Friday, August 31, 2007

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: You're very sick.
Doctor Constantine: Dying, I should think. I just haven't been able to find the time. Are you a doctor?
The Doctor: I have my moments.

("The Empty Child", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Scholar's Blog Book Discussion Group Reminder

This is just a quick reminder that the Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone discussion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Sheila of Wands and Worlds posted two lengthy comments overnight which are thoughtful and invite further discussion, so if you have the chance (and I realise most are busy with school about to or already starting up again for the new term), please stop by, and read and comment !

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And yes, I am still here - still reading others' Blogs, though not posting much on my own. Sorry - the fiction writing bug that gripped me mid-July (to write Tenth Doctor/Martha stories) simply hasn't let go of me yet, so I'm still busy writing lots of shorter stories for them. I presume the pair's death-grip on my brain will lessen eventually and then I'll actually get back to writing other things...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Poetry Friday 63

*Phew* It's the start of a long weekend here in England and I've got Monday off work, yay ! So after an exhausting week that included a 3.45 fire alarm call (uh, thanks...), I'm feeling glad that it's Friday and in a little bit of a contemplative mood, so I chose a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem for you this week:

The Candle Indoors

SOME candle clear burns somewhere I come by.
I muse at how its being puts blissful back
With yellowy moisture mild night’s blear-all black,
Or to-fro tender trambeams truckle at the eye.
By that window what task what fingers ply,
I plod wondering, a-wanting, just for lack
Of answer the eagerer a-wanting Jessy or Jack
There God to aggrándise, God to glorify.—

Come you indoors, come home; your fading fire
Mend first and vital candle in close heart's vault:
You there are master, do your own desire;
What hinders? Are you beam-blind, yet to a fault
In a neighbour deft-handed? Are you that liar
And, cast by conscience out, spendsavour salt?

This week's round up is over at The Book Mine Set.

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: And I'm looking for a blonde in a Union Jack. A specific one, mind you, I didn't just wake up this morning with a craving.

("The Empty Child", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Poetry Friday 62

It's been unofficially confirmed that the incomparable David Tennant will be doing Hamlet with the RSC in Stratford next year (and no, it's not certain whether that means he's leaving "Doctor Who" at the end of the fourth season, which is currently being filmed). Since I studied Hamlet as part of my degree but have loved the play for many, many years, I thought I would share some lines from what is one of my favourite plays.

The first section is Polonius' advice to Laertes (Act 1, Scene III):

Yet here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay'd for.
There ... my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!

And how very wise is Shakespeare: "to thine own self be true"...

The second section is Hamlet's famous soliloquy which I memorised years and years ago and can still recite (Act III, Scene I):

To be, or not to be : that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: (To a stray kitten) One day, just one day, maybe, I'm going to meet somebody who gets the whole "don't wander off" thing. 900 years of phone box travel and it's the only thing left that surprises me. (The TARDIS phone rings and he looks around in surprise.)

("The Empty Child", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Poetry Friday 61

I missed Poetry Friday last week - I kept putting it off until later in the day bceause I'd been so busy during the week that I hadn't picked a poem beforehand, and the next thing I knew it was bedtime and too late... That's the first time I've missed it since Kelly instituted it - although I've occasionally done Poetry Thursday or Poetry Saturday posts, I'd never not posted a poem before. So I was determined not to miss it this week and fortunately the Writer's Almanac reminded me this week of John Keat's Endymion:

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
’Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o’ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.

You can read the whole poem here. This week's Poetry Friday round-up is over at Big A, little a.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Doctor Who Quote of the Week

The Doctor: I say 'spaceship', you're not interested, I say 'time machine'..."
Rose: I didn't plan it, I just saw it happening and thought I could stop it.
The Doctor: Ah, I did it again: I picked another stupid ape. I should have known. It's not about showing you the universe. It never is. It's about the universe doing something for you.
Rose: What's the problem? He's never gonna be famous, he's not gonna start World War Three or anything.
The Doctor: Rose, there's a man alive in the world who wasn't alive before. An ordinary man. That's the most important thing in creation! The whole world's different because he's alive!
Rose: So you'd have him dead?
The Doctor: I didn't say that...
Rose: No, I get it: for once, you're not the most important man in my life.
The Doctor: Rose, my whole planet was destroyed, my family - do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?

("Father's Day", Season 1 New Doctor Who)

Scholar's Blog Book Discussion Group

This month (and next) we're discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so please head on over and add your tuppence or two cents' worth - that's assuming you're not already all talked-out about this one...

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Edge of the Forest Volume II - Summer issue

The summer issue of The Edge of the Forest is finally up. It has many exciting features for you, as well as interviews, reviews, and much, much more. In short, here's what's in store this month:

The Edge of the Forest will return September 10.

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Just before ye hasten away to read it, don't forget the very spoilerific discussion of Harry Potter 7 will start tomorrow over on the Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone - everyone's welcome to join in, so see you there...

Now ye may hasten away to The Edge of the Forest !