Talk Like a Pirate Day Pirate Awards: The Best Pirate Stuff Ever

Talk Like a Pirate Day

My friends — dare I say, mateys — the day has come. Talk Like a Pirate Day. The revered holiday on which we talk like pirates. In celebration of this all-important holiday, I give you, a completely random and subjective list of pirate-themed awards, in no order at all! 

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The Pirates' Mixed-Up VoyageBest Middle Grade/Children’s Pirate Book

The Pirates’ Mixed-Up Voyage by Margaret Mahy.

When Lionel Wafer declares himself “captain” and christens his boat The Sinful Sausage, he and his “crew,” a parrot and some sea-loving landlubbers, embark on a humorous voyage. This book is delightful.

Best Pirate Improv Comedy Skit

Whose Line Is It Anyway with special guest Whoopi Goldberg!

Best Doctor Who Pirate Episode

“The Pirate Planet” from the era of the Fourth Doctor! This episode treats the concept of “pirate” more metaphorically, with an entire planet that pillages other planets. There is a bit of quintessential “pirate” in the captain, though. He has a cybernetic “eyepatch” and a robotic parrot on his shoulder. This episode was written by Douglas Adams!

Sorry I couldn’t find a proper trailer. For a more literal treatment of “space pirates,” see “Enlightenment” from the Fifth Doctor, with old-timey pirate ships floating through space. 

Black Fire Sonni Cooper coverBest Star Trek Pirate Novel

Black Fire by Sonni Cooper.

This is the one where Spock becomes a space pirate! I’m not even kidding. Just read it, it’s my favorite. :D

Best Historical Pirate Fact

The “pirate accent” is actually a (very strong version of an) accent from southwest England. Many pirates were supposed to have been from this area, but it’s thought to have been introduced to popular culture in 1950’s Treasure Island movie. I discovered this doing some Googling after watching some British movie and thinking “Why does that random guy have a pirate accent?”

Best Animated Pirate Movie

Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy. And, of course, shout out to the actual Peter Pan!

Best Pirate Graphic Novel

Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken: Troublems with Frenemies by Ray Friesen, from Top Shelf, the same company that publishes my beloved Owly comics. Also another wonderful example of a fictionalized group — ninjas.

pirate_penguin_ninja_chicken_01

Favorite picture of my cat photoshopped as a pirate

Pirate cat

The Pirates Who Do The Least

The Only Live-Action Movie I’ve Actually Seen that Has Pirates in It

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What are your Pirate Awards? :)

Pastafarianism: Gods and Pirates as Fictional Constructs

Talk Like a Pirate Day

When I decided to do blog posts celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day on the 19th, I immediately knew I wanted to mention Pastafarianism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. At first I was just going to put it in a list of fun facts or give it an award for Best Use of Pirates for Religious Purposes (awards are coming tomorrow!), but I just couldn’t condense it down that far because it’s such an interesting topic and I want to unpack it a little bit.

So, let’s talk about Pastafarianism. You probably have a friend or two listed as “Pastafarian” on Facebook, or you may have never heard of it at all — basically it’s a satirical religion spawned in 2005 after Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education. His letter protested teaching intelligent design in schools by explaining the basic tenets of Pastafarianism (the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster, scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence put in place by Him, etc.) and asking that Pastafarianism be given equal time in classrooms as well. The religion took off from there; you can find more info at that link.

Here’s the pirate-related part of the original letter:

Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. … You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

PiratesVsTemp

In further theological expansions, it’s been clarified that pirate regalia is appropriate attire because pirates were “the original Pastafarians,” peaceful explorers who’ve been maligned by historical misinformation. (Talk Like a Pirate Day was not created by Pastafarians, but has been embraced as a worthy holiday).

I’m not gonna lie, I kinda identify with this religion. I like it, and I relate to it.

  • It’s open to everyone, specifically including people of other religions. It’s not an atheist club or anything, and no one’s forced to believe all the parts. For instance, one of the basic tenets is “We are fond of beer.” I personally do not like beer at all, but who cares? Nobody.
  • It’s intellectually honest, via satire. Satire that’s not on point doesn’t really work. Plus, the religion as a whole is kind of honesty through lying.
  • It’s funny. Let’s just say lots of religious factions have uneasy relationships with humor.
  • It has social/moral aspirations like any other group. See the millions of dollars in Kiva loans that Pastafarians have contributed. An unattached individual can be just as moral as anyone else, that’s not my point, just that one of the benefits of religion is community, especially when you want to get something done.
  • Pasta is delicious.

