th Century
    • In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 
    As another participant in the blog party has mentioned, there are many kinds of heroes.  However, the enigmatic, brilliant, selfless, and daring Scarlet Pimpernel - Sir Percy Blakeney, is my personal ideal of a true hero!
    • Describe your ideal dwelling place.  
    I am in love with architecture.  My father, being an excellent architect, among many o ther things, has always provided me with old, discarded house plans to draw on, and I have a whole box someplace filled with my own hand-drafted "house plans".  When my sister Ellen and I were small, one of our favorite games to play was "House Plan", where Miss Ellen would come to my "office" as a customer, and I would design her a dream house, complete with a price bid...=)  I think our houses were always fabulously expansive, as I recall one with the staggering sum of two hundred dollars!
     
    Anyway, my dream house is a combination of many styles, as I love such a variety of houses.  The main style would be best described as "Victorian Farmhouse" with an inviting white front porch, many gables, a sloping green lawn and orchard, with the dark, wild woods merging on the back pasture.  A fruitful, expansive garden, stone walls, climbing roses, a great big clothesline, and an outdoor canvas wall tent in the woods out back are to be seen in the summer, while everything sleeps under a hushed blanket of white, the huge, ancient red barn standing out in relief when the snow is on the ground.
     
    Shining, companionable horses, a few goats, a colorful flock of chickens, and  two loyal dogs also call this place their home, as do the cuddly, prowling barn cats.  
    As for the house itself, old barnwood, sanded to rustic smoothness, is my ideal flooring throughout, made warm and inviting with hand-braided rag rugs.  A library/ music room with floor to ceiling bookshelves and a bay window feature prominently on the main floor, while quaint, cozy bedrooms are waiting upstairs for family and friends to come visiting.  And a room. . .oh! what a room is in this house.  Filled with fabric, antique sewing machines, inspiring pictures, and a vintage dress form, this room is my studio.  Friends come over and have "sewing days," where we stitch on diverse projects and fellowship.  A walk-in panty filled with row upon row of home-canned goodness, winding, picture-lined halls, and a vintage redwood baby grand piano are important elements in my dream home, as is the buttercup yellow claw-foot soaking tub, a delightfully high, cluttered attic, a long, long driveway out to the populated country road, and good fishing, boating, and riding trails within walking distance.  A "Pie Cottage" sits out at the end of my lane - a small stone structure where friends and family can sell home baked pies and hand-crafted goods along the road front.
     
    I could go on and on, but I'll spare you.  
    Can you tell that I've given this house o' dreams quite a bit of thought over the years? =)
    • Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?  
    Not particularly, though I often amuse myself by naming the people around me with fictitious titles:)
    •  In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
    There are so many villains broadcast throughout literature, that I'm hav ing a difficult time selecting one!  I'm going with Messala, the loathsome Roman traitor of Lew Wallaces' Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.  
    What a villain. . . If you are not already acquainted with this charecter, I'll let the author himself introduce him to you in far better words than I could.
    • Three favorite Non-fiction books?  
    (Besides that most precious of all books, The Holy Bible) MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook - Adam's Synchronological Map of History - and A Chance to Die
    • Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
    Mmm... Summer.  How I long for thee!  There are many things I enjoy doing on a carefree summer afternoon, but right about now, I'd be sitting on the bank of a small, shady wooded lake with my toes in the water - a fishing pole in one hand, a book in the other.  Sunlight playing over the surface of the water, fish rising out in the middle of the lake.  Friends and family scattered about, happily occupying themselves.  Our drift boat spinning around on the other side of the lake, children splashing with the oars as they practice rowing.  Perhaps a picnic would come afterwards, then music, hymn singing, and laughter in the circle of firelight in our campfire in the dusk.  Bliss.
    • Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.
    No pun intended, but I'm a girl of many hats;)  One is very unique - a rattan pith helmet with leather strap.  Cool, comfortable, and flattering, this is the one you'll see me in when I'm adventuring.  I've had it called my Indiana Jones hat in the past (though I've never seen that film and don't intend to:).  The term makes me feel very daring and competent, however...=)  
    Another, a handmade, low-crowned, wide brimmed, quite lavishly decked brown silk and gold brocade sisal topped with rosettes and peacock plumes, is the one I wear when I'm in a historically-minded mood.  
    Still another, (and I don't own this one yet;), would be one of those cunning little hats from the 1940s - mine would be a white wool number, I think, with little silk rosebuds and grosgrain ribbon encircling the band, and a small bit of netting stitched around it.  Perched in the left side of my head.  And worn on all day in town.
     
    I just love hats!
    • Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
    So many significant things have happened this year that it's difficult to decide on the most significant!  Well, for starters, I've graduated from high school.  I travelled down to Arizona for a week in March with some dear friends, and my cousin from Maryland, whom we've not seen for four years paid us a wonderful visit in August, promising to bring his sister this year!  My Mother had a serious hip injury in December, and is still recovering - this event has truly deepened my trust in God's providential care.  Many other things have occurred that I am not at liberty to share here, but suffice to say that the Lord has done myriad mighty works in my life the past year.  Vive Ut Vivas!
    • Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
    "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 
    Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 
    The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 
    Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
    -Ephesians 1: 13-28
    • And lastly, as I am a rather businesslike hostess, may I ask you your views regarding those adorable little items - namely pin back and mirror back buttons?  1). Where would you choose to display a button badge to best showcase your unique style?  2). What image and/or sentiment would most make you smile were it inscribed on your very own compact mirror?
    Yes, my dear, certainly you may! =)
    1). I'd put it on my ukulele case with the rest of my collection! (actually, I have;)
    2). Well, besides what I have in the shop already, I have several new designs in the works that all make me smile hugely, as I hope they will you, also!
     
     
    .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.
     
    Thank you for reading, friends!
     
    And don't forget to join in the fun with your own answers!

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