Saturday, June 28, 2014

"If you ask me, Jeeves, art is responsible for most of the trouble in the world."

(Jeeves' Disapproving Face is better than anyone else's Disapproving
Face. Also, wolves are ignorant, and nothing will convince me otherwise.)

Dooooooooon't forget to submit your nominations for the July edition of I'd Like to Share, folks!  It's the comment box right here on this page (don't comment on this post to do it), you get one nomination per customer per month, and remember that it needs to fit into one of the listed categories.  (Miscellaneous is totally a category if you get Stuck, though.)

Also! Don't go away, for I have another announcement to make!  I should like to direct your attention to a brand-new and extremely helpful site that has just made its appearance in the blogging world: the Period Drama Screencap Source.  I'm always on the lookout for good screencaps when I write blog posts of any kind (especially movie reviews) and a delightful high-quality collection is a rare gem.  So this site is, I'm sure, going to prove very useful to me, and to you too.  Plus, if you just want to scroll through pages of Lark Rise to Candleford and look at Daniel Parish's face (which does a good job of being a face), you can totally do that.

So, yeah. Go check it out.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Giveaway Winner! (and more shameless Novel Promotion)

“In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.” 
― Oscar Wilde

(this is a random funny quote related to publishing/writing to take up space in your Blogger dashboard so you won't see the winner's name until you click on the post.)

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway! Out of 42 total entries, the winner is...

Michaela Guerrero!

Michaela, please contact me ASAP at missdashwood95 AT gmail DOT com so we can discuss shipping details and all that jazz.

For those of you who did not win but might still be interested in ordering a copy, for this week only I'm offering a 30% discount if you use the code ZJUJHQEX in the CreateSpace estore.  Yeah, shameless plug.  Hey, I only do this every once in so often.  I'll shut up for another year, at least, now.  Promise.  (Buthere'sthelinkagainincaseyoumisseditthefirsttime.)

Thanks again for entering and showing support and all that classical!  (I said jazz already. One has to vary one's word usage now and then. Plus, classical music is better than jazz. Obviously.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Just Because It's June...

...we're having a GIVEAWAY.

Haven't done one of these on here in a while, have we?  In fact, it's been two years, hasn't it?  What else happened two years ago?

...Oh, right, this book came out.

So in celebration of Only a Novel's two-year anniversary (which will take place on June 21st), I'm hosting a second giveaway, and giving away one free copy of my debut novel to one lovely blog reader.   Autographed and all.   I'm a little bit excited.  :D

Rules and whatnot for those who wish to enter--

1) You must be a resident of the continental United States.  I hate to exclude all you wonderful people from Europe and Australia and New Zealand and everywhere else on God's green earth, but, y'know, shipping costs.

2) You must be a public follower of my blog.

3) You must not have previously won a giveaway that featured Only a Novel.  (As far as I know there are only two people who will be excluded because of this rule, haha, but I felt the need to mention it.)

4) You must follow at least one of the following possible ways to enter before June 21st.  Entries after June 21st will not qualify.  

~Leave a blog comment stating that you follow Yet Another Period Drama Blog. (1 entry)
~Pin the giveaway button (shown at the top of the post) or share it via some sort of social media-- Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  Leave a link to your post/pin/whatever.  (1 entry per post/pin/whatever).
~Follow my Author page (Amy Dashwood) on Goodreads and leave a comment saying so, with your username. (1 entry)
~Rate Only a Novel on Goodreads and let me know in a comment.  (2 entries)
~Review Only a Novel on Amazon and leave the link in a comment. (3 entries)

Winner will be announced on Monday, June 23rd-- hope you'll enter!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Great Big Answer Post... Part Three

(random pretty pic to start things off  'cause
that's what bloggers DO)

Final part of that gigantic questions-and-answers post! Phew!
...I did love doing this, just in case you're wondering.

Marie asked...

What is your favorite Disney movie (this may or may not include Disney/Pixar as you prefer)?

Mary Poppins and Up might tie.  :D Mary Poppins pretty much WAS my childhood, whereas Up is just the sweetest, darlingest, cutest story there ever was.  The Adventure Book scene near the end gets me every time.

What is one modern fashion trend/style/etc that you do like very much (if there are any)?

I love silky scarves... I wear them as often as I can in the fall, winter and early spring.  I do have a few summery ones but I prefer not to wear them in the hot weather.  They get all up in my neck business and I don't like that.

Would you rather wear pearls or rubies?

Pearls, indubitably.  They always look so classy and they go with everything. I bought a vintage pearl necklace at an antique store a few months ago and I'm always on the lookout for any possible excuse to wear it.  One has to look nice when one goes to the library, after all.

