Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Salman Rushdie's New Website

Writer of The Satanic Verses and Fury: A Novel, Salman Rushdie is one of the world's most banned authors.

Photo by: Mariusz Kubik

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: Plague of Angels by John Patrick Kennedy

Plague of Angels by John Patrick Kennedy is a retelling of the Christ tale primarily from the perspective of the first fallen angel and Queen of Hell, Nyx. I was intrigued by the book's blurb and cover art (both of which led to my Kindle purchase), but the beginning of the book made me very uncomfortable.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Imagination Goes Awry (Says the Masses)

A couple of posts ago, I talked about using history to inspire the events in your storyWhile some people will find history's many facets as the perfect spring boards of creativity, some even going so far as to transpose their own versions of history or places over the primary world's version (here's to looking at you, Neil Gaiman), other writers prefer to construct their worlds using large amounts of fantasy and only small grains of truth.

Image obtained from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IMAGINATION_by_archanN.jpg

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wisecrack's ThugNotes Series

Sometimes students need things explained to them in words with which they are comfortable and familiar. A great supplementary resource for such students is Wisecrack's Youtube series ThugNotes.

I mentioned ThugNotes briefly in another post last week. Even though the language is . . . questionable . . . for use in the actual classroom, ThugNotes can be a great asset for students who struggle to understand basic comprehension or analyses of literature texts.

The host of the series is Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., a.k.a. actor/comedian Greg Edwards. What I especially like about the series is the way Sparky Sweets uses laymen, urban vernacular to explain complicated ideas in over fifty complex literary texts.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

History as a Source of Inspiration

Maybe you have heard the old writing adage "write what you know." Though still widely used in creative writing classes today, I say "old adage" because many writers, especially those whose primary genre is fantasy, balk at the idea of using only personal experiences as creative material.

While personal experience definitely has its place in the creation of a narrative (and no doubt such experiences naturally manifest in any type of writing), authors should not feel constrained to simply documenting their own limited sources of knowledge in a fictitious setting. As such, much and more can be said for the creative mind as a source of knowledge on its own.

Friday, March 20, 2015


As a teacher, I like to use my lunch break as a time to decompress from morning classes and mentally prepare myself for working with 6th period seniors in British Lit. This decompression and preparation often involves surfing the internet, listening to music (I am currently obsessed with Tove Lo), or grading, which I find to be very cathartic.

During my lunch break a couple of weeks ago, while trying to find a school-appropriate version of ThugNotes' Macbeth analysis, I found this awesome Youtube channel called CrashCourse.