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The Role of Mythology in Fiction

wales
So some people asked me to share my symposium presentation about building myth in creative writing. Your wish is my command! Here’s my abstract:

The world is not constructed simply of fact, but also of myth. The interplay between mythology, geography, culture and history is a relationship which fiction provides a perfect platform for exploring. This presentation will focus specifically on Welsh and Celtic mythology, a relatively unknown genre of myth, before exploring the ways studying the influences of myth can help create worlds in fiction. Welsh mythology is closely tied to its geographic roots, with many…Continue Reading

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Writing Tips: Getting Away from the Computer

writingtips away from computer

Over the years, the computer has become the place where I either work or I procrastinate. It’s increasingly harder to sit at the computer and write if I’m not already inspired or don’t already have blueprints of what I need to be doing. So this semester, I started looking for creative ways to get the inspiration flowing without having to sit in front of a screen.

You might be thinking, “That’s what journals and pencils are for, foolish child!” I agree. I used to love writing in journals. But with my Rheumatoid Arthritis,…Continue Reading

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Best Books of 2012

Last year I used Goodreads to set a goal of 100 books in 2011, and I made it! This year I gave myself a bit of slack and aimed for 75 books. I wanted to focus more on non-fiction, but… didn’t quite do as well as I would have liked. Non-fiction and I are still learning how to get along.

Out of my 75 books, I present: My best reads of 2012!

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Alyssa vs. Rheum., Round 756

Today I was walking to the library, which is about five minutes from my townhouse, and I couldn’t make it. I had to stop and rest.

After about ten steps from my townhouse, that autoimmune fatigue started settling over me like a boulder. The best way I can describe this sort of fatigue is that I can feel every heartbeat sluggish and heavy. I have to concentrate on taking deep breaths, and every one is like breathing through a straw. If I close my eyes, I become dizzy. The pressure on the back of my head makes a migraine buzz behind my eyes.

I think I feel it today because I have the leisure to feel it. All…Continue Reading

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Dear Dr. Tolkien

Wrote this while I was abroad, but I didn’t get the chance to take it to Tolkien’s grave. Thought I’d share anyway.

Dear Dr. Tolkien,

I wanted to thank you for changing my life.

When I was a little girl, my dad would read your books to me and my siblings. He read them three times to us, when I was eight, and again when I was twelve, and again when I was fourteen. When I was twelve I prayed for Frodo after he was stabbed. Later I remember running to the book and turning to the passage in the Mines of Moria, gasping in relief when I saw it said that Gandalf was gone, not dead.

I think…Continue Reading

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Today I Wrestled a Sheep (And Other Thoughts on Disability)

One thing that fascinates me, perhaps in a morbid way, is how disability and disease effects every part of a person’s life–especially when it’s not an physically obvious diseases.

Today I read Nancy Mairs’s essay Disability, which I’d highly recommend. One of my favorite quotes comes at the end:

But it will be a good bit easier psychologically if you are accustomed to seeing disability as a normal characteristic, one that complicates but does not ruin human existence. Achieving this integration, for disabled and able-bodied people alike, requires that we insert disability daily into our field of vision: quietly, naturally, in the small and common scenes of our ordinary lives.

Here is a bit of disability in my…Continue Reading

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Analysis of Character Voice in Mark of Athena

Analysis of Character Voice in Mark of Athena

ANALYSIS OF CHARACTER VOICE IN MARK OF ATHENA After consuming the Mark of Athena in a matter of days, I approached my writing professor to rave about my reading experience. Since I kept talking about character voice and the beginnings/endings of chapters, she recommended I have a look at the book and think about ways Riordan wrote these elements, so that I might glean something for my own novel.

She probably didn’t expect me to go through all four points of view with multicolor pens and margin notes.

Writing tips below the cut! I’ve taken the first chapter containing each character’s narration…Continue Reading

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