Monday, January 30, 2012

Beautiful People: Madeleine de la Trenelle

I'm trying to make sense of my newest novel idea.  The ideas are rather jumbled in my head, so what's better than to do a Beautiful People for the main character?

Just so that I don't throw you in head-first, the setting is revolutionary France, with a smattering of England.  The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel will feature prominently, but Sir Percy Blakeney will not.  Here that?  You won't.  I'm not ready to take you on as your author.  There's no place for you in the story, thank-you-very-much.

On second thought, that sounds a lot like something Chauvelin would like to say.  But he's not in the story either, thank-you-very-much too.
This is how Madeleine looked before her story really started - except that she actually has dark blue eyes.
Now she looks a lot different.

1. If character's house burned down, and they were left with nothing but the clothes on their back, what would they do? Where would they go? 
The house that Madeleine's living in, you mean?  She doesn't own it anyways, so she'd just make sure that everyone in it was out, and then find a different place to live.  The mansion she owns is way too big to burn down all at once before people realize about it and put it out.  The steward would repair all the damages, and Madeleine wouldn't be at all concerned in it.
2. Are they happy with where they are in life, or would they like to move on?
Move on?  Move on to what?  Madeleine is carrying out the dying wishes of her fiance, and while she'd hate herself for doing anything else, I wouldn't say that she's happy with where she is in life.
 3. Are they well-paid? 
Madeleine doesn't get paid for what she does, but her income in tremendous.  Oh wait, don't tell anyone, that was a secret. :P
 4. Can they read? She can, and many years ago she used to enjoy it, but not now.
5. What languages do they speak? French, English, Italian, and a smattering of Latin.
6. What is their biggest mistake? That she got into this situation in the first place.  (don't you wish you knew what is is?)  As her author, it will be hard to get her out of it.  But then again, it isn't really her fault.  It's the French Revolution's fault, and the king's fault, and even her fiance's fault.  No, not really, I do like Henri, but......
7. What did they play with most as a child? Henri, who became her fiance, and her cousin, who's name doesn't matter, because she changes it so often.
8. What are their thoughts on politics? Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks.... that's pretty much it.
9. What is their expected life time?  A few days, perhaps, considering the situation she's in.  Is she going to live longer than that?  Oh yes.
10. If they were falsely accused of murder, what would they do? How would they react? First of all, she'd hear of it before she was actually accused and then just disappear.  If she was accused suddenly in a dark street, she'd pull out a sword.  If she actually did land, in jail, she'd bribe the guards.  But then, its against her principles to land in jail, so it wouldn't happen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sincerely, me

**blog idea from a whole bunch of lovely bloggers**

Dear Charles Dickens, could you tell me how you manage to take three times as many characters as I'd think would be necessary, add a chain of events that would be wildly improbably in one of my novels, and still are able to connect the threads of plot into a neat little box with a happy ending inside?

Dear Kraft Canada, 'light' peanut butter is one of the most illogical things I've ever used.  The amount of oil I had to add to the peanut butter balls before they'd stick together was ridiculous.

Dear Sir Percy Blakeney, I have almost weeded you out  of my next novel.  Being already in love with Marguerite, you are not available for the position of romantic lead.  Find me someone else.

Dear Judo, why do you like starting before I have time to do my hair?  I know its not a fashion show, but, in the words of a hero whom you all probably are tired of hearing about, "My dear Fouquet, if I'm going to take a ride on the tumbril I'm going to go properly dressed.

Dear Chester, you are so absolutely gorgeous.  So sweet and devoted, but your friend is that too, and his eyes just make me melt.

Dear followers, in case you were thinking I had a romantic dilemma, don't worry.  Chester and his friend are dogs. :)

Dear On the Contrary, also known as The Frenchwoman, also known as A Woman in Shadow, called for convenience The Novel Without a Title, could you please decide your title and stick with it?  Oh, and the name of the heroine too.  I'm perfectly ready to let you have your way, but could you at least tell your author what is is?

Dear short story contest hosted by my library, why is the maximum 1000 words?  Nano has ruined short stories for me.  I probably couldn't write something like that to save my life. :(

Dear Les Miserables, I'll read you as soon as I force someone to drive, ahem, go myself, to the library.

Dear lovely fellow-bloggers, stop making me laugh. 

Sincerely, me

Saturday, January 21, 2012

No, no Edward, not that way. No LIGHT propitious SHONE!

I think I feel more sympathetic towards Marianne Dashwood's view of 'insipid reading' now.  Imagine someone taking your favorite poem (or novel) and reading it in a monotone in the exciting parts, speeding it up it the parts where it needs to be read slowly to capture the poetic beauty, and emphasizing the wrong words.  Is this to be borne?  But it must not, it shall not be.

I normally love books from Librivox, what ever the reader, but not with poetry. To be sure, Marianne would give the insipid reader Cowper.  And I would give the insipid reader Longfellow.  But if he is not to be inspired by Longfellow!

Imagine a reader, (two different readers actually) blundering their way through Evangeline and Excelsior.  But no, it is not Evangeline, it seems to be 'Evangelyn.'  And in the best passage, when even the most-hard-hearted reader must be melted to tears by the pathetic beauty, what does the reader do but speed up!  A woman is not quietly moving about a hospital at last finding her lover!  Oh no, you read it quickly so as to make you imagine the same lover is going to come up with a shotgun.  And when there is a word with a line all to itself and an exclamation mark behind it - an exclamation mark, mind you - then the only thing to do is to drop your voice and read it in a monotone.  Of course.

Moral of the story: read poetry to yourself. 

This is one of my favorite poems.  Beautiful, symbolistic, hauntingly simple.  Don't just skim through it (like I often do) but read it slowly.  Memorize it, preferably.

Evangeline (Introduction)
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,—
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion,
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

Now go and read the rest, especially the ending passage.  Beautiful.

P.S. Just to be honest, the audio recording wasn't that bad.  Perhaps not quite as insipid and ridiculous and I mentioned, but bad enough to keep me from listening to poetry aloud.  Unless I read it, of course. :P

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Since I am so ridiculously crazy.....

Here are the buttons I'm entering in Miss Dashwood's Period Drama Buttons contest.  I must say, I had way too much fun with these.

I know it is horrifying to take dear Mr. Knightley's words and put them on such a ridiculous proposal, but here they are.  If Mr. Collins had loved Elizabeth less (which is impossible) he might have been able to talk about it more (also impossible, very fortunately.)

Another horrible useage of poor Mr. Knightley's words, but I can confidently assert, on the authority of Sir Percy Blakeney, baronet, that Chauvelin's cravats were badly done, indeed.
(And besides, I find that picture hilarious.  Sir Percy's look of horror is priceless.)

I know that Lord of the Rings isn't exactly a period drama, but I think I can call this a common saying.  I quote Gollum almost every day. :P

I apoligize for the bad quality of the picture, it was the best I could find (shamelessly stolen off youtube, actually!) and this quote from The Young Victoria just had to go with Miss Bingley.  Yes indeed.  "Mr Darcy, come advise me......"

Don't I have any respect for the poor movies I'm messing up?
None at all :P
But I don't actually want the Day Dream sunk, just to clarify. :D

I hope you enjoyed seeing these.  Which was your favorite?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


My newest blogging adventure! 

Come on over and take a look!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Blessings

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip
He who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you
the Lord is the shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm;
He will watch over your life.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

{Psalm 121} (NIV)