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Monday, February 3, 2014

E. L. Scott Writes Is Moving

Good morning everyone! I dropped the ball last week and meant to put up this post sooner. I apologize for that. This blog is moving to a new home though. I've created elscottwrites.com (without the dot blogspot) for a more professional looking author website.

I had always planned on doing this, but I wanted to get into the practice of blogging first. I must say this past year has been a blast blogging regularly. I've started blogs in the past that faded away all too quickly, but this one is here to stay (just in a new location).

At elscottwrites.com, it will be easier to contact me, and the mailing list should work much better so you'll be able to get information on blog posts, book cover reveals, and book releases on time.

The Future of This Site?

As you can see, I've deleted all the pages expect for the blog itself. Information about me and my books can be found at my new website.

I will be hosting archive posts from this site onto the new blog throughout the year 2014, so this particular site will stay up until the end of the year.

If you are subscribed to this blog, I apologize for not being able to transfer your email subscription over to the new website. If you follow this link though to elscottwrites.com, you can easily put in your email address in a box on the right side of the screen for blog updates.

Again, I'm sorry for any inconvenience. Please contact me if you have any questions by following this link.

Hoping to see and hear from you on the new site!

E. L. Scott

Friday, January 31, 2014

5 Tips for Teaching American Lit

If you guys don't mind putting up with another American Lit post, I'd like to take the liberty to post my last one today for Fiction Friday. Writing is a huge part of my life (if you couldn't tell yet), but so is teaching. I love being a teacher and one of my degrees is in education, so to wrap up my American Lit post collection, I want to touch on five tips for teaching literature.

1. Focus on one thing at the time such as symbolism in "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Poe. Let students read through the story only paying attention to foreshadowing. Or discuss denouements with a story such as "Rip Van Winkle" by Irving. Reading a poem by Whitman? Ask students to only look at the ways in which he experiments with poetic forms.

2. If you can find a film version of a story, try to show it or parts of it. In heart, I'm a "the book is better" person, but I recognize that students today are plugged into electronics and are going to pay closer attention to a movie than a text. Frustrating? Yes, but I make my students work when we watch films. I will have them complete a compare/contrast activity or short essay or even discuss with them the way in which texts can be adapted. I've also recently had my students record their own adaptations of one of the stories we've been reading.

3. Find stories and poems students can relate to. I've discovered that students are really interested in Emerson's "Self-Reliance" because Emerson discusses the worth of individuality and standing up for one's beliefs. Many 18-20-something-year-olds can relate to this. Talk to your students and find out what interests they have and see if you can stories or poems or plays that relate to these interests.

4. Let students decide what they want to read. If you find students are digging (yes, digging) Stevens's poetry, let them run with it. Don't shut them down and move on to something else simply because the syllabus dictates it so. Likewise, if you come across a text that is putting students to sleep, pick something else.

5. Show students how excited you are about literature. Share personal experiences you've had with any of the poems or stories you read in class. Students feed off of a teacher's excitement because it shows they care about their students and the subject they are teaching.

Thank you to everyone for letting me indulge in my "obsession" with American lit this month. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I can't believe it will be February tomorrow! Wow. If you have anything to share of American literature, leave me a comment, and I will talk to you next week.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Poetry Prompt: More Time

What would happen if the clock stood still? If time slowed down? Or perhaps if more hours were pushed into the day? Would we get more done? We we sleep more? Would we able to relax and participate in actives we enjoy? Or would we feel the pressure to work even harder and produce even more than we do now?

This week I challenge everyone to write a poem answering one or even all of these questions. Please feel free to copy your poem in the comments or comment a link to your own blog where you've put up the poem.

I hope everyone gets through their Wednesday and the weekend comes quickly for you all.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Writing is Your Business: Sick Days

I write this post ,in part for myself as well, since I am very guilty of the scenario I am about to share.

A writer gets the flu. Alright. This happens. We're human too, or so they tell us. So the writer calls his day-job boss and lets her know he won't be in to work that day. Writer can barely get out of bed he is so sick, he explains. Writer hangs up the phone, pulls he laptop from the bedside table where it has been sitting, opens it up, and starts working on his novel.

Stop right there. This writer is too sick to get out of bed and go to work, so instead he is going to work? Because writing is work, if you do it professionally and not as a hobby.

Why is that so many writers, myself included, feel that they can never take a day off writer/editing/social media/marketing? And why, when we are so sick we can't write, do we feel guilty? I don't feel guilty when I can't teach because I am sick. I never felt guilty when I worked at Macy's and had to call off sick. It didn't eat at me all those clothes that needed to be cleaned out of the dressing rooms might have to wait until the next day. So why does it eat at me so, and I suspect other writers as well, when I don't write for a day or *gasp* two?

Please feel free to disagree with me, but I think it has something to do with 1) working from home and 2) being the only employee. It's one thing to recognize I can't get out of bed and stay alert enough to drive to work and teach my classes, but I can write while laying in bed with my eyes half closed, so I should. Right?

As for being the only employee, if I don't write, it doesn't get done. There isn't anyone to help me out when I'm sick, and for many writers, even those who still need that day job to make bills, if we don't write, we don't get paid.

