Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome to Angela Ackerman


I am honored to have the amazing Angela Ackerman as a guest today. Angela and Becca Puglisi have given the writing community a treasure, The Emotion Thesaurus. It's a master class on show don't tell. 

Their blog The Bookshelf Muse is also one of the best writing resources in Bloglandia.

Angela indulged my Lord of the Rings obsession to answer the following question: 


If you were Frodo and had to bring the one ring to Mordor, who would your 5 companions from literature be and which character trait would each represent? 

Angela:  First off, BEST QUESTION EVER. 

Leslie: Ah, shucks ma'am, thanks.

AngelaSecond, this really made me think about what character traits the original companions embodied. Each had a special intrinsic quality that added to a greater whole, and because of this, the venture succeeded. So, with that in mind, here’s who would be on my Dream Team of Five:

Roland of Gilead (Stephen King’s The Dark Tower). This Gunslinger is tough--stringy tough, skilled and emotionally hardened, but the trait he embodies most is tenaciousness. Roland never gave up on his quest to find the Dark Tower, not when loved ones died, nor when some crazy-ass giant lobster ate his fingers off, or even when his reality split and caused his own mind to fracture. No matter what life threw at him, Roland kept going.

Astrophil (Marie Rutkoski’s The Cabinet of Wonders). Now while Astro might be only a tin spider who hides in the main character Petra’s hair, he is wise and resourceful. Most of all, he is incredibly loyal. On a trip to Mordor, I’d need someone who would stick by me no matter what. Besides, who wouldn’t want a tin spider to come along?

Katniss Everdeen (Susanne Collins’ The Hunger Games). I’m sure no one is shocked to see Katniss on my list. She’s dedicated, selfless and has great instincts. Most of all, she is a born hunter and skilled in adverse environments. Taking on the Hunger Games arena is no easy feat, and perfect training ground for Mordor.

Mat Cauthon (Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time). Matrim is a trickster, gambler and trouble loving character, adding levity in a dark time as the seals on the Dark One’s prison begin to break. Always in trouble of one sort or another, but loyal to the core, Mat’s antics cost him part of his memories, replacing what is lost with a battle-hardened warrior, transforming him into a formidable strategist and unparalleled leader. These are all great qualities, but it is Mat’s cleverness that earns him a seat on the bus to Mount Doom.

Merlin (too many sources to name). No matter what fiction piece he featured in, Merlin was an advisor, a wieldier of  magic, and scholar and protector of the people. One quality stands out more than any other however, and that is wisdom. To successfully infiltrate Mordor and destroy the ring, wisdom is key.
So, the ideal traits I’ve gathered for this journey are tenacious, loyalty, skill, cleverness and wisdom


Who would be on your Team Mordor? Would you choose to feature the same traits, or different ones? Tell me about it in the comments!

What fun--thanks Leslie for asking me to do such a unique post!

No, no thank YOU, Angela for hanging out and assembling a kickin' team. Frodo doesn't know what he is missing.

Free download of the Kindle version of 
JOURNEYS OF WONDER
until Tuesday night


52 comments:

  1. Awesome post! My jaw would drop on the floor if you asked me that question, and I'd have to have my DH (the big LOTR fan of the family) help me. Phew. Nice team, Angela!

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    1. I vote for Angela to be in charge of all future quest teams.

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  2. Awesome question and answer!!

    I'd want to bring at least one dragonrider/dragon combination from McCaffrey's Pern series - Jaxom or Lessa probably.

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  3. What a fun question! Great answer! I would definitely want Katniss and Merlin. The other characters sound wonderful- but I haven't read the books. I would probably pick Hermione Granger as one of my 5. I will have to think on the other 3.

    Also- The Emotion Thesaurus looks very interesting! Awesome guest post. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. With Katniss and Merlin you may not need 5 to take Mordor.

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  4. I'm not a Tolkien reader and I'm not familiar with Mordor, but I loved reading these choices. I would also take Roland and Merlin with me.

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    1. Medeia,
      Come over to my house and we'll marathon all the extended versions of LOTR.

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  5. Vicki, thanks! When Leslie sent it to me, I was all, "How can I pick just 5?" but the more I thought about the different strengths I would need, the easier it got.

