A Dance for Every Sigh - Part 1 Tag
Four young ladies so kindly got to tag me in the last three or so months: Arda Nessimava, Elizabeth from Endless Road, Gabrielle from Ink Stained Parchment, and Katie from Whisperings of the Pen. I've only once before done a tag, and that was jolly good fun, and the tagging fever got carried away to some bloggers who normally never did tags and awards and stuff. I hope those whom I tag this time around will be able to join in the pleasure of the party, but anyone is welcome to join in the tag and answer these questions too! Since I cannot recall the links to all the tags given to me, I shall just tell you what I'll do! The rules of a tag in general are to list about 11 random things concerning yourself (I was about to type 'concerning hobbits' ^.^), then answer the questions given to you, tag another batch of bloggers and ask them a maze of amazing questions. Since I have four sets of questions to answer, I have reduced a few questions from each tag; and because none of us want this post to grow terribly long, I am dividing up the post into two parts. One will have a list of the eleven random facts about myself, and the other post will have those who're going to be tagged and the questions I'll pose to them. Agreed? The questions I got asked were myriad and varied in topic (some a get-to-know-you-better sort of tag, others more literary and others movie or literature related), besides being positively fun and intriguing so I shall do my best to answer them with all the grace and wit I can muster.
the freckle dots about me...
1. It is hard to recall, but I believe the first adult novel I ever read (or rather devoured) was 'The Robe' by Lloyd C. Douglas (followed closely by 'Pilgrim's Progress' and 'Hinds Feet on High Places' and 'The Holy War') when I was about eleven or twelve years old. Needless to say, this novel was instrumental in stirring my affections for historical fiction, and Ancient Rome in particular--which eventually opened the path for my writing of 'The Crown of Life'.
2. Description is my thing. I love it!
3. I keep a sporadic journal with the handwriting that would make a cat's scrawls seem elegant in comparison to mine. Yes, it is atrocious, but I am working on improving it. Honest.
4. Because I was brought up to love the stories of godly men and women of the faith in the past and reading lots of biographies and watching movies about their lives (missionaries, pastors, theologians, parents etc) it rubbed off on my playing as a child. My dolls would go as missionaries to India like William Carey did and translate the Scriptures into the language of Sanskrit... and then a fire would tragically burn down all their hard work and their printing press but they would not give up but persevere and try again! I would pretend to be young woman missionary pioneering in some heathen land and rescuing orphan girls (Amy Carmichael) and escaping boarders of Soviet Russia with Nazi soldiers at my heels (a little mixed up I know) and pretend that my imaginary husband is in prison for his faith and I must try to get him out (Ann Judson)! I was very missionary-oriented when I was little girl I guess.
5. Being the third eldest and second youngest of four sisters with vibrantly different personalities has thrown my own personality into a thousand rays of contradictions and colourful splayed prisms. If you were to take the analogy of Little Women my sisters and I will definitely find something in us to match every one of them: I am only a little like Meg, a lot like clumsy, blunt and jolly Jo in her intellectual interests and dreams (without her tomboyish and high-spirited ways) and with a faint streak of Beth's quiet temperament and some of Amy's silly immaturity. Ho hum ho!
6. I have not really seen the inside of a school room before and am the happier for it.
7. I am a hobbit in disguise.
8. I have a knack for being lengthy. When I've got a letter or e-mail to write, you may be almost sure it will be book-sized (at least 7-9 pages in length). And I relish the opportunity to flaunt my talent for it :).
9. It is a fact known about me that I am dramatic (or rather melodramatic) and prone to high emotions, tears and sentiment. However, I am not a highly romantic person though I dearly love a beautiful love story told or lived by the firelight, and fairy candles at night and red roses and bridal gowns; I just don't obsess over them.
10. I have a deep seated love for Ancient History and admire my sister, Sarah, as a history student for her perseverance in her academic studies and skill for getting others excited about history!
11. The majority of my favourite authors and books come from somewhere in the 20th Century; I admire the literary style of that time-period from Sir Arthur Conan's Doyle (who almost fell into the 20th Century) down through the years till the 1980s with Rosemary Sutcliff and Patricia St. John because it was rich and intriguing and poetic without being arduous or wordy.
Arda Nessimava's 'Game of Riddles'
1. If you lived in Middle-earth, what would you most likely be employed as (i.e. stable hand in Rohan, musician for the elves of Lothlorien, Ranger of Ithilien, a baker in Hobbiton, librarian in Minas Tirith, etc, etc, etc...)?
It would most probably be tie between a musician for the elves if I were more virtuoso a violinist than I currently am (does Middle-Earth have violins though?), and a librarian in Minas Tirith--wow, that sounds like something I would truly love! Most likely though I would end up being employed as an aid for the baker in Hobbiton and perhaps I would be happy about it if I did not long so much for an exciting and adventurous life and was something of a better cook!
