Sydney Quotes The Dowager Countess of Grantham

To celebrate Maggie Smith winning an Emmy for her roles as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. I decided to post some of my favorite lines from season one and two of Downton Abbey, my new favorite show.

She is such a smart ass, you know, for a Lady.  Read each of them out loud with your best English accent.  For my English friends, just read it in your regular voice.  Enjoy!

“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?” – in reference to sitting in a swivel chair invented by Thomas Jefferson.
“So that’s Mary’s replacement.  Well, I suppose looks aren’t everything.”
“I have plenty of friends I don’t like.”
“Last night! He looked so well.  Of course it would happen to a foreigner.  No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.”
“Is this an instrument of communication or torture?” -in reference to a telephone being installed at Downton. 
“Why do you always have to pretend to be nicer then the rest of us?” -her chastising her son for his optimistic outlook on most things.
“I couldn’t have electricity in the house, I wouldn’ t sleep a wink. All those vapors floating about.”
“No. She isn’t until she is married, then her husband will tell her what her opinions are.” -in reference to her granddaughter having an opinion. 
“Edith, you are a Lady, not Toad of Toad Hall.”
“I’m a woman Mary.  I can be as contrary as I choose.”
“I don’t dislike him, I just don’t like him.  Which is quite different.” -Logic of Lady Grantham
“No doubt you will regard this as rather unorthodox, my pushing into a man’s bedroom uninvited.”
“I was watching her the other night, when you spoke of your wedding.  She looked like Juliet on awakening in the tomb.”
“Don’t be defeatist, dear, it’s very middle class.”  – my favorite line in two seasons.

Do you watch Downton Abbey?  What is your favorite Lady Grantham line? 

My Weekly Update – Daisies and Dinner

Daisy Award

One of my lovely critique partners, Kathleen,  has bestowed on me an award. Thank you, thank you. I happily accept the Daisy Award.  The rules:

  • Link to the person that nominated you. – done
  • List seven unusual things about yourself. – done
  • Nominate some worthy bloggers. – done
  1. I watch Of Mice and Men the other day and got a blog post out of it. Stay tuned.
  2. I watch The Hunger Games two nights ago and am not sure if I liked it or not. What did you think?
  3. I watch The Rite this week and I don’t care for devil movies much, but this one was interesting. Although in Anthony Hopkin’s character, let me know if  you saw Hannibal Lecter instead of Father Lucas at times.  
  4. One of the four English channels I have access to is the National Geographic Channel and have been utterly fascinated with shows like Locked up Abroad, Doomsday Preppers and Wicked Tuna. Is there something wrong with me? 
  5. I had tacos for dinner tonight.  We made them ourselves and they were so good.
  6. I finally wrote 1,000 words of original fiction today, the first time in about a week. It felt good. 
  7. I got to mark off an item on my restaurant Bucket List. Last night I went to Mr. & Mrs. Bund. Totally exceeded my expectations.  My favorite was the Corn Vanilla Veloute w/cornflakes.  Weird, but so so good. 

More photos from my dinner last night at Mr. & Mrs. Bund.

The last two photos are of a desert called Lemon & Lemon Tart.  It’s a candied lemon skin filled with lemon sorbet and lemon curd and vanilla chantilly.  Now I am not sure what all that is, but it was yummy.
Blog Love
My blog love this weeks goes to WordFalls Services and her editing tips.  They have been super helpful to me during this month of editing. Check her out. 
New Followers and my nominees for the Daisy Award.
Steve Vernon from Yours in Storytelling
The Eye of Faith
Shah Wharton
Next Weeks Schedule
Tuesday – Tattoo Tuesday
Wednesday – Sydney Quotes the Movies
Friday – Blog post
Sunday – My Weekly Update

What did you watch last week? What did you eat last week?  What did you edit last week?  

