I Am Mr. Darcy: 7 Quick Takes XVII

New and Improved: now with awesome updates! I set out to begin my quick takes this week with a zippy little analysis of Season 2 of Sherlock . . . but it really got away from me, quickness-wise. So it got to be it's own post. Check it out, if you're so inclined:

Sherlock Gets Its Celibacy Right and Its Irene Adler All Wrong

North and South: how had I never heard of this? And I am a total regency-period nerd. Enduring thank yous to Kristen, Erica of Boys, Books, and Balls, and my friend Jeannie for the recommendation. I really enjoyed it. And by "enjoyed" I mean "cried through."
Seriously, when she turns down his proposal (sorry if you haven't seen/read it yet, but I don't think I'll ruin it too much when I tell you that it's a nineteenth century book so there are rejected proposals AND misunderstandings), anyway, when she turns down his proposal I was heartbroken. And, really, I'm not a big crier usually. So I was wondering why it affected me so much. At which point I had a pretty mind-blowing revelation. I was heartbroken because I wasn't identified with poor sweet Margaret, who had every reason to reject the proposal. I was identified with scowling misunderstood Mr. Thornton, who thought he had found a girl who could love him anyway. But she wouldn't. (Also, I am pregnant.) And I further realized that (in my favorite book Pride and Prejudice) I don't heart Mr. Darcy, as I have always believed, I am Mr. Darcy. Grumpy on the outside, nice once you get to know me, not excellent social skills, willing to take a ridiculous moral stand on just about anything, and in need of a spouse who can stand up to my nonsense and love me despite my flaws. (Thank goodness that both Mr. Darcy and I got our happy endings. And I will say I consider myself MUCH less grumpy on the outside than I was in my teens and early twenties, and slightly better in social situations.) If you can think of a book with a heroINE like Mr. Thornton or Mr. Darcy, please let me know, but I certainly can't. Would a female character saved from a life of self-righteous moodiness be so unpleasant to read about? Hmmm, perhaps so. Anyway, I have downloaded North and South the book onto my iPad, and I'm really excited to spend more afternoons crying over Mr. Thornton and Margaret. Update: Thanks to Jessica's 7 Quick Takes today at Housewife Spice and her fab take on all things Meyers Briggs, I remembered the Harry Potter Personality Quiz I took, that told me that I was INTJ (Snape!) Then, like the crack reporter I have recently become (see take 4) I headed over to Wikipedia to find out more. It turns out that not only are Snape and I INTJ, so is Mr. Darcy (and some of the Doctors Who). AND, hooray (!) so is Elinor Dashwood, so there's at least one girl and she's an Austen girl, so I'm good. And it doesn't bother me a bit that I'm doing it in the wrong order, according to . . . pretty much everyone. Because, brace yourselves people, I actually prefer to see the movie first, then read the book.
Perhaps it's the fact that I'm not particularly visual combined with the fact that I AM very detail oriented and also that I tend to get my hopes up. If I watch the movie first it helps me keep the characters straight and gives me a visual on them that I just wouldn't ordinarily have, and it gets me interested in the story and wanting to know more. If I read the book first, then I just spend the movie getting mad about the scenes they chose to leave out or how they changed something for the worse. And I find a good book to be enjoyable whether or not I know what's going to happen, but I prefer to be in suspense when watching a movie. Okay, enough with all the TV watching. I do also sometimes get out and get some exercise. And my exercise of choice is running. Even when I'm pregnant.
the husband, the father, me, and tiny unborn baby Betty running the 2003 San Diego Marathon
I have heard people saying you shouldn't run while you're pregnant, but since I had always done it since before I heard people saying that, I just ignored them. But I never really knew why they said it. So, since I'm a blogger now, and a reader whose name I can't remember because I accidentally deleted her email, had asked me my opinion about running while pregnant, I decided that perhaps I should do some crack reporting and ask the OB who was doing my ultrasound why his info packet says no running. For you guys. Because I care. And I was surprised by his answer. He said the concern isn't for the baby at all; baby is pretty well protected in his amniotic fluid from jostling or overheating (argh, amniotic fluid: quick prayer for Dwija!). The problem is that progesterone stimulates a pregnant woman's joints to loosen in preparation for giving birth, so you are more likely to sustain a joint injury if you run while pregnant. So that's why. But I'm going to keep running anyway, because really it's the only exercise I like/have time for and I've never been prone to joint injury and the only time I didn't exercise much while pregnant I gained a ton of extra weight and had an over nine pound baby. I'd really rather not do that again. I also don't run nearly as far or as fast as I used to, and first thing in the morning so it's nice and cool, and I wear this shapewear thing to keep my belly from bouncing about too much. And once that doesn't work anymore, I just walk. But walking is sooooooooo boring. But don't take my word for it, chat up your own OB during an ultrasound, it's fun! I have officially started writing my YA novel.
My goal to to write 1000 words per day, and I've managed it for three whole days so far. I am daunted by the idea of spending so much time on something that might turn out to be rubbish, but the priest I spoke to about it on my retreat was awesome and reminded me that if I have been encouraged to do it by people who have my best interests at heart, and it's something I feel called to do, and I'm doing it for God, then it couldn't possibly be a waste of time. Even if it never gets published. So that's how I'm trying to approach it. I still have 700 words to write today once I get these takes finished. Discipline don't fail me now. Update: I got yesterday's words done and only have a few to go for today, but things are about to get a whole lot more productive up in here thanks to Jennifer's spectacularly-timed 3rd quick take which introduced me to Rachel Aaron and her awesome writing tips. Jennifer recommends the amazon e-book, which I'm sure is terrific, but since I don't have a kindle on which to put it, I looked around a bit and found the blog post which inspired the e-book, read it, and loved it. Check it out here if you've anything to write, but especially a novel:

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

Rachel Aaron’s ebook 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love - See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/#sthash.0twCoS4K.dpuf
So, apparently a sixty-year-old woman in India was surprised to give birth to her fourth child after going to the hospital with stomach pains. Perhaps this will give hope to my friends with zero to two children. It may give ME night terrors. Or . . . Isn't that a lovely example of God's goodness and I would gratefully accept what would probably be my seventeenth baby at age sixty (if I keep having them about every two years). But mostly the night terrors thing.
When counting my chickens before they hatch, I used to always stop counting at age forty. But pretty much everyone I know has just had a baby past forty. So I may need to recalculate my utterly pointless speculating, but sixty? Really? Sixty? And hey, while we're on the subject of scary propositions, I actually learned something from one of those baby shower games we all love so much. One of the trivia questions we had to answer was: What is the largest number of children born to one mother? I think I guessed something like 26, because I knew that St. Catherine of Siena was the 23rd of 25 children. But I was waaaaaaaay off. Apparently the Guinness World record is held by a Mrs. Vassilyev:
Feodor Vassilyev and his first wife, whose name is unknown, hold the record for most children a couple has parented. She gave birth to a total of 69 children: 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children born were said to have survived infancy.
This woman gave birth to over eleven times the number of children that I have. Can you imagine the comments she must have gotten whenever she tried to go to whatever was the eighteenth-century Russian equivalent of Trader Joe's?
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