Archive | August, 2013

Literary Letter1

31 Aug

Colleagues…  Hope your evening greets, treats you well.  Was thinking today about what we’re reading, and how we’re “supposed” to greet it.  And respond to it.  Let’s not even entertain those that would judge us for enjoying our exploration of text, the joy of learning from each other, the Literary Community.  I’m writing you all tonight to thank you, and congratulate you on a prolifically rewarding inaugural 2 weeks.  Going forward, yes, we’ll have “formal” essay assignments, but you needn’t worry.  As we’ll be building before each of them, working out positions, interpretations prior to your “formal” composition–  But again, don’t preoccupy yourSelf with the obligatory, with points, with grades.  For now, just enjoy reading, writing, from your heart, from your views, from what you observe.  An Exchange of Ideas must be reciprocal, respectful, mutually rewarding.

Keep with your work, and enjoy.  In our next class, both English 1A & 5, we’ll be talking about this process, the intrinsic nature of Literature, reacting to it in forms written, journaled.  Making the topic our own.  Are we going too far, with this seemingly extensive liberalism in our scribbles, reads?  Maybe.  But T.S. Eliot said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”


English 1A, 8/29/13 session, REVISIT: Faulkner, Psychology, Society

30 Aug

1)  With the three pieces we’ve read, especially ‘Emily’, Faulkner doesn’t hold Humankind in high regard.  The ever-present gloom of “Barn Burner” with Sartoris’ inner and outer struggles, to currents of war, sorrow, torn family, and imprisonment in “Two Soldiers,” also conveying his sour assessment of people.  Yes, there’s much more pouring from his pages in terms of themes, but focus for a minute on this possible view Faulkner holds.. do you agree?  Does he dislike people, society?  Is Faulkner attacking the self-destructive collective manner of mankind, or is he saying something else about us?  Or is his commentary directly solely at the South?

Precisely, I’d like you to provide your sight of Faulkner, his attitude.  It’s fair to say he isn’t the most positive of penners.  Does that influence your read of his works?

2)  Do we all have a diagnosable psychological state, or condition?

3)  To what extent does society influence the individual?

If Stuck, THEN What?

29 Aug

How does one become unblocked as a writer?  So many say, “I just couldn’t write anything,” or “I couldn’t think of anything.” Is there a solution?  What do you do?  Can you help us, offer some counsel should any of us have a mid-air collision with catatonic muse?  It’s frustrating, I know.. but there has to be a way out of it.  If we accept “writer’s block,” the concept therein/of, we surrender.  Isn’t that true?  I understand needing a break, but to profess some blockage shape equates to self-imposed stale state.

Let us be privy to your methods, therapies, remedies.  Please.


English 1A, 8/27/13 session, REVISIT: Flash Fiction Consideration

28 Aug

With our first exposure to flash fiction, what are your thoughts on the genre, in its almost frantic brevity?  Are 1,000 words or less enough to compose Literature?  Can it be ‘composed’?  An actual Composition, when it’s so terse?  Can an Author establish voice, theme, create something of impression is such small space?  Obviously, yes, or the form wouldn’t exist.  But, let’s examine what potential problems a reader could encounter with a more-or-less avant-garde expression shape.  For one, there’s the danger of successfully engaging your reader [if you’re the Author of one of these brief pieces] only to soon after abandon them, possibly leaving them confused, or annoyed.  Two: the form itself is predicated on length, which invites an innumerable swarm of quibbles for the penner.  Three: for us readers.. can something so short ever stand on its own, be worthy of our readership?

In your responses, be honest, professional, but be critical.. meaning, address all elements, pieces, realities of a ‘flash fiction’ piece.

Please also feel free to notify us of any ‘flash’ pieces you found which you enjoyed, would recommend to your colleagues!

Amusez-vous!  [Enjoy!]

English 5, 8/27/13 session, REVISIT

27 Aug

Strong analyses today, of Capote’s beginning works in Portraits/Observations.  Already, he reveals interest levels in not only tallied detail, but also in richness, paragraph length, and tonal focus/structure.  What else gives us insight, though, to this Author?  If we were to group these initial pieces, what is Capote saying, DIRECTLY to his readers, through them?

AND, I must say, you all are proving to be strong readers, interpreters, speakers on Literature.  Continue this gallop through the readings.. continue to make these pieces, these topics your own.

Is there anything you’ll like to share with us regarding these first pages, and regarding his varying moods location to location?  Anything you want us to walk away with?  Let’s stay in the flavored focus of Authorial Intent, or what Capote wants us to do, wants to say, with his writings.  There has to be something with which he wants US to walk away.

From here…

27 Aug


The view.  What many writers look for.  Many have a noted preferred’s.  Do you have a special view, frequented?  If not for writing, just thinking?  What is it about a view that rattles the character?  Feel free to respond addressing views, scenery, “inspiration,” thought.. whatever you wish, connected to views.  I want to know, to share, what you’ve seen, what you like to simply ingest, optically.

I revisited one this morning, visually savored locale I have many times, just to see what it did to the pen.  Only scribbled a little, but I thought I’d share a still of that vantage, any event.

Share the spots that provide your person peace.



26 Aug

Alas, la fin of a day tumult’d.  So what does a reader/writer do?  Write, then re-read the entry.  Meditation of special sorts, you’d say, maybe.  Any of you writing this evening?  And if so, what prompted you to be in the chair?  Or are you writing horizontally like Capote?  What do you prefer.. laptop, ink?  What’s your writing style?  Your writing location?  Anything you could recommend to us, also in pen’s pulse?

Another question:  What do you do for word variety?  Where do go.. OR, what do you use?  Thesaurus, other Literary works?  Do any of you do as I do, listen to what those around you say, persist as the penning spy?

Day’s details: quiet on Lawndale run, expansive garden by Kenwood house (hills), random puddle under tree (oak, redwood?), character from Ohio saying the napkins are too small…

Try listing your details, logging what happens in your day.  If you want to use complete sentences, feel free, but don’t submit shackled to formality.  Use notes, singular words, detail clusters.  Read your entry, then respond as you would to something assigned.  Write, read, respond.. REPEAT.  This, a practice truly LITERARY.


pen2paper; true artisanal/Human merit

24 Aug

Try writing in your Composition Book for an hour.  Whatever comes to mind.  Force yourSelf to experience the most stretched strand of freedom of which you’re capable.  Surprise yourSelf, see what you write.  Have it not be connected with some “assignment,” or obligation.  Have it be for YOU, for your thinking, mental activity.  When writers sit to scribe with no association, that’s usually when gems stampede.  That’s Artistic; Independence, Creatively cognitive Autonomy.  Lovely, with all angles.

IMG_3829 Pause if needed, but try to stay in full scribble, constant.  See what finds fruition’s forum.  And feel free to share with us, on maddenedread.  Mind, though, that the purpose of such penned practice is to liberate us from technology’s consumption, if only for a moment.  Have it be simple: us, ink, canvas.

Profitez de votre écriture!  [Enjoy your writing!]


Question, for English 1a AND English 5

23 Aug

Don’t the greatest writers have separatism in their sentences?  I don’t mean simply ‘rebellion’, but surely a break from what is acceptable, or expected?  Why else then would be so unparalleled, towering.. truly transcending?

Writers like Poe, Capote, Plath, Hemingway, Kerouac, didn’t mind if they brushed with rejection.  They more than likely expected it.  And the reality that they’re still so widely studied, followed today can only pull from us ultimate awe.

So, is separatism necessary, in some form, if one hopes to “last” as a writer?  And if not, what, in your mind, is required of a writer’s work in order to stay relevant?


ENGLISH 5 PROMPT, 8/22/13…

22 Aug

Does Mr. Capote’s attitude change throughout the piece “New Orleans?” And if so, how?  Does he seem more connected to the city, in the end, or less?  Please respond to each other’s insights, as we can keep this exchange on this first piece in some fruitful continuum…