There were two years at the place where my childhood met my teenage years during which one of my greatest delights was the game of freeze-tag. It had more to do, I’m sure, with the company than with the game itself; still, there it was, in the dark of chilly Wednesday nights outside a stone church building, all a-tremble with the thrill of the chase, of catching and being caught, breathless with laughter and good-natured taunting, running slow for the tiny ones who were sometimes “it,” and running as fast as I could from others who were taller.
After that, we moved away, my brothers grew to be much faster than I was, a little boy told me that I “ran like a woman,” and tag mostly became a spectator sport for me.
Now, however, I find that the game of tag has been transferred into this sphere of words on the world-wrapping web. I joined in tentatively with the Leibster Award, which you may remember, and now I’ve been invited to another game of tag at the two-year birthday party for one of my new blogging-friends, Fullness of Joy.
Here goes, then: Joy has posed questions, which it is my task, smilingly, to answer. Then, in keeping with the sacred rules of tag, I’m “it,” tagging some of you.
1. Pretending if need be that you never read any of those titles, (unless you actually haven’t), which book-title intrigues you the most that it would make you abandon all the others and read THAT one book…? Roverandom, The Keys of the Kingdom, That Hideous Strength, The Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Kidnapped, The Ballad of the White Horse, The Robe, The Man Who Was Thursday, or Surprised by Joy…?
I choose Roverandom. Though the true fact is that I would probably take it along with The Ballad of the White Horse and The Man Who Was Thursday, and I would begin reading all three within a day or two and read them intermittently, making my book bag absurdly heavy by carrying all three with me so that I could read whichever took my fancy whenever it took my fancy. Because that’s what I tend to do.
2. How do you reconcile yourself with an offended cat? (Tell a clueless girl, here!)
I ply her with dainties, which sometimes she deigns to accept. I show her a good place to nap, which she, naturally, disdains to take, and then I watch her covertly as she finds the place quite on her own. And, generally, she deigns to demand favors of me of her own accord. Reconciliation with a cat depends on the cat. The cat does not desire or accept ideas of your initiation. Your initiations are offensive to her.
3. Can you describe to us in a seven-word sentence your current surroundings using the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch? Otherwise you can name in order the thirteen dwarf characters in The Hobbit without looking the info up online. ‘Tis your choice, you know!
To be candid, I can’t do either one. Not here. Not now.
4. Tea or Coffee? Or lemonade?
5. Do you think your writing voice and style on your blog (or novel) is so very different from your normal, day-to-day voice and personality? Or is almost identical?
Fairly near identical, I do believe. Though I’m more eloquent here on my blog. My friends say they can hear my voice when they read the words here. The difference is that my normal, day-to-day personality can be grumpy. I never publish the grumpy blog posts.
6. Puddleglum or Mr. Tumnus?
The lovely thing about both these characters is the way they cling to what they knew before: Mr. Tumnus in his tales of Narnia-past, and Puddleglum in his insistence that a real sun, real sky, real lion, exist. I’d rather live in Mr. Tumnus’ cozy cave, eating buttered toast before a crackling fire, but I’d like to have Puddleglum’s bravery to insist in the truth, even if it meant burning my froggy-feet.
7. Which of the seasons, spring, summer, autumn, or winter, appeals to you most in a literary sense and inspires you to write?
Autumn. It’s the time of back-to-school, new pencils, clean pages, new books; it’s the time of sweaters and blue skies and golden leaves; it’s dream-time for the whole world, the glory of things passing away. . . . ah, and “if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory” (2 Cor. 3:11)!
8. Cast your mind back to childhood, what was your favourite Old Testament Bible character as a child? What was your most dearly loved Bible Account? Why?
It seems unfortunate that I don’t remember having a favorite.
9. What are some of the films/books or songs that make you tear-up or cry the most (be it because it is so beautiful, or really sad or tragic, etc), tell us why they do that; do you actually like to cry in a movie/book?
Happy endings make me cry. Most recently, I cried watching the 2009 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (starring Romola Garai), because when Mr. Knightly and Emma get together it is so right. It used to be that I was stoic and never cried at books or movies. Now I cry easily. I cry because life is beautiful, and I cry because life hurts; I cry because I want happy endings, and I cry because I’m promised one.
10. Do you have any special literary goals or dreams that you wish you could accomplish as a writer during your lifetime (besides publishing, that is!)?
Not particularly. Someday, I’m pretty sure, a book is coming. But it isn’t here yet.
11. If you are a writer, which one of your characters’ internal makeup most echoes a likeness or similitude to you? If you have none of your own – what other fictional character (book/film) does? Explain your answer.
It’s a quality of good fiction that it makes you say, “I understand completely! I’ve felt that way, too!” And so it’s hard for me to choose one character. (Anne Shirley, Elinor Dashwood, Ann Elliot, Amy Dorritt, Esther Summerson, Emma Woodhouse, Agnes Wickfield, Valancy Stirling . . . and it becomes a question of whether they are like me, or if they made me like themselves by dint of persistent influence during my formative years.) I did, however, just finish a re-read of C. S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, and I found that his narrator, Orual, resonated with me in her complaints of injustice and in her silence before the Answer. But in the same book, I saw myself in Psyche, wooed with that sweet longing for home.
12. Excuse me for another Tolkien reference, but I couldn’t help it, alas! Which of the five Middle-earth hobbits do you identify with the most: Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, or Pippen?
Bilbo: “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea–any time you like!”
13. What special topic do you relish talking/writing about the most? Like – like a tap that can instantly be turned on… please, do tell!
I love to talk about the places where literature bumps into truth.
14. Make your choice, adventurous Stranger; Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had. – The Bell and the Hammer, C.S. Lewis …thus said the inscription next to the bell in that mysterious place in which Polly and Digory came upon, in The Magician’s Nephew. If you had been in their place, would you have taken the adventure of ringing the golden bell as Digory did (not knowing that the White Witch would be awakened) or would you have acted sensibly like Polly but risked being driven mad by the thought of ‘what if’ when you were back home in England?
I would have been Polly; I have no doubt. I don’t like dangerous things; I want to understand consequences before, not after, doing something; adventures are not in my line.
15. What is that which makes you keep blogging and writing in general in the times when your blog/and or you yourself are at a low ebb? Do you like taking breaks from blogging or miss your followers too much?
I write because I know that writing makes me want to write. I write because writing helps me understand what I think, what I feel, and what is true. I write because it’s often the posts at the low times that seem to touch people the most. I write because I feel I’ve been given the writing, in trust, given the privilege of seeing fruit from it, and I must use it. I feel guilty about taking breaks.
Now for tagging. I’ll tag a few below, but I’d love to have you jump in, with or without a tag, if it appeals to you. Just answer the questions below, with a link back to me, write your own questions, and tag your own friends.
All the Grace Between
Here are my questions for you:
1. If you’re a passenger in the front seat of a car, are you watching the road and scenery on either side, or are you watching the sky?
2. Given your druthers, would you go to the top of a Very High Tower or to the bottom of a Very Deep Cave? Why?
3. G. K. Chesterton asserts that “The laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.” Reaction? Response?
4. Fiction or non-fiction?
5. Would you rather sing a solo or give a speech before a large crowd?
6. Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte?
7. If you were literally to play tag — on the grassy place in front of a church building, for instance — would you prefer freeze tag, ordinary tag, or some other permutation on the game? Would you want to have a “base” or not?
8. J. Alfred Prufrock or Jay Gatsby?
Happy Birthday to you, Fullness of Joy! Here’s to many more years of fruitful writing!
©2013 by Stacy Nott