Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sunshine Blogger Award

Time for another delightful tag! This one is from Anna @ Swords and Quills. Thanks ever so much, Anna!

What is your favorite Christmas song?

"See Amid the Winter's Snow," I think. "Of the Father's Love Begotten" is exceedingly beautiful, too. I never heard of either of these until I got to be in a liturgical choir a few years ago. I think they're fairly obscure. You must needs listen to them if you haven't already! They're so, so lovely and reverent, and really made me think about how wonderful it is that God became man for us. (You can't really go wrong with O Holy Night, either. But don't get me started on Christmas songs. There's too many good ones...all the festive memories...it's too hard to pick one!)

What is one book that you have read more than twice?

Treasure Island. It's kinda funny, the first time I read it I didn't like it. (For shame, right?) But when I read it last year, I positively loved it, and read it out loud to my siblings this past October when we went to the Outer Banks. I'll probably end up reading it again sometime this school year, which makes me happy. :)


Read this on vacation to siblings! Oh, it was wonderful. So fun to share. Now we want to write a sequel...:

Who is your favorite character from The Lord of the Rings (book or movies)?

Oh, Sam! Definitely Sam. He's so loyal, so selfless, so simple and good. I've always loved his devotion to Frodo, his appreciation for poetry, his fascination with the elves. He's just...there's something about Sam. He embodies all the down-to-earth simplicity and plain good values of the hobbits, and he has a great love for simple things, like rope and gardening. Yet at the same time he's always yearning for poetry and chivalry and greatness. And he's pretty emotional for a LOTR character -- how many times does he burst into tears in the book?

"There's some good left in this world, Mr Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." - Samwise, Lord of the Rings:

Long story short, Sam Gamgee is my favorite character, not only in The Lord of the Rings, but in all of literature.

(Now, I should mention, I'm very fond of Faramir too. In the book, mind you. They absolutely ruined him in the movie...in my humble and very strong opinion, at least.)

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Narnia books. It took a couple of years for Dad to read those to my brothers and sisters and I, so it was one big long adventure. (Narnia was followed by The Lord of the Rings, which we possibly obsessed over even more...but Narnia was earlier, so it's even more of a childhood thing.)


We've read these to each other and the kids several times.  (Though the movies are a bit disappointing):

If you had to choose between a dragon, a griffin, a phoenix, or a pegasus for a pet, which would you choose? Why?

A pegasus! I've always longed for a horse and I've always wished I could fly, so having a pegasus would solve all my problems in one fell swoop. :)

What is your favorite part about Christmas? Why?

One favorite part about Christmas? Um...all of it? :) Oh, I don't know!! Waking up early in the morning and running down with my siblings to stare greedily at the presents under the tree is so fun. But...but...that sounds utterly materialistic. I also like coming home from Christmas Eve Mass and sitting around the tree with my family. And...and...and...the carols, and the nativity set, and, and, and! It's too hard! I can't pick one favorite part about Christmas!!

What is your favorite book genre?

Oh dear dear me. Well I really like classics. And historical fiction. And fantasy...although I've been noticing that a lot of modern fantasy is too "out there" for my taste. Give me a good cliche fairy tale and I'm happy. :)

What is your weapon of choice? Why?

Well, to tell the truth I can't use any weapon. If I were attacked I'd rely on my piercing scream to summon aid, and try to defend myself with teeth and nails.

If I were to learn to use a weapon just for coolness' sake, it'd probably be a bow and arrow. I've messed around with a bow and makeshift targets in the backyard before, and that was delightful. Every time I got close to hitting my mark I felt like Artemis.

(Which was ridiculous of me. I'm nothing like Artemis, in character or appearance.)


Katniss is talented with a bow. She uses this for hunting to keep her family alive. It is also her weapon of choice in the Hunger Games.:

What is one favorite Christmas memory?

Once a group of friends and I went to a town Christmas celebration thingy, and oh, it was so much fun! We got to ride in a carriage drawn by these huge beautiful draft horses, and we sang Christmas carols in harmony, which resulted in our getting compliments from strangers and the friendship of this really cute group of little girls. Ah! It was so delightful.

How do you react to awkward silence?

Depends. If I'm in the presence of an adult I don't know very well (okay, I'm 18, but there's a big difference in age between me and a real grown-up), I'll be quite likely to just sit there in absolute silence and wonder where to look. If I'm around someone younger than me, I might just start talking stupidly and stubbornly about the first suitable subject that comes to mind. ("So how's school?")

What is one character trait that you value above almost all others?

Goodness.

....That's too broad, isn't it? Well, I suppose a trait doesn't have to be a virtue; I could've said "good looks" if I'd wanted to sound really shallow, couldn't I? So does "goodness" pass?

(Y'know, I'm really liking the way Belle @ Worlds of Ink and Paper answered this one with "chivalry." That about sums everything up.)


Now! I'm supposed to nominate 11 other bloggers, but...I am a recluse when it comes to blogging and all the other bloggers I know have been tagged already, I do believe. Which is simply tragical. (Hopefully I didn't slight anyone by forgetting them. If I did, yell at me in the comments! By the by, is "tragical" a word? Auto-correct says it isn't, but Louisa May Alcott uses it, so who am I to believe?)

But anyway. If I had 11 bloggers to tag, it would now be time to think up 11 questions. But without bloggers....hmmm.

Tell you what! I'll put up eleven questions and anyone who likes may steal this tag, or just answer the questions in the comments if they so desire. Sound good?

Questions:
1. What's the most boring book you've ever read?
2. What's your favorite fruit?
3. How many states/provinces have you been in?
4. What's your dream job?
5. Would you rather travel back in time or forward in time?
6. Would you rather have the power to jump into the television or jump into a book?
7. Name one thing that scares you.
8. Name one thing that you're crazy about that no one else seems to have heard of/be interested in.
9. In which order should the Narnia books be read?
10. Say you're writing a Divine Comedy of your own -- name a couple of fictional characters you would assign to Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Let us Ponder


On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three French hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree.


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Put a bird on it.:

The third day of Christmas. The song is just beginning. We've hardly begun to feel the increasing quickness of the melody, to laugh at the rattled-off list of symbolic but ludicrous gifts, to grow at all weary of the partridge in the pear tree.

The third day of Christmas. The church is still decked in its yuletide finery. The brilliant crimson of the poinsettias clustered close around the altar has not begun to fade. According to the ecclesiastical calendar we are in the first half of the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord.

