Today is an epic day, as Ian Doescher is here to discuss poetic feet. My love for William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is not a secret. The series’ brilliance is in its blending of two things that seem not to fit to create something beautiful and new — like peanut butter and Fluff. Lest you think this is some silly mash up with little care for the source material, let me reassure you that Doesher has paid careful attention to both the nuances of Shakespearean language and the character quirks of the myriad people, androids, and aliens of the Star Wars galaxy. But enough of me, here’s the author himself to give you some insight to his craft.
#WriterWednesday: Exercising Your Poetic Feet By Ian Doescher
Warning: serious language geekery coming up… In my freshman year English class, as we prepared to dive in to Shakespeare’s Othello, my teacher Jane Bidwell taught us about the four major types of poetic feet, of which iambs of iambic pentameter are one—more on that in a second. (The picture shown here are my actual notes from that actual class, back in 1991.) For some reason, I found the whole idea of poetic feet fascinating, and took to it immediately. Maybe it’s because words have always held a fascination for me—I grew up in a family that would reach for a dictionary if we didn’t know a word’s meaning or etymology. As an adult I still do that, but these days I’m reaching for Google. Ever since I learned how to type, I’ve been fascinated by words that can be typed only by the left hand or only by the right, using proper typing rules. (My favorites are “reverberated” for the left hand and “polyphony” for the right.) I’ve always loved palindromes (“A man! A plan! A canal! Panama!”), anagrams (dormitory and dirty room, thank you), and acrostics (hint: look for one in William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return). So when Mrs. Bidwell told us about poetic feet, this was just one more thing to geek out about when it came to language. So, the poetic feet. The four most common poetic feet are iambs, trochees, dactyls and anapests: • An iamb is a two-syllable pattern unstressed-stressed. Re-LEASE. In-DEED. Be-RU. • A trochee is an iamb’s opposite, a two-syllable pattern stressed-unstressed. PRES-sure. HARP-ist. VA-der. • A dactyl is a three-syllable pattern stressed-unstressed-unstressed. HARP-si-chord. OB-vi-ous. EM-per-or. • And, an anapest is a dactyl’s opposite, a three-syllable pattern unstressed-unstressed-stressed. Un-der-STAND. In-ter-RUPT. Con-tra-DICT. Any of these words, if stressed on the wrong syllable, sounds incorrect. (Yes, some words’ stress changes depending on how the word is used, like RE-bel the noun versus re-BEL the verb.) When writing in verse, generally you have a certain number of poetic feet per line: dimeter (2), trimeter (3), tetrameter (4), pentameter (5), hexameter (6), and on and on. So, the number of syllables in a line equals the number of syllables in the food you’re using times the number of feet you are using: iambic pentameter is a line of ten syllables (iambs are two syllables times five in a pentameter line). Some famous examples: Shakespeare, of course, wrote in iambic pentameter—da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM. Homer wrote in dactylic hexameter—DUM-da-da DUM-da-da DUM-da-da DUM-da-da DUM-da-da DUM-da-da (so many Greek names are made for that final stressed-unstressed-unstressed ending, like Odysseus, Antigone, Perseus, etc.). A famous example of anapestic tetrameter is “’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house…” As I wrote the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars trilogy, it was a joy immersing myself in the iambic pentameter I learned about more than twenty years ago. Hopefully getting into poetic feet brings out the geek in you as well. If you want to know more about poetic feet, check out the The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms edited by Ron Padgett. You’ll not only learn about the things I’ve mentioned here, but also about all kinds of different poetic structures. Happy writing!
I’ve been feeling kind of guilty about neglecting my blog this past month; but, as these things go, it’s been a crazy end to the school year. I’ve been reading A LOT. Mostly student essays, but I’ve managed to sneak in a few great books. Stand outs include I Kill the Mockingbird and Article 5 – reviews for those will be coming later. I’ve also been writing A LOT. Again, most of that has been school related. Now that summer is just around the corner, I’m eager to get back to my semi-regular blog schedule. One thing you’ll notice is the new look of the blog – I haven’t been completely neglecting my little corner of the web. My Mercurial Musings is now hosted through WordPress. There was a little bit of a learning curve for me as I moved over from Blogger, but in all, I’m happy with the new digs. That’s just one thing I’m excited about as I head into the summer months.
In particular, I’m super stocked to be part of the blog tour for the final installment of Ian Doescher’s Shakespeare’s Star Wars series. I’ve been a huge fan of this series since book one, so to be included as part of the tour was a huge honor. Ian will be here on the blog on July 2nd to talk about poetic feet, but you don’t have to wait until then for the fun—below is a schedule of the stops on his blog tour (presented by Quirk Books).
Mon, June 23rd: GOOD BOOKS & GOOD WINE
Blog tour kickoff! An interview with Ian about the challenges of penning a trilogy of books.
Tues, June 24th: BIBLIOMANTICS
A post about the process of making the covers. Might be a discussion with Ian and the cover artist, or with Jason Rekulak, Quirk’s publisher. Or just Ian dishing about it with the interviewer.
