The No Strings Attached Award!



I am honored to have been nominated for this award by Kritika Vashis.  From the Soul to the nib of the Pen

She is an excellent and creative blogger, and I am very thankful to her for this award.

“About this Award

The No Strings Attached Award was created by bloggers on the alfreds almanac blog. You can see the original post Here. A poll was posted with suggestions for the name of this new blog award, and bloggers voted on their favourite.

The No Strings Attached Award, was born.

There are no rules to accepting this award. You can choose to display your award on your blog home page. If you do this, you do not need to nominate any other bloggers, unless you wish to do so. You can thank the blogger that awarded you. You have the power to do whatever you want with this award. Once you have been nominated for it, you can then pass it on to others.

The No Strings Attached Award, is an acknowledgement of respect from one blogger, to another. If you are given this award, it means that a fellow blogger likes your work and your blog.

Thats it. Simple.”

This is quoted directly from


I am nominating the following bloggers for the No Strings Attached Award. They are just some of the very fine bloggers I have had the honor of reading:

Teaching Shakespeare!



I usually write about writing in some way, but in this post, I want to talk about teaching Shakespeare. The spring semester is over, but as an adjunct professor, I teach the entire year. I am not complaining about this situation, because I love my work, just explaining the schedule.


I have loved Shakespeare most of my life—the reading of the plays, the viewing of productions, acting in them, directing one production, writing about the plays, and teaching the plays. I studied Shakespeare as one of my areas of specialization in graduate school, so I am always excited when I have the opportunity to teach Will.  Shakespeare has been a lifelong companion.


This college class is being held at The Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College.  Because this is an adult evening college, which also administers the summer session, all of the students in my class are adults.  They are working towards their undergraduate degrees as are the traditional age students, but they bring the added responsibility and attentiveness to the class that comes with maturity and experience.  I love teaching both traditional and non-traditional students, but both bring different needs and different expectations.


The class has just begun, because the first summer session has already started. I have held the first class, which was an introductory lecture on Shakespeare’s theater and England at the time. Tomorrow we will begin examining the plays. We will cover some of the comedies in the first half of the session and some of the tragedies in the second half. By the end of 12 classes during the span of 6 weeks, we will read and explored 9-10 plays. The first play of the course will be one of my favorites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.   I feel like I have a special relationship with this comedy, because I have studied it, taught it, written about it, acted in it, and directed it.  It was also the play of the first live Shakespeare production that I saw when I was in 10th grade.


I am looking forward to teaching Shakespeare!


A Progress Report



After I finished the piles of end of the semester grading, I was able to attack again the third draft of my Young Adult speculative fiction novel. Even though I had to put the writing aside briefly, I am still on the pace I had hoped for. I just reached 100 pages.


I will continue to try to revise at least 10 pages a day though the rest of May. My target for this month is to reach at least 200 pages. If I can reach that goal, I will be very happy with my progress. I have given myself a little bit of wiggle room, since there are 12 more days left in this month, and if I do all 12 days, I would reach about 220 pages.


Now, after the drum roll please, I hope that I have this draft done by the middle of June. It should be 250-300 pages. If I can finish that draft, then I put it aside as several people read it for me, and then soon again, I will begin the next draft. And the process of writing and revision will continue.


The Versatile Blogger Award!



I was recently nominated for The Versatile Blogger award by Ana Franco  Thank you very much Ana for the lovely thought!

This award is given to members of the blogging community who have shown imagination, commitment to blogging, and versatility in the use of their blogs.  It is meant to celebrate this kind of work and achievement.

Of course, there are rules to follow:

  • Show the award on your blog — done!
  • Thank the person who nominated you — done!
  • Share seven facts about yourself — done!
  • Nominate up to fifteen blogs — done!
  • Link their blogs, and notify them — done!


Seven Random Facts about Me

I love the new Avengers movie!

I just began reading Umberto Eco’s on literature

Even though I hate very hot weather, I am looking forward to the summer, especially the first half, when my work load at school will be significantly lessened.

I will be teaching Shakespeare, so I am very, very happy about that.

I am looking forward to planting and attempting to grow tomatoes.  We will see how that goes; I am not a man with a green thumb.

I am looking forward to a getaway at some point in the not-too-distant-future with my beloved wife.

We just came from having excellent eggs benedict at a wonderful local diner called The Bacon Strip — in Coplay, PA.

Here are the bloggers I have nominated!

Anita & Jaw Dawes

Lynette Noni

Rebecca McLaughlin

Never Less Than Everything

Beverly A. Young


Once again, Thank you Ana Franco!

An Epiphany!



Solutions to problems that I have been considering sometimes come to me at the oddest of moments. I have found answers to questions about writing or teaching while in the shower, in the bathroom, or just after waking up. I am sure this experience is not unique to me, and I suspect the subconscious mind working on a difficulty and then presenting the answer when it is ready might be the explanation for this phenomenon. What would Dr. Freud have to say about this?


Recently while on a gallivant with my wife, a drive we take for relaxation with no particular place in mind and hoping to find back roads we haven’t yet explored, a solution to my second novel burst into my consciousness.


I had written two previous drafts of this book, a Young Adult speculative novel, set extremely far in the future, but I felt unsatisfied with its structure. I have had several people read it and make extremely useful comments on the book. One asked me if there would be a sequel, and I realized that I was thinking in those terms. But I was still not certain about this one. What was it? A single novel? Two books?


The answer came to me as we were cresting a hill in the beautiful back area of northeastern Pennsylvania. I said to my wife that I needed to tell her this solution so I didn’t lose it. This was one of the few times I went out without pad and pen, something I almost always have with me. She graciously listened, and I explained what burst into my mind.


I now know the structure: it is a trilogy, and I know where the divisions are for each book. I now understand the arc of the entire trilogy, as well as the narrative arc of each text. I also know the antagonists of each piece as well as the overarching antagonist of the trilogy. As I talked it out, the answers solidified in my mind.


So I am now working on the draft of the first book of the trilogy. I hope to have this done by the end of May or early June. We will see.


The Creative Blogger Award!



I am honored that I have been nominated by Author Mitch Teemley for the Creative Blogger Award!  Mitch is an author of, among other works, The Wishing Map.  He very kindly thought of me as creative enough for this honor, and I appreciate it deeply, because he is himself a very creative person.   It is always a nice feeling to have someone else recognize your creativity, so thank you Mitch!


I am honor bound by the rules of the Creative Blogger Award to:

  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you — done!
  • Share 5 Facts About Yourself to your readers — complete!
  • Nominate other blogs and notify nominees  — done!
  • Tell the nominees these rules  — see this page!

Here are five facts about me:

I am married to the love of my life–my beautiful wife Liz!


I am a card carrying member of nerds-are-us, if such a group really existed.  I am looking forward to seeing The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I will wear my Captain America tee shirt to the movies.


I am also a huge chess fan…yes, I mean the world of professional chess!  I am not anything more than an average player, but I love the game and love following the best players in the world.


I need more rooms for my books!  I have at last estimation, around 2500.  And I would love to have an old-fashioned library one day.


I am the luckiest man in the world: I am in love with my wife, and I love my work–teaching English at college.


My Nominees for the Creative Blogger Award are:

Herminia Chow

Dorothy De Kok

Kat Kent

Sophie Kat

In My Cluttered Attic

Fill Your Own Glass

Ana Franco