Sep 30, 2010

Ronsardian Ode

My apologies for the tardiness of this post!

The Ronsardian Ode is the creation of French poet, Pierre de Ronsard. Ronsard (1524-1585) was one of the stars of the Pléiade, French humanists who were inspired by classical culture, but sought to create a French literature. His poetry is musical, sensuous, pagan, romantic. Although a cleric in minor orders, he was constantly celebrating the beauties and sorrows of his various loves.

I have not checked the Ronsardian Ode against other ode forms, but I found it quite “odious” to work with. It can have any number of nine line stanzas, and the syllable pattern is 10-4-10-4-10-10-4-4-8 with a rhyme scheme of ababccddc.


The Prisoner
I look at the world outside from within
A safe haven,
Watching the seasons, the night and day spin,
The stars hasten.
Emotions rising and falling with time,
Embracing each one while safe in my shrine,
There must be more
Outside the door -
I yearn to embrace what is thine.

You’re caught on the other side looking in
Almost touching.
Held apart by so much, where to begin?
The walls crushing -
My fear is the truth, of what it could mean,
Loss of the past and a slate that’s wiped clean.
A look, a touch
That say so much -
I yearn to embrace the unseen.

A life lived in fear is no life at all
You have taught me.
It hurts so much less when you have a fall
If you are free.
But what if I find your words are untrue?
Can I bid all of my old fears adieu?
Please hold my hand,
Beside me stand -
I yearn to embrace life with you.

Sep 29, 2010

Hump Day Hunk

Ya gotta love a man who's not afraid to go skinny dipping this time of year. ;-)

Sep 28, 2010

Fairy Tale Origins - Part XIX
The Frog Prince

The best known version of the Frog Prince is the tale written by the Brothers Grimm. A princess reluctantly befriends a frog, who demands she keeps the promises she made to him. At the end of the tale, he magically transforms into a handsome prince.

The greatest difference between the tale we are familiar with today and the tale originally penned by the Grimms is the ending. The original breaking of the enchantment had the princess becoming so disgusted with the frog that she hurled him against a wall. In later versions the frog needed only to spend three consecutive nights on the princess’ pillow, and this was eventually changed to the princess bestowing a kiss upon the frog.

The original story, known as both The Frog Prince and The Frog King, dates back to thirteenth century Germany in a Latin version of the tale. In 1549 it appeared in Scotland as a story titled, "The Well of the World's End." An English version was written by Robert Chambers in 1842. He had learned it from Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe who had heard it in turn from his nurse as a child.

Tales of enchanted frogs, appear in many cultures including China, Sri Lanka and Korea. Versions of this particular tale have been known in numerous countries, from Scotland to Russia. It is believed, however, that the tale gained such great popularity because it is traditionally the first tale presented in the Grimms collection.

Edgar Taylor, who translated the tale in 1823, changed the title from the Frog King to the Frog Prince and revised the ending completely. He replaced the Grimms’ violent resolution with a more passive one. He believed English readers would not accept the ending as it was.

In some versions of the story, princess meets the frog at a fountain instead of a well. Traditionally, good spirits live in wells, which is how the tradition of throwing coins into wells in hopes of having a wish come true came about.

Frogs symbolize new life in many cultures and often appear helpful or kind in folklore. However, frogs also have connections with witchcraft, often as witches' familiars, and are despised by some religious groups for that reason.

Frogs are also animals involved in natural transformations as they progress from tadpoles to frogs. The frog's transformative nature makes it an acceptable animal to transform into a prince at the end of the story.

The story as one about sexual maturity and acceptance of a marital relationship is more explicit in the earliest Grimms manuscript of 1810. In this version, the frog's desire to sleep with the princess is overt and not hidden in the details. The frog makes no pretense of wanting material possessions despite the princess' desire to pay her debt with her riches.

The prince is a somewhat puzzling figure. There is no version of the story that explains why the witch cast a spell over him to turn him into a frog. Was he being punished for some misdeed? Was he an innocent victim?

