Monday, May 30, 2011

Random Magic Tour: Pirates! – The Parting Glass

Tour summaries and a farewell song


Today’s the wrap day for Random Magic Tour: Pirates! (May
10-30).

As one of the mates – ahoy, matey!  sailing with this crew of
buccaneers, would like to say thank you for visiting the blog on May 25
and hope you also enjoyed some of the other great
blogs on the tour.

This has been my first big blog tour participation and it has been such a great experience. I enjoyed every bit of it from research and posting for my stop to visiting my fellow bloggers on the tour (three cheers for the pirate crew!). I tried to visit as much as I could, although due to the time pressure I had really bad pirate manners of dropping in and out without saying hi (sorry, but you don’t want me commenting in a hurry, mates, there’d be a lot o’ typos).

I had so much fun, though, visiting blogs on the tour and all the features, from Mermaid’s Cove Musical Blog Hop to Pirate Queens series and Sea Wolves Reading Circle. Every paper doll was an eye-full and I learned some pirate vocabulary together with what you ought to watch out for while at sea, to mention just a few highlights of the tour. But really, every stop was wonderful and every feature timeless in itself. So, thank you, my fellow pirates for doing such a great job!

I want to thank Sasha Soren, the author of Random Magic, for inviting me on the tour. It is such a delight to know you and this tour has been an amazing experience for me.

At last, but not least: thank you, everyone, for visiting my stop. I hope you had a lot of fun doing so. Thanks for all the comments, I am so happy you took the time to drop me a line, I appreciate it.

And please don’t forget to visit other wrap-up posts on the tour, especially Rum + Plunder: Final tallies and Little Pirate Prizes: Final tallies begin (Winners announced: June 6). You still have time to enter to win Pirateology: Guidebook and Model Set!


For the wrap day of the tour, we’re just going to raise a final pint
o’ grog to say thanks for the good company. Smooth seas be ahead o’
ye. As this particular traditional toasting song goes, good night and
joy be with you all!

Message in a Bottle: visit Liana's Paper Doll Blog to see the Pirate Queen Sasha and read more about her at Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cat Diary (4)


This is an occasional Sunday feature where my cat, pardon, Her Majesty the Cat, offers her more or less gracious insight into our lives.


I have spent an awful lot of nice summer-like days outside this week and loved it. I heard Pepca complaining about the lack of rain and soil being as dry as a bone, but it doesn’t bother me. 

Now, my achievement of this week. Well, the achievement. Pepca, my maid, keeps the palace mostly well cleaned, but I sometimes feel she should do some extra cleaning. And there just isn’t better way to do convince Pepca to clean than making a really big mess.

How do I make a mess, you wonder? There is more than one way, but the best results come from wetting my paws in my water bowl, spilling as much water as possible while at it, then taking a few jumps in and out my toilet, perhaps even throwing some toilet sand out on the floor and there it is: a big mess.

That took a good half an hour for Pepca to clean. With a double affect, too: not only the hallway floor was washed spotless, but I had such entertaining time watching her working. Side effect: she insisted to wash my paws, too. But, hey, it was totally worth it.

Until next time, find yourself some entertainment and enjoy,


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lament (Books of Faerie #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Lament (Books of Faerie, #1)SUMMARY (by the publisher): Sixteen-year-old Deirdre is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance. But Dee doesn't realise that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world. And she is his next target.

MY OPINION:

I have never been much of YA reader, but I might become one after reading Lament. It is a beautiful and fresh love story with more than a pinch of danger and supernatural.

The relationship between Luke and Dee is utterly romantic, although irrational. It could use some more building, but their otherworldly romance is sweet and all-consuming. Luke is a picture perfect boy whom Stiefvater’s description actually brings to life in a makes-me-faint manner. Dee is depicted believably and she is easily to identity with for her family relationships, domestic problems and her self-consciousness.

The story drawing on legends of faeries is captivating throughout the book. The old fairy tradition of evil and dangerous-to-people faeries seems to be getting forgotten and I liked being reminded of it. I would like to know more about cloverhands and Dee’s family cloverhand history, though. There is also some room for all the clover mystery still open.

All in all, Lament is a page-turner with a compelling storyline. The ending surprised me; it is sad and happy at the same time, but fitting.

RECOMMENDATION: This is the book for everyone who likes some innocent romance entwined with danger and supernatural. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Blogger Hop, May 27 – 30, 2011

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books. It is a great way of discovering new blogs and meeting fellow book bloggers, talking about books and authors, and sharing our love for literature.

