Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Deliciously Fun Tag

Charity U over at Austenitis has tagged me!

This is a forty-four step tag-- you tell eleven random things about yourself, answer eleven questions posed by the person who tagged you, make up eleven questions of your own and then tag eleven people to answer those questions.  Don't worry, it takes a lot less time than you might think.

Eleven random things about myself (ugh, this part is always the hardest):

1. My left ring finger is crooked.  Not drastically so, but the top section of it bends to the right.
2. I love practically all herbal and fruit-flavored teas-- except for peach tea.  Can't stand that one.
3. Last week I went to a movie theater for the very first time in my entire life.  (My sister and I and our grandparents went to see the Royal Ballet company do Romeo and Juliet, and it. was. amazing.  I'm not much of a ballet fan, but I LOVED that performance.)
4. I have dislocated my elbow twice, but have never broken a bone.
5. I am exactly five and a half feet tall.
6. I visited the White House during the Bush administration (the second Bush, obviously) and I saw the presidential dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley, live and in person dog.
7. I am deathly afraid of heights, and we are talking pure, unadulterated, shaking-in-my-shoes TERROR here.  You couldn't get me to go up in the Empire State Building even if you bribed me with dark chocolate.
8. One of my pipe dreams is to act in a Broadway musical someday.  You can have eighteen guesses as to which one. :P
9. I like smilies and emoticons and use them frequently.   Mostly for the purpose of driving my sister nuts.  (She hates them.)
10. Rex the dinosaur (from Toy Story) is probably my favorite animated character ever.  "Hey, how do you spell FBI???"   "Oh great.  Now I have guilt!"  (And the fact that he was voiced by Vizzini makes him doubly funny...)

And now for a fact that isn't particularly random, but I thought I'd stick it here nonetheless...
11.  My parents have given me permission to post my first name on my blog, so now the Mystery Will Be Revealed.  (I still like using Miss Dashwood, of course, but I think it would be nice if y'all knew me by a slightly less formal handle.)

My first name is...

No, peoples, my first name is not Little.  Nice try.  Very funny.  Nope, my name is Amy.  It's short for Amelia, so you can call me Miss Warne if you want, but I usually go by Amy.  And of course you can still call me Miss Dashwood if you like.  But now you have a choice of options. :D

And now for Charity's eleven questions:

1. What’s your favorite breakfast food?
I adore yogurt of any kind (Greek is best, though), fruit is my passion and I'm quite fond of bagels.  And omelets. Breakfast and I are on very good terms. Actually, food and I are on pretty good terms, in general.  :D

2. What’s your favorite book by Jane Austen?
Pride and Prejudice.  Hands down.

3. What’s your favorite period drama?
I have to choose one?? All right, since Jane Austen adaptations are covered in another question, I'll say Little Dorrit (2008).

4. What’s your favorite book by a more modern author?
Hmm... I'd have to say At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon.

5. What’s your favorite kind of chip?
"Zest of Lime" white corn tortilla chips.  That is snack heaven.

6. What’s your favorite fast food restaurant?
I really don't like fast food.  I know I sound like a health freak (which I'm not, haha) but it's quite true.  If I had to choose, though, it would probably be Arby's.

7. What’s your favorite classic book not by Jane Austen?
That's a toss-up between Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.

8. What’s your favorite Jane Austen film adaption?
Pride and Prejudice 1995 and Emma 2009 tie for that spot.

9. What’s your favorite movie soundtrack?
Is it cheating to say Les Miserables? Because technically the movie hasn't even come out yet, but I have the soundtrack to the 10th Anniversary Concert DVD... and so that's a soundtrack.   I have the funniest feeling that Charity wasn't referring to musicals in this question... oh well. :D

10. What’s your favorite place to read?
In bed at night with a cup of tea.

11. What’s your favorite thing to blog about?
Characters from my favorite books and movies.  I love people and I love classic literature and I love period drama, so the three combine to make my favorite blogging topic!

Now for my eleven questions:
1. Describe your dream pair of shoes.
2. What's your favorite children's picture book?
3. What's your favorite fruit?
4. How tall are you? (I always like to know how tall people are-- not sure why.  Don't worry, I'm not asking for your weight... and if you feel it's an invasion of your privacy to post your height, you can substitute a picture of a cute kitten for this question.)
5. If money was no object, where would you like to go on your honeymoon?
6. Who is your favorite singer?
7. What's the next book on your to-read list?
8. What's your biggest language-related pet peeve? (i.e., what phrases or words bug you the most?)
9. Which movie lines do you quote the most? (share as many or as few as you like)
10. If you could wear any outfit from a movie for a day, what would you choose?
11. What's your favorite dessert?

And I tag eleven people (in alphabetical order, haha, because I like things to be Done Decently And In Order)...

  1. Abby at Newly Impassioned Soul
  2. Ally at Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows
  3. Anne-girl at Scribblings of my Pen
  4. Hayden at Story Girl
  5. Lauren at Books, Fashion and Tea
  6. Maria Elisabeth at Miss Georgiana Darcy
  7. Melody at Regency Delight
  8. Miss Laurie at Old-Fashioned Charm
  9. Petie at Dirt and Dickens
  10. Stephanie at Eccentricitee
  11. The Young Sage at The Society of Random People (sorry Anne, you have to do double-time)

That was fun!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Something Delightful

A couple of weeks ago, my blogging friend Payton hosted a bookmark giveaway over at her blog, Dirt and Dickens.  I entered (naturally--- I always enter giveaways, though I almost never win them) and since I wasn't expecting to win, I won.  Okay, maybe that wasn't why I won, but it did happen that way.  :D  Thank you so much, Petie!

The prize for the giveaway was one of the lovely lettered bookmarks that Payton creates, and the winners got to choose what they wanted their bookmarks to say.  I don't know what the other winner chose, but I picked a classic catchphrase from one of my favorite movies, and Payton made it up into a simply delightful bookmark! Check it out...

Here you can see the bookmark gracing the spine of one of my favorite books.  The quote comes from the movie and not the book, but... hush.

I'm really looking forward to using this bookmark as I improve my mind (heehee).  Right now I'm on page 172 of The Princess Bride, so I can't really say I'm improving my mind, but I'm definitely getting a good laugh out of the experience.  (If you liked the movie, go read the book posthaste.)

