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Prompt 13: Special People/Iconic Figures
If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people who would you invite?
You can NOT include family in this – the special people could be famous or historical people.
What meals would you serve and why.
Prompt 13 is a bit hard for me. There are historical figures I admire but whenever people ask that question, none come to mind that I’d want to sit down and pick their brain. Then I thought about authors, which made me think of some movies which led to directors and actresses. It became a bit easier after that!
Mary Roach: My favorite non-fiction author who studies science and how things work. She does quite a number of things to get to the science of what she’s discussing as well. For example, in Gulp, she is discussing the alimentary canal and goes as far as sticking her hand into a cow stomach to feel the muscles move. She’s also very funny and has the humor of a teenager, which, as an ex-high school teacher, I completely get and love. I can only imagine what kind of conversations she would have at a dinner table!
Elizabeth Peters: My favorite fiction author, whose real name is Barbara Mertz. She inspired me to want to become an archaeologist through her stories of Amelia Peabody, an Egyptologist (like Mertz herself). She is headstrong, stubborn, always right (or so she says), and willing to go wherever a man may go. I can’t help but love her stories and the time period: late 18th-early 19th century. I have all of her books and she sadly passed away in August. When I heard she died, I cried for quite some time. She will be greatly missed.
Joss Whedon: I am a huge science fiction fan and love Joss Whedon’s work! Especially Firefly, Buffy, Angel, and of course, Serenity. He creates such great work and tends to create strong female characters. I would also just love to meet him to see what else he has planned, and if there is even the smallest possibility that Firefly will come back on TV.
Jewel Staite: A Canadian actress I kind of grew up watching. She was in many of the shows I watched (sometimes only once): Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The X-Files, Flash Forward, Firefly, Star Gate: Atlantis, Dead Like Me, Supernatural, and of course, Serenity. I also follow her blog and on instragram. I love how she seems like such a normal, everyday person who has experienced quite a bit. She is funny and down to earth and I think she would bring another generation of strong females into my group. Plus she loves food and wine. You can’t go wrong with that!
Emma Thompson: By far my favorite actress. I love Shakespeare (I was an English major, so it shouldn’t be a surprise) and loved her performance in Much Ado About Nothing. From there I saw and loved Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Nanny McPhee, and my favorite of hers that I can’t watch without a box of tissues: Wit. I also love seeing her on talk shows just being herself and loved that she seems to feel very comfortable being goofy and maybe a bit clumsy. Really, what’s not to love? I just get the impression that she’s a very strong woman who is at ease with herself.
J.K. Rowling: I LOVE her Harry Potter series. I know, this isn’t a surprising fact for someone to love them but I would love to sit down and just talk to her. The fact that she created such a world from her imagination makes me believe she has to have some great stories. I absolutely love how much she formed her world of witchcraft and wizardry and that a lot of the back story didn’t appear in the books, but she knew it all. She’s the kind of author I wish to be.
Stephen King: His book, The Stand, remains my number one book still, after reading it nearly 15 years ago. That says something to me (I read over 50+ books a year)! Not to mention I think he would be quite fun to have at a dinner party. I read his book On Writing which is also a bit of a biography and I have to say, him and Joss Whedon could probably create something completely fantastic together. I’d love to see that happen! He also comes across as very down to earth, tell-it-as-it-is kind of guy. I always appreciate that.
Roald Dahl: My favorite children’s author and the man who gave me my imagination, or so I’d like to say. I have read many of his children’s books and still love to reread them (my nephews will get a collection one day). I remember scouring the elementary school library for his books and feeling a strong connection to Matilda, who loved to read as much as I did. It was there I learned to not be ashamed of the fact that I really did (and still do) love learning.
This isn’t a surprise to those who know me, but I hate cooking. I love to bake! But I HATE cooking. I hate making a weekly menu (which we always do so we only go to the grocery store once unless we need something fresh), I hate coming up with what to eat, and I hate making it. I often feel like this ecard:
So the menu then is going to be done by someone else. Completely. As in, I would say who is invited and then I hope and pray that they would know what would be best to serve. It would be either that or getting a pizza or Chinese food. I’m good with either of those options too. I wouldn’t mind something more casual anyway, that always seems to create more comfortable conversations. But I do know there would be wine, at the very least.
The Seating Arrangement
After this morning’s Google hangout session with prompts 13 and 14 as the topic, I will go with Julie’s suggestion of using a round table. I like that idea as it makes it easier to keep the conversation going between all instead of one side of the table and the other. I do think seating arrangement is important though, so I would plan this out in the hopes of creating great conversation. (As a side note, I didn’t even put this much thought into my wedding!)
Starting with me, on my right I’d have Elizabeth Peters. She’s my favorite author and I’d love to just listen to her stories about Egypt and if she had other plans for Amelia before she passed.
Next to her would be Roald Dahl. He has a great imagination and didn’t just write children’s books. It would be interesting to hear these two talk about writing and their inspirations.
Next to him would be J.K. Rowling. I just think these three authors could have some great conversations. For Rowling and Peters, they can both discuss their wonderful female characters, and with Dahl between them discussing the imagination and creating new worlds.
Next to Rowling would be Stephen King. I know Stephen King said great things about Rowling’s work so I’d love to see what a discussion between those two could create.
Next to King would be Thompson. Really for no good reason besides that I think they would have great conversations. They both seem to tell it like it is and I would enjoy that conversation.
Next to Thompson would be Joss Whedon. I’d love for him and King to get started on ideas. With Thompson in between, maybe she could be an actress inspiration!
Next to Whedon would be Mary Roach. She can be mildly inappropriate in her humor sometimes (comes across as hilarious in her books) and I think putting her next to Whedon could create some interesting scientific discussions on what would be possible. Maybe some Firefly talk with her research for Packing for Mars since I know that’s where my head went with her book.
And next to Roach would be Jewel Staite, who would also then be next to me. I think her and Roach would have some quite funny and interesting conversations (especially about food) and she just seems such a down-to-earth person that I’d also love to talk to her about where she’s been and what she’s hoping to do next. She loves food and maybe she could give me some advice on meals or even who to hire to cook! Her travels with food in mind would make for some delicious conversation.
In the end, I’d hope that everyone would have incredibly interesting conversations. Maybe there would be a few new book/movie/TV show ideas that could have been born from that evening or even just a few new friendships. I’d also get the delight of meeting some of my favorite authors. I can spend hours reading a book with barely a break in between, but not so much a movie. Books have a great hold on me and I love when I feel connected to the main character (this also works for TV/movie). That should explain the preference for women at my table along with men who also create strong female leads. That along with my greatest wish and dream to be a writer, explains, to me anyway, why I have such people like Stephen King and Roald Dahl as well. Their books held my attention (and still do) and you’d have to imagine they would be great fun at a dinner party.