Alphabetical Promptings

Back in the Egotistical heyday of 2011 and 2012, we set up a couple of challenges for ourselves.  2011’s challenge gave us fodder for every single day of May; 2012 split up 10 weeks between 5 of us.  We’d schemed a bit in 2013 to follow a similar paradigm with different themes, but alas, the engine of thought never quite sputtered to life.  2014 likewise lay fallow.

But recently I found an alphabetical list from Perpetual Page Turner, and thought it was just the thing for this spring.  My plan is to respond to a prompt every weekday of April and May (more or less).  Feel free to join me; since you can be as brief or as detailed as you like, you may only require a single post!

Here are the prompts:

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
B. Best Sequel Ever
C. Currently Reading
D. Drink of Choice While Reading
E. E-Reader or Physical Books?
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
H. Hidden Gem Book
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life
J. Just Finished
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
L. Longest Book You’ve Read
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of…
N. Number of Bookcases You Own
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times
P. Preferred Place to Read
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels
R. Reading Regret
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For…
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other
W. Worst Bookish Habit
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Book stack

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Mein Kleine Liebster

Howdy, y’all!  David hath given the call, and here I am at last to give answer: the all-singing, all-dancing procrastinatrix of the blog.

It also turns out that Lady Blue Whimsy gave the call to the muses back in June, before David did.  Which, I suppose, means that we are ALL procrastinatrices.  Eek.  Right, so, ONWARD.

If you could choose one fictional creature to be your pet/animal companion, which would you choose and why?
Were I to follow in my sister muses’ stead and select a flying pet/animal companion, I’d probably opt for Strawberry Fledge, since he would revel in flight as much as I would.  Orrrr maybe Fawkes the Phoenix, because of his loyalty and the way he turns into a ball of flame to be reborn from the ashes.  Bonus: he can apparently carry 4 or 5 times as many people as Fledge with no problem!

Name a favorite moment of yours from any movie released in the 1980s and explain why.
Turns out I am bad at distinguishing 80s and early 90s movies without assistance.  Imagine that.  It also turns out that I’ve seen very few of the candidates: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Princess Bride, and Rain Man.

Although I agree with Melpomene that “As you wish” is always heartwarming, I think I get a more visceral thrill from the words “Drop.  your.  sword.”

If you had to be chased by some hostile fictional creature or character, through a fictional landscape, which ones would you choose and why?
First off, I would prefer not to have a chase scene through any location, natural or constructed, which could suffer irreparable (or insurance-raising) collateral damage, because I don’t want the threat of a calamacringe to hold me back when fleeing pursuers.  So that’s the palace of Asgard, Manhattan, Arch Rock, Miners Castle, any given library/monastery/cathedral/museum/etc. right out.

Also, because there has been a distinct lack of time lords taking my hand and telling me to run, I’m not quite at my speediest.  So I think I’d want the dinosaur from Meet the Robinsons to chase me through the Fire Swamp.  Imagine how charming that would be! I imagine he'd get stuck before long, but could perhaps chow down on an ROUS or two.

I imagine he’d get stuck before long, but could perhaps chow down on an ROUS or two.

 In-N-Out, Five Guys, or Chik-Fil-A?  Five Guys is the only one I’ve had and thus wins by default.  Or perhaps it would win by virtue of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, which is bad for those of us who are indecisive, but brilliant for catering to the deeply-seated urge to press buttons.

Coke Freestyle

“How niche do you like your Coca-Cola?” “I like it with both zero sugar and vanilla flavor.” “It’s got all the things! It’s Coke with all the things!”

Name a song you really like from a musical genre you don’t generally like and explain why this one works for you.
I made the mistake of looking at Wikipedia’s list of popular music genres and panicked at the prospect of accidentally filing a song in the wrong category.

So.  It’s not really a genre, but: I generally dislike songs that repeat the same line over and over.*  It’s why I don’t care for some of the most popular pop or country songs out there.  But I recently heard, and have since enjoyed, this song by BNL:

It’s a cheery little bit of exhortation not to be a worrywart, and sometimes I need that.  The repetition contributes to the calming effect, and enables all the people that can’t keep up with rapid-fire lyrics to sing along on first listen.  It’s joined my rotation of Happy Songs for Sad Days.

*At some point, someone (possibly me) is going to call me out by citing a bunch of songs I love that do this, and I am going to be forced to hold up my hand and say “Bah!”

