2013 is a brand new year full of possibilities! 01/01/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #337)

So!   How do you like my new Something About Love blog header for 2013?:


I have been working on this new blog header most of the afternoon and evening–selecting my final Richard Armitage portrait and role images (from the wonderful resources at www.RichardArmitageNet.com).  The far left larger portrait of Richard Armitage attributed to the photographer Theo Kingma in NYC in December is stunning! The Orcrist sword image is courtesy of www.TheOneRing.net (TORN)–it is part of the “Precious Collection” that may be purchased from United Cutlery via a link on the TORN web site.  And my Gratiana Lovelace profile image and gravatar of Renoir’s “At the Concert” (circa 1880) is courtesy of … my piano room–I have a lovely print of it that was given to me as a gift years ago.  I’m sure that the frame the print is in is worth more than the print for any would be burglars out there.  Ha!  But for more about this delightful Renoir painting, please visit http://impressionism.kimbellart.org/exhibit/saints

So, back to my new 2013 blog header.  It includes images that illustrate a sampling of the broad spectrum of the artistic range of the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s varied character portrayals (across the top)–and some images of the man at events or interviews (at left and anchoring the bottom half of the header).

For new visitors to my blog who might wonder, why does Richard Armitage (often colloquially referred to as RA)  figure so prominently in my blog header when my blog title doesn’t have his name in it?  Well the man is a master storyteller and a chameleon of an actor who inhabits his roles so thoroughly that his audiences find themselves immersed in his stories involving heartache or happiness, loyalty or betrayal, honor or criminality, hope or anguish, revenge or compassion, etc.–often in complex combinations.   So, Richard Armitage has become my own unofficial muse for my own writing and storytelling tales of romance and intrigue.  More about RA as muse for my stories further down in this essay.

Richard Armtiage’s current role of portraying Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey” is riveting and so subtly nuanced that I have seen the film three times already (3D, 2D, and 3D HFR)–discerning new insights into character and plot from RA and all of the actors under Sir Peter Jackson’s masterful direction with each viewing experience–and I will probably see the film again next month.    I hope they come out with the dvd soon.  Ha!  But I really love seeing the film in the theatre–the image clarity in 3D HFR (48fps) really makes you feel like you are in scene and you could reach out and touch the actors it looks so stunningly vivid!

Blog Header Richard Armitage Quiz:

But first, I thought it might be fun for those who are already avowed admirers of Richard Armitage–or even those who aren’t–to test their knowledge and see if they can identify and describe the context of the character images’ scenes.  That’s right, I know that you know who these characters are and what tv programs or movies they are from.  So you have to step up and test your RA knowledge on the context of the images and share your guesses by commenting to this post.  I know you can do it!   I am rooting for you.  The person who gets the most RA character scenes described correctly wins.  What do you win?   Bragging rights mostly.  Ha!  Actually, I will create a unique Richard Armitage wallpaper in your honor from your suggestions of a favorite RA image and/or RA project dialogue quotes, etc.  So, more work for me!  Ah, toiling away working on images of Richard Armitage.  It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.  Ha!

Richard Armitage as Gratiana’s Muse:

As many of you know, my blog is about love and romance and such.  I write stories and essays and poems, and create graphics and videos as well.  Richard Armitage is my unofficial muse for all of it.  I say “unofficial” because I have no connection with Mr. Armitage and I’m sure that he doesn’t know I exist.  Ha!  So despite the spike in my blog viewership the last couple of weeks with all of the “The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey” film release mania  (such fun!)–and people seem to be reading all of my Hobbit related essays that I wrote this past year (bless them!)–I am a storyteller at heart.  And since Richard Armitage is so prolific and varied a theatrical artist, I can usually find nearly the exact emotion I would like to illustrate for my characters in my stories from a screen cap of him in one of his varied roles.  Snap!