    Jemi, I know! This is officially the best question someone has asked me. I love it! And a dragonrider from Pern--great choice. I loved those books!

    DMS, Hermione is another great choice!!

    Medeia, you must read Tolkien! Or watch the movies. They really are brilliant. And hooray for agreeing with Merlin and Roland. Great, great characters!

    A big squishy LOTR hug to Leslie for inviting me here and asking me a question so close to my heart--I am such a huge LOTR fan. I have action figures and everything *geeks out*

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    1. Angela,
      I think there's a Comic Con in our future. We'll duke it out over who gets to dress as which character. There aren't enough thank you's in Middle Earth to show my appreciation for your post. xo

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  6. Some great character choices. =)

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    1. Thanks! If only they were real people and I could invite them for dinner, lol!

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  7. I'd probably have to go the graphic novel route and bring along some superheros. I'd say we'd be in pretty good shape with Superman, Batman, Dr. Manhattan, etc. on our side...Fun question!

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    1. There would be a lot of tights drying over rocks and tree branches each night on your quest.

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    2. Dude, that would be awesome. I tell you I am so jazzed up over the new batman movie I can hardly wait!

      @Leslie ROTF, I could so see that. :)

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  8. My team would have to include Harry Potter and his minions, Hermione and Ron, and then probably Peter from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Starcatcher books, and finally Stu Redman from The Stand.

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    1. Can Neville Longbottom come too?

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    2. Oh man, Stu is an excellent choice! Did you see the movie? Gary Sinise did such a good job.

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  9. What a fun interview! love all those characters. And I love Angela's book as well. Very helpful for all kinds of writers!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. My life is divided into two phases pre and post The Emotion Thesaurus.

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    2. Aw you guys! *blushy-blush-blush*

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  10. Clearly my TBR pile needs some additions to meet some of these cool characters mentioned above. My five would be:
    1. Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly (qualifies via graphic noveldom) - He's swoonworthy, brave, and hilarious.
    2. Yoda (qualifies from post movie novels) - We'll all need some serious Jedi training.
    3. Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing - He and Malcolm could have some great wise-crack offs and i hear he's great with a sword
    4. Carlisle Cullen from Twilight - He can be the medic. BONUS: He can turn us to sparkly vamps if the goin' gets too rough so we can continue the quest
    5. Minnie from The Help - I need a BFF who can cook and kick ass.

    IN YOUR FACE - SAURON.

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    1. I hear Sauron is a sucker for a good chocolate pie.

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    2. You know I really thought about Yoda, but I thought he was a movie character first, novel character after, so didn't know if he would count. LOL. And I totally like the idea of turning undead just to get the job done--Vamps FTW!

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  11. Okay, I loved Angela's list, but I think I like yours even more, Leslie! What team couldn't benefit from having both Yoda and Minnie on its side? ; )

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    1. I don't think there is a wrong way to complete this list, but it is a great way to see through the window of everyone's favorite heroic characters, isn't it?

      Thanks for all the comments everyone!

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  12. This is a research project that would last an entire semester in order for me to get my team just right. I'm impressed Angela was able to do it so quickly. :)

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    1. Oh it took me some time to put it together, let me tell you. But it was super sun--a great exercise too when thinking about traits and what is the most important for such an epic life or death quest!

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  13. She's right! This IS the best questions ever! I'm going to have to put some serious thought into it though. Returning the ring to Mordor is no easy task. :)

    AND... I have the Emotion Thesaurus in the mail cause I just won it from InkPageant and I'm dying to get my hands on it! I've heard the best things and I know it's going to help me a ton!

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    1. Hi Leigh--I hope you enjoy it! So happy you won! :)

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  14. Ok, ladies, wanna know something funny? For those of us who haven't read LOTR, or seen the movies, this post looks like this ^&&*&^%$#@@$%

    But I love anything Angela writes, and of course, I'm Leslie's biggest fan <3

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    1. Julie! YOU MUST READ OR WATCH THE MOVIE!:)

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  15. Such great question....and answer.

    I'm looking at Angela's book sitting on my desk right now! :)

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    1. LOL, that makes my day, I swear! It feel so good to know that something I wrote other people are using. :) *happiness*

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  16. I will have to visit the blog and get a copy of the book. Can never have to much help as an aspiring writer.

