Monday, November 23, 2009

Bunch of Stuff -- Tis (almost) the season.

This is almost completely random:

A. Angsta Rap -- I thought I invented it (suburban existential angst rap) -- turns out, googled, it already exists. For more on Angsta Rap, hit The Ever Breath Blogspot.

B. Top five baseball books for kids. For the kids you know who love sports:
CLICK HERE. (And, yes, a Baggott book is among them. Sue me!)

C. Isn't "Dora the Explorer" teaching kids to become the kind of adult who talks back to the screens in movie theaters offering advice to the characters? Do we need more of these adults?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Watch this Video on Being a Woman, Today.

Novelist Katherine Center -- author of two novels, most recently EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL -- has created this video on contemporary womanhood. Created for Kirtsy, it's far-reaching, and has great stats on women.

CLICK HERE to see it.

And start talking ...

A Raw, Honest Conversation about Writing With or Without Children

This is a dialogue between Rachel Zucker -- mother of three with four published books -- and Sarah Manguso who also has four published books, no children. The piece has stirred a lot discussion between women poets and writers on both sides of motherhood.

A worthwhile (stirring, provocative) read for writers and non-writers alike.

Click here to read it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Content

At, she is giving away the .pdf of THIS COUNTRY OF MOTHERS, her first collection of poems -- free.

Just head on over and make a request.

Why is she giving away her content? Her poems?

Well, that gets into copyright law and the new market and the publishing industry and obscurity and money ... All hot topics in the industry now, which is ch-ch-ch-changing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Are Smart Drugs ... smart?

This is a piece on Smart Drugs -- by Julianna Baggott. If the question of the previous generation was whether or not to take drugs for recreational use, this generation's question will be whether or not to take them for professional development. Also thrown in? Some steroids talk, some drug-use history for writers ... CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quotes from the class ... Chisenbop.

So I give this pop quiz and one of my students -- let's call him B. -- is counting on his fingers.

I said, "Yo, B., it's a pop quiz on literature." (I always pronounce this Lit Rah Cha!) "What's with the finger counting? You doing chisenbop, or what?"

He looks at me like I'm crazy and mouths, "Chisenbo?"

After the quiz, he says, "Seriously, what's chisenbop?"

Another kid says, "Is it the gentile version of Yahtzee?"

"No, it's not the gentile version of Yahtzee." I explain that when I was kid, there was this thing called chisenbop where you did math on your fingers.

"Like the abacus without the abacus?" B. says.

"Right," I say.

Then another student -- let's call him K. -- pipes up and says, "So this was like before the invention of calculators?"

"That'll cost you, K.," I say, with a glare.

"What?" K. says. "What'd I do?"

"As if I was a kid before the invention of calculators? C'mon!" I say.

Then B. says, "Master Baggott," -- I'm not a Doctor, only have a masters degree, so they refer to me as such -- "being twenty-four-years-old as you are, well, is really not a bad thing!"

"See, K.? See how B. did that? He wins! B. wins! Congratulations, B.!" I turn to the rest of the class. "And THAT, my friends, is how you play chisenbop!"

Monday, November 9, 2009

BUT THE BEST Dan Bern Lyrics, to my mind, ARE:

Check these out and listen to the sound clip.

Dan Bern and his Literary Lyrics ...

Dan Bern was at the Sanibel Writers Conference this week. Got to hear him jam.

Click here and check out "Marilyn" -- She didn't marry Henry Miller. She married Arthur Miller. But if she'd married HENRY Miller -- my my...


I just found out that Pat Benatar is NOT singing, "Come on with your combines, you don't fight fair. That's okay. See if I care." Of course it is unfair to fight with combines, as we all know. That just doesn't happen to be her point in this song.