Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Literary Heroine Blog Party 2013 | The Questions

The Questions:

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! My name is Kellie. I've written quite a bit about myself over the years on this blog, and you can get a pretty good idea of who I am right here!
I'm just a girl who wants to use this precious gift called life for the glory of God.  I'm enthralled with accordions, Scotland, and, currently, vintage Mercedes.  Especially the 1963 190D, in mint green. :sigh:  I've been reading voraciously since I was four.  I got a chestnut Morgan when I was fourteen and taught him to take a bit.  I never quite taught him to behave, so he taught me to ride a bit better than I would have otherwise done, perhaps, by figuring out how to stay on as he tried to buck me off.  (I really got kinda good at it!)  He loved me and I adored him.  And I used to sit on his back out in the pasture and read The Lady of the Lake out loud, with all the voices.
I'm desperately trying to think of some new facts about myself that you mightn't know...

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
I think the essence of a true heroine stands in the fact that she is a true lady, in every sense which that wonderful word stands for.  I believe it takes far greater strength and courage to be a real lady then ever it would be to stand as a self-sufficient, self-centered, self-empowered feministic individual.
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 loves beauty, but she isn't afraid to get dirty, either, and she knows how to work.

She is courageous, because no matter what trials or dangers she must overcome, she knows her treasures are stored up where moth nor rust can corrupt. 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 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, learning from her mistakes. And ideally, she has a saving sense of humor!

A tall order, no? But by God's grace, I truly believe that each and every one of us has the power to become that heroine - a woman after God's heart. 

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

This is getting so hard!  I'm going to try to mix things up as much as possible from previous years - though some of the questions just don't need anything added to be just what I would want.  Anyway...  
I discovered Esther Summerson of Beak House this last year and she immediately shot to the list of my favorite heroines ever.  Her gentleness, her loving heart, and her quiet wisdom are spiced by a bit of over-exaggerated humility, which gives us a clue to her lovely sense of humor.  She also speaks her mind, especially when she sees something she perceives as wrong, which I appreciate.  And - not to give away any spoilers - when she undergoes a terrible trial destroying her beauty, she adjusts and moves on with her life to make it a more beautiful place in spite of her loss.  

Melanie Hamilton.  Also just discovered in the last year in Gone With the Wind, this woman is one of the most inspiring to me in all of literature.  Her life was so beautiful, her soul so strong in spite of being small and fragile all her life.  It's almost unbelievable how naive she could be, but somehow it worked.  She was so wrapped up in caring and protecting those she loved, during a time of incredible hardship and even danger, that nothing could stand between that and her stalwart heart. 

Ada Claire, also from Bleak House, won my heart as well - and it was not because of, but in spite of, her many charms.  She came across at first as the spoiled, petted darling, sheltered from every care.  But she developed into a strong, selfless woman with a mind of her own and a heart ready to make any sacrifice for those she loved.  
Lastly, either Countess Belvane and the Princess Hyacinth from A.A. Milne's Once on a Time.  Though antagonists, I love them both equally:)  Hyacinth is adorable, lovely, a little naive, and very determined, while Belvane is simply indescribable  She's bad... or is she?  She's magnificently bad, but somehow you simply love her anyway.  I listen to the Librovix recording of this book over and over while working on projects.  It's fabulously brilliant and it never gets old.
[Illustration: Title page, appears to be the King of Barodia] [Illustration: "Good morning," said Belvane, recto]

Five of your favorite historical novels? 
 five I haven't used before... 
Bleak House - it's brilliant Dickens at his best.
Gone with the Wind - it often gets a hard rap as a bad romance, but there so much more to it than that.  It's like saying the dictionary is boring because everything starts with L.
The Silver Sword - a longtime favorite of brave children and escapes and family and world war 2.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - what can I say?  It's brilliant Twain at his best!
National Velvet - it's british and improbable and whimsical and the writing style makes my heart sing.
(I adore Austen, Alcott, and Montgomery, of course, but I tried to choose lesser known favorites to share...)

Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? 
I think Melanie Hamilton gets this honor, for the reasons mentioned above.

Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 
Mr. Guppy from Bleak House!  He's awkward, adorable, pitiful, a little bit vulgar, and oh so hopeful.
Runners up is Mrs. Brown from National Velvet.  She's a tower of strength and acerbic wit.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 
My ultimate, lifelong dream trip would be to Scotland - and I would do everything. Even Haggis. :)
But just about now, I'm really wanting to go on a simple car trip down the Oregon Coast - Hwy 101-  with friends.  Salt water taffy, sand in your shoes, Paul Bunyan, the Samoa Cookhouse, singing in the car going through the Redwoods, photographing the sunsets and shore.  Ideally, driving my vintage Mercedes.

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 
 That is a hard one!  Currently, I've been on a Dickens and Regency binge.