Character Profiles as a Marketing Tool

I was watching one of my 4 English channels.  Yes, my much anticipated move to Shanghai reduced my tv watching options.  Recently, they have been heavily advertising a new show called Last Resort.  It stars Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman(the hot guy from Felicity).

One marketing tool they use in Asia is marketing the show as airing the same week as the US telecast.  I don’t really get that one, I mean really, who cares.  It’s not like I am calling up my friends in the US to see if they caught the latest episode of The Amazing Race season 400.  It’s kind of an expensive call, we stick to important topics.

But, a more effective marketing tool they are using is 15 second character profiles.

Still hot.
The first profile they show is of Scott Speedman’s character, Sam Kendal.  
In 15 seconds you learn:
Sam is the XO on the USS Colorado.  
He is the morally conscious character.  
He spells charm without a c. (not sure what that means)
Committed and Determined
He’s as loyal to his country as he is to his wife.
*Imagine these lines delivered by the movie trailer guy voice.  

In an action packed promo, they tell who he is, his motivation and his role in the series.  They use images and quotes from him that make you instantly like him, relate to him and want to root for him.

In a clearly action packed type series; regular promos show submarines, bombs, and drama, drama, drama,  ABC understands in order to have a successful series long term, the audience has to get to know and care about what happens to the characters.

This is a great tool to use in book promotion as well.  A book and a television series are similar in they takes some commitment from the reader and view in order to be successful.  If you don’t like a movie, well, you only committed a couple of hours.  No big deal. But, most series want you to stick around for at least 20 episodes. In books, you want people to read until the last page.

So, how do you keep people turning the page until the end.  They have to either like, hate or at the least, relate to the character. So, why not tell them about your characters early on in the promotion of your book.

My MC Character Profile: 
Sierra is smart, funny and reliable to a fault.
But, when it comes to her own happiness, she has a history of putting others needs above her own.
When she meets John, she realize she could easily fall into her old patterns, but she is determined to not let that be her legacy. 
*In the movie trailer guys voice.  

Use your characters in your marketing to get a head start on letting your audience know why they need to read your book.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to have an awesome  quote like the one used below in every Last Resort Promo.
“I am not going to annihilate  3.4 million Pakistanis without hearing directly
Greatness of Andre Braugher
from someone whose authority that I recognize.” Marcus Chaplin played by Andre Braugher.

Share three statements about your MC that will make readers want to read your book. 

Would you give up a year of your life to . . .

I recently read an article in the July 2012 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine.  The title of of the article was Would you give up a Year of Your Life to Sleep With Ryan Gosling?

The article proceed to pose several opposing scenarios and it got me thinking how would I answer these questions?  I decided to give myself a little quiz.

Would I give up a year of my life to sleep with Ryan Gosling?

Maybe, but for Johnny Depp, Ben Foster, Troy Aikman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Chef Michael Votaggio, or Orlando Bloom – absolutely.  Just as long as I got to tell people and I got to leverage the encounter in order to gain either tabloid magazine money, a book deal or become the host of my own talk show.



But, if there was potential for a long lasting relationship with any of the above, disregard the previous sentence.  For the sake of love and all that.

Would you adopt Rosey Perez’s speaking voice if it meant you could sing like Adele?

No, but if I was given the ability to create a unique and distinct voice that produced the amount of accolades and recognition that Adele received, then I would.  There will never be another Adele.

I would just sing everything.  You ever see Whitney Houston’s reality show, she sang all the time.

Would you sleep with a rat in your bed every night for a month to have the ability to fly?

No, I don’t do rats under any circumstance.  And, who would want the ability to fly?  Do you realize how dangerous it would be?  You would have to compete with planes and birds and the occasional pterodactyl.  It could happen.  If humans can fly, dinosaurs can return.  Having an effective communication system would be your biggest concern.  You don’t want the Air Force thinking you are an enemy bogey and shooting you down every day.  That could get annoying.