If you had to choose between never being able to watch the next two seasons of Sherlock (and never being able to see pictures or find out what happens or anything like that) or never see any musical ever again, which would you choose?

Why. Would. You. Ask. That.

*goes off and cries in a corner for three days*

Okay, okay.
IpicknotbeingabletoseeSherlock.  Because I can't give up all my musicals, I just can't.  *hugs Les Mis characters protectively*


Which do you like better: reading or writing and watching films combined?

Writing and watching films.  :D

Would you change your eye color if you had the opportunity? Would you ever consider changing your hair color?

I actually quite like the color of my eyes as they are on the Unique side, but ifffffff I had the opportunity to change them I might make them blue.  I always wanted Liesel's eyes in Sound of Music when I was little.

As for my hair color, it's changed an awful lot over the years.  It started out super dark and then went platinum blonde and then gradually darkened as I got older.  Case in point shown above.  But if I couuuuuuuuuld change my hair color (AND THEN CHANGE IT BACK RIGHT AWAY IF I DIDN'T LIKE IT) I'd be an auburn-ish redhead just for a day or so. To see what it's like.

Would you rather be extremely tall or extremely short?

Ummmmmm.  I think I'd rather be extremely tall.  At least I'd be able to reach things... right?
...Then again, looking down on people all the time would be awkward so maybe I'd rather be extremely short.

I don't know.  I CAN'T DECIDE.


What is your favorite punctuation mark?

The ampersand.  It's old-fashioned and dignified and it looks like a baby scooting across the floor.

French or British accents (or Scottish)?

British.  This encompasses Scottish, so I feel justified in saying that.  English predominately, but also Scottish.  Scottish ain't English.  But it is British.  (So it ain't English, then.)

Favorite color combination?

Pink and brown.

Would you seriously go to live in the 1800s if you had the chance? (Assuming this would be a permanent decision and all your family and friends would be automatically transported as well.)

I had to think about this one (which means it was a doggone good one :D) and my answer is no.  Much as I love learning about life in the 19th century and much as I love the fashions and the culture, I've gotten a small taste of what it might have really been like through doing Civil War reenactments, and that's convinced me that I need my modern conveniences, haha.  If I could just travel back in time for a week or so, sure.  But permanently?  Nope.  I need my indoor plumbing.  And my Internet.

(seriously, though, without the Internet I wouldn't have all of YOU.  *hugs*)

Melody asked...

What's your favorite thing to make for dinner?

Oven fries, believe it or not.  They are my Specialty-- I peel them, slice them thin, dress them up with olive oil, vinegar and seasonings, and bake them 'til they're soft then broil them 'til they're crispy.  My brother eats them by the pound.  :P

If you could change one particular thing about your looks, what would it be? (Be specific, Bob.)

Ai yi yi.
*makes long list*
*attempts to scratch all but one thing off the list*

Ummm... I'd make my face thinner.  It would help me look Less Young, for one thing (I don't particularly like being mistaken for a 15-year-old) and I've always wanted Exquisite Cheekbones.

If you could go back in time to the year 2010, what one thing would you do differently since now you've seen whatever's happened since?

I would talk less, listen more, and start my blog a year ahead of time so I could beat you to it.  *smiles angelically*

Is there any particular question you've been hoping nobody will ask, and if so, what is it?

Yezzzz. I've been hoping that no one will ask what question I've been hoping no one will ask.

...Kidding.  Actually there was one question that I was hoping wouldn't pop up in the comments (though I wasn't actually dreading it or anything) and that was "what's your favorite episode of Sherlock?"  Because the answer would not be satisfactory to anyone, as it would consist mostly of MY SHERLOCK, MY SHERLOCK, I CAN'T DECIDE, I CAN'T, I CAN'T, I LOVE ALL OF THEM, GIVE THEM ALL TO ME.  SHERLOCK.

(p.s. it'stotallyReichenbach.)

Will you please post the five funniest pictures you've seen on Pinterest within the last two days for our laughing pleasure?

Indubitably, m'dear.  (Click to enlarge.)

(The best part about this one is the first Tumblr username.  Heeheehee.)

(This one cracks me up every time I see it.  Quite clever!)

(Um, for anyone confused by this one, that's Mark Gatiss, who plays Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock, for which he also co-writes the teleplays.)

(Do I even need to comment?)

(My little brother loves this one.  :D)

Jill B. asked...

How should someone go about becoming your friend?

Interesting! No one's ever asked me that before... usually when I become friends with someone, it just sort of happens.