On a more personal level — what if you’re wary of identifying with any particular religion, but you do identify with something, either as an ongoing thing or for a particular situation? Why not use a construct that’s totally inaccurate? I like the idea of being able to say “Okay, we’re going to use the term Flying Spaghetti Monster to conceptualize this, BECAUSE we can all agree it’s not really like that.” Then everyone can move forward, rather than stopping to bicker about God’s race, gender, heavenly architecture, or relative beard length. You don’t really risk people thinking God is LITERALLY a blob of spaghetti.

Touched by His Noodly Appendage

Touched by His Noodly Appendage

This brings me back to pirates. Pirates did actually exist, but weren’t actually peaceful explorers. There’s probably not much risk of people thinking they were just based on the CFSM, so this isn’t really a criticism of that, more of a comment on how interesting it is that we think of pirates the way we do. We really have taken a flashy, totally fictionalized concept and given people the vague impression that pirates were really like that. We now have a concept of “pirates” something akin to our concept of “elves” or “vampires” or even “gods” — fictional species with a few key attributes that can be reinterpreted by the next creator who comes along.

I’m not one of those historians who rants and raves about people’s misconceptions. Why would the average person need to know what pirates were actually like? I’m a historian, but my historical fields are completely different from those, so don’t know what pirates were actually like beyond a few fun facts! I recognize that the “pirates” I like are kitschy creations, and I love them for it. I’m more interested here in how and why we fictionalize things the way we do, from pirates to gods, and I don’t have any answers, just a that’s goshdarn interesting, don’t you think? 

You can give me your answers in the comments. :)

Banned Books Blog Party!

Banned Books Week is a yearly event celebrating the freedom to read and protesting censorship or attempts to ban books. I love holidays. The simple fact that they’re holidays are good enough for me, but I also love celebrating them. In honor of this esteemed and book-related holiday, and with some good feedback from y’all, I’ve decided to host a Banned Books Week Blog Party!

The “rules” are simple:

  • Choose a book from the ALA lists of banned books, or one that’s been banned/challenged in your area.
  • Share a little about the book and why it’s important to you at your online space.
  • Tag/ping/message other people to do posts of their own.
  • Link back to this post, and leave your link in the comments, so we can all read each others’ responses!

Do this for as many books as you want! Banned Books Week runs September 21-27. I’ll be posting five book profiles of my own throughout that week, and reblogging what y’all post during that week or the weekends before and after. I’ll create a Pinterest board for all the posts. (Feel free to keep the chain going and/or comment below after that. I can’t guarantee reblogs and whatnot, but I can guarantee I’ll visit!)

I’ll reblog this post as a reminder at the beginning of next week. Let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to hearing about your books!

Banned Books Week

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

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I’m pinging a bunch of people I follow — book bloggers and people who blog about books on occasion — but everyone is welcome to participate, ping or no ping! If you don’t do tag/award/chain type posts or don’t have time this month, no worries — just consider this a shout-out to your awesome blog. :)

How “My Story Can Beat Up Your Story” Works: The Characters

Part 1 explains what the heck I’m doing here, and also all the plot-related stuff in the My Story Can Beat Up Your Story system by Jeffrey Alan Schechter.

This part is about character roles. Schechter breaks them down as follows:

  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Protector/Mentor/Window Character – The keeper of the hero’s moral compass.
  • Deflector/Bad example – Tries to pull the hero away with a different moral compass.
  • Believer – Believes and trusts in the hero just as the hero is.
  • Doubter – Challenges the hero’s methods.
  • Thinker – Reflects on hero’s course of action before taking own action.
  • Feeler – Intuitively shoots first and asks questions later.