The third day of Christmas. Advent has come to fruition, the wait is over; let the rejoicing commence! And yet...

How many people say "Merry Christmas" in the street? How many green and red decorations, so prominent in the city a week ago, are there in the city today? How many radio stations have packed away the Christmas music for another year and gone back to their old everyday songs?

Now that Santa Claus has come and the presents have all been unwrapped, has all that is worth looking forward to in Christmas come and gone?

Presents wrapped under the tree:

In our society, it would seem that we celebrate not one, but two Christmases -- that although December 25th is one day, it is really the crux of two different holidays. For one of these holidays, December 25th marks the end. For the other, it marks only the beginning.

Now, at one time, I believe, these two holidays were one and the same...or maybe one was banished for awhile and is now gradually coming back. One is the Christmas of the world. The other is the Christmas of the Christians.

For the world, "Christmas" begins earlier and earlier each year. It used to be the day after Thanksgiving that the red and green lights came out and the carols tinkled from the radio. Now it is closer to the day after Halloween. Stores peddle Christmas ware before the leaves have fallen. While the Church is draping the altar with expectant purple and lighting the first solemn glow of the Advent candle, Santa Claus is already enthroned on the pedestal of shopping malls and department stores.

Granted, all this early excitement may have something innocent and even good about it, depending on the circumstances. No one can blame a little boy for counting down the days to Christmas beginning in October. And doubtless many a devout Christian wouldn't think of waiting until Christmas to share the Christmas spirit and look forward with love and longing to Christ's birthday. This sort of excitement is understandable in the little boy's case and laudable in that of the adult.

Poinsettias clip art big 700x1087 Christmas:

However, side by side with early Christian enthusiasm walks another kind of excitement -- one that has nothing to do with the first sort and yet may look almost exactly like it. It is not so much an enthusiasm as a frenzy -- a fever, a restless desire not so much for Christmas as for some of the aspects of Christmas. This is the rush of mercantilism, the hectic sickness of greed, the hurry, push, grab of Black Friday. This is the cult that has abducted the jollity and innocence and simplicity of Santa Claus and made him into a cheap idol of avarice. And this, I suspect, is also the movement that is so desperately eager to throw out "Merry Christmas" and replace it with "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings."

This group of people wants, quite literally, to take Christ out of Christmas -- in which case it cannot be Christmas anymore. They like the byproducts or, perhaps more accurately, the natural results of Christmas: peace, goodwill, music, feasting, presents. They don't care for the cause of Christmas, for Christmas itself. They want to replace it with another holiday, one which has nothing to do with religion.
Holiday Sign, Merry Everything Happy Always, Chalkboard Art, Chalk Art, Christmas Decor, Pine Cones, Christmas Art by TheWhiteLime on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/254749919/holiday-sign-merry-everything-happy:

They would probably like to bring back the old pagan feast that the Romans used to celebrate on December 25th. In a way, they have brought it back. All the gift-giving and merrymaking the Romans delighted in, they revel in, too; and they revel, as the Romans did, without a very well-defined purpose. They are slipping back into the old pre-Christian ways, into the ways of paganism.

This festival of the neo-pagans, this "anti-Christmas," ends on December 25th. Why should it go on any longer? Santa Claus has made his rounds. The wrapping paper is all torn away and left in crumpled piles on the living room floor. Already on the third day of Christmas the presents which seemed to brilliant and tantalizing and fulfilling from the far-off land of November have begun to lose their luster. Celebrations go stale. We are tired of singing and dancing and showing goodwill to all. It's wearisome to put on a bright face, and why should we bother now? Santa has not only come, but gone. There's nothing more to look forward to. This last celebration has not satisfied us. We must rush on, on, to the next exciting thing -- to a New Year and work and the grind of daily life, and Valentine's Day in February.

Thus much of the world rushes by with glum faces, the cacophony of Christmas over.

But the rest of the world? The Christians?

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

The true Christians are left in silence, gazing at the manger.

The Reason for the Season.:

For them, Christmas has only just begun.

Other presents fade from the moment they are opened -- yes, even the presents Christians give one another in love, even the gifts from the real un-corrupted Santa Claus. But that's okay. We know it's okay. We have a present that doesn't fade.

The Babe in the manger grows brighter each day. He can't be fully appreciated at first glance. Unlike the other presents, the longer we gaze at Him the more value we see in Him, the more love will kindle in our hearts, the more joy and contentment and peace will flower in our lives.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

One day is not enough to ponder this gift. Tradition has given us twelve. The Church in her generosity has given us until the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.

Maybe the flurry of getting and giving gifts is over. Maybe the malls are empty of decorations. Maybe the radio stations are silent. But a true Christian doesn't need the world to help him celebrate the gift the world can't see. It's up to the Christian to celebrate himself, that his eyes, and then the world's, might gradually be opened.

How shall we celebrate? With music, yes, with songs and dancing. We'll make our own music if the world won't sing for us. But also we will celebrate with silence. We will take the example of Mary, who might fittingly be called the first Christian and who, after the events themselves had unfolded, "pondered all these things in her heart."

Nacimiento:

My friends, my brothers and sisters, let us celebrate. Let us gather round the crib and gaze at the gift our God has given us. Let us ask ourselves what it means that God became man. Let us marvel.

Let us ponder.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Credits: The above post was quite heavily inspired by G. K. Chesterton's book "The Everlasting Man," notably the chapter "The God in the Cave."

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Character Interview! Introducing Pep

Hullo, dear people! I've some pretty exciting news for you today. I'm teaming up with the marvelous Anna Deubell @ A Light From the Shadows in a interview-our-characters-on-each-other's-blogs-thingy. (And that.....was a brilliant way of putting it. That's the official term for this activity now, okay, Anna?)

Basically, Anna's character Carmen is going to interview my character Pep on her blog, and my character Lillian is going to interview her character Chase here at Tanglewebs and Fairy Rings.

At least, I think that's how it works.

Anyway! Before we can host the interviews, we have to have interview questions. And that, of course, is where you come in.

Here's Pep's bio. If you want to read more about her, I did a Beautiful People post on her in September. Ask her as many questions as you like, and we'll get ready to get this interview thingy started!

