Ladies in Literature – Day No. 12

I have another post planned for fierce, kick-butt women in fiction later in the month, but this is about women in general that I like in books. It’s kind of varied, and kind of just a personal opinion piece, but I wanted to share. I was going to write about women artists, but since I was seriously blanking on female artists, that topic has been scrapped. So, onward.

Emilie Loring Books (some of my favorites)

In books I have a fairly large selection of women I love. It probably doesn’t hurt that I love reading so um, well books are going to be my area of love.  Someday someone is going to call my on my Emilie Loring addiction…. Oh wait, the ladies at the library have already done that.  Neva’ mind.  I absolutely love almost every gal in the Emilie Loring books. They are girls  with moxie and love, and kindness, and sometimes they are weak, and stupid, but I feel I can relate to them. (yes, even the stupid parts because sometimes I can be kind of stupid.) They are like the ultimate good girl, girly girl, best friend girl. I would love to know these girls!  And just like them, I love the four women of Norah Robert’s Bride Quartet. I love these gals. They own businesses, they are fierce, but they are also such girls. Sexy and sweet, they make my day.

The Bride Quartet by Norah Roberts

The Bride Quartet by Norah Roberts

I like girls that have cool jobs, but not the typical doctor, lawyer, cop, etc jobs. I like jobs that a middle class girl would do.  That’s partly why I love the girls from the Bride quartet. One is a photographer, another a baker, the third a florist, and lastly the manager of a this whole bridal planning company.  They are jobs I would do. I love the complexity of the positions. They are not just fluff pieces.  Those are the kinds of girls I love. They are normal. They are not fierce strong women in the sense of say Katniss or Triss from Hunger Games and Divergent, respectively.

I love Anne Elliot from Persuasion. I pick her specifically because while I love Elizabeth Bennett, I actually prefer the Lizzy Bennett from the Kiera Knightley P&P better than the book.  But Anne Elliot is this woman who has had her heart broken and has had to remain with her family who doesn’t really appreciate all of who she is. And yet, she still has this amazing outlook on life. She isn’t bitter so much as just older. She has grown and knows her heart better than when she was young and could have married Captain Wentworth. The fact that she still cares for him after all the years of separation is kind of just romantic. I actually know to some degree what it’s like to long for someone for years.  I actually had the option of possibly being with this person years ago, but turned him down because at the time it was more than I could comprehend. I was too young and didn’t know myself as much as I do now.  For anyone curious, he’s in my Cast of Cooks. I’m betting you can figure out who it is. So I get Anne. She’s steadfast and far from Emma’s flightyness. (I like Emma but she is so flighty)

Honestly, off the top of my head, these are all my top favorites. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but there are about 20 Emilie Loring books I love, and the four Norah Roberts books, then the Jane Austen books. That adds up to being quite a few books. So I shall end for now.

Notable mentions are the gals in these books:

Sunday’s at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (all the women are so unique in this book)

So tell me, who are some literary women you admire or think they are just fun to read about? I’d love to know. I’m always on the lookout for gals to read about. I’d love any suggestions.







Don’t Start Typing Till Your Nails Are Dry

red nails

red nails (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sounds like a manual for writing, and I may have to keep that in the ‘title’ box for later use.  For now, it’s about my vanity, or well, the attempt to have some vanity.

Even though I write, which seems to put stress on my fingers, and how they look, one of my ways to stay girly and classy is to do my nails.  I love painting my nails and having them looking nice.  It’s somewhat of a lost cause since half the time I’m picking at the hangnails, or biting them, but I do try.  Having pretty nails makes me feel like one of those über popular writers.  You know, the ones on the back of their books, in their classy outfits, jewelry, just so hair, and perfectly manicured nails.  Amanda Quick (Jayne Anne Krentz), Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, and so on. 

For being writers, they look really classy and put together.  I wonder if they always look like that when they are brainstorming in the middle of the night, the glare of a laptop making them look haggard, because we all know that laptop light is not flattering.

They probably don’t.  I realize that those are glamour shots on the back of the books.  (I want a glamour shot like that…)

So, while I may spend half my days in the yard killing my paint jobs and adding to the already lost cause of hangnail, having a nice polish on my nails makes me feel good.  Now, that being said, like the title says, wait till your nails are dry before typing. It’s killer on the tips and if they are wet, smudge central.  Right now I’m tempting fate since I just painted them… Oh well, that’s what nail polish remover is for.

For those of you who like to pain their nails regularly, check out these two blogs.  Polish You Pretty is all about the hippest polishes and designs.  I crave half the colors they review.

