by Myriah Stubee
Annotating, marking up, commenting, writing in the margins...whatever you call it, marginalia has been around for as long as there has been writing. Students don't often like it, professors don't often give them a choice, and many avid readers don't even think about it anymore. Whatever your opinion about writing in your books, there is no doubt that it adds layer and nuance to the reading experience.
by Amanda Rennie
The world is dark, dismal, messy; there is a teenager who is, believably, old enough, clever enough, mature enough, independent enough to make life-altering decisions. 16 or 17 is a good age because then they can rebel against adults, not go to school, and have an intense and passionate relationship. This teenager isn't like all the other teenagers. This teenager can make a difference.
Yawn. It started with the vampire craze, but the publishers of young adult fiction have fully submersed themselves in Dystopia: everywhere and everything is terrible, and only one young person has the ability to change it and make the world a better place. Young adult authors, lots of them, have been churning out trilogies (ALWAYS trilogies) with the same stock characters and fabled ending for years now. And guess what? It's only becoming more generic.
by Rachel Carly
As a nation, we are entering an election year that is monumental. Although many negative things can be said about the debacle that is the 2016 Presidential elections, one potential positive among the wreckage is the public’s newfound engagement with politics. From signs littering the lawn of your neighbors to your distant cousin’s misinformed Facebook rant, the spread of opinion, policy, and (hopefully) fact is both accessible and widespread. People are keeping close eyes on both candidates, sharing news articles, conspiracy theories, and data to demonstrate a candidates worth or prove a candidates incompetence. While it is encouraging that so many people are taking interest in politics and the progression of society, where is this information coming from? And more importantly, does the public care?
By Jessica M. Tuckerman
Here’s a brief description of one of my favorite stories: Desmond Miles just escaped from Abstergo Industries, the modern day face of the Knights Templar, after he was forced to live out the genetic memories of his ancestor who fought in the crusades. He escapes with Lucy Stillman and two others who help him to reach a secluded cave where Desmond relives the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The story jumps between Ezio’s story in the Italian Renaissance and the cave where Desmond is desperately trying to find an alien device which will destroy the world if it falls into the wrong hands. By reliving Ezio’s memories, Desmond hopes to find where the device is hidden before Abstergo catches up to him.
The story is full of twists and turns. I actually cried when Ezio, the narrator for much of the story, had to watch his family hang in the middle of Firenze. I love the plot, I love the framed narrative, I love seeing Italy during the Renaissance. I was consistently surprised throughout my first reading of the piece and I truly recommend that you pick it up.
The story is from Assassin’s Creed II. A video game.
by Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey
Once again in my teaching career I am seated across a school room table from the parents of a student who is struggling to read.
I say, "Little Janie is reading on a third grade level in fifth grade and would really benefit by reading at home, along with the remedial instruction she is receiving here at school."
They ask, "What should we have her read?"
I launch into an enthusiastic list of book titles recently out for elementary age students and they are on board. I mention classics from their own childhoods, like Ramona the Brave and The Hardy Boys. Things seem to be going well and everything is falling into place until I say, "And she doesn't have to read just traditional books. She can read manga and graphic novels. Try poetry or magazines. If there is a particular website she enjoys, encourage that. She can read the cereal box out loud to you during breakfast if you want!"
I see I've become too impassioned at that point. Now I've lost them. What I find in the rest of our conversation is that I lost them after traditional books. Often, because parents associate learning with only classic literary stories the idea of using almost any other form of written word to educate youngsters is foreign territory. They cannot see the value in other forms or genres.
by Gabrielle Lund
Argue that the love triangle in The Hunger Games was unnecessary (and I’ll most likely agree with you.) Guffaw at the tension, both “sexual” and aggravating, of Edward and Bella as he refuses to turn the one girl he loves into a vampire (and I’ll probably wince at the memory of the writing in these scenes.) But do not disclaim their success. These books are all members of The New York Times Bestsellers’ List for a reason and it has little to do with their contrived plots. Stephanie Meyers and other YA authors have continuously proven that an idea which involves one girl, in a vulnerable, desperate situation (where she happens to look like the pretty girl next door, but not a model), and two guys (bloodsuckers or tributes fighting for their lives) who love her, will, nine times out of ten, fly off the shelves.
by G. Mitchell Layton
The porn aspect of these pages is obviously exaggerated, because no one has the same reaction to a key lime pie as they would to hardcore pornography (at least I would hope not). However, the concept remains the same, and some of these pages on Facebook and Twitter have millions of followers.
This brings me to my personal favorite of the “porn” pages: “Poems Porn.” It’s a bit misleading as, in my opinion, the page has nothing to do with poetry despite the description on their Facebook page that states, “Beautiful poems found online. We Claim no rights to the pics that are posted here.” Beauty is relative and up for interpretation, and apparently so is the concept of poetry. Where the “food porn” page at least posts pictures of tasty treats, the poems porn page has not posted one poem, or rather, none that seem like actual poems to me. They seem more like quotes or inspiring phrases. So if they’re not poems, and they’re definitely not porn, what are they?
By Michael Comoroto
by Kathryn Brining
In 2013, President Barack Obama championed initiatives encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), fields where many feel women are underrepresented. Publishing and media is another arena where men seem to outnumber women, so it should come as no surprise that sexism seems to reign where these two interests meet: science fiction.
Both science and science fiction have long been considered masculine, male-dominated pursuits and the reluctance for some to embrace women working in technical fields may be closely linked to their exclusion when writing about the sciences. Though some might argue this is simply a case of genre, not gender, inequality, all too often, the aspiring female science fiction writer feels stranded in a hostile alien world.
thoughts on writing, art, & new media by glassworks editorial staFF