What is, in your opinion, the best portrayal(s) of the Elves/Fair Folk/Faeries in film? Multiple choices are permitted, but you must say why you think your choices are so good.
I plead the fifth on this.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Fair Folk portrayed in film in a way that captures the power, mischievousness, legalistic approach to oaths, or ethereal beauty that have marked them in story and song.

What was the last black-and-white film you saw, and what did you think of it?
After some amount of wracking my brains, I remembered that oh yeah!  Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing was black and white.  And I loved it.  Clark Gregg was a most delightful Leonato; I really enjoyed how the lines of the play remained unchanged while the scenery was brought up-to-date; and I cried over the second half of Act IV, Scene 1.

Much Ado Act 4

What did you think of the new trailer for The Desolation of Smaug?
All my impatience with the random elf-chick, the open barrels, and all the other incorrect things gets smothered by squealing over Martin, fangirling over Benedict’s voice, and mentally superimposing party shades on Thranduil because of the internet.

If you are unfamiliar with Party Dad Thranduil, you'd better hie yourself over to Gingerhaze.tumblr.com

If you are unfamiliar with Party Dad Thranduil, you’d better hie yourself over to Gingerhaze.tumblr.com

Further Nominations:
Like Urania, I think Melpomene did a good job tagging…but it would be a shame not to mention EmSpeaks, where my dear friend holds forth on stories, personality types, CS Lewis, history, and other things from life.  Go and behold her, for she is delightfully singular!

Belated Acceptance Speech

It has come to our attention that We Have Been Nominated For An Award. Back in June. I humbly beg pardon for focussing on life in the real world for a while.

It is the “prestigiously obscure” Liebster Award, and we have been tagged by David at the Warden’s Walk. Thank you David! Apparently this award serves to raise awareness for the under-read but most deserving of blogs. Specifically, blogs that have under 200 followers and their own brand of awesomeness.

The criteria for fulfilling this nomination (and passing into the final round? receiving the award? who judges this?) are as follows:

  • Talk about ourselves
  • Answer the questions provided by the nominator
  • Nominate and provide questions for other candidates

On behalf of all the egotistical muses here, I appoint myself as the representative.  If my sister muses object, they will have to answer, nominate and query for themselves. Continue reading

In Which A Brilliant Idea is Born

 

 

Thalia: Once upon a time, in a fair world long, long ago . . .  we dreamt of writing a story together. Remember?

Melpomene: Ah, yes. Or rather, we planned to take similar plot elements and characters, and each write our own story. Just to compare.

Thalia: It’s still a great idea. We had a title, too. “No Excuses on a Clear Day”

Melpomene: We are still doing it. Sometime in the future. A tale filled with humanity, rainfall, mobsters, explosions, and toupees.

Thalia: Toupees! You mean the secret  . . .

Melpomene: SSHHHHH! Don’t give it away!

Thalia: Right. Sorry. But we can make it pretty as well as clever?

Melpomene: Yep! Make it poetci!

Thalia: Yaaaay!

Melpomene: I mean, “poetic”. I mistyped. Sorry.

Thalia: It can be “poetci” too.

Melpomene: AhahahahaAAA! I have a BRILLIANT idea!

Thalia: Ummm . . . “Poetci” looks like Polish?

Melpomene: No. We need to start a po-etsy site!

Thalia: Like Etsy? Only . . . for POETRY?

Melpomene: EXACTLY!

Thalia: OH! Yes. Yes, we should!

Melpomene: We would be given commissions for specific poems.  That we then we would write!

Thalia: Oh man . . . .

Melpomene: And THEN, (wait for it,) we would GET PAID!

Thalia: Ob.vio.sly. GETTING PAID!

Melpomene: Ha!

Thalia: And then we could get RICH!

Melpomene: People NEED poems for all sorts of special occasion, right?

Thalia: Like birthdays, or love confessions, or funerals!

Melpomene: As long as we don’t write for students who are supposed to be perfecting the sonnet form for themselves, we should be alright.

Thalia: I can actually see this working . . . Let’s practice!

Melpomene: Okay. Say . . . a poem celebrating Uncle Greg’s 67th b-day. He loves everything aviation related, and likes Wendell Berry. Go!

Thalia: Okay. I think I can do this.

As soaring overhead
the Angels
So today our banners
And with our banners so
our hearts
Soar above our daily drudge
Yet take with it a homely mission:
To write upon the sky our missive,
Uncle Greg, here’s to many another one!

Melpomene: Aww! It needs some work, but a nice start.

Thalia: I think that it would be rather fun to do this for folks. Especially since they would have to provide the topic.