But I'm not here to talk about TPB; I'm here to talk about my bookmark.  It's adorable, of course, but that's not the only reason I like it.  It also fits nicely into my book without leaving creases or marks, and it doesn't bend or pinch the spine in any way.  Plus, I am quite sure it will prove to be a good conversation starter.  :D

Is this post a shameless plug for Payton's bookmark shop, you might ask?  Why, wherever would you get such an idea as that? *wide-eyed innocence*  Shamelessly or not, (you can draw your own conclusions) I do encourage y'all to hop on over to Payton's shop and order your own personalized elastic bookmark today!

P.S. Oh, and she isn't paying me to say all this, just so ya know-- these are my own completely unbiased opinions about her product.  Which I love. And you will too, so go click that link.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beautiful People: Rodney and Elizabeth

It's been quite a while since I posted anything about my NaNoWriMo story (possibly owing to the fact that NaNoWriMO was four months ago), but I've been wanting to do a Beautiful People thingy with one of my characters for quite some time.  The only problem was, I couldn't decide which character to do, but this month's questionnaire solved everything.  March's Beautiful People is on relationships, and you can fill it out for any two of your characters that have a special kind of relationship (romantic, familial, friendship, whatever). 

Elizabeth Sophia Markette and Rodney Edgerton Burke are the male and female protagonists of Only a Novel, and naturally they end up together at the end.  (There, I just spoiled it for you.  Abject apologies. :P) I could go on and on and on, but I'll just answer the questionnaire for now and then if you're confused you can leave a comment and I'll do my best to clear things up.  

I do, however, wish to take a teeny moment and squeal with delight over the fact that I have found Elizabeth! There are few moments more glorious than that one where you know you are staring straight into the face of your character.  Now at last I can actually look at her and picture her saying the things I want her to say, etc. etc. etc.

Here she is, folks-- Miss Elizabeth Markette, in the flesh digital photo.  To some of you, she may be recognizable as Bella Wilfer from Our Mutual Friend  but to me she's Elizabeth.  To a T.  Except for her hair-- Elizabeth's supposed to be a dark blonde, but I can imagine her hair as being different than what it really is.  A certain literary heroine of which we know of was quite good at doing that sort of thing. :D

And to make things fair and even, here's Rodney, too.  Who you may already know as Roger Hamley from Wives and Daughters.  Rodney's actually a cross between Roger Hamley and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey, but this picture best fits my mental image of him.

Without further ado, the Questions.

1. Do they believe in anything that most people think is impossible?

Hmm... well, Rodney is an incurable optimist.  Elizabeth is more cautious and not too quick to believe in anything just at first (except for storybook endings, haha).  But as for believing in the impossible... not particularly.

2. Are they strong, or the "damsel/knight in distress" sort?

Ha.  HAHAHAHAHA.  Sorry.  I'm just getting too much amusement out of picturing Elizabeth as a damsel in distress and Rodney being Knightley and rescuing her... I think even Elizabeth would find that far-fetched.  And as for the idea of Rodney being a knight in distress... HA.

They found Mercy in tears—Mercy who supposedly never cried. Something cold and hard and terrifying settled in Elizabeth’s stomach.
“Mercy… what’s wrong?”
She didn’t appear ill or injured. It wasn’t Rodney, of course—it couldn’t be, because nothing bad ever happened to Rodney. Ever.

3. Do they have a special place? (e.g. a corner in his/her bedroom, under a tree...)

The place where they spend the most time together would definitely be the Crimps' stable.  Rodney works there, taking care of the horses and cleaning the stalls and whatnot, and Elizabeth brings the children she teaches (Jonathan and Isabelle Crimp) out to see the horses every so often.  Increasingly more often as the story goes on.  Heehee.

4. What occupation do they have, or plan on having?

Rodney is a carriage driver, gardener, groom, parrot catcher and man-of-all-work for Mr. and Mrs. Crimp.  (I think Mr. Crimp has a first name, but I can't remember what it is.  Dear, dear.)  Elizabeth is the governess for Mr. and Mrs. Crimp's two older children.  (The Crimps also have a two-year-old named Maria but she's of little importance.)

5. Describe their current place of residence.

Rodney lives with his little sister in a tiny apartment above the stable.
The apartment above the stables bordered on sparse. One room served as a sort of dining kitchen, and two doors opened off it into what Elizabeth presumed were bedrooms. “I cook our meals in here,” Mercy explained, “on Evangeline, and—”
“Evangeline?” It was rude to interrupt, but curiosity often overpowered manners.
“Oh, that is what we call our lumpy old stove. She is anything but sweet and dainty as the name might suggest, so one day Rodney was in a perverse mood and dubbed her Evangeline after Longfellow’s heroine, and the name stuck.”
(I'm not especially fond of this part because I think it sounds forced, but I haven't had time to revise it because I promised myself I would kill my inner editor and JUST WRITE the rest of the story before I started revising. :P  But I included that excerpt anyway because it's the only thing I have describing where Rodney lives.  I'm not big on description, in case you couldn't tell.)

Elizabeth has a small, whitewashed bedroom in the servants' quarters of the Crimp home. The room is uncarpeted and there are no pictures on the walls, but that's her own fault because she hasn't bothered to put any up.
 Elizabeth put down her pen and stared moodily at the wall. Heroines in novels always gazed wistfully out of the window, but the tiny table in her tiny bedroom faced the wall, not the window.

6. Explain their last crisis. How had they changed when they came out of it?

Heehee.  Well... for starters I suppose I should say that Only a Novel isn't a crisis-y kind of story.  It's about normal people, in a normal setting, who do normal, everyday things.  Because that's the kind of story I like to read, y'all, and so that's the kind of story I write.

But anyway, even though there are no death-defying rescues or heart-stopping disasters in my novel, there are quite a few crises in the form of Uncomfortable Moments.  Because, y'know, Uncomfortable Moments can seem like crises at the time.  And believe me, Elizabeth and Rodney (well, Elizabeth anyway) have (has) quite a few of those.  (This may or may not be because I get an evil delight out of putting my poor characters into cringe-inducing situations.  Muwahahahaha.)