2. You're sent to Mordor to destroy the Ring; you can take with you anyone (but only one!) you want, real or fictional. Who is it?
Only one? If I were to choose from the folks in 'The Lord of the Rings' as in fictional people, I would love to have Gandalf be with me, or Aragorn because each of them is so brave and strong and wise. Frodo too because of his bravery, mercy and compassion and long-suffering, but he is the ring-bearer and almost you feel like you are Frodo yourself when you imagine to be in his shoes. But when I think about it I would not have anyone but brave and faithful Samwise Gamgee! In real life--I would have one of the members of my family go with me, and yet I would not want that, because the cost would be too high for them, and thus for me. I really understand Frodo in 'The Fellowship of the Ring' how he purposed to go to Mordor alone though he was mortally afraid to do it yet for the love he bore for his friends he could not bear the thought of the sufferings they'd have to endure.
3. If Tolkien had bothered to write you into LOTR as a member of The Fellowship, how long would you have survived?
Not very long I suspect. But on second thoughts, I am rather like Pippen and he survived long and well (longer than most without getting injured), so maybe I could too!
4. Which of the swords in LOTR would you most like to own?
STING! Bilbo's sword is amazing because it is light (that means I can handle it!), and lights up when orcs are about (how nice is that?) and is passed down through the brave adventures of my three favourite hobbits, Bilbo, Frodo and Sam! Andruil is an epic sword, but it is so very loooong I would not manage it. And anyway, Aragorn is the only one who has power to wield it =D.
5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you for The Hobbit?
I am very excited about 'The Hobbit' on the scale of 100 out of 10. Enough said I think.
6. If you could be in an episode of any tv show, which one would it be?
'No Place Like Home' in 'The Little House on the Prairie' tv series because that's a great episode and I'd love to dress and live in 1800s style for a day! But you know I think I would love to be in a Jeremy Brett adaption of Sherlock Holmes in one of his cases--any one of them as a client perhaps or maybe... or maybe a criminal.
7. What's the last book you read? Was it Good? Not so good?
I've been reading so many books since then that my memory is rather blurred, but I believe the last book I finished reading was the last book in C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Space Trilogy, 'That Hideous Strength'. My thoughts on it? The most peculiar novel I've read in ages! I liked 'Out of Silent Planet' and 'Perelandra' better than this last book in C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. It was a bit too fantastic and a crazy mixture of science-fiction, fantasy, time-travel, Arthurian Legend, the battle between good and evil, philosophy and Christian thought that it confused me sometimes. I often got lost in the complicated twists and turns of the tale and some things I still do not understand about the scientific issues involved in the story (like that mechanical head kept alive!). But 'That Hideous Strength' owns a very thrilling and strong story-line and perhaps the best part of the whole story is the how captivating the characters are (Jane, Mark, Mr and Mrs Dimble, Ivy Meg, Lord Featherstone, the Fairy, Mr. Wether, etc...). As a stand-alone novel it is really unique and delightfully thought-provoking, but as in J.R.R. Tolkien's words about 'That Hideous Strength', "the last book ruined the trilogy' (the exact words may have been a little different!). I have a feeling I tend to agree with him :p. But I really enjoyed reading this book immensely and it made me think a lot. The literary style was also very, very captivating and it just made me realize more than ever what a capital novelist C.S. Lewis was--not only in fantasy, allegory and philosophy but in modern (for his time) story settings! (I read the full 500 something pages) in the space of a week but got very little schoolwork done during that time. For that, I think C.S. Lewis owes me an apology!
8. What are some words that people often use to describe you with?
Joyfulishness (and/or simply) Joy. Meek. Jolly. Caring. Immature. Sensitive. Talkative. Sociable. Intellectual to name a few.
9. Something(s) you just really hate? Go on. Rant.
Hmm... on second thoughts, I'd rather not.
A Tag by Elizabeth
1. I have heard it said that some people don't want to read classics because they are too long. Yet some of these same people read Harry Potter (and those are not short books). Do you think it is really the length of the book, or something else?
(Disclaimer: I am totally against anything to do with Harry Potter--movies, books etc--but more on that in my next tag post). I think the thing that daunts people from picking up a classic to read it is not just the size of the said book, but rather the depth of language in it that does not make for an easy afternoon reading and when you add length on top of that, it can be very off-putting. So much easier to grab a modern novel or watch a movie adaption of an old classic. Though I loved reading early on, until recently I myself did not relish the reading of a novel written before the late 1800s (Dickens etc, etc, etc). Now that I am older I have grown to appreciate the writing style and complexity and beauty of Eighteen and Nineteenth Century literature and realize that though modern novels are easier to read they may not be as truly enjoyable or beneficial as an old classic.
