An Interview with a Character

Hello Friends! I had a great opportunity to interview a wonderful Christian lady. She is the mother of Lord Prestonshire from my book “The Search.” She is the Duchess of Blackfield and she agreed to answer a few questions for me. Here is my interview with her:

I smiled at Lady Blackfield as she sat down in a chair next to me. “Welcome Lady Blackfield and thank you for joining me.

Lady Blackfield smiled. “It’s my pleasure and, please, call me Eva.”

I placed my hand on my chest, “Oh, I don’t know if I can do that since you’re a duchess and all.”

Lady Blackfield rolled her eyes delicately, “Don’t be silly, dear, I’m just like anyone else. If you feel more comfortable, call me Lady Eva.”

I sat back in my chair beginning to feel quite at ease, “All right, if you insist. Lady Eva, your oldest son, Lord Prestonshire, met Cynthia Clarkston at a masquerade ball. It is my understanding that, though they danced together, when he left he had no idea who she was. Is that true? And if it is can you explain how that could have happen?”

Lady Blackfield laughed, “Yes, it is true, but you must remember it was a masquerade ball.”

I raised my eyebrows, “Oh, so Cynthia didn’t know it was Lord Prestonshire, either.”

Lady Blackfield shook her head, “Actually, she did know it was Preston. He didn’t wear a mask like everyone else. Before he left that evening, I questioned him about it. He said he thought it was silly since everyone knows everyone even if they wear masks.”

I smiled, “But he didn’t know everyone.”

Lady Blackfield grinned at me, “No, I think that is one of the things that intrigued Preston about Cynthia.”

I nodded, “What else do think drew Preston to Cynthia?”

Lady Blackfield hardly had to think about it, “Besides being very pretty, I think the mystery that surrounded her really intrigued him. For every question he found an answer for, there always seemed to be more questions.”

I nodded my head again, “I think you might be right. Well, I think that is all the questions I have for you right now. I appreciate you joining me and answering my questions.”

Lady Blackfield touched my arm, “Your very welcome.”

3 Reasons to Use Your God Given Gifts

This past Sunday, my pastor preached on using your gifts. Of course, it is that time of year when they are looking for members to teach Sunday School, but what about our gifts outside of our church family. I’ve been thinking about this, not just this past Sunday, but for the past few months. Basically, I’m taking what he said and applying it to my ability to tell a story. Well, ok, I don’t really have proof yet that I can tell a story, except for the two chapters I’ve posted here on my blog. The other writers in my writing group seem to enjoying my writing so I’m just going to go with the fantasy that I’m a gifted story-teller.

As followers of Christ, we have all been given a gift. Some of us have been given more than one. The bible verses the sermon was basted on came from 1 Peter 4:10-11. Here are the verses in the NIV translation:

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

So, the reasons to use your gifts (mine is writing Christian Romance.)

  1. Because there is a purpose to God’s gift to you.

Ultimately, the reason you have been given a gift is to bring glory to God. Not so you can get recognition, praise, or any other glorification. It’s all for God.

Sometimes, it seems Satan puts a dark thought in my mind. He says, “That seems selfish on God’s part.” I have to tell him, “No. It’s not.” God created me. He is my maker. He sent Jesus. I would have died in sin never to see him in heaven. Am I grateful? Of course, but it’s more than that. God took a person like me, someone who had to take remedial english in college, and made her a writer. Yea, yea, yea, you can tell me that I’m smarter than I think I am till your blue in the face, but I know the truth. I’m only an author because God wants me to be. He is the one who will make it happen, when it happens.

  1. Because of the perspective you have in managing a gift.

It amazes me the information you can find through social media. People blog, post, and comment on everything there is to talk about. They don’t have to, but they are serving others even if they don’t know it. It’s wonderful! Yet I’m finding few Christian’s blog. Most just put a comment on twitter and/or Facebook. Just imagine what could happen if more Christians blogged. If you take something your knowledgable about and add Christian perspective you have a gift that can be used as a unique instrument for God. Here is an example: my pastor jokingly told his congregation an idea he had for a reality tv show about a preacher. He gave a short demonstration and it was hilarious. I told him he should video himself and put it on YouTube, but he just laughed. Yet, I was serious. I think he could do a short summary of his sermon, add his funny spin on it, then post it to YouTube and start a blog. I imagine he would reach people he would not normally reach. I think it would be great!

  1. Because of the power in expressing a gift.

There is something about a Christian who uses their God-given gift. You know how you buy a gift from the store, then you get it home and realize it’s suppose to have batteries. You look on the box (which you should have done in the first place) and it says batteries not included. Well, that’s not how it works with God’s gift. He empowers you to use your gift. You will have everything you need, though that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work. Besides, without hard work there is no appreciation. So, that something about a Christian, the one who uses their God-given gift, it’s God empowering them. Amen. I don’t know about you, but the thought of being empowered makes me feel super human. I like it!

What about you? Do you have a gift? Leave a comment and tell me how you are using it. If you’re not using it, do you have any ideas on how you could use it? Do you know of any good Christian websites or blogs? Please prove me wrong with my comment that there are not many Christian bloggers!

5 Things We Might Not Experience in the 21st Century

Every ball in the 19th century started at night about 8:00 with as many as 200 to 500 guests. It always included a sit down meal (a supper) at some point in the evening and may last until 3:00 in the morning. Here are a few things that we don’t experience in the 21st century.

1. Lighting:

If you lived during in early 19th century, you would have danced at a ball by candlelight. Electricity was not yet invented. Gas lighting was invented before electricity, but it was not a safe way to light your home or business. Plus, it could be smelly. Everyone in the 21st century who has been without electricity from time to time. We sometimes pull out candles, usually more than one, if we don’t choose to use a flashlight. Can you imagine always having to read a book by candle light?

2. Chandeliers:

Of course, dancing by candlelight could be very romantic, but was it back then? To light up a room you could always count on the chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The problem was the hundreds of candles that were burning, melting, dripping . . . I think you get the picture. Not so fun to have hot wax falling on your head. I can’t even imagine what it was like for the servants to scrape all that wax off the floor the next day.

3. Ball Gowns:

A lady (young and old) wore a white ball gown. Actually, it was more of a bluish white. You can imagine, after your experience with reading by candlelight, that a gown would look yellowish in the candlelight, hence the bluish white material of the gown. In the movie, “Pride and Prejudice” (2005)with Keira Knightley you can see a good example of the white dresses ladies wore at Mr. Bingley’s ball minus the bluish tinge.

4. Crowded Room:

In the ballroom there was an area where couples danced. While couples danced, other guests stood around the edges and watched the couples. Don’t think they just stood there doing nothing, they talked or gossiped, but it was usually standing room only. Remember, there was anywhere from 200 to 500 guests. Think about what it would take to walk to the refreshments table or how long it would take. Again, in “Pride and Prejudice” (I love that movie) you can see this at the public dance. Not to be confused with a private ball, the public dance anyone could go to and ladies didn’t have to wear white.

5. Roaming:

Guest at a ball could roam from room to room looking for other activities. The doors to the library, the drawing-room and other rooms might have been open for guest. Your would have found a game of whist, which was a card game that was very popular or refreshments in any of these rooms. In the following short video clip you will see Elizabeth Bennet looking for Mr. Wickham. See if you also notice lighting, gown color, and if it’s crowded.

It doesn’t take a genus to figure out that a private ball was a very large party. To think it was all done in hopes of marrying off your daughter.

What do you think is the most romantic part of a 19th century ball? Or you can tell me what you think is romantic about the 19th century.