Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Want to be an Eccentric Scientist When I Grow up

When I was young--when I first learned about magma and subduction zones and the tectonics that inch-by-inch rend our continents into new shapes--I wanted to be a geologist.  My fascination led to the gradual acquisition of a rock collection.  Some purchased, some picked up on the sidewalk, and some given to me by my eccentric but wonderful Uncle Roger out in California. I learned words like "sedentary" and "igneous" and "metamorphic."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Reading Tolkien Out Loud

In the olden days of oral culture, literature was spoken.  Stories were transmitted to their "readers" vocally or musically.  Those were the days of the minstrel, the scop, the skald.

Nowadays, most of our stories are consumed quietly, silently, individually.  We do so much silent reading that I think we forget--good writing is designed to be read aloud.  Why else would students be encouraged to read their own writing aloud when revising and proofreading?  Read-aloudability is essential for poetry, but is an important characteristic in all writing.  Living vocal chords breathe energy into the hollow bones of texts.

Read-aloudability is one of the reasons I love Tolkien so very much.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Steampunk Stylings

A corner of my steampunk-styled room at home.
I've been planning on penning an entry dedicated to steampunk at some point.  However, I was inspired to go ahead with it when Felicia Day (who is fast becoming one of my new personal heroes) spotlighted Steampunk fashion in the latest episode of her web show The Flog. (By the way, if you haven't seen her new YouTube channel Geek and Sundry, you should definitely check it out.)  The fashion she models was designed by Clockwork Couture, which I'd never heard of before, and which is outside my stingy price range, but which is fun to admire anyways.  You really can't go wrong with timepieces, corsets, lace-up boots, and quirky Victorian hats.

For those of you who don't know, steampunk is both an aesthetic movement and a subgenre of science fiction that explores an alternate, anachronistic Victorian era--a historical "future" powered by steam.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Welcome to Deckles and Dragons!

Please grab a mug of ale, sit by the fire, and listen to our resident minstrel sing of heroic deeds.  Your quest is about to begin!
In honor of my inaugural entry (and to practice inserting images), I present to you a dragon!  This little beastie lives in the margins of a book of hours at Boston Public Library.  I don't know whether this particular fellow breathes much fire, but he is rather too badass for only four heads—he decided to sprout another one at the end of his tail. 

Anyway--why am I blogging?  As is often the case, the tale begins with a work of fiction.