In the end, we have the moral that one should always keep a promise. The princess is rewarded by the frog transforming into a prince, whom she marries. One has to wonder whether she deserves such a reward after the way she treated the frog, but of course they live happily ever after.

For several different versions of The Frog Prince, go HERE

Sep 27, 2010

Mutative Monday

mutative ~ indicating a change of place or state

So. Last week was not about the writing. Nor was it about the editing. It wasn’t even about the reading. No, last week was all about my office. It took me the whole week, and I ended up with 5 recycling bags of shredded paper, 6 bags of magazines/books to donate, and one vacuum cleaner full of cat hair, but my office is all clean and organized. I re-organized a few of the shelves on my bookcases and I managed to find shelf space for all my “to be read” books. I really wish I’d taken some “before” pictures because my office isn’t nearly as impressive looking as it would be when compared to what it looked like before.

I made it to both my Scribes meeting and my Poetry meeting last week. The topic for the Scribes was Infidelity and you can read my offering, at exactly 150 words (which is our limit) here. I shocked my poetry group – not only did I not have my poem-work done (the prompt was to write a serenade), I didn’t even have anything new to read.

Got all my blog posts up, although the Fairy-tale ended up late due to my ineptitude at scheduling. :-) It was early when I posted it and I forgot to change the time from PM to AM and didn’t realize it until after lunch.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part XIX of my fairy tale series will be about the Frog Prince.

Wednesday: A new hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: This week’s Passion for Poetry is the Ronsardian Ode.

Friday: Chapter 57 of the Space Opera. So what’s Chaney’s idea? And will they be able to get a message to the Council before the Alliance finds them?

Elsewhere in my week:

I have no meetings this week. Be still my heart. There’s a poetry reading in the next town tonight, which I might go to . . .

As a few of you know already, I’m in the process of starting up a home-based business. A couple of the services I’ll be offering are ones I’ve been doing on the side for years, but the others are things that never occurred to me to offer in connection to a business. So I’ll probably be spending a considerable amount of time working out the details for that. I’ll spare you the details until I have a website up and running. :-)

I've made a good start as far as the discipline needed to restrict my internet usage and game playing, so my new personal goal for this week is to start getting up earlier. I don't like getting up early, but I seem to be most focused in the mornings.

And that’s pretty much it for me this week. How about you? What have you been up to lately?

Sep 23, 2010


When I first came across this form I got all excited. Finally, a Japanese form that broke free of the typical five-seven syllable pattern. The Imayo is a four line poem with twelve syllables per line. However, it’s not quite as simple as that, there’s a caesura (or pause) separating each line after the seventh syllable, giving it the typical seven/five pattern.

The Imaya was popular between the middle Heian (794-1185) and the late Kamakura (1185-1333) periods. It was associated with song, and was considered the latest fashion, unlike the court poetry saibara. The word "imayo" means "modern" and seems to have begun with shortened forms of the Wasan shomyo using Japanese.

Eventually the form stabilized as four lines, each with units of seven plus five syllables. Since this was a form that originated with the common people, there were many famous performers of Imayo who were courtesans or Shirabyoshi dancers. One type of Imayo is used in Kabuki, Japanese theatre.

Toward the end of the Heian period, Imayo was taken up by imperial court aristocrats and became very popular. The original music for Imayo soon disappeared, but in the early Kamakura period, a method of singing the texts of Imayo to the melody of the famous Gagaku piece "Etenraku" was developed, which has left traces in Japanese folk song even today.

Okay, I admit it. I technically cheated with my first example. My five syllables following the caesura are in the form of single words. But it doesn't specify that the syllables have to be in more than one word. :-)

Harvest moon casting shadows, illumination
Scented breeze of summer’s end, intoxication
I stand and draw down the light, rejuvenation
Night and day of equal length, synchronization

Wish that’s made upon a star, cast adrift this night.
How strong is the soul’s belief, can it be enough
to see the wish to its end? How many wishes
to fulfill a dreamer’s soul? Perhaps just one more.