 Book Blogger Hop

This week’s question is: “What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?”

MY ANSWER:

Usually, I like books better than their film adaptations. However, I really liked Charlotte Gray (2001). This was the one film I can think of I liked better than the book. Sebastian Faulks’ writing is wonderful but I liked the film better. The film is consistent with the book, apart from the ending, which is on my opinion more realistic in the film as far as Charlotte is concerned (it helps that it is happier in a way, too). I saw the film before reading the book, so maybe this is why I liked it better.

As far as the book-to-movie adaptation I disliked, well, as I said, as a rule I like books better. To give an example, and a notorious one recently, the Twilight films are horrible, and progressively so. The first one was all right, but than each got worse. I think it is because they are too teenage audience oriented.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Random Magic Tour: Pirates! Feature: Songs from the Sea (Sea Shanties)



Pirates have always struck me as merry people, their frightening verses joyfully resounding across the seven seas. Singing is fun, it encourages people, makes them be happy and forget their troubles. There is more to the pirates’ singing than just keeping up the spirit, though.

The songs sailors or pirates sang or chanted called sea shanties or sea chants actually had a practical purpose behind. They were sung to give a steady rhythm to various chores men aboard a sail ship had to perform.

Originally, shanties were shouted out. A shantyman, the lead singer, would shout out a verse and than other men would join in as a chorus. The primary purpose of shanties was to synchronise the team work. Jobs on a ship were difficult and it usually took a group of men to do a particular chore. Shanties helped the sailors coordinate their moves. Secondarily, sailors could express their opinion through shanties without inflicting a punishment upon themselves.

Different chores required different rhythm. Therefore, there are several types of shanties. The following are the most common:

Short drag shanties were sung when a rope had to be pulled quickly and required a lot of strength. The pulls coincided with chorus's “haul away, haul” calls.

Long drag shanties or halyard shanties were sung when raising and lowering the sails. Together with wooden yards, canvas sails were very heavy, weighting between one thousand and two and a half thousand pounds. The men would rest during the verse and haul the halyard (the line used for raising/lowering the sails, comes from haul and yard) during the chorus. Depending on the weight of the sail, men would pull one to three times per chorus.

Capstan shanties were sung when raising the anchor. The capstan was a device used to raise the anchor. It had the shape of a mushroom with holes along the top. Sailors inserted bars into the holes and marched around the capstan to raise the anchor. Raising the anchor could take hours, so capstan shanties told long stories and had steady rhythm. Sailors would stamp in the rhythm, hence the term “stamp and go chanties”.  

Windlass and pumping shanties were sung during pumping. All wooden ships leaked water a little. The lowest part of the ship was called the bilge and sailors had to pump water from it regularly. Also, the windlass was a pump-like device sometimes used to raise the anchor. 

Forecastle (the crew's quarters) and ceremonial shanties were sung for pleasure when men were off duty. Those songs were about romance, famous battles or longing for home. Ceremonial songs were sung when celebrating crossing the equator and the like.

One and the same sea shanty can be categorised as more than one type. The lyrics of a particular shanty often vary considerably but they usually have the same tune.

In no particular order, below are top five sea shanties of my choice with lyrics. The actual pirates are somewhat elusive these days, avoiding the authorities as always, you know, so I had to find these substitutes to do the singing.

Now, put on your pirate hat, get an eye-patch and join the choirboys!

Blow the Man Down

This is a short drag shanty, also mentioned in Random Magic. This is the Disney version adopted for Pirates of the Caribbean films. 


Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down
Way aye blow the man down
Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow him away
Give me some time to blow the man down!

As I was a walking down Paradise Street
Way aye blow the man down
A pretty young damsel I chanced for to meet.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

She was round in the counter and bluff in the bow,
Way aye blow the man down
So I took in all sail and cried, "Way enough now."
Give me some time to blow the man down!

So I tailed her my flipper and took her in tow
Way aye blow the man down
And yardarm to yardarm away we did go.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

But as we were going she said unto me
Way aye blow the man down
There's a spanking full-rigger just ready for sea.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

But as soon as that packet was clear of the bar
Way aye blow the man down
The mate knocked me down with the end of a spar.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

It's starboard and larboard on deck you will sprawl
Way aye blow the man down
For Captain Jack Sparrow commands the Black Pearl.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

So I give you fair warning before we belay,
Way aye blow the man down
Don't ever take heed of what pretty girls say.
Give me some time to blow the man down!

