Monthly Archives: August 2015

Romance (and Prejudice)

One of the tips that Bob Mayer gave at Write on the River when I attended was to join your local chapter of the Romance Writers of America, no matter what your genre.

Well.

Well.

Can I just tell you a little bit about how English Majors like myself are taught to think about romance novels???

darcy
No, see, Austen doesn’t count. Because she’s different. Because we SAID SO, okay?!?!?!

Continue reading Romance (and Prejudice)

The Notebook*

*No, not that Nicholas Sparks novel. Or the movie version.

When I attended Bob Mayer’s Write on the River last spring, I took a lot of notes. In a notebook that I had grabbed at random on the way out of my classroom. Because I was driving from school to Tennessee while seven months pregnant. Because I am a genius.

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Me, appx. 12 hours before I drove to Tennessee and learned that 5.5 hours is too long to drive in one stretch if you are seven months pregnant.

Anyway, if you’re impressed by how ill-prepared I was then (at least I remembered clothes? I did forget a toothbrush, but Bob gave me one.), guess what happened next? Continue reading The Notebook*

She Hath a Lovely Face: Characterization & Beauty

We’re reading The Picture of Dorian Gray in Novels this semester, and since we’ve been reading about how well Basil captures Dorian’s essence in his portrait, our first creative project is to annotate selfies (or photos of ourselves, for the student who says he refuses to ever take a selfie on moral grounds) to show what our appearances reveal about our true natures*.The Selfie Picture of Ms. Larkin

Portrait of the Artist as a Young (Wo)man – click to see larger!

One of the things that was mentioned in multiple MWW workshops this year was the idea that–to the dismay of Victorians–phrenology has been disproven; that is, there are much more important things about your character than details of appearance. At her MWW one-day intensive session, The Writer’s Survival Kit, Martha Brockenbrough begged us, “Please don’t start with your protagonist waking up in bed and catching sight of herself in the mirror. Isn’t there a whole lot of stuff that’s more important to know about your character than that she has green eyes?”  Continue reading She Hath a Lovely Face: Characterization & Beauty

Writing Dates

So, I am the sort of person who works best when others are around, even if I’m not talking to them. When left unsupervised, I have a tendency to procrastinate horribly unless I’m going to have to perform shortly with a hard deadline (this is why teaching works well for me–with literal bells ringing to tell me what to do next–and writing novels is a struggle, even though I really enjoy writing!).

termpaper#the struggle is real

So, to this end, I’ve set up a weekly “writing date” with a long-distance friend. Continue reading Writing Dates