Pep

Pep:

Pep is a fairy princess -- or rather, the Fairy Princess. As such, she lives with the Fairy Queen in the moss-covered little tree that is the fairy castle. Sometimes it's hard for her to live up to the prim and proper standards of fairy royalty, but she loves the Fairy Queen dearly and tries her best to be a model princess. 

Still....quite often, her fiery, impetuous personality gets the better of her.

Of all things that get under Pep's skin, the Turvies are the worst. She can't bear their rowdy ways or their jeering attitude towards the Fairy Queen. And Pep isn't afraid to punch the Turvy Prince in the nose when she finds him picking on Lillian. That's how the two of them meet.

It's easy to make friends with someone who saves you from the Turvies, so Lillian and Pep get along pretty well...at first. But when she realizes that Lillian believes herself to be a mouse, Pep decides it's her duty to convince her new friend of the truth. And Lillian doesn't want to be convinced; she just wants to be left alone. 

There we go! Do you have any questions for Pep? Fire away! She's a fairly talkative little creature and will be happy to answer pretty much anything. :) And be sure to hop over to Anna's blog to interrogate Chase!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Infinity Dreams Award

Good gracious! Ever so long ago I was tagged for the Infinity Dreams Award by Blue @ To Be a Shennachie. (Which is a beautiful blog, by the way; you should absolutely check it out if you haven't already.) It's high time I finished and posted this post!


Eleven facts about myself:

1. I have a mild obsession with the old western Laramie. Okay....maybe more than a mild obsession...

Robert Fuller & John Smith in Laramie:

2. There are four chickens in my garage right now, being sheltered from the bitter cold. Adorable ones for the most part, although the rooster, Alexander, is a feisty one. I have a love-hate relationship with that dear fellow.

3. I'm very very happy because I just came back from Half Price Books yesterday and got my hands on a copy of The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well as Peter Pan. Also several books I plan to give away as Christmas presents, if I can muster up the courage to part with them. :)

4. One of my new favorite books is Enemy Brothers, by Constance Savery. It's quite a marvelous piece of historical fiction which a wonderful friend lent me this past summer.

This is one of those books that makes me want to stroke it lovingly, hold it close to my heart, and never let it go. It was simply beautiful. Dym is one of the best characters I've ever met in all my rambles through Bookland. Dym, Dym, Dym! Oh, Dym.:

5. I despise math. It hurts my brain. Maybe because I never learned my multiplication facts as well as I should have...?

6. Another thing that hurts my brain is Latin, which I'm taking with two younger siblings....but I enjoy that a good deal more than math.

7. Once upon a time a very little version of me found a dead frog squished flat on the road in front of my house. And I decided it would be a fun prank to put that squished frog in the mail box for the mail lady to find.

8. I was fingerprinted the other day! Not because I'm a criminal or anything, but because my family's a registered foster family. And since I'm eighteen, well, I have to be fingerprinted.

9. I'm always discovering words that I've pronounced wrong all my life. Like "vehemence" and "moccasins" and....I still don't think I know how to pronounce those.

10. I like cookie dough better than baked cookies. (Not that that stops me from eating baked cookies.)

11. Even though I don't particularly like the name Richard, I've got four characters named Dick, Ricky, Bobby Dick, and Richard, respectively.... 

Eleven questions answered:

1. What disgusts you?

Sin, the idea of eating eyeballs, snakes, and moldy chicken food. Also Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. 

2. What inspires you?

Saint stories, any beautiful poem about good triumphing over evil (I'm thinking The Battle of Lepanto, by G. K. Chesterton), and any really well-told story about good people doing good things.

3. What’s the last thing that brought tears of joy to your eyes?

Oh goodness. I don't know. Maybe Holy Communion? Or a really good book?

4. Ideal mode of transportation? And when I ask this, I ask this without limits- Model T ford? Horse? Airship? Dragon? Flying carpet?

Now this is a fun question! And my answer is - horse! Horse horse horse horse horse give me a horse please now now now....

Bowan:

Actually a flying unicorn might be even better than a horse. But seriously, why did we ever move to cars? 

5. You somehow gain possession of a time machine (was your answer to #4 the deLorean from Back to the Future, or the TARDIS?) Which time period do you go to first?

This is even better than number 4! I've always wanted a time machine. Actually I'm working on building one right now. (Not.... Unless you count the story I wrote/am working on for NaNo.) 

Hmmm. I'm very glad that significant little word "first" was tacked onto the end of the question, because otherwise I would be sitting here writhing for hours in agony trying to decide which time period I want to dive into. Maybe ancient Rome? Or -- yes, yes, ancient Rome. Specifically right around 320 A.D., when the Martyrs of Sebaste were killed. I want to write a story about them one of these days, and it must needs be researched. Plus it might help with Latin class.

After that I'd probably go to 1930s America, since I've got a story idea set there, too. :) And then....oh, it'd just be too much fun! I want a time machine!

6. Which one fictional character would you like to see in your government?

Oooh! Blue, you ask such awesome questions!!! Well......the first guy who pops to mind is Aragorn, but that's just so obvious. I guess there's a reason it's so obvious. He really would make a great leader. Although, it's hard to imagine him as a president instead of a king, isn't it? How'd about Dym from Enemy Brothers? Just because Dym is so splendid and wonderful and conscientious and brave! I love Dym. :)

7. Which one fictional character would you like to take for coffee?

*perks up like a dog asked to go on a walk* Dym? No, I'd rather he take me for coffee...*blushes* Goodness I'm silly...

Oh dear, I feel like there's some poor, plucky, sweet girl I'm just dying to befriend....but I forget who it is. Let's go with Lucy from Narnia. I just started rereading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and she's such a sweetheart!

Illustration (1998) by Deborah Maze for CSL's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.:

8. Which one fictional character would you like to kick in the pants? (or at least just glare at?)

Marius Pontmercy. Next to Victor Hugo, there is no one involved in Les Miserables I would rather give a talking-to. 

9. Which three historical people do you admire most?

*grinds teeth in agony* Blue! Why must you ask such thought-provoking questions?? Well, I'm going to leave saints out of this, because picking between saints would be impossible. :) Hmmm.....

Well, there's Don Juan of Austria. I don't know much about him as a person but the story of the Battle of Lepanto has always been one of my favorites. So when I think "historical heroes" he's kinda the first guy that pops into my head. Another dashing military figure who fascinates me is the French WWI ace Georges Guynemer, but again, that's more of a childish fancy than a real admiration. Also William Wilberforce, although pretty much everything I know of him comes from the movie Amazing Grace (and who counts movies as solid historical sources? but still).