Some Gratiana Story Stats for those who like numbers:

Here are the story logos for my original stories and original fan fiction adaptation stories that I have written since I began my blog–and to which my blog visitors return to time and again.  Thank you!  I have placed some of my blog’s story stats under each story logo to give you an idea of their continuing popularity (for which I am very grateful). Here are viewer stats for my completed stories in the order that I serialized them–with their initial post date noted (they may be found under “Gratiana’s Story Links” in my sidebar at right):

aThorinsHopeCoverWattpadAug1312GratianaLovelace copy“Thorin’s Hope”, Ch. 0-9
Fall 2011 on blog = 2,987 views
Fall 2012 on Wattpad = 1,329 views
“Guy’s Rose”, Ch. 0-40

Fall 2011 – Winter 2012 on blog = 6,967 views
Fall 2012 on Wattpad = 1,534 views
HandsomePlaybillLogoWattpadNov1712GratianaLovelace256x393“Handsome” a one act comedy play in 7 scenes
January 2012 on blog = 477 views
November 2012 on Wattpad = 109 views
“The Vicar of Dibley Revisited:  A Season of New Beginnings”, Episodes 0-8
February 2012 on blog =    2,093 views
August 2012 on Wattpad = 330
 Lost&FoundTitleGraphicDec1911grati copy“Lost and Found”, Ch. 0-49
December 2011 on blog = 2,278   views
Not on Wattpad yet.
 aMrRomanceStoryLogoFeb2512GratianaLovelace copy“Mr. Romance”, Ch.0-34
February -March 2012 on blog =1,036 views
Not on Wattpad yet.
yNandSNurturingLoveStoryLogo2Mar1712GratianaLovelace copy“North & South: Nurturing Love”, Ch.0-86
March – May 2012 on blog =  6,680    views
Not on Wattpad yet.
Fire&IceStoryLogoMay1312GratianaLovelaceSml“Fire & Ice”, Ch. 1-41
June – August 2012 =  1,637   views
Not on Wattpad yet.
aSeeingBeautyStoryLogoAug2012GratianaLovelace copy
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 0-32
August – November 2012 on blog = 1,517  views
Not on Wattpad yet.
“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”
Still being serialized on blog and Wattpad.
“Love & Friendship”
Still being serialized on blog and Wattpad.
The image references for these story logo images are found with the stories.

So what did I learn  from looking at these story stats?  Some people–you know who you are, Ha!–like to read the end of the story first.  Oh and a long rock star tressed, black leather clad and muscular Richard Armitage portraying Sir Guy of Gisborne is fan fiction gold.   Are we superficial?  Certainly not!  That word didn’t exist in the Middle Ages.  Ha!  In general, fan fiction original stories–there is an oxymoron in there somewhere, ha!–probably appeals because readers like the characters to begin with and are interested in seeing them in new stories.  However, I hope that my readers will also take the time to read some of my original stories, too.

The links to my stories can be found in my sidebar at right under “Gratiana’s Story Links”–several of these stories are also serialized on my Wattpad site that I just opened up last fall.  And I hope to serialize even more of my stories here and on my Wattpad site in 2013–especially my Lucas North fan fiction, my third Guy of Gisborne tale, and other of my original stories.  I have been serializing two stories at a time–posting both here on my blog and on my Wattpad site.  Having them synchronized is easier for me timewise.  So Monday story posts will usually see the next chapters for my original stories.  Whereas Friday story posts tend to be related to my adapted fan fiction original stories.

That leaves Wild Card Wednesdays and Fun Day Sundays for me to write other kinds of posts.  These can be essays about RA characters and stories.  Or even–gasp!–non RA stories and essays.  And I also have several essays that I have written about my observations about romance and/or life–from my experiences that I published.  I certainly would never tell someone how to live their life.  But if my sharing what worked or didn’t work for me helps anyone else, I am glad to write about some aspects of my life.  I also create graphics and videos that I also share here on my blog.  Finally, I also created an imaginary poetry spouting rodent called Melissa the Melissa who is my partner in edam/crime.  Ha!  Her poems and essays to date are also found in my sidebar under “Melissa the Mouse:  Poems, Ponderings, and Provolone”.  She and I both like alliteration.  Snap!

