Hello everyone! Today I am super excited to welcome back the amazing J.L. Merrow to the blog. J.L. is here to talk to us more about her newest release, Slam! (which I am reviewing here later this morning). Plus she has brought a great giveaway for one lucky winner on her tour. Please join me in giving J.L. a big welcome!
I have to confess, one of the reasons I wrote Slam! was to indulge my love of cheesy limericks. My hero, Jude, has a penchant for off-the-cuff limericks in addition for his more serious (and I use the term loosely) poetry.
Ah, limericks. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
No, wait. That’s a sonnet. So how do we define a limerick?
Well, if you’re me, you go by the definition you learned at school, which is that a limerick has five lines with an AABBA rhyming structure and, crucially, you can sing it to the tune they taught me, which is similar, although not identical, to the one in this instructional video:
The bit about singing it is important because it tells you immediately if you’ve got the rhythm right. Also, whether you were quite as alone in the house as you’d thought…
Of course, one thing they forgot to mention at school is that limericks are frequently smutty:
The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical – Anon.
So what makes a good limerick? Well, actually, it seems there’s a certain similarity to sonnets. A sonnet usually has a “turn”, or a twist in its tail, that takes you from one mood to another just at the end of the poem. A good limerick will, in my opinion, have a punchline (Edward Lear, it must be said, begged to differ on this point: his last lines were frequently almost exactly the same as the first lines. Some of us might consider that cheating *g*).
Here’s a couple of limericks I prepared earlier:
When Willoughby wanted a pet
He said, “What on Earth shall I get?
For I’d have to concur:
I’m allergic to fur –
But I’m desperate to shag the new vet.”
There was a young fellow called Lance
Who round a tall “maypole” would dance
His lover would moan
And say with a groan
“Just get on and suck it, you nance!”
One of my favourite limericks is a rule-subverting one by that prolific writer, Anon:
There was a young man of Japan
Whose limericks never would scan.
When asked why this was,
He replied “It’s because
I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as ever I possibly can.”
Do you have a favourite limerick you’d like to share? Or one you’ve penned yourself?
Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it—mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan café, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.
Then there’s “Karate Crumpet,” a man who regularly runs past the café with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name—David—but that he’s gay.
Jude should have known the universe wouldn’t simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there’s Jude’s mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.
With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David’s lives will ever start to rhyme.
Warnings: contains a tangled web of little white lies, a smorgasbord of cheesy limericks, a violin called Vanessa, some boots that mean business, and the most adorable little dog ever. Poetry, it’s not…
Samhain | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
I’m offering a free signed paperback copy of Hard Tail (I’m happy to ship internationally) to a randomly chosen commenter on the Slam! blog tour, plus I’ll write the winner a limerick on a subject of their choosing!
I’ll be making the draw around teatime on Wednesday 17th April, GMT. Good luck! 😀
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour.
She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com