quick note–twin peaks, juan rulfo and spirit world voices

After a long semester of teaching I found some time to indulge in studying the novella Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo. I’ve been an admirer of Rulfo’s career and this book reads as a tremendous progression from his short stories I was introduced to in his book The Burning Plain. What I found in this work is aContinue reading “quick note–twin peaks, juan rulfo and spirit world voices”

the house of order now available on kindle and smashwords

available now on kindle, smashwords The House of Order–stories, the first collection of composite stories by John Paul Jaramillo, presents a stark vision of American childhood and family, set in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. 2013 International Latino Book Award Finalist–The Mariposa Award–Best First Book–Fiction Latino Stories.com 2013 Top Ten “New” Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)

hating writing

In the article “10 Famous Writers Who Hated Writing” from The Huffington Post, Bill Cotter discusses his “dark feelings” regarding what he labels as “the commission of the act of writing.” He lists quotes from famous authors revealing their angst on the very act of writing and he also discusses the problem of his own inarticulateness. And I must agree whenContinue reading “hating writing”

amy hempel reading

The power of the Internet brought me this mp3 of Amy Hempel reading “The Harvest” and suddenly I know what we’re listening to in class tomorrow. http://www.wiredforbooks.org/mp3/AmyHempel.mp3 Amy Hempel — “I moved through the days like a severed head that finishes a sentence.”

film recommendation: world’s greatest dad

This film is from 2009 and from director Bobcat Goldthwait. I missed it because of a limited release. I most admired Robin Williams playing a frustrated writer and teacher in this dark comedy. Love the scenes in poetry class. “I used to think the worst thing in life was ending up alone, it’s not. TheContinue reading “film recommendation: world’s greatest dad”

documentary recommendation: shepard and dark

Fascinating documentary about Sam Shepard’s forty year letter writing correspondence with friend Johnny Dark. Shepard stands as one my favorite authors and I enjoyed the inside look into how Shepard works and operates as a playwright–travelling around with his dog and his typewriter.

writerly gear: hybrid mechanical keyboard

I have had so many conversations with students about how great old school mechanical typewriters are for the feel and cadence in the act of writing. Yet we love the ease of the word processor. In fact once I had a dream I plugged an old typewriter into my MacBook Pro. I rarely post writerly gearContinue reading “writerly gear: hybrid mechanical keyboard”

film recommendation: a scanner darkly

Lately for many reasons I feel I’ve been living inside of a Philip K. Dick novel, so I’ve been rereading a couple of my favorite–Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said and A Scanner Darkly. What does a scanner see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me, into us? Clearly or darkly?Continue reading “film recommendation: a scanner darkly”

documentary recommendation: thank you mr watterson

Great documentary now available for streaming on Netflix. I’d been waiting to watch this one for a while. I was glad to see some insight into the reclusive artist Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes has always been one of my favorite strips and I remember the last strip to this day. In fact, I foundContinue reading “documentary recommendation: thank you mr watterson”

new year’s writing resolution

A few years back I made a joke to D about teaching and writing. I told her I was deciding to be a bad teacher and to focus on my writing. I told her I would be selfish. I would put my class work on cruise control. This was difficult to do because I feel suchContinue reading “new year’s writing resolution”

grading the college essay

Reading this defeatist article on Slate.com on grading the college essay. Rings true in many ways but why would I want to give standardized exams instead of essays? So as I prepare to spend the next three or four days reading my students’ work, I just have to keep telling myself to grade, and notContinue reading “grading the college essay”

quick review of big sur feature film

Big Sur may be my least favorite Jack Kerouac novel. While On the Road and The Subterraneans captured youth and restlessness, Big Sur relates the aged, alcoholic Kerouac. And perhaps that is why I don’t enjoy the book. Kerouac’s persona is one of such a broken down writer unable to cope with fame and personal relationships.Continue reading “quick review of big sur feature film”

thankful for graphic novels

The other day a student came in to the office while I was reading a graphic novel and asked me what I was doing slacking off at school. He seemed to think I was getting away from my responsibilities. Well, this holiday I’m thankful I will have a bit of  time off soon to prepContinue reading “thankful for graphic novels”