Seriously, though, I am usually attracted to people who like the things I like.  In the blogging world, I'll probably be interested in being friends with someone who comments on my blog and whose blog interests me (and which I comment upon in turn), whose view of the world is generally similar to mine and who knows how to start a conversation and keep it going.  In "real life," you'd have to be the one to start the conversation-- I do love talking to people, but as an introvert I'm not going to get up the guts to approach you.  Heh.  Working on that one.

Do you have a song that you sing over and over and that drives your family crazy?

Like every other six-year-old in America, I do tend to burst into "Let It Go" whenever given even the slimmest excuse... oh, wait, I'm not six.


Who is your favourite missionary?

Amy Carmichael, probably.   If you're ever looking for a biography on her life, I'd highly recommend A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot.

What are your tips for beginner bloggers?

Write about what you love.  Think before you type.  Pay attention to your grammar and spelling.  Make sure your posts have a purpose.  Use a clear, legible font.  Don't spam other people's blogs with comments begging them to follow you (pet peeve there, haha).  Remember to be kind in expressing your opinions.  Above all, enjoy yourself and remember your blog is your special place, so write whatever you like and don't let anyone tell you differently.  :D

What is your definition of a writer? A wordsmith, one who pours out the his breathings of his heart, or one who just writes?

Definitely both.  A writer is one who writes.  A cook is one who cooks.  A singer is one who sings-- it's all that simple.  Certainly, a writer ought to pour out the breathings of her heart on paper and put everything she has into crafting sentences with the power to create images and feelings in people's heads, but no matter how long you've been in the business or how often you do it, if you write then you are a writer.  End of story.

Do find it hard to write male characters?

Do.  I.  Ever.
Guys are complicated.  Not my division.  I prefer writing about girls.

(Not to say I don't appreciate a well-written hero.  Um, duh.  It's just hard for me to write one.)

Do you have a Beginner's Guide to Les Misérables?

I don't yet.  But I'm going to write one, since you gave me such a great idea.  *scribbles note to self*

I think you said somewhere that Javert was your favourite villain. Could you explain why?
I'm starting to like him (even though I've never seen the movie or the play), but I'm not sure how to explain him to my friends.

Oy.  Vey.
I always did rather poorly on those "explain why" questions on tests, FYI.  But I shall try to make my case persuasively and succinctly here.

For the record, I don't think Javert is a villain.  Antagonist, yes, villain, no.  There's a quote floating around out there (sometimes attributed to Tom Hiddleston) that says something to the effect of, "every villain is a hero in his own eyes," and I don't think Javert really sees himself as a hero.  He sees himself as a dispenser of justice, and he has a strong-- though flawed-- sense of right and wrong.  I see Javert as more of a tragic figure than an evil one: everything he stood for revolved around good works and duty and honor and obligation, with no room for grace and love and tempering justice with mercy.  Which is why realizing that Valjean (a man he consistently saw as "the bad guy") had mercifully spared Javert's own life was so traumatizing to him.   "His supreme anguish was the loss of certainty... He perceived amid the shadows the terrible rising of an unknown moral sun; it horrified and dazzled him."  If that isn't one of the saddest lines in the book, then I dare you to show me what is.  (I said ONE OF.  "Do you permit it?" is worse.  I do not deny it.)

In short, I cry over Javert, and that's a large part of what makes me love him.

The Scarlet Pimpernel asked...
(eep, I got questions from SIR PERCY!  Be jealous, peasants!)

What is your opinion on romance novels/stories?

I love a good old-fashioned kissing book as much as the next person-who-is-old-enough-not-to-mind-so-much.  However, I'm not usually a fan of books that focus solely on romance.  My favorite classic novels (Jane Austen is a name that leaps to mind...) tend to encompass Social Commentary and the Spectrum of Human Nature and Emotion, not merely romance.  Romance is great, don't get me wrong, but if the sole purpose of the book is to show how Boy meets Girl and How They Get Together, then I'm not going to be half as interested as I might be in a story about how Girl has Many Sisters and meets Boy and then meets Other Boy and Other Girls and Sister falls in love with First Boy and Other Girls are Mean To Them, while Other Boy is quickly falling in love with Girl, though Girl thinks he's an arrogant jerk, and Mother of Girls is freaking out because she's afraid they're going to die paupers, and Youngest Sister betrays the whole family by running away with Jerk Boy, et cetera and so forth.  (That was P&P, in case you couldn't tell.)