To actually answer the question that's been posed, the last crisis Elizabeth and Rodney went through would probably be the ultra-awkward afternoon when Elizabeth ran smack into her friend Lavinia at Kensington Gardens.  Ran smack into her quite literally, I might add.  Elizabeth had taken Jonathan and Isabelle to the Gardens as per Mrs. Crimp's orders, and Rodney came along.  To drive the carriage, you know.  Anyway, the kids brought a kite with them, and... here.  It's easier to just throw in an excerpt than to recap it all. :)

“I want to fly the kite,” Isabelle piped up.
“It’s mine,” said Jonathan, “and I will get the first turn.” He glanced back at Elizabeth. “Just let me run ahead a tiny bit, Miss Markette.”
“As long as you stay within my sight,” Elizabeth conceded.
“No, you come with us,” Jonathan urged. “Cassandra and Maria [the baby and her nursemaid, reverse respectively] can poke along here as slowly as they want. You come with us, and you can toss up for me.”
“Toss up?” Elizabeth had never tossed up a kite before. Grandfather had always done it for her when they went out together, and after Grandfather’s death she had been too old to fly kites.
“I’ll do it,” Rodney offered, appearing rather disconcertingly at Elizabeth’s elbow. “No one is going to steal the brougham, and I’d be far more interested in helping with a kite than watching Virgil and Opus bite grass and chew it at each other all morning.”
Elizabeth had almost forgotten about Rodney. It would indeed be rather dull for him to stay with the horses all day while she and the children roamed the gardens. She was not entirely sure about the propriety of flying kites with a stable hand in public, but a cursory look around her convinced her that no one would be witnessing the unladylike deed.

So they fly the kite and have a great deal of fun, but then Jonathan and Isabelle start fighting, which turns into a Heart-Stopping Chase Scene (okay, so maybe it isn't heart-stopping, but it IS a chase) which turns into Elizabeth's tearing after them to tell them to stop running (haha).  And she ends up practically knocking down her friend Lavinia Solange Vivian Bancroft, who just happened to be out walking with her Auntie.  (This is getting long-- I'd better wrap it up.)

At any rate, Elizabeth is much mortified, and Lavinia is even more mortified at the idea of her particular friend racing around in a public place in the company of a stable hand.  So naturally she is quite cool and frosty to poor Elizabeth.  Rodney, of course, is completely unfazed and seems to think the whole thing rather funny, but Elizabeth wants nothing more than to go home and thunk her head against the wall.  In frustration, you know.  What comes of all this is, actually, a bit of a light-bulb moment for Elizabeth.  It's the beginning of the end of her uppity-ness (a big problem at the beginning of the story) because it begins to show her that Lavinia's attitude towards people-of-the-working-class is silly and snobby, and that she (Elizabeth) has been behaving in the exact same way without realizing it.

Long answer, there.
Oh, and as for Rodney-- for him it just provided some amusement.  And a chance to show Miss Bancroft that stable hands are gentlemen, too, because of course he was unflinchingly polite and didn't laugh until it was all over.

7. If they could drive any kind of car they wanted, what would it be?

There were no such things as cars in 1881 or 1882, so... next, please.

8. How do they deal with change?

They're both pretty good with change.  Elizabeth, at the beginning of the story, is faced with the loss of her grandmother (her guardian) and utter financial ruin.  She takes the whole thing in stride and sets out to earn her own living.  With a few romantic notions, of course, that get a bit ka-squooshed as time goes on.  It's a learning experience. :)

Rodney lost both his parents when he was still a teenager, as well as his family's estate, and like Elizabeth he didn't let it get him down.  He simply went looking for work and did his best with what he had and didn't waste time feeling sorry for himself.  (Did I mention I liked this guy?)

9. If they had to amputate one body part, which one would they choose?

To quote Anne-girl, "Gross!" Um, probably a foot?  Neither of them would take kindly to giving up their hands.

10. What would their favorite be at the local coffee shop?

Rodney takes his coffee black, with sugar (yes, there's a little of me in him) and Elizabeth would probably take hers black without sugar.  They're not the creamer type.

The questions about their relationship.

1. How did they meet?

They met when Elizabeth first came to work for the Crimps-- she was out taking a stroll around the garden and tripped over the gardener.  The rest, as they say, is history. :D

She was just beginning to calm down again when she found herself stumbling over a person kneeling at the edge of one of the flowerbeds. The person, oddly enough, seemed to be talking to the flowerbed.
It was a young man, dressed in rough outdoor clothes: obviously the gardener. He jumped up immediately to apologize. “I’m so sorry, I had no idea anyone was out here,” he said. In his left hand he held a trowel and in the right, a large garden toad.
Elizabeth was not afraid of most wild creatures, but the sight of the toad so startled her that she nearly screamed. Of course she did not do such an indecorous thing, but she came very close. “Er, no, I beg your pardon,” she said, swallowing twice. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.” Her eyes were glued to the toad, which blinked at her quite sleepily and rearranged himself more comfortably in the young man’s hand.
“Allow me to introduce my friend,” said the young man with a courtly bow, removing his hat. “This is the Toad Who Inhabits The Back Garden. I haven’t actually named him yet, but if you have a suggestion I’d be most eager to hear it.”

2. How do these two deal with conflict?

With each other, or conflict in general?  Elizabeth doesn't like confrontation and will most likely back out of an argument if things get heated. Rodney doesn't go looking for a fight, but he will stick to his guns and not back down when something important is at stake.  "I will never sacrifice truth on the altar of politeness. But I will also do my best to be civil at all times."

3. Do they have a special song, phrase, item, or place?

Well, they don't, but I as their author do... the song "I See The Light" usually comes to mind when I'm writing about their relationship.  Just... because. :)

4. What kind of things do they like to do together?

Talk about books.  Talk about life in general.  Laugh.

5. Describe their relationship as a whole in 3 words or less.

Took long enough!
(That's a slightly paraphrased quote from Rodney's sister Mercy, by the way. :D)

And to cap it all off, I present you with a picture of the lovely couple.  I amaze myself with my amazing Photoshopping skills at times.  Quite lovely, no? (It's okay.  You can say no.  I won't die of anguish.  Well, I might, but I won't tell you and so you won't feel bad.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sink Me, Miss Dorrit

I'm participating again in Miss Elizabeth Bennet's delightful Period Drama Advice Event.  This time, the advice-seeking letter comes from one of my favorite period drama characters of all time.  So I decided to reciprocate by writing an advice letter from another of my favorite characters... I only hope I did him justice.  At least a little.  