And The Lacquer Log where Gigi posts reviews of the nail polishes she has enjoyed. (again, half of them I want)

Signing off


What I’m Currently Reading

Zephyr over on Presents of Mind posted her current reading list and other interesting tidbits about her reading life in her post What Books Sit By Your Beside Right Now?  I was impressed and I am going to borrow her layout for my own “currently reading” list.   I’m afraid I don’t have a wooden wine box to store my books, they tend to be piled or stacked, but I do have a four-poster bed (lacking the posts on one end, and only a headboard at the other…., but it affords a nice place to stack books. Way too many books, but books none-the-less. Oh, and the nightstand has space between the legs, along with space between the nightstand and the bed. See a pattern?

Below is a snapshot of first, what’s by my bed, and second, the stack from the library that happens to have a cubby, right now.

Pardon the cluttered look, there are a couple extra books that I have for backup reading if I perchance get bored.

Um, you can't see the titles, but these are the library books. Including the Sylvia Plath, a biography, another Emilie Loring, a picture book, and some health books. See, eclectic.

My Current Crazy List of What I Am Browsing/Reading

  • Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
  • To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  • The Making of a Marchioness – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Bed of Roses – Nora Roberts  [own]
  • Vision in White – Nora Roberts
  • A Certain Crossroad – Emilie Loring
  • Surrender – Amanda Quick  [own]
  • Mine Till Midnight – Lisa Kleypas  [own]
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen  [own]
  • Death Comes to Pemberly – P.D. James
  • The Lover’s Tongue : A Merry Romp Through the Language of Love and Sex – Mark Morton
… this also includes my journal, various composition books that I write in, my notepad I write in, and I want to include my laptop as most of the time it is right there since I write late into the night, and I do read a lot of my own work there…

What are your reading habits?

  • Do you read anywhere except in bed?

Most of the time I read in my chair at the table after a meal.  I like to have a cup of tea or something and read if I have a chance. Then if I am walking, I like to read, along with any spare moment I get the opportunity. Most of the time I end up reading instead of writing, so right now I am reading as much as I can while I have time with the cold winter weather.

  • Do you write in the bath?

Since I don’t actually have a bath and it’s a shower, reading in there would be quite hazardous to my books.  I did see a waterproof notepad (as in write with a pen notepad) for the shower, and I think it would be great, but until they make waterproof books, I won’t be doing this anytime soon.

If you do read in bed what books you keep there?

Usually all the books I’m currently reading, unless one has happened to stay downstairs.  I also keep a selection of research type books: thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, pocket dictionary, an architecture dictionary, and various other books I generally don’t read.  Sometimes when I’m in a cleaning spree, I reorganize, but it’s been a while since doing so.

Do you savor books with tea, coffee, wine, a lover, a cat, etc.?

Yes, definitely with the tea, coffee, wine, and dog.  I can’t have a cat, nor do I really want one anymore. My dachshund is enough.  I would love to share books with a lover, but since my tastes are fairly eclectic, I don’t expect to really ‘share’ them with anyone. I’m actually okay with that.  I am also a firm believer in certain music for certain books. For instance, it doesn’t matter what book I’m reading that happens to be British, I can and want to listen to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.  The music fits with everything British.

When do you usually read? Before you get up? As you go to sleep? During those dreadful nights you can’t sleep?

Lately my reading is after lunch while I’m drinking a cup of tea or coffee, but I like reading at night, and in the morning on days when I don’t have to get right up.  I’ve never been one to read in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep. Usually it’s more of a “oh, this is such a good book, I don’t think I can put it down, and oh look it’s three in the morning and I need to be up in five hours” kind of thing.

Do you like to eat while you read? And in bed do you share your sheets with the crumbs?

Sometimes, but most of the time I forget that I have something to eat when I’m reading.  Also another reason why tea and coffee get cold quite frequently for me and are forever being heated in the microwave.

  • Are there perennial books you keep by your bed as well as those you switch out after reading?

Usually an Emilie Loring of some sort, Persuasion, my Bible, plus, like I said, there are the books that were once favorites but are now just there. If it’s a library book, obviously it get’s switched out.  And all the books listed that I’m currently reading, if they don’t have ‘own’ after them, are library books.  Most of the time if I’m done with a book and I don’t plan on reading it anytime soon, it gets switched out for what I am currently reading.

  • Do you write in bed?

This is kind of a no duh moment.  If I didn’t write in bed, half of my stuff would have never been written.  Bed is my place to tap out things, especially emails, but I enjoy leaning back and being warm. Being warm is crucial to writing.

Signing off