To put George Washington on this list feels really cliche as an American, but really he's quite my favorite U. S. historical figure. :)

And then there's -- ooh! Was going to say Clotilda (the wife of Clovis, the first Catholic king of the Franks), but then I remembered Isabelle of Spain. Both those queens are pretty awesome.

.....Looking over this list and how I totally disobeyed the limit of three, I think it would've been easier to stick to saints. :)

10. Would you rather have the ability to fly or breathe underwater?

Fly! That's always been a dream of mine.

11. Which animal (real or fictional) reminds you most of yourself?

Hmm. That is quite an original one. I'm going to have to saw a macaw. Not because I'm necessary similar to a macaw in any way, but because I had a dear uncle whose nick-name for me was "Macaw" in front of my real name, which starts with an M. And which....I really might as well tell all of you at this point.... 


The best colour combinations are those that Nature approves! | Wild About Birds Nature Center in Layton, Utah sells everything to do with your backyard birds and also offer tours on the Deseret Ranch, which is home to over 100 species of birds! For more information, go to http://wildaboutbirdsnaturecenter.com or call 801-779-BIRD.:

I don't know which animal I'm most similar to. Maybe a plump Rhode Island Red hen? Or a cat that hates the cold? Or a painfully shy bunny rabbit? Or a daydreaming.....what kind of animal daydreams, anyway? A...lizard? or a cat?

Eleven questions for you: 

I'm afraid it shall be impossible to top Blue's! But I'll give it a try:

1. What's your dream travel destination?
2. If you could choose to change your own name, would you? To what?
3. Would you rather be a giant or an elf?
4. If you could master any language instantly, what would it be?
5. Tell us a little bit about several historical figures/stories you find mesmerizing.
6. If you had to choose a spouse from fiction, who would it be?
7. Say the White Witch is about to cast a spell over your country, but she gives you the choice of which season it shall be eternally. Which one do you choose?
8. What's one thing you hope to accomplish before you die?
9. What's your taste in books like when it comes to reading? Writing?
10. What's your favorite song?
11. What one book would you recommend to any random person on the street?

I tag:
And anyone else who wants to join in the fun!

There we go! That concludes this delightful tag which ought to have been completed long ago. :) What about you? Any questions of Blue's that you'd like to answer in the comments? (They were splendiferous questions, were they not?) 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy St. Lucy's Day! Scones, Anyone?

It's St. Lucy's feast day today! Yippee!

I've always loved virgin martyrs, and Lucy is one of my especial friends (I took her name in Confirmation, actually).

St. Lucy  Protector of the Eyes:

You can read more about St. Lucy here. Today, I'm going to talk about a Swedish St. Lucy's Day tradition we've adopted in our family. (Sadly, I didn't learn about this tradition because I'm from a Swedish family - we're actually German/French - but from reading the American Girl Kirsten books. I suppose being a bookworm has its benefits, eh?) 

Kirsten's Surprise - 2013:

So! According to Swedish tradition.....according to "Kirsten's Surprise".....the youngest girl in the family wakes up before anyone else, dresses in a white dress, puts a wreath with candles in it on her head, and makes coffee and scones for the whole family, waking them up with a "St. Lucy welcomes you to breakfast." I'm actually the oldest girl in my family, but there's no way I'm letting my younger sisters take over. Also, I've given up on the candles in the hair and I usually let Mom handle the coffee-making. But! Getting up before anyone else and making scones is lots of fun. In case you want to try, here's the scone recipe I use.

(Credits go to Betty Crocker's Cookbook, the New and Revised edition published by Golden Press/New York, printed 1990. The original recipe can be found on page 29, but I've doubled it and made a few small changes.)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of butter
3 and 1/2 cups of flour
6 tablespoons of sugar
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup of raisins (the original recipe says currants work, too, but I've never tried that)
8-12 tablespoons of half-and-half (today, we didn't have half-and-half, so I used cream and milk)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make a dry mix of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Add eggs, raisins, and half-in-half. (The cookbook says to add "just enough half-and-half so dough leaves side of bowl." I always eyeball it.)

Knead the dough, roll it out, and cut it with a cookie cutter, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (I got 42 scones out of this recipe.) You don't have to grease the cookie sheet. The original recipe says to brush the scones with egg before baking them, but as my whole family hates eggy-tasting things I always skip that part. Today I brushed them with butter before baking. Not sure if it made much of a difference, but they turned out well. 

Happy St. Lucy's Day, everyone!!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Things I Learned from NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone! You thought I fell off the face of the earth, didn't you? Probably because I did. I fell into the black hole of NaNoWriMo and decided to go on a blogging hiatus without telling anyone. Which was very impolite of me, not?

Anyway! Seeing as how NaNoWriMo was the defining characteristic of last month, I though I might as well do a post on it. Overall, I'm glad I did it. I managed to get past 50,000 words and finish a rough draft of The Time Traveling League.

Now.....it's an incredibly ugly first draft. But my first drafts are always hideous, so that makes little difference to me. :)

I learned lots of things from NaNo, and I'm slightly impatient to make a list of them and share them with you. :)

General Stuff about Being a Writer

1. It's not impossible.

Whenever I read anything about National Novel Writing Month and the wild craziness that November is for some writers, I got the impression that participants spend all their time divided between writing, sleeping, and eating.

In reality that is simply not the case. Writing 2000 words only takes a few hours, tops. I had plenty of time to do schoolwork, hang out with friends and siblings, and fangirl over Laramie. (Have I mentioned Laramie on this blog...? No? Oh, I guess that's a subject for another post.) You just have to prioritize.

Which brings me to point #2:

2. I just have to make the time.

For me, this meant cutting down on computer time. Email was sorely neglected. This blog was sorely neglected. Pinterest -- didn't miss me because Pinterest is like a cat and gets along fine without anyone giving it attention all the time.

But anyway. The point is, if I really want to write, I can find the time.

3. But I can't be a writer 24/7.

Actually this is more like something I started to think about during NaNo rather than something I actually did learn. Ever seen this writing quote?:

this is so true:


Turns out that quote is a bunch of hogwash. G. K. Chesterton would say so, I am 100% sure. (But that, like Laramie, is material for another day.) Writers cannot be always always thinking about writing. They have to take breaks sometimes. They have to be people, not just writers.

