Using University Writing Centers as a Creative Writer

Many writers go to university writing centers for help with academic writing, such as essays and assignments for classes, but what about creative writing? Writing centers, like the Oakland University Writing Center (OUWC), provide an invaluable resource to writers looking to improve their ability and their papers; however, many writers may not consider that the … Continue reading Using University Writing Centers as a Creative Writer

Sappho in Paris: The Poetic Value of Lexical Cosmopolitanism

Despite the occasional vague pronoun reference or f-bomb, I've always fancied myself a relatively articulate and polite English speaker (growing up so close to Canada has its consequences). En français, however, I undergo a Jekyll-like transformation from Midwestern Judith Martin to angry truck driver doing stand up for the French navy. A typical conversation is … Continue reading Sappho in Paris: The Poetic Value of Lexical Cosmopolitanism

Remembering Zines: Rubber Cement, Cheese, and Doing Your Thing

Some people enjoy the lingering smell of petrichor before a rain, freshly cut lawns, gasoline, the sweet notes of vanilla and almond found in the underlying mustiness of old books.  I always enjoy hearing about people's favorite scents because they tend to be anchored to memories fossilized in time; one of my friends loves the … Continue reading Remembering Zines: Rubber Cement, Cheese, and Doing Your Thing

Learning Storytelling through Comedy

In​ ​2007,​ ​the​ ​comedian​ ​Mike​ ​Birbiglia​ ​released​ ​the​ ​album​ My Secret​ ​Public​ ​Journal.​ Incidentally,​ ​this​ ​was​ ​the​ ​year​ ​I​ ​started​ ​to write.​ ​I​ ​had​ ​listened​ ​to​ ​stand​ ​up​ ​before,​ ​but​ ​Mike’s​ ​was​ ​different. My​ ​experience​ ​with​ ​stand-up,​ ​up​ ​to​ ​this​ ​point,​ ​had​ ​been​ ​listening to​ ​Steven​ ​Wright​ ​on​ ​road​ ​trips​ ​with​ ​my​ ​dad.​ ​And​ ​while​ … Continue reading Learning Storytelling through Comedy

Grammatical Mistakes You Shouldn’t Be Making Anymore

I believe that a writer ought to love and respect the English language in the same way that a musician ought to revere their instrument. Jimi Hendrix would not have been able to make the spell-binding music that he did if he didn’t respect his instrument, granted, he wasn’t the most technically polished guitarist, and … Continue reading Grammatical Mistakes You Shouldn’t Be Making Anymore

Five Horror Films to Inspire Your Writing

People like to talk about Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re filthy liars.  Halloween reigns supreme, the most spooky and magical of all, a giant grinning jack-o-lantern behind the wheel of a hot-rod hearse that runs on candy corn and blood, burning rubber as it peels out onto the open … Continue reading Five Horror Films to Inspire Your Writing

How to Be a Great Writer? Turn Off Your Phone. How to Develop a Writing and Reading Habit in an Age of Distractions

None of us read enough. None of us write enough. I know that I don’t, and I’m not alone. I have been asking my creative writing students how much they would like to read and write, and how much they do read and write. Not one student has replied that she spends as much time … Continue reading How to Be a Great Writer? Turn Off Your Phone. How to Develop a Writing and Reading Habit in an Age of Distractions

Well You Must Tell Me, Baby, How Your Head Feels Under Something Like That: Bob Dylan’s Brain on Tradition and Genre

When Bob Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature, reactions across the literary world varied—wildly. Eye rolls as well as applause sounded from all kinds of writers amidst continued controversy, from his slow acknowledgment and acceptance of the award, to more recent claims that he plagiarized parts of his acceptance speech from, of all … Continue reading Well You Must Tell Me, Baby, How Your Head Feels Under Something Like That: Bob Dylan’s Brain on Tradition and Genre