Writing Articles

How Big is Your Canvas?

November 12, 2015 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

When my children were little, I read them lots children’s books. We all know the classics, to name just one: Goodnight Moon. I read it myself when I was a kid. Rereading it as an adult, I knew I wouldn’t know where to begin to write a book with a... read more

Coming Up With Story Ideas

November 9, 2015 9:00 am Published by 3 Comments

Cover photo credit: Odysseus and the Sirens, by J. W. Waterhouse (Public Domain) An upfront refinement: the challenge isn’t coming up with story ideas. The challenge is coming up with your interpretation of the story you have chosen from the finite pool of plots that have existed for all time. So a... read more

The Hero’s Journey

November 5, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The subtitle to this blog should be: The Romance. It is rather: Linguistics and Me. The idea of the hero’s journey is most associated with American mythologist Joseph Campbell and his book Hero With a Thousand Faces (1949). His work was inspired by Austrian psychologist Otto Rank’s The Myth of... read more

Finding Time to Write

October 29, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Writers write. Writers have to write. Writers can’t help but write. You’ve heard such statements. They’re true. They’re also potentially damaging. The implication behind them is that you’ll naturally find time to write, because as a writer, you write, you have to write, you can’t help but write. It’s easy... read more

Thanatos and Eros

October 26, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

On September 17, I went to the presentation of Regina José Galindo, a Guatemalan performance artist. She specializes in body art. The event was sponsored by the Duke University Department of Art & History and Duke Latino/a Studies. The room was packed, with easily 70 people in attendance. For the... read more

Alter Egos: Thomas Edison & Steve Jobs

October 8, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Photo Credit: Matthew Yohe, released under Creative Commons Attribution license. Last week I happened to read two books back to back. The first was Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Steve Jobs. The second was Jacked Up: The Inside Story of How Jack Welch Talked GE into Becoming the World’s Greatest Company... read more

Centering Your Saltshaker

September 28, 2015 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

I just finished reading Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. He’s a legendary New York City restaurateur who started Union Square Café in 1986 then Gramercy Tavern in 1994. He has followed these two great restaurants with another eleven. Amazing. I enjoyed the book on its own merits. I also... read more

Anatomy of Criticism V

September 14, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: I have devoted four previous blogs to Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Please see them before reading this: Anatomy of Criticism I, Anatomy of Criticism II, Anatomy of Criticism III, and Anatomy of Criticism IV. This blog is a postscript to Anatomy of Criticism I – IV in which I discuss Northrup Frye’s Anatomy... read more

Anatomy of Criticism, Part 4

September 3, 2015 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: I have devoted three previous blogs to Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Please see them before reading this: Anatomy of Criticism I, Anatomy of Criticism II, and Anatomy of Criticism III Here I repeat in bold type the three facets of Frye’s historical approach I outlined in the previous blog. Then I... read more

literary criticism and romance novels

Anatomy of Criticism, Part 3

August 20, 2015 9:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: In my previous blog posts Anatomy of Criticism Part I and Anatomy of Criticism Part II, I discuss Northrup Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Frye identifies five genres: drama, epic, lyric, history, and novel. He distinguishes among five modes: mythic, romance, high mimetic, low mimetic, and ironic. Two uptakes:... read more