O Angelina

A Girl and Her Dog: Living, Loving, & Enjoying the Little Things

For My Students

In Light of the Current Political Situation...

For My Students, Reading, ReviewsAngelina OberdanComment

Okay, so no matter how you feel about the crazy political events of the last few days, there are a few books you should read. 

This is  Before the Fall  which has nothing to do with our political climate, but it's a lot of wisdom in this suspense novel. 

This is Before the Fall which has nothing to do with our political climate, but it's a lot of wisdom in this suspense novel. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - This is the best fictional discussion of the #blacklivesmatter movement. It shows all perspectives through the point of view of a young woman whose best friend is shot by a police officer in front of her. 

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue - I had little to no idea about the struggles that Africans face when the immigrate to the United States. This book not only addresses that, but it also looks at the effects of 2008 financial crash, the difference in socioeconomic levels, and the idea of success. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - I also recommend watching the revision of this on Hulu. The point Elisabth Moss made about the book and about its TV series revision is that this could happen. The society presented by Atwood could happen today. 

If you're interested in seeing what else I'm reading, click here. 


The Importance of Workshop

For My Students, From My Writing Desk, Teaching, WritingAngelina OberdanComment
I recently shared these thoughts with my creative writing students, but I thought my writer friends could benefit from them, too. 

As a creative writer, there should be nothing more important and sacred in your life as workshop. And I’m not exaggerating. 

  • Workshop is the best way for you to grow as a writer.

  • Even if you have great instructors and friends guiding your writing, no single person is ever going to be as useful and thoughtful as a group of your peers collectively supporting your work.

  • Every workshop leader guides workshop a little differently. I’ve had professors who model ideal workshop comments, and I’ve had others who have ravaged students’ poems during workshop. I’ve had professors who didn’t speak during workshop, and I had other who orchestrated it. Some professors prefer anonymous workshops, so no one knows who the writer is, and others don’t.

  • It’s much more infuriating to feel like someone hasn’t read your writing than it is to hear that your writing needs some work.

  • Everything someone says about your work is useful. If they don’t like the font, you don’t want an editor to have that reaction and not even read your work; change it to something normal.

  • When you’re commenting on someone else’s work, above all else be kind and helpful. And thorough.

  • Create a single space and single time to read all of the comments on your work at once. Then before you do anything else, walk away. I’ve never gotten good at hearing what I’ve done wrong or could have done better; when I get feedback, I sit by myself, read it all, and then do something completely different for a while before I come back to it. That way I use my reaction (even if I think the comments are crap) to improve my writing, not start a quarrel.

  • Did I say workshop is sacred? Workshop is sacred. You need to take it very seriously. Set that tone. If anyone/anything/whatever, disrespects the sacredness of workshop, tell me immediately.

Workshop is a beautiful gift. You won’t have this forever; by the time you’re a skilled writer, you’ll be stuck on your own begging people to read your stuff. 

2016 Reading List

Adventures, For My Students, From My Writing Desk, Living Well, ReadingAngelina OberdanComment

I finally started my 2016 reading list (not reading it, but tracking it). Click to check it out. I cannot recommend Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels enough. 

Because Thesis Statement Memes Are Awesome

Writing, From My Writing Desk, For My StudentsAngelina OberdanComment

So I was putting off writing a blog about thesis statements for Grammar Bomb, which I did write and you can read here, AND I found all of these great thesis statement memes. 

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.