As always, this varies. Sometimes one character plays two or more roles, that’s totally fine. The Feeler doesn’t have to actually be a violent person, “shooting first” is just an expression. Sometimes there are several different constellations, for instance one for the hero and one for the villain. Often they pair up in-story the same way they pair above, not only thematically but in how they appear in the story. Sometimes each pair divides along theme/story question lines (see part 1). For instance, Star Wars has a theme related to faith vs. technology, and each pair tends to have one faith person and one technology person. Here’s the full breakdown for Star Wars, just because it’s a helpful illustration:

  • Protagonist – Luke Skywalker.
  • Antagonist – Grand Moff Tarkin. (Not Vader! I believe this changes in later movies though. Tarkin is the one whose actions spur on Luke’s, and he’s also on the opposite side of the faith/technology dichotomy. Vader’s on the faith side with Luke.)

a_1393970590vader

  • Protector/Mentor/Window Character – Obi-Wan Kenobi, although it doesn’t always have to be a literal mentor.
  • Deflector/Bad example – Darth Vader, although this doesn’t always have to be a villain.
  • Believer – R2-D2.
  • Doubter – C-3PO.
  • Thinker – Princess Leia.
  • Feeler – Han Solo.

And here’s how it breaks down for What Dreams:

  • Protagonist – Ristin Skuyler, inventor extraordinaire.
  • Antagonist – Sem Semilenth, alien inventor extraordinaire.
  • Protector/Mentor/Window Character – Rama, the alien who changed Skuyler’s life.
  • Deflector/Bad example – Captain Hakim Macklehenny, who’s not at all a villain… He just thinks Skuyler’s life should go a very different direction.
  • Believer – Gardner, the actual narrator of the book.
  • Doubter – Sky Marshal Rene Denman, who thinks all this is a crock of shit.
  • Thinker – Dice Jonie, Skuyler’s assistant.
  • Feeler – Wikk, kind of a collective “younger brother,” a deeply emotional character who’s there to kind of counteract a lot of the “science-y” central characters whose emotions are a lot less healthy.

There are points of flexion — Dice Jonie is actually a combo Thinker and Believer. I have another character, Wams, who’s a secondary window character. You get the idea. The variations depend on your set of characters and your plot structure. I need a secondary window character and a secondary believer, because Rama and Gardner are absent for large portions of the book.

Character chart

Super fancy chart.

I’ve mentioned before how this system solved an extremely longstanding issue with Dice’s portrayal (like, YEARS of issues), and it’s also helpful in constructing scenes. Who needs to be in this scene? Well, just look at the chart, who does need to be in this scene? A believer or a doubter? A thinker or a feeler? It’s also helpful just for your personal use in understanding how the characters relate to each other.

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To sum up and recap a little, I don’t like the whole “beating people up” affectation of the book, but that’s irrelevant to the system itself. I really, really like the system. It gives me helpful charts I can refer to, and it keeps me on track when I go “Um, what’s the point of this section again?” but it doesn’t actually dictate my content in any way. I don’t even have to force it into the shape I want, the whole thing flexes and bends along with me as it is. It provides valuable insight into the workings of my story that I can use no matter where I am on the plotter-pantser spectrum.

What do you think? Would you ever try this system? If you do, let me know how it works for you!

How “My Story Can Beat Up Your Story” Works: The Plot

In my last novel update, I mentioned the book My Story Can Beat Up Your Story and how it’s been useful to me as a writing guide. Something I should’ve clarified in my novel update is that this book is really about story structure on a basic level. That’s one of the reasons it can apply to virtually any story to one degree or another. It’s about how different character archetypes work together, about how a satisfying story transitions from stage to stage, things like that. So, I really don’t believe that any two stories using this system will be at all “the same,” they might just both have the same sense of satisfaction for the reader, of making sense on an emotional/mythological level, and that’s a good thing. But I’ll reiterate that you may have specific issues in your book that mean you’ll want to modify this system or just use a particular part of it. (For instance, he actually enumerates all the plot points you need to hit. There are 44 of them. I’ll be using that as a guideline at best.)

So, anyway, I’m going to cover this pretty simply, because I don’t think it would really be fair to Schechter to explain his entire book here. He is charging money for that book, after all. This post is intended to be an example, to talk about What Dreams and also to show you how the system works so you can see if you want to buy the book or not. And again, I discovered that I had all the parts already, it was just a matter of naming them and keeping them organized. I don’t think you should try to cram yourself into the system if it’s not your thing, it just might be something helpful for you to keep in mind.

It’s split into two posts for length: The plot elements and the character archetypes. This is the plot stuff.

My Story Can Beat Up Your Story cover

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The Story Question

Can Sheriff Brody stop Jaws, conquer his fear of water, and become an accepted part of his community?

The Story Question is a way of framing your plot in terms of what your protagonist wants. This is the question that, in some form, should be in your reader’s mind — the specifics of the question “What’s going to happen??” It’s generally in three parts, corresponding to physical, emotional, and spiritual goals, although this varies. Here’s mine:

Can Ristin Skuyler stop Sem from destroying the universe, find Rama, and resolve his guilt for blowing up a planet?