Dear Period Drama Advice Column,

I received a proposal from a dear friend of mine, John Chivery. I refused him because I do not love him. I am very fond of John, but I could never feel that way about him. I wish I could; it distresses me to see him unhappy, but I can’t love him — not in that way, not to be his wife. I would rather stay and look after my father than marry someone I do not love. I hope he will find a good wife one day because he deserves one. I am in love with another man, Arthur Clennam, but he is in love with someone else who I don’t know. And now because I refused John, everybody is unhappy or angry with me. What should I do?

Amy Dorrit

My dear Miss Dorrit,

Asking me for advice, what? Sink me, I'm far too embarrassed... well, if you insist.

How very troubling this all sounds.  'Twould seem your friend Mr. Chivery is in some distress, and though you might at first be inclined to go to the rescue, I would not advise it.  It sounds as though the man isn't even capable of tying his own cravat.

You will think now, Miss Dorrit, that I am not serious, but I tell you I am. Deadly serious. And if you think I don't know the meaning of love... well, you are wrong on that point. Quite wrong. You cannot marry a man you do not love, mademoiselle, and you will only set yourself up for unhappiness.  No, no, it will not do.  You must refuse this Mr. Chivery as kindly as you can; it is not fair to him if you cannot love him as he loves you.  Or is, love, too, a crime these days?

I' faith, mademoiselle, I do wish I could see your face as you read this letter and the contrast between the beginning and the end.  Let that be a lesson to you, Miss Dorrit. Never take anyone for granted.
You needn't ask for my identity-- I am a phantom, my lady.  Nothing more than a phantom.

Yours sincerely,

They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven? or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Anne of Green Gables Week: Recap and Quiz Answers

Well, Anne of Green Gables Week has come to a close, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I learned quite a bit over the past few days--namely, that there are far more Anne fans out there than I once thought, that y'all are quite amazing (not that I didn't already know that) and lastly, that I shall never again try to host a blog party during the school year. *flops exhaustedly across keyboard* alkjdfljajijooijaw niojweraijrewoljr

(That was me flopping exhaustedly across the keyboard.)

This week at Yet Another Period Drama Blog, we had...
~Anne of Green Gables Tag Questions
~A review of Anne of Green Gables (1985)
~An AGG-novels quote quiz
~A character study of Anne Shirley
~A guest post about Road to Avonlea (by Melody of Regency Delight)
~A guest post about kindred spirits (by Anne-girl of Scribblings and Tappings)
~A character study defending Gilbert Blythe
~A comparison of AGG and Little Women
~A review of Anne of Avonlea (1975)
~A dream casting for a Rilla of Ingleside movie

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the Anne Week tag! I was quite surprised and delighted at the number of people who took the time to answer the questions, and I enjoyed reading each and every one.  I've provided links below-- if you don't see yours, give a holler in the comments and I'll link up to you!

Bekah at Everyday Faith
Sarah Grace at Reliving a Legacy
Lorren at The Story Girl
Lit~Lass at Frigate to Utopia
Miss Laurie at Old-Fashioned Charm
Alexandra at Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows
Ella at The Door in the Air
Marcia at Enchanted Musings
Maria Elisabeth at Miss Georgiana Darcy
Hayden at Story Girl
Rachel at The Inkpen Authoress
Leanna at Adventures From an Adventurous Girl
"Victoria Wilcox" at The Society of Random People (VW is a fictional character in one of my sister's novels, FYI)
Hanne-col at Ain't We Got Fun
Eowyn at Inklings Press
Melody at Regency Delight
Rachel Olivia at Rose Petals and Faerie Dust
Jemimah C. at Beautiful Blank Pages

And I came across some other extremely lovely Anne-related posts in my blog-hopping this past week! I've linked to the posts I read below, and if you posted something about Anne that you don't see here, please do leave a URL in a comment so we can all enjoy your post.

Lessons Learned from Anne Shirley by Lorren
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story- A Review by Alexandra
Anne Week! by Stephanie
Happy Pye Day! by Anne-girl
Anne and Gilbert - Or Random Gushing by Alexandra

And now for the results for the Quote Quiz... I am quite pleased to announce that Anne-girl (heehee, how fitting) is the winner, with 23 points! Congratulations, Anne-girl!

Here are the full quotes with full citations, for those of you who Want To Know:

"I suppose Whiskers-on-the-moon thought he might curry favour with me by praising the creature, little dreaming what my real sentiments towards it were, so he stuck out his pudgy hand and stroked [the cat's] back. 'What a nice cat,' he said. The nice cat flew at him and bit him."
~Susan Baker, Rilla of Ingleside

"If a person sorter sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same ideas about things, and the same taste in jokes—why, then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph."
~Captain Jim, Anne's House of Dreams

"And I took the gum out of my mouth for the last hymn and stuck it on the back of the pew in front of me. Then I came away and forgot it. I went back to get it the next morning, but it was gone. I suppose Rod Warren swiped it. And it was a dandy chew."
~Jerry Meredith, Rainbow Valley

"You love it. Does that mean that you really love it? Or that you merely like the looks of it? The girls nowadays indulge in such exaggerated statements that one never can tell what they do mean. It wasn't so in my young days. Then a girl did not say she loved turnips, in just the same tone as she might have said she loved her mother or her Savior."
~Miss Patty, Anne of the Island

"She'd (Dora Keith is "she", by the way) behave just as well if there wasn't a soul to tell her what to do. She was born already brought up, so she doesn't need us; and I think that we always love best the people who need us."
~Anne Shirley, Anne of Avonlea 

"My doll hath been tooken ill. I mutht put her to bed and thtay with her. Maybe it'th ammonia."
~Rilla Blythe, Anne of Ingleside

"There's an awful lot of things it's wrong to do. I never s'posed there was so many. I'm sorry it's wrong to tell whop... falsehoods, 'cause it's awful handy, but since it is I'm never going to tell any more. What are you going to do to me for telling them this time? I want to know."
~Davy Keith, Anne of Avonlea

"Would you believe it?--it took me half an hour to decide which hat to wear when I was coming here--here, to a graveyard! At first I inclined to my brown one with the feather; but as soon as I put it on I thought this pink one with the floppy brim would be more becoming. When I got it pinned in place I liked the brown one better. At last I put them close together on the bed, shut my eyes, and jabbed with a hat pin. The pin speared the pink one, so I put it on. It is becoming, isn't it? Tell me, what do you think of my looks?"
~Philippa Gordon, Anne of the Island