Oh, and I tend to favor more old-fashioned novels about romance-- modern ones tend to have more Annoying Bits in them, with less-than-squeaky-clean fantasizing and so forth.  Blah, blah, blah, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte did it better, deal with it.

Have you ever read a book that you enjoyed but you still wanted to rewrite it? How would you have rewritten it?

Oh, yeah.  Lots.  Les Mis, for starters.  Nobody would have died in my version.  NOBODY WOULD HAVE DIED.

...Except the Thenardiers, of course.  *scowls*

What is your opinion on Amy March? Do you like or dislike her?

I like her!  Muchly! I don't think she gets fair treatment in most of the movie adaptations of the novel, however, nor even in the sequels to Little Women.  But I do like her very much, despite all her shortcomings (I mean, hello, she's human).  Last fall my friend Hayden wrote an analysis of Amy that says all I'd want to say about her, but in a much more articulate fashion than I could manage, so just go read her post, okay?

Have you read L. M. Montgomery's short stories? Is there one that was your favorite?

I've read nearly all of L.M. Montgomery's short stories, actually.  My favorite of them all might just be Penelope Struts Her Theories, which can be found in the Road to Yesterday anthology.

And now a couple of questions that were left in the comments after the first post was published, which I'll just answer here for the sake of Unity and Organization.

Evie Scott asked...

Have you been to Australia? Or if not, do you have any questions about it? 

I have never been there, but a very close friend of mine has, and has told me a great deal about it. :D  I think it sounds like a fascinating place!  Here's something I've always wondered, though... do Australians put up snow-and-pinecone-themed Christmas decorations the way Americans do?  Obviously y'all don't have snow over there at Christmastime... okay, some years we don't have snow either but at least it's cold, and as Rush Melendy would say, it's the principle of the thing.

Sara Lewis asked...

If it's not too late to ask one more question, what does Benedict Cumberbatch have to do with jaguars and cellos?

Some extremely smart person on Tumblr once compared his splendid voice to the sound of a jaguar hiding in a cello, and it's become a bit of a Fan Thing.  It's swellissimus no matter how you describe it, though, isn't it?

*insert ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch picture*

Thank you all soooooo much for submitting all these lovely questions and bearing with my sometimes very long-winded answers!  I now have quite a few post ideas stored away, and I'm ever so grateful for your inspiring inspiration.  Do come back next week for a rather exciting announcement, if you will, and in the meantime I hope your curiosity on all these random points has been satisfied.  :D

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Great Big Answer Post... Part Two

Annnnnnd we're back with Part Two of the Great Big Answer Post (or should I say saga...)

Naomi Bennet asked...

What would you have done in Margaret Hale's (North and South) situation when she got asked if it was her that was seen at the station with her brother?

That's a very interesting question and one I'm not sure I have an answer for.  (Yes, that's a dangling preposition. Deal with it.)  On the one hand, *prim voice* it's wrong to lie.  On the other hand, if your brother's life might be at stake... yeeeeeeesh.  I might have said that I was there, but refuse to say why or with whom.  Of course this might in its turn lead to trouble... yep, that's a hard question.  I think I'm gonna have to say that I just don't know.

Had you been Miss Lizzy Bennet, would you have been able to find an excuse NOT to dance with Mr. Darcy?

One can always find an excuse if one looks hard enough-- I could always get Charlotte to accidentally step on my foot and render me unfit for the next dance, heehee.  But that wouldn't be the smartest move, really, because then I might not end up with Mr. Darcy in the end, and that would be little short of tragic.

What are your top ten period drama dresses?

I answered this question to some extent in this post-- but if you want the quick version of the answer, basically anything from the wardrobes of Marianne Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Esther Summerson, Anne Shirley and Olivia King.  :D

What was the funniest book you've ever read?

Again, hard call!  Maybe Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth... I picked it up when I was fourteen or so, thinking it would be an amusing memoir of a large family's adventures, and it turned out to be so funny, my socks flew off., sorry, that's a family joke.

Belles on Their Toes, its sequel, is just as good if not better.  Highly recommended!

so this gif doesn't really fit either... but
it's Aaron Tveit.  Shush.

What is your favourite dance?

I'm really, really bad at remembering dance names... but I do love the Virginia Reel and the Laendler (from Sound of Music).  There are a couple of other waltz variations that would rank high on my favorites list but I don't remember what they're called.  :(

What would you have done in Kitty/Lizzy/Mary's case when you saw your mother winking at you?

Wink back, perhaps.  :D  Or else tried to silently figure out what she wanted.

Do you prefer dancing to reading?