Sep 21, 2010

Fairy Tale Origins - Part XIII

Thumbelina (Tommelise in Danish) is a tale written by Hans Christian Anderson about the adventures of a thumb-sized girl who eventually falls in love with a flower-fairy prince. It was published in 1835 in a collection of fairy tales that were not well-received by Danish critics. They disliked the informal style, and because the stories lacked a moral they were considered inappropriate for children. Andersen was advised not to waste his time writing fairy tales.

Although Thumbelina was Andersen’s invention, he took its inspiration from the traditional story of Tom Thumb. He was also inspired by the Lilliputians in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s travels and by Voltaire’s short story, Micromegas.

Mary Howitt, was the first to translate "Thumbelina" into English and published it as Tommelise in 1846. She did not approve of the woman in the story consulting a witch, and instead had her giving food to a hungry beggar woman who rewarded her with a magic barleycorn. In 1846, Charles Boner also translated the tale, giving it the name of Little Ellie. Madame de Chatelain gave the heroine the name of Little Totty in her 1852 translation. It was not until H.W. Dulcken published his translations of Andersen’s tales in 1864 and 1866 that Tommelise was given the name of Thumbelina.

American literary critic Roger Sale believed Andersen was expressing his feelings of social and sexual inferiority by creating characters who were inferior to those who loved them. Andersen portrays the toad, the beetle, and the mole as Thumbelina’s inferiors, but Sale suggests they are not inferior, merely different.

This is an adventure story from a feminine point of view, with a moral that people are happiest with their own kind. Thumbelina is a somewhat passive character, a victim of circumstances. It was the first of Andersen’s tales to dramatize the sufferings of the outsider, the one who is different from everyone else and is therefore an object of ridicule.

It was also the first of Andersen's tales to incorporate the swallow as the symbol of the poetic soul. According to biographer Jackie Wullschlager, Andersen identified with the swallow as a migratory bird whose pattern of life his own traveling days were beginning to resemble.


Tom Thumb


Sep 20, 2010

Millenarianism Monday

millenarianism ~ belief that an ideal society will be produced in the near future

I did a really stupid thing yesterday. The writing wasn’t going well and I didn’t want to fall into the old “playing games until I’m inspired to write” trap (which never seems to work anyway), so I shut my lap top down and decided to shovel out clean out straighten up my office. It’s been a few months since I last cleaned out my office. Do you know how much junk can accumulate in that time? Plus I started going through a bunch of stuff from the book cases to get rid of – mostly old magazines.

So far I’ve collected two shopping bags of magazines to dispose of, plus one of books. Yes, that’s right, I said books. I still have some re-arranging of some of the shelves of the bookcases to do, and I have a box full of papers from the surface of my desk to be sorted through. And I have to go through the boxes in the top of the closet. And go through the rest of the stuff piled on my desk. And maybe then I can vacuum up the clouds of cat hair.

Sometimes I have really stupid ideas!


Managed to get my posts done last week, although the Space Opera was delayed by a day. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but on my goals I said the poetry form was going to be the Rime Couée, which I’ve already done, instead of the Ushnik, which was the form I missed from the previous week.

I finished up with my 30 Days of Writing Questions on my Random Writings blog. If you want to check them out, I have back links posted in the left hand column. Now I have to decide on what’s next for this blog. I think it really will be random for a while.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part XVIII of my fairy tale series will explore Thumbelina. This series will be finished as soon as I can settle on what I’m replacing it with.

Wednesday: A new hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: This week’s Passion for Poetry is the Japanese form of Imayo.

Friday: Chapter 56 of the Space Opera. What’s in store for the intrepid crew of the Burning Comet? Will they give up? Is the mine really deserted? Will this series ever end? ;-)

Elsewhere in my week:

I have a Scribe’s meeting tonight, and a poetry meeting tomorrow night. While I always look forward to my meetings, there’s going to be a bit of a conflict. The hubby’s car died so we’re down to just mine, and bowling season has started, which means we both need the car on Monday and Tuesday nights to get to our respective places to be.