There comes a point when I have to close the Word document, leave my characters to themselves, and just let it all go. During the first days of NaNo it was incredibly freeing to think "I've written all I have to today. I'll come back again tomorrow," because then I could give my all to my schoolwork, or doing the dishes, or playing a board game, or walking up and down the driveway.

(Of course, that only lasted for the first day or so. Then I started thinking, "Even if I've made my word quota for today, it can't hurt to get a jump on tomorrow's word count" and then bye-bye to all Chestertonian reflections on how I have to be a person first and a writer second. But at least I started to think about it.)

Specific Stuff about Writing a Book

1. Talking to my characters can help unstuck a scene.

I started to write a post on this in the middle of last month and never got around to finishing it. (Maybe I'll post it later.) A couple of times during NaNo, the scene I was writing would come to a screeching halt. It wasn't that I didn't know what had to happen next - the story was in good shape - I just didn't know what my characters would do in that next second of time. Here, I employed a piece of writing advice I had read somewhere but never used - I started to write a dialogue between myself and my characters asking them what they wanted most in that particular scene. Once I realized what everyone wanted and how badly they wanted it, I was able to use the people with the most clear-cut goals and the most forceful personalities to move things forward.

2. Causing the characters problems solves the writer problems.

Groundbreaking, right? :) Haha, I feel so silly admitting that I never before realized how invaluable conflict is to a story. But really. So often I'll be writing a draft, and a thought will cross my mind, "Oh, this could go wrong..." And for one second I'll consider changing things up and making my characters suffer. But then I think, "No, that'll add another ten pages to the book and I'm impatient to get to the climax!"

But with NaNo - lo and behold! Adding ten pages is a good thing. So...maybe that was part of the reason I followed more of my impulses and actually let my characters have to go to the emergency room for severe burns?

3. It's okay not to have a theme down pat until the end.

I knew I wanted my book to have a specific, powerful theme. I just didn't know what that theme was. To my delight, the climax determined it for me, and from that point out I knew what the story was really supposed to be about. Well...okay, maybe I didn't know what it was really supposed to be about. But I definitely had a better idea. I was reminded of the slogan I've got somewhere in my Pinterest collection,

Writing:

4. Just because a first draft can (and should) be rough doesn't mean I shouldn't put effort into it.

When I was really close to getting my word count done for the month, there was a big temptation to rush through the climax and denouement and conclusion and just worry about getting those last thousand words down. But I decided that I wanted to finish the story in this first draft, not just write a shoddy climax and get the word count down. And it was so, so much more satisfying in the end to have a story that actually made sense, even though it still needed a ton of help.

(Note that I'm not saying my climax isn't shoddy. It is pretty pathetic. But at least I didn't just type out "then they beat the bad guys!...and lived happily ever after the end" and called it a climax the way I've come pretty close to doing before.)

Personal Writing Weaknesses

1. I need to work on developing my main characters. 

This is something I've known about my personal writing for awhile. My protagonists are the most boring creatures in book-land. I tend to think of a story idea and then choose a really bland person (usually a bland and slightly-modified version of me) as my focal character. The people I really care about, the colorful characters I actually have fun with, are the ones who come in and make friends with this dull main character. You can imagine the result.

2. I need to work on developing my bad guys.

My main conflict, like my main character, is usually pretty weak. I guess I have a lot more fun with subplots than I do overarching story plots. Maybe I should write short stories instead of novels. Or romances instead of speculative fiction.

3. I need to work on my world-building rules.

When it comes to magic and science fiction-y stuff, I hate rules. They're way too mathematical for my word-wired brain. I want to write about the beauties and flaws and quirks of my characters' souls, not under which circumstances a time door will work!

The thing is, I have to figure out how the time doors work if I want to write about my characters' souls. Sad but true: writers have to think about things that hurt their brains sometimes.

Fun Music!

Another reason I'm glad I did NaNoWriMo is that, because of The Time Traveling League, I (kind of on accident) discovered some really fun WWI-era songs. K-K-K-Katy, It's A Long Way to Tipperary, and Over There are all delightful - and I even used There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight/Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here in the concluding scene of my story. 'Twas quite perfectly delightful.

All in all, I'm glad I did NaNoWriMo! How about you? Did you learn any valuable lessons from last month (assuming you participated)? What was your favorite thing about it? Your least favorite? 



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Beautiful Books - November

IT'S NOVEMBER!

Actually it has been for about ten days now. BUT STILL. It's November. The month all NaNoers simultaneously love and hate has come.

So it's also time for the Beautiful Books link-up with Cait and Sky. Be sure to check out their blogs and join in the fun!



Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

Overall, I'm good! I was pleasantly surprised to find that writing 2,000 words a day is actually doable, and I'm thrilled to be (pretty much) on target regarding word count. My novel is going swimmingly. Except for the fact that I my bad guys are about as boring as mashed potatoes with no salt or butter.

(That's okay in a first draft, right? Tell me it's okay in a first draft!)

Evergreen Plantation:

What's your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Heh-heh-heh...you mean I have to show it to you? Okay fine. If you're a writer you'll understand what first drafts look like. :) Here's the first paragraph.

Alice and Jeanie were at their usual table eating ice cream when the cowboy walked in. He wasn't a real cowboy — Alice knew that from the moment she saw him — but he had the best outfit she had ever seen. His hat had a battered, busted look about it, but it hadn't lost its shape. And his boots — well! The floorboards creaked when he walked. The cowboy himself looked only nine or ten years old, though. So he couldn't have been real.

That's probably not going to be the real opening. A lot more needs to be established in the first scene than I thought. So that cowboy might not make his debut appearance until page 3 or so.

(You know what else? That opening line might just be vaguely copied from If We Survive, which is a book I've never ever read but which opening line Anna Deubell has marveled at...)

Who's your current favorite character in your novel?

My current favorite character? Golly, that's a hard one. Well, I really like Trick, the little cowboy at the very beginning. He made things really interesting really fast, and he's such a naughty little stinker, and the soft spot he's got for Jessie is just cute. I like Trick. :) Except he's been using rather modern phrases lately. Tsk tsk tsk. Don't you know you're from the 1800s, kid? You shouldn't be saying the villains are "bad news" and telling people to "grow up."