"I suppose you do not remember the time your mother spanked you either. I shall never, no never, forget it. She was up here one night with you when you were about three, and you and Walter were playing out in the kitchen yard with a kitten. I had a big puncheon of rainwater by the spout which I was reserving for making soap. And you and Walter began quarrelling over the kitten.  Walter was at one side of the puncheon standing on a chair, holding the kitten, and you were standing on a chair at the other side. You leaned across that puncheon and grabbed the kitten and pulled. You were always a great hand for taking what you wanted without too much ceremony. Walter held on tight and the poor kitten yelled but you dragged Walter and the kitten half over and then you both lost your balance and tumbled into that puncheon, kitten and all. If I had not been on the spot you would both have been drowned. I flew to the rescue and hauled you all three out before much harm was done, and your mother, who had seen it all from the upstairs window, came down and picked you up, dripping as you were, and gave you a beautiful spanking. Ah, those were happy old days at Ingleside."
~Susan Baker, Rilla of Ingleside

"I wouldn't give up altogether. I'd write a story once in a while, but I wouldn't pester editors with it. I'd write of people and places like I knew, and I'd make my characters talk everyday English; and I'd let the sun rise and set in the usual quiet way without much fuss over the fact."
~Mr. Harrison, Anne of Avonlea

"Don't quote the Bible flippantly. You must excuse her, Miss Shirley. She just ain't used to getting married. Well, all I hope is the groom won't have a hunted look like so many of them do. I s'pose they do feel that way, but they needn't show it so plain."
~Aunt Mouser, Anne of Windy Poplars

"I am not sorry that I came. I'm satisfied. I'll never write the poems I once dreamed of writing—but I've helped to make Canada safe for the poets of the future—for the workers of the future—ay, and the dreamers, too—for if no man dreams, there will be nothing for the workers to fulfil—the future, not of Canada only but of the world."
~Walter Blythe, Rilla of Ingleside

Thanks again, everyone.  We'll have to do this again, sometime. After I graduate. :D

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rilla of Ingleside 2012: The Dream Cast

In the beginning of February, Miss Laurie at Old-Fashioned Charm and Alexandra at Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows both hosted blog events celebrating Charles Dickens' 200th birthday.  At one point during the week, Alexandra posted a dream cast for a new film of A Tale of Two Cities.  I greatly enjoyed that post, and I'm afraid I got thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know.) The wheels in my head began turning, and I decided to put together a dream cast of my own for Anne week.  

But of course we already have two perfectly lovely films based on the first few Anne books, and heaven forbid anyone should authorize a remake.  Ugh.  Do not speak to me of AGG remakes at this time.  Instead, I have created a dream cast for a film version of Rilla of Ingleside (the eighth book in the Anne series and my current favorite).  If you haven't yet read Rilla, do so immediately-- and be rawther careful reading this post, because I'll try not to spoil things, but... I make no promises.

I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to my amazing sister Anne-girl and my dear blogging friend Ally for their incredible help with this casting... they had a lot of awesome suggestions, which is good because I could never have done this alone!  And now, without further ado, My Dream Cast for Rilla of Ingleside (2012).

Carey Mulligan as Bertha Marilla (Rilla) Blythe.  (For the record, I still can't understand why Anne finds the name Bertha "beautiful" and "romantic".  Rilla is much, much better.)

(You might know her as Ada Clare in Bleak House or Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey.)
When I first started casting for this movie, Carey Mulligan was the first actress to suggest herself to me for Rilla and I didn't have to look any farther.  She has that pixyish face, adorable dimples, creamy skin, brown eyes, and looks exactly like the description of Rilla in the book.  She's 26 now, which is a bit old to be playing a 15-19-year-old, but I think she could pull it off.

Aaron Tveit as Kenneth Ford (haven't seen any of his movies, but he's slated to play Enjolras in the Les Miz movie this December.)
As I said, I haven't seen any of Tveit's movies, but he fits the mental image I have of Ken Ford.  I'm afraid I have an atrocious habit of casting actors based on looks alone... which is something I frequently berate movie producers for doing.  Hypocrisy, thou art one of my many middle names.

Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie as Anne and Gilbert.

(Ugh, for some reason Blogger will not allow me to put their pictures side-by-side. Humbug.
Oh, well, they can be on opposite sides then.)

I think this casting is a bit of a no-brainer.  I mean, in all seriousness, could anyone else play Anne and Gilbert? Sacrilege, sacrilege!  And they're the perfect age now, and everything... Moviemakers! Sit up and take notice!

Okay, now I think I'll just run through the families systematically and concisely, now that our heroine and Classic Couple are out of the way.

Dan Stevens as James Matthew (Jem) Blythe.  (Edward Ferrars in S&S 08, some guy in Downton Abbey)

Unfortunately he's not smiling in this picture (and Jem is supposed to smile, a lot, hello) but he's in a WWI uniform and so I couldn't resist using this one.  Of course he doesn't have red hair but then neither does Carey Mulligan.  Or Megan Follows, for that matter. Wigs and hair dye, peoples.

Patrick Kennedy as Walter Cuthbert Blythe (Richard Carstone in Bleak House)

I'm not entirely pleased with this choice, because honestly nobody looks like Walter except the Walter in my imagination when I read the book. :P But my sister and I couldn't come up with anyone better, and Patrick Kennedy is at least much better than Nick Jonas.  Yep, she had the nerve to suggest him and I metaphorically handed her a bar of soap.  For her mouth, y'know.

Emmy Rossum as Nan Blythe (Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera)

This picture makes her look ridiculously plastic and Barbie-doll-ish, but I think she looks like the Nan of my imagination.  Nan's role in Rilla of Ingleside is, sadly, almost nonexistent, but she still needs to be there.  Creates the sense of family unity and all that.  Anyway, I've never actually seen Emmy Rossum in anything, but she looks the part so that's that.

Laura Pyper as Diana Blythe (Jane Fairfax in Emma 2009)

Di's part in this book is also sadly tiny.  Di was one of my favorite characters in the earlier stories, when the kids were all little, so I'm sad to see her so ruthlessly left out, but... oh well.  She and Emmy look like they could be convincing (fraternal) twins, I think, and that's very important, you know.

Max Thieriot as Shirley Blythe (Will Shepherd in Kit: An American Girl Mystery and Ned Nickerson in one of the gazillions of Nancy Drew films)

At first I thought maybe Max Thieriot was too young for this part, but then I remembered that Shirley is supposed to be all of eighteen.  Eighteen, yikes, that's only a little older than I am.  Anyway, Shirley is kind of a boring character (it truly is sad how three of Anne's kids are given such minimal parts in this story!) but Max Thieriot and Carey Mulligan definitely look like they could be siblings and that's a plus.

