Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 31 December 2010

Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 Morpeth to Baltimore and back

Jan, Feb, March
We both had our set-backs in the early months of the year and it just goes to show how iunpredictable and surprising a year can be! I didn't expect any of what happened next. I honestly think it has been the most surprising year of my life and certainly full of memories I will treasure for the rest of it.
Avis and me
family old and new

March April May
it all began to change - seeming endings led to new beginnings. In May we made a long overdue visit to family we knew in Suffolk and quite by coincidence, (some would say fate) met family we didn't know we had, who as it turned out live very close to us here and whom we now regard as dear friends. We also caught up with some old friends this year, Avis Hickman Gibb for a start and we met her husband Mike.
A Genie in a Jam Illustrated by Jerry Wright

June July August
Then our freinds from S Wales, Alun and Mary came to visit with us... we'd not seen them for 17 years and it was great to catch up. Next, change came again in the form of sudden early retirement for my husband. At the start of July - employed - 21st July - desk cleared and feet up :)  The we had our 30th Wedding Anniversary in August and decided, instead of Barcelona, our destination should be BALTIMORE :) So we planned that. I always said I'd never fly that far but I knew that this man below was at the other end of that flight and it would be worth every minute to shake his hand.
Nathan and Jenesta

Sept, Oct Nov
My Novella, A Genie in a Jam was serialised at Bewildering Stories in the Autumn and Jerry Wright surprised me with that wonderful illustration of DJ, and late Seotember we set off to Baltimore where we had a great time getting to know Nathan Rosen of Microhorror (and I didn't shake his hand I just grabbed the poor guy and hugged the breath out of him and serve him right for being so lovely!) So I got to know Nathan and his beatiful wife, Jenesta, EDP poet Jody Costa and Writewords friend Jennifer Stakes and her husband Fred. I introduced Jennifer and Nathan and she is now Assistant Editor at microhorror :) Good work!

Then  I had the privilege of setting and judging the Hallowe'en Competition I'd won for the past three years - thanks for that Nathan! Go along and read the winning entires :)

Another unexpected turn was that I was totally enthralled with Baltimore itself. I didn't want to come home! But let's face it - I'd never survive their summers! I also got to visit D.C. and Philadelphia and the Maryland Rennaissance Festival, Fort McHenry, meet Nathan's mother, Jenesta's brother... two bands of PIRATES :)  Oh I enjoyed every single minute!
Jody and us
There are many more photos in Parallel Oonahverse

Now in these last few fading days of December, I finish the year with off with a story at Microhorror, Genie has been selected for The Mariner Awards at BwS and at EDP we have the delivery of out first EDP Anthology.

Yes, It's been an extraordianry year. It's been fun. It's been a year to remember.

To all my Family, Friends, Pirates, Poets, Writers,
May you have all the Love your Hearts can hold
for that is worth more than GOLD

Monday, 27 December 2010


Bad Blud is a nice horror story for New Year's Eve and good news about A Genie in a Jam which has been voted best of the best at Bewildering Stories this year so if you've not read it, do.

A refreshing change :)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Angel sang of
peace on earth
goodwill to all men
yet if you believe in angels
there is little hope of either.
If you believe in any god
he must exclude all others
and any belief cannot be in
mankind.What would an angel know
of peace on earth? What would an angel know
of death or birth or all the things between? Angels do not live
as you or I
or die.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader REVIEW

My favourite Narnian story has been released as a 3D film and I'm delighted to say it was well done. The Dawn Treader was everything I thought she would be and I felt as if, at last, I'd sailed on her. I read one critique that said the film disappointed. Perhaps it would disappoint the jaded palate of a film critic, it did not let down this life-long fan of the Narnia Chronicles.

How does this compare to Harry Potter? We in this 'critic's' opinion that is like comparing the depth of MacBeth to East Enders. I did try to read a Harry Potter book - once. I haven't bothered since.

I think that the 3D format gave this film a real boost because there's such a lot of story to cover within such a small time frame, and it brought the whole thing to life. It also greatly enhanced the presence of the ship, itself a main character. That is always a difficult thing to pull off but I think it succeeds here.

Any plot adaptations that were made were in keeping with the spirit of the book and further served to unify and bring extra meaning to the themes. Also the almost noises-off presence of Susan and Peter, Anna Popplewell and Will Moseley helped continuity as it was seeing old friends.  

Most main characters' faces were familiar to those who have seen the previous films. Tilda Swinton's  continued presence as the embodiment of evil (a green mist this time) works well because let's face it, Tilda Swinton can be green mist if she wants to be - or anything else... Her role is one reason I hope the production team will try to make The Silver Chair - a gift vehicle for such a talent!

Reepicheep was as adorable as ever and the change of voiceover in this film I think, improves his gravitas and boy does that mouse have gravitas ;) I have to say the furry characters are much furrier in 3D and when Lucy hugged Reepicheep you could almost feel that fur. The poor, funny Puddleduffs are quite adorable too.Fellow Ballymena-man Liam Neeson is the voice of Aslan once more. (God just has to be a Ballymena man!)

In this film Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes and the very dashing Ben Barnes reprise their roles as kings and queens of Narnia. It has been said they cannot carry the story but these stories do no rely on a single set of actors to carry them. The whole point of Narnia is that the characters change but the story goes on. That depth of meaning allows Will Poulter as the obnoxious Eustace Scrubb (he really does deserve the name) to be ultimately redeemable and he can take credit for a fine artful-dodger-style performance although not for the cgi dragon...

I was interested to see how another director would handle Narnia. Michael Apted's direction was a seamless takeover from Adamson, I imagine that was a conscious decision and the right way to go. Apted did a fine job in bringing this film to the screen and as one who has waited 40 years to see it, I loved what he did with the magician's Mansion, Death Water, Dark Island, Ramandu's Island... I can't think of a single thing that didn't exceed this Narnia fan's expectations and I look forward to the next.

By the way, if you already own 3D glasses of that type with red/green lenses, they won't work here. 3D is not done like that any more. It's done by polarising lenses. Light rotates clockwise for one eye, anticlockwise for the other and then the frames are alternated on screen at terrific speed to fool your brain into thinking the images are not alternating but simultaneous. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the extended dvd so that I can study the making of... One of my favourite things about film is getting behind the scenes. Ooooo how do they do that? How did they make that water so - wet?

I was glad to hear the name Jill Pole mentioned right at the end of the film - it held out hope that I will indeed be going back to Narnia even is Edmund and Lucy will not. Can't wait.

"Once a King or Queen in Narnia, Always a King or Queen."

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Treading the Boards

 Found this old photograph circa 1979 of me in the Glyn Derw High School Pantomime playing the swash-buckling tenor (more baritone really) with two other members of staff, Pat Cadwallader on the right and I think the one in the middle was called Liz but I'm probably completely wrong. This was my first teaching post (I taught only French in that school) and my first year in Cardiff, out on my own. I was 25.

Think I rather suited the theatrical mustache.

Not sure why this is in monochrome... Ah, the good old days ;)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Watch the Birdie

Oh I haven't been in Static Movement for a few months but I'm back with a right good December love story Date that I hope you'll like and I have a couple of poems coming up in BwS so look out for those too.

There's been plenty of static movement here - we;; more stuck than static ;) We're snowy here. Over a week of snow and drifts of two feet but we've had some nice visitors too

and though you can't always catch them

it's worth having  go

Even if they don't seem pally