Bibliography, Book Reviews

The Annotated Bib: Amazons and Mothers?

Have you ever had to write an annotated bibliography? I have, once, and I hated it! Well, guess what I get to do for the Studies in Women’s Writing course I am taking this semester. You guessed it: an annotated bibliography! This assignment requires that I read and analyze a minimum of ten scholarly secondary sources on the subject of “women’s writing.” The annotated bib will be almost as long as my final paper!

After all these years of blogging, it seems like a waste of time to me to put so much effort into writing something that will result in nothing more than a grade. As with much of my other school writing, I am adapting this assignment to generate content for my blog. Over the coming weeks, I will be posting my individual annotated bibliography entries as blog posts.

So, without further ado, I present to you the very first entry in my annotated bibliography!

Amazons and Mothers? Monique Wittig, Helène Cixous and Theories of Women’s Writing

Griffin Crowder, Diane. “Amazons and Mothers? Monique Wittig, Helène Cixous and Theories of Women’s Writing.” Contemporary Literature L’Écriture Féminine 24.2 (1983): 117-44. JSTOR. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

This article explores the modern feminist notion that the oppression of women is a changeable social construct that does not depend on the fact that women are born with the potential to bear children. The article discusses the women’s writing theories of French feminists Monique Wittig and Helene Cixous. While “Cixous views motherhood as a primary trait of women” (132), Wittig views the tendency of women to identify primarily with the role of mother as oppressive. Continue reading “The Annotated Bib: Amazons and Mothers?”

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Poetry

National Poetry Month Collaborative Twitter Poem

Poetry
Poetry (Photo credit: V. H. Hammer)

Well, here we are. It’s April 1st, and once again time to celebrate National Poetry Month. I haven’t really been writing much poetry lately, so I thought it might be fun to do a collaborative Twitter poem challenge.

For this challenge, I am going to give you a one-word prompt/Twitter handle. Next, you come up with a poem – either one short poem that will fit into one 140-character Tweet, or a longer poem that you can split up, posting one verse per Tweet – and share it on Twitter using the provided hashtag. I am starting the challenge here today, and then I would love it if some of you would volunteer to host one or a few additional prompts on your blogs throughout the month of April. Continue reading “National Poetry Month Collaborative Twitter Poem”

Finance, Memoir, Reading

Books are full of treasures

A dollar bill bookmark I found in a library book
I found this hundred dollar bill bookmark in a library book last night.

I love it when people leave surprises in library books. Last night, I opened a recently checked-out library book and found this cute little hundred dollar bill bookmark that someone had left in its middle. Did someone leave it there on accident, or was it a gift? I wonder how many treasures I have accidentally left in my library books when I’ve returned them?

Once in a while, I will purposely leave a real dollar bill in a book before I return it. Imagine the look on the next reader’s face when she finds money in her library book! I think that moment of excitement you feel when you find money, even if it’s only a dollar, is worth so much more than the dollar itself. I don’t mind investing in someone else’s moment of happiness once in a while. Continue reading “Books are full of treasures”

Blogging

Tell me about your new book

Le Festival des Pot Holes....
Some days, an outside job filling pot holes sounds more appealing than an inside job filling plot holes. | Le Festival des Pot Holes…. (Photo credit: caribb)

I don’t know about you, but I sure haven’t been blogging much since the start of the new year. What I have been doing is plugging away at two novels in progress, both of which seem to grow farther from completion with each new plot hole I fill. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?

You know, sometimes revising a novel is kinda like when you think you’re just going to quickly replace a bathtub in your 100-year-old house only to realize that by removing the old bathtub, you have now exposed a whole host of other problems you didn’t know existed, including rotten floor boards and termite ravished support beams. Yeah, revision can be a lot like remodeling a bathroom in a house that maybe should have been condemned a long time ago…

Needless to say, blogging hasn’t been as much on my mind lately as it once was. Continue reading “Tell me about your new book”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Do all writers have iron stomachs when they’re writing?

English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica vir...
This is an adult version of a corn rootworm. I decided not to share any larva images in case you are eating while reading my blog. | English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) on corn (Zea mays) Italiano: Diabrotica su foglia di mais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so glad I decided to go for a walk this morning. For some reason, I always get my best ideas while I’m out for a walk. Today, my walk ended in a jog, as I was in such a hurry to get home to scribble out this new scene.

I grabbed my notebook and pen, then turned on the coffee maker and threw a slice of whole grain bread in the toaster. I wrote while making my breakfast because I knew I would lose steam if I didn’t get some food in my stomach and caffeine coursing through my veins.

At one point, I realized I needed to know what a corn rootworm looks like so I could show it in the scene. I ran from the kitchen table to my computer with a piece of toast dangling between my teeth. A quick Google search produced a plethora of gloriously disgusting images of corn rootworms in every stage of life, from egg to larva to beetle. Continue reading “Do all writers have iron stomachs when they’re writing?”