Haul Away Joe

This is another short drag or halyard shanty.


When I was a little boy or so my mother told me
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
That if I did not kiss the girls my lips would soon grow moldy
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, the good ship is a' blowing
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, the sheet is now a' flowing
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe

King Louis was the king of France before the Revolution
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
But then he got his head cut off, not good for his constitution
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
First I got a Spanish girl but she got fat and lazy
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Now I have a Brooklyn girl she damn near drives me crazy
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe

Way, haul away, we'll haul and hang together
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, we'll sail for better weather
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, I'll sing to you of Nancy
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, for she's my cup and fancy
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe

Way, haul away, we'll haul away together
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, we'll sail through nasty weather,
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, way haul away
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Way, haul away, way haul away
Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe

Heave Away

This shanty originates from Newfoundland.


Come get your duds in order 'cuz we're bound to cross the water
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
Come get your duds in order 'cuz we're bound to leave tomorrow
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

Sometimes we're bound for Liverpool, sometimes we're bound for Spain
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
But now we're bound for old St. John's where all the girls are dancing
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

I wrote me love a letter, I was on the Jenny Lind
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
I wrote me love a letter and I signed it with a ring
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

Sometimes we're bound for Liverpool, sometimes we're bound for Spain
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
But now we're bound for old St. John's where all the girls are dancing
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

Now it's farewell Nancy darling, 'cuz it's now I'm going to leave you
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
You promised that me you'd marry me, but how you did deceive me
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

Sometimes we're bound for Liverpool, sometimes we're bound for Spain
Heave away, me jollies, heave away
But now we're bound for old St. John's where all the girls are dancing
Heave away me jolly boys, we're all bound away

Drunken Sailor

This is a capstan shanty. On the words “way-hay, up she rises” sailors would stamp on the deck.


What shall we do with a drunken sailor?(x3)
Early in the morning?
Way-hay, up she rises
Way-hay, up she rises
Way-hay, up she rises
Early in the morning

Shave his belly with a rusty razor,(x3)
Way-hay,…

Put him in the long boat till he's sober,(x3
Way-hay,…

Put him in the scuppers with a hose-pipe on him.(x3)
Way-hay,…

Put him in bed with the captain's daughter.(x3)
Way-hay,…

That’s what we do with a drunken sailor.(x3)
Way-hay,…

Spanish Ladies

This is a capstan shanty, traditionally sung on British ships when they were bound home for England.


Farewell and adieu to you Spanish ladies
Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain
For we've received orders for to sail for old England
But we hope in a short time to see you again
We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors
We'll rant and we'll roar along the salt seas
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues

We hove our ship to with the wind from sou'west, boys
We hove our ship to, our soundings for to see
Then the signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor
And all in the Downs that night for to make
We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors
We'll rant and we'll roar along the salt seas
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues

Now let every man toss off a full bumper
Now let every man toss off a full bowl
And we'll drink and be merry and drown melancholy
Singing, here's a good health to all true-hearted souls
We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors
We'll rant and we'll roar along the salt seas
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues


Arrrgh, good work, matey - ye’ve found a secret stash of plunder.

You can play to win this Little Pirate Prize, and plenty of other
wonderful things scattered throughout Random Magic Tour:
Pirates! (May 10-30)

Pirateology: Guidebook and Model Set


Description: Welcome aboard! Behold, a great illustrated guide to the
goings-on aboard a pirate vessel. Hardcover, approximately 10 inches x
11-13/16 inches (approx. 25.4 x 30.2 cm), wonderful maritime theme
cover design.


Shown above: The book comes with a die-cut model of a pirate ship to
put together.

Pirateology: Guidebook and Model Set is a wonderful book, but
the best part is a cool extra tucked away inside the outer casing - a
make-your-own pirate ship.

 - Coverage image

Shown above: Ta-da! 

This could be a fun and quirky treat for anyone who craves a little
random magic in the everyday - or maybe just a little random piracy.


Shown above: A bit of random magic (and random piracy), in the book
trailer for Random Magic, by Sasha Soren.

