sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

NaNoWriMo 2014

I have a new blog: Streams & Desolations. Here’s the first post.

Streams & Desolations


In November 2013 I participated in my first ever NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you’re not familiar with it, it’s 30 days of intense novel writing. In the standard version of the competition, the aim is to write the first draft of a novel at a minimum of 50,000 words. There is also a Young Writer’s Program for the under-18s, who get a word count tailored to their individual writing speed abilities.

NaNo 2013 was a huge challenge for me. Prior to that, the longest piece of writing I’d ever produced was an 18,000-word dissertation to obtain my university qualifications, and that took me two years to research and write. Admittedly, that was its own challenge as my research was later assessed and marked by a group of PhD academics with expertise in the subject matter – the pressure was very much on me to produce quality…

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Link: Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?

This is great. Say “no” to Internet bullies!


Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?.

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Essentialism vs. Social Construction Theory

I encountered a hefty dose of gender essentialism today. It’s late and I won’t go into detail about it. But the very notion that all men and all women are exactly this or that and never, say, wildly complex and human and diverse, really is a notion that ought to be thrown out in light of more modern research.

Here’s a nice summary.

Intro to Women's Studies S12: Gender in a Transnational World

In class we began by looking at different definitions of topics such as gender and how we would approach such topics over the course of the semester. We discussed topics such as “western science and its role in constructing categories of difference.” The general consensus seemed to be that science is considered factual and unbiased so people will therefore heavily rely on this information and use it to make their own judgments about certain topics. “But science has a history. People produce ideas and methods for science based on their sense of what is needed and important for their society. None of these ideas is neutral. The categories that science creates are often seen as truths that cannot be challenged” (Kaplan and Grewal 1). So far we have read excerpts from different books that talk about science and different theories and how this has affected our view on topics such…

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