I missed NaNoWriMo. So what?

Saturday, December 12th, 2009 by Rachel

This semester, a student came up to me and asked me if I knew that November was national novel writing month. I said I didn’t. She informed me about NaNoWriMo, saying that she’d done it for the past few years and was planning on doing it again this year. I said something about November being a…not-so good month for this kind of thing—so close to the end of the semester. She said that was part of the challenge.


As you all know, first and foremost, I’m a poet. But I do enjoy writing fiction. In undergrad, my only exposure to fiction was in a reading/workshop hybrid course on Crime and Urban Noir fiction. We read a lot of wonderful books, then at the end of the semester wrote something inspired by those books. My story was horrible. I was told that I can’t make a character likeable and then…not so likeable. My character was too complicated. It wasn’t believable. No one would act like that. My revision was essentially a whole new story. I kept the character (though a simplified version) and I threw in a bunch of Muppets. Seriously, muppets.


During my MA, I took sort of two fiction workshops. One was a fiction workshop, during which I wrote two stories. I like both of them. They still need a lot of work, but this is where I realized that I’m funny. Well, that doesn’t sound quite right. I’ve always thought that I’m funny. Other people (cough cough, lame ex boyfriends, cough!) have disagreed with my assertion that I’m funny. I make jokes in the classes that I teach. I’d say that the response from my bored freshmen student audience is probably 50 % positive, 50% no reaction. But in those stories, I was damn funny, and when people told me that my stories, in plot, character, and dialogue made them laugh, I felt really good.


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Why God Will Never Get Tenure–Hope you think this is as funny as I do!

Friday, December 4th, 2009 by Rachel

1. He published only one book.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. He did not publish it in referenced journals.
5. Some doubt He even wrote it Himself.
6. He is not known for His cooperative work
7. Sure, He created the world, but what has He done lately?
8. He did not get permission from any review board to work with human subjects.
9. When one experiment went awry, He tried to cover it up by drowning all the subjects.
10. When sample subjects do not behave as predicted, He deletes the whole sample.
11. He rarely comes to class – and just tells His students to read the Book.
12. It is rumored that He sometimes lets His Son teach the class.
13. Although He only has 10 requirements, students often fail His tests.
14. He expelled His first two students for learning.
15. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.