Thursday, November 08, 2007

300th Post, so therefore rather random...

The giveaway of the best hardboiled novel you will read this year* is still going strong. Mailed out 16 copies of THE CONCRETE MAZE yesterday, have a few more to mail out tomorrow, then I'll be caught up. I've ordered another 20 copies. Trying to earn an Edgar nod. The book is good, but it's not in the hands of very many. I'm doing my part...

This next weekend will be taken up with an activity I haven't devoted time to since August - writing. Rewriting, actually. THE CONCRETE HEART was too violent and with a central character who just misses out on being sympathetic. Can't have that. Must have sympathy otherwise there's really no point. Just a little difficult to make this very, very bad man sympathetic. Yes, I know, I know, I can turn him into a rather sweet seven year old girl with pigtails, a blackjack and a cigarette lighter, but that's not a direction I think I can go. Least not with readers following me.

I haven't had much time to devote to reading either since the semester began in earnest. Am reading Island of Exiles by IJ Parker. Cracking good story so far. Will report on a couple of other books I managed to tackle at B'Con and in the days following.

Currently trying like mad to figure out exactly what it is I should be teaching students when I'm teaching Composition. I'm a decent essayist (did I tell you about my 1100 word article in the NY Times of all places this past summer? Or my article in Mystery Scene? And my other article in Mystery Scene? Or the one in SPINETINGLER?) but it's terribly difficult to pass skills on to students and I spend each semester (14th year now) banging my head against a brick wall as students (many, but not all, thank God) seem to have only a small sense of what I want to impart. I know some veteran Comp instructors have stopped by from time to time. If there are strategies that work, please let me know. The brick wall is bricky as ever being refreshed each term with a new brood of students, but my forehead is turning mushy.

Spilled a massive amount of soda on my computer keyboard. Now one of the CONTROL buttons sticks as does the space bar if you don't smack it hard enough. I'm guessing this is a problem that will magically work itself out. I hope.

* By a Puerto Rican living in Connecticut.


Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess a protagonist can only be unsympathetic if he's Hannibal Lector. I think that's a shame, but it seems to be the case.

November 08, 2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

"seven year old girl with pigtails, a blackjack and a cigarette lighter"

I'd buy that book in a flash.

November 08, 2007 11:39 PM  
Blogger Ingpark said...

Composition classes tend to general requirements -- which means that the majority of your students hate the course and don't think they need it. That's an uphill battle for the professor. My method was to try not to bore them, to help everyone who wanted help unstintingly in and out of class, and to make a special effort with the good students.

November 09, 2007 7:14 AM  

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