10 of my Favorite Fictitious Characters

Here are some of the book, movie, and television characters I grew up loving.

By New York : Broadway Music, publisher. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
1. Anne Shirley, “I wouldn’t want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I’d like it if he could be wicked and wouldn’t.” – Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery

2. Lady Catherine DeBourgh, “I’m very attentive to all of those things.” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. The Childlike Empress, “They were with him when he hid from the boys in the bookstore…” – The NeverEnding Story

4. Mary Musgrove, “You, who have not a mother’s feelings, are a great deal the properest person.” – Persuasion by Jane Austen

5. Nikky, “I can’t think of a lovelier way of spending my life than spinning that silver light.” – The Moon-Spinners

6. Jamie Graham, (“Would you like a Hershey bar?”) “Yes, please.” (“So would I, kid. Have you got one?”) – Empire of the Sun

By FOX 52 (Sitcoms Online “The Cosby Show”) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
7. Claire Huxtable, “We are very fortunate to have the children, Cliff. Otherwise, we would never know the joy of leaving them at home.” – The Cosby Show

8. Mary Poppins, “Enough is as good as a feast” – Mary Poppins

9. Ralphie, “Don’t bother me. I’m—I’m thinking.” – A Christmas Story

10. The Sick Grandson, “Is this a kissing book?” – The Princess Bride

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My Top Five Love Stories

These are my current top five books and movies. It changes, of course.

Books

English: Persuasion (last Jane Austen Novel) c...
English: Persuasion (last Jane Austen Novel) ch 23 : Captain Wentworth is showing his letter to Anne, “with eyes eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to t...
Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  The Book of Ruth

You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.

Illustration to the North and South (novel by ...
Illustration to the North and South (novel by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Take care.—If you do not speak—I shall claim you as my own in some strange presumptuous way.

4. Emily’s Quest (Last of 3 in Emily Series) by L. M. Montgomery

It came clearly and suddenly on the air of a June evening. An old, old call–the two higher notes and one long and soft and low.

5. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

We belong to each other now really and truly, no make-believe.

Movies

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

2. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

She could peel an apple in one long, curly strip. The whole apple.

3. The Parent Trap (1961)

I miss those wet stockings you used to have hanging around the bathroom. And I miss my razor being dull because you used it to shave your legs with. And I miss the hairpins mixed up with the fishhooks in my tackle box.

4. Wives and Daughters (1999)

I couldn’t go. I couldn’t go without… Molly, do I still have any chance with you?

5. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

My dearest sweetheart, Klara, I can’t stand it any longer. Take your key and open post office box 237 and take me out of my envelope… and kiss me…

After choosing these, I realized the most appealing thing to me in a love story is sacrifice, whether it’s through waiting or giving without expecting anything in return. I hope you’ve had a lovely February! Expect another post tomorrow because I plan to update my blog Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in March.

Heads Up, Little Piggies

school lunch
school lunch (Photo credit: bookgrl)

The first thing I thought of when I read “Be Kind to Food Servers Month” was  ball-shaped instant mashed potatoes plopped onto my plate by a lady behind a cafeteria counter with a hairnet and a mustache. I shouldn’t tell you that because my grandmother was the head cook for a school cafeteria for many years. Before I knew this I had the impression cafeteria ladies couldn’t cook. The truth is: the recipes are strictly regulated by policies and budgets. My grandmother told me she used to cheat, and her food was so good the powers that be overlooked it. And she doesn’t have a mustache, so I believe her.

Not just the cafeteria lady deserves kindness. There are a host of servers who bow to our demands and whims in eating establishments everywhere. And what about the food servers who don’t see a paycheck for their trouble? Remember the mom from A Christmas Story who hadn’t had a hot meal in 15 years? Yeah, don’t be mama’s little piggy; give your food server an extra helping of kindness.

Falkor*, Take Me Away

Today happens to be Appreciate a Dragon Day. This tradition was started in 2004 by Dragonspell author, Donita K. Paul. No, you don’t have to appreciate all dragons, just a dragon. I’m not sure if I properly appreciate the grumpy, igniting ones.

Have you ever researched dragons? It’s quite fun. In one of my dragon-curious moments, I found a great book, How to Raise and Keep a Dragon. It discusses a few of the known types of dragons, their general temperaments, and the life expectancy for each dragon type. (It varies because, you know, some are land dragons and some are aquatic dragons. Some are social and some are reclusive. Some don’t like red meat, and some will eat nothing but.)

The Dracorex Hogwartsia got me started on dragonlore. (The original skull is flatter than the link above portrays, by the way.)

Dracorex hogwartsia
Dracorex hogwartsia (Photo credit: RobDurdle.com)

Dracorex inspired me to write about Kapyn, my wyvern-influenced dragon in Dragonfly Prince. From there, a whole world unfolded, and I’ve been exploring it ever since.

So I’ll be appreciating Kapyn today—his faceted eyes with ruby glow, his two sets of wings, and his craving for the Itra stone. Even if he is a grumpy, fire-breathing nuisance at times.

*Falkor is the luckdragon from The Neverending Story, one of the coolest movies ever.

Say Puh-roon, California

It’s California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month. No, I’m not making this up; and yes, in California they call it a dried plum. It’s wrinkly, it’s amazingly sweet, and you’ll have the trots for days.

Guess who proclaimed the first California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month? Oh, come on, you know. In Terminator 2 he said something like, “Eat dried plums if you want to live.”

Come to think of it, this might be the reason it’s also Bath Safety month.

Give Us A Riddle, Preciousss

It’s International Brain Teaser month! Yes, brain teasers the whole month long! Gollum would be so excited. (No, he wouldn’t. Yes he would, preciousss.)

Did you know there are open-skull procedures in which the patient is kept actively answering simple brain teasers to test the healthy activity of the patient’s brain during the surgery? I read that somewhere…

Anyway, rev up your thinker a bit with this little conundrum:

“What has a mouth but cannot eat, what moves but has no legs and what has a bank but cannot put money in it?”

Gollum knows the answer. I bet you do, too.

Here’s another one:

“A man wanted to encrypt his password but he needed to do it in a way so that he could remember it. He had to use 7 characters consisting of letters and numbers only (no symbols like ! or <). In order to remember it, he wrote down ‘You force heaven to be empty.’ Can you tell me what his password was?”

These are from Buzzle. Have fun!

It’s Not James Richard Randall

It’s John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. And he was born January 3, 1892.

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1916

Quick: how many years ago was that? Right, 121. (Okay, so I used my calculator to double-check my math. It’s not exactly my strong point.)

At the beginning of the school year, the kids and I read The Hobbit and loved it. My husband took us all to see the movie. It was great, except he didn’t tell me what everybody else in that theater already knew.

What? I thought, as the scene at the eagle’s aerie faded and the credits rolled. Is this a joke? I looked around me and saw moviegoers beginning to stand. I looked at my husband and said, “Where’s the end?”

“It’s the first part.”

“The first part!? Of how many?”

“Three.”

I sat there dazed, arguing, “But The Hobbit is only one book!”

Then I understood why the dwarf-gathering at Bilbo’s house took up nearly half the movie, and why I had to sit through Richard Armitage’s sonorous crooning that—I admit this—I questioned to be his own voice. There were a good many additions in the movie. Would Tolkien have approved? Who knows? I think Peter Jackson made the plot much more dramatic. And that’s good.

I’m celebrating Tolkien’s birthday by posting the link to my one and only attempt at writing Tolkien-style. It’s a one-shot called, “The Fate of the Ents.” If you’re curious and love Middle-earth tales, take a look.