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Monday, August 13, 2012

Interview With Petie

My dear friend Petie of Dirt and Dickens

I asked Petie if I could interview her on my blog and she graciously accepted.  Here are my questions and her witty answers.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog, Dirt and Dickens...

Me? Well, well, well. I’m a bona fide country girl from Oklahoma who is in love with my Jesus and the joy He has put into my life. A Brit at heart, I’m an eighteen-year-old aspiring author, and I’m currently working on my first major novel. I’m slightly crazy over classic literature, laughter, the color red, and coffee. I sing and dance my heart out, and Jane Austen and Charles Dickens top my favorite authors list.  

My blog is Dirt and Dickens. There I write to my heart’s content, rave about my obsession with literature (or any other obsessions I might have), share my thoughts on cultural or spiritual issues, occasionally indulge my need to be random, and do my best to encourage my readers and honor my Jesus.  

I love your blog posts!  When and why did you start blogging in the first place?

I started blogging when I was about 13. At the time, I was very much into the pro-life movement (and I still am!), and I wanted to publish articles and thoughts on that subject specifically. From there, my blog grew into a more personal one. I began to learn more about the art of blogging (yes, it is an art) and how to write well. By the time I was 15, I had launched the offical “Petie Marie’s Post” blog. I blogged about many different, random, and sometimes silly things. As I grew older and more mature (well, that’s debatable…) and my tastes developed and my love for writing reached outnormous heights, my blog evolved into “Dirt and Dickens”, my little haven on the web where I share my obsession with literature, write to my heart’s content, discuss cultural and spiritual issues, divulge the truth and the craziness of what it’s like being a country girl, and sometimes (or oftentimes… *cough*) be totally random and witty.

(Oh, and outnormous? I made it up. It’s like a combo of outrageous and enormous. Clever, no?)
I want my blog to be a place of encouragement to my readers. I want them to walk away from my blog feeling either refreshed, amused, inspired or challenged (preferably all four). I think classic literature should be a huge part of everyone’s lives, so I try to cultivate and urge a love for the classics in all my readers. I love laughter, and I love to make people laugh. But most importantly, I try to honor and glorify my Jesus with what I write, and to build my readers up in the Lord and in their walk with Christ. I’m just a simple country girl from a podunk town in Oklahoma, but God has given me a passion for writing. And I, for one, shall not turn my back on that!

I always find that your blog is full of fresh new content about things that I love.  Talking about things that I love (and you do too!), how did you become interested in Les Miserables?

I was first introduced to Les Miserables when my younger sister, Little Wilson, was given the dramatized audiobook for her birthday. I listened to it with her, and fell totally in love with the story. Afterwards, I read the book… twice. Les Miserables instantly became a treasure to me. 

When I was about 14, a friend of my father’s gave him the 10th anniversary concert to watch, and I believe my family made it through about 10 minutes before we turned it off. It just wasn’t our thing. However, several years later, I met a blogger named Amy. Simply put, Amy is fanatical over the Les Miserables concert. I decided to give it another go. And I am oh, so glad I did. Yes, it does have its faults, but the Les Miserables concert (especially the 10th anniversary version!) is a mind-blowing experience.   

Wow!  I can't believe there was a time when you didn't enjoy the Les Miz concert :)  Continuing in the same vein, what are your top three Les Miz characters?

I’m choosing to exclude Jean Valjean from this list because, after all, he’s just a given, right?

My top three Les Miz characters are Eponine, Enjolras, and Javert. Eponine I love because of her strength. She lived on the streets, had two slimeballs for parents, and was rejected by the one person she loved. I can’t help but feel sorry for ‘Ponine. Who portrays her the best? Gah, I can never quite decide between Lea Salonga and Samantha Barks. Lea has the better voice, but Samantha brings on the hard-core emotion. It’s a toss-up, really. I can’t quite decide. 

Enjolras I love because… he’s Enjolras. :) Need I say more? He’s passionate and fiery and all-together wonderful. Enjolras is definitely portrayed the best by the talented and amazing Ramin Karimloo. Ramin is so perfect for the role of Enjolras, it’s scary. And he wears his shirtsleeves rolled up! SQUEEEE! Oh, wait… did that really bear mentioning? Why yes, yes, it did.

Javert is a favorite of mine because of his determination. And also, I feel so sorry for him for thinking he had to work for his salvation. Javert is portrayed the best by the one and only Philip Quast. No one can sing “Stars” like that man. 

You've named my top favorites too although I really enjoy every character (except those slimy Thenardiers).  Moving were you introduced to Charles Dickens?  After all, your blog is called Dirt and Dickens.

