owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
A tiny book I found almost by chance in the university library while searching for books on evaluating student writing.

I like Carol Bly even when I don't agree with her -- which is fairly often -- so I was curious about what she had against workshopping student fiction. Well, it's this:

If a student is workshopping a manuscript with a deeply felt idea or emotion, but that idea or emotion isn't coming through effectively yet, workshoppers will tend to focus on issues of technique, and this will feel, to the writer, like an invalidation -- even in a small way -- of the deeply felt thing at the center of the story. When you reveal a deeply felt thing and it gets ignored, you feel shame. You feel like it was wrong (too personal, too intimate) to say what you said. And the result is that, as a writer, you get subtly dissuaded from writing anything genuine or passionate; you focus on technique when you should be going deeper into the heart of the story.

(Also, workshops are a way of passing the workload in a creative writing class from professors to students.)

It's an interesting thesis and I can't help but thinking about it in connection with fanfiction; I certainly can't characterize fanfic communities as supportive utopias, but I think that on the whole they do tend to validate the hot squishy stuff at the center of the story. And I think that great fanfic is indeed hotter squishier more intense and passionate than even most very good profic. (I mean, that's also because restraint is explicitly valued in literary fiction...)

The class that I'm in currently actually is explicitly constructed with the aim of recognizing and validating the thematic and emotional content in the piece before we talk about anything technical -- I wonder whether my prof has read Carol Bly or if it's something he got elsewhere -- and at the start of the semester I actually thought it was going to be too nice-at-the-expense-of-honest. But I was wrong. "I can tell you everything that's wrong with your story" doesn't get a person much closer to being a good writer, especially if we want to admit that a BIG PART of being a good writer is being open and vulnerable with your emotions on the page.

(Which doesn't mean writing autobiographically, or melodramatically, or sentimentally. It DOES mean that the most important stuff in your toolbox as a writer is the stuff that is personal to your own mind and your own heart.)


Sep. 28th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"The Trumpists went on live TV
 To warn us of catastrophe--
 A future we would surely see
 If Trump is not elected
 Where every corner, if we looked,
 Some taco meat was being cooked
 And just one bite, and we'd be hooked--
 It's tasty as expected!
 They warned us of the taco trucks;
 We gave precisely zero fucks.
  -- Cuttlefish, "They Warned Us Of The Taco Trucks", 2016-09-03

"When taco trucks join hot dog carts
 To please our stomachs and our hearts
 The nation grows, by fits and starts--
 Variety is spice!"

  -- ibidem


Sep. 27th, 2016 07:20 am
supergee: (meditating dog)
[personal profile] supergee
Today’s cheering thought is that while many progressives are wondering if they should stoop to voting for a mere liberal like Hillary Clinton, the other side has similar issues. A number of conservative Christians have noticed that her opponent is “a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs.” I would strongly encourage them not to endanger their immortal souls by voting for such a man.


Sep. 27th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered." -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

What this isn't and is

Sep. 26th, 2016 09:14 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It's not a game.
It's not a popularity contest.
It's not about whose clothes look better, or whether his wife's tailored-to-her-body dress is more fashionable than her classic pantsuit. The skin-tight dress is meant to distract you from what is going on.
It's not about unproven slanders, but about proven lies.

It's about truth, knowledge of how things get done, skill and experience to do them well.
It's about relationships among states at home and among other countries we deal with.
It's about peacebuilding, not warmaking.
It's about who has the experience to govern wisely, to follow the Constition in all that is done, to expand liberties to those who are treated unequally when the law requires equal treatment.
It's about getting bills passed in Congress, not shoved in a corner so nothing is done.
It's about repaving roads, rebuilding bridges, repairing infrastructure left undone while the Republican party in power did nothing.
It's about caring enough for the American population to provide health care and compassionate leave and family leave for all Americans -- something that is ordinary in other developed countries.
It's about preserving public lands as public lands, not exploting them for money or selling sacred sites to foreign exploiters.
It's about filling all the federal judicial seats that are empty -- more than 90 at last count -- so that the courts can deal more quickly and equitably with the heavy case loads.
It's about having someone in office who will nominate Supreme Court Justices who will preserve our rights and rule fairly with a thought to the future -- which means this election is about the next 30+ years.
It's about Americans being able to tell the difference between truth and lies, between the real thing and the flash trash.
It's about keeping companies from moving overseas or out of the country, keeping jobs here, keeping industries here. It's about renewing the unions, which protect the rights of workers.