And now we come to the part where Anne-girl and Ally start squealing...

Anthony Andrews as Mr. Meredith (Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Steerforth in David Copperfield)

Not only is this guy one of my favoritest actors evah, he looks like the gentle, kindly Mr. Meredith of the books.   If this dream casting had been taking place in the late 70's, you can bet who I'd be casting as Jem, but sadly that is not the case.  Time marches on and all that.  But there is always such a thing as a little casting reunion, and therefore I have chosen...

Jane Seymour as Rosemary West Meredith (Marguerite Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Fraulein Rottenmeier in Heidi)

I actually came this close to picking Kate Winslet for the part, but I don't think Kate Winslet is really old enough yet, and besides, who wouldn't want to have the Scarlet Pimpernel leads reunited at last?? I ask you! Now, Jane Seymour is a leetle old to be playing Rosemary, I'll grant you, but makeup can do wonders.  And she'll get to wear her hair in a pompadour again--just not a Marguerite-inspired hairstyle, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

Rupert Evans as Jerry Meredith (Frank Churchill in Emma 2009, Frederick Hale in North and South)

I really enjoyed Rupert's portrayal of Frank Churchill in Emma 09 (or Emmer as I often call it), and I think he'd fit Jerry Meredith's roguish personality quite well.  Except of course Jerry's not the scoundrel that Frank is.  :P  Far from it, in fact.

Charity Wakefield as Faith Meredith (Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility 2008)

I haven't seen Charity's performance as Marianne Dashwood in S&S08 yet (although I want to) but she fits my mental image of Faith Meredith.  Of course her face couldn't exactly be compared with a cheese.  (And if you haven't read Rainbow Valley that last sentence will make no sense... so go read Rainbow Valley.)  I've heard from reliable sources (y'all are reliable, right? I should hope so) that her performance as Marianne is rawthuh annoying, but I'm thinking she'd make a good Faith nevertheless.

Claire Foy as Una Meredith (Amy Dorrit in Little Dorrit)

I adored Claire Foy's gentle performance in Little Dorrit, and I think she'd do a beautiful job of portraying the sweet, shy Una Meredith (and she even matches the book's description! Huzzah!).  The whole unrequited love thing crops up again... pardon me while I go bawl into my pillow.  Because, y'know, whereas Little Dorrit has a happy ending... 
I better shut up right now before I spoil anything.

Harry Lloyd as Carl Meredith (haven't seen him in anything, heehee)

I honestly know nothing about this actor, except for the fact that Ally suggested him for Jem (or was it Ken? now I can't remember) but we ultimately decided on other actors for Jem and Ken, and I thought this guy would make a better Carl.  But like I said, I knows nothings 'bout him.

Eileen Atkins as Susan Baker (Miss Deborah Jenkyns in Cranford)

I was seriously quite wary of this choice at first, but the A's won me over, and I'm glad they did, because the more I think of Eileen Atkins as Susan, the more I like her.  Can't you just picture her catching up a pot of blue dye and racing after Whiskers-on-the-moon with it, berating him for sucking his orange proposing to her? :D And though her Miss Deborah character doesn't resemble Susan, I think in this picture she does.  Minus the modern hairstyle, of course.

And speaking of Whiskers-on-the-moon...

 John Alderton as Mr. Pryor, aka Whiskers-on-the-moon (Mr. Casby in Little Dorrit)

Okay, okay, I admit it... this casting choice was simply because I felt that the role of Mr. Pryor was very, very similar to that of Mr. Casby.  The old slimeball.  My initial choice for this part was actually Eddie Marsden (who you might know as Mr. Pancks) but Anne-girl suggested John Alderton instead, and I was won over. Quite quickly.

And now for the lesser characters...

Katie Hall as Miranda Pryor (Cosette in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert)

Poor Miranda is so boring (and labeled as such) but I do like her, and her war-wedding, though not at all romantical, is sweet in its own way.  And funny.  Especially the part where Rilla swoops into the kitchen and nonchalantly asks Susan to bake her a wedding cake... heehee.  Anyways.  I really enjoyed Katie Hall's performance as Cosette, and though she's a little too pretty to play Miranda, I think she'd do a nice job.

Michelle Dockery as Miss Oliver (Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey)

Yet another actress who I'm picking based on her looks alone.  Shame, Miss Dashwood.  Shame.  Ah well. I am not perfect you know-- I never was.  I ask only an adequate actor or actress who will keep me from being a burden to my parents... um, okay, I'll stop butchering P&P quotes now.

Laura Carmichael as Mary Vance (Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey)

This choice was unbelievably last-minute, but it's quite nice to have sisters and friends you can count on to come up with somebody at the Final Hour and all that. :D  I haven't seen any or all of Downton Abbey, so I know nothing about Laura Carmichael's acting skills, but she looks like the Mary Vance I imagine.  She doesn't have the pale blue eyes Mary is supposed to have, but she has the sharp pale features, and overall she strikes me as looking the part.  

I never did find anyone to play Bruce Meredith-- the actor I had in mind was a little boy I saw in the trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the 2005 one, a movie I haven't seen and don't wish to see) but when I looked him up on IMDB I found that he's older than I am and is no longer eligible to play a seven-year-old.  Heh.  I'm sadly ignorant when it comes to child actors.  I also left out Miss Cornelia Bryant, because a) she barely appears in the novel at all and b) I couldn't think of anyone who would do her justice.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Did I leave any characters out that you think should have been included?  

This was great fun. :) I shall have to do it again sometime... and thanks again, Anne-girl and Ally!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Anne of Avonlea (1975) Review

First of all, I should say right up front that this is not my favorite Anne of Avonlea adaptation.  Um, obviously.  However, despite its numerous bad points (the first and foremost of which being that it isn't one of the Sullivan films starring Megan Follows) it does have some good points.  And, frankly, I enjoyed it.  It's based on the second and third books in the Anne series, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island.  With some completely unnecessary bits added in... but we'll get to that later.

(By the way, most of my screencaps came from this page.)

To begin with, this miniseries (six hour-long episodes that you can watch on YouTube--a link is at the end of the post) is actually the sequel to a previous BBC miniseries (Anne of Green Gables), made in 1972.  However, the first one is considered "lost" according to IMDB and you can't watch it anywhere.  Sad, that.  (Absolutely. Very sad.  Tragic. Also horrid.  Horrid. And with our mother-of-pearl-- okay, I'll stop.) 