Nope, I prefer reading to pretty much anything.  :D

*please note that while I find this gif humorous, it doesn't mean I
necessarily endorsethe movie it comes from.  :P More on this later.*

Molly asked...

What was the title of the oldest story you remember writing?

The Bobbsey Twins and the Blueberry Contest, a brilliant 800-word piece of fanfiction penned (and illustrated!) by my almost-six-year-old self.  And yes, I still have it.  :D

Miss Elliot asked...

What character (for ANY period drama) do you think you most resemble? (Fun fact: I have been imagining you, Miss Dashwood, as Fantine (Anne Hathaway) of course before she cut her hair & so on. Then when I saw a picture of you & Petie, I almost flipped out! One of you actually looks like her! It's probably Petie, so I shouldn't get my hopes up, but whichever one of you has dark hair LOOKS LIKE ANNE HATHAWAY!!!)

I've included Miss Elliot's fun fact in the question as well just so that I can say that Petie (on the left in this shot) is indeed the one with dark hair, and I'm sure she'd be quite delighted to hear she resembles Anne Hathaway!  (Personally I think she looks like Katie Holmes.)

Anyways, if we're talking physical appearance here, then I have no idea whom I might resemble in any period drama... Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale is the closest approximation, and even then it's only because of similar hair color and face shape.  (Our eyebrows, for instance, are nothing alike.  Haha.)

Her nose is also smaller than mine.
...Did I say that just so I could include this Benedict Cumberbatch gif?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  Don't you dare judge me.

At any rate, if Miss Elliot is referring to personality and defining characteristics and all that jazz, read on for the answer to that question a few paragraphs after this.  :D

Arwen Undomiel asked...

I know you don't watch/read LotR or Narnia because of the magic content, and I respect your reservations. But I've seen quite a few references to the musical "Wicked" on your blog, and since, from what I know of the musical, that has more magicky content than Lotr or Narnia, I was Slightly Puzzled.  ;) Any thoughts?

Another toughie!  First and foremost I'd like to emphasize that though I do have my own personal standards and boundaries regarding magic/fantasy in books and movies, I am NOT saying that my opinion is the only right one or that magic/fantasy is inherently sinful.  I don't think there are any specific commands in Scripture regarding this topic, so for me to tell you that my own personal convictions are the same thing as God's law would be very, very wrong.  (Pet peeve there, haha.  Opinion is one thing-- telling others what to do is another.)

That said, I shall now proceed to give my opinion.  :D  Briefly and concisely, haha.  In a nutshell, I don't fully endorse the musical Wicked, and though I do quote the songs (and sing some of them!) rather frequently, I don't care for some of the content in the musical... as my sister and I like to say to each other, if it weren't for all the witch business, it'd be an amazing story.  However, I do think that witchcraft/magic is not something that should be presented favorably in fiction, and that's why I prefer to stay away from books and movies that dabble in that sort of thing (LOTR, Narnia, etc.).  Please do understand that I've heard many of the arguments in favor of allegorical fantasy novels, had rousing (and friendly) discussions with friends on this topic, but I remain pretty firmly fixed in my views.

In short, yes, I do enjoy many of the songs and a lot of the hilarious dialogue from Wicked, but overall I really can't endorse the show.  (There are many other shows that I enjoy a few songs from but can't fully endorse, too, haha.)  Does that answer your question?  Hope I wasn't too confusing.  :D

Who is your favorite character in Frozen?

Um.  Let me think.

This guy.  :D

Yep, Kristoff.  Also Anna.  Because they're just so cute together.

Elsa Hosch asked...

What heroine, besides the ambiguous Miss Dashwood, do you identify with the most?

Well, I've always had an Understanding Thing for Anne Shirley... but then, don't we all?  Then there's Elinor Dashwood, for obvious reasons, and also Cynthia Kirkpatrick... I, like, her, am often "not very constant."  Heh.  She doesn't really classify as a heroine though... oh, and there's also Emma Woodhouse, who like me tends to meddle in other people's affairs and speak without thinking.  Sigh.

...But then, she does end up with Mr. Knightley.  :D

What period dramas have you watched without reading the book before hand?

Lorna Doone (still haven't read it, though I keep meaning to), Little Women (1939), and Ivanhoe (1982).  I almost always prefer to read the book first, and have been known to delay watching a movie for long periods of time just so I can finish the book.  Heh.

Do you have a tendency to be more critical of a movie if you have read the book in the past few weeks/months?

I do indeed!  Astute question there, m'dear.  Absence makes the critic in my heart go wander, or something like that... at any rate, if the details of the book are less sharp in my mind, I'm much less likely to go nitpicking throughout the movie.  Doesn't mean I won't find something to complain about, though.  Pointing out things that aren't done right in movies is my one weakness.

