January 24

Welcome to the Write Class!

Hello Students and Readers!

Welcome to Mz. Mack’s blog for creative writers.

Sometimes we write for ourselves, while other times we write for others, this blog can be for the former and it is certainly for the latter.

This space is where you will  publish polished pieces to share with the world. You will be responsible for maintaining your page, uploading your finished pieces, and following the guidelines we’ve discussed for being a smart and safe digital citizen.

Happy blogging!

July 22

The hardest thing we should learn to say…

“Tell Me More” — we tend to be “fixers” rather than listeners. Next time someone comes to you with a problem or a situation, listen — really listen after you say, “Tell me more, go on…” You’ll be surprised at how much information you gather for your stories AND how valued the other person feels.

“I was wrong.” (which is different than “I’m sorry”). Own up to your responsibility for making a mistake. It’s freeing. Think about where “I was wrong” could take on of your characters, where it will take you…

“Minds don’t rest; they reel and wander and fixate and roll back and reconsider because it’s like this, having a mind. Hearts don’t idle; they swell and constrict and break and forgive and behold because it’s like this, having a heart. Lives don’t last; they thrill and confound and circle and overflow and disappear because it’s like this, having a life.”― Kelly Corrigan

May 19

We are all storytellers…

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First watch the video! Then…In the comments below – tell us one thing you learned from the video, or if you didn’t learn anything thing – make a comment, a piece of advice to your fellow writers or an observation.

April 29

Suspense Reviews

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I’m very fond of Gaiman’s works (ya’ll may have noticed…) His book The Ocean at the End of the Lane starts out deceptively sweet, building suspense (most effectively) through the limited point of view of our protagonist (now an older man but recalling the time when he was a young boy who met and befriended, Lettie, a young lady with beyond-universes-old knowledge who lives at the end of the lane.  This remembered-past is simply too inexplicable, too frightening, too whimsically-creepy to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. The story is really about the unfathomable things that lurk around the corners of reality and seep through tiny cracks into our world. There’s friendship and love, along with utter cruelty, and resentment, and anger; all in a dance that keeps the reader asking, “And then what happens?!” There are monsters, it’s Gaiman after all…. With his master storytelling skills, those monsters come from the characters’ fervent wishes, the narrator’s interior spaces, and really… from the deep-down-darkness that lives inside of all of us, even when we refuse to name it…

“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.” — Gaiman

Your task: Respond with your SUSPENSEFUL book review in the comments! Make sure to tell me what techniques the author used to make the suspense work in the story!

April 17

All Books Have Genders — Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman (one of my enduring literary-crushes) had this to say about book genders:

“Books have sexes; or to be more precise, books have genders. They do in my head, anyway. Or at least, the ones that I write do. And these are genders that have something, but not everything, to do with the gender of the main character of the story.

When I wrote the ten volumes of Sandman, I tended to alternate between what I thought of as male storylines, such as the first story, collected under the title Preludes and Nocturnes, or the fourth book, Season of Mists; and more female stories, like Game of You, or Brief Lives.

The novels are a slightly different matter. Neverwhere is a Boy’s Own Adventure (Narnia on the Northern Line, as someone once described it), with an everyman hero, and the women in it tended to occupy equally stock roles, such as the Dreadful Fiancee, the Princess in Peril, the Kick-Ass Female Warrior, the Seductive Vamp. Each role is, I hope, taken and twisted 45% from skew, but they are stock characters nonetheless.

Stardust, on the other hand, is a girl’s book, even though it also has an everyman hero, young Tristran Thorne, not to mention seven Lords bent on assassinating each other. That may partly be because once Yvaine came on stage, she rapidly became the most interesting thing there, and it may also be because the relationships between the women – the Witch Queen, Yvaine, Victoria Forester, the Lady Una and even Ditchwater Sal, were so much more complex and shaded than the relationships (what there was of them) between the boys.”

  1. Your task (after reading this post) is to comment with: whether you agree or disagree with Gaiman.
  2. If you agree with Gaiman then you need to:
    1.  briefly describe a book that you have enjoyed
    2. state what you think is that book’s gender
    3.  tell the readers (us) why you think it is that gender (your reasons — see Gaiman’s writing above for hints, help)
    4. the best part of you realizing that all books just may, indeed, have gender!
  3. If you disagree with Gaiman then you need to:
    1. briefly describe a book that you have enjoyed
    2. state why you think books do not have genders
    3. ideas from your chosen book (in 1) to back up your opinion that books do not have genders
    4. the best part of reading your book – what really stayed in your skin long after you read it.

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February 18

Hey RHS Bloggers!

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The vast majority of my students have a blog that is NOT SET UP and does not have a single post! So…. you need to:

  • set up your front post- make it a sticky-post! This is the one that shows up when people visit your  blog. You can introduce yourself or share a piece of your writing / poetry or prose (your choice).
  • Get rid that “Welcome” thingy that edublogs put there
  • Do another post – don’t make it a sticky-post
    • share a school appropriate joke
    • put up a funny (school appropriate) meme
    • share your writing
    • post a prompt or a question for classmates
  • Metaphorically finally, find a classmate’s blog and craft a meaningful comment – tell them what you like about their post, ask a question, reply to a prompt that they have shared, etc.
  • Literally finally – find another classmate’s blog and craft a meaningful comment – tell them what you like about their post, ask a question, reply to a prompt that they have shared, etc.

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