Find the book Random MagicAmazon | Kindle

In the meantime, here’s another fun and quirky and cute thing -- a
guidebook and model ship, all about pirates. Arrrrgh. You can carry
off this Little Pirate Prize! How to win:

* Win this cute pirate prize by:
1. Adding your email address in comments section
and
2a. In comments, add your Twitter link to this post
or
2b. In comments, add link to your quick blog mention about this post, (including link to full tour schedule in mention)
or
2c. In comments, add your blog post link about this post, the blog post can be brief or detailed, it’s up to you
or
2d. In comments, add your link to different tour post (tour schedule) that you’ve also enjoyed, and why it was fun to read

or
2e. (Double, triple or quadruple your chances!) In comments, add your 
email address plus each of the above in up to four separate entries, 

for max of four chances to win.

Yes, you can enter up to four times, giving you not just one but four chances to win this prize!

NOTE: Please include each entry (your email address plus Twitter/blog/tour post link) separately, since each entry will 
be assigned a separate number for the drawing.

So, one entry might look like this:
Entry #1: Email address + Twitter link

A second entry might look like this:
Entry #2: Email address + blog mention link

And so on.

If you need some help to see what the separate entries look like, please just click here: See Sample Entries

* The winner will be selected at random using random.org.
* You'll need a mailing address or P.O. box so the prize can
be sent to you.
* This surprise prize is INTERNATIONAL. Open to all.
* Offer open through May 30, 2011, midnight, EST
* Winners announced June 6, 2011

Bonus: Find more surprise pirate prizes! Follow the tour HERE.

AND



The main Rum + Plunder treasure hunt is open internationally!

Here’s a fun way to win something piratey and cool:

Browse prizes or join the hunt…

(Click on the coin)


Have fun and good luck!


You can read my review of Random Magic HERE and the biography of Pirate Queen #9 of 10: Winnie Flapjack HERE.


Random Magic Tour: Pirates! Bonus: The Pirate Modiste




Ahoy! Here be a fun game to play during Random Magic Tour:
Pirates!, if ye’d enjoy out trying on
togs for stylish pirates.

The world of Random Magic is vivid
and painted in bold and brilliant colors, and the Nine Muses actually
paint with the colors of life, itself.

The characters in Random Magic are vivid and memorable as well,
right down to the clothes they wear – even the bloodthirsty pirates
that our heroes, Winnie and Henry, cross paths with on their sea
journey. Yes, the pirates might be deadly -- but one can be sure
they’re also decoratively attired.

Winnie and Henry sat uncomfortably on a rotten barrel,
under the 
baleful eye of Captain Jack.
The king of sea thieves was decked out in eye patch, peg leg, curly
black hair, and big floppy hat with a floofy ostrich feather, as if
he’d stepped out of a coloring book about pirates.

Shown above: Quote from Random Magic,


If you’d like to know a little more about the story, the book trailer
is right here:


Shown above: Random Magic, by Sasha Soren
Find Random Magic: Amazon | Kindle

In the meantime, here’s a fun little diversion on Random Magic
Tour: Pirates!, feel free to experiment
with all the fun things to try on your stylish pirate.

Ah…decisions, decisions. What does the well-dressed pirate wear? It’s up to you!

Here’s a quick look at the game screen:


How to play: You’re presented with a pirate and a wardrobe of cool
pirate clothes to try on. Click on each item to choose different
pieces of pirate gear -- boots, hats, tops, vests and coats. There’s a
fun variety of clothing to select from the wardrobe, so feel free to
experiment with all kinds of clothing and color combinations.

Here’s a quick sample image, to see what your pirate might look like:


And here’s the link, so you can make your own!
You can also just click on the image above to be taken to The Pirate
Modiste dress-up doll screen.

Come along with us for more features and videos about pirate grub,
superstitions and gear, legends, tunes, treasures and general
pirateyness. Browse the tour schedule here.


WIN this!
Cute Blackbeard plush doll
Play to win at Rum + Plunder hunt: Prizes and info

Here's another interesting tour feature you might also enjoy:


The main Rum + Plunder treasure hunt is open internationally!
Here’s a fun way to win something piratey and cool:
Browse prizes or join the hunt…

(Click on the coin)

AND

Bonus: Find even more pirate plunder with Little Pirate Prizes.
The Little Pirate Prizes are cute and cool -- but they're not marked,
so they could be ANYWHERE on the tour.

You're welcome to find some buried treasure, if you like: Follow the
tour HERE.

Have fun and good luck!

You can also read my feature Songs from the Sea (Sea Shanties), my review of Random Magic and the biography of Pirate Queen #9 of 10: Winnie Flapjack.


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