Monthly Archives: April 2012

I Made It!

I finished the 100 pages for Script Frenzy 2012. Yep, 100 pages done.

It got me to find time for writing. But as I always say frenzy is the key word.

I’ll be the first to say that it’s a very rough piece.

As of today, 16,147 writers have written 244002 pages.

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in writers



It’s Talk Like Shakespeare Day

To celebrate the Bard’s birthday, it’s Talk Like Shakespeare Day. In Chicago the Mayor made a special proclamation.

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in British Lit, classic


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On Literature

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”

C. S. Lewis

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in quotation


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Theme Thursday: No

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event that will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:

  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

NO! don’t, not, negative etc

My THURSDAY THEME for NO is here.

“No, my dear, I think not. I have great hopes of finding him quite the reverse. There is a mixture of servility and self-importance in his letter, which promises well. I am impatient to see him.”

p. 79 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in British Lit, classic


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Don Quixote

My online book club read Don Quixote, Book 1 for March. I had seen The Man of La Mancha last spring and knew the outline of the story. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this light hearted comedy. Poor Quixote. The world he imagines is just so much kinder and more noble than the world he actually lives in. At times I wanted to shake him, but at other times I thought who wouldn’t want to live in his world?

There were a lot of fun, engaging stories embedded withing Don Quixote, that I felt could stand on their own, could be, say made into movies. Every day, I picked up the book, I had a smile on my face. Delightful. That in and of itself is a success.

I had read an excerpt in junior high and really found it meandering, but this time I loved it.

Melvin Bragg‘s In Our Time has a good broadcast of a discussion of Don Quixote.

What writing is coming out of Spain now, I wonder. Seems the most august Spanish language writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, etc. are from Latin American.

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in classic, World Lit


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From the Writer’s Almanac

From the Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of the writer who said, “My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.” Thornton Wilder (books by this author), born in Madison, Wisconsin (1897). His father was a diplomat, so Wilder and his four brothers and sisters moved back and forth between Asia and the United States. His parents were supportive, but sometimes overbearing. They dictated what Wilder did with his time, and made him work on farms in the summer so that he would be more well-rounded. They decided where he would go to college: to Oberlin, in Ohio, and then to Yale.

After some time in Rome, Wilder got a job teaching French at a boys’ boarding school. In 1926, Wilder spent the summer at MacDowell Colony, a writers’ retreat in New Hampshire, and he started work on his second novel. It was set in the Spanish colonial era of the 18th century — the story of a bridge that collapses in Lima, Peru, while five people are crossing it. The collapse is witnessed by a Franciscan monk, who becomes obsessed by the tragedy and tries to figure out why those five people had to die. Wilder finished it less than a year later and sent it off to his publisher, who almost turned it down, complaining that it was written “for a small over-cultivated circle of readers.” But when The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) was published, it was an immediate success. It won the 1928 Pulitzer Prize, and by that time, it had sold nearly 300,000 copies and been through 17 printings.

Wilder earned enough from The Bridge of San Luis Rey to quit his job and build a house for himself, his parents, and his sisters in Hamden, Connecticut. He called it “the house the bridge built.” That house was his official residence for the rest of his life.

In 1962, Wilder was 65 years old, a famous writer. He was best known for his plays, like his Pulitzer-winning Our Town (1938) and The Matchmaker (1955), which was adapted into the musical Hello, Dolly!. He had not written a novel for almost 20 years. He was tired of being in the limelight, and he wanted to escape his comfortable life in Connecticut, so Wilder got in his Thunderbird convertible and headed southwest. The car broke down just outside of Douglas, Arizona, a town on the Mexican border, and that’s where Wilder stayed for a year and a half. He was happy to be somewhere where nobody knew much about him or his writing. He rented an apartment with one bed for himself and one for all his papers. During the days he wrote, read, and took walks, and in the evenings he hung around the bar asking questions — so many questions that everyone called him “Doc” or “Professor.” When he left Douglas at the end of 1963, he had a good start on a novel. In 1967 he published it as The Eighth Day, and it won a National Book Award.

He said, “There’s nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.”

And: “The test of an adventure is that when you’re in the middle of it, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, now I’ve got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.’ And the sign that something’s wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.”

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in American Lit, Writers' Almanac


White House Easter Egg Roll Readings

My nieces and nephews when they went in 2010

As I prepare a Spring Holiday lesson for my students, I stumbled across these videos of President Obama, The First Lady and First Grandma, J.K. Rowlings, Reese Witherspoon and more.

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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in American Lit, Children's Lit


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Great Gatsby Videos

Cover of "The Great Gatsby"

Cover of The Great Gatsby

YouTube has a plentitude of plenty of homemade videos on The Great Gatsby. I’m concluding a unit with my second year students on it. I can’t use the Vlogbrothers one because the speaker talks way too fast, but it’s worth sharing here.

On Chapter One of The Great Gatsby:

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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in American Lit, classic


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