Sunday, May 25, 2008

Is 11,383 miles (as the crow flies) too far to go to a really good bookshop?

I've been poorly this week, so I'm going to take an easy option - posting a link to a review of The Seventh Tide from a bookshop owner in Wellington, New Zealand that made me smile out loud!

Here it is - and many thanks to Malcolm for being the highlight of my week.

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. If you read this and live anywhere near Story Time Books, go and have a browse - it looks lovely on the website!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday Cat

I mentioned liking the idea of shape-shifting into a cat when I was blogging about The Seventh Tide over on the Puffin website, and Sarah Kettle, the blog-publishing person there, put up a picture of a very groovy 60's sort of cat wearing John Lennon sunglasses. (Click here and scroll down to April 26, 2008 to see what I mean.) Though on some level I would like to think that, yes, I am that cat, a more realistic picture would be the one below ...

Katie is our remaining cat. She is odd. She is definitely overweight. She is less than lithe, but we love her anyway - and she just had a birthday. So ...


And don't worry, we'll be happy to eat the chocolate cake for you.

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

D'ye ken kennings?

Viking bards got to mess about with alliteration and ... kennings. Codes. Riddles. Things like saying "Freyja's tears" when they meant "gold" because everybody would know the story about Freyja searching for her husband Oor, weeping golden tears (the way you do). Or "Baldur's bane" when they meant "mistletoe" because of the story where all the plants and creatures promised never to harm Baldur, except for the mistletoe which for some reason nobody bothered to ask. Always a mistake. So what happened next was Baldur's friend Hodur was tricked into shooting an arrow at him that was tipped with - you guessed it - mistletoe, and that was the end of Baldur.

Or how about ...
"Sun of the house" = "fire"
"Storm-vat" = "sky"
"Fjord-herd" = "herring"

I have to admit I'm having trouble shoe-horning any of these into the Viking books I'm writing just now, but I'm having good fun collecting them. Modern kennings would be good too ...

"Road-eater" = "car"
"Rib-rumbler" = "cat"
"Tardis-cargo" = Dr Who

Yes, well. Please send in any modern kennings that come to mind
- I know I'll find a use for them some day!

Cheers, Joan.