Today I need to finish cleaning my office, or at least shovel off the desk so there’s room for my lap top. The dining room table is okay for writing, but the chairs leave a lot to be desired when it comes to comfort.

The rest of my time will be spent editing, writing, and maybe even a little reading. Computer games are a waste of time and energy and contribute nothing to my productivity. I will not play computer games. Except for maybe a couple of rounds of spider solitaire. Or free cell. Maybe word mojo. But other than that, I will stay away from the games because games are an evil time sink.

Really they are.


And that’s the nutshell that is my week to come. How about you, do you have anything interesting going on this week?

Sep 17, 2010


Oops! Sorry if you've come here looking for the latest installment of Space Opera, but it's been unavoidably delayed. I'll have it up either later today or early tomorrow.

Sep 16, 2010


Ushnik, named for the 7th horse pulling the golden chariot of the sun god, is a stanzaic Vedic meter. Classical Sanskrit and Vedic Sanskrit use meters for most ancient treatises that are set to verse.

The literature is divided into two main periods—the Vedic (c.1500–c.200 B.C.), when the Vedic form of Sanskrit generally prevailed, and the Sanskrit (c.200 B.C.–c.A.D. 1100), when classical Sanskrit (a development of Vedic) predominated. Sanskrit had, however, become the standard language of the court by 400 B.C., and its early literature overlapped the Vedic. The word Sanskrit means "perfected," and the language was adopted as an improvement of the Vedic.

The first part of the Vedic period (c.1500–c.800 B.C. was a poetic and creative age, but afterward (c.800–c.500 B.C.) the priestly class transferred its energies to sacrificial ceremonial. Vedic meter is measured by the number of padas (lines), and the number of syllables in each pada.

jagati: 4 padas of 12 syllables
tristubh: 4 padas of 11 syllables
viraj: 4 padas of 10 syllables
anustup: 4 padas of 8 syllables
ushnik: 4 padas of 7 syllables
gayatri: 3 padas of 8 syllables

The defining features of the Ushnik are:

stanziac, any number of quatrains (4 padas)
syllabic, 7 syllables per line.


Ancient gods and goddesses
Watch over our spirits still
Waiting for the day to come
When they’ll be worshipped once more.

Their patience, never ending
They know their day is coming
For time is just a spiral
That spins us out of control.

We feel the pull of progress
Firm in our belief that we’re
In charge of destiny
But it is in charge of us.

New temples will be raised up
The gods, all given new names
The world will turn back again
Synthetic in origin.

Sep 15, 2010

Sep 14, 2010

Fairy Tale Origins - Part XVII
The Little Mermaid

The tale of the mermaid who fell in love with a mortal prince and longed, not only to be with him, but to gain an immortal soul so she could be with him forever, is a perennial favourite. Written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, the original tale was a far cry from Disney’s animated feature film.

The Little Mermaid didn’t just lose her voice to the sea witch, her tongue was cut off as payment; in exchange, she received legs for which each footfall was like "stepping on piercing needles and sharp knives." "Her tender feet bled so that even her steps were marked."

Andersen himself admitted that The Little Mermaid was "the only one of my works that has affected me while I was writing it. . . .I suffer with my characters, I share their moods, whether good or bad, and I can be nice or nasty according to the scene on which I happen to be working."

The closest precursor of the tale is Undine, a story by Friedrich de La Motte Fouque. Andersen admited to his familiarity and consideration of Undine while writing his Little Mermaid. Undine, originally published in Germany in 1811, is the story of a water–sprite who can only gain a soul by marrying a human. She falls in love with a knight and marries him, only to later be betrayed. Unlike Undine, Andersen's mermaid is allowed another option; when the mermaid refuses to kill the prince, she dissolves into foam and becomes a "daughter of air.”

Andersen may have tried to use the story of The Little Mermaid to express the ideals of Christian faith and redemption, but the emotional heart of the story is in the mermaid's yearning for the prince and the world above.

