William Faulkner Teaches Fantasy

In my last post, I argued that reading classic literature can help inspire our writing of speculative fiction. To demonstrate this principle, I’ll (over time) write several posts describing how my own reading and teaching of classic English literature has enriched and enlarged my views of what spec-fic can do. For the sake of argument, […]

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The Best YA Hero

“Do you want Wendy’s or Arby’s?” he asked me. I pursed my lips, thinking. “Arby’s it is,” he said, turning the car. That’s right: he apparently knew that I wanted a beef and cheddar sandwich from the way my lips were scrunched. It’s interactions like these that make my husband Cap  feel like a mind-reader. […]

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A Letter to Pre-Mom Me

Dear Past Shannon, I know. I remember that Facebook status well, that one you’re reading now. It’s the fifth one you’ve read this week. If memory serves, it read something like, “Naptime. All four kids awake. Poop in my hair.” To you, happy in your third year of marriage, it makes you feel sick inside. […]

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How I Almost Broke My Marriage

My husband Cap and I went on our first date 10 years ago today. The ten years we’ve been together have easily been the best of my life. There are days I feel overwhelming sweetness, as if I can’t believe this blessed life is mine—and he’s the main reason, humanly speaking, I have it. There […]

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I am Umbridge

Ask me to choose a part of Harry Potter that is “not fun,” and my first reaction will probably be to stare at you blankly, my jaw slightly ajar, wondering why you’re asking unanswerable questions. When pressed, I might begin reluctantly admitting that certain parts of the Potterverse are less fun: maybe Dursleys? Maybe Draco? […]

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