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? 
 I think a rendition of 'On How To Be Lovely' (Funny Face - Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson) with Tasha would be perfect. Wearing blue fringed tablecloths, of course.  I get stage fright, but I really love to perform, too:)

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 
Lady Marguerite Blakeney, as I'm simply dying for an excuse to get out this dress again!

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
 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. . . oh, and I am very much in love with chocolate mint oolong tea and hot coca. 'S like heaven.

Favorite author(s)? 
 G.A. Henty, Sir Walter Scott, Kate Seredy, Baroness Orczy, James Herriot, Jane Austen, Marguerite Henry, Charles Dickens, L.M Montgomery, L.M. Alcott, Georgette Heyer, Laura Ingalls Wilder,A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter, and Margery Sharp, to name a few. . .

Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? 
  The perfect wardrobe. A ukulele, I think... And this, in chestnut. Yes please...
(Camera and good traveling companions are essentials!)

In which century were most of the books you read written? 
19th century

In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 
There are so many ultimate heroes in literature - but for me, there's no one who can touch Sir Percy Blakeney.  He is, in a word, magnificent. Besides the charms of his excellent sense of humor, daring mind, manly strength, and indomitable spirit, he is incredibly brave, always cheerful, and possess a driving vision which nothing on earth can make him stray from.
Oh, yes... 
Runner up is John Thornton - I deeply admire his strength, wisdom, and spotless honor, as well as the tenderness waiting deep in his heart. (R.A, you also have a voice that melts my heart...!)
And Jack Worthing... I stuck you in here because your portrayal by Colin Frith (who wants Mr. Darcy, anyway?;) is adorable, and I love a hero who is inordinately hilarious and can make music. The End. 

Describe your ideal dwelling place. 
 Filled with family and friends.  An old, well loved country victorian/farmhouse, rich with memories.
A wrap around porch...wood floors...window seats...an enormous garden and a little farm...music...nooks and crannies...fabric, notions, and antiques galore...a glorious kitchen and a wonderful pantry...a claw foot tub...and books. books everywhere. Cozy. Creative. Warm. Productive.That's my House o' Dreams. On a majestic, tree and meadow-lush piece of North Idaho. 

Sum up your fashion style in a simple sentence. 
Vintage inspired, feminine, practical, and lots of green.  I do love green.

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... 
I'm ging with Masala from Ben-Hur... the way he turned on the friend of his childhood was villainous enough, but everything he did after that was despicable, dastardly, and evil to the last degree.

Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
 (Besides that most precious of all books, The Holy Bible) How to Grow Your Handmade Business, Steps in Time by Fred Astaire, and Webster's 1828 dictionary.

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 
 I'd go to our favorite spot on the lake, Talache, with a picnic hamper and accordion, my family and friends.  First swimming, then food, followed by a good ol' jam session.  Summer, come quickly!

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. 
 I love hats. I could describe half a dozen that I could call my favorite, but for this question, I think my beloved rattan pith helmet describes my personality best. It's sturdy, practical, and cute:)  It can go on Safari or attend a tea party with equal class, and is rather unique. 

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 
Learning how to grow my online business.  Epic road trip with my brother.  DSLR camera!!  Macbook!  Learning to overcome what can't be changed, to march forward boldly and change what I can.  Looking to buy my first car.
And lastly, a new hair cut.  Big stuff.

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. 
Luke 6:45 and Matthew 6:33 have been on my heart often lately.

If you haven't yet, be sure to go take a look at the rest of the fun Here! Enter the giveaway, visit other participants, and even join us yourself!

I hope you're enjoying the literary Heroine Blog Party as much as I am!  So many new faces and blogs to discover and new books to share!

I had so many post ideas and things to share during the LHBP, but it's just been so crazy here.  That means we have some really fabulous stuff yet to look forward to... hopefully soon:)


  1. Marguerite Henry and James Herriot! Why didn't I list them with my favorite authors? Next year. And I'll add Jim Kjelgaard while I'm at it.

    And Masala! Definitely villainous.

    I love your idea of a house -- I realized I should have described mine more fully. Next year! But window seats... I long to have a window seat; it's one of my home's few flaws.

    1. Marguerite Henry and James Herriot are some of the best, aren't they? I need to look up Jim Kjelgaard, as I haven't heard of him before...

  2. This has been such an interesting party with so many responses! It just goes to show that the world is full of great books with inspiring characters that absorb us within their pages. Thank you for making all of the posts available for all to enjoy!! I loved your thought about a vintage green Mercedes Benz ! Talk about cool and classy! I wonder if such cars are worth having these days given the limited places that could do repairs to keep it going . But , it is a classic and would be fun to own for a spin down the Oregon coast with the breeze in your window!

    1. I've seen a couple for sale, but they're just not practical for a first car, as I have no one to help me tinker on one:) But someday...!

  3. LOVE your list of heroines!! Melanie...I should have had her on my list. Oh well. I like my list;)
    It's always so much fun reading your answers and seeing how similarly we answered the questions. *grin*
    Love you,

    1. I know, right? Oh well. I do too;) (like your list...)

  4. I just watched Bleak House fairly recently myself. It was a really good show and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Esther was such a neat girl. <3
    John Thornton. *Sigh* He is really one of the best characters ever. North and South is sort of my 'go to' BBC drama.


