Patrons, series 2: a lineage of writing and teaching

It has been simply ages since I last wrote about the spiritual and temporal guides to my career, my “Patrons of writing and teaching” series. It’s not for lack of content (in addition to this post, I have several others in my pocket for later), but I got quite sidetracked by the writing itself, whichContinue reading “Patrons, series 2: a lineage of writing and teaching”

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”

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)”

Patrons of writing and teaching: My grandfather, Ted Snoek

Ordinarily, I reserve the “patrons” entries for divine and/or fictional influences on my writing and teaching. But today I want to write about a real, living person, because today is my grandfather’s 90th birthday. My grandfather, Ted Snoek, has had a profound influence on my professional life. His father died fairly young, when my grandfatherContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: My grandfather, Ted Snoek”

Patrons of writing and teaching: Winnie-the-Pooh

I haven’t done a Patron of Writing in a while now, and with all the hard writing work I have ahead of me this week, I figured it was time to bring out Pooh-Bear. I’ve loved Winnie-the-Pooh since I was an infant (I still have my Pooh-Bear, faded and misshapen after all these years; myContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Winnie-the-Pooh”

Patrons of writing and teaching: Saraswati/Benzaiten

Saraswati is an interesting woman. As an expression of female creative energy in Hinduism, she carries a lot of power, said to act as the goddess of music and poetry, the visual arts, literature, and knowledge. All knowledge. There are varying accounts of her origins — some say she was the daughter of Brahma and Durga,Continue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Saraswati/Benzaiten”

Patrons of writing and teaching: The Muses

As I reviewed my list of writing patrons today, I realized that most of my patrons are women.  I don’t know why this is, or what this might mean for my writing.  A few years ago a friend pointed out The Gender Genie, an online gender analysis tool for prose–just paste in a chunk ofContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: The Muses”

Patrons of writing and teaching: St. Francis de Sales and St. John the Apostle

I’ve been writing off and on about my “patrons of writing,” but I feel I need to acknowledge that, for me, the term I chose comes from Christianity, specifically Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and the Christian notion of “patron saints.” So I figure it’s about time I mention a couple of my Christian patrons. According toContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: St. Francis de Sales and St. John the Apostle”

Patrons of writing and teaching: Anansi

Since February is Black History month in the US, I thought I’d write about another of my writing patrons, Anansi the Spider, King of Stories.  I first learned of Anansi from my college friend Moses Elango, who is from Cameroon, but many people encounter Anansi long before their college years: Anansi is a common figureContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Anansi”

Patrons of writing and teaching: Thoth

Among the many, many files on my computer, I have a collection of seemingly frivolous notes and scribbles related to writing, which I insist are vital to what I do and will someday, surely, come in handy.  Mostly, I’m wrong.  But every now and then, as I’m cleaning out my files and tossing the listsContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Thoth”