Kim Braden plays Anne Shirley, and though she doesn't own the role the way Megan Follows does, I was quite pleased with her performance.  Somehow I think she did a better job of portraying the Anne of the later books than Megan did.  (I don't like to refer to actors by their first names so familiarly, but I also don't like typing out the whole name every single time.)  Megan does a spot-on job of portraying the Anne-of-the-first-book, but I honestly think Kim Braden's portrayal is a little closer to the book-Anne of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island.  She seems a little more dreamy and romantic and less... modern.  More old-fashioned.  Come on, people, don't hate me for this.  I'm allowed to like more than one interpretation of a character, aren't I? Aren't I? (Please say yes.)

Christopher Blake as Gilbert Blythe, however, was another story.  Er, wait, let me rephrase that.  Christopher Blake masquerading as my beloved Gilbert Blythe was another story.  Seriously, this ridiculous phenomenon was almost as bad as Nick Jonas impersonating Marius Pontmercy, and that's saying a lot.  It was ridiculously difficult for me to find a picture of him (which is probably a good thing, in a way) but here you go.

See? Told ya so.  That's not Gilbert.  And it wasn't just his looks that bothered me.  His whole attitude was frustrating.  The entire theme of the miniseries, so it seemed, was that Anne had her head in the clouds too often and needed to be brought thumping back to earth so that she could marry Gil and keep house and shoo the chickens out of the cow pen.  (Somebody stop me before I start ranting about the last scene...)  While Anne is, admittedly, a little too melodramatic, that's the way she's supposed to be.  We love Anne's romantic ideals.  And when Anne finally realizes that her romantic ideals have been right under her nose the whole time... that's when everything comes together in a gloriously happy ending.  But not in this movie.  In this movie, Gilbert spends most of his time trying to convince Anne that Being Romantic is not a good idea.  And not in a hilarious pitching-and-mooning way, either.

Seriously. This picture is creepy.
Speaking of characters I didn't like (I'll get to the positive parts eventually, I promise), Eulalie Bugle Barbara Hamilton was an atrocious Marilla.  Boring, coarse and possessing a voice resembling that of a foghorn, she quite literally bulldozed poor Marilla's wonderful character.  Bah, humbug.

Madge Ryan as Mrs. Lynde wasn't horrible, but she certainly wasn't great, either.  Frankly, after seeing Patricia Hamilton's performance in the Sullivan films, I've become quite prejudiced against any other Rachel Lynde.  No one else can hold a candle to her amazing interpretation.  This Mrs. Lynde was just kind of annoying.

Jan Francis as Diana Barry was boring, plain and simple.  She was rather sweet and there wasn't really anything about her that I actually disliked, but she didn't have any of the real flavor of Diana's character.  You didn't get the same sense of kindred-spirit-ness between her and Anne as you do in the other movies (all right, all right, I really need to stop comparing).

Nicholas Lyndhurst amused me greatly as Davy Keith, but he was NOT the Davy of the book. Davy-of-the-book is supposed to be six, for one thing, not thirteen, and he's also supposed to be much more mischievous and dirty and prank-playing.  He is also not supposed to have an atrocious 1970's haircut, but that's the fault of the costume department, not the actor.  Oh well, at least he was IN this movie... 

Oh, and those of you who have seen David Copperfield (1999) might just recognize Davy in another role he's played... heeheehee.  (Dora was included in this film as well, but she was so boring she isn't even worth mentioning.  Cute, but boring.)

Kathleen Byron certainly looked the part of Miss Lavender Lewis, but she didn't quite seem genuine to me.  Her imaginative "pretendings" seemed silly and contrived, not sweet and beautiful as they are in the book.  it was nice that Charlotta the Fourth was included, but she was so goofy and silly-looking and her name wasn't even right! Charlotte, indeed.  That was one case where spelling it with an E was completely inaccurate.  Ugh, I felt the whole time as if Echo Lodge in its entirety were being mocked.  Don't get me started on the whole Stephen Irving thing, either.

Speaking of Stephen Irving, Paul Irving was... laughable.  Utterly laughable.  One of my favorite characters in the book was again made ridiculous.  Now, I was at first quite pleased that all these people had been included in the movie (people who weren't included in the Sullivan films, I might add, bah humbug) but when their characters were so badly portrayed and twisted and convoluted &c. &c., I found myself feeling Quite Disgruntled.  Mr. Harrison WAS included, but though his character followed the book pretty closely, it didn't seem quite right somehow.  I was left with a sort of "blah" feeling.

Let us move on to a happier subject.  I was delighted that the storyline followed Anne to Redmond and then (for a little while at least) accurately portrayed what happened there.  The exterior of Patty's Place wasn't cute and sweet like I had imagined, but the interior left little to be desired (despite the poor lighting of a low-budget 1970's TV movie).   Oh, and by the way, Jane Andrews' character was exceedingly likable.  The screenwriters took some liberties with her character, because in the books it's Priscilla Grant and Stella McSomethingorother who board with Anne at Redmond, but I guess they wanted to have a familiar Avonlea character to keep Anne from being too homesick.  It's not an unforgivable story change, and Jane was portrayed as a real sweetie.  I liked her.  (There.  I said something nice at last.)

And now I'm going to say something nice again, because I absolutely loved Sabina Franklyn's portrayal of Philippa Gordon.  (You may have seen her as Jane Bennet in the 1981 Pride and Prejudice, by the way.) She didn't quite look like the Phil I'd pictured when I read the books, but she was extremely pretty (as she's supposed to be) and her voice was so pretty.  I just loved listening to her talk-- she captured the whole sweet-and-silly thing quite nicely, and you still got the feeling that she was quite genuine and real under all her frivolous exterior.

So why under the sun, then, did someone as lovely as Phil marry someone as idiotic as Jonas Blake?  I really, really liked Jonas' character in the book, but Jonas-of-the-miniseries came across as a sniveling moron who couldn't make up his own mind.  And not in the adorable way that Phil can't make up her own mind, I might add.

