Category Archives: Writing

There, Their and They’re – What Word Choice Says about the Chooser

Many grammatical or diction errors are easily forgiven, especially in English as it is spoken in North America. Because the countries of North America, such as Canada and United States—and less so Mexico—are largely immigrant cultures, there is a lot … Continue reading

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Preface to my Novel about Colonizing Mars

I first thought about the lone colonist of Mars by the chance association between two very different and, some would say, antithetical ideas. I designed a university course on the changing perception of Mars in literature over the past two … Continue reading

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The Best line from a Student Paper

Although I have read many great student sentences over the years, probably the most memorable one is from my student’s essay when I was teaching in the United States. One of my students was writing about Frederick Douglass, the famous … Continue reading

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Misplacing People by Modifiers

Normally when I am reading articles, especially those on a topic outside my field of study, I often gloss over errors or problems with the prose. Sometimes I am halted in midsentence by an utterance that is troubling in terms … Continue reading

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How Using Academic Research is like being in an Argentinian Argument

Although many academics tacitly accept that research makes a paper stronger, they don’t exactly examine that premise. In fact, if the paper is well argued, and has evidence it has garnered from the primary text(s), other sources are superfluous. They … Continue reading

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Self-reliance and the Helping Hand

Someone asked me recently if my books were linked by a common trait and for a moment I found the question daunting. Then I leapt at the one attribute that they all possess, from my long poem to academic work … Continue reading

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Something to Show for Each Year

I am frequently asked why I bother writing my various books. I don’t have a huge audience to satisfy like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling. In my case, my books sell sporadically and I don’t know there is a … Continue reading

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Textual Reality and the Phenomenological World

Although my friend’s daughter asked me one time if the story I had just told her was a “true story,” most people acknowledge—however reluctantly in the case of Harry Potter fans—that the characters in the stories they read are fictional. … Continue reading

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Working on the Birth and Death of Planeville

I have spent the last few months—when I can spare a moment from teaching and marking—working on my novel about the now extinct village of Planeville. In some ways this project has been more difficult than others, perhaps because although … Continue reading

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Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews

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