    Great post!

    Heather

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    1. I agree--a person can never get enough craft books. but the I'm sort of a writing craft book addict, lol.

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  17. Oh my gosh, what an awesome question! I wish I had the time it would take to come up with the right team, but off the top of my head I'll have to say Mogget, the demon-in-cat form from Sabriel, because once you took off his collar, he could pretty much handle anything. And also Aragorn, if that's not cheating. You know, for eye candy purposes.

    Thanks for hosting Angela, Leslie! Fun!

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    1. Ah Aragorn. Sweet eye candy. Viggo did such a good job in his role. :)

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    2. I actually have a standee in my family room of Viggo as Aragorn. No snickering. He's standing right between my Luke Skywalker and Dr. Who standee. What did I say about snickering?

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  18. I'd actually take the original team. After all, when it aint broken, why fix it?

    :-P

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  19. That is truly the best interview question ever!!! Love it! And found me some interesting new characters I might have to check out... (well, besides Katniss and Merlin, of course)

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    1. I totally agree. I love it when people get creative with their questions. And in these comments we all have a ton of new books to look for as well! #winwin

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  20. The Emotion Thesaurus! I NEED THIS!!!

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    1. I wish none of us needed it, I do, but emotion is so darn hard sometimes to write authentically. So if you do snag a copy, I hope it helps you like crazy. :)

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  21. Agreed! The Emotion Thesaurus is made of awesome. Just got my copy.
    I too keep thinking, but I want the original Nine! However, taking someone who has superhuman abilities and/or is immortal certainly has its appeal. Though I am also tempted to populate my team with hot heroic types.
    I find myself wishing I'd read more fantasy books with magical characters. Those are helpful to have around.

    So . . . Maybe John Smith from I Am Number Four (questionable as a LITERARY character, but both cute and supernatural) or maybe Bernie Kosar!
    Speaking of questionable literature, you really can't beat the sheer logic of taking Carlisle Cullen. I mean, super fast, and pretty much unkillable, PLUS a medic.
    Four/Tobias from Divergent? (so far I'm liking my hottie/hero balance. Helps that these guys are both.)
    If I'm taking someone from The Hunger Games, it's going to be Finnick, fo sho.

    And for the trump card, Aslan! Because he's a freakin' LION, and I pretty much trust his plan ALWAYS, and he'd keep us from being tempted to keep the ring.

    But if comic books count, all bets are off. You pretty much just need Superman. Game over.

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    1. Oh Aslan--that's smart. He would totally kick butt all the way to Mordor. Actually all your choices would--great companion picks!

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  22. Okay, I think I have my team:

    1) Dumbledore, because who doesn't want the world's best magician along for the ride? I debated about Merlin, but he's so shifty, I don't think I could trust him.

    2) Aslan, because he's Aslan. He's a lion with the power to knock people down with one roar and heal people with just his breath.

    3) Peeta from the Hunger Games. No, he's not a good fighter, but he's loyal and clever. He'd be my Sam Wise and keep me level and sacrifice anything to complete our mission. And he lets you cuddle with him - one must stay warm on the way to Mordor.

    4) The Scarlet Pimpernel. Come on, he's the world's most daring and clever spy as well as an expert swordsman. Beyond that, he's determined to make it home safe to his wife, so he has a drive and motivation to push us.

    5) Emmitt Cullen, yes, a vampire from Twilight. I debated Carlisle, but he refuses to kill people and I can't have that pansiness on this mission. I already have Alsan who can heal with his breath anyway. But with Emmitt I have someone who can be ruthless, who is ridiculously strong, and also someone who knows how to find humor in all situations.

    But like Erynn said...if we can use comic characters, my team changes drastically. I'm talking Van Helsing, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and the Hulk.

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    1. Hulk SMASH!!!

      See, I thought about Dumbledore, but I didn't like how he used Harry a lot of the time instead of maybe explaining what he needed and why. I mean I get that he was a kid and some of it was for his own good, but I still felt there was a bit more manipulation there than I would like. But then perhaps any wizard would do that, who knows?

      Great choices!

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  23. And yes...I realize I spelled Emmett wrong.

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  24. I am having the BEST time reading everyone's team choices. Thanks so much.

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