Tag Archives: writing

Email subscriptions

So you know how I migrated my site over to a new host? And you know how it took awhile for the old posts to show up? Yeah, I also just realized that my old subscription list didn’t make the migration either. So if you used to get emails that notified you when I published a new post, you’ll probably want to re-subscribe, because I’ll be honest – I have no solid idea how to get that old list and make it active here. And if getting email updates sounds like a good idea, you can sign up in the top corner, too 🙂


Merriam-Websters’ definition can be found here. I frequently use this word as it carries the academic connotation of akin to fight. When I’m talking in person, I usually pause a beat before deciding discussion is the most effective word.

In the GamerGate project, I see the hashtag as more of a record of a fight. But fight doesn’t carry the same academic weight as discussion. Argument is also a probable synonym, but that holds a different meaning in academia. Attack would also probably work, if it did not also carry military and conquest elements. And while these additional elements may meaningfully add to the conversation, I am making the call that it opens the conversation to be directed in unintended ways I wish to avoid.

Politics, Policy, and Advocacy

In my PhD program, I opted to take a Politics, Policy, and Advocacy class. This has been very informative, and challenging (in an incredibly good way). I’m having a great time in the class, and learning a lot about advocacy from a theoretical perspective, which has been helpful in naming some of my past experiences.

But as it’s a PhD class (or really a class in general), I have to create a final paper/project. And I have a great idea for how I’m going to format it! (I’m seriously super excited for my idea to work out; a draft will be posted here, the link to the final will be as well).

As excited for trying a new writing form as I am, I find I am nervous for the content. Because I will be talking about the type of advocacy that is hidden in the fight conversation that is happening at the hashtag gg (if you don’t know what this is, watch this space. All will become clear in the next few weeks. As will the reasons I am hesitant to be clearer).

Beyond sharing this random collection of thoughts, I wanted to have a post explaining why there are going to be a quick flurry of posts that aren’t pushed to my social media forums. I am going to be publishing my final project the week before it’s due on Storify, which might also be how I submit the final project. To make the argument clearer, I feel like there are places where I need footnotes. However, publishing through Storify makes footnotes a little tricky (this could be due to my n00b status with Storify), so I plan to create un-social media linked posts here to function as footnotes. As I think the footnotes are interesting as stand alone thoughts, I won’t have them as hidden links on the site; they will simply be folded into the feed.

So if you’re subscribed for updates, this is my apology for the influx of updates. If you’re not subscribed, then this is just another random post from me 🙂

Please feel free to leave any thoughts on my argument, or gg in general, or really anything else, in the comments on any of the posts. This is not, however, an invitation for harassment of me or a take down of me as a person. I love debating the ideas; I will not debate me as a person. I also will not debate any deconstruction of another person. I will entertain debating other ideas, because that’s the whole purpose of getting a PhD. Comments here are held for approval by me as a default (always). Anything that looks as though it will move the conversation on my site to a debate or take down of a person, will not be approved. Feel free to create your own site, if you feel I am somehow infringing on your right to speak. But I recommend re-reading the U.S. Bill of Rights as you take on the endeavor.

And now, here we go 🙂

Oh, hello!

The last wall...The thing about the being in a PhD program is that there is a ton of thinking and a ton of writing, and it’s interesting; it just takes over your entire existence. And all the thinking and writing makes it difficult to have a life outside of the realm of school, which I’m finding even includes keeping up here.

Some of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about – comic books, video games, critical pedagogy, the non-monolithic-ness of popular culture, and how much I love the coffee shop that has opened in the neighborhood (though I wish it was open later in the day, because I have a hard time making it there before it closes at 7:30 L ). I’ve also been toying with the idea of re-structuring the layout of the site, because I would like to start sharing the reading responses that I’ve been writing. I think it would be more helpful to think of the writing as having to be more for an audience I don’t know. And then I could potentially get feedback that would be helpful, if I decide to take the plunge to revise the writing for potential article submissions…. But I also want to write silly reviews for all of the movies that I’ve seen, and I’m not sure that academic-type people would be as interested in the silly reviews (though I’m sure some would).

Basically, right now, my head is full of dreams and ideas that might turn into plans at some point in the near future. And I needed a study break from writing the early draft of 1 crazy end of the semester paper, so I decided to stop neglecting the site.



nor till the poets among us can be
‘literalists of
the imagination’–above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’, shall
we have
– excerpt from Poetry by Marianne Moore

I haven’t always loved poetry. It’s confusing and obtuse and frequently leaves me frustrated. But I can’t quit reading it.

Because in the cadence of the words there is truth. Poetry is the fastest way to share the indescribable  elements of reality without music. Those real toads are especially difficult to deal with when their hardens are imaginary.

Which is why I hardly ever share the poetry I write.

Not that I write poems that often. In fact, I can really only write poetry when I’m surprisingly happy. And the poems are never very good. (Which is another reason I hardly evershow the poems I’ve written to anyone)

But, despite all the current madness in my life currently, I’ve been writing poetry. These ones would have to be revised (which I don’t have time for), so they’ll still probably never be read, even if they weren’t so revealing.  I’m just glad to be writing them in all their terrible glory.

