The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis

Book cover for The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis

I sometimes wonder if people understand irony. Alanis Morissette wrote a song called “Ironic” in which all of the situations she describes aren’t really ironic. They’re bad timing, bad planning, or just plain bad luck. But irony they ain’t. Francie Driscoll understands irony, though. She’s in Roswell (yes, that Roswell) to save her friend Serena from …read more…

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway bookcover

The “kids at boarding school” trope is not one that the Harry Potter books invented, although they did revitalize it for another generation or two of young readers. As such, most of these stories involve a new resident, for whom the school serves as a type of liminal space. I’ve always enjoyed these types of …read more…

Multicultural Literature Wiki

Group of friends smiling

In what seems like a century ago, I went back to school to get my English degree. My goal was to teach English, which I actually did for a while. I don’t teach any more, largely because the education ecosystem here in Michigan has become increasingly toxic. This is largely due to statewide policies that …read more…

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling

Stones by water

I found this on Reddit. I’m not sure if the story about Pixar is true, but it’s good storytelling advice, for the most part. Of course, if you need an entire book about good writing advice, I recommend Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story:

Tips for Writing Good Dialogue

Writing good dialogue is not art. It’s craft, which means that you can get better at it. Here are some tips. Listen to how people talk in real life. Hang out in a coffee shop or a bar and listen to how people talk. (As a writer, you get to call this research.) Often, we think …read more…

About the Lit Project

As anyone knows, the cost of college textbooks is sky-high. One of the advantages of being an English major, however, is that you are studying novels and plays that are available relatively inexpensively in paperback. Quite often you can get them used in the college bookstore for slightly under the price of new, or you can …read more…

Currently Reading (2016.06.08) — We Should All Be Feminists

So much of what she says about gender is also true of race. A very accessible introduction to modern feminism.

Published on 8 June 2016 at 08:19

Currently Reading (2016.06.04)

Kindred by Octavia Butler.

This book is beautiful and powerful almost beyond my ability to describe it. Definitely one of those “where has this been all my life?” books.

Published on 4 June 2016 at 09:06

Harper Lee’s Sense of Place

With all the excitement about the release of Go Set a Watchman I started thinking about To Kill a Mockingbird and what a magical experience it is. I first read the book when I was 11 or 12 years old; it’s one of those books I tend to pick up and reread every now and …read more…

The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher

In the not too distant future, Earth has been taken over by aliens (later identified as “Masters”) who travel about in large metal tripods. To control the populace, all humans are “capped” on their fourteenth birthday: their head is shaved and a metallic cap is applied to their head. The cap suppresses curiosity and creativity, …read more…

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