July 1, 2013 • Fiction, Fiction: Horror & Paranormal, Fiction: MG & YA, Handbooks: Literary Figures, Humor, On Writing
RC: Hi everybody, Rick Chillot here. You know what I like? Free time, sanity, a pain-free spine, a good night's sleep, what's left of my hairline...the list goes on and on. So when I came across the one-month-novel-writing event Camp NaNoWriMo, from the people behind National Novel Writing Month, my horror could not have been greater. And yet, I kept thinking about it. Is it truly possible to write a 50,000 word novel in one month? What would that experience be like? Would I absolutely hate it, or just moderately hate it? In the end, it seemed the only way to punish myself for even considering this was to sign up and try it, with the hope that the emotional scars would prevent me from making similar decisions in the future.
July 1, 2013 • Fiction, Parenting, Parenting: Dad, Quirk Kids, Travel, Work & Business
Recently the Quirk compound was visited by beloved children's book character Flat Stanley.
As many of you will recall, young Stanley was rendered two-dimensional when a huge bulletin board fell on top of him. He didn't let flatness keep him down, though; in fact, he took advantage of the situation by folding himself into envelopes and mailing himself all around the world. Since then, kids in over 6.000 schools--including my nephew Sam--have participated in the Flat Stanley Project by creating their own Flat Stanleys and mailing them all over the place.
The Stanleys are mailed back with photos and information about where they've been. So here are some of the pictures from Stanley's visit to Quirk. (Spoiler alert--Sam got an A.)
June 25, 2013 • Fiction
The thing about stories is that they make room for the weird and (almost) impossible. We've met characters who push our imaginations to the limit and show us all the amazing things they can do. Towns are like that too. Fictional settings can be a little strange and "off." While they make look normal on the surface, there's usually something odd hiding underneath. Here are six fictional towns that re-define what it means to be weird.
June 17, 2013 • Fiction
In honor of National Columnist Day on June 23, take a look back at these writers, poets, playwrights, and philosophers who got their start in journalism. Many of these men also sported fantastic facial hair. Coincidence? Yes.
At 22 years old, newly married with abandoned plans to create a Utopia in the Pennsylvania wilderness, English poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) created a journal called The Watchman, published every eight days to avoid the weekly newspaper tax (smart!).
The journal’s first issue was published in March of 1796 and ceased publication by May of the same year (okay, maybe not so smart). Coleridge’s journal contained essays, poems, news stories, reports on Parliamentary debates, and book reviews. Coleridge soon grew to detest his wife Sara Fricker, but at least their marriage lasted longer than The Watchman. The two were separated in 1808.