I remember opening and closing our barbed-wire fences like that on our…:

But then I'm also very pleased with Alice. She may be the first main character I've had that is actually in the running for favorite character.

Michael and Ricky have been disappointing. (Which is probably good, otherwise they'd hijack the story.) Same with Jessie, who is turning out exactly like the Fairy Queen in my middle grade fantasy Lillian. I haven't really gotten to Sophia yet, but I'm hoping she'll live up to my ideas of her and not fall flat like all these other mischievous children of mine.

What do you love about your novel so far?

It's so much fun! It's like writing silly fan fiction with my own characters. There's so much room to play! I get to experiment with about three dozen different settings and a million different characters. And I keep discovering little connections and twists around every corner. It's very fun to decide an insignificant little guard is actually the son of an important someone. :)

The iconic America!we grew to greatness amongst the world in this time and now just look around at this dilapidated country :( Detroit is a perfect example.:

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Uh...well, there was this sentence:

"Yeah!" Trick sat up, showing his freckled face for the first time in several minutes. 

The first time I typed it it turned out like this:

"Yeah!" Trick sat up, showing his freckled face for the first time in several months.

As Trick isn't exactly the Sleeping Beauty type, that made me chuckle. :) Also, I accidentally typed "jumple" instead of "jumble" a couple of times. "Jumple" is a fun word, isn't it? I should name somebody's pet "Jumple" in this book.

What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end - and why?

Eh, I know not. I supposeth the beginning. That's when the story seems to have the most potential and when it's most free of tangles and blank spaces and plot holes. The middle is fun for awhile when I've still got a lot of juice in my creativity tank. It's exciting, then, to see ideas for scenes develop just where and when I need them, like landmarks appearing on a blank horizon as I drive closer to my goal.

The end always sounds fun to write. Towards the end of the middle I rush through my story in an attempt to get to my climax, and then I usually make a jumble (or is it jumple?) of my climax in my eagerness to reach the denouement. And then by the time I get to the denouement I'm ready to slump over the keyboard and pound out "THEN EVERYBODY DIED THE END" just to be done with it.


Create a feeling of serenity in your space with this oversized gallery-wrapped canvas, featuring a peaceful view of the ocean with two wooden boats in the foreground. A pristine white beach drifts int

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I write whenever I can squeeze in the time. Lately I've been trying to get all my schoolwork done and then tackle those 2,000 words; but between geometry, Latin, history, chemistry, literature, philosophy, six little siblings, and dirty dishes that doesn't always work out. Usually I get most writing in sometime in the afternoon.

There's no specific writing space I cozy up in; most of my writing time is spent at the family's computer desk or on a couch or outside with a notebook in my lap. Mom bought me a wonderful little pack of mechanical pencils the other day with beautiful soft smooth leads, and I have been reveling in those. And I finally found a use for the notebook my grandma got me last Christmas! Sometimes I make myself a cup of tea if I'm bored. And once in a while I'll listen to Les Miserables or classical/band music or something to pass the time while I'm typing up what's already in my notebook.

How private are you about your novel while you're writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

I'm not private about my WIPs at all. I might try to be at first, but I always end up spilling some or all of the beans to my siblings and/or writer friends. It's just to fun to chatter about characters, and too tempting to groan about plot holes. I think a cheer squad really helps me. (If you need a cheer squad, I highly recommend getting a little sister. If she doesn't seem interested in your current book and is stuck on an older manuscript, give her a character of her own to design in your new one. That should work.)

Nieuport 28 Rickenbacker BFD:

And what's this about Batman working alone? What happened to Robin? (Can you tell I've only seen the old Adam West Batman show?)

What keeps you writing even when it's hard?

My word count. I don't like being behind. (Although I am, currently. By about 2000 words. Must needs fix that.) Also my encouraging siblings and friends. And being able to jump to a different scene when one POV/conflict/setting isn't working out. *glares with author's exasperation at Michael Mulligan, who just had to stumble into a conversation with the most underdeveloped bad guys in the history of writing*

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

The advice I've been telling myself lately includes:

1. Make writing a priority, but not the priority. Your identity as a writer isn't as important as your identity as a daughter/sibling/student/friend/etc. Take the time to help around the house and spend time with your family, and the time to write will come.

2. Don't think "I've got to follow the writing rules," think "I've got to make something beautiful." Writing advice is great, but there's a danger (at least for me) of falling into a mindset that you have to write the way other people are writing. This mindset can lead to writing in a way you don't really find beautiful -- that you don't really care about. Work hard to make something you think is good, true, and beautiful.

3. Have fun! Lots and lots of fun. Love your characters, love your setting, love your premise, and run with it.

Now....

Yeah <3:

Especially since I'm behind in my word count! Oh...wait...I have homework. That's right, I have homework. Darn.

Well! How is NaNo going for you, my friends? Do tell me I'm not the only one who has been utterly neglecting things like email and schoolwork for the sake of storytelling. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Catholicism Explained - Praying to Saints

I fully intended to put this up on Sunday. My excuse for tardiness this week? National Novel Writing Month. Not that that's a great excuse, but...

 Writers can be a lonely bunch.:

Our previous Catholicism Explained posts have included:

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
Is the Eucharist Literal or Symbolic?
Mary Ever-Virgin
The Immaculate Conception

And today we're talking about praying to saints.

Basic Theology

St. Paul famously said that the Church is the body of Christ. He taught that we are all connected -- that we can't get along with each other, any more than feet can get along without hands or ears can get along without eyes. 

In Luke 20, Jesus teaches that God "is not the God of the dead, but of the living." All those who have died in God's love are still a part of the Church -- still a part of the body of Christ. And so, we're still connected to them.

In Revelation 5:8, St. John tells us of saints offering the prayers of the faithful to God: "Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people." 

So the Church has always seen prayer to those in Heaven as quite in keeping with Biblical truth. 

The Communion of Saints:
Here's a lovely little illustration of the Catholic doctrine
of the Communion of Saints! Up in the sky is the Church
Triumphant, the saints with God in Heaven who have
fought the good fight and won. Down around the altar offering
their prayers and sacrifices in union with the priest is
the Church Militant, the saints-in-the-making who are
still fighting the good fight. And down underneath the
altar in the refining fire are the holy souls in Purgatory,
the Church Suffering, who have fought the good fight
and won but who still have sins to be purged away.
(We'll talk about them one of these times.)

