The onset of autumn seems to have brought the playfulness out in book bloggers. There’s lots of fun stuff doing the rounds at the moment and I couldn’t resist that old bandwagon as it trundled by.
Five Things You Don’t Know About Me
This comes courtesy of Charlotte; it sounded like a lot of fun but was surprisingly hard to do. I realised that the map of my life is made up of a few motorways, with hardly any interesting by-roads and detours. Still, here goes:
1. I am double-jointed and can still sit on the floor with my knees at an angle that makes people wince. Decades have intervened, however, between me and my capacity to do the splits.
2. Since the age of 15 I have written 5 full-length novels, and I’ve begun and abandoned as many again. This is how come I know my destiny does not lie in writing fiction.
3. I don’t eat sugar or yeast, and I don’t drink alcohol. Purely for health reasons; I have so much more energy without them, and it’s a crying shame.
4. I can’t be hypnotised. Some people can, some people can’t, but I have far too tight a grip on my mental faculties. However, if you waved a book catalogue in my peripheral vision, you would find I am easily distracted.
5. I cannot abide conflict, with the paradoxical result that I often end up a mediator in other’s disputes. It explains why, for several years, I toyed with the idea of joining the diplomatic service. The thought that I might potentially have to learn Arabic and/or live in a mud hut put me off.
Emily’s Fictional Character Meme
Emily’s site is always packed with memes and fun quizzes. I was intrigued by this one, as I had to think quite hard about the answers.
Which fictional character frightens you the most? A good question but a really tricky one, because most fictional villains are disempowered or revealed as sad and damaged by the end of a good novel. And the really scary things that people do in life would be considered too improbable or incredible in a fictional world. I guess I would have to say that, recently, the story that frightened me the most was A.N. Wilson’s A Jealous Ghost, his remake of The Turn of the Screw. Sali, the young nanny in this novel, gradually loses the capacity to distinguish between fiction and reality and her paranoia is terrifyingly vivid. I really must post on this novel – it’s extraordinarily powerful, but not for the faint-hearted.
Which fictional parents do you most wish you had? Couldn’t think of any, and then I realised it was just as Bloglily described: it’s a prerequisite for adventure in a children’s novel to be an orphan.
Which fictional character has the most balls? Indiana from George Sand’s novel of the same name is pretty feisty. Considering she’s a French-Creole woman living in the provinces in 1848 (or thereabouts), her readiness to stand up to her bullying husband and cross half the world for love is pretty impressive. The Slaves of Golconda will have to decide whether her ultimate fate confirms her strength or undermines it…
To which fictional character’s house would you most like to be invited for dinner? Marcel Proust’s, when Swann has come round.
If you could invite 3 fictional couples to your home for dinner, who would they be? I’d invite Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings, Lord Peter Whimsy and Harriet Vane, and Morse with Sergeant Lewis. Can you imagine the tales they’d have to tell?
Which fictional character could probably entice you into his/her bed? If I could have James Bond in his Pierce Brosnan incarnation, I would have to consider my life complete. I am a sucker for tall men with classic features who are good in a crisis. However, as of yesterday’s post and its comments, I’m sworn off overly aggressive men. I’ve always thought the gamekeeper in Lady Chatterley’s Lover to have a certain je ne sais quoi.
Which fictional character would most likely have broken your heart? Mr. Darcy. For all the towering passion it may conceal, that cold and indifferent exterior would have ground me down eventually. I need a little encouragement.
In which fictional character’s home would you most like to live? Miss Marple’s. I adore that quaint, old-fashioned kind of village life, with tea and scandal at 4 o’clock. It strikes me there’s never a dull moment in St. Mary’s Mead, and maybe Jane would allow me to help her out in an investigation. At the very least, I could hold her ball of wool.
[Wordpress was NOT in playful mood this morning, and for this reason I haven’t been able to put my links in. I’ll edit later in the day.]