Picturing the Personal Essay: A Visual Guide | Creative Nonfiction A design professor from Denmark once drew for me a picture of the creative process, which had been the subject of his doctoral dissertation. “Here,” he said. “This is what it looks like”: Aha, I thought, as we discussed parallels in the writing process. Nothing is wasted though, said the design professor, because every bend in the process is helping you to arrive at your necessary structure. The remarkable thing about personal essays, which openly mimic this exploratory process, is that they can be so quirky in their “shape.” Narrative with a lift Narrative is the natural starting place since narrative is a natural structure for telling others about personal events. Take, for example, Jo Ann Beard’s essay “The Fourth State of Matter.” Narrative essays keep us engaged because we want answers to such questions. One interesting side note: trauma, which is a common source for personal essays, can easily cause an author to get stuck on the sort of plateau Kittredge described.
Using Mind Maps For Creating Novels | No Wasted Ink Take a word. Place that word in the center of a sheet of paper and circle it. Let the word tease your brain. Allow related ideas, words or concepts to be inspired by this word. Write down those new ideas around the word. Draw lines to connect them. When I’m first beginning a novel’s outline, I like to use mind maps to help generate characters and plot points. Overall Plot Mind Map Start with a central Node, the title of your book. Next I generate mind maps for each of the points that I come up with in the hubs. Character Generation Mind Map Write the name of your character in the center of a sheet of paper. Plot Generation Mind Map Think of an moment in time that will happen in your novel. I am a paper person and write my mind maps in a composition notebook with my fountain pens. I have included a review of five of the the mind mapping software programs below. Freemind This was the first mind map program that I used when I started creating the maps. Xmind MindMeister TheBrain Prezi Like this:
Blog » The Best Work in Literature If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed . Thanks for reading! Photo by Daniel Leininger / Flickr The following post by Manjula Martin ( @manjulamartin ) is part of our online companion to our Spring 2013 issue on The Business of Literature. Click here for an overview of the issue . i. Even then, I viewed my summer gig as work I would one day leave behind: when I grew up, I was certain, I would become a full-time artist. My family’s store was housed in a grand 1910 sandstone building, formerly a bank. In the business of literature, the people who mind the store—from writers to editors to Tumblrs— often have other jobs, too. ii. I was sixteen and about to graduate from high school by the time a coworker said to me, “So, what are you gonna do now?” “I dunno,” I said, “maybe drop out of college and move to New York and become a famous writer by the age of twenty-one?” Did I really believe I would be a bestselling author with a sweet Soho loft by age twenty-one? iii. iv.
I was 16 when my mom died. I raised my sisters the best I could Photo by Jaroslav Kocian/Flickr via Getty Images We never expected my father to take care of us after my mother died, and we were right. Mom was 53 when colorectal cancer killed her. She left me three girls to raise and a household to run. I was 16. My sisters and I grew up in Manhattan. When my mother got sick, I saw pitching in as an extension of my normal eldest sister responsibilities. In the middle of my mother’s illness, my family moved from New York City to the Poconos. But then Mom was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer. My accident happened while bike-riding with a friend—exactly the kind of outing I’d dreamed of. “Yes,” I said, though I wasn’t. That night, though Mom hadn’t been upstairs in months, she braved the steps to wake me every two hours to check for a concussion. “What’s your name? Cancer had wreaked havoc on her lower body, and a heating pad covered in yellow floral fabric lived permanently on her recliner. On her lap she held a shiny navy folder. “What?”
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Los Angeles Review of Books - John Gray’s Godless Mysticism: On "The Silence Of Animals" Frank Sinatra Has a Cold - Gay Talese - Best Profile of Sinatra In the winter of 1965, writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra -- his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on -- and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. Click here to read the six other greatest Esquire stories ever published -- in their entirety. Frank Sinatra Has a Cold By Gay Talese Frank Sinatra does things personally. "No," Ellison said. "No."
Interactive Learning Sites for Education - Home Small Talk I recently found myself sitting across a table from a stranger, chewing awkwardly in silence. It was a familiar scenario: a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop with not enough tables and me sitting alone, assenting readily when an older woman asked if she could share my premium slice of real estate. She sat down and we both began to eat, eyes studiously averted—quickly, the silence became unbearable. The weather has a long-standing monopoly on the small talk market, and it’s not hard to see why. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of the term “small talk” to eighteenth-century British Parliamentarian Lord Chesterfield’s Letters to His Son , a collection of pedagogical nuggets dispensing wisdom on a comprehensive range of topics, as befits a book with the subtitle “On the Fine Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman.” A little small talk before getting down to business is like washing your hands in preparation for a meal. Heidegger is not unaware of this. .
How To Write A Personal Essay Photo Credit: Colleen Kinder Leslie Jamison's incredible new essay collection, The Empathy Exams, covers topics ranging from random violence to HBO's Girls to abortion to bad romance to stereotypes, proving she can write about anything. Here, she tells us how she approaches personal nonfiction writing, as well as provides tips. When people ask what kind of nonfiction I write, I say “all kinds,” but really I mean I don’t write any kind at all: I’m trying to dissolve the borders between memoir and journalism and criticism by weaving them together. When I talk about writing essays that resonate beyond the personal, I don’t mean that personal material isn’t sufficient. I’m interested in essays that follow the infinitude of a private life toward the infinitude of public experience. In my own essay, “The Empathy Exams,” I tell several personal stories—an abortion, a failed heart surgery—inside a broader inquiry into the terms of empathy itself: What does it consist of?
My Favorite WSQ Please see the "revisited" version of this post, published in July of 2016, by clicking here.*Please read my WSQing page for more details, descriptions, and workflow* A "WSQ" (pronounced wisk) in my class is what we call "homework" in my flipped classroom. It stands for this: [read an update on the WSQ after using it for several weeks in my classroom here] W - Watch Students must watch the video for the assigned lesson and take notes in their SSS packets (this stands for "Student Success Sheets" and I have them for each unit/chapter) I have created for them. Some of my very high achieving students have asked "Do I have to watch the video" and under certain circumstances, I say "no", but you still have to complete the notes on the SSS packet. A few issues I am already noticing with this is that there are still important things that I say about the concepts that students miss if they don't watch the video. S - Summary Students have to write a summary of what they watched in the video.
The Science of Loneliness: How Isolation Can Kill You Who are the lonely? They’re the outsiders: not just the elderly, but also the poor, the bullied, the different. Surveys confirm that people who feel discriminated against are more likely to feel lonely than those who don’t, even when they don’t fall into the categories above. A key part of feeling lonely is feeling rejected, and that, it turns out, is the most damaging part. To psychologists trying to puzzle out how social experiences affect health, AIDS amounted to something of a natural experiment, the chance to observe the effects of conditions so extreme that no ethical person would knowingly subject another person to them. In the mid-to late ’80s, the UCLA lab obtained access to a long-term study of gay men who enrolled without knowing whether they were infected with HIV. Steven Cole was a young postdoctoral student in the lab itching to move beyond his field’s mind-body split. It eventually occurred to Cole to try to imagine the world from a gay man’s perspective. Ariel Lee