Melpomene: And, preferably, indicate the form and tone.

Thalia: We have played Blitz Poems often enough to be good at this!

Melpomene: It might not often aspire to be high poetry . . .

Thalia: But it would be pretty, thoughtful, and personal!

Melpomene: Sweet, funny ones . . . .

Thalia: Or deep, angsty ones!

Melpomene: For Your Heartfelt Confession, We Find Expression.

Thalia: Poets, Inc.!

Melpomene: How has this idea not been done already?

Thalia: I DON’T KNOW! It’s BRILLIANT!

Melpomene: According to my cursory internet search, our only competition is an antique seller on Etsy proper.

Thalia: NOT poetry.

Melpomene: And a Dutch website for. . . .  soap?

Thalia: Soap?

Melpomene: I can’t figure it out. Is that silver polish?

Thalia: Uh, possibly. But either way, again, NOT POETRY!

Melpomene: Now we just need a business plan.

Thalia: How to market and drum up interest?

Melpomene: That. I am thinking we start off at fifty cents a line?

Thalia: Pshaw! Cheap!

Melpomene: At least until we build a reputation.

Thalia: And clientele.We need some sample clientele.

Melpomene: And ideas and examples, and possibly a trial website . . .

Thalia: Alright. Let’s do it.

Melpomene: Poetci.com, here we come!

Thalia: Excelsior!

Thalia and Melpomene toast to a day of brilliance.

A Challenge

HWAET!

Hear ye all, the scop  speaks!

A gauntlet has been thrown, and yea, it will be answered.

Here commences the Sonnet Duel!

The challenger is The Dusty Thane, of The Dusty Thane Blog.

The challengee is our own muse Thalia.

And as this is a case of sibling rivalry, (the two are actually real life brother and sister,) I will sit it out and not insist on playing along.

In fact, I have been solicited to be the referee. Ha HA! The POWER! Ahem. I mean, I am honored. I accept the position of great responsibility.

 

The rules, set by the Mr. Thane, are as follows:

1. Both myself and Thalia must post one sonnet on our respective blogs once every two weeks by midnight Sunday. (My first entry, tonight’s is the exception) This means that the next round is due the 1st of April (and this is no joke).

2. The poem MUST be a sonnet, although not necessarily specifically a Shakespearean one or whatever.  Fourteen lines, iambic pentameter in the majority, coherent rhyme scheme… etc.

3. Whoever does not post a Sonnet in time loses… the other wins. (Duh!)

4. We do encourage readers to comment either here or there which they consider better. It will be a back-up judging method.

5. In cases of doubt, our referee will be Melpomene if the Lady Tragedy is agreeable.

Technically, Thalia should be allowed choice of weapons as the challengee. But as the duel parameters already stipulate a sonnet, I will let that stand.

I propose that the judging method be as such:

There will be three categories, to be given a score between one and ten, ten being the highest, most perfect score possible.

Categories:

  • Texture: The feel, flow, and atmosphere of the words. The placing of you, as reader, into the scene and letting you feel the caress of the wind on your skin. The thrill of delight that shakes your body when you roll the words over your tongue. Example: Hopkins’ “Pied Beauty“.
  • Form: How well the poem adheres to the traditional form of a sonnet. Or how well it breaks that form to illustrate meaning. The sonnet contains fourteen lines, and in a Shakespearian sonnet is rhymed “ababcdcdefefgg”. A Petrachian sonnet, (also known as an Italian sonnet,) is rhymed “abbaabba,” followed by six lines with a variation of “c”, “d,” and “e” rhymes. Also, with the rhyme scheme shifts, there is supposed to be a “volta”, a turn in the direction of the poem, upsetting the meaning or literal expressions. Milton was a master of this. Examples: Shakespeare’s “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”, Sidney’s “Who Will in Fairest Book“,  and Milton’s “When I consider how my light is spent“.
  • Meaning: What does it all mean? What story does it tell? Does it speak to the readers? Do the metaphors flow and make sense? Example: All of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
  • Do you like it? This is not an official category, (that would make four categories, see?) but it is an important aspect of any poem. Poetry is not an elitist thing, but it is meant to come from and speak to the people.

 

Here is the first set:

Thalia’s “In Memoriam: Misery

The Dusty Thane’s “Death’s Head(or: Orual’s Song)

Please, please, go read, savor, scrutinize, and judge each poem!  Leave your feedback, thoughts, and scores.

Sometime next week, I will set up the final decree on this round!