A Love Poem

April 27th, 2015 → 5:07 am

I meant to post something yesterday, on National Poem in Your Pocket Day, but I failed to get around to it.  So a day late, but still worth reading, here is a Shakespeare sonnet on love, dedicated to my ever-suffering husband:

“Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force.
Some in their garments, though newfangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast.
     Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
     All this away, and me most wretched make.”  – Sonnet 91

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Queen Elizabeth I – Plagerizer or Plagerized?

April 22nd, 2015 → 5:33 am

I happen to be reading a great book on Queen Elizabeth right now, and every once in awhile there are quotes directly from the Queen herself.  What amazes me is how often they sound like famous quotes from Shakespeare.  Since the two lived at the same time, and definitely interacted at court, I’m wondering now, who influenced whom?

“To be a king and wear a crown is more glorious to them that see it than it is a pleasure to them that bear it.” – Queen Elizabeth I

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown._ – Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part II)

“A vain crack of words that made a noise only.” – Queen Elizabeth

“…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. – Shakespeare (Macbeth)

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Lost Shakespeare Play?

April 11th, 2015 → 5:31 am

“Thereby hangs a tale.” – As You Like It

I can’t believe it.  I’m astounded.  I’m excited!  I’m just so surprised.  Word is a new Shakespeare play has been found, or at least finally authenticated to actually be by him.  WOW!!

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April 8th, 2015 → 7:05 am

“Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
For things that are not to be remedied.”  – Henry VI, Part I

Have you ever written something, but can’t let it go?  An essay, a short story, an article for journal publication?  Sometimes it’s really hard to stop over-editing a piece and just let it go already!!

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TOS on #ConversationsLIVE

March 4th, 2015 → 9:46 pm

Had a great half an hour live radio interview with Cyrus Webb on #ConversationsLIVE earlier this evening.  We talked about The Other Shakespeare, women’s history month, family, relationships, love, life, and so much more.  Not to ruin it for the cities its coming to in the next few days (North Carolina this weekend, Atlanta on Monday…), but you can check it out now as a podcast.  And thank you again for the wonderful conversation Cyrus Webb!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

TOS is an Award Finalist!

February 27th, 2015 → 6:15 am

The Other Shakespeare has just been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards.  What an honor!  Thank you so much to all those independent judges and panelists who took the time to read it, and obviously, appreciate it.

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Guest Post – College’s Priceless Value

February 13th, 2015 → 5:27 am

“Stay a little.” – King Lear

What’s the most transformative educational experience you’ve had?  Newspaper columnist Frank Bruni was asked this question recently, and his answer?  Hearing these three little words of Shakespeare, spoken with depth, anguish, and emotion from a teacher in college.  Wow.  Shakespeare can be hard to understand sometimes, but done right, the bard’s words are transformative.

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ShakeDic: cod’s head

February 1st, 2015 → 6:25 am

“She that in wisdom never was so frail
To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail.”  – Othello

cod’s head – slang for penis

tail – slang for pudendum

There’s some controversy over what Shakespeare is actually saying here, that the woman would never exchange a lackluster lover for a sexy one?  That the woman is wise enough to choose a sexual partner becoming to her?  That the woman is smart enough to be first in a lowly group than last in a higher group?  Simply that the woman has common sense?  I don’t know, but there’s clearly some sexual connotation there somewhere.  “Tail” we still use today – but “cod’s head”?  These antiquated slang terms are cracking me up.

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ShakeDic: guinea hen

January 29th, 2015 → 5:37 am

“I would drown myself for the love of a guinea hen.” – Othello

There’s your regular dictionary, your urban dictionary, even something called Your Dictionary.  Today I introduce ShakeDic – Shakespeare’s Dictionary.  In my current reading of Othello I’m coming across a number of words I am not only unfamiliar with, but I find hilarious/interesting once I figure out what Shakespeare meant by them.  I’ll post more examples over the coming months, but here’s the first:  guinea hen – slang term for a prostitute

Use in a sentence:  Honey, you haven’t seen any guinea hens lately, have you?

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Spoken Language

January 26th, 2015 → 5:53 am

“That’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase, [‘ok’] is a vile phrase.” – Hamlet

I am happy to report that the reviews coming in of The Other Shakespeare are mostly positive!  It’s really been heart-warming, in fact, to see all the nice things readers have written about the book, and it’s even given me incentive to think about a next novel…  The few criticisms I’ve gotten have generally been about the dialogue in the book.  That it messes up and sometimes sounds too modern.  First, let me say that I agree I should have never used the word “ok” in the book.  My bad.  But let me add that criticism of dialogue in historical novels is rife, and often quite unsubstantiated.  My favorite response on this came from Philippa Gregory, who said that, let’s be honest, no one knows how people actually spoke hundreds of years ago.  There were no recordings!  And obviously people don’t talk in casual conversation like they write in formal documents, so formal writing from that time period tells us nothing.  So anyone who claims definitively that a historical novel’s dialogue is wrong, is basing that opinion on, frankly, personal opinion.  Like most historical novels I had to wing the dialogue, and I may have messed up in a few places, but I’ve learned.  Watch out – my next novel is going to be even better!!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life