I am so thrilled to be a part of Accordion to Kellie’s Literary Heroine Blog Party and I can’t wait to meet and talk with all my fellow book lovers! (Want to join the fun? Here’s all the information)
Introduce yourself! Divulge your life’s vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
Hi! I’m Ciarrai, a tea-sipping, yarn-knitting, show tune singing, book-obsessed jewelry designer of literary jewelry. *Waves hello!*
What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
A sense of self that guides and sustains her throughout the story or that she discovers and develops as the story unfolds.
Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
- Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Molly Grue from The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
- Anne Eliot from Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Meg March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott,
- Menolley from the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffery,
- Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
- and Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne (aka Princess Amy) from The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
Five of your favorite historical novels?
- Red Branch by Morgan Llywelyn
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why?
Cuchulain from Red Branch. I love how Morgan Llwelyn takes a legendary Irish hero and balances both the human and the superhuman parts of the character. Cuchulain may be a larger than life, epic hero but Llywelyn also gave him a sense of vulnerability that made the character so much easier to love and empathize with.
Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Marian from Outlaws of Sherwood. McKinley has a great take on the character and I love the way the story got flipped around.
If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there?
Ireland. My grandfather – who was the son of two Irish immigrants – instilled a love of everything Celtic in me (This is where I got my name, Ciarrai. It’s the Gaelic version of my actual name, Kerry) so I have always wanted to go. Among the many things that I would love to do, I would need to listen to some great Irish music and find a pretty lake where I can sit and read some Yeats poetry out-loud.
I would also love to go to England and visit all the great literary sites there related to some of my favorite authors and poets, particularly Jane Austen.
What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
I love early Celtic stories (almost anything by Morgan Llywelyn), Arthurian legends and Tudor era England
You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation – what is your act comprised of?
I used to play the violin but I have problems with my wrists which means that I can’t play anymore so most likely, I would be singing.
If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
Elinor Dashwood – Regency era clothing is just so pretty!
What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the only thing lacking in a day spent with a good book and a cup of tea is some really good milk chocolate.
Jane Austen, Peter Beagle, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
I would say books and knitting – but these are clearly essentials so I guess I would have to say my camera and plenty of money for purchasing souvenir books and yarn.
In which century were most of the books you read written?
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… Samwise Gamgee
Describe your ideal dwelling place.
My own little House o’ Dreams that I have filled with love, and friendship, creativity, music and lots and lots (and lots) of books, yarn and tea!
Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.
Simple and feminine with a shabby chic / romantic sensibility.
Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
Yes. When my husband and I were taking turns reading Watership Down out loud to each other, I would have loved to change some of the more challenging-to-pronounce rabbit names.
In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is…
I am not sure I would use the word dastardly to describe her but Lucy Steele from Sense and Sensibility is one character that I love to hate! It’s one thing to compete with another lady for a gentleman’s affections but she was just so nasty to Elinor, mainly for the sake of gloating and being cruel!
Three favorite Non-fiction books?
- The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
- Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
- Anything by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka The Knitting Harlot)
Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
- Curled up in a comfy spot, reading a great book and/or knitting
- Having high tea and discussing books at my favorite tea room
- Going into NYC to visit a museum (most like the Met or the Cloisters) and then seeing a Broadway musical
- Spending a day at the Maryland Renaissance Fair
- Taking photos at my favorite arboretum
- Playing board games with friends,
- Hanging out while listening to – and singing along with – friends and family members while they are playing songs on acoustic guitars
- Spoiling my nieces and nephews
Create a verbal sketch of your dream that – in such a way as will best portray your true character.
I want to learn things and make beautiful things and teach / share my favorite books, poems, and stories with others and then come home to spend my evenings with kindred spirits and loved ones. I want to open my door and say, in the words of Shel Silverstein:
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Edited to Add: It has come to my attention that the question was actually asking about a dream HAT. But I really like my answer so I am not going to take it down.
I will say that one of the few knitted items that I have made that didn’t get adopted by someone else is a tam that I made from undyed alpaca yarn. It’s all soft and pretty and is the color of a baby deer. And whenever I wear it, I think of Lucy Pevensie stepping through the wardrobe and looking at wonder at a lamp post in a snowy wood. It’s not that I made it with Narnia in mind but it reminds me of something she would wear and the fawn color – faun color connection is not lost on my pun-loving mind.
Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
The biggest part of this past year has been watching my Etsy shop grow. This past year was marked my first full year as a business owner. !) I have so much to learn and figure out and there is still so much that I need to do but this year, I have started to feel like I am gaining momentum. And my shop has allowed me to connect with fellow artists and book lovers in a way that is so amazingly rewarding.
And I had the opportunity to have my work sold at two different Jane Austen themed events – which was just amazing – and to take part in a local expo for women entrepreneurs. I was even selected to be one of the featured shops in a newspaper article about the event! (So exciting!)
Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
Ecclesiastes 3:3 To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven