Month: December 2015

Gerbils (and etymology) will bring us all together

Gerbils for peace!

Mashed Radish

For this post, I thought about writing on the etymology of demagogue or bigotry, which have been much in the ether lately, thanks especially to Donald Trump. But I thought twice, important as these words are right now.

I thought twice because I wanted to write on something a bit more positive and, well, fun than many of my previous posts. I thought twice, too, because I wanted to highlight a surprising point of connection between the West and Middle East: gerbils. Yes, gerbils.


See, the name of this common critter, twitching their little noses across so many children’s bedrooms or elementary classrooms, actually derives from Arabic.

Attested by the Oxford English Dictionaryin an 1849 text on mammals, English borrowed gerbil from the French gerbille. The French, in turn, adopted it from the New Latin gerbillus, formed as a scientific usage. (Many gerbils fall under the genus Gerbillus). This gerbillus is…

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Eve Sedgwick’s Homosociality applied to some popular YA novels

Eve Sedgwick’s Homosociality applied to some popular YA novels

The Book Wars

I’ve been dying to write this article ever since I learned about homosociality in my Restoration Theater class (English Lit). If you were like me and have no idea what “homosociality” is, Wikipedia defines it as:

“In sociology, homosociality describes same-sex relationships that are not of a romantic or sexual nature, such as friendship, mentorship, or others. “

Sedgwick’s theorizing was based on male relationships and while I am not a hundred percent sure, I think this theory targeted males specifically.

To further explain it, as my prof did, homosociality says that:

Guy A goes for Girl A not because he’s in love with her (he may be or not but that’s not the most important thing) but because she has some sort of status and being with her increases his status, his standing in front of his guy friends <— and that, dear Reader, is more important than Guy…

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Author Interview – R.K. Summers

My Writer's Journey

Author Photo1

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

A retelling-with-a-twist of the Scottish ballad of Thomas the Rhymer.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

I’ve always loved the old legends of Britain. I think they don’t get as much notice when compared to the massive epics of Greek and Roman, even Egyptian mythos. Britain is tiny compared to those towering empires, but our old folk tales and legends are so full of mysticism and magic. Everyone has heard of King Arthur, obviously, but there’s so many more stories of Old Albion to be told.

Which authors have influenced you?

I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. Marion Zimmer Bradley and JRR Tolkien influenced my adoration for British folklore, and JK Rowling inspired my determination to never give up.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Anything fantasy at all. Epic fantasy, high fantasy, low fantasy, urban…

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What Publishing Could Learn from Special Forces

“…In 2010, I traded in my conventional publishing mantle for that of an indie author. I did so because I’d already been through a slow change in a large organization. I didn’t want to be part of another one, because often those who don’t adapt quickly get caught in the gears of change and crushed. I saw an opportunity to change quickly…”

Source: What Publishing Could Learn from Special Forces