Saturday, July 14, 2012

No one lives in this room without...

from The Dream of a Common Language, Adrienne Rich pg. 7

Everyone knows how much I love teaching. In addition to ENG 1101, this Fall I also get to teach a section of ENG 2208 (Introduction to Creative Writing). Four genres in only sixteen weeks?! I'm up for the challenge. I've even decided upon a class mantra (as seen above).


Saturday, June 16, 2012

...Welcome (light and bright air entered)

or Bloomsday 2012 (what is that?)

After teaching James Joyce's "Araby" this past semester, my respect for his work was rekindled. I reread a lot of his collection (Dubliners) just for the "fun" of it and even went back to read my favorite episode from Ulysses

Page from the manuscript of Ulysses (facsimile) (Source: Ulysses.html)
Note: I have not read all of Ulysses. I can only handle it in small spurts, and if you know Joyce's work -- you know what I mean. (There's a pun in there somewhere too.)

I happened upon the LiberateUlysses website and decided to help celebrate by tweeting sections from Penelope (the last episode of Ulysses, my aforementioned favorite). I expected to have 24 tweets (in honor of the 24 hours the novel covers), but only ended up with 16 text tweets (and one photo tweet).

Nevertheless, it was fun and inspirational. And after I put together my entire twitter feed, I came up with an interesting interpretation of Joyce's work. Read it for yourself:

"...there's nothing like a kiss long and hot down to your soul, almost paralyses you... ...I wish somebody would write me a love-letter, his wasn’t much and I told him he could write what he liked... ...I love flowers, I'd love to have the whole place swimming in roses... God of heaven, there's nothing like nature -- the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing...  I'll read and study all I can find or learn a bit off by he won't think me stupid... ...[W]hy can’t you kiss a man without going and marrying him first you sometimes love to wildly (when you feel that way)... ...I wonder is he awake thinking of me or dreaming (am I in it)...  ...[H]e said...the sun shines for you today, yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is... God after that long kiss I near lost my breath, yes he said was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers...  [T]hat would do your heart good: to see rivers and lakes and flowers--all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up...  ...O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea: the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees... ...I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls... ...I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another...  ...I asked him with my eyes to ask again, yes and then he asked me would I? [Y]es to say yes, my mountain flower...  ...I put my arms around him, yes, and drew him down to me...[Y]es and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

Of course, I added the punctuation because (famously) the entire section is missing punctuation except for the last sentence -- it does end with a period. 

I'm satisfied with my Joycean endeavors this day. Yes.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blast from the Past

the first page

While wandering around the Spring Book Sale (central library) I came across a book that made me squeal. To be fair, a lot of books make me squeal. Books in general make me squeal. I’m almost as excitable as “WEEEEEEEEEEEE! Pig” of Geico commercial fame when it comes to....

I don't need to finish this sentence, do I?

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary was originally published in 1983. It won the Newbery Medal in 1984. I'm old(er) and wise(r) than I was when I first read it, I can also tell you that it is an epistolary narrative (fancy).

Leigh Botts (a boy) begins writing his favorite author (Mr. Henshaw) in second grade. I can point out at least four reasons WHY I loved this book from the very first entry (letter):
  • a "typo" or licked instead of liked
  • a "misspelling" or freind instead of friend
  • and Leigh (my middle name)
  • a book about a dog? I mean HELLO!
By the end of the book Leigh is writing in a journal (as suggested by his author friend).

Adult Janet (yes! a third person reference) has had the opportunity to befriend a few author friends of her own (prior to finishing her BA or starting her MFA):

Laura Zigman (circa 2007) and Gwendolen Gross (circa 2008)

After that I was being instructed by writers and such. It's really a small world and we're all connected (yeah, I know--everyone says that, but it's true). I'm one degree of separation away from so many authors, SO MANY AUTHORS!

Now I have my very own USED (hardcover library book) copy of this book. It's the circle of (writing) life!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Reading List

(semi self imposed)

Collections/Story “Rings”:

1.      A Visit from the Goon Squad (Egan)
2.      Love Medicine (Erdrich)
3.      Bear Me Safely Over (Joseph)
4.      Ideas of Heaven (Silber)


5.      The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Bender)*
6.      The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)
7.      The Leftovers (Perrotta)

*Already Started

Fall Classes:

8.      The Left Hand of Darkness (Le Guin)
9.      The Dream of a Common Language /1974-1977 (Rich)
10.  Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose / Norton Critical Edition (Rich)


Thursday, May 10, 2012


From Etsy (click click)
I couldn't even follow my own "goals" or "plans" over the last five months. I do have the rest of the year to catch up, right? RIGHT?!

The last two weeks have been hectic enough (let alone the previous seventeen before that):

  • Finishing my second semester (my first year) of teaching!
  • Finishing my fourth semester (my second year) of my degree!
  • Chronologically turning another year older (wiser)!
  • Watching the class ahead of me graduate (on a lovely Friday night)!
  • Listening to my current (now Master of Fine Arts) roommate packing :(
  • Getting ready for my new roommate to move in :)

Look at all verbs up there. You'd think I was building some sort of resume or better yet, a c.v. (curriculum vitae). Actually, I've been doing that--building my c.v. Wanna see a publication?

Introducing "Revelation" (flash fiction) in current issue of The Medulla Review (3.2)!

I was also a finalist (with a different story) for publication in The Masters Review. What's strange about this accomplishment is the differing opinions I have since received about my story. So another revision is in the works...oy vey!

Twelve months until graduation...classes (including four classes I'll be teaching) alongside another issue of the Flannery O'Connor Review and Arts & Letters. OH! And my thesis, the next great American collection of short stories (or "ring of stories" or "novel in stories").

I hope to do a better job of documentation.



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