It's about our lives. Nothing less. Our lives, our fortunes (and the lack of them) and our sacred honor.

Think about it.

Rude as a Pundit

Sep. 26th, 2016 09:14 am
supergee: (carrion)
[personal profile] supergee
The Times has an op-ed saying that introverts who don’t want to go to a lot of social events are really being rude. Reminds me of MRAs complaining about those sluts who won’t lay them.


Sep. 26th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"I respect everyone's right to have an opinion. That doesn't mean I respect everyone's opinion, nor should I." -- Lauren Rankin, 2016-09-11


Sep. 25th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We don't accomplish anything in the world alone and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that create something." -- Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930-03-26; Supreme Court justice 1981-09-25 to 2006-01-31)

Recovering libertarian

Sep. 24th, 2016 07:03 am
supergee: (coy1)
[personal profile] supergee
In the 70s I was a libertarian (or perhaps just a fellow traveler; they never gave me a card to carry). The reason I’m not anymore is that we won. When I joined, people were going to jail for using the f-word in books or onstage; abortion and nonstandard but consensual sex were illegal almost everywhere; marijuana was legally indistinguishable from heroin; the state could arbitrarily refuse marriage to couples just because they both had the same sort of bits; the cops were in the men's rooms peeping or entrapping; etc.

OK, so there’s still work to be done. Total drug decriminalization is still in the future, as is minding our own business in Asia, but what we’re mostly left with is the bad parts. Privatizing the prisons was sort of a reductio ad absurdum of the horrors government was protecting us from, but our unlibertarian government is doing it and it’s at least as bad as was imagined. In the not entirely dissimilar area of schooling, private enterprise turns out to be even worse than the state, and the First World is right that medical care has to be socialized. In general, the Market is no better as a deity that will run everything right than the Dialectic or the violent prepuce collector who is supposed to have dictated all those rules in Leviticus.

Also in the Seventies, most of us had a good laugh when Secretary of the Interior James Watt said that his post didn’t require long-term policies because Armageddon would take care of all that. Gary Johnson has a longer-range secular approach: Wait for the Sun to swallow us.

Thanx to Charles P. Pierce.

Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’

Sep. 24th, 2016 06:31 am
supergee: (cazzo)
[personal profile] supergee
Ted Cruz has decided that the best way for him to pick up the pieces after the Trump disaster and be the Republican nominee in 2020 is to endorse the disaster now. Unfortunately for him, he is still Ted Cruz, and enough people will notice. For instance, just as his nonendorsement at the convention was nothing more than urging people to vote their consciences (which was enough to get the deplorables booing), so his current endorsement is a passive-aggressive whine to the effect that “I promised that I would endorse the Party’s candidate even if they chose something you would be careful not to step in, so I am endorsing the candidate.”


Sep. 24th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"if I ever get killed in some way that gets covered in a news source, I fully expect all of you to say, 'Well, she was actually a bit of a bitch, and really, it's only a surprise that her death wasn't in a bar fight, or in combat with alien invaders.' Even though only the first part of that is true, I really hope that given the chance to memorialize me to the media, you'll take full advantage of that." -- Stephanie Clarkson, (b. 1971-12-15, d. 2016-07-19) 2012-12-29

"[...] while I was giving out coffee [to people waiting in line to vote in 2012] I was trying to be very non-partisan; I would say neutral things about just thanking people for voting, regardless. One person asked me who I supported, though, and I looked down at the coffee and said, 'Well, I took my personal supplies, and spent an hour and a half brewing coffee, and then I took public transit, and came down here to redistribute my wealth to the public because I thought it might help you. So I bet you can figure out who I *don't* support.'" -- Stephanie Clarkson, (as [info] thespian), 2012-11-06

And a quotation I've already used before but fits too well here today to leave out:

"I don't *feel* eclectic, but then, the brain you're living in always feels normal to you." -- Stephanie Clarkson, ( [info] thespian), 2004-01-31

The Crowley Tour

Sep. 23rd, 2016 06:21 am
supergee: (tree of life)
[personal profile] supergee
Aleister Crowley didn’t even need press agents to become known as the Wickedest Man in the World. Now there’s a tour of six dark places where he did his thing.

