Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Literary Heroine Blog Party 2014 | The Questions

It's been four years since the first Literary Heroine Blog Party.  I can scarce believe this tradition has grown so much!  It's been absolutely fantastic, as always, to read every one's posts and meet new friends.  Some of you have been with us for three, if not four, years, and to you I apologize for the unchanging question list.  I keep meaning to spice it up every year with some new questions, but never seem to think of any!  So if anyone has suggestions in that line, be sure to let me know.

As it is, I'm definitely keeping some of my answers unchanged from last year (and the year before... ahem), with perhaps some variations.  Here we go.

The Questions:

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!    I'm just a girl who wants to use this precious gift called life for the glory of God. 
 I'm enthralled with vintage photographs, foxes, homemade cheesecake, and shooting things.  With cameras, or bows, or a Winchester. 30.30.  Something bigger if you have one.  It all depends on the target.
A secret dream of mine is to clear a dance floor with my partner in the middle of an epic swing dance.  I want to own a Jeep grand Wagoneer with a roof rack.  Filmmaking is the ultimate.

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
To me, the essence of a true heroine lies 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 it ever does 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? 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! This year's nominees:

Esther Summerson of Beak House.  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 great 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 of 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. 

Sophy Stanton-Lacy of The Grand Sophy.  Sadly, there is no film adaptation of this brilliant and delicious regency romp, but I plan to fix that when I grow up.  (Oh, what I wouldn't give to cast Richard Armitage as Charles.)  Sophy is so relatable.  She's a heroine not only quite as adept at verbal riposte as Lizzie Bennet - she is both unconventional and unashamedly feminine, a fearless and competent horsewoman and markswoman, a loyal and generous friend, and is ridiculously tall and strong for a lady of the age.  Green is her favorite color.  She loves to play hostess and leads the world of fashion.  She is perceptive, tactful, more than a little forthright, and, at times, susceptible.  

[Illustration: "Good morning," said Belvane, recto]

Lastly, either Countess Belvane or 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 Librivox recording of this book over and over while working on projects.  It's fabulously brilliant and it never gets old.  Even after all these years.

Five of your favorite historical novels? 

Our Mutual Friend - it's brilliant Dickens at his best.
Gone with the Wind - it's a sweeping epic, an engrossing look into a decisive period in American history, and an amazing portrayal of human nature in all it's forms.
The Scottish Chiefs - William Wallace.  The Bruce.  Scotland.  Romantic heroism at it's finest and most outrageous.  Alba gu bràth!
The Chestry Oak - again, heroism and war and a gallant litte boy.  Folklore and sacrifice and a magnificent horse and celebrating the human spirit.
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 try 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? 
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 right 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.  Driving this:

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 
 Great Britain, the American west, and the Spanish Main - all through history

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.

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? 
 A Tilley hat. 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 enormous garden and a little 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.
But definitely this:

Sum up your fashion style in a simple sentence. 
Vintage inspired, feminine, practical, and lots of green, florals, and leather.

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) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson, 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, fun.  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. 
Bought a car.  Made new friends.  Drove and drove and did awesome things with dear friends, old and new.  Watched my business grow beyond my dreams.  Met a precious friend of years for the first time.  Assisted in a Bride kidnapping.  Went elk hunting.  Built a house.  Was in a car accident.  For starters.

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. 
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." --ll Tim. 1:7
"I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." --Psalm 34:4


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 join us yourself!

As always, I hope you're enjoying the Literary Heroine Blog Party as much as I am.  Thanks so much for reading!  


  1. Know something funny? For years and years, I wanted a Jeep. A RED Jeep with that squared off look like the one in your photo. Alas, family finances were such that it never came to pass and the new ones are not nearly as appealing in shape to me now. What a wonderful LHBP this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading so many entries! What is fun to watch is how so many different people choose the same authors and characters to list. Just another testimony to the appeal of the canons of classics over the generations!

  2. I just love reading through your answers! :-) Humm, more or different questions...
    What about a question like "if you could time-travel to one of your favorite books, which one, and what would you do there?"
    I think that would be quite entertaining!
    Sarah :-)

  3. I loved your answers, Kellie! :) Your humour and personality was warm throughout the whole thing....
    And I LOVED your definition of a heroine! :) And your dream home *swoon* Perfection. :)
    I'm going to be terribly rude *ahem* and leave the link to my answers here... I've tried multiple times to leave them on the linky-thing... but it doesn't seem to like my URL... :/ Anyway... :)

  4. I loved your answers and can't help feeling that we would be friends if we knew each other face to face. You should consider doing more posts about things like this, your interests, your dreams, your favorite books and characters, etc. They're always so interesting and you put your thoughts down so beautifully on "webpaper". LOL!
    Have a blessed day!

  5. Loved reading your answers, Kellie! I agree that "The Scottish Chiefs" is a truly epic story in so many ways. Have you ever read "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand? Except for one page, which is easy to skip, it is one of my very favorite books and I highly recommend it!

  6. Great answers! I feel bad now mine were so short.
    Glad to hear someone else uses Librivox while they work. I"m off to look up a couple new to me titles you mentioned! Thanks a bunch!

  7. Oh, The Cross and the Switchblade! Have you read the book by Nicky Cruz - whatever it's called in English? It involves running in the Czech title... I always liked that one even a teeny tiny bit more. It seemed better written, or it was better translated, I don't know; and maybe because it's one person's story, it felt more - personal. :D (I could not be a literature critic...)

    And even though our dream houses are in different parts of the world and rooted in different traditions, they seem to have a lot in common!

  8. Hi Kelly!
    I am considering learning how to play the dulcimer and I was wondering what kind would you recommend? I know there is a hammer dulcimer and all kinds! What would you recommend?

  9. The photo of the bookshelves? I want that too! I want built-in bookshelves in every room of my house. And, before long, I'll have to change "want" to "need," lol.

    Thanks again for hosting this! I've been looking forward to it all year :-)

  10. Ooh, it was fun to read the hostesses' answers! :) Mr. Thornton didn't end up on my list (and neither did Margaret Hale, because of the "five" limit ;), but he is definitely an interesting hero! My Mom and I watch N&S at least twice a year...
    Let us know if you go on that lovely coastal trip! It's a lovely area. Also, I've been to Samoa Cookhouse before. :)
    Sunday Best and All the Rest

  11. Hi Kellie! I really enjoyed reading your answers to all these interesting questions. I think I share a great deal of your interests, especially your literary interests. I really love your humour, too :)
    I decided to join the party, though I think I was a bit late in entering the contest. I really enjoyed answering the questions, though, anyway :) Here is a link to my answers...I submitted it in the linker, but I'm not sure if it'll show up...

    many blessings,


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