Don’t Do Hard Things: Just Do Something

Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Do Hard Things™. Anyone else tired of hearing these mantras and ones like them? It’s not that they’re bad ideas, it’s just that I find the effect of hearing them all the time kind of paralyzing. Let me explain. The mindset of “overcoming” is everywhere in our… Continue reading Don’t Do Hard Things: Just Do Something

‘Passing thought’

To all humankind besides, Tess was only a passing thought. Even to friends she was no more than a frequently passing thought. Tess of the D’Urbervilles Ever wondered what other people think about you? Or who thinks about you? Or how often? It’s not really a profitable use of time, but it’s natural to wonder… Continue reading ‘Passing thought’

‘Imperturbably polite protest’

Mr. Grewgious in the meantime sat upright, with no expression in his face, and a hard kind of imperturbably polite protest all over him: as though he would have said, in reply to some invitation to discourse; ‘I couldn’t originate the faintest approach to an observation on any subject whatever, I thank you.’The Mystery of… Continue reading ‘Imperturbably polite protest’

‘Driven on by some demon’

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither… Continue reading ‘Driven on by some demon’

Cite Your Sources: Because Some Who Wander ARE Lost

Carved into wood, lettering whimsical and loopy, pine trees accenting the bottom, the piece reads: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.J.R.R. Tolkien Never have I been so annoyed by a sign that I like in all my life. Aesthetically: beautiful. Quotationally: love quotes. Authorially: big fan of Tolkien. The problem?… Continue reading Cite Your Sources: Because Some Who Wander ARE Lost

When the Right Book Comes at the Wrong Time

Dear Former Self, You didn’t know it at the time, but you would have loved this book. It’s right up your alley. Unfortunately you aren’t here anymore and I can only do so much to envision what your reaction to it would have been. I’ve tried to summon your spirit, to imagine this being your… Continue reading When the Right Book Comes at the Wrong Time

On-Line English Literature Discussion: Not Natural

Folklore. Fairy-tales. Horror stories. Urban legends. Mythology. What is it about the inexplicable, the fantastical, and the outrageously unrealistic that captures the human imagination? For that matter, what is it about the human imagination that causes it to manufacture these things, if indeed there is no outside originator? It was while studying "The Old Nurse's… Continue reading On-Line English Literature Discussion: Not Natural

On-line English Literature Discussion: Shakespeare’s Dark Knight

In my first year of university, our English professor had us participate in an on-line discussion group about the texts we studied, providing us with different questions or topics to discuss. When we studied Shakespeare's Othello, the topic was the obscure motivation of Iago in his quest to bring Othello down. The professor wanted to… Continue reading On-line English Literature Discussion: Shakespeare’s Dark Knight

“You Can Just Tell…”

A couple summers ago, I got the chance to share some books I love with my older brother and sister. When I asked each of them separately how they’d liked their individual selection, I got opposite (and therefore mirrored) responses: from my brother, “You can sure tell it’s written by a woman,” and from my… Continue reading “You Can Just Tell…”