Weds, June 25th: PUBLISHING CRAWL
#WriterWednesday Lessons in Pentameter: A fun how-to post about writing sonnets and poetry. Ian will discuss how he first fell in love with the form, and how writers that want to experiment with it can get comfortable with that style of writing.
Thurs, June 26th: GEEKY LIBRARY
SEKRETS: The hidden references smattered through out the trilogy of books. What are Ian’s top five, and where can readers find them?
Fri, June 27th: NOVEL THOUGHTS
#FridayReads Inspiration from the Classics. A guest post about the top five Shakespearian books that inspired Ian while writing, or maybe got him into reading as a youth. Whatever made him fall in love with Shakespeare, here’s where we’ll talk about it.
Mon, June 30th: ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK
Sci-Fi Reads: A guest post about other sci-fi books that Ian has fallen in love with, and would recommend people pick up.
Tues, July 1st: THE MARY SUE
PUBLICATION DATE! An essay about Ian’s favorite Star Wars character growing up, and what you can learn from that character. One of those “Everything I Needed To Know About Life I Learned From…” type of pieces. Only it would be about Yoda or Boba Fett.
Weds, July 2nd: MY MERCURIAL MUSINGS
#WriterWednesday Poetic Feet. Ian explains the different kinds of poetic feet and kinds of poetry.
Thurs, July 3rd: QUIRK BOOKS BLOG
Hitting the Road: A post about where Ian’s going on tour! He leaves on Tuesday, here are the dates where you can find him and say hello. Wrap up on the Quirk website.
Be sure to check out all the awesome stops on the tour and show Ian & his books some love :-)
Happy Friday! Today I’ll be raving about The Eighth Guardian, an exciting new YA sci-fi novel by Meredith McCardle. If you’re a fan of time travel, espionage, and mystery, you won’t want to miss this. Stick around after the review, there is an awesome giveaway as part of this blog tour.
About the Book
Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris. It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together. But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever. Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?
About the Author
About the Book
Revelation (The Revelation Series, Volume One)
“Cold?” A deep, cocky voice greets me. I look up to see Asher leaning against a black Aston Martin DB9, my dream car. Damn if he isn’t looking every bit as delicious as he normally does. I really need to get my head examined. My lips form a tight line. “Why do you care?” It comes out harsher than I meant it too. Why does this guy get under my skin? The unnerving guy holds his stance, his scrutiny still focused on me. I try to ignore the burning sensation his gaze causes as it settles into my skin. I’m definitely not cold anymore. Asher breaks the awkward silence after a few moments. “Do I make you anxious, Eve?”
“No.” I shiver but for a different reason now. My name sounds like a prayer on his lips. Nodding his head in understanding, he prowls over to me like a predator who has its prey in their trap. “You sure?” he whispers. Holding my position, I lift my chin and attempt to show him he doesn’t affect me. “Yes.” Asher stops in front of me, bends down and forces me to look him in the eye. My eyelids flutter just the tiniest bit at his body’s nearness to mine. Damn traitorous body. The corners of his mouth lift smugly as moves closer. So close I can feel his minty warm breath on my lips. Chuckling quietly, he takes off his jacket and my heart begins doing back flips. His shoulders are really broad up close. Slowly, he leans forward, wrapping his leather coat over my shoulders and engulfing me with warmth and his intoxicating scent.
About the Author
About the Book
Nikolai opened his eyes, chilled, as a cloud blocked out the sun. Next to him, Becca slept, her hand curled in his. She smiled in relaxed slumber.
He gently released her hand and looked around. A couple of people lounged on the distant beach and a lone man sat in the sand with a camera aimed straight at him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up.
Nikolai turned his back to the beach and nudged her. “Becca!”“Hmm?” She stirred.“There’s a guy on the beach and I’m pretty sure he’s taking our picture.”Her eyes sprang open. “What?” She sat up and spotted the man. “You think he’s paparazzi?”“It sure isn’t a random tourist aiming a long lens at us. How the hell did he know I was here?” Nikolai slid on his shorts.“Oh crud.” Becca grabbed her clothes and quickly pulled them on. “You think he’s been taking pictures of us sleeping?”“That and more. Lord only knows how long he’s been here.” He didn’t notice him when they were in the water, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t been lurking in the trees, snapping pictures.Nikolai stuffed their leftover lunch items into his backpack. How did this camera-wielding jerk find him?Dressed, with everything packed up, they headed for the motorbike. Their path unfortunately forced them to pass the creep with the camera. Nikolai pulled his baseball cap low and hid behind his sunglasses. He led the way with Becca’s hand firmly in his.“Prince Nikolai, why did you run from the palace?” The photographer, a short, heavyset man with cameras strapped across his chest moved closer.Nikolai picked up the pace, but the man stayed with them, walking backward and snapping pictures. This was no official appearance where Nikolai owed the press a friendly smile and kind word.“Do your parents know where you are?”He ignored him.“Your friend is beautiful. Is she the reason you fled? What’s her name?”Nikolai bristled and fought the urge to shove the man to the ground and bust his camera. He glanced at Becca, her face pink with embarrassment. She didn’t need to be targeted by this oily loser.“Have you heard that your sister, Princess Alexi, has gone missing?”Nikolai hesitated for an instant, but then hurried on. The man was lying. He was sure of it, and he wouldn’t let this vile intruder ruin their day.They reached the bike. He hurried and strapped on the pack and hopped on. Becca climbed up, hugging him from behind. Nikolai liked the feel of her body secure against his. It made him feel better able to protect her.The photographer kept snapping pictures and wouldn’t back off. “There are rumors that you have renounced the throne,” he baited.Nikolai stiffened, but didn’t give him the satisfaction of a reaction. He started the engine.“Where are you going next?”“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Nikolai grinned, revved the engine, and spun gravel as they raced away.
