Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Poetically Incorrect Sonnet

Yes, I promised a poetically incorrect sonnet - but I ended up working hard to make it..mostly correct. WARNING, it does have swearing and is not appropriate for younger people...unless they desperately want to remember how to write a sonnet - but can only remember the instructions if they're actually in sonnet form. So, in the end, I went full out English sonnet. Enjoy! (Or possibly don't, I won't apologise, the things are a nightmare to write!)

A Sonnet on How to Write an English Sonnet 

Who'd want to write a gods-damn sonnet
With ten iambic syllables a line?
'Cos besides the fucking scansion I bet
You'll more than hate the gods-damned fucking rhyme

The English sonnet holds ABAB 
CDCD it's torture pure and plain 
So who'd want to write a bloody sonnet 
Corsetting words like this is such a pain

But there is a beauty in the torture
As the ninth line cuts right across your thought
EFEF - The capricious volta -
Turns hate. Now you love the English Sonnet -

The goddamned rhyme for thee's a,b,a,b,

Okay - that was tortuous barbarism - and I bet you hated every second of it - but there you go - I had a ball. And that's (more or less) the form of a sonnet, with just a few liberties taken. And I only mostly hate it, because there's something about the volta cutting across everything like a crescendo in a library, that's such fun.

Still, all I can say is thank goodness there are other forms of poetry. Writing a sonnet is like wearing a corset, it's all very well to show off with, but mostly they're much better to look at, than to wear. 

Have a great week, everybody,

P.S. If you want to see the poetically incorrect haiku, on how to write a haiku - it's right here
If you like sonnets, I have written a few, including some that are slightly modified in terms of layout, or in one case, it's deliberately deconstructed for reasons that should become obvious. A Sonnet to the Muse, This Year of FireRunning away with a Christmas Sonnet And of course the award winning, Ahi Kā by A.J. Ponder and Eileen Mueller - which is a short story and sonnet intertwined. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Love fantasy? An invitation to my Book Launch Event Sept 22 2018

An invitation to come to my book launch of Quest. Quest is a real celebration of the fantasy genre, so I decided the launch should be as well. With heaps of fun for all ages.

If you're on Facebook you might like to sign up to the event, or you can just come along, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there.

A.J. Ponder 
PS if the blurb is hard to read  in the image...it's repeated below

If you like Terry Pratchett, The Princess Bride or Diana Wynne Jones' The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, you'll love the latest book by A.J. Ponder:

Sylvalla escapes Avondale castle and the life of a princess, in search of the adventure she’s always wanted.

Once found, adventure bites back.

Fortunately, she is not alone. Unfortunately, her new-found companions are less than heroic. Jonathan would rather make money. Dirk would rather live a long and happy life. And at 150, old Capro would rather stop gallivanting, and harangue unsuspecting wizard students about his glory days over a nice cup of tea.

Quest has everything: heroes, monsters, chases, escapes and a complete lack of true love.  

Pre order your copy today because it's a great read, and a lot of fun from Wizard's Guide to Wellington author, A.J. Ponder. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Poetically Incorrect Poetry: The Haiku

The Poetically Incorrect Haiku: Seventeen Syllables Plus One

Five, seven, five - right?
What's the bloody point of that?
It's dead before it...

A.J. Ponder

I was absolutely gutted with this poem-because I'd planned "Seventeen Syllables" to be part of the first line, only to realise those two words alone contained more syllables than I could use. That just goes to show how hard Haiku is, and how clever the people who write it are. Next week, I'm hoping to do something similar with the sonnet to make it's structure memorable, but in an irreverent manner.

I keep wanting to explain myself, about form and the breaking of form, and why I did it, but I think it's self-explanatory. Part of me would have loved to keep it pedantically correct, because I'm in awe of poets with effortlessly structured, perfect form, but sometimes such things really don't fit the poem.

Have a great week, everybody,

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Into the Mist

This is a little shout-out post to an amazing author, Lee Murray. 

I loved her latest book, the writing is impeccable, totally not what you expect when reading a genre some wag called a stomp in chomp. No, Into the Sounds is a not-to-be-missed epic adventure featuring New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. An awe inspiring setting—beautiful and wild and slightly mysterious, just like this amazing new story. You’ll feel like you’ve been dropped right there, in the midst of a primordial setting…the perfect setting for cryptids.

Lee is one of those writers that can turn their hand to anything  Smugglers have come, and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.

I’ve been looking forward to this story coming out for a long time, because I loved Into the Mist, and of course all the characters in it. And it exceeded all expectations. NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna is still the type of hero that is both larger than life, and very real at the same time. Someone you could drink a beer with, or have your back when everyone else has ducked and rolled for cover. Trigger is back, and if anything he’s more likeable than ever, and a couple of other faves, like Temera also make appearances. But Jules is the best. As someone with a BSc hons it was nice to have a scientist written with a little accuracy-so many of them are just awful charicatures!

It's an enormously fun adventure, so if you like adventure, paramilitary, or cryptid stories then I think you'll love this.
Have fun, and hope you enjoy the reading tip,
A.J. Ponder

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Congratulations to Craig Phillips

I know I've been very slow about posting lately, but I've been really busy with my latest book Quest, as well as a number of other projects. But I just wanted to do a shout out for my cover artist who not only was a finalist in the New Zealand Children's Book Awards this year, but he ran off with the coveted Russell Clark Award.

It was all very exciting and it was such a shame that I was working both days he was in Wellington, but I did get to see what was happening on award night over twitter. There's a link to his Radio New Zealand interview and a shot of his sketchbook-which I love. And it reminded me so much of when we first met at Armageddon and I saw one of his sketchbooks and knew he was the perfect illustrator for me. Enjoy!
Have fun,
A.J. Ponder -

P.S. next week's blog is about Lee Murray's latest book "Into the Mist."
It's lovely to see so many friends doing so well! :)
And soon after that, no doubt, there will be some cover art revelations! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A nod and a wink

There's this bloke
with a joke
that nobody knows

It's nothing but a nod
and a wink

Is it lewd, or is it crude?
Or a pact between besties in a pinch?
Is it friendly or sarcastic,
or downright bombastic?

It's nothing but a nod
and a wink

But everybody knows
just what that wink shows
if they take but a moment to think


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Call to Arms: by A.J. Ponder from Prophecy (The Sylvalla Chronicals)

When reality is cut asunder
And made anew
When the world cries out for Heroes
And Death awakens
When Evil slithers through
The cracks of Truth
Then comes a moment,
A call

Then comes a simple illusion that breaks its bonds
And becomes.

I was editing today and came across this old poem. Ironically, it was written as a chapter heading for my to be released book "Prophecy" (Yes, the book is a little bit cheesy. I like a good dollop of humour in my fiction!)

But still, it seemed apt.

The call has been made, either we are for human rights - or we are not.
Our reality is about to cut one way or the other -- into divisive hate, or a step forward to something better.

This is a time for heroes.
Who will they be?
Who will stand up for the rights of babes torn from their mother's arms?
Who will stand up for the oppressed?
What illusion is going to ne freed? One of hate? Or one of love?

Have a great week, people,
I truly hope we can make this world better.

A.J. Ponder

Prophecy is the sequel to Quest (due to be published 2018)
My Rona Gallery profile (fewer books and paperbacks only): http://www.ronagallery.co.nz/AJPonder
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