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Both the fanfiction studio visit with Flourish and Elizabeth and the in-class conversation that followed were highly engaging.  I went into watching the video with what I thought to be a “pretty good” understanding of the basic concept of fanfiction, as a whole.  I left the video realizing that there was a lot I didn’t know and, as a result, many more questions emerged.  (The more you learn, the less you know, right?)  First, I had no idea this was a dominantly female community.  Also, the many unwritten rules of participation were quite interesting (tagging, commenting, creating, etc.).  I was particularly struck by the “yuletide” practice of gift-giving to a sub-group who may be in need of members by way of writing them a story.  It gives a glimpse into the collective values of the group.  My interest was piqued by Flourish’s novel based on band One Direction.  So, as I watched and listened, I googled “novel One Direction” in another tab and found this article from Rolling Stone. I was disappointed to see it was about another author who, apparently, had the same idea and earned a 6-figure book and movie deal as a result.  This is a “first-time” author who posted the story on Wattpad.  The story received over one billion hits.  Apparently, she wrote it on her phone. My marketing brain had my wheels spinning with possibilities.  Personally, and for now, the idea of reading fan fic feels like a betrayal of the original.  Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I found myself cringing at the thought of reading about a beloved character, knowing it’s not “real.”  Maybe that sounds weird, I dunno.  I totally respect and am kind of jealous of the fan fic community, but I think I would feel like I’m cheating on my book or something.

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Last week’s blackout poetry was fun and challenging.  Coincidentally, I am beginning a mini-poetry unit with my 6th graders this week, so you know I will be doing this with them.  Can’t wait.  The in-class time constraint had me flustered b/c it takes me a while to produce any sort of writing, esp. the creative kind.  There was such an abundance of rich words to choose from that it was kind of difficult to come up with anything “bad.”  I found it more difficult, in fact, to come up with a line (or two) of a larger story rather than a poem, as poems allow for certain grammatical forgiveness, etc.  Sorry to say, I think I abandoned the “time” theme a little in my line (ooops).  It was still sort of there but definitely in the background.

I started experimenting with pics, sound and the lines from classmates, but it’s really rudimentary at this point.  What I actually ended up doing was sort of blackout poetry on a handful of other blackout poetry.  It felt a little less overwhelming, but still collaborative.  I stayed true to the activity by keeping them in order and not moving the parts of the lines around.

In the morning asleep he was visited in his dream by extraordinary portent  (½ from Mia Zamora) Monstrous terror crawling through the slime. The waters a calamitous phenomenon. The splintered wood a facade  (Rissa Candiloro)Incredible beasts still call n the morning but only briefly abandoning scandalous actuality. (Stephanie Jones ) Flesh standing still, prepared to perform a miracle, slammed their gaze and embraced ferociously.(Laura Lopez ) he first monstrous song dreamed in the extraordinary one’s days climbed the splendid panorama of the city at dawn (Masooch) ordinary crawling, eating, abandoning the summits. Only the phenomenon of struggle and splendid knowing the motive to be.(½ from Katherine Marzinsky )

Interested to see where we will go with this….