Category Archives: Writing

This Blog is a Waste of My Time: Thoughts on the Three-Year Anniversary of The Big Thing


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog. Last week, I wrote about “lore” and informally trading teaching information vs. formally publishing teaching research. This blog began because in 2010, I wrote an essay about teaching.  I realized that … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

The Top 5 Most Popular Posts on the Big Thing–and Why


It’s almost the end of the year, plus I’m nearing the third anniversary of The Big Thing, a blog I started so that I could talk more about teaching writing. I’ve been looking at my stats, seeing what I can … Continue reading

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Is Gaming Bad for Fiction Writers?


The other day, I was reading an undergraduate student’s novel in progress, and a thought occurred to me. As I often do, I shared that thought on Facebook: I’ve never played a video game, but I recognize that it’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Every Day We Write the Books: Please, Contribute to My Tumblr


Selfies + Accountability During the summer of 2013, I wanted to keep track of how many days I wrote. Like making a big fat X on a calendar. Except I don’t use a physical calendar anymore. So I hit the Photo … Continue reading

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Do the Math: Part 3


Time Management Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. –William Penn My students shared their Activity Logs with me last week. I told them that I wasn’t going to look at them. No grading. No judgement. … Continue reading

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Do the Math: Part 2


Last week, I talked about “doing the math” (and by extension time management) here at The Big Thing. This powerpoint contained a slide that got my attention. I use Google Calendar to schedule meetings and appointments, but not writing time, … Continue reading

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Academia & Websites: Let Me Show You the Problem


For writers in academia: do you feel like your “writer self” and your “teacher self” are two separate entities? The problem might be your websites.

Posted in CW Programs, Teaching, Writing | 1 Comment

Movie Marriage: Thoughts on my 4th Wedding Anniversary


I’ve had marriage on the brain for the last few months. Here’s why: Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. We’re getting some marriage counseling. I’m writing a novel, which is about–among other things–why people get married. I read an article … Continue reading

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Research and Serendipity


Research isn’t something I do to flesh out my ideas. Research is how I get my ideas. Writer Mario Vargas Llosa has said that he requires “the springboard of reality” to ignite his imagination, and I would say the same. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Mrs. Cole Porter, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why “Copper” is Addictive and Instructive


If you like Deadwood, Law & Order, Gangs of New York, and Homicide: Life on the Street, then you need to watch Copper. It begins its second season on BBC America on June 23. Find out where you can watch … Continue reading

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