2. If you could pick a dead author to talk to who would it be: Jane Austen, one of the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain, or Thomas Hardy?
I've heard something of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Mark Twain though I've read nothing of their works. But if I were left to choose, I would like to be allowed to view a discussion of the Inklings group (Lewis and Tolkien, yay!) and even get to talk with/write to them personally. But I think I would as much enjoy meeting Patricia St. John or Rosemary Sutcliff than any of the others and talking with them without feeling like an intellectual midget.
3. Who is your favorite actor? And what is your favorite character they have played?
My favourite actors are those that when they take on the role they become the character and they visalizue their thoughts and emotions with depth. I am not all too familiar with actors and their differing roles though so if I make sweeping statements, forgive me :). I love Jeremy Brett's acting immensely, and my favourite character he played would undoubtedly be the 1980s version of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC tv adaption. Ioan Gruffudd is another great actor, and I love his roles as Horatio Hornblower in the mini tv series Hornblower and as William Wilberforce in the movie Amazing Grace. Elijah Wood's role as Frodo Baggins was the best casting role to grace the cinematic screen in my humble opinion though; I mean he did it really well, capturing Frodo's earlier innocence and youthful thoughtfulness and later on his vulnerability and his struggle against the power of the ring and the endurence of his sufferings with such a capacity of moving and touching your heart to tears; but then of course every single role for each of the characters in the LOTR movies was chosen perfectly; each actor acted wonderfully. Young Georgie Henley playing Lucy Pevensie in the Narnia movies, Olivia Hussey as Mother Teresa in the movie by the same name, Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell in 'Cromwell' and Gregory Peck as Francis Chisholm in 'The Keys of the Kingdom' are some of my other favourite. Goodness, that was a big list!
5. Do you think being a fan of Jane Austen is becoming/is a fad?
For ever so long, Jane's Austen's novels as classics have been popular with young ladies in their growing up years. So I doubt it is a fad that will pass, because I honestly do believe that there is some quality in Austen's writings at least in her portrayal of some of her characters which is worth some merit and has stood the test of more than one hundred years. I personally have never read any of Jane Austen's books, on the advice of my dad, though my older sister has watched some of the movie adaptions of Jane Austen's books and my mum read her books when she was in highschool. I just believe that it must not be taken as some sort of guide for how courtship and romance ought to happen and I think that we girls must guard ourselves against falling into that 'desperate dating mindset' wherein young ladies and their mothers are on the continual hunt for suitors as seems prevalent in Austen's books; also to be careful against falling into the trap of idolizing marriages and gentlemen from relationships and the male characters in her novels and movies. If I were to read and enjoy Jane Austen's books, I would do so for the sake of literary character and quality, a bit of history of the social times the stories are set in, and for general enjoyment but not as a guide for marriage or how relationships ought to work!
6. Would you call yourself a morning person?
The intellectual part of my brain works best in the evenings (if it has not been sizzled in the morning firing pan of Mathematics), but my body functions best in the morning if that makes any sense. On normal days I wake up from 7:00 to 7:30 but that is because my normal bedtime now is 9:30 to 10:00 (sometimes later when I am not wise!). During weekends, I can go to bed as late as 12:00 pm and wake up from about 8:00-9:30 am if we don't have an early appointment somewhere.
7. Tea or Coffee?
I have only ever drunk de-caffeinated tea and coffee. I liked both... one day I should like to like and enjoy both but not get addicted to them.
8. Have you come across a book where you liked the movie version better?
Yes, I did in fact. It is 'Ben Hur' by Lew Wallece. I enjoyed the movie ever so much better! W-e-l-l, I have started to change my mind on the book after rereading it (the first time I read it I was only around twelve and found the description and romance rather beyond me). I appreciate it a lot more now and it makes quite a lot of sense, but I think the movie version will always be my favourite.
Also, I rather enjoy the 'Prince Caspian' movie better then the book in general. Shocking, I know, but that's how I am!
9. What is your favorite place to read a book?
It does not matter to me! I'll read anywhere and everywhere with relish, and I do not have a special place though I do enjoy reading quietly alone in the bedroom. Also I like to read a book best when I am not feeling guilty about it (like when I am wasting time reading it rather than attending to my studies or chores) but it matters not to me the place or circumstances. I do prefer good light and my spectacles handy so I do not strain my eyes and reading in the car is less than perfect but if the book is interesting enough that too will not matter very much.
10. Do you have a food that you don't like, but everyone else does?
I love just about all food, but there are some food 'mixtures' and 'mushes' that my sisters might enjoy and I feel like retching over.
And on this happy note, I'll leave you with a beautiful Christmas song, 'Carol of the Bells', and ask you to stay tuned for part two of 'A Dance for Every Sigh Tag'!