Author Archive

Reading Across the Great Genre Spectrum: A Cheat Sheet for Transliterary Consumption

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
When I teach creative writing at the college level, one of the tasks I always assign early on in the semester is to have my students pick out a short work outside (preferably diametrically opposed to) the student’s preferred genre, read it, and offer a brief informal presentation of
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Six Books to Light the Way Through the Darkest Night(s) of Your Soul

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  John Gardner once wrote, “If there is good to be said, the writer should say it. If there is bad to be said, he should say it in a way that reflects the truth that, though we see the evil, we choose to continue among the living.” While
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Reading as Intoxicant, Part II: Ten Books That Are Basically Drugs

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Don’t do drugs, kids; read books instead. More often than not, they inspire the same chemical rush with less brain trauma. Herein is a list of ten books with intoxicating, stimulatory, or hallucinatory qualities for the literarily psychotropically-inclined. Though no doubt many deserving books would be right at home
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Reading as Intoxicant, Part I: Neurochemical Qualities of the Modern Manic Page Peeler

Richard Wright once wrote that reading is like a drug. Countless other authors have written some variation of that same assertion. If you’ve ever found yourself crushed in a corner weeping like a crazy person because the end of your latest literary fixation was fast coming to a close,
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My Literary Zombie Apocalypse Dream Team

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It’s a discussion as old as time itself: in the event of a zombie apocalypse, with whom would you hope to be stranded? I know I’ve given this a lot of thought (I am, after all, a very serious and presently unemployed intellectual with way too much time on
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Interactivity and the Game-ification of Books

As an undergrad studying creative writing one of the first things I remember learning was the sin of gimmickry. Readers, I was taught, would see through your cleverness—it would be vile to them and they would hate you. But as a kid and teenager my favorite books employed some
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Five Speculative Tales Still Relevant Today (And What They Can Teach Us)

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Seven-Word Summary: Women enslaved by tyrannical dicks with dicks. Excerpt: “Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it really isn’t about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death.
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Stories You Can Touch

Author: | Categories: Publishing, Reading, Writing No comments
Who doesn’t love to get mail? These days, it turns out there are a number of membership services that capitalize on that very simple human quirk, curating colorfully themed packages and sending subscribers a monthly surprise in the mail (not email, snail mail—you know, that ancient form of correspondence
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Five Literary Games

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Roger Ebert once wrote that video games could never be art, which later he would go on to clarify that what he actually meant was video games could never claim the status of “high art,” like that of, oh, say, cinema? While I would obviously refute this sentiment as
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The Virtue of Stillness

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series, Writing No comments
The lesson I look forward to most in the creative writing for new media class I teach at the University of Iowa involves me giving an unconventional lecture as a series of texts (complete with abbreviations, typos, and emoticons) projected on an overhead while I forbid speaking of any
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