Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Application Letter

I recently got my copy of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook by Tom Kealey back from a friend who borrowed it (and was accepted to Goddard College) and was transported back to two years ago when I was in the “MFA zone.” All I did was research, revise my story, research some more, talk to people, research some more, and prayed I’d get into an MFA program. When I was rejected by all seven schools, I took a break. But man, it was brutal to try to put yourself on the page, sell yourself, and want to study with other writers. Continue reading

Extras

imageAuthor: Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon Pulse (2007)

Aya Fuse is obsessed with being famous. When she follows the Sly Girls, she uses her hovercam (everyone has hovercams to broadcast on their live feeds aka blogs) to uncover that they exist. When she discovers steel that may be death-making, she recruits her brother, Hiro Fuse (with a much higher face rank than her) to stop the possible destruction of humanity with help from a Tally Youngblood.

This book, like the rest of the series, starts slowly and introduces more slang and concepts to learn like “kick” meaning cool and “face ranks” which is the equivalent of having “hits” on your blog or site that make you “famous” in the country. The third half was a wicked ride; without ruining anything about the plot, some characters wear sneak suits that allow them to fly through the jungle!

Westerfeld’s social commentary on the obsession with being famous was illustrated vividly and realistically in science fiction fashion. Entertaining and captivating, this last story in the series seals the deal.

Fierce Attachments

image Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (1987)

From the back cover:

“The story of a lifelong battle for independence, it weaves between the working-class Bronx home where Vivian Gornick grew up and her later, tempestuous walks with her aged mother through the streets of Manhattan. As the two women argue and remember the past, each wins the reader’s admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her tenacity in talking to her mother about the most basic issues of their lives; and the still-powerful and intuitively wise old woman, who again and again provers herself her mother’s daughter.” Continue reading

Hunter MFA Open House

Late last October, I attended Hunter College’s MFA Open House.

The room was buzzing with anticipation, excitement, and frenetic energy. Potential MFA applicants filled the Danny Kaye playhouse as they looked on at the matriculated and alumni students of the MFA program sitting on the stage. Continue reading

The Other Wes Moore

imageAuthor: Wes Moore

Publisher: Spiegler and Rau (2010)

Wes Moore is about two men with different fates. Both grew up without fathers, have mothers who wanted to raise them in better environments, and started out rebellious. One of them landed in jail while the other is a Rhodes Scholar. Continue reading

Ultramarathon Man

Confessions of an All-Night Runner

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Author: Dean Karnazes

Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin Group (2005)

Dean Karnazes is a maniac – for running! The beginning chapter starts with Dean taking a run for ten miles or more, orders a pizza and coffee, and eats while running!

This book chronicles Dean’s early affair with the sport, his cessation period, and the day he reinvigorates his mundane (and financially comfortable) life with running.

Dean’s life is fascinating from beginning to end. I devoured this book in four days! The chapters are broken up into time periods and seasons which provide the reader a timeline to follow with all the different “ultra” marathons he participated in.

Even for the reader that isn’t a fan of running (this reader is), anyone can enjoy and become inspired by Dean’s tenacity and full force into pushing himself to the limit until he practically kills himself, every time! This was an amazing journey to accompany him on and I look forward to running my first full marathon in the future.

Very much recommended.

National Day of Unplugging 2011

This weekend, I participated in National Day of Unplugging created by the Sabbath Manifesto last year. This “unplugging” took place sundown on March 4th and ended sundown on March 5th; essentially, it was for non-Jews to practice Sabbath in their own way.

Because I read an article about the unplugging at 1 am on March 5th, I vowed to plug back in 1 am on March 6th. As soon as I read the article, I shared the link on Facebook, tweeted it then I turned off my computer.

Continue reading