Ginger asked...

Who are some literary couples that you wish didn't end up together?

Laurie and Amy in Little Women have never quiiiiiiite seemed right, in my mind.  I don't know if I can honestly say I wish they weren't together though.  (And please note I'm NOT a Jo/Laurie shipper.  Nope, Professor Bhaer and Jo belong together, world without end, amen.)  It just seems to me that they both lost some of their personalities when they got married, which is a sad thing... they're not half as interesting in Little Men or Jo's Boys as they were in the first book(s).

I honestly can't think of anyone else, though if you'd like to jog my memory in the comments you're more than welcome to do so.  I tend to be inclined toward a "the author is always right" mindset, so a couple that ends up happily-ever-after in a book I've enjoyed will usually get a thumbs-up from me.  :D

Film adaptations: Dickens' Little Dorrit or E. Gaskell's Wives and Daughters?

Little Dorrit all the way!

Film adaptations: Wives and Daughters or North & South?

Wives and Daughters all the way again!  I do love N&S, don't get me wrong, but W&D speaks to me on a Personal Level that N&S can't achieve.

Which bothers you more: Gilbert Blythe's greasy hair or Mr. Thornton's spectacularly long nose?

Ummm... I'm getting the impression that someone isn't too thrilled with either Gilbert's or Mr. Thornton's physical appearance.  :P  Personally I think they're both quite good-looking (Gilbert more so, of course) so I'd probably have to complain more about Gilbert's slicked-back hair in that last scene of Anne of Avonlea... his hair is so nice and pleasing to look upon for the most part, it makes that greasy scene even more mortifying.

Here's a gif of Gilbert's hair being nice to make up for it.  :D  With a flat cap because flat caps are cool.

Emma Jane asked...

Did you love P&P from the first time you watched/read it, or did it take a while to grow on you?

It was love at first sight.  Head-over-heels love.  I wanted to watch the whole five hours in one sitting but my mother said I couldn't marry a movie I just met we had to wait and finish the rest of it on a different evening.  And then after that it grew on me even more, just for the record.  :D

What's the oldest movie you've ever watched?

The Rink (1916), starring Charlie Chaplin.  My dad downloaded it on our school computer when I was about nine and my sisters and I watched it faithfully at least once a week, howling with laughter every time... then when my brother was born (and became old enough to appreciate slapstick humor) it became his favorite until he got introduced to an educational film about road construction.  Gotta say, I preferred watching Charlie Chaplin.

Who in your opinion is the most hilarious Dickens character? (Or who do you think are some of the funniest?)

Hard call there!  Probably Flora Finching, Edmund Sparkler, Aunt Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Pancks.  I also realllllllly love Herbert Pocket.

Do you have a particular favorite phrase that you say often? (Like a figure of speech, or movie quote, or just a word.)

Tons and tons and tons.  Some of my favorite oft-repeated quotes (points for you if you can identify 'em)...

"Hold my fin, HOLD MY FIN."
"Yes, thank you, Mary."
"That IS the general idea."
"Come, we must return.  Those two FOOLS who run MY theatre will be missing you..."
"I'm gonna tell him."  "Don't you dare."
"And I'm Javert!"
"Sparkler, be quiet."
"These things do 'appen..."
"It's like America... BUT SOUTH."
"How do you spell FBI?"
"You don't like this shirt? ... I like the shirt."
"Let's go KISS HANS? ...Who is this Hans?"
"You are not so cute."
"Ever get any free time?"  "Oh yeah, lots.  ....Bye."
"Robert, you may wait in the hall... I shan't say it again, Robert."
"I'm not happy, Bob.  Not happy."

[It's worth noting that my nine-year-old brother's name is Robert.  It's also worth noting that I love him to pieces and we enjoy saying sarcastic movie quotes to each other with no unkindness intended.]

Oh, and then there's this, which isn't a quote, but... yeah.

Do you ever get tired of reading classics?

'Nuff said.

What's your favorite movie that's not a period drama, or do you even have one?

Up (2009) is one of my favoritest favorites, and the Night at the Museum movies are pretty hilarious.  I also love Roman Holiday... can you tell I have a hard time giving just one answer to these questions?

Are there any authors that you've read, any genre, that you really pointedly dislike?

Contemporarily-written Western romance bugs the Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire out of me... most Amish romances do too.  Yick.  Also vampire novels, duh.

Danaya Huber asked...

If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would it be?

