How to make the perfect Valentine

14 Feb
Winona Ryder and Gabriel Byrne portray Jo March and her beloved Professor Friedrich Bhaer in the 1994 movie 'Little Women.'

Winona Ryder and Gabriel Byrne portray Jo March and her beloved Professor Friedrich Bhaer in the 1994 movie ‘Little Women.’

Happy Valentine’s Day SK friends!

Today Scrabble and I, Louisa May Alcatt, are going to tell you how to make the perfect Valentine.

I had to do this when Jo, my alter ego in ‘Little Women,’ was forced into marriage by my publishers.

A little background.

When I wrote ‘Little Women’ in 1868, I ended it with Meg’s engagement.IMG_0671

In real life, I swore never to marry. No man was ever going to tell me what to do, how to do it and when to do it. I planned to paddle my own canoe.

This was (and still is, if that is what you choose), a brilliant plan unless business gets involved.

For me, business got involved.

‘Little Women’ flew off the shelves once it rolled off the presses in September 1868.

The publisher’s coffers filled, as did mine.

My public (I had a public!!! 😄) wanted more.

A sequel was immediately arranged by my publishers. However, this time, they had a few demands.

One of them was that all of the March sisters were to marry, not just Meg.

I said no. Jo represented me, and like me she would paddle her own canoe.

They said, No! This is the Victorian era. All respectable women MUST marry.

We went back and forth.

I can be stubborn and business savvy. I negotiated the perfect business arrangement to marry off Jo. One could say Jo married for money.

If my alter ego protagonist was going to marry, she would have none less than the perfect spouse.

This is where fiction writing comes in handy.

I took the three men I admire most, The Father, Son, and The Holy Ghost.

No, that’s a Don McLean song.

I took the best characteristics of my father A. Bronson Alcatt, our dear family friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, better known as Goethe, a German who wrote ‘Faust’ and many other works, all of inspired me to become a writer and fall in love with the German language.

So, I took the poverty, unconditional love and philosophy of my father, added the brilliant quips of Emerson and mixed in the rugged German persuasion of Goethe to create Jo’s groom and sou mate, Professor Friedrich Bhaer.

 A. Bronson Alcott.

Alcott.

That’s the beauty of fiction. If you cannot find the perfect man, you can create him. So, I did.

Scrabble and I hope you find your perfect valentine and have s wonderful weekend.

xo, LMA and Scrabble

PS. Not that you asked, but here are some Valentine terms in German:

Emerson

Emerson

Freund = boyfriend
Freundin = girlfriend
Lieben = love
Kuss= kiss
Umarman = hug ( see the word arm?)
Herz = heart

IMG_0672

Goethe

Freuliche Valentinstag! kuss und umarman, LMA & my Valentine, S.

IMG_0643

Here I am with my Valentine, Scrabble.

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11 Responses to “How to make the perfect Valentine”

  1. bernecho February 15, 2015 at 2:13 am #

    Lieben, oh those luftmensch publishers! Great Valentines post. Sadly even Anne of Green Gables had to marry.

    • Louisa May Alcatt February 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      No kidding! We do love Anne with an E. Marriage isn’t all bad, IF that is the path you choose. xo LMA

      • Crystal M. Trulove February 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

        Anne with an e. I haven’t thought of her in oh, so long. Oh, I loved her so deeply. Thanks you two for reminding me. 🙂

  2. Bruce Thiesen February 15, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Thanks for the introduction to Scrabble. And as always, an insight into the life of your favorite 19th-century writer. It’s great that she held out for her stories, not those of others.

    We all can imagine perfect. And all can imagine the perfect man (or woman). But perhaps that’s a problem, because good, darn good or even great, may not be good enough. A case of perfect being the enemy of good and great. That’s when trouble starts.

    • Louisa May Alcatt February 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      Yes. Perfection is the enemy of many. Plus. It’s boring. xo, LMA

      • Bruce Thiesen February 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

        Some days, I think I would enjoy that type of boredom.

  3. LB February 15, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I’m pretty sure that I never read the sequel. Guess I ought to do that someday!
    Happy Valentines Day to you!

  4. Crystal M. Trulove February 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    I am going to take this to heart and create my own Valentine. I love the romance of the day and having just spent it with only the kitty, Racecar, I realize that like all my favourite headstrong heroines, I must take matters into my own hands. Now I am going to begin daydreaming with purpose: who will he be? How will this Valentine turn out? (I will add a dose of hilarious snarkiness from Sam Clemens, fearless sense of adventure from Hemmingway) In the meantime, no one is as fuzzy or cuddly or can purr as deliciously as Racecar, so at least I don’t have to suffer!

    • Louisa May Alcatt February 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Hmmmm I think we’d like to meet this guy. When are you rolling him out?

      • Crystal M. Trulove February 21, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

        Right?! I’m excited just thinking about it. You’ll be the first to know of course.

      • Louisa May Alcatt February 22, 2015 at 8:56 am #

        And I promise not to hit on him 😄

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