Forbidden contact with the dead?



Once concern non-Catholics may have concerning prayer to saints is that it is forbidden contact with the dead. However, the saints aren't dead. They're alive with God forever -- more alive than we are, in a way. 

Praying to saints isn't at all like contacting the dead through a medium. When we pray to saints, we aren't talking to them through our own power, or some kind of dark magic, or even their own power, but through God. It's only because God allows us to talk to each other that we can do it. If God didn't allow the saints to hear our prayers, they couldn't hear our prayers.

St. Bernadette of Nevers, France. She is an incorrubtible having died in 1879; she looks the same as the day she died.:
St. Bernadette's incorruptible body.
Idolatry?

Praying to saints is not idolatry, because "praying to" and "worshiping" are two different things. When we pray to saints, we aren't giving them the glory due to God alone. Instead, we're asking them for their prayers, just as we might ask other Christians on earth for prayers. 

Free Catholic Holy Cards - Catholic Prayer Cards - St Therese of Lisieux - St. Joseph - Our Lady of Guadalupe - Sacred Heart of Jesus - John Paul the Great - Support Missionary work:
St. Anthony's a buddy of mine...
the lost articles he's found for me!

Why ask the saints for prayers? Because the saints' prayers are totally awesome! They're closer to God than anyone else is. They see Him as He is, and so they are like Him. And because they've been through the same earthly struggles and temptations and sins that we're going through, they take pity on us. They want to help us in the fight they've fought and won. They're powerful intercessors before the throne of God. 

And yes, we do praise the saints in prayer. But not all praise is worship. As we talked about in our last Catholicism Explained discussion, it's good to honor honorable people. 

I'm not catholic but I like this!:

Examples

In case you're wondering what Catholic prayer to saints looks like, here are some examples. I'll scatter the prayers to saints with prayers directly to God Himself, so you can get an idea for the differences between them.

The Hail Mary (a prayer to Mary, the greatest of saints)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

The Glory Be (a prayer directly to God)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Holy card of the Holy Trinity:

The St. Michael Prayer (to St. Michael)
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do oh thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. 

The Archangel Michael defeating Satan - Guido Reni:

The Our Father (directly to God)
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 

The Guardian Angel Prayer (to a guardian angel)
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love entrusts me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Angel Prayer:
Angel of God,
my Guardian dear,
to whom His love
commits me here,
ever this day (or night)
be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.
Amen. :

Prayer Before a Crucifix (directly to God)
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Your face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep within my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; while I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Your five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words which David, Your prophet, said of You, my Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones." Amen. 

~J   this little boy ...ponders the sacrifice of the love Jesus has for us....beautiful:

Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas for Purity (said by members of the Angelic Warfare Community)
Chosen lily of innocence, pure St. Thomas, who kept white the robe of Baptism and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels, I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the Spotless Lamb, and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins. Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I, who wear the sign of your victory over the flesh, may share also your purity, and after imitating you on earth, may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels. Amen.

Saint Dominic encouraged a religious community in Toulouse in 1214, to be governed by the rule of St. Augustine and statutes to govern the life of the friars, including the Primitive Constitution. (The statutes borrowed somewhat from the Constitutions of Prémontré.) The founding documents establish that the Order was founded for two purposes: preaching and the salvation of souls.:

Prayer to the Holy Spirit (directly to God)
O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only do Your will. Amen.

Holy Spirit:

What are your thoughts on praying to saints? Do you have any questions? Comments? Concerns? Criticisms? Let us discuss! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Catholicism Explained - Veneration of Saints

Well, I felt really bad that I missed yet another Catholicism Explained post last Sunday...but then I realized that since today is the Feast of All Saints, it's the perfect day to talk about veneration!

If you're just dropping by, this is Catholicism Explained, the part of the blog where Lucy Agnes comes out and explains....never mind, that Veggie Tales reference isn't working.

Our previous topics have included:

And today we'll be discussing veneration of saints.


Veneration basically means "honor." Google defines it as "great respect; reverence." Catholics venerate saints because, as those who are closest to God, they deserve a great deal of respect, admiration, and love. 

As with the honor we give Mary, the honor we give the saints is very different from the worship we give God. In fact, it isn't very different from the honor we give lots of other people. 

George Washington, the first President under the Constitution as drafted in 1787 [Previous Presidents served under the Articles of Confederation and prior to that under the Articles of Association]:
George Washington
Americans, for example, love George Washington. And that's as it should be. We owe a debt to him, as to all our Founding Fathers, for starting the country we know and love today. There would be something wrong if we didn't give him a certain place of honor - a certain veneration.

The same could go for any noble or admirable figure in history.

Always forgive yourself, learn from your past and achieve a brighter & better future. The ones who linger in sorrow lose sight of hope.:
Mahatma Ghandi

Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner on 8 November 1863 (Library of Congress):
Abraham Lincoln

Churchill making his famous "V for victory" sign in 1943.:
Winston Churchill

Aristotle, philosopher, teacher of Alexander the Great, (384-332 BCE). Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze.  Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy:
Aristotle

We also venerate people in positions of authority, such as our parents.

A Simpler Time...Stanley, Jeanette, Dean and Debbie. 1960 Gifts for Dad - Ruby Lane www.rubylane.com @rubylanecom antiques vintage collectibles mens fashion jewelry:

In the Bible, great veneration is shown to the Patriarchs, Prophets, and other heroes of the Bible. The Jews revered these holy men and women, and this was right and fitting.

About 4,000 years ago Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism migrated from Iraq to Canaan along the Fertile Crescent. The name Judaism derives from 'Judah' one of the patriarch Jacob's 12 sons, Israel is another name. descendants of 10 of Jacob's sons, plus two of his grandsons made the 12 tribes of Hebrews who emigrated from Egypt according to Exodus. Ten of the tribes were lost after they were conquered and forced to migrate to Assyria in 721 BC.:

Veneration, then, is a natural human thing, allowed by and pleasing to God. There's nothing wrong with showing honor to honorable people, nor is there anything wrong with praising them in word and art and looking to them for inspiration.

If we show honor to great statesmen, military heroes, inventors, and authors, then why shouldn't we show honor to holy people? After all, doing God's will is a much more important and admirable thing than merely doing something splendid. 

Catholics honor saints in much the same way that we honor anyone else: by praising them, whether through artwork or words, and by looking to them as role models. 

