Showing posts from 2015

AcrWriMo #3: the Funnel

Some people like to work on one project at a time, seeing it through to completion and then starting the next one. While focusing on one thing at a time can be an effective way to work, there are many advantages to thinking about your writing as a funnel: ______________________________ (here's all the ideas for projects you have)    _________________________ (here are the projects you're collecting research on)          ___________________ (here are the projects you're drafting)                 ___________ (here are the projects you're revising)                          ___ (here are the projects you're submitting) One nice thing about the funnel is that when you submit, you can always turn your attention to the revisions you need to make for the next thing, which keeps you from agonizing about the article or chapter you just send off, as Dr. Clay Spinnozi pointed out in our publishing workshop. You are always submitting because you are always wr

AcWriMo Advice #1: Environment

Environment There are a lot of people who will tell you can you (read: they) can only write in the ideal place: quiet, surrounded by books, often in an oak-and-leather study with filtered afternoon light. Sounds great, but that's not the only place that can be effective for you. Stacey Pigg (2014) found that one of the great unteachable skills for undergraduate writers is  learning where you personally can focus . Because you can be so flexible as a graduate student, you're fortunate to have a wide range of options: coffee shops, libraries, home, etc. Try a couple of these and find what works best for you. But also recognize that  just as there are different kinds of writing, there are different kinds of writing environments . For example, I'm sitting at the reception desk of Austin Pets Alive! which is a noisy place where I'm frequently interrupted; it's a bad place for be to do the sustained, focused- writing on a book chapter, but it's great for gramma

The Sabbath Day Talk

  Intro, who I am. I really want to be good.   I want to honor my fathers and my mothers, and my ancestors back as far as I know them and then I want to discover even more of them to honor. I want to care for the poor and needy, visit the sick and afflicted and those imprisoned by earthly authorities or their own doubts and addictions. I want to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort and to be a witness of him at times and in all things and in all places. I want   to feast upon the words of Christ and becoming willing participants of his grace, tuned to hear the speaking of the still small voice and committed to follow its directions. In occasions of questions, struggle or need, I want to fast in order to strengthen our ability to hear his word and feel his comfort. Above all, I want to be   part of a holy people, consecrated unto him. I want to be, in God’s words, “unspotted from the world” (D&C 59:9)             But I

Class Outside and other Mysteries

It is lovely weather lately. Texas' best season is March and April and I will always stand by this: the bluebonnets are out, the leaves on the trees are fresh and young, the sunlight is swept by the rain. This year, because of the rain we've gotten the past couple of weeks is perhaps even better than usual. The past week, everytime I've been inside I've wanted to be outside. In class the other day, we opened the windows to let the cool breeze in and it was lovely in part, so I wanted it in whole. So yesterday I told my students to grab their bags and come on outside. There's a courtyard right next to our building with steps and sometimes we hear students rehearsing Shakespeare out there and it seems an ideal way to spend a spring afternoon.  Instead of sitting in a dark room, looking at a screen, I could print off copies of the sample paper I want them to look at and we could sit outside and have an enriching discussion on the grass. As soon as we get out, the s

Being a Gimli instead of a Galadriel

I am short and I am strong. In Tolkein terms, I am Gimli. This is a sad realization for a young lady to come to. Everyone wants to be an elf. I want to be an elf, I want to be freakin' Galadriel, man. No one ever spoke of the beautiful and elegant dwarf woman. But I'm kind of amazing, physically. I was in an Aikaido class on a lark and the big, experienced guys (of the beginning class) had a hard time breaking my grip. "She's really strong," the instructor said by way of explanation to the thin, wiry woman whose wrists I had grabbed behind her back. "Do you life weights?" another class member asked me a little while later. "I, well, sometimes," I said. It was kind of a middle place to be. I was proud because, yeah, I do lift weights, a couple of times a week--I'm not a weightlifter--and there are several things I can't do that I feel strong people can do, like pull ups, for example. But I am strong. I can carrying the water cool

Some thoughts on rhetoric and the gospel of Jesus Christ

Rhetoric and the Gospel of Jesus Christ I study rhetoric, which is a field much maligned. It is, in common parlance, manipulative, shallow and antithetical to good reasoning. I’m not surprised, but that’s not how I see rhetoric. That’s not how most rhetoricians see it. Rhetoric is a beautiful process by which human beings see other human beings, consider them fully and then “ inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols” (Burke, Rhetoric of Motives 43). This process is absolutely in line with the principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is, in fact, illuminative of Mormon beliefs. In the first LDS hymnbook, the one that Emma Smith compiled, she included a song called “Know This, That Every Soul Is Free,” presumably because it reflected some of the distinctive doctrines of the recently organized church. The first verse affirms that “God will force no man to heav’n” (hymn number 240) and this concept is indeed