Thanx to Follow Me Here

“Experts Say”

Sep. 23rd, 2016 05:52 am
supergee: (keystone)
[personal profile] supergee
Professor Timothy Burke on a NY Times whitewash of the police not giving first aid to the Blacks they shoot.


Sep. 23rd, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"The great challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism after you lose your innocence." -- Bruce Springsteen (b. 1949-09-23)

Riggs/Murtaugh redux

Sep. 22nd, 2016 02:40 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
There are a few things different about the new tv version of Lethal Weapon, and they're all improvements.

1. Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford feel closer in age than Danny Glover and Mel Gibson ever seemed to be. Danny always felt like he was sort of Mel's inefficient father, trying to keep him in line. That generational vibe is totally gone here.

2. Clayne Crawford's Martin Riggs is hurting bad, mourning his wife, and yes he's crazy -- but he is not Mel's Johnny One-Note in terms of characterization. There were more layers to this guy in the pilot than in the first three Lethal Weapons movies. This can only be good.

3. The cops around them feel real, like guys working for a living who hope to have a good dinner when they get home, and not like movie stars or some kind of elite swat goons.

4. The bromance vibe is working.

I think I'm putting this on my Hulu list.

Second thoughts

Sep. 22nd, 2016 07:14 am
supergee: (reclining)
[personal profile] supergee
A grossly indecent man named Alan Turing did more to win WWII for the Allies than most of the generals, and a grateful nation hounded him to death for his sexual orientation. Since then, they had a national rush of brains to the head and retroactively pardoned him (something I don’t know if the United States would be capable of). Now they’re thinking of doing the same for all those convicted for victimless gay sex. Good for them.

Thanx to [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker


Sep. 22nd, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale." -- Lauren DeStefano

[To my friends who celebrate it, blessed Mabon! For folks who merely mark the equinox or celebrate it in other ways, happy equinox! (10:21 EDT / 14:21 UTC for folks who want to mark the minute the the equator aligns with the sun.)]

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 21st, 2016 08:30 pm
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)
[personal profile] chomiji

I have finished Hidden Figures. It was interesting and I am glad to have read it, but I wasn't enthralled. I realize that one of the factors in that was the lack of images. Most histories of recent times have photos and so on. This had absolutely none. I'm puzzled. NASA could have supplied a number of them, because you can find them online (examples here and here).

Next, I should start the book I just got in preparation for the Days of Awe: This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transfiguration, by Alan Lew (1944–2009). The author was a rabbi who was also an adherent of Buddhist thought: he's been called the "Zen rabbi."

However, I am sure that instead, I will start with volumes 2 and 3 of A Silent Voice, the manga I started last week.

The stagecoach that robs you

Sep. 21st, 2016 06:19 am
supergee: (vampire squid)
[personal profile] supergee
Wells Fargo Bank employees were caught making up over a million fake accounts. Top management was shocked, shocked at this behavior and has no idea how it could have happened (spoiler: they fire people who don’t churn up enough business). A Senate committee is looking into it and has achieved rare unanimity; even Diaper Dave Vitter and Pat “Sock It” Toomey noticed something was wrong. Senator Professor Warren is of course doing the best job on it. Charles Pierce reports.

Without a license

Sep. 21st, 2016 05:44 am
supergee: (neuro)
[personal profile] supergee
Why we shouldn’t say, “Everyone is a little autistic.” I think it’s useful to avoid the terms shrinks have laid claim to. For instance, if I were to call Donald Trump a narcissist, there would be complaints that I am diagnosing a condition though I lack the credentials to do so. Therefore, I take the same evidence and call him a prick.


Sep. 21st, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you've been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are." -- H.G. Wells (b. 1866-09-21, d. 1946-08-13)

twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on Starz, so I am intermittently watching and rewatching it whenever it shows up. And it rewards rewatching, because so much of the emotion is in facial microexpressions that you don't have time to notice the first time because you're looking at everything.

yes, I am not feeling perfect and no I won't talk about it )


Sep. 20th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Peace is a matter of education more largely than of legislation ; although the latter is necessary. [...]

