I fancy myself a writer.

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Annotated Bib: “Let Me Tell You a Story”

Glitter and Trauma

Bonus writing prompt: Write a story about this picture. | Glitter and Trauma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry comes from Rachel Spear, who argues that students may act as witnesses to trauma as enacted in trauma stories. You may view the full text here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Spear, Rachel N. “Let Me Tell You A Story.” Pedagogy 14.1 (2014): 53-79. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

In this article, Rachel Spear argues that teaching trauma narratives should not focus only on the trauma and the students’ response to the trauma. Instead, she argues that teaching trauma narratives can have a transformational effect on students as well as the teacher and the writer of the trauma narrative. Spear uses what she refers to as a “wounded healer pedagogy” which incorporates the healing of all participants. She also outlines a Writing as Healing course that she created to address these issues in the classroom. Read the rest of this page »

Wednesday writing prompt: What are you hungry for?

For today’s Wednesday writing prompt, write a story from the following:

She was hungry for life.

She was hungry for life.

Read the rest of this page »

Annotated Bib: “Modernist Women’s Memoir, War and Recovering the Ordinary: H.D.’S “The Gift””

Photograph of H.D., c. 1921. Beinecke Rare Boo...

Photograph of H.D., c. 1921. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Lorraine Sim who explores a World War II memoir written by H.D. You may view the full text here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Sim, Lorraine. “Modernist Women’s Memoir, War and Recovering the Ordinary: H.D.’S The Gift.” Women’s Studies 38.1 (2009): 63-83. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

In this article, Lorraine Sim discusses the theme of “the ordinary in H.D.’s wartime memoir The Gift” (63). Sim also discusses modernist theories that uphold war as a part of ordinary life. H.D. wrote this memoir during and soon after World War II. She chose to stay in London during the war despite the dangers from the frequent air-raids that occurred during that period. Throughout the text, H.D. discusses how grounding herself in the everyday helped to keep her attached to reality in the midst of the bombings even as the air raids themselves became a part of her “normal,” everyday life. Read the rest of this page »

Can you pass this writing test?

linkedin jobs page

Just because you found it on LinkedIn, that doesn’t mean it’s legit!

I’ve been bugging my Facebook friends about this all day, and now it’s your turn. I ran across a job post on LinkedIn that advertised a position for an online writing teacher. It sounded like it might be something that I would be interested in, so I clicked through the link to apply on the company’s website. Instead of being led to the company website however, I was redirected to this online business writing test.

I found the test to be confusing within the first few questions. Several of the questions appeared to not have a correct answer. Others did not provide sufficient information for me determine which multiple choice answer might be correct. I muddled my way through the test anyway to see what would happen. After I hit the submit button, I received the following message: Read the rest of this page »

Human beings are weird

Human beings are weird meme

Human beings are weird. We spend our whole childhoods learning not to be our weird selves, and then we spend most of our adulthoods trying to find ourselves.

So why not cut out the middleman and just let our children be who they are? Go be your Weird Self. What if that’s the only thing standing between you and happiness?

#beyourweirdself Read the rest of this page »

An analysis of “Plaintext” by Nancy Mairs

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at su...

This image has nothing to do with my post. I just think it’s pretty. And soothing. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. | The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following is my third course autobiography for the course I am taking on women’s writing. I just have to write one more of these and then a 20-page final paper, and my homework will be done for the semester! In this piece, I wrote about how I would use this text to create a framework for a creative nonfiction essay assignment. I think this would also make an excellent writing prompt!

The Embodiment of Labels

In Plaintext, Nancy Mairs explores how individuals embody the labels that are placed on them by society. In her essay, “On Being a Cripple,” Mairs chooses to define herself as a “cripple” regardless of the fact that others may wince at the word. She says, “Perhaps I want them to wince. I want them to see me as a tough customer, one to whom the fates/gods/viruses have not been kind, but who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely. As a cripple, I swagger” (9). She challenges the politically correct euphemisms that others use and would have her use to describe herself. In many ways, she refuses to meet society’s expectations of her as a cripple, even seeking to change the meaning of the word. I would like to teach this text in a writing course where I could ask students to examine their own labels, how they embody their labels, and how societal expectations based on these labels impact the individual, as well as how the individual can impact society by either meeting or shattering those expectations. Read the rest of this page »

Annotated Bib: ““He Won’t Hurt Us Anymore”: A Feminist Performance of Healing For Children Who Witness Domestic Violence.”

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes a very powerful article (one I hope you will read) by Danielle M. Stern, who witnessed the abuse of her mother at the hands of a violent step-father as a child. You may view the full text here (Sorry, I couldn’t find this one free for you. However, if you check with your local library, they might be able to provide a copy).

Annotated Bib Entry

Stern, Danielle M. ““He Won’t Hurt Us Anymore”: A Feminist Performance of Healing For Children Who Witness Domestic Violence.” Women’s Studies in Communication 37.3 (2014): 360-378. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Danielle M. Stern writes an autoethnographic essay that explores the childhood trauma of being a witness and victim of domestic violence at the hands of her step-father. She discusses the importance of feminist storytelling in transforming a victim story into a survivor story. This essay mixes Stern’s personal stories of family violence with academic analysis to inform the reader of the impact on children who are forced to witness violence perpetrated against their mothers. Read the rest of this page »

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Shanghai Tower, vertical cities

Have you heard about the “vertical city” that is the new Shanghai Tower? According to a documentary I watched recently on PBS, the tower will contain everything that a person needs so residents will never have to leave the building. Can you imagine what it would be like to live like this? What if we all someday must move into these towers to escape the smog? And what will happen to the people who aren’t able to afford to move into these towers in such a future? Watch this video, and then write a story that takes place within this or a similar self-contained city.

As always, please feel free to share your work in the comments below, or post to your own blog and share a link to the post.  Read the rest of this page »

Annotated Bib: “Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation.”

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Tony Kushner who discusses how the marginalization of Holocaust survivors kept many of them from telling their individual stories until several decades after the end of WWII. You may read the full article here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Kushner, Tony. “Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation.” Poetics Today 27.2 (2006): 275-295. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

This article examines how Holocaust stories were widely ignored in the years immediately following the war and how these stories have recently become of interest to society. By the end of the 20th century, several organizations, having recognized the importance of these stories, had begun to collect the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Read the rest of this page »

Annotated Bib: “Writing For Recovery: A Practice Development Project For Mental Health Service Users, Carers And Survivors”

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Sam Taylor, Helen Leigh-Phippard, and Alec Grant. You may view the full text here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Taylor, Sam, Helen Leigh-Phippard, and Alec Grant. “Writing For Recovery: A Practice Development Project For Mental Health Service Users, Carers And Survivors.” International Practice Development Journal 4.1 (2014): 1-13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

This paper discusses a research project based on the topic of “writing for recovery narrative practice development” (1). The participants consisted of mental health “service users,” caregivers for service users, and survivors of trauma. Participants were provided with a safe place to explore creative writing activities in an effort to reduce the stress of writing and to develop a creative environment where they could find their own individual “writing voices” (1). The major purpose of this project was to help participants use creative writing to work toward recovering from traumatic personal experiences and to create “social meaning” out of those experiences. Read the rest of this page »

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