Monthly Archives: September 2018

Off to the UK! 

Next week I am boarding a jet plane for a research trip to the UK. I’ve got a few things on the agenda: Oxford Ah yes, Oxford, city of dreaming spires. It is an imaginatively rich space for me. I … Continue reading

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Writing Tips by Stephen King

I’ve blogged from time to time about the importance of Stephen King‘s On Writing. It is a funny, moving, flawed, and priceless resource for those who dream of having their journal sketches become hardcover books. On Writing is one of the books … Continue reading

Posted in Memorable Quotes, On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Happy Hobbit Day! Signum Reading Today

September 22 is when we celebrate the birthday of Bilbo Baggins and his mythic heir apparent, Frodo. It is a day for hobbitish celebrations, both fantastic and epic. That the “New Hobbit” adventure begins with a birthday party that begins … Continue reading

Posted in Reflections | 16 Comments

A Fatal Flaw in Contemporary Writing: Thinking About Identity in Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (Part 2)

Earlier this week I put a review up of what I think to be a strong, engaging literary sf book, skillfully written to accomplish two things that many authors could not do. First, Emily St. John Mandel has created in Station Eleven … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian literature, On Writing, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven: A Brilliant Apocalypse with an Almost Fatal Flaw (Part 1)

From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, I have a deep interest in women’s sf and speculative fiction. It is not just a question of perspective and hearing other voices. Rather, it simply that some of my favourite writers are in … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian literature, On Writing, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Timeline for the Creation of Narnia

Yesterday I shared some Press Association news about a new C.S. Lewis letter that popped up in a Lewis Facebook discussion groups. It really is a neat letter and a great opportunity to see Lewis’ handwriting when he is writing … Continue reading

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A New C.S. Lewis Letter with Details About Narnia

That’s right, Dominic Winter Auctioneers is putting a newly surfaced letter from C.S. Lewis on the auction block. It is a great artifact, as The Daily Mail reports, a generous and light bit of Narnian delight as Lewis answers some questions from schoolchildren … Continue reading

Posted in Letters, Memorable Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Stephen King, Dawn of the Dead, and the Culture of 9/11

I have talked before how I found Stephen King‘s On Writing in a bargain bin in the street, and how that discovery catapulted me toward a dozen years of constant writing since. The novel I sat down to write after reading … Continue reading

Posted in Memorable Quotes, Thoughtful Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

This Time of Year, This Time of Life

As a house full of educators and students, normally this week our family is having first first days, second first days, and third first days. My son’s first day of high school was yesterday. He was off to school, nervous … Continue reading

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The Last Letter of J.R.R. Tolkien, on the 45th Anniversary of His Death

I have just finished reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1982), which is fitting given that this is the 45th anniversary of his death (2 Sep 1973). With help from Christopher Tolkien, noted writer, broadcaster, and biographer Humphrey Carpenter collected the letters … Continue reading

Posted in L.M. Montgomery, Letters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments