The Joys of the Amateur

In his book The Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen gives a scathing indictment of the brave new world of the internet, arguing that user-created content is lowering the standard and preventing true talent from rising above the tide of garbage. His predictions are nothing if not apocalyptic: he pictures a world where newspapers go… More

The Pleasures of Drama

I wrote in my last post about the new PBS special Shakespeare Uncovered, and because I walk the walk in addition to blogging the blog, the show inspired me to open Henry V. And I have on my hard drive—taking up space that could otherwise be occupied with pictures of my cat—the collected works of… More

Shakespeare Uncovered: A Review

Today, in a rare mood to shake things up, I’ve decided to review something other than old books about writing, old books that only I care about. And, in a seemingly similar mood, PBS has decided to air something other than reruns of Doctor Who and is instead showing a series, Fridays at nine, about… More

Guide to the Guides: Spunk and Bite

The next few installments of Guide to the Guides will focus on style guides, and this post I’ll be discussing Spunk and Bite by Arthur Plotnik. I’m happy to report that this is one of the few books I’ve reviewed not meant for classroom use, which means there aren’t a thousand editions and doesn’t cost… More

Guide to the Guides: On Writing Well

Fear not, world: I have returned. I took a break from this blog because I was knee deep in MFA applications, but those are done. (And if any of you have any sway in any admissions committees, remember that the last name is spelled McCaul and that I’m awesome.) Sadly, I haven’t returned with any… More

New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

It is traditional at this time of the year for folks of a reflective bent to look back on the past 12 months, consider what went well and what didn’t, ponder changes made and changes needed to be made, goals achieved and goals unrealized, and then, after bloating the body (if not the mind) with… More