Brockmeier on importance of sentences & sci-fi/fantastical elements: 

In reading your stories, I’m always struck by your unique knack for detail. Where do these details come from? How do you imagine such full worlds? What I try to do is imagine full sentences, one after another, very slowly, trusting that if I get each one right they’ll gradually generate a world. The truth is that, hour by hour, I get very little done, but there are an awful lot of hours wrapped up in every story I write, which means that nearly every detail is the result of long concentration and a whole lot of tinkering. I’ve spoken…

Composition Theory Discussion Assigment

    Author: Lex Runcimam Essay Title: “Fun?” MLA Citation: Runciman, Lex. “Fun?” College English 53.2 (1991): 156-62. Web. Author: Kenneth Goldsmith Essay Title: “It’s Not Plagiarism. In the Digital Age, It’s ‘Repurposing.” MLA Citation: Goldsmith, Kenneth. “It’s Not Plagiarism. In the Digital Age, It’s ‘Repurposing.” The Chronicle Review. 2011. Web. Quick Background & Context: Is writing fun? Should we expect it to be? Runciman contemplates the odd pressures of the classroom in his article “Fun?” He uses the example of the bright student who turns in the jumbled paper; of whether or not the act of enjoying writing is a necessary…

Teaching Philosophy – First Draft

  As a lifelong learner, I’ve found that it’s a give and take sort of thing, and that teaching is just a different away of approaching it. This is something I find personally important to remember when I’m in the classroom. Oftentimes, I find myself imagining learning as the River Styx, in no uncertain terms. It’s something so infinite and yes—dare I say it—mystical even, that it requires guidance, a god-like kind, and I am no god. But I’m on that boat ride over, all the same. Plan to be, every single time, sitting neither above or below but right…

Thoughts on Teaching Style

Pedagological Explorations: Professionalism Tree #1 Practicum – Jimmy Butts “Observing a Teacher” Fall 2016 Semester Jennifer Davis runs her workshops just a little better than everyone else. I’ve been involved in some form of creative writing workshop for nearly a decade, and I can say this with absolute conviction. I’m not sure what it is, because I don’t believe it’s possible to narrow it down to only one thing. It’s more of the collective process as a whole—when you’re writing and reading with Jennifer—that’s magic. It’s the experience. It’s the bright gems you take away unknowingly, to discover months later,…

The Writing Process: Reflections

  I began the first day of class I was ever to teach by talking about the writing process, how it’s something that is uniquely your own and, if anything, quite a useful discovery to make as early as possible in your academic career. My reason for doing this was two-fold: 1: I wanted to know what my students’ individual relationships were to writing—they were engineers, while I was perfectly polar opposite, and 2: It’s something I’ve spent nearly a decade trying to figure out for myself, something, instructor-persona aside, I found interesting. Days later after having read through their…

Learning to Write: Reflections

Pedagogical Explorations: Reflection Tree Assignment For: Practicum – Jimmy Butts Fall 2016 Semester After trial and error and many years of frustrated self-doubt, I discovered that I write my best and easiest when something in my life has been upset, overturned, a crisis already on or nearing the horizon. Sadness, it seems, inspires me, and I can’t help but laugh at its irony. How strange it is to have this thing I love most in the world require trouble, such a gloomy strain of fuel, to run on. But tried and true, it’s nearly seductive how anger unwinds my sentences…

Writing Prompt: An Exercise in the Visual

This is an exercise in spontaneity and purposeful lack of guidance. Also, consider throughout this exercise, the idea of your writing being inspired by a completely different genre/form of art.