Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to be a great author: do your homework!

I've taken the requisite (and a few elective) English/writing classes and sought the best means of becoming a successful author (however you define it).  And guess what, there is no book or website or class or publisher that will turn you into a great writer in 3 easy steps (for only $99!).  The best authors are well read and practice their craft, persistently.  That's it, the secret to success: yes, hard work, patience, and perseverance, whether you are a writer, a musician, a baker, a doctor, whatever.  So get busy, whatever your passion!  For you aspiring writers out there, this week's assignment is 'The Fellowship of the Ring.'  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The writer's climb

I've been reading the 'Emily' books by L.M. Montgomery and am enjoying her portrayal of the aspiring author's struggle and climb to 'greatness' (however one defines it for themselves); it is nice to see an honest description of the trials, frustrations, despair, and triumphs of trying to reach any goal, a nice change from the 'just do it' and 'chase your dreams' rhetoric of the modern West.  Dreams take time, work, and luck to become realized and some of them never come to fruition and sometimes what we think we want most isn't all that great when we actually achieve it.  A lovely exploration of what it means to be an aspiring creative genius and also a glimpse at the struggles of a woman choosing ambition over love, very timely for the modern woman though it was written nearly a century ago!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This week in literature

This week's reading assignment is 'The Blue Castle' by L.M. Montgomery of 'Anne of Green Gables' fame.  It is a rather obscure book, but in some ways I actually prefer it to the 'Anne' books (sacrilege, I know!) but you'll have to read it to judge for yourself.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Behind the scenes of a classic

Usually your weekly reading assignment is to read something, but in very rare cases, I will allow you to watch the movie, in this case there isn't a book, but with the 5 hour 'Pride and Prejudice' with Collin Firth or 'Much Ado About Nothing,' they are faithful enough to the book/play that you can swap one for the other.  I have not yet seen it, but 'To Walk Invisible' looks like a great movie based on the lives of the Bronte sisters.  If you are a 'Jane Eyre' fan, I think it will be a very interesting peek into the life of the author.  Find the article here.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Your reading assignment this week is Jane Eyre (once considered something of a radical feminist novel).  Remember, this is 23.7% of your grade!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

All the news from Bree?

There might be news from Bree, but certainly not from Astoria, so go read something Tolkienish.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017