March 2, 2015

Tasting the Written Word

By Kaitlyn Ernst in LRR

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn’t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.”

Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate

February 27, 2015

“The Power of Words”

By xtaniayvette in LRR



“I wrote down ‘The Power of Words’ in my sketchbook and I don’t know why.”

Mika Caldera, an art student at the University of Connecticut, presented this piece, “Empathy,” (pictured above) to me during a one minute artist-writer speed dating event that was held. She expressed her love for this piece in one minute and it caught me attention. A picture of this artwork does not give it enough justice to the way it felt in my hands and fanning out the progression of emotions along with the powerful quotes on the back of the pictures was more eye-opening than I could ever imagine.


According to the creator of “Empathy,” the piece takes on the project of portraying human emotions through empathy. On one side, there is a black card that says the name of the piece on it and as it is fanned out, there are descriptions on what is going on in the photos printed after the emotion typed out. The progression of the emotions and photos go from horrifying to hopeful. The opposite of the black cards and pictures hold quotes that can only be read when fanned out. The quotes relate back to human interaction and quotes by people such as Maya Angelou and Marilyn Monroe are included.

After talking to Mika and getting to know her motives behind her artwork, I realized that we both recognized the power of words and visuals when the two went hand-in-hand. We talked about how the piece was meant to show that people do not normally empathize with others in the way that they feel towards certain situations; most of the time, people sympathize with others but until one can truly empathize, one doesn’t know how the other truly feels.


I shared with her one of my favorite short stories, “Drown” by Junot Diaz, and thought to myself why I chose this work. There weren’t pictures that explained the story but the words were powerful enough. I mentioned the power of words and how Diaz conveyed a short story facing many controversial issues along with being Latino in the story. We came to the conclusion that we can’t explain the power of words: it’s a matter of interpretation.


February 25, 2015

Can Grammar Be Fun?

By Lauren Silverio in LRR

All is (almost) quiet on the LRR front after a barrage of colorful pens took to the rough draft of the journal in class last night.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 9.41.28 PM

As students and as aspiring writers, we are used to the concept of editing and proofreading. We know the basic rules, we have learned the basic proof-marks. We have read lab reports and term papers and resumes for all of our roommates, siblings, and friends.   We have very strong feelings about the Oxford comma.

And yet, we can all use a refresher.

Luckily for us, the Internet is chock-full of information about grammar, spelling, and everything in between. The key is knowing how to find the gems.

While I could never claim to know even a corner of the Internet, I do have a few favorite places to go to learn about grammar in ways that are, dare I say, fun!

The Oatmeal. What’s not to love? The Oatmeal is honest, hilarious, and very, very helpful.  I’m not quite sure how Matt Inman’s brain works, but I am a big fan of it.

Image belongs to The Oatmeal

Image courtesy of The Oatmeal

Check out some of the posts on the semi-colon, common misspellings, “literally,” and, the one that is not grammar-related but is near to my heart, marathons.

Image belongs to The Oatmeal

Image courtesy of The Oatmeal

Hyperbole and a Half. I’ll admit – I bought her book. I think this web comic/blog is so great, and her post has revolutionized how I think of the phrase “a lot.”

Image belongs to Hyperbole and a Half

Image belongs to Hyperbole and a Half

I tend to identify with Simple Dog around this time of the semester, and I like to read this post every few weeks just to get a laugh.

Grammar Girl is also a great, helpful site that is modern enough to be engaging yet academic enough to be reliable.

Image belongs to Grammar Girl

Image belongs to Grammar Girl

Of course, there is no substitute for old-fashioned style guides, proof-marks sheets, and an extra set of eyes when it comes to proofreading, but it never hurts to throw a few comics into the mix!


Happy editing!





February 23, 2015

Finding Story Anywhere

By kerryleebpelkey in LRR, Uncategorized

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