Carousel #5

  1. All I really want for my birthday this year is Scrivener. Sounds absolutely perfect.
  2. Have some chiptunes I came across. Music made with a GameBoy, for those not in the know.
  3. Here’s an interesting article about Tumblr as the modern commonplace book. I’ve never kept one of my own, although I suppose this blog has become a sort with the inclusion of these carousels.
  4. I recently discovered the fantastic Dear Sugar advice column. Anonymous questions (often difficult, sometimes quite strange) are sent in and eloquently answered by the always compassionate, level-headed Sugar (who recently revealed herself as the author Cheryl Strayed, by the way).
  5. While the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games enjoying a huge success at the box office wasn’t all too surprising, it was surprising to see how some fans reacted to some of the characters being portrayed as black. I haven’t read the books myself, but the response is quite shocking to say the least. On the heels of this whole debacle, here’s Toni Morrison discussing racism.
  6. Aaron Burch, the fantastic editor over at Hobart, wrote a eulogy for the closing of a bookstore he used to work at. Sad to see all these bookstores go.
  7. Something I’ve noticed when it comes to fiction novels these days: there are a ton of books out there with the titles “The _____’s Daughter,” or “The _____’s Wife.” Apparently though, I’m not the only one who has picked up on this. Maybe the titles have a nice cadence, and maybe people do pick them up because they’re familiar, but I think it’s about time we retire them.
  8. Flannery O’Connor is one of my favorite short story writers, and it was her birthday last week. A big volume of her complete works sits on my shelf. Lacy Marschalk, a writer and a teacher, recounts her visit to Ms. O’Connor’s house in Georgia and the farm. Plus peacocks!
  9. This week, poet Adrienne Rich passed away. She was one of my favorite poets as an undergrad. Read and listen to her poem “Diving into the Wreck.”


  1. I always wait for Sunday so that I can see a new installment of Carousels. Is that obsessive? Anyway, I've been enjoying reading a lot of the articles on The Millions, especially one I found about whether or not to get an MFA ( It came at just the right time in my life, I think, since it is something I've been mulling over constantly.

    As always, thank you for keeping up with the internet when the rest of us cannot.


    1. Thanks, Angela! Love The Millions. I read that article too recently – I’ve heard so many different arguments about the MFA programs from people, since it was something I considered too. I still think about school anyway.

      1. Out of curiosity why did you decide against it for the time being? Any reason?

        I think most people just make the decision for the love of being in school and being a student, but I'm not sure that is a good enough reason. But then again, if someone was willing to give me a free ride… of course I'd go, but for now I don't see that happening. Aha!

        Plus, I am sure in the time you've been free of school you've read more and written more than the rest of your graduating class anyway. I think you're a better writer in that regard. Keep that in mind.

        1. I had originally planned to apply to schools immediately after I got my BA, but it was mostly because of money. MFA programs are ridiculously expensive, plus the cost of out-of-state living. Although there are ways to get some help with this – as the article mentions – I also had trouble with the idea of moving away from absolutely everyone that I've ever known. I'd have to go alone and start over completely, in a place that I knew nothing about. I knew that going to grad school meant probably moving to somewhere on the other side of the country, and I just wasn't comfortable with that. But, like you said, if someone were to make an offer, I'd be in school right this very second. I miss having a critique group and discussions most of all.

          And not to toot my own horn or anything, but you're probably right in regards to my own reading and writing habits post-college. I actually knew English majors who didn't even read outside of class! What possessed them to study literature in the first place, I can't imagine.

          1. I discussed this with a favorite professor of mine – this epidemic of English majors not only not reading outside of class, but also not really enjoying any of the reading (or really even bothering to read what is required) for class. What I do is find all my future reading from authors/poets I collect during the semester and then try and get a wider idea of what they were about, etc. I'm sure a lot of people do this.

            But, I have (to my dismay) noticed a lot of the people in my program just simply want to move on and teach. It might be cheesy, but I try to enjoy the ride, not just the destination.

            Of course, I try to be an avid reader always, but that is also a reason I have for wanting to take a break between (if I ever decide to go I mean…) I think I want to follow in your path and really have a chance to read and write a lot. Of course I would be looking for work, but at the same time, I think the best way to become a better writer, as the article mentioned, is reading everything you can get your hands on.

            That being said, I recommend you compose a list of books you want to read this summer and post it here. I'd love to see something like that. Now, I know this is your blog and you can do what you damn well please, but it is just a suggestion. :)

  2. Scrievener is great, I use it!

    1. I'm kind of excited to get my hands on it!

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