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Showing posts from March, 2009

The Personal Essay Online

Over the last several years the Internet's influence on pop culture has increased exponentially. It has changed the way we shop, the way we communicate and has introduced new types of recreation. The internet has also started to affect the way we read, and this transformation has in turn opened the door to changes in the way we write and circulate our writing. Perhaps more than any other tool of change, blogging has impacted the writer. Blogging has become a readily accessible and often free platform for writers to self publish. Gone are the traditional gatekeepers and many of the filters between writer and reader. Within minutes of completion, an article, short story or poem can be published and in front of thousands. Distribution is not only much faster now than ever before imagined, but reaches further than ever possible; anywhere people can access the internet, there is access to a writer's work. Traditional publishing's diminishing power as a gatekeeper to the world of

Creativity, El Kabong and Unexpected Snow

A friend mentioned in an email this morning that the roses she planted last night in the rain are now under three inches of snow. I hadn't looked outside yet when I read that this morning; the blinds were still closed (which shows you how really dedicated I am to my email behavior patterns!). I blinked a few times reading it. She doesn't live that far away. Did she really say "snow"? I looked through the blinds, then lo and behold. Snow on the morning of March 15th isn't something we expect here in the temperate Puget Sound, but it's something we're growing to comprehend. I've lost track of how many snow days we've had this year, probably more than the last several years combined. Stay tuned. I found a creative writing lesson in this unexpected snowfall. My parents have lived in the same house 45 years and I'm a fifth-generation resident of the area. The family on my father's side settled the Seabeck-Holly area and we had a regional celebri

Trigger, Peek-a-Boo Sound Bites, and Thanks Havi

Rumor has it Earnest Hemingway rewrote the ending to "A Farewell to Arms" 39 times because he wanted to get the words right. If you've noticed the little slogan under my name in the header of this particular creative writing blog lately, you might have thought I had it on some sort of rotation script displaying random slogans on each visit. Well, you'd have the random part right at least. I've been changing slogans with the weather (and the weather has been crazy around here the last few days). Somewhere I got it in my head that little slogan should totally define me, my blog, my reason for existing and my place in the universe. Am I saying I have worried about getting it right? Let's just say I can relate to Mr. Hemingway. I've shared before about my " rampant creativity and capitalistic tinkering " patterns, how they're actually fear based and all that yada-yada. You'd think sharing about your problems in a public place (I'm talkin

Geoffrey Chaucer: Dr. Seuss and Looney Tunes in the 14th Century

I'm posting this to honor the birthday of Theodor Geisel today. Otherwise, the world may never have considered Geoffrey Chaucer and Dr. Seuss in the same thought. But, oh! Reading Chaucer for the first time could be compared to reading Dr. Suess; everything rhymes and many of the words sound made up. At first hearing, the sing-song iambic lines race by like Sam-I-Am’s famous green-egg treatise. But soon we find ourselves pondering the literary merits of farting and adultery, and we begin to wonder if Horton has heard a Who of another kind. Perhaps Chaucer’s ancient characters are as true to life as any modern creation, and perhaps there is some reason we find them interesting to study. But is it only literary scholars and English majors who find parallels between the farting scene in Chaucer’s The Millers Tale and the comedy of Eddie Murphy or Jim Carey? Does everyone else view Chaucer as some old fart (forgive the wordplay) trying to sound “hip” by throwing in a few weak attempts