See How Much Trouble Ironman Had

Would you vajazzle your frenemy’s hoo-ha to have anything you want from Tiffany? 

This one was hard for me.  I can’t think of any circumstance where I would want to be near anyone’s hoo-ha except my own, but I do love Tiffany.  Now if we are talk sterling silver infinity charm, no.  If we are talking white gold channel set 4 carat diamond ring, I won’t lie, I would consider it.  I love diamonds.

Pretty, but . . .
Diamonds – Enough Said.

Would you give up sex to be able to eat everything you wanted yet magically be thin?

No way in hell. And, why the hell would you want to?

Would you give up your sense of taste for the ability to read peoples minds?

This one is easy for me.  Like all of the super power questions, I don’t want that kind of pressure, or responsibility.  Just think of the all the crazy stuff that goes on in your own mind.  Then, compare that to the stuff you actually put out in the word.  Yeah, there are some things I just don’ t need to know.

And, if I slept with Chef Voltaggio and gave up a year of my life, I would at least want to taste the breakfast he would prepare for me the next day.

Would you get a face tattoo for five million?

I would get a face tattoo for 100,000 dollars.  Anyone want to start a collection?

Maybe I need to rethink this one.

Would you give up your memory of the last five years if you knew the next five would rock?

This questions was the most interesting to me because I have been in China for 5 years.  While I have had some good experiences, it hasn’t been the best time of my life.  It hasn’t been the life I wanted to live.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to give up the lessons I have learned over the last 5 years.  The biggest lesson is that I will never put myself in a situation where I would even consider this type of choice.

The goal going forward is to create a life that I want to live.

So, would you give up a year of your life to sleep with Ryan Gosling or Jennifer Aniston?  Is there any time in your life you would consider giving up?  

Photos courtesy of, Food & Wine &

X – X Factor Australia

The X Factor is one of many reality television franchises that are highly popular in the United States and have a version in Australia.  Truth be told, this show originated in the UK and was in Australia before it hit US markets.

There is also an Australian version of The Voice, Next Top Model, Project Runway, Master Chef (actually created in Australia) and Celebrity Apprentice (David Hasselhoff is on this season. What in the world?!?!?!).

I have seen and have a strong opinion of the American version of each of these shows except The X Factor.  I figured that I could stack the two versions of this show side by side and see who comes out on top on paper.  I promise to be fair and impartial.  Really.   So, here goes.

The X Factor America vs. The X Factor Australia

Number of Seasons:  1 season vs. 3 seasons – Australia has this one

Host:  Steve Jones vs. Luke Jacobz – push; I have no clue who either of these people are.

Notable Judges:  Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul vs. Danni Minogue, Mel B  and Natalie Imbruglia – Considering the Creator is a judge on the American version, US clearly wins this one, but I will give some props to Kylie’s sister and a spice girl.

Notable Winners:  Melanie Amaro ( to soon to tell) vs. Reece Mastin (double platunim debut album) – I will give this one to Australia, although I haven’t heard anything from either of them. But, you can’ t argue with double platinum.

*The most famous winner of the franchise is Leona Lewis, Great Britain Season 3.  Bleeding Love is one of my favorite songs.


Prize:  5 million dollar cash and a recording contract with Syco Music a division of Sony Music vs. 5 hundred thousand aussie dollars cash and a recording contract with Sony Music Australia – no brainer. US has this one

Viewship:  Debut episode 12.5 million vs. being cancelled after the first season because of poor ratings, it was brought back by another network and has a steady viewship of about 1.3 million.  – I would give the advantage to the US, but only slightly.  You have to figure that with only 20 million people in Australia, that is a higher percentage of people watching the show then in the US, but the cancellation gives the US the nod.

So, there you have it.  X-Factor Australia pales in comparison to X-Factor USA at least on paper, but they both miss out because even after learning all that I have about these two shows, I still have no interest in watching them.

Thanks Wikipedia for all the fascinating fun X Factor facts.