Reading, Social Media

Why is young adult dystopia classified as “Romance?”

The Hunger Games (film)
Do you consider The Hunger Games a romance novel? | The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been a member of GoodReads for two years but have only recently started using the app on my phone. A few weeks ago, I began adding books I have read to my profile. A lot of them have been dystopian novels, as I have been reading a lot of that genre as part of my research for my own novel projects. When I went to check out my recommendations to determine what to read next, I was surprised to find that GoodReads was mostly recommending that I read romance novels.

I don’t get it. It’s been a while since I have read any romance novels, and I hadn’t added any to my “read” shelf. Why would this app suggest I mostly read romance novels if I hadn’t indicated that I had any interest in them?

It’s not that I never read romance. Don’t tell anyone, but I have a secret stash of Harlequins in my bedroom closet. I pull one out whenever I am in need of a quick escape that requires little to no thinking. I suppose the fact that I haven’t read one recently says good things about my current life. At my worst, I would lay in bed and read an entire romance novel in one night. But I won’t get into my dysfunctional ex-marriage here today. Continue reading “Why is young adult dystopia classified as “Romance?””

Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!

black walnut tree
Have you looked outside lately? Mother Nature keeps reminding me that summer is almost over. These black walnuts will be on the ground soon.

September 21st is the last day of summer, as well as the official last day of our Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. I don’t know about you, but I feel good knowing I have written an entire story from start to finish. Now, on to revisions!

After letting my first draft simmer for a couple of weeks, I finally sat down this week and started working on my second draft. Many famous authors (Stephen King comes to mind) say your second draft should always be shorter than your first. They advise cutting out unnecessary words, which is great advice. But I don’t think that is going to work for me. Continue reading “Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!”

Short Story

Love photography? Want to collaborate on a story? Join The 52.

Do you take a lot of pictures? If so, author Richard Wright is doing something over at his blog that I think you should check out and possibly help out with. He’s calling it The 52.

Here’s the deal. Richard is planning to write one short story per week in 2014. Each short story will be based on one of many pictures that he is asking his readers to submit. To join, all you have to do is send him a picture. He writes a story based on your image, then posts it to his blog sometime next year. You maintain the rights to your image, and he gives you full credit on his blog.

Sound like fun? I thought so. Here’s my entry:

The 52 - Image by Amanda L Webster - WriteOnTheWorld dot WordPress dot com
This is the image I submitted to Richard Wright for The 52.

Want to join in? Visit Richard Wright’s website for details.

Challenge: Write your own short story about Continue reading “Love photography? Want to collaborate on a story? Join The 52.”

Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 5 | I just don’t know how to say no

my new kitten lulu la gata
This is my new baby kitty. Her name is Lulu La Gata. (La Gata is Spanish for “the cat.)

I should consider changing my Friday Writing Challenge Check-in series to “This Week’s Excuse for Not Writing.” Seriously, people, if I keep this up, I’m going to have to stop calling myself a writer. Maybe I should change my title to “blogger” since I can at least manage that.

Anyway, last Friday I headed out to Illinois for a huge family campout (huge as in somewhere around 60 to 70 family members showed up.) Of course, I brought my notebooks. Of course, I was too busy camping and visiting with family to write in them.

We camped until Sunday morning, then went to my parents’ house for a couple of days. Then I made a stop at my sister’s house a couple of hours north of my parents. I was planning to come home Wednesday, but she begged me to stay another day since she was off Wednesday and we could actually hang out and see each other. Once school starts, I’ll hardly get to see any of my family at all until next summer, so I couldn’t say no. Continue reading “Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 5 | I just don’t know how to say no”

Book Reviews, Reading

This is why I don’t buy books

Portrait of a Byzantine empress, possibly Theo...
Portrait of a Byzantine empress, possibly Theodora. 6th century a.D. In the Museum of Ancient Art in the Castello sforzesco in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, january 6 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love books as much as the next writer. But I’m poor, so I typically opt to borrow them from the library rather than purchasing them. The book I bought at Barnes & Noble the other day reminded me why I shouldn’t bother purchasing books at all.

I picked up a historical novel about the Byzantine empress, Theodora that looked like it might be a good read. I do think it could have been an intriguing story, but the writing was terrible. (I’m not going to tell you the name of the novel because I don’t really believe in writing bad reviews. I’d like to be a published author someday and know I’d rather do without internet trolls raving on about how horrible my work is.)

Although the author is a historian who seems to know her facts, her novel is an excellent example of how poor writing can take a true story and render it completely unbelievable. Her attempt to create language that is authentic to the time is feeble at best. The constant use of clichés and modern colloquialisms kept dragging me out of the story as I had to continually remind myself what time period I was reading about.   Continue reading “This is why I don’t buy books”