"Who was the guy you met at the seaside, what was up with the two of you, do you think you might have gotten married, and why on earth did he have to die???"

(Yes, that counts as one question.)

If you had to give up either chocolate or tea, which would you choose?

Umm.... neither.  Nope.

...And since 28 questions still remain, I must ask you all to stay tuned for Part Three.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Great Big Answer Post: Part One

I am both delighted and overwhelmed by the quantity of inquiries that poured in from my recent post asking for questions! Reading through all your fascinating comments has been fun and inspiring, and I've got several new post ideas dancing around in a draft now.  Mission accomplished! :D

However, since there ARE so many questions to answer (and I'm keeping the comment box open until Sunday night), I'm going to divide this Great Big Answer Post into at least two, if not three parts.  Part Two will be along on Monday, but for now let's focus on Part One.

A Reader asked...

Whose work do you favor? Austen or the Brontes, and why? (The why is the actual part of the question, because I'm guessing I know which you favor!)

Jane Austen, beyond a shadow of a doubt... and the why could take a while, so I'm going to try and be concise as possible.  Though I love Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Jane Austen's books strike a chord with me that no other novels have ever matched.  The woman was nothing short of a genius-- she managed to make everyday life fascinating and funny simply through observation and a talent for word-crafting.  Her characters are relatable, her settings and situations amusing and realistic, her dialogue is witty and memorable, and her narrative... well, let's just say All Hail the Queen of Snark.

"It was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, however trivial the occasion; and upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it, always fell."
~Sense and Sensibility

Favorite literary quote?

Um.  Can I give several?
Sure I can, it's my blog.
This is by no means an exhaustive list.  :P

Favorite male historical figure? Favorite female historical figure?

Hard call!  For the males... uh... maybe Martin Luther?  For the females, I've always admired Lady Jane Grey, and I've recently developed a fascination with Harriet Lane Johnston (James Buchanan's niece and First Lady of the United States from 1857-1861).

Favorite Austen heroes in order?

*insert five million disclaimers about how I know perfectly well that no one reading this is going to entirely agree with me and you may feel free to tell me so in the comments but you will not laugh me out of my opinion*

1- Mr. Knightley
2- Mr. Darcy
3- Edward Ferrars/Colonel Brandon
4- Henry Tilney (the 3 and 4 spots are Loose and Shiftable, I might add... sometimes I reverse them)
5- Captain Wentworth
6- Edmund Bertram (5 and 6 are also Loose and Shiftable spots, haha)

Favorite Austen secondary character?

Um, um, um... this is hard.  Maybe Miss Bates or Mr. Bingley? Caroline Bingley usually makes me laugh too but she's also really annoying.  Oh, oh, and does Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer count? :D Also John Knightley.  The guy is hilarious.

(Can I say Austen again?) :-)

You can always say Austen.
"There is never a time, madam, in which Jane Austen does not matter."
~Jeeves, sort of

Would you rather play the piano, walk in the woods, or write a play? (I don't actually know if you play the piano, but you seem like you do.)

Write a play!  I do like walking in the woods if I am in good company or alone with my thoughts, but I'm afraid I don't play the piano a'tall... wish I did.  Writing, however, is one of my Passions.

Anne-girl asked...

If someone told you you had to give up writing or sewing which would you pick? {pretty sure I know the answer but I was curious}

Sewing.  I love doing both, but sewing is a fun hobby/way of making a living whereas writing is What I Want to Do In Life.

Sara Lewis asked...

What is your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie?

...Kidding.  I haven't actually seen any Hitchcock movies.

Which do you prefer, deep dish or thin crust pizza?

Always happy for an excuse, however flimsy, to use this gif :D
Thin crust.  I'm one of those annoying people who often really does like the healthier version of things.  You can boo if you like, but the deep dish kind is usually greasy.

Which font do you most like to type in?

Hoefler Text for just-plain-whatever, Monotype Corsiva if I'm doing a fancy title or invitation, and Jane Austen when occasion requires.  Because, ya know.  Jane Austen.

Do you prefer to write with a pen and paper or on a computer?

I like both for different reasons and purposes-- nothing compares with the feeling of a good, smooth pen on fresh paper, but a computer is a lot handier and faster and easier to edit with.  Heehee.

Which actor do you think has the coolest-sounding voice (and it can be anyone from any period in Hollywood's history)?

I could listen to Gregory Peck all day, every day.  Also Benedict Cumberbatch.  The whole jaguar-in-a-cello thing.  Sighhhhhh...
...sorry, what was the question?

Who is your favorite Founding Father?

