Bad Writing

Point me to the advance ticket sales, please! Dan Chaon posted this on his Facebook page, which is where I found it.  Sounds like a fantastic (and potentially depressing) jaunt into cold, blinding reality.  A bit like “the Bulwer-Lytton contest meets 90% of all graduate writing workshops.”  Which is exactly how I’d have pitched this.Continue reading “Bad Writing”

Nancy Drew short story contest

I am proud to say that I am a HUGE fan of Her Interactive‘s Nancy Drew video game series.  (I’m slightly less proud to admit that I actually dreamed about the games last night–seriously.)  I confess I’ve never read any of the traditional books, though I have read the first half dozen or so ofContinue reading “Nancy Drew short story contest”

“Humanities in higher education is under attack.”

Pursuant to last Thursday’s post about Peter Thiel’s plan to destroy higher education, I offer this:  simultaneously the funniest and the most depressing commentary on academia I’ve seen in ages. Xtranormal | Text-to-Movie So you Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities , posted with vodpod This video might, in fact, look familiar, becauseContinue reading ““Humanities in higher education is under attack.””

Peter Thiel couldn’t pay me enough to quit education

Today I read a Slate article about how billionaire and college drop-out Peter Thiel wants to pay students $100,000 to drop out of college themselves. Supportive blogs and sites like GOOD claim he’s not asking kids to drop out but to “stop out” (whatever that means) because, as Thiel and like-minded moguls believe, education stiflesContinue reading “Peter Thiel couldn’t pay me enough to quit education”

15 Authors (and then some)

There’s a meme going around Facebook (and probably elsewhere) in which we are invited to name 15 influential authors in 15 minutes.  It reads like this: The Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen youContinue reading “15 Authors (and then some)”

Last lines

We writers pay a lot of attention to first lines. They’re supremely important — for the reader, they are the opening impression, the first glimpse not only at the story but also at the style of the story and even (dare I say it in this age of modern criticism) at the author. For theContinue reading “Last lines”

A Writer’s Notebook: “Casting a Wide Net”

This week, another exercise from Scott McCloud’s Making Comics. In this exercise, McCloud asks us to create a cast of characters that share one trait (from a list of traits–see below) but are different in at least four other ways. These academics are my four characters (in the order I wrote them). Sandra: 45, aContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: “Casting a Wide Net””

Still MORE writing and music

With all the posts I’ve been writing lately about the influence of music on writing, I simply have to share this recent discovery:  It’s a song-sharing site called Stereomood, but the idea is not simply to share songs.  (The site is a streaming site, not a download site, so I’m sharing this because it actsContinue reading “Still MORE writing and music”

Nerd Dance Party

For everyone who has ever done document layout, web design, or just procrastinatory formatting on their story that’s getting nowhere:  We love fonts.  Even if it’s bold italic. Thanks to my friend Darin Bradley and the gang over at Farrago’s F.M.I. for posting this back in December.  I might never have found it without them. Continue reading “Nerd Dance Party”