Earlier I posted an excerpt about sky marshals… The sky marshal character pursuing Skuyler, Rene Denman, represents the guilt. I’ve had issues integrating the three different plotlines in previous drafts, so it helps me a lot to have worked out exactly why each one is there.

The Theme

The book has a lot more discussion of how to do this, and it’s an easy place to get bogged down or heavy-handed without all the explanation, but basically the theme is a “story question” in a different sense, a question/concept knitting the story together and describing the character’s journey and relationship to the antagonist, all at the same time. You have a question. The hero is uncertain of the answer at the beginning of the story, while the villain is sure the answer is no. Eventually, the hero discovers there has to be a synthesis: The answer is “Yes, but only if…

Act 1 Act 2a Act 2b Act 3
See the power and impact of the villain’s thematic argument. Hero tests the power of their convictions against the villain. Hero now knows own & villain’s beliefs; the two clash. Hero achieves deeper understanding by creating a synthesis of both.

(See the book for explanation of the 3-act structure.)

WD’s theme:

“Is life worth living?”

Skuyler’s not sure. Sem is sure it’s not — for anyone.

Archetypes

Act 1 Act 2a Act 2b Act 3
Orphan Wanderer Warrior Martyr
Hero is alone / unimportant. Hero collects skills/items/info/ supporting characters. Hero tries to solve problems and fails. Hero is motivated not by hope of success, but by need to do the right thing.

The low point occurs at the line between 2b and 3. For WD, these actually match up to planets. (In my very first post-it outline, I had one post-it for each planet, and there have always been strong divisions between them story-wise). Skuyler is alone on a planet, Skuyler starts learning stuff, Skuyler goes to solve problems in one fell swoop and totally fails, Skuyler does what he’s needed to do all along. They do overlap though, especially in the collection of skills/info/etc. That spreads over Act 1 and both halves of Act 2 for me, but is centered in 2a.

The QuickPitch

The QuickPitch takes the notes for each act above and turns them into a pitch, easy-peasy! Lots more info in the book, and this isn’t designed for use in actual shopping the book/script around, but it’s helpful.

Act 1 Act 2a Act 2b Act 3
When an increasingly lonely and broken scientist discovers a sky marshal is pursuing him for a crime he did commit… he must race to find a mysterious alien he once lost… but when he discovers her disappearance is entangled with a plot to unmake the universe from the inside out… he must decide whether to save the universe or help destroy it.

This can eventually be the basis of your back-cover copy, but I’m not worrying too much about that until the book is done. The ending is in flux, so the perfectly enticing words to describe it don’t exist yet, but that basic decision is the bones of the thing and good enough for these purposes. I also thought it was interesting how my three plotlines (sky marshal, Rama, and Sem) are almost sequential here. That helps me know how to wind them in together.

Part 2 actually covers my favorite bit — the character diagrams! Coming up in just a moment! What do you think of the system so far?

7-7-7 Challenge

What is the 7-7-7 Challenge, you ask? Author of The Sanctum Trilogy, ‘Mad’ Madhuri Blaylock, answers.

“In a nutshell, it’s a great way to stir up a little excitement about one of your works in progress (WIP for all you non-writer types) and give folks a teeny-tiny taste of what’s to come. You go to page 7 of your WIP, skip down to line 7 on that page, and then share the next 7 lines in your draft.

7-7-7.

Ah-ha, you say.”

I’ve been tagged by Christa Wojo of My Sweet Delirium. Thanks, Christa!

This snippet from What Dreams is a moment when our narrator stops to give his readers an explanatory aside, so that worked out pretty well!

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For my nonhuman readers, sky marshals are human civil authorities. They travel from planet to planet as governmental representatives, watching for interplanetary criminals and attending to other issues crossing planetary jurisdictions. In certain cases, they may act as adjudicators for localized crimes and disputes, if the government has an interest. You may have interacted with one in an official capacity if you have ever toured the human sphere of influence. (In our parlance, the tenth circle of worlds). The marshals do not possess authority to wage war, against humans or any others, and have only limited diplomatic powers outside the human sphere of influence. Some have referred to the marshal service as the human government’s private army, but I believe this to be hyperbolic.

