For Our Short Fiction Class: Creative Responses to the Stories

You have been given tools for analysis (the YouTube videos) and these will be useful to prepare for our brief Zoom discussions or responses you send to me or each other. But consider more creative responses: These, too, may be shared with all of us via email:

1. Create a question related to one of your stories for the week. Write it down. Then take a reflective walk outside (keeping social distance) and really just think about that question. When you get home, write down the things that have come to you as you’ve thought about the question.
2. Write about something in one of the stories that struck you in a personal way: an incident, person, or something that connected with you and your life. Write an essay, a short fiction, a poem…whatever seems appropriate to you.
3. Make a collage in response to one of the stories. If you are able, take a photograph of it and attach to your email to all of us…with some brief title or name of story you are responding to.
4. Create a visualization: a map, a diagram, a chart or whatever in response to a story. As above, if able, photograph and send out to us all.

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Washington Poet Laureate: Claudia Castro Luna

https://wapoetlaureate.org/

Become familiar with the work Claudia Castro Luna has been doing. Read her thoughts. See her Washington State map.

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Woman in Green and Cristina Fernandez Cubas

Read about her in Wikipedia article and beyond. There is at least one collection of her stories available in English: Nona’s Room. If you are enchanted by Woman in Green, take a look.

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G.K. Chesterton: Do read about this writer

https://www.chesterton.org/who-is-this-guy/

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Brain Pickings: suggestion for class

You will enjoy reading these newsletters. Go online and subscribe. Stimulating, beautifully curated thoughts, poems, short fiction for today.https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Assignments for Week 1/Enjoying Short Fiction

.Watch YouTube lecture “Analysis of a Short Story.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uR3zW_6vx0

This is about 11 minutes long. You may want to take notes. This lecture will give you a framework for reading and responding to the stories you will read.

.Literary Elements.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy5LU_3gUs4

Very simple discussion of how to identify elements in a story. You can make up your own “work sheet” based on this and use it to track the story you are reading.

.Assignment for WEEK 2 is to read stories and prepare to discuss their elements in our meeting. For best practice, write out your analysis and email to me and to others in the class.

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Syllabus for Spring 2020 Class in Short Fiction

Enjoying short fiction:  study and writing practice

LLyn De Danaan, facilitator

 

Enjoy reading fiction? Like lively conversations? Love writing?

 

We will read and discuss one or two short stories/or listen to spoken word fiction /each week.

 

Most stories are available at the on-line Short Story Project site. Access to computer in order to read stories is essential.

 

Resources:

https://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit George Orwell: Politics and the English Language (an essay)

 

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/ The Short Story Project

 

 

 

Syllabus:

 

WEEK 1

 

Learn how to use Zoom.  Send LLyn an email : who am I and what I am hoping to learn in these six weeks plus:

my experience with short fiction, e.g. courses, favorite short stories, or…..ldedanaan2@hotmail.com

Be sure you know how to access LLyn’s blog for her posts about the class. Visit once a week. Llyndedanaan.com. You cannot post here.

 

Exchange emails if you are willing to read and respond to each others’ work this way.

 

 

Read or listen to the stories/poems listed below and prepare to discuss in class. See the web site, https://www.wikihow.com/Analyze-a-Short-Story, for an outline of questions to answer of each story/piece of fiction we read.

 

Discussion: what is a short story (lecture and conversation)

 

What we will read

 

How to find the stories

 

How to prepare to respond to the stories: what elements to look for and include in your commentary

 

 

 

WEEK 2

 

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/

Read:

 

Cristina Fernández Cubas

The Woman in Green

G.K. CHESTERTON

THE INVISIBLE MAN

 

 

 

WEEK 3

 

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/

 

James Joyce

ARABY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=42&v=Pi6fxcqL408&feature=emb_logo

Luci Tapahonso reads

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqFat9GlEMM

Lois-Ann Yamanaka speaks

WEEK  4

 

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/

 

Saki

Esme

Jaroslav Hašek

How I Met the Author of My Obituary

WEEK 5

 MUHAMMAD AL-ASFAR

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/

The Story of a Sock

MAHA JOUINI 

THE LAST ARAB MAN

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbw9FBA57uo&list=PLvgnkZVVhNWvgH6dqCvMoN_MG5LKbQcp0&index=8

 

Nikki Giovanni “Nothing Makes Sense”

 

WEEK  6

https://www.shortstoryproject.com/library/classics/

 

 

MARÍA FERNANDA AMPUERO |

NAM AND AUCTION

D.H. LAWRENCE

THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER

 

 

 

Prepare to discuss these.

 

You are invited to do writing exercises, respond to each story in writing, and/or  to try your hand at writing a short story during the six weeks of our class meetings. You may SEND email drafts to me and to class members and ask for response. Remember, short stories can be any length …under about 7000 words. One page, six sentences, two hundred words.

 

April 6-May 11

Mondays at 10-12

 

 

Pose questions to answer for each story (see outline for conversation direction)

 

 

For WEEK ONE: see below……

 

https://www.wikihow.com/Analyze-a-Short-Story You will need this to read critically and prepare for class discussions.

 

https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/ You will need this or something like it to get you going on your own short story.

 

STRUCTURE OF On-Line CLASS

 

Short lecture by LLyn De Danann

DISCUSS STORIES together (given the limitations of the technology)

 

 

 

 

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A Wall is not a Fence

A wall is not a fence 
A fence is not a wall.
A wall keeps feared things hidden.

 
It is tallAnd solidAnd allowsno lightTo pass

A fence is a suggestion.

Heed or not.

 
A wire or two, 
Some bits of string.


Two creatures, a pair of dogs let’s say, 
On either side of it can see the other,
Say hello or sing.


A bee   can    fly    right    through it.   Sting.

A wall is scaled 
Drilled 
Exploded. 


A fence is snipped, 
Ducked under. 
A tongue can be stuck through it. Weeds clipped. 
Feathers and bubbles can be blown. 


On either side of walls, we sit with the unknown. 
With fences, everything is clear. And dear.

A fence supports sweet peas 

Or beans or holly hocks in rows. 

But on a wall, well,

Nothing grows.

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Going to Seed

Going to Seed

I’ve let the dandelions grow, and there are plenty. 
No more than buttercups, nor more than peonies. 
The lavender has jumped untended borders. 
I do not care. I’ve given up on order.

Still, bees and butterflies don’t seem to mind. 
And deer drop by to see what they can find.

The bourgeois seem to like to trim their edges 
And use a level when they prune their hedges.

Not I, I cannot stand the drudgery. 
I’d rather read a book than snip the shrubbery.

LLyn De Danaan

June 2018

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Borrego

Borrego

A boney bunch they are,

Toe-tipping,

teetering, and wary,

toddling over slender self-made paths.

Horned-selves

parading high above the dappled desert floor,

above the stalagmitic honey-caves

adorned with combs the size of boars

and sticky-drip-traps.

Above, they tramp.

Above the filagrees of palm

and desert willow

and the drizzled valley.

They think themselves creators of all this,

their universe

Because? Because all they see is of them

and ever more has been.

They’ve never heard the

bleat of foreign

mountain sheep

Nor news of other bovidae

Save one:

A bitter goat invader

wandered there and died of thirst.

A fellow coprinae, named Anza.

A Basque, they say,

successful til it

made a turn and,

lost its herd,

    its sure-foot tribe,

    its prong-ed kin.

And when his bones were clean

   and bleached

he looked just like the others.

LLyn De Danaan

June 22, 2018

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