Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The development of the English language at your fingertips

This week winding up to the Rona Salon on medieval and medieval poetry I took the liberty of looking up a good example of medieval poetry for my blog - and came across a language/literary timeline full of manuscripts - illustrated/illuminated and otherwise.  It's most fascinating with all sorts of key texts from Beowulf to a sample of an original Sherlock Holmes manuscript and all the way through comprehensive examples of medieval illumination, Chaucer, the first bible in English and more.

If you love old fashioned poetry, literature - or are just fascinated with how language has changed over the centuries this is a fun way to begin that quest with a bit of history and art thrown in for good measure.

(Picture) Illustrated Tiger and a Knight

The British Library's - Timelines: English Pilot Project
(Although very sadly I couldn't seem to find the Middle English? St Erkenwald anywhere - such a  shame seemed like an interesting poem - with zombies -well, one zombie ;) -and I'd love to see the original)

Today (for a change) we'll end on the final stanza of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Where werre and wrake and wonder

Bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,

And oft boþe blysse and blunder

Ful skete hatz skyfted synne.

(text sourced online here with translation, etc)

A.J. Ponder

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flash Fiction: Fr.N.Christmas' final letter to A- & M-

Dear A- and M- I truly enjoyed your letters this year, and I can assure you Michael, that goblins don't need an excuse for wickedness, except that I have wonderful Christmas nuts and chocolate and treats, and they don’t.

And I admit, I did try security elves one year, but they nicked even more chocolates than the goblins ever had, because they're so skinny, they need all the energy they can get to deal with the cold. Well, actually they didn't like it much and got sick all the time so I had to send them home, poor things, but I have enough help now there's a whole generation of bear cubs that are more than stroppy enough to deal with a few goblins, and with the help of Antonin and Antuska sniffing out al their little warrens, I'm beginning to feel quite safe. Touch ice.

Now, to business, poor old overworked Santa is pleased to give you a little something in your stockings, as well as some new fangled electronic gizmo's, I'm not sure how they work, but Ilbereth assures me you will like them. It's wonderful to see you two wonderful children are growing up so beautifully, and are not so much the lion-cubs Ilbereth warned me about any more. Anyway, the reindeer are impatient to be off, I can hear Rumsy (that's Rudolf's great, great, great granddaughter) pawing the snow, she's so eager to be off.

So Merry Christmas and Love and best wishes from

                              Fr. N. Christmas - and everybody here at the North Pole

P.S. Rumsy is delighted with the apple, she says the green ones are her favourites.

PPS The ginger beer and tiramisu was delicious. Especially together. You must have some kind of secret ingredient to make it taste so good.

PPPS Lucy is entitled to a piece of Turkey for Christmas, but it's not safe to put it in her stocking so you'll have to rescue it from the fridge.

PPPPS Mum's toblerone didn't quite fit in her stocking, but I'm sure she'll enjoy it just the same -- so NO TOUCHING! 

PPPPPS A very, very merry Christmas.

All right - I must have some decent flash's somewhere but I'm struggling to find anything in the requisite 300 word count - of course if you count all the ps's then this also goes over that limit but what the heck - I'm not exactly entering a competition - besides this is pretty close to fan fiction and wouldn't count anyway because Ilbereth is still in the picture - being an elf and extremely long lived it didn't seem fair to kill him off.

So anyway, this was a Christmas tradition in our house for many years - since my children were quite little and very sure that they should get a letter from Father Christmas as well - after all he had written so many very long and wonderful letters to Tolkein's children -  and they sure weren't about to miss out.   This was the final letter, the earlier ones were quite long, with lots of Santa Clause under siege - and spidery writing that trails across the page.  In later years, like this last one, I believe Santa and his helpers discovered computers and they haven't looked back ;)

And among other exciting news this week in NZ is Helen Lowe's winning of the David Gemmel Morningstar Award - more about the book that won, and her acceptance speech can be found here on her blog. 

And of course National Flash Fiction Day events can be found here.

Have an awesome week, and for anyone in the Northern Hemisphere remember we're winter solsticing at the moment. so it's kinda appropriate :)

A.J. Ponder

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spots of the Dog

There once was a dog
who slept on a bed of nails,
a messiah dog
if you will.

He preached to his choir
of bitches.  Of course
they were barking up
the wrong tree.

Their hackneyed messiah
howled to the moon,
and scratched himself.

A J Ponder

ok this one has been on hold for a very long time - because it's not exactly my style.  But what the heck - pretty busy at the moment gotta keep on moving - anyway I've got a wolf poem that's a bit complicated that I'm working on - so hopefully that will be ready by next week :)

Cheers people and for some great poetry both new and old don't forget to check out the Tuesday Hub
Also for a puzzle that's likely to turn your brain inside out  why not try "a little morsel of Immortality" by Zireaux

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Vogel Awards: And the winners are....

Best Novel: Samiha's Song by Mary Victoria (a real sweetheart)

Best Youth Novel: Battle Of The Birds by Lee Murray (a lovely and astute lady with a daughter the same age as mine)

Best Novella / Novelette Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks (I only met him once but he seemed a really nice guy)

Best Short Story: Frankie And The Netball Clone by Alicia Ponder (who?  Yeah I know - I was so shocked and pleased it took me an entire night to figure out how to sleep again.)

Best Collected Work: Tales For Canterbury by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro (A great book for a great cause)

Best Professional Artwork: Oracles Fire cover by Frank Victoria (Weta artist extraordinaire - and all round nice guy)

Best Dramatic Presentation: Almighty Johnsons by Producer: Simon Bennett and Writers: Rachal Lang and James Griffin.  (People, believe it or not  I have never met - probably because film people are less likely to go to book events :)

Anyway I was pretty happy to be in such esteemed company: and I was happy with a rather large tinge of sadness to see Ripley Patton win a special award for her work in creating SpecFic NZ (or who would ever know there were so many amazing Speculative Fiction writers in New Zealand).  The reason it's so sad is that due to personal circumstances she has moved away from New Zealand and back to her home country of America.  We will miss her dearly but her creation SpecFic NZ goes on.

A.J. Ponder

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, The Children's Bookshop, Arty Bees and all good New Zealand bookstores

(paid link)

Lake Taupo

Howl's lake echoes sky
Castles built in the mind's eye
Morgan's caldera
A.J. Ponder

yes, there's a story to go with the Haiku - I was travelling back from Auckland today with three teenage girls (and a Vogel award) and they happened to be discussing that Lake Taupo looked just like a spot in Dianna Wynne Jones' very popular book, "Howl's moving castle."

 Of course - I'm quite useless at pulling out my camera - even though the scene looked so pretty - partly because my brain kept on telling me there was no way we could really capture that wonderful panoramic on the spot view and partly drivers stress.  Hopefully I'll post a shot of the mountains from desert road - or something from our trip up.  Anyway, it was a fun journey - and I've rather enjoyed the wordplay in this - although I was rather sad not to be able to put in "Dianna's caldera" for the obvious reason that there is one too many syllables and it just didn't quite work - so then I thought it would be fun to give that honour to Howl's son - Morgan.  Hopefully he'll remember to look after it!!!

To check out the Tuesday Poem scene on this week - This week the lovely, talented and hard-working Kathleen Jones is the editor with "Joseph" by Michael Woods, as well as the current contributions from Tuesday Poets on the sidebar.

 A.J. Ponder

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores