Author: Luisa Perkins
•10:25 AM
Well, what a relief. Tess's surgery is behind her and she is recovering nicely so far. My anxiety level has abated sufficiently for me to be able to play some blog catch-up.

The fabulous and articulate Bub and Pie was interviewed meme-style recently; after giving her answers, she asked her readership if anyone was interested in being tagged. Of course I raised my virtual hand! Here are her questions and my answers.

1. What are your favourite D.E. Stevenson books?

First, thank you for pluralizing the question; I never could have chosen just one. But if it were a life-or-death issue, I'd pick Anna and Her Daughters. I also love Bel Lamington, Amberwell, Listening Valley, and Mrs. Tim of the Regiment. Mrs. Tim is written in diary form, and I recommend it highly as a model for any mommyblogger. If Mrs. Tim were in possession of a computer and internet connection (and if she were not a fictional character), she would be at the top of my blogroll. The Young Clementina is also terrific, but has a higher ratio of bitter to sweet than is usual for Stevenson (not a bad thing).

Actually, I've never read a book by Stevenson that I didn't like. She was a prolific writer, having had over 40 books published in her lifetime. Riches! I tend to hoard unread books by dead writers I love. I parcel them out to myself slowly, because I dread the day when I come to the end of his/her body of work. I realize that this is a bizarre habit.

I love Stevenson as much for the lovely images she conjures as for her characters and stories. Examples: the children’s secret rhododendron hideaway, Ponticum House, in Amberwell; Bel’s rooftop garden in Bel Lamington; the bucolic Scottish village of Ryddelton in many of her books; the old grey church with the leper window in The Young Clementina.

Note to Publishing Universe: Stevenson needs to be back in print! I keep hoping that Persephone, with their high regard for female writers of the early 20th century, will get on the stick. They republished Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Making of a Marchioness and Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. They’re a perfect fit for my dear Dorothy Emily.

2. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type? (And did you know it off the top of your head or did you have to go to to find out?)

I totally had to go to the website. I loved taking that test! It was like one of those Seventeen magazine quizzes from when I was a kid. (Trying to look intelligent after that disclosure.) But I do realize it is serious science.

The results: I am an INFJ: Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging. The I, the N and the J were expressed moderately, while the F was expressed distinctively.

According to the website, my type makes up less than two percent of the population. The explication of my personality was all very flattering (Eleanor Roosevelt and Mohandas Ghandi were also INFJs!!!), but I suspect that everyone is rewarded with an ego boost when they read his/her results.

3. What are the most important rules to follow in naming one's children?

Ahh, grasshopper, we have indeed had much experience in this area. I'll list the guidelines we used in order of ascending importance.

a) Consider using names of relatives or close friends whose character attributes you would like to see embodied in your child.
b) Enjoy the happy coincidence when the names you've chosen are those of favorite literary characters, songs, prophets, and/or versions of the Bible. (For parity's sake, this link and this link, too.)
c) If you have a common last name, choose a more unusual first name.
d) If you have a difficult last name, give your child a break with something easy and/or short.
e) Check the monograms of your potential choices; eliminate any that might cause embarrassment.
f) Say the full potential name aloud and ensure that it flows metrically.
g) Go to the SS website and check the popularity of your candidates. Consider avoiding any in the top ten unless you really, really can't.
h) Research the meanings of the names you are considering.
i) Ignore lists you made when you were 12 years old. Unless you are naming a cat. Even then, tread cautiously.
j) Have a back-up name, and resist definitely settling on one choice until you have seen the child.
k) Compromise amicably with your spouse and work as a two-person team. Try to ignore suggestions from other people, includng in-laws and your other children, no matter how adamant they may be. If we hadn't done this, Hope would instead be named 'Sedutto,' after five-year-old Christian's favorite Manhattan ice cream shop.

4. What is your favourite colour and what does that reveal about you?

I immediately thought of The Holy Grail when asked this question. In order to foil the maniacal bridgekeeper, I will counter with a question (favorite color of what?), then give a multi-part answer:

Chocolate: Brown
Ice Cream: Caramel
Baseball Uniform: Blue and Orange
House: Roycroft Bronze Green
Horse: Palomino
Rose: Sharifa Asma pink
Sky: Maxfield Parrish blue
Wool (this week): Two-way tie between Hollyhock and Northern Lights
007: Three-way tie between Ash Brown, Chestnut Brown, and Blond

What does this reveal about me? That I can’t for the life of me give a simple answer to a simple question.

5. Do you live to work or work to live?

Ummm, may I live to play?

I ask that question seriously. I am handsomely provided for by my prince of a husband, which means I have the great luxuries of staying at home to raise our children and spending my spare time pursuing my various obsessions: writing, reading, knitting, cooking, eating, and gardening.

My gratitude to God for this great gift does bring with it a sense of obligation to find ways to give back something meaningful to society. This recognition also makes nearly all (but not ironing) of my work feel like play most of the time. Sorry to sound like a Pollyanna, but it's true.

Thanks for the honor, B&P! Now it's my turn. If any readers, onymous or lurking, would like to be interviewed, leave me a comment, and I'll think up some questions just for you.
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On 20/4/07 , Jenna said...

Maybe you already know everything about me, but if you don't, I'm curious to know what you're, I'll bite.

And thank goodness Tess is okay. I said a little prayer for all of you.

On 20/4/07 , bubandpie said...

So much fun. I definitely tend to arrange DES's novels in tiers, with the bottom tier being the ones in which she attempts a suspense plot (like Gerald and Elizabeth or Crooked Adam). That said, The Young Clementina is far more plot-based than most of her novels (which are all about character and atmosphere), but it's still one of my favourites.

One thing that fascinates me about Mrs. Tim of the Regiment is the gap between Tim and DES's other male protagonists. Tim is affectionate and honourable, of course, but he's also occasionally obtuse and insensitive - he's distinctly real. I love DES's men, though - they're clearly imaginary (honest and generous to a fault), but she can make me believe that they're real.

And hey! I'm an INFJ too. We make up far more than 2% of the blogosphere, whatever may be true of the world at large.

On 23/4/07 , Christine said...

I would add one criteria to #3; Consider what the suggested name might rhyme with, especially over the next 10 or so years.

On 23/4/07 , rjlight said...

I was wondering and praying for Tess all weekend so I'm glad to hear she is recovering well!

Well, if you've read my blog recently you'll know about my fear of meme's -- I will tell you that I am cursed with ENTJ as my Meyer's Briggs.

On 23/4/07 , Catherine said...

I'm an INFJ too! :) And, I just also wrote my interview from B&P. Nice to meet you! (don't you just love the interview meme??)

On 26/4/07 , Annette Lyon said...

You are seriously freaking me out. I took that test years and years ago, but I still remember the four letters I am: INFJ. I've never met you except for in cyberspace, but it's getting a little spooky how similar we are! Three cheers for Tess doing well.

On 27/4/07 , Melissa said...

I did not get an ego boost at all. I came up as an ISTJ, along with Queen Elizabeth and Herbert Hoover. The most exciting thing that could be said was that I was, am, and always will be "superdependable." So, apparently, are Eeyore and Puddlegum. I knew there was a reason I like Winnie-the-Pooh so much.