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I know some of y’all are working on fiction, so I’d love to see your 7-7-7 challenge! I’m not tagging anyone specifically because different people have different levels of comfort with sharing their WIPs, but if you wanna do it, go for it!

Doctor Who Review: “Listen”

Spoilers — limited, but important ones are included.

Doctor Who Review Listen

I think everyone was expecting another “Blink” with this episode. Therefore, the challenge was to make it unexpected. To maintain the fear, when we feel like we know what we’re getting into. Moffat succeeded. I’ve watched it twice and I don’t know what to do with myself right now, y’all.

The “monsters” of this episode are similar to the Weeping Angels and the Silence. There’s a brilliant and haunting opening monologue from the Doctor about how evolution has perfected many ways of hunting and defending, but what about hiding? Why is there no perfect hider? The answer, of course, is that if there is a perfect hider, no one would ever know. The Doctor wonders if, when you talk to yourself, it’s because someone’s listening. If the prickle on the back of your neck is someone who’s there with you, who you’ll never see. If that dream we all have, where we wake up in the middle of the night and think someone’s there, isn’t a dream at all. What would these perfect hiders do? The Doctor turns around to see the word “Listen” written on his chalkboard.

Two things: The first thing Moffat does so brilliantly is make Clara a person with real agency in this story, I don’t want to overlook that. Much of it is staged around her date with Danny Pink, and it’s too early to say whether this season’s arc will really redeem Moffat from his woman problems, but in this episode at least, her decisions were natural and meaningful and had an effect on the course of the story. She was terribly, terribly brave that first time she dives under the bed! I also love that she always defends Danny’s name automatically, even when she’s upset with him. I thought her emotions about Danny made sense throughout, actually, and most of that happens in subtext, so it’s excellent acting on Coleman’s part, and I love the way they shoot Danny/Clara scenes in those quick back-and-forth flashback things so you get the emotions and reactions immediately without over-explaining. I also do love the Doctor/Clara interactions, the way he’s so entirely confident that he knows how humans work yet he doesn’t actually care about it, so he gets it hilariously wrong and never even notices.

The second thing is that “Listen” is not limited to one place or one time. Usually with a scary story, you’d try to keep things small, even confined to one house, but in this case it’s not the Doctor stumbling on something. It’s his idea from the start, and he can search all time and space, so it was wise to give the episode more room. We go to Danny’s childhood, we go to the far future and the last man in the universe, and we go other places I won’t mention, all in search of these silent, invisible listeners. All those places are terrifying. Honestly, in all the universe, is there anything scarier than the space under your bed at night? Maybe the one challenger is that famous short story, “The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”

It seems to turn out that maybe it was all in people’s heads the whole time, that there never were listeners, but honestly, I don’t believe that. I think it’s been resolved where Clara thinks that’s what happened, but this will come up again later. She’ll have to tell the Doctor where she’s been and what she thought happened, but it won’t be true. I don’t have any other actual, “This is gonna happen” theories, but if there are listeners, that would make a lot of sense with what I said last week about the Doctor being a story and this season using stories to twist reality. The listeners would be the ones listening to the story.

Sunday Summary 9/14 – Upcoming Festivities

People complain about "sippy cup" lids, but when you have the coordination of a two-year-old...

People complain about “sippy cup” lids, but when you have the coordination of a two-year-old…

Good morning, blog friends! How’s it going?

So much for two posts a week, right? I’ve been posting basically every day and twice some days. I think I post more when I’m busy rather than less. My time management goes into overdrive so things take less time to write, and I’m actually doing more things to blog about, and I’m procrastinating a lot from doing other things, so I end up with actually a lot of blog stuff done. I’ve got a similar level of posting planned through October because I’ve just GOT so much stuff, some of it’s time-sensitive being based around specific dates or things I’m doing that I don’t want to get behind on, and I’ve got various week-long series to do. So yay! It’s a bit harder to keep up with everybody else’s posts while in school, I get behind a lot, but I catch up.

Here are my “cool links” this week: Cindy Grigg made a book outline template inspired by J.K. Rowling’s famous method. I’m already using kind of a “lite” version. With the way my brain works I expect to be using this after I write the book, to see how things fit and help chart who knows what and when. Hopefully at that point I’ll have a much bigger screen — my access to the digital world comes through a netbook with a screen so small I can barely see the template, removing a lot of the see-it-all-at-once advantages. But if you’ve been interested in her kind of charting method, check out this template! Secondly, you may have seen this already, but Wikipedia’s having a contest to take pictures and improve Wikimedia’s photos of places on the National Register of historic places. There are cash prizes and a cool map of sites!