I usually try to “rest” and not post on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays–except when I am particularly inspired or there is a lot of Richard  Armitage news to be had that I feel that I want to weigh in on.   Oops!  You will notice that this post is on a Tuesday.  So, this post gets to count for my Wednesday post this week.  The reason that I am trying to keep my posting frequency down to two to four times a week is that my eye issues–corneal abrasions–that started challenging me more last Fall have not improved.  And sometimes it is a real struggle to try to write a post or the next installment of a story when my eyes are doing double vision.  Would you believe that I even tried putting on my Hobbit 3D glasses to see if that might correct the problem?  Giggles!  Well, it was worth a shot.  The main thing I need to do is rest my eyes more–that is not easy to do for an avid writer like me (I have over 70 stories completed or in progress at this point, itching to be serialized on my blog here).  Let alone, my real life job at a university is very vision intensive. So, if some weeks you only get two story posts out of me, you know why–they are easier on my eyes since I tend to start serializing stories here on my blog after I have them mostly written.

And the ultimate stat was that since I began this blog in August 2011, it has had 122, 681 views–of which, 107,471 views occurred in 2012.  And my biggest month of views came this past month with 22,422 views–I call it, “The Hobbit Effect”.  As I mentioned earlier, people are reading my Hobbit related essays that I wrote over the past year every day.


I could not close this post without thanking all of my visitors–and especially my faithful commenters.  I appreciate your support and encouragement.    And a very special thank you to Fabi who collaborated on several guest post fun RA quizzes last Spring–she did the research on the RA info and I formatted it and provided suitable graphics, snap!–such as Post #143 RA Character Quotes Trivia Game, Post #170 RA Careers & Interviews Trivia Quiz, and  Post #194 RA Character Quotes Quiz.

Finally, our little family had an ending and a beginning this year when our beloved doggie SophieandMaxonDeckP1010719Jul0812gratiSophie was diagnosed with rare bone cancer of the upper jaw and then she died two months later in my arms after surgery gave us a bit more time with her (left in photo at right) that we are very grateful for.  We were blessed to have our younger 4 year old doggie Max (right in photo at right) at the time.  But after all three of us moped around for 6 weeks missing Sophie terribly, we knew that we had to fill the void.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd that is when we welcomed then 4 month old beagle Heidi (left) into our home–her piddling and chewing alone kept us distracted. Ha! I should say she keeps us distracted–because she does not confine herself to chewing her toys–the picture of Heidi chewing her toys (left) gave us a false sense of security.  Ha!  But though Max is now the alpha doggie, he has yet to exercise that prerogative very often.  Usually he is quite tolerant of Heidi’s energetic playfulness as she pounces on him, nips at him, and puts her head in his mouth (I really can’t fathom what Heidi thinks she is doing, Ha!  It’s not like he is going to regurgitate food for her like a bird would).  Of course, the irony is that Max is now the good doggie who minds us and doesn’t chew up stuff or make messes–anymore.  Ha!  My husband joked that we should get a third doggie and then maybe Heidi would become a good doggie like Max did.  But that’s a Puppy Ponzi Scheme if ever there was one–the older doggies behave, but the newest doggie doesn’t, a vicious cycle.  Ha!  And I have to tell you, one husband and two doggies are my limit. Ha!

My hopes for 2013?  

To get back to swimming again now that my health is improving–fingers crossed.  Somehow heal my eyes by resting them more–while still writing my stories.  And, organize the house and start paring down–I have hit the point in my life when having stuff no longer appeals if it has to use shelf space.  I want to  make a moving clips RA fan video–I just have to learn how to convert the files for production, I can do the editing and splicing already.  And oh yeah, I have to get the wi-fi hooked up so that my hubby can use his computer on the internet, too.  Just a few things on my to do list.  Ha!

How about you?  What is on your wish list for 2013?

P.S.  I made this Happy New Year 2013 graphic this morning and wanted to share it with you:



About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in Creative Writing, Holiday, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Thorin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to 2013 is a brand new year full of possibilities! 01/01/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #337)

  1. Herba says:

    What a great new header Grati – I love it!
    Happy new Year! May all your wishes for 2013 come true!


  2. Fabi says:

    Happy New Year, Grati!
    Thank you for mentioning our collective posts. I had much fun collaborating with you here on your blog, this very nice place full of joy and creativity. By the way, the new header is beautiful! I hope the new year will be as good as 2012 in RAworld, for him and for us his fans.
    Festive cheers!


  3. aj daisy says:

    Love the new header Grati. Brilliant


  4. Kitty says:

    I am loving your “anti-stuff” attitude. Happy lose all the unnecessary c**p New Year.