Speaking of sniveling idiots, I was quite disgusted by Roy Gardner. At first, I was thrilled that he was included because I never liked Morgan Harris anyway, but I was quickly put off again by his... blah-ness, for lack of a better word.  Now maybe this was done on purpose to make Gilbert look better, but that's not the way Roy is supposed to be. Roy is supposed to be melancholy and inscrutable and murmur romantic compliments about violets in Anne's ear as he helps her on with her coat.  He is not supposed to be a pouting five-year-old with a domineering mom who scorns Anne for being an orphan.

Speaking.  Of. Which.

Roy did indeed have an overbearing mamma in the book, but there was no subplot with her regarding Anne's background and Mrs. Gardner most certainly did not drop in unannounced at Green Gables.  The idea!  It would have been much better if they had had, y'know, the original book scene with Mrs. Gardner and Dorothy's call at Patty's Place with the Squashed Chocolate Cake.  (Love that part.  Love it, love it.)  And moreover, there was never any question about Anne's family and whether they were horse thieves or baronets.  In Anne of the Island, she did go and visit her birthplace (and obtain a packet of letters belonging to her mother) but it wasn't in order to prove anything-- and she definitely wasn't accompanied by Gilbert.  The nerve.

Now, there were indeed some scenes I enjoyed, particularly the one in which the girls attempt to chloroform the cat.  "Him was a nice old pussins, him was..." hehehe.

The part with Mrs.  Morgan's unexpected visit and Anne's red nose was done exceptionally well, I thought.   It was quite funny when everyone was trying to entertain Mrs. Morgan.  Anne fell through the roof nicely, too (with no bedsheets or where's-the-fires involved).  

And then Gilbert got typhoid and Anne realized she loved him, and she also realized that the grass didn't look like a green velvet carpet but instead looked only like grass, and boom, it was over.  And I was left feeling quite... let down.  

There were nice parts, I'll grant you, and the story did stick pretty close to the book (more so than Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel did) but "the pinch of salt was left out".  I can't remember which Anne book that quote comes from, but I do know it's an Anne quote.  The spice and flavor and happy-all-over feeling that I associate with Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel wasn't there.  I know I've said this before (and I will continue to say it until the end of my days) but the real test of a movie's greatness is not how closely it sticks to the book, but rather how well it captures the spirit of the book.  And Anne of Avonlea... didn't.  

Would I recommend it?  Truth be told, yes I would.  If only so that you can have something with which to compare The Sequel.  I'd give this five stars out of ten.  Not awful, but certainly not great.  Not without its merits, but not on my favorites list.  So go watch it on YouTube if you have six hours to spare, and then do please come back and tell me what you thought.  Because I want to know. 

Anne of Green Gables Week: Plagiarizing Little Women

Perhaps you may have noticed before that the proposal scenes in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) and in Little Women (1994) are eerily similar.  If you haven't noticed it, check out this (horribly bad-quality) video. 

Now, of course, the major difference between the two scenes is that Anne and Gilbert's story ends rather differently than Jo and Laurie's. But I am not going to go off on a rabbit trail about why I think Anne and Gil belonged together but Jo and Laurie didn't.  I am NOT.  Willpower, willpower.

Instead, I'll show you another instance where the two stories overlap a good bit.  Several instances, in fact.  I probably should have started here at the beginning in the first place... oh well.

In both stories, the main character attempts to publish a story in a magazine, and in both stories the hero reacts in pretty much the same way.  See below.

Yes, yes, yes, I know this picture isn't from that scene, but I like it. :)

"Very well, then, come on. It's a secret, and if I tell you, you must tell me yours."
"I haven't got any," began Jo, but stopped suddenly, remembering that she had.
"You know you have--you can't hide anything, so up and fess, or I won't tell," cried Laurie.
"Is your secret a nice one?"
"Oh, isn't it! All about people you know, and such fun! You ought to hear it, and I've been aching to tell it this long time. Come, you begin."
"You'll not say anything about it at home, will you?"
"Not a word."
"And you won't tease me in private?"
"I never tease."
"Yes, you do. You get everything you want out of people. I don't know how you do it, but you are a born wheedler."
"Thank you. Fire away."
"Well, I've left two stories with a newspaperman, and he's to give his answer next week," whispered Jo, in her confidant's ear.
"Hurrah for Miss March, the celebrated American authoress!" cried Laurie, throwing up his hat and catching it again, to the great delight of two ducks, four cats, five hens, and half a dozen Irish children, for they were out of the city now.
"Hush! It won't come to anything, I dare say, but I couldn't rest till I had tried, and I said nothing about it because I didn't want anyone else to be disappointed."
"It won't fail. Why, Jo, your stories are works of Shakespeare compared to half the rubbish that is published every day. Won't it be fun to see them in print, and shan't we feel proud of our authoress?"

~Little Women, chapter 14

Anne: What about Diana Barry?
Gilbert: Ah-uh.  Not until you spill the beans.
Anne: You won't say anything to your folks? Or Jane Andrews or Charlie Sloane?
Gilbert: [sighs] On my honor.
Anne: And you promise you won't ever tease me about this?
Gilbert: I wouldn't risk your anger.
Anne: [sighs, hands over envelope containing her story]
Gilbert: [reads from letter] Dear Miss Shirley. [smirk] We regret to return the enclosed manuscript "Averil's Atonement", but we are unable to accept it for publication.  Sincerely yours... Women's Home Journal magazine?
Anne: You know the story I wrote this spring? I'm... attempting to have it published.
Gilbert: [gasps] Anne, that's tremendous! [rings bicycle bell] Listen to this, everybody! Avonlea's public school teacher soon to become world-famous Canadian author---pphhhhh. [Anne claps her hand over his mouth]
Anne: It hasn't happened yet, you fool, and don't you dare tell anyone! [swats him with envelope]

~Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987)

The of course there are a few other bits and snippets that sound rather alike. "I'm sorry!" Jo laments in the movie. "Meg always makes me take the gentleman's part at home! It's a shame you don't know the lady's part!"  Anne, similarly, apologizes for her bad dancing (but not because she's used to dancing the gentleman's part).  "I'm so sorry, Gil... I must have two left feet."  And of course, in both instances, each couple is dancing alone and away from the rest of the crowd, which is Quite Cute.

Do you see any other similarities between these two stories?  I'm inclined to think that Lucy Maud Montgomery stole at least a few ideas from Louisa May Alcott... or at least Sullivan Films did. :)  Then again, The Sequel was made seven years before Little Women, so perhaps Columbia Pictures were the plagiarizers. Or perhaps it is all a great coincidence.  ("You think that, Jane, if it gives you comfort.")

What do you think?