It’s all BBC’s fault. I started watching all of BBC’s glorious adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novels, and then I started to read his books: Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and most recently, Bleak House. Since then, my love for Charles Dickens’ novels has skyrocketed. He can craft a plotline and create such memorable characters like none other.

I know you love classic books just as much as I do.  What are some of your favorites?

Whew. At least you didn’t ask me to just name one! Of course, Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit is a favorite. As far as Jane Austen goes, Pride and Prejudice will always remain my absolute favorite, but Persuasion shouldn’t be skipped over. I have recently discovered that Northanger Abbey is a wonder and delight as well. I also love Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jane Eyre, North and South, and The Secret Garden. But really, if it’s a good classic, there’s a fair chance I’ll love it. :)  

All of the books you listed (except TSP - I haven't read it) are big favorites of mine too.  What are some of your favorite period dramas?

North and South is the best, okay? But I also love Pride and Prejudice (2005 forever!), Miss Potter, John Adams, Emma (2009), Little Dorrit, Amazing Grace, and The Young Victoria.  

I want to see John Adams some day after reading your review.  I think you mentioned in your review that he and his wife were on your top period drama couples list.  What are your top three period drama couples?

Only three? *cue the Nick Jonas pout* Not fair. *Petie puts on her hard-thinking cap and uses it for a long, long time.*

Okay, I think I’ve finally got it narrowed down, but it was oh, so difficult.

Having recently watched HBO’s miniseries on John Adams (excellent series, but only for mature viewers), John and Abigail Adams are at the top of my list. They were faithful through long separations and grueling circumstances, and they never wavered in their love for each other.

Lizzy and Darcy. Yep, I can’t help it. They’re just plain amazing. I love watching them fall in love. And I infinitely prefer the 2005 Lizzy and Darcy. Yep, can’t help that either.

And the last one? Ohhhh, I’m still wavering. Okay, it’s gonna have to be a tie between Victoria and Albert from The Young Victoria, and Amy and Arthur from Little Dorrit. Both are adorable couples. And both have heart-melting proposal scenes.    
Great couples!  I like Emma and Mr Knightley from Emma 2009 a LOT.  I know that you love P&P 2005 so what are some of the reasons you like it and more specifically Matthew Macfayden's Darcy?

Hehe. Hehehehehehehehe… I will try my hardest not to make this answer a post of its own. 

I love the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, but overall, I much prefer the 2005. Everything about it can be described in one word: beautiful. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, beautiful lighting, beautiful actors, beautiful scenery, beautiful music, beautiful scenes. It so perfectly captures the spirit of Pride and Prejudice and does a remarkable job of it with only two hours instead of five. The actors are superb, the dialogue is exquisite, and the proposal scene (though, I’ll admit, not very close to the book) is one of the best ever.   

And Matthew Macfayden’s Darcy? He’s the best. Where Colin Firth was stiff and wooden, MM was real, natural, and emotional. He showed emotion where he needed to, portrayed Darcy as a real person with real feelings, and has an epic voice to boot. He did a beautiful job of portraying both the proud and shy sides of Darcy. 

I couldn't have said it better myself!  Besides period dramas and blogging, what are some of your other activities?

Writing! :) But I also enjoy playing the pianoforte, reading, cooking, volleyball, interior design, mowing, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, antique and junk store shopping, laughing, and letter-writing. I am a girl with varied tastes, and I take pleasure in many things. 

You sound like one busy girl!  Last Question: What are some of your favorite blogs/websites?

Regarding websites, I am recently growing more and more obsessive over interior design, fashion, and DIY-ing. Therefore, Pinterest ( and A Beautiful Mess ( are two favorite places. I also love The Pioneeer Woman (

As far as blogs, I have made so many friends through the blogging world! Some of my soul sisters and favorite blogs are:

Because He Loves Me (
I Dream in French (
A Room of One’s Own (
The Stories I Live (
Yet Another Period Drama Blog (
God’s Daughter (
Yours Truly (
Elinor, Elizabeth, and Emma :) 
My Unoriginal Originality (
Beautiful Blank Pages (

Thanks so much for the interview, Miss Woodhouse! It was dee-lightful!

You're welcome, Petie!  This has been a lot of fun.

Yours truly,


Jillian said...

It's so nice to hear more about you, Payton! I love your blog. Your posts are so genuine and rich. :-) Also, you've read way more Dickens than me so far! But I strongly recommend A Tale of Two Cities. I still need to both read AND watch Les Mis. I never have! I'm waiting for a perfect time. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Miss Woodhouse! This was so much fun! =)

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