Noah Webster, oddly enough.  What, he wasn't a founding father?  Um, he brought organization and consistency to the American orthographical scene, wrote influential literature on the formation of the United States Constitution, and helped lobby Congress for a national copyright law.  Also he invented diacritical marks.  And he had a wickedly dry sense of humor.

 "As language is the medium of all social intercourse, and the principal instrument by which science, arts, and civilization are preserved and propagated… it is of great importance that its general principles should be well understood by those who superintend the education of youth."

"We are too apt to rest contented with opinions and systems without examining their truth and propriety. There is a kind of vis inertiae in the human mind, which inclines it to rest where it is, rather than be at the trouble of searching for a more eligible solution."

What's one fashion trend from some gone-by era that you reeeeeally wish we could bring back?

Hmmmm... maybe the practice of wearing hats when out in public?  I love hats and nobody seems to wear them anymore, except for really special occasions.   Headgear in general has either gone way downhill in the last fifty years, or else disappeared altogether.  I do not, however, advocate the resurgence of powdered wigs.

"Gee, this wig weighs a ton! What dope'd wear a thing like this?"
"Everybody used to wear them, Lina."
"Well, then everybody was a dope."
~Singin' in the Rain

"How much for the horse tornado?" 
"Madam, that is a carousel." 
"I must have it."
Is that from a book, a movie, or did you just make it up?

It's a writing prompt (author unknown) that I found on Pinterest one day, showed to my friend Petie, and consequently howled over.  We adopted it for our own and created many variations thereupon, several of which can be seen here.

The Elf asked...

Are there any book / movie characters who don't marry each other but you really wish they did?

Do Sherlock and Molly count?  :D 

Are there any new blogs you now follow / read that you discovered through your "I'd Like to Share" series?

Unfortunately the answer to this is, as yet, "no"-- but I'm on the lookout! :D

Have you read any Regency novels written by modern-day authors (e.g. Georgette Heyer / Julie Klassen, etc.) and what did you think? (I realise a lot of the modern ones aren't suitable reading but there are a few out there which are fine.)

I'm actually about a quarter of the way through The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer at this very minute, and enjoying it immensely!  Besides that, I've enjoyed I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend and various stories from Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

If you could invite any five people (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would be on your guest list?

Oooooh, hard call.  I think I'd go with Jane Austen (obviously), Amy Carmichael, L.M. Montgomery or Elizabeth Gaskell (can't deciiiiide), Julie Andrews and my best friend Melody.  (So she could enjoy the presence of the other famous peeps, haha.)

That would be one interesting dinner.

Do you think this blog will still be going in ten years' time?

That's a very thought-provoking question... in one sense I'd like to say yes, I think it will (or at least I hope it will) but at the same time um... I really don't know.  (I'm so decisive.  It's my one strength.)  Ten years from now my life may be very different, and blogging might not be a priority in my life anymore.  (not that it is now... snort.  I mean, I love it, but Other Things are constantly calling.)  Who knows?

So yeah, I think the answer is basically Moriarty's face.  Always a good answer.  :P

Ashley asked...

What is your favorite Dickens novel?

Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities tie.  :D

Do you play any instruments?

*Olaf voice*  Nope!  Wish I did, but I must content myself with listening to others' talents.

What is your favorite food?

Anything that is edible and tastes good.  I'm reasonably adventurous when it comes to trying new things... if you're gonna twist my arm, though, I'll generalize a little bit and say seafood.

Do you like Mountain Dew?

If you'd asked me that just a few months ago, my answer would have been "I don't know," but I have recently tried it for the first time and discovered I liked it.  The best way to drink it, I might add, is in a fancy teacup at two in the morning.  Just ask Melody.

If you could learn any other language, what would it be?

French.  It has a delightfully romantical and old-fashioned sound.

Who is one of your historical role models?

I think the real-life Caroline Ingalls (not the character on the TV show) was pretty amazing... I mean, she started teaching school at 16, married at 21, traveled out West with her husband and three young daughters in a covered wagon, survived grass fires, river crossings and winters on the South Dakota prairie, lost a baby to illness, lived through scarlet fever and raised four daughters to adulthood on various homesteads, all while keeping her sanity, her patience and her love for her family.  I think she was fantastic.

Do you like watching old non-animated Disney movies?

I do indeed!  The Absent-Minded Professor, Old Yeller and The Parent Trap are some of my favorites.

"Say, where'd you learn to play the piano?"
"Uh... they taught us at camp!"
~The Parent Trap

Part Two coming on Monday-- thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions!  If you still have one, feel free to leave it here before Sunday night.