    John Standring – Christmas
    John Thornton – annual dinner party
    Harry Kennedy – with tongues and raising eyebrows
    Gizzy – season 3 hair, looking way hot, don’t know details
    Lucas – season 7 (spooks) in the grave yard, I think? skinny Lucas gets me every time. i miss him
    My hero John Porter with his BIG gun
    Thorin Oakenshield – i don’t know the details except it’s from The Hobbit an Unexpected Journey


    • Giggles, Kitty!
      I’m glad you share my view of “stuff”. Stuff takes up room and has to be dusted–though my hubby chose dusting as one of his chores, it’s not regularly on his radar. Ha! These days, if people want to give me a gift I will appreciate, I prefer hot cocoa mix or hand lotion. Or dinner out. I am so easy to please.

      And you are quite the Richard Armitage character and story afficianado! Well done! Your effort will be hard to beat! Thanks so much for playing along with the mini quiz!

      However, there is still some RA character info to be gleaned from the header images should others want to provide some guesses:

      John Standring’s shy moment here is quite poignant. Points to anyone who can provide his famous dialogue line.

      Sir Guy is indeed looking devilishly handsome and “in charge”–however briefly. Ha! Does anyone know to whom Sir Guy is looking at and why?

      Though Porter is driving, not shooting–I didn’t intentionally crop out the steering wheel, it just had to go to fit the space. Ha!

      And Thorin Oakenshield? Such an enigmatic and mysterious fellow. I love this portrait of RA as Thorin, I almost sized it up to dominate my header with the other images around it. Ha! But again, what is the context anyone out there?

      So we’ll see if anyone can elaborate on these characters’ scenes a bit more.

      Holiday Cheers & Love! Grati ;->


  5. Ania says:

    All the best in the New Year, Grati!
    Hmm, what a beautiful new banner!


  6. P.S. For some reason, my new blog header looks fuzzier after uploading it than the original does. So I will have to check WP support in the next few days to see if I can fix that somehow.


  7. april73 says:

    Hi Gratiana,

    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and all the best for the future. :-)

    Very nice new header, I love it. :-)


    • Hi April,
      Thanks for your nice note about my new header! I have some tweaking yet to do on it. Ha! I wish you and your family a wonderful New Year full of only good things.
      Holiday Cheers and Love! Grati ;->


  8. Servetus says:

    Happy New Year — I enjoy reading these personal stocktakings. I hope it’s a great year for you!


  9. katie70 says:

    Happy New Year to you. I like the idea of taking stock in the New Year rather than making a list then breaking it almost as fast as making it. One of the things that I wanted to due at the start of last year was to start to comment on blogs and boy did it take me awhile to do so, but by August (that is a great month) I just finally did it and set up my WP account. May 2013 be a great year for all and RA too.


    • Hi Katie70,
      Thanks for your nice note! I agree, it is best not to set too many overreaching goals for ourselves–because our interests may change. But it is good to have goals.
      And welcome to having your own blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

      I noticed that your name in your comment here does not link back to your blog–since I tried to go to it. So please share your blog link in a reply comment here–and perhaps say a little about your theme or focus of your blog for me and my readers.

      Have a great 2013 to you, RA, and everyone, too! Holiday Cheers! Grati ;->


  10. Pingback: Legenda 60: Stuff worth reading « Me + Richard Armitage

  11. katie70 says:

    Thank You! What I mean by starting a WP account is so I could comment. At this time I don’t have time to write on a blog. I am slowly working my way to going to school and I have to retest my math. I have been getting help so I can, I would like to retest in the next month. I also am going to take one the classes online this semester also plus working full time. I plan on going to school for OTA . ( Occupational Therapy Assistant) I have never been to collage until last year I took my first online class during the spring semester and one during the summer semester, I took off the fall semester to work on my math.


    • Hi Katie70,
      Thanks for clarifying. I wish you the best of luck and wonderful experiences with your classes. From my own experience returning to school part time to work on a doctoral degree, it will be tough balancing working full time and classes and your life, but it is doable. You just have to tell yourself that you are doing the best that you can and not get caught up in trying to do everything else like you did when you were not in school. I hope you find your math classes interesting–they will give you a good foundation for your future science classes that you will have to take.
      Holiday Cheers! Grati ;->


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