(There's no better role model than someone who lived and died for God!)

I. Can't. Help. Myself. His Love oozes out of every pore when I stay in tune with His Spirit. :D ♡♡♡♡♡♡:

Of course, Catholics' veneration of saints is different from our veneration of secular heroes in some rather significant ways. We don't pray to George Washington, for example. 

That topic is worth discussing, but it'll need it's own post.

That's why next week's Catholicism Explained will be all about praying to saints!

Sorry once again for my tardiness, dear readers. (I'm disgusted with myself sometimes, really I am.) So, what do you think? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Let us chatter away in the comments!

And Happy All Saints' Day to my Catholic friends! (Or should I say All Saints' Night at this point?) Who are some of your favorite saints? Feel free to tell us a little bit about them! I'm particularly fond of St. Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Germain, and St. Augustine myself. :)


Friday, October 28, 2016

Dual Character Inquisition Tag

Much to my delight, I have been tagged for the brand-new Dual Character Inquisition Tag by Anna @ Swords and Quills! Thanks, Anna!

The idea of this tag is to take two characters from your NaNo project (or any project!) and answer 10 random questions about them.

4hfqv1476140500.jpg

Now, it may have been the word "Inquisition" in the tag title, but for some reason I got the idea that it would be really fun to interrogate my characters themselves in this tag. So. In this post I intend to, not only tell you about, but introduce you personally to, my characters Ricky Hartford and Michael Mulligan, from my NaNo project The Time Traveling League.

Coast Guardsman and his K-9 Partner. Beach Patrol WW2. I love that dog!:

Michael Mulligan is in the Coast Guard,
like this fella here. I don't know if he has
a dog...but I hope so!

Artist's model of "The Aviator" by sculptor Augustus Lukeman, around 1925…:
And Ricky Hartford's a WWI airman.
No, he doesn't have angel wings -
not even in a figurative sense -
but I couldn't resist using this picture.

Me: So, you guys have been friends for awhile. How did you meet?

Ricky: It's a funny story, actually. We both stumbled into the Time Tunnel at the same time.

Me: Time, in the Time Tunnel? I thought it was a kinda timeless place.

Ricky: No way am I explaining that right now. Besides, you understand it as well as I do. Anyway. No sooner did I start exploring than I came across this scared little midshipman shaking in his boots.

Michael: I'm in the coast guard, not the navy. And I was not shaking in my boots. I was reasonably concerned.

Ricky: Sure.

Michael: You would've been, too, if you'd had any sense of responsibility.

Me: Describe yourself in one word. Michael?

Michael: *thinks for a moment* Conscientious.

Me: Ricky?

Ricky: A scamp.

Me: Now describe each other in one word.

Michael: *stares at Ricky for a moment* I think he summed it up pretty well. He's a scamp.

Ricky: *grins* Michael's a worrywart.

*Michael raises an eyebrow, but says nothing*

Me: You're both eligible young men. Have you any particular young lady waiting for you at home?

Michael: *smiles* Boy, do I.

Ricky: Boy, don't I.

Michael: He's got five.

Ricky: No, I don't. Honor bright. I'm not that much of a scamp.

Michael: A nice girl like Helen would do you a lot of good, Ricky.

Ricky: No thanks. Too busy with krauts to bother with girls right now.

Michael: Aren't we all?

Me: Speaking of the war. What's one thing you like about being in the service?

Ricky: Flying! Where else would I get to have wings?


"Winged Victory" by Terry Jones:
Image not mine.


Michael: I like knowing I'm doing my duty.

Ricky: Oh, come on, Mulligan. Isn't there anything fun about being in the navy?

Michael: The coast guard. And have you seen Hatteras Island? There are no roads. It's the middle of nowhere. Not that it's not growing on me.

Me: Do you have any siblings?

Ricky: Well, I've got two sisters who are regular fussbudgets. Nice fussbudgets, though. One's in the Red Cross. The older one's married with two kids.


WWI Nurse Uniform.:
Image not mine.

Michael: Three younger brothers and two sisters, one older and one younger. They're all good letter-writers.

Me: Name one thing you miss about the pre-war days.

Michael: Helen.

Ricky: Knowing I'd be alive in the morning.

Me: Oh, Ricky!

Ricky: Now, don't go feeling sorry for me. I like the risk. It just gets old sometimes.

Me: It's too late; I'm sorry for you. Let's do something lighter. What do you think of animals?

Michael: I like dogs and horses. Could do without cats. And seagulls. Sandpipers are okay, though.

Ricky: Well, I like cats. And seagulls, too. I don't think there's an animal I don't like. Except for mosquitos.

Me: Ugh, mosquitos are the worst! What are your plans for after the war?

Michael: Marry Helen and start a family. I've got a job in the family business for starters, so I'll be able to take care of them.


Life of a 50s Housewife:
Image not mine.

Ricky: Haven't thought that far yet.

Me: What's your favorite dessert?

Michael: Ice cream. Preferably a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top. From the ice cream parlor back home.

Have ice cream in the freezer just in case you want to whip up a few ice cream sundaes <3 Chocolate, strawberry, carmel syrups, whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles...got a couple bananas? Make banana splits!:
Image not mine.


Ricky: Chocolate cake, slathered in about three inches of icing. My kid sister's is the best.

Me: What are some of your intellectual strengths and weaknesses? Books? Mathematics? Literature? Understanding people? Strategy?

Ricky: I always hated reading and writing in school. Math was a little better. I'm most comfortable working with my hands, actually doing things. Like flying. I picked that up pretty quick.

Michael: I'm pretty good at rote memorization. Hardly ever missed a history date or a spelling word. When it comes to the stuff like literature, though, I'm lost. I can't keep track of a complicated storyline to save my life. I need something straightforward and simple.

Me: Gee, I don't know if I'd get along well with you guys, after all. Reading and writing is my life!

Well, look at that! There's ten questions already. (Well, eleven, technically. But "describe yourself in one word" and "describe each other in one word" was a two-part question.) I'll let you get back to Time-Traveling League stuff, boys. What do you do in the Time Traveling League, after all? Don't answer that; I'll find out soon enough!

I hope you've enjoyed meeting Michael Mulligan and Ricky Hartford! I certainly enjoyed introducing them to you (and to myself, really). Thanks again for this "splendiferous" tag, Anna!

I tag:
And whoever else wants to join in!