"The writers of war histories keep up this race and sectional prejudice by writing each from his own party standpoint. They suppress many facts, and belittle the strength, courage and magnanimity of their opponents, and too often color and magnify the usually very insignificant cause of the war itself. [...]"

"But we do not stop by putting these highly colored and erroneous histories into our libraries for the edification and instruction of mature readers. They are too often condensed into school books for the instruction of the young, who imbibe the hatreds and prejudices of ourselves and of our ancestors. We have ten statues to the soldier where we have one to the philanthropist.

"A recital of their wars constitutes the largest portion of the history of Christian nations ; while the strides that they have made in commerce, in manufactures, and the arts, constitute the least.

"The love of home and country are undoubtedly meritorious attributes, and self-sacrifice for country has always been held in high esteem, but it is but another form of self-love, and it is quite possible to make this love not only excessive, but unjust. There is another and a higher love — the great love of humanity, of peace, of justice and equality — that should be taught to our youth as well. To die for one's country has been usually con- sidered the highest order of patriotism ; but to live for one's country is something higher."

-- Belva Ann Lockwood (b. 1830-10-24, d. 1917-05-19; National Equal Rights Party candidate for President of the US in 1884 and 1888) address to the National Council of Women, 1895-02-28 ( text, scan)


Sep. 19th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"It's #20effing16. Racism isn't going to die out by itself, and especially not if you keep providing it safe harbor. So yes, the safe space I create around me is not for you. We'll probably calm down if you let us protest quietly and peacefully instead of making it clear that there's *no* form of protest that you will allow, if it comes to your attention. Only ineffectual, ignorable protest is good enough. We got that." -- Kat Tanaka Okopnik, 2016-09-06

[syndicated profile] project_censored_feed

Posted by admin

October 1 & 2, 2016 Sonoma State University Student Union Building Ballroom B Admission: Free Website: http://www.wholeworldjustice.org/program/ Sponsors: SSU School of Social Science, Sociology Department, Sociology Social Justice and Activism Club, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored This conference offers a critical evaluation of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution after fifty years. The presenters bring their own direct experience […]

The post Chinese Cultural Revolution: After Fifty Years: The Significance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution appeared first on Project Censored.

a gift from a dream.

Sep. 18th, 2016 03:36 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I dreamed, night before last, of the tall mist-shrouded towers of Corelia, and a wet boy hiding in an alley. And this story told itself to me, so I share it with you.

The Towers of Corelia, Star Wars AU, (very AU), gen, at AO3.


Sep. 18th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-09-13:

"I have had the privilege to live in France with my family for more than six years. The days of beans and rice are far behind. Yet the scars of Guantanamo are never far from view. I wonder, at times, whether I will ever be free of the sense of pain and loss I feel. I also wonder what scars burden the soldiers who were ordered to mistreat us, now that they know it was in error, and I hope they are cared for and given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes. I am struck by the angry political rhetoric that continues to surround Guantanamo in the United States, and I truly hope that America, like me, will someday have the chance to put Guantanamo into its past and to resume a constructive existence." -- Lakhdar Boumediene, an Algerian who was held for over seven years at an American prison camp in Guantanamo. He was released when a review showed there had been no credible evidence of any wrongdoing on his part. Quoted in Astro Noise: A Survival Guide.

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

Camp pain

Sep. 17th, 2016 07:13 am
supergee: (trump)
[personal profile] supergee
Hillary Clinton is a “freakishly unpopular front-runner”, perhaps because she can utter a declarative sentence without apologizing three times, even though she is female. Fortunately, she is running against Donald Deplorable, with cameo appearances by Gary’s Johnson (who is not sure what Aleppo is) and Dr. Feelbad (who won’t know what to do if they invent a vaccine against chemtrails).

Meanwhile, The Times may be giving up trying to triangulate between the candidate who says that 2+2 is approximately 4 and the one who says it’s 27, or maybe purple. Yesterday, they said in so many words, “Donald J. Trump officially retreated from the “birther” conspiracy theory he had clung to for years, while falsely accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of first raising doubts.”

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