What would Professor Bhaer think of Fantasy fiction?

So, as I’ve written extensively, I’m on a fantasy fiction reading marathon. I finished all those recommended to me from my dear friend, the last of which was the ill-fated Game of Thrones series. That was not satisfying.

So, as that drew to a close, I was just about ready to give it up and go back to the literary writings I have always loved.

But, someone recommended a new series, and I’m ripping through that now.

I feel almost as if I’ve opened a bag of candy corn and I can’t stop the bite-bite-bite.

This one is good though! Not like the horrible George R.R. Martin series!

but as I find myself unable to put down yet another fantasy trilogy…I am reminded of something from long ago.

I was a very young teenager when I discovered Louisa May Alcott. Little Women was the first, but she had quite a few more books. I read them all. Jo’s Boys was not one of the best, I liked Rose in Bloom.

But I remember Jo struggling to become and author, and how she fell in love with a German professor. He told her she was better than just a writer of “sensation” stories.

How was a 14-year-old supposed to decipher that? What in the world are “sensation” stories? I could only assume they were bodice-rippers…but they seemed a little more complicated than that. Plus, Jo was not particularly ‘fast’.

But as I try to make sense of why my literary canon is different from these genre fiction page-turners, I am thinking about Professor Bhaer. I think he might call these fantasy-magical stories beneath Jo’s talent.

Maybe they are.

Not that we must always be striving for our best in every darn moment of every day. Escapism has it’s place for sure.

But I wonder. The other anthology-type reading had more grist to it. More literary vitamins.

I don’t know what dragons have to tell me about facing my everyday moral dilemmas.

i, blog

My dashboard tells me this will be my 1,318th post.

I have posted a lot of blogposts, haven’t I?

There is a part of me that wants to hurry up and make it to 1500. Maybe I”ll have a littls party on my log when I get there.

I should have commemorative t-shirts



self-promoting t-shirt.

ain’t the internet grand?

finding your voice recognition

okay, that’s a tortured metaphor/pun.

Writers are always talking about “finding your voice”

But I have recently heard about a super cool voice recognition software. This article tells about an author who uses it to writer her romance novels

She’s written a lot of novels.

I am slavering over the idea of spending the many many many hours I drive to compose new works.

Novenber is national novel writing month. Maybe I could turn my commute into the great american novel.

It could be a return of the e e cummings style of writing, no capitals or punctuations. that would be something, alright

“..but they won’t LET me….”

I have been discussing the right to be right on this blog for a long time. Since the beginning really.

It’s come up again with a friend in the process of finishing her PhD. Genius Girl and blessed with an honest lucidity of expression.

She is hitting the wall in her study of education. How do we fix the education of young people in America? It’s broken, and we know how to fix it. But we don’t know how to start putting the fix into place.

I talked with her some about the old tropes of this aged blog. Who has the right to be right? Who get to bar the gates to the engine of power, and most importantly, the engine of change?

I think I’ve learned a couple things in the nearly ten years since I started this blog. I hope so. And I think I’ve been looking at that question all the wrong way.

Here’s the facts:”

We are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable Right to be Right.

And in America, we get to be right. We get to pick whatever we want to do, with a limited book of restrictions. Therefore, I have the right to be right.

And I have the right to be wrong.

But that wasn’t really what the Right to be Right is all about. The question implies that someone else has to grant one the right. And what would that granting consist of?

It would be an agreement. “Oh! yes! That’s right!”

If we are talking about buy-in, or agreement, or FOLLOWERS…well…that’s a whole other thing altogether.

It’s really being a leader, then.

Who gave Steve Jobs the right to be right? Nobody. He took it, and he was proved right by getting followers, getting customers.

Who gave Hitler or Ghandi the right to be right? One was far more right than the other. One was far more destructive. But their ability to enact their ideas about what was right was granted them by their followers.

So the right to be right has nothing to do with the ‘correctness’ of an idea.

Don’t we cube-dwellers know that all too well.

it has to do with whether it has popular appeal.

Now we are back to the education system. GirlGenius-PhD-to-be tells me that all the answers have long ago been discovered about how to fix what’s broken. They are safely stored in journals in libraries.

What we don’t have is a machine to get those fixes to the students that need them.

That’s the question:

one hand holds the problem, and all it’s parts

the other hand hold the fix, and all it’s details

How do they meet?

It might be called Middleware. What hardware or software or widget will get those two together?

..I dont’ think that widget is well understood. I have ideas. But I’m not so good at getting popular appeal.

We’ve hit the wall as a culture. We don’t know how to do this part. Not really well.

All the answers lie in plain view.

Across a deep chasm. Where are the bridge builders?

The Last Mile of the book

Kindle says in 72% done with A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire.

I’m ready to throw it out the window. I am almost certain that this 5th book in the series is not going to pay back the effort I’ve invested in it. I am almost sure the author is not going to make good on all the stories he began to tell.

SOME authors do. Dickens was famous for it.

But George R.R. Martin is no Dickens.

I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. But I am only finishing this book of duty now.