From a feminist perspective, this story is a misogynist tale about dampening the sexual curiosity of a young female who wants to explore other worlds. The little mermaid who begins the story is of a completely different character than the one who ends it. In the beginning of the story, the little mermaid is adventurous, talented, and yet sensible and modest. She is also brave and bold.

However, the mermaid's character soon devolves as she begins to fixate on the prince. She becomes obsessed; she discovers where he lives and night after night goes to sit in the canal under his balcony to watch him.

She gives up everything for the prince: her family, her voice, her ability to move without crippling pain. She suffers in silence, never demanding appreciation for her sacrifice. The prince treats her more like a pet than a person and in the end he marries someone else.

Sexual overtones abound throughout the text, usually in a negative context. When the mermaid's tail transforms into legs, for example, "it felt like a double–edged sword going through her delicate body." The mermaid cannot manage the pain of this bodily invasion, and so "she fainted and lay there as if dead." When she awakens, it’s to find the prince standing over her.

The word "mermaid" is usually read as "sea maid," or "virgin of the sea." There are many connections between the mermaid and the ancient Goddess, whose origin and power are associated with the sea. The first syllable, "mer," French for “sea,” sounds much like mêre or "mother." One of the underlying deep meanings of "mermaid" is "virgin mother," directly linking the term and the figure it names with the Virgin Mary.

The tale originally ended with the mermaid dissolving into foam, but Andersen later changed it to include the “daughters of air”, which was the working title of the story. The daughters of air can earn their souls by doing three hundred years worth of good deeds, and this again was revised to state that it depended on whether children are good or bad. Good behavior takes a year off the maidens' time of service; bad behavior makes them weep, and a day is added for every tear they shed.

The prince never learns that it was the mermaid who saved him, nor does he fall in love with her. He is struck by her devotion, and it is this devotion that entails self–sacrifice and brings about her own miraculous salvation. . . .Voiceless and tortured, the mermaid serves a prince who never fully appreciates her worth. Twice she saves his life. The second time is the most significant: instead of killing him to regain her identity and rejoin her sisters and grandmother, the mermaid forfeits her own life and is rewarded by the chance of gaining a soul.

All in all, the tale of The Little Mermaid can be seen as a cautionary tale, containing a message about love and self-sacrifice, and the dangers of accepting abuse or inconsiderate treatment in the name of love.

The Little Mermaid


Sep 13, 2010

Menticide Monday

menticide ~ reduction of mind by psychological pressure

Is it just me or was last week a really long week? Maybe it just seemed like it because I was without my lap top for the last half of it. However, my personal IT godmother (I would never call her a fairy) came and reformatted it for me and it’s running almost like new, which is pretty darn good considering it’s five years old.

You notice it took a woman to do the job properly. I’ve taken this lap top in three times to men and asked them to reformat it for me and what did they do? They did a system restore, not a reformat. I do know the difference, and I also know that’s the only sure way to get rid of a Trojan off your system.

I had everything important backed up and saved, and I even remembered to save my bookmarks. One thing I didn’t think of was to write down the password for my Facebook account. And I also didn’t write down the password for the e-mail account I created for it. And I timed out trying various passwords to get it to open so I couldn’t reset them for a couple of days. Argh!

I missed my poetry installment last week, and the only reason the serial chapter made it up was because I’d written and scheduled it earlier in the week. I took advantage of being internet-less and got some reading done, as well as some cleaning and baking.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part XVII of my fairy tale series will explore the Little Mermaid. I think this series will be wrapping up soon – I’m running out of fairy tales.

Wednesday: A new hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: This week’s Passion for Poetry is the French form of Rime Couée.

Friday: Chapter 55 of the Space Opera. I think I’m going to have to take a day and plot the remainder of this to the end. I’d like to have it wrapped up before NaNo.

Elsewhere in my week:

I have a Scribe’s meeting tonight, and there’s a poetry reading on Thursday night. I need to get back on track with my writing and catch up on the blog reading I missed last week.

I also need to catch up on my 30 days of writing over on Random Writings. And I think that’s about it for me. What about you, what have you been up to lately? Anything interesting going on this week?

