Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tabletop Review: DBA 3.0

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I’m taking a minute today to break from my normal posting topics (literature and all things writing) to discuss my other hobby: tabletop war games.

I started playing when I was about ten years old, when my dad and I would make up nonsense rules for army men in the sandbox in my backyard. It wasn’t until I was about twelve, when my uncle David came down from New Hampshire for a visit, that I was exposed to organized rules for the first time. That was my earliest exposure to DBA. Continue reading


Rules for Paper Writing: Best Practices

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I spent a couple of posts telling you guys what you shouldn’t do when writing papers. Today, however, I’m going to take some time to outline some things that you should do if you want to get a decent grade.

I put together some videos detailing the Fried Chicken Method, which was taught to me several years ago by my favorite professor, Dr. Ricciardi. It’s a pretty straightforward method that deals mainly with paragraph construction. It’s designed to be a system that can allow anyone of any skill level to write a solid paper. I’m going to take it for granted that you watched the videos, because I don’t like retreading the same ground twice, and it really is a lot of information to type out here. Just… just watch the videos, okay? I put a lot of work into them. They’re free.

Whether you decide to use the Fried Chicken Method or not, there are some things that everyone should do in their papers. Continue reading


Writer’s Block: The Brutal Truth

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Every single writer who has been working for longer than a year or two has hit a wall. It’ll often happen at the absolute worst time, too. And there is absolutely nothing I or anyone else can say that will save you from it.

Sure, there are articles scattered across the Tubes of the Internet Machine, books filling half of the self-help section of Barnes and Noble, and everyone from psychics to motivational speakers all insisting that there is a silver bullet for Writer’s Block. The only trouble is that they’re full of crap. Continue reading


Op-Ed: Common Core

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I’m taking a break from my normal format here to talk about some things that haven’t been sitting right with me for a while. As the title suggests, it has to do with the oft-reviled Common Core.

I have degrees in English Literature, History and Adolescent Education. One of the reasons I don’t hold a New York State certification for teaching is that I abandoned the career path after I completed my mandatory hundred hours of observation. Originally, I was poised to be placed in an English department classroom as a student teacher, and I would eventually become certified to teach History or English– and English teachers who are dudes are a rare commodity in New York State.

But I was turned off the job by a host of reasons (and the fact that I don’t have the right temperament to teach high school– I would’ve been fired for flying off the handle within a year). The most egregious thing was the curriculum, which I loathed. Continue reading

Category: Essays | Tags: , , ,

Common Paper Writing Mistakes Continued: Five More Basic Errors

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In a previous post, I outlined simple mistakes that are made with startling frequency in college papers. Well, that didn’t cover nearly all of the basic flubs I’ve seen over the years.

For some, this will come as new information; for others, this will be an example of a crotchety old man yelling at the ocean. Considering that I’ve often said that I’m basically a twenty-something octogenarian, I’m okay with the characterization.

Here’s the rundown of an extra five errors. Continue reading


Things Happening, Continued

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You might have noticed some disruption over the past couple of weeks to the post schedule, and for that I apologize. The truth is that I’ve been working on the next book rather frequently, and writing posts takes an awfully long time out of my day. For perspective, a typical fiction writing post is about 2,500 words, which takes me anywhere from two to five hours, depending on the amount of research I have to do.

I promised myself that I would never sacrifice quality for quantity, so rather than rush to push out something that was sub-par for the website, I’ve been taking the time normally spent writing one or two posts to work on the next book.

The book is titled Thoughtstuff, Volume One: Things in the Dark, Things in the Light. It is more than halfway done. I should have the rough draft completed by the middle of next week, and subsequent formatting and editing done by the fifteenth (give or take a few days). It will likely be available for purchase sometime shortly after that. Continue reading

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