But I'm tired of feeling guilty about not writing when I'm sick. I went through this cycle in November when I had a horrible sinus infection and even though I was barely coherent some days, I still wrote because it was NaNoWriMo and I "had" to. Ugh. Are you as frustrated with this situation as I am yet?

I propose that as writers we stand up for our employees (us) and let them have sick days. Let their minds and bodies rest so they can heal. If we aren't kind to our employees, they are going to get burned out and then we'll really be in trouble.

So the next time I'm sick enough to call in a sick day for the day-job, I'm calling myself to say I can't write that day either. I'm going to watch Netflix and eat as much chicken soup as I can stand, so when my body and mind have healed, I'll be able to give my writing my all. Who's with me?

Friday, January 24, 2014

American Modernism

If there was a slogan for the American Modernism movement, it would have been, "Make it New!" I admit, I focus more on poetry, when I think about Modernism because the poets during the early 1900's were all about experimentation and making something new out of classical poetry molds. I myself love writing poetry with modern elements. I have always enjoyed pushing the boundaries of poetry and experimenting with form. You'll be able to see more of this in They Found Me: A Collection of Poetry, scheduled to be published February of this year. Well, let's break down what Modernism actually consists of.

Modernism Elements

  • Metaphorical experimentation
  • Experiment with linguistics
  • Not sticking to set rhyme schemes or line lengths
  • Stanzas do not always have the same number of lines in them
  • Mixing the old and the new
  • Futurism
  • Cubism
  • Imagism
  • Political and antiwar at times
  • Socially relevant
  • Consciousness
  • Mythic vs. Scientific
  • Reworking the past


Popular Modern Poets

  • Robert Frost
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Ezra Pound
  • E.E. Cummings
  • Wallace Stevens


Are you a fan of Modernism--either writing it or reading it? Share your thoughts with all of us in the comments!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Minute Writing Prompts Part 2

In September 2013, I posted a blog post called Minute Writing Prompts. The idea behind these short prompts is to help writers think outside the box and get into "writing mode" when they need a boost. These can take as little as 5-10 minutes or you could stretch out the idea and write for 30-60 minutes. The fun thing about writing prompts is finding out what works for you and your writing. Here, for part 2, are 5 additional minute writing prompts.

1. Write your character experiencing an emotion they usually don't, whether it's sappy in love, angry enough to kill, or overly joyed.

2. What would happen if you put your character in a different world. Would his or her personality stay as it is?

3. Write a scene in which your character has something important to say, but can't speak. How are they going to communicate?

4. Even if you don't write fantasy, what would it be like if your character suddenly had a supernatural power?

5. Move which ever scene you are currently working either backwards or forwards. How does this change up the plot?

Looking for more writing prompts? Check some out here. And share with me in the comments some of your favorite prompts that spark the imagination.

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 of My Favorite Writing Bloggers January 2014

One of the first tips I give writers is to stop reading about writing and write. But I'm human. I love to read about writing. Last year I stumbled upon tons of great information. I finally broke through the fear that had always held me back before and decided I was going to take my writing more seriously. So I started reading writing blogs, creating my own blog, and I stumbled upon Twitter which has a great writing community.

Today, I only want to focus on three of my favorite writing blogs, but as I said before, there are so, so many, I couldn't possibly cover everyone in this one post. I will be doing a post like this a few more times this year though, so hopefully I can share as much information with you guys as possible.

Jeff Goins

Goinswriter.com

What I like about Goins's blog is that he discusses topics that really cut through to the heart. As an author, he covers plenty of writing subjects, but he'll also discuss the insecurities and fears that a lot of writers have, and plan out suggestions to help us push through them. I find Goins to be a very positive and inspiring writer, and I look forward to the email alerts when he's written a new blog post. Some of my favorite posts....

Why Your Work Never Feels Good Enough

The Secret to Effortless Writing

Why You Should Tell the Ugly Parts of Your Story

Molly Greene 

molly-greene.com

Molly Greene's blog is the place to hang out for the business side of writing. Yes, we'd like to pretend all that matters is our creativity, but in reality, no one is going to see what we can create unless we look at our writing like a businessman/woman. I love how clear and to the point Greene always is. She doesn't tiptoe around any subjects; she tells writers what to do if they wan to be successful. Some favorite Greene posts...

Business Plan Basics for Authors and Bloggers

Self-Publishing: DIY or Hire Help?

101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas

How To Twitter: Tips for Newbies

Joanna Penn 

the creativepenn.com

If you self-publish your books (or are planning to, like me) then this is the site you should be scouring. A self-publisher herself, Penn knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful if a writer wants to self-publish. Penn comes across as someone who is passionate about what she does and sincerely wants to help other authors and writes succeed. Some (but definitely not all) of my favorite posts from Penn...

How to Make Your Own Free Book Cover in MS Word

Lessons Learned From 2 Years as a Fulltime Author Entrepreneur 

How to Publish a Book 101

Again, there are a lot of great writing blogs out there, and I know I've only mentioned three here, but I'd love to know who some of your favorite bloggers are!