About the Author
Today is the big reveal for T. G. Ayer’s Blood & Gold, book two in the Hand of Kali series.
About the Book . . .
T. G. Ayer in her own words . . .
Guys, by now you know I absolutely love Rachel Harris and her Not So Super Sweet series. The third book in the series, My Not So Super Sweet Life is, contrary to its title, is a super sweet read. I’m thrilled today to be part of Rockstar Books Tours two week tour for MNSSL and to be able to share an exclusive excerpt with you. Read on to learn more about the book, to meet Rachel, and to enter the super sweet giveaway! Happy Monday!
About the Book
Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy. Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged. As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities. Well, and the stalkerazzi.
“Prepared to swoon my ass off,” Cat says in lieu of hello when the door swings open. She winks and then twirls around, showing off her outfit. All I told her was that she needed to be ready at five, and to wear jeans and her leather jacket. The jacket is draped across her arm, the jeans are molded to her curves, and her silky top is dark blue, setting off her gorgeous eyes. “Is this appropriate mystery date attire?”I lean in to kiss her lips, glad to see her smile. I’ve been on cloud nine since I finally put it on the line and stood up to my father…but seeing Cat happy, knowing what I have planned, and watching her take the night of surprises in stride shoots it to another level.“Perfect,” I say, nipping at her lip. “You look edible.”She laughs and rolls her eyes, but her cheeks glow a bit brighter. “Flattery will get you everywhere, though since you’re a guy, I’m betting you’re just hungry.” She sticks her head back through the door and calls out, “Love you!” then closes it firmly behind her. “Do I at least get a tiny hint about tonight?”I take her jacket and hold it out, helping her slip her arms through the holes. Grasping her shoulders, I spin her around and let her see my bike waiting in the drive. “Clue number one.”Cat squeals and does a bounce-like dance. “Are you serious?” She shoots me a quick, questioning look, and when I nod, her face becomes a mask of confusion and eagerness. “Did you clear it with Dad first?”“You think I’m stupid, woman?” I wrap my arms around her slender waist, imagining how it’ll feel having her arms wrapped around mine. And thighs straddling my hips. I glance at the photographers snapping away near the fence, and immediately begin thinking about puppies. “Of course I cleared it with him. As if I could get away with not clearing it between your bodyguards and Star magazine staked outside your door.”“Touché,” she says before doing another bounce step. “I’m gonna ride a motorcycle. That’s so badass!”I chuckle and link our fingers, tugging her forward. “Come on, little badass. Let’s give the paparazzi something worth capturing.”Her answering smile is so dazzling it nearly steals my breath. Knowing I put it there makes me feel like a freaking king. “Are you trying to get me in trouble, Mr. Cappelli?”“Always, Miss Crawford,” I reply. “Always.”
Admit it — you want to know what happens next!
You will definitely fall in love with Cat, Lucas and their misadventures. This is such a great read . . . what are you waiting for, go check it out!!
About the Author
Follow the Tour
The Rising King
The summer before Dylan Kennedy’s senior year in high school is turning out to be anything but boring.Ridiculously hot girlfriend? Check.Killing evil Dark Souls who suddenly have aspirations of taking over the magical realm of Teag because its protective spell is gone? Check. Not even Teag’s King, Dylan’s father, Baun, can stop them. People are dying, and a dark magic that his girlfriend, Kera, received from Baun is growing stronger. Dylan wants to believe Kera is suppressing the darkness that’s in her, but every day he sees that control slip just a little more. Baun sends Dylan to find a powerful magic that stop the Dark Souls, a magic so strong that Baun hid it so no one else could use it. When Dylan doesn’t expect to find along with it, are consequences that could end the lives of those closest to him.
Follow the blog tour HERE!
Heartbroken but more determined than ever after a tense showdown in the woods, sixteen-year-old Tess once again returns to the safety of her community of Isolationists. Bolstered by new alliances and desperate to protect those she loves, this time she knows she can return stronger and more powerful than ever to take back what is hers. As she trains in combat and grows more confident, Tess receives beautiful letters penned by her forbidden love, the chosen one James, from his prison in Templeton. He is now serving as a bodyguard to the creators—the team of scientists who created artificial life in the first place. And what he has discovered about the true origin of the illness that halted natural life could change everything. Enemy will become ally and death will bring new hope in this stunning conclusion to Tiffany Truitt’s epic Lost Souls trilogy.