Sep 7, 2010

Fairy Tale Origins - Part XVI
The Pied Piper

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is, at heart, the story of the disappearance of a great many children from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in multicolored (pied) clothing, leading the children away from the town never to return. In the 16th century the story was expanded into a full narrative, in which the piper is a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the townsfolk refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by turning his magic on their children, leading them away as he had the rats.

There is a fascination in the story of the Pied Piper which draws us in. For children, the fascination is wonder. They wonder at the magic that led those children away and they wonder about what those children must have found. For adults the fascination is that of horror. The loss of so many children in such a fashion is incomprehensible and the question of ‘What would I do?’ haunts the listener.

The earliest account of the story appears to have been on a stained glass window placed in the Church of Hamelin in 1300. On the glass was an inscription that read, "On the day of John and Paul 130 children in Hamelin went to Calvary and were brought through all kinds of danger to the Koppen mountain and lost" – there was no mention of a piper.

The window was described in several accounts between the 14th century and the 17th century. It was destroyed in 1660. Based on the surviving descriptions, a modern reconstruction of the window has been created by Hans Dobbertin. It features the colorful figure of the Pied Piper and several figures of children dressed in white.

The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from 1384 which states: "It is 100 years since our children left"

Although research has been conducted for centuries, no explanation for the historical event is agreed upon. Scholars generally agree that something horrible happened in the town of Hamelin to spawn the story. Though there might not have been a piper with magical musical talents, it’s safe to assume that some tragedy ensued.

A number of theories suggest that children died of some natural causes and that the Piper was a symbolic figure of Death. Death is often portrayed dressed in motley, or "pied" clothing. Various ecstatic outbreaks were associated with the Plague, such as the Flagellants, who wandered from place to place while scourging themselves in penance for sins that presumably brought the plague upon Europe. The rat is the preferred host for the plague vector, the rat flea. When the rats die, the fleas seek humans as a substitute host. Children might be especially vulnerable to the disease.

William Manchester proposed that the Pied Piper was a psychopathic pedophile and claims that on June 20, 1484, this criminal kidnapped 130 children from the Saxon village of Hammel and used them in "unspeakable ways." He adds that "some of the children were never seen again. Others were found dismembered and scattered in the forest underbrush or hanging from tree branches." No documenting support for this alleged incident has ever been found, and Manchester offers no references or citations for his asserted explanation.

Others have suggested that the children left the city to be part of a pilgrimage, a military campaign, or even a new Children's crusade (which occurred in 1212, not long before) but never returned to their parents. These theories see the unnamed Piper as their leader or a recruiting agent.

It has also been suggested that one reason the disappearance of the children was never documented was that the children were sold to a recruiter from the Baltic region of Eastern Europe. The selling off of illegitimate children, orphans or other children the town could not support was not uncommon at the time.

The theory with the broadest support is that the children willingly abandoned their parents and Hamelin in order to become the founders of their own villages during the colonization of Eastern Europe. Several European villages and cities founded around this time have been suggested as the result of their efforts as settlers. This claim is supported by corresponding placenames in both the region around Hamelin and the eastern colonies where names such as Querhameln ("mill village Hamelin") exist.

Last year, the town of Hamelin in Germany celebrated the 725th anniversary of this macabre event that has been kept alive through children’s fairytales for more than seven centuries. Beyond the musical Rats, the colourful souvenirs and tourist attractions, the town of Hamelin is full of references to a real tragedy – one recorded on the walls of the Ratten­fängerhaus, or House of the Piper:

In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul, the 26th of June, 130 children born in Hamelin were seduced by a piper, dressed in all kinds of colours, and lost at the calvary near the koppen.”

There is said to be a long-established law forbidding singing or playing music in the street adjacent to the House of the Piper, Bungelosen­strasse: "street without drums”. This is the street where the children were said to be last seen. During public parades which include music, the band will stop playing upon reaching this street and resume upon reaching the other side. Though the source of the loss may never be known, the town of Hamelin will never forget the loss itself.

