Hatfields & McCoys (and play-pretties)

(UPDATE — 8-31-2014: I mentioned while writing this series of posts that I was revising my Civil War novel at the time and was watching this miniseries for atmosphere. That novel I was revising is Hagridden, and it’s out now from Columbus Press. If you like this miniseries, you might like that novel. Click here for moreContinue reading “Hatfields & McCoys (and play-pretties)”

An animated history of the English language

A friend of mine shared this video on Facebook earlier today, and it’s just so fantastically succinct and hilarious I had to post it here. It’s “The History of English in Ten Minutes”: My friend found it on a blog post at Milk And Cookies, but it’s pretty widely available. What’s particularly genius about thisContinue reading “An animated history of the English language”

How to win the Nobel Prize (by eating a puppy)

A couple of weeks ago, the Nobel committee in Stockholm announced that Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer had won this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Congrats, Tomas Transtromer! But apparently I’m in the minority over here in the US, because Americans in general have been booing the Nobel Prize for a few years now, ever since Horace Engdahl, theContinue reading “How to win the Nobel Prize (by eating a puppy)”

PCA/ACA update, days 1 and 2

These have been some packed days. And for some reason, everyone is sending me to comics panels (no pun intended)! Not that there’s anything wrong with that — I love comics. But it’s starting to feel weird because today I attended a library panel (on defining the role of librarians through popular representations) and woundContinue reading “PCA/ACA update, days 1 and 2”

PCA/ACA: It begins

Today, the 2011 conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association begins. In just a few hours, I’ll be attending my first panel, and as the conference carries on over the next few days, I’ll be posting updates of the panels I’ve attended and the things I’m learning. To which end: the poll results (howeverContinue reading “PCA/ACA: It begins”

A Writer’s Notebook: “mentor texts”

I think I might accidentally have started a new novel. It doesn’t look like much in this exercise, I admit, but believe me, it’s frighteningly large inside my brain. I don’t have time for this right now, frankly, and I’m going to have to put this on hold for a while (I might save itContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: “mentor texts””

Student revenge: assign a teacher homework!

This April, when I return to the States and visit my family in Texas, I also am going to attend the huge conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, held this year in San Antonio. I’m reading fiction there, and I’m planning to reconnect with a bunch of scholars and colleagues I used toContinue reading “Student revenge: assign a teacher homework!”

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””

Don’t shush! Make some noise in the library!

I know this has been making the rounds, but after my font-nerd post back in March and my research post on marrying a librarian, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t post this outstanding video of librarians doing a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”  Sure, the production values aren’t quite as professional-looking as the font-nerdContinue reading “Don’t shush! Make some noise in the library!”