    1. Esther is great. Wasn't Mr. Guppy adorable?
      North and South is definitely one of my 'go to' BBC dramas, as well. It's just so good.

  5. I was really blanking on heroes and villains. I cannot believe I didn't even think of the Percy! Of, course he is an excellent example of a hero. I have only seen the movie Ben Hur and don't remember most of it-except that Masala was evil but very handsome...and Charleston Heston was a dork.

    1. The movie is very good, but nowhere near the book. (surprise, surprise!;) Haha - I'm with you on Charleston Heston... I guess he was great in a way, but dork somehow fits:)

  6. So fun! I agree Melanie is one of my favorite literary heroines too. She is such a beautiful example of godly womanhood and strength.

    1. She's such an inspiration - I wish there were more like her, myself included.

  7. Kellie, dear. Perhaps I'm the only one. But when, oh, when will you post pictures of your haircut? I'm on pins and needles over here!

    1. I'm so sorry, dear Libby! I wouldn't keep you on pins and needles for the world. Soon... soon! As soon as I can figure out how to make it behave itself properly... lol.

  8. This blog party is such a great way to get new book recommendations! I'm wondering how I missed the fact that A.A. Milne wrote anything other than Winnie-the-Pooh. I'm so excited to try that one out. :-) I also need to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court... it's been on my miles-long "to be read" list for years, but I think I'm going to pick it up soon.

    1. I was so excited to discover that A.A. Milne had far greater claims to genius than Winnie-the-Pooh (which is completely adorable!) OoaT is so wonderful:) Definitely read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court soon! Prepare to laugh... hard:)

  9. I looooovvvveee your definition of a true heroine. And Melanie Hamilton! I have never read the book, but I loved her character in the movie. :) And, yes, I am on pins and needles, too, to see your new haircut! :)

    Joyfully, Whimsey Keith

    1. Thanks so much! Olivia was so perfect for the role, wasn't she?
      Roger that - asap :)

    2. Ohhhh, yes. She was sublime. :)

  10. A diesel Mercedes would be really cool, especially in green. Make sure to get one with matching hubcaps. Those are so classy.
    Of course you'll need a good set of metric wrenches to keep it running. In weird sizes, too. The Germans used completely different sized fasteners than the Japanese. And don't even bother with the newer American cars and their mishmash of SAE and metric. I'm an old-school guy and prefer the English measurements, but if they're gonna go metric they might as well do it completely. There's nothing worse than swapping out the alternator on your brother's Mercury and finding out you need both a 16mm socket and a 1/2" wrench. Yuck!

    1. Matching hubcaps are the last word in classy... and I'm hoping for whitewalls, too.
      Thanks for pointing out the metric issue - I hadn't thought of that. The joys of the free market!

  11. Sir Percy is quite the favored hero around these parts I'm learning! I must confess to not having read about him. But I'm thinking I need to change that statistic. And soon! :) Oh my goodness, R.A.'s voice does melt chocolate doesn't it? ;) Mr. Thornton is a very swoon-worthy hero. I don't know anything about Bleak House either. Another book to add to my pile.

    Thanks for such a fun party Kellie! I've enjoyed meandering around everyone's answers. And meeting such lovely girls around the blogosphere. It's made February so much more fabulous! (The only problem I found is that my pile of to-reads has gotten a lot taller in the last couple weeks! ;P )

  12. Kellie, that picture of the house is almost exactly how I picture my own Home o' Dreams! Just add bay windows, a deck on top of the porch and ancient willow trees around it, and voila! Uncanny....

    OK, it occurs to me that I NEED to read about this fellow Sir Percy alias The Scarlet Pimpernel everyone is raving about. I say that every year, but this time, perhaps I'll actually do it! ;-) Actually, several books....

    QUOTE: "Seriously, I adore chocolate, and consider it something to be savored, not gobbled."
    Amen! Although it is hard at times not to gobble, when one has been without for a long time. *Halo* All the more reason to savor every bit and make it last as long as possible, wot?

    God bless,

  13. Kellie,
    We just watched North and South and I was taken with Esther Summerson and the actor who played Nicholas Higgins. I don't get to watch many movies, but it was excellent. So much about the true state of man's heart and dreams.

    What fun to read along on this post and learn of your love of Scotland. We went two years ago, and it is majestic, stark, bold, and cold, but filled with strong and resolute people. They often have a twinkle in their eye! I do hope you can go soon. May the Lord bless you, dearie!

  14. I missed this year's entries. Maybe because I've been reading too many books! I have read three Dickens and five Austens since the new year began, just closing up the end of Persuasion a few minutes ago. I'll have to read everyone's posts and find some "new" things to read.

  15. Love Bleak House and Mr. Guppy!! :)


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