On the “stuff I’m doing outside of blogging” front, I’ve just been getting my teeth into my research projectPamela is actually a really engaging book! My goal is to get the majority of the research done in the next two weeks (I’ve already got most of the books pulled), and then I’ll have about two weeks to draft the paper before it gets workshopped in class. Then I’ve got a full month to expand, edit, research any tangents I want to include, and design my poster presentation. Ideally everything will be finished midway through November when I present, but I’ll still have a little time to edit if I need it. (It’s frontloaded on purpose, according to my adviser, and I’m totally on board with that!)

Coming Up:

Mon: Doctor Who Review

Tues: My Story Can Beat Up Your Story and how it worked with What Dreams

Wed: Info about the Banned Books Week Blog Party and how to participate!

Thurs/Fri/Sat: Talk Like a Pirate Day celebrations! I’ll have my deeply subjective awards for the best pirate stuff ever on Friday, the actual holiday. Thursday and Saturday should have posts about Pastafarianism and a guest post from a friend of mine who’s doing his senior research on privateers. :D

History Paper Abstract – Novels and Human Rights

I was going to post about My Story Can Beat Up Your Story again today, but with the unexpected appearance of Ms. Marvel #8 and various other things going on, I haven’t had time to get into it and have decided to postpone that until next week. One of the “various other things” was me trying to get this abstract together to turn in to my adviser on Wednesday, so here you go! Things may flex and vary as I go along, but this is the preliminary direction for my undergrad senior thesis. (My adviser said very nice things about it, thanks for asking. :) )

Working Title:Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded: Novels and Human Rights”

Abstract

The history of popular sentiment may be one of the most difficult histories to trace. However, in the realm of popular literature and culture, it is possible to follow not only what people were thinking about, but sometimes why they were thinking it. A novel with a wide reach can illustrate the public’s interest in particular ideas at certain times, but under the right circumstances, such a novel may also change the public’s ideas and help create a new culture. This paper will take the example of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, written by English author Samuel Richardson and published in 1740, to argue that Pamela was instrumental in bringing about human rights legislation in the 1700s and afterward. First, this paper will incorporate the history of literacy and literature to demonstrate how Pamela launched novels, especially epistolary novels, as a literary form. Then it will use contemporary reactions to Pamela, as well as modern research into the effects of novels on readers, to demonstrate how the novel built empathy in the public mindset. Empathy was a necessary precursor to human rights as a concept, leading to important human rights documents such as the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and eventually the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, so this paper will also touch on those impacts. Pamela is a novel of extreme importance in the history of literature, and is therefore also extremely important in the history of human rights.

Liebster #3 – Geekery!

Liebster Award

Big thank you to Outright Geekery for this Liebster Award! The rules in this iteration are to nominate five people, and answer the questions below. I’m passing on the same questions to my nominees, because y’all are reasonably geekish people, but you can make your own questions for your nominees if you so desire.

For nominees, I picked out some blogs I’ve been enjoying for a while now but haven’t had much occasion to link to in other posts. As always, if you don’t do awards or don’t have time to do a post, no worries — just consider this a shout-out!

The questions…

Why did you decide to blog in the first place?

Several reasons merged together… I used to run a book review blog in high school and that was a lot of fun. I also used to be a lot more involved in online fandom and wanted to get back into it in some form. I had vague thoughts of a “platform” for when I eventually publish my novel. I had history stuff to talk about. Basically, I just had ideas. :) Longform internet interactions are my jam.

Name three of your pastimes or hobbies.

  1. Yoga, although I’ve let it slide this summer. I don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to move in Alabama.
  2. Vegetarian cooking. Probably it’s more accurate to just say “eating food” here…
  3. Reorganizing my books.

If you could interview anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

Right now, I’ve gotta say C.S. Lewis, because as I go through this reading project, I feel like I’m getting to know him better and better even while he’s getting more and more confusing. I’d also be interested in interviewing Akhenaten about his motivations.

Do you have any pets? If not, what would you consider getting?

I love animals of all kinds. As far as pets, I’m a cat person… I have two, Mo and Ally.

cat on keyboard

Mo’s helping me.

What is your favorite movie and why?

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