Sep 6, 2010

Maddening Monday

So . . . I'm sitting here last night, getting myself organized for the coming week, ready to do my post for today and get it scheduled, and suddenly this microsoft essentials warning pops up. Then another. And another. Then my virus protection popped up with about 15 threats listed. And then my lap top froze. I was able to get it shut down, but it wouldn't start up again. It kept freezing on the first Windows screen. Finally, I went to bed, thanking God that I'd backed up my important files a couple of days ago.

This morning I discovered my desk top computer (which the hubby uses, not me) is mind-numbingly slow. Since I don't have dental coverage and can't afford to grind my teeth away to nothing, I crossed my fingers and turned my lap top back on. It gave me an option to start from the last time the settings worked so I crossed my fingers some more and said "do it!." My virus protection was able to remove the potential threats and the microsoft essential warnings went away, and here I am. Knock wood.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Last week I had a serious lack of focus. True, I had a few other things on my plate, and true, it was so hot it was making me sick, but the real reason for my lack of focus was Sookie Stackhouse. I don't know who's more to blame - Charlaine Harris for creating her, or the devil's spawn who got me started reading this TEN BOOK series - all I know is even when I wasn't reading about Sookie I was wondering what was going to happen next, to the point where I really couldn't concentrate on anything else. I finally caved and finished reading them.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. ;-p

I'll tell you, last week really did wipe me out with the heat. I didn't care how grey and overcast it was on Saturday, the fact that the temperature dipped low enough for me to wear jeans again made me do a happy dance.

I missed my Fairy Tale installment last week, and did not get as much writing done as I'd hoped. But I did finish the Sookie Stackhouse books so I can put them behind me now.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Let's try this again, part XVI of my fairy tale series will be The Pied Piper. If anyone has a favourite fairy tale they’d like me to investigate, drop me a line at carolrward(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll see what I can dig up.

Wednesday: A new hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: This week’s Passion for Poetry is the Sanskrit form of Ushnik.

Friday: Chapter 54 of the Space Opera. What happened to Nakeisha's wind? And will she be able to get it back again?

Elsewhere in my week:

This week's motto is going to be: Less internetting and more writing

When I need a break from writing I'm going to be going through my house and getting rid of some of the "stuff" that's accumulated over the years. I'm a self-professed pack rat with border-line hoarder tendencies. It's really time to start cutting loose some of this junk.

I suppose I should also try and work in some exercise somewhere - can't use the heat as an excuse any more.

And that's pretty much it for me for the week. Yesterday we had a barbeque at the in-laws to mark the end of summer - it was too wet and cold to have it at the cottage. So how about you? What did you do to mark the end of the season?

Sep 2, 2010

Jue Ju

Jue Ju (pronounced “Jeh-Jee”) is one of the oldest of the Chinese forms and was very popular in the 3rd century. Also known as the curtailed or frustrated verse, it does not tell a story but attempts to create a mood. The impression is much like that from a symphony orchestra where a solo instrument takes up the theme.

In Chinese poetry, the basic rhythmic unit is zi, a single character that represents a single syllable. When translated into English, this character might be more than a single syllable which results in a loss of metre when it’s translated.

The early Jue Ju were composed in 5 character lines, but by the Tang era (the 8th century) this had changed to a 7 character line. The five-syllable-long form is called wujue and the seven-syllable-long form is the qijue. Limited to either 20 or 28 characters, writing a Jue Ju requires the author to make full use of each character to create a successful poem.

5 or 7 character or word lines (lines should be same length)
composed of 4 lines
often erotic in subject matter
composed using Qi, Cheng, Zhuan, Jie:
Line 1 Qi (beginning) sets scene
Line 2 Cheng (development) expands image and mood
Line 3 Zhuan (returning) contrasts with start
Line 4 Jie (finishing) ponders meaning

Clandestine meeting in the night
Furtive touch and soft caress
Forbidden lovers meet at last
Sweet surrender to the bliss.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Come to me in dreams
By moonlight and by starlight
Fill the emptiness inside me
Phantom lover, soul mate mine.

Sep 1, 2010