Who is Calliope?

Calliope, the eldest and most distinguished of the nine Muses, is the Muse of eloquence and epic or heroic poetry. She is always seen with a writing tablet in her hand, and is sometimes depicted as carrying a roll of paper or a book, or as wearing a gold crown.

A calliope is also a musical instrument that produces sound by sending a gas, originally steam, through large whistles (think merry-go-rounds with steam organs). A calliope is typically very loud; even some small calliopes are audible for miles around.

Who is Carolyn?

Carolyn, the second eldest and only slightly distinguished of the six Hill offspring, is constantly thinking about writing eloquent, epic or heroic prose. She is always seen with a glass of red wine in her hand, and is sometimes depicted as carrying a book or a diary, or as wearing a tight red dress.

A carolyn is also an instrument that produces sound, through large nostrils (think merry-go-rounds with snoring organs), that keeps her husband awake at night. A carolyn is typically very loud; even when sober, small carolyns are audible for miles around.

What to expect from the writings of Calliope:

The UK’s Daily Telegraph runs a ‘Mini-Saga Competition’, devised and edited by Brian Aldiss. The rules of the competition decree that contributors write a 50-word (no more, no less) saga that tell a complete story … although the number of words in the title does not count.

Although this Calliope may not write epic poetry, she will try to precede every submission with a 50-word-essay that ‘goes to the heart of the matter.’ (I should add that this idea has the blessing – and ‘I won’t sue you for copyright’ – of Brian Aldiss himself; thanks, Brian!)

So, having set myself this challenge, I hope you will enjoy the writings of Calliope/Carolyn.

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