On having an audience

Queen's BathI haven’t written in awhile, and I was wondering to myself why I stopped obsessively writing here.

I still love writing. I still think and process information best with either a keyboard or pen and paper handy. I still think of myself as a writer more than anything else.

But it’s been a long time since I posted.

Sure, I got promoted to full-time just in time for the craziest part of our work year, and I went on vacation, and I’m moving. But still, no thoughts to process and post on my blog? Just when people started commenting more and being involved in the conversation here? How lame of me.

And why would I let the other things get in the way of my writing? I’ve published through more stressful times than my job is currently or has been in the near past. To say I’m too busy simply functions as an excuse everyone will accept without question.

But I finally figured out one major underlying, and rather bizarre, reason for my neglect: I have an audience. Continue reading On having an audience

Student writing

I work with some super creative and funny students. They make me laugh through most of work.

So I convinced them to share with everyone. And now you can laugh at their blogs too.

chandrafallinginlove (my students are frequently ridiculous and think it’s funny to use me as a source of entertainment)



And I’m probably going to convince more students to start writing. Because you need to read what they have to say. And they need to write more.

Update: Hooray! More students have started blogs! And I’m slowly convincing more of them. Soon there will be a whole collection of half collected ideas from the heads of teenagers.




NaNoWriMo 2010

Well, it’s November again. All Hallows Eve was spent watching black and white horror movies, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Walking Dead.

And when the clock rolled over to mark the beginning of November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) kicked off. And for the second year, I’m attempting to write a novel length (50,000 words) story all in the month of November.

Last year was my first attempt, and I think I set too high of a goal for myself then. But this year I have a longer story mulling in my head and acceptance of my limits as a writer. But I also want to challenge myself to get better, and the only way to do that is to try tasks that I think are just outside of my ability.

And so I’m on attempting NaNoWriMo again. We’ll see how many words I put down this year. I’ll post updates here, for people not signed up on the NaNoWriMo site. Or you can friend me there. I go by the handle EnglishN3rd.

If you’re headed into a month of furious writing – good luck. If you’re sitting out this year – don’t feel too bad if all the writers you know are absorbed in their projects. November isn’t that long, so we’ll all be back before you know it!

I dwell in possibility

I haven’t been writing recently because I couldn’t. Journaling led my mind down unhelpfully distracting bunny trails; stories stagnated after the first line or two; frustrations over minor setbacks roadblocked my blogging.

Maybe you’ve been in this kind of situation. You think it’s writers block or something only mastered by pushing through and continuing to write. That’s what I thought, but when my inability to write only grew, I knew the reason was something I’d never encountered.

So I followed the only logical path and stopped writing. I hardly even tweeted original thoughts, leaving my feed to pass along information from other people I wanted to share. I embraced the lack of writing in my life (although begrudgingly) and opted instead to think through the potential causes, to reconnect with friends I made not online, to make new friends.

The distance from my current way of life showed me that the possibilities were happening so fast they were overwhelming my ability to organize my thoughts. TCA moved so fast that I had more opportunities than I knew what to do with, new options for sharing my writing kept appearing, everyone had a great idea that I wanted to help with all at once, and I had so many stories running through my head I couldn’t tell them apart.

I know for many people these kinds of moments make life exciting. And it was exciting. But I hadn’t prepared for the onslaught of possibility, and so I was overwhelmed.

But the time away from everything, especially those that I love and make my life fantastic, gave my brain the space it needed to get itself organized.

So now I can dwell in possibility, embracing life and what I love.

Bookmark I dwell in possibility

It Is What It Is, or How to Annoy My Friend

The other night, I was chatting with my friend, and for reasons that must have made sense at the time, I said “it is what it is.”

I learned very quickly the ire this phrase brings forth in my friend when he adamantly scolded “Never use that phrase again!”

I don’t know about you, but one of the many reasons I could never be in an organized hierarchy, like the military, is because my first response to orders is to ask why while plotting how to repeat my offense. Or at the very least irk whoever is attempting to command me.

But since this was my friend, I decided to simply ask why before I began plotting.

His argument is that the phrase’s redundancy renders it meaningless. “Of course it is what it is,’ my friend said. ‘You don’t say the car is a car because what else would it be?”

And I can see his point. The phrase is tossed around to appear intelligent or deep (another of his points). But that isn’t how I use that phrase most often.

One of the ways I use the phrase is in affirmation of the trueness of something. I’ve found that often people and things do not always act in the way they are designed or intended to. People can be unspeakably horrible to one another and we call them inhuman. This would be un-true in my head.

More frequently I use the phrase as a sign of my resignation to events beyond my control. It’s a kind of reminder to myself that there are moments in life that I cannot control, so I need to not worry or stress out over them.

And maybe my use of the phrase is laziness or lack of creativity with spoken English (I am a writer and reader and not a speaker). But I find it meaningful, and really, that’s all that I care about. What else is language for but communication, and who else do I have to communicate with more often than myself?

So I’ll continue to use the phrase for myself, and I’ll smirk at the way it would annoy my friend. But I will probably be more hesitant when I utter it, because my friend’s point holds true – it is redundantly meaningless. Whether I use it intentionally around him will depend greatly on how mischievous I’m feeling in that moment.

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