Get Back To School With The Official Testing Metagame Guide!


It’s time for school to start… for all you suckers out there! I graduated college in May, so my Augusts can now be stress-free until I’m desperate enough to try for a Masters.


At any rate, I’ve done enough school to figure out how standardized tests work. An English Major like me prefers essays, of course. So I had to learn pretended mastery over subjects I’m not that good at remembering.


If you’re a bad test taker, or you just want to find the most efficient/easy way to study, then I recommend you download the attached guide. It details everything I’ve learned in my decades of schooling, complete with advice, strategies, and a look at my test-taking thought process. Plus, it’s free! How about that! Click on the link below to download.

How to Take Tests


Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

I found this great crime novel parody by Tara Sparling! She has a history of writing award-winning blog humor, and I think you’ll enjoy this one in particular.

Tara Sparling writes

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From Crime Novel

So far, we’ve had fun living with an unreliable narrator, and a chick-lit heroine. But you knew I wasn’t going to stop there, didn’t you?

Anyone who’s ever lived in shared accommodation will know that flatmates can be difficult. But what would it be like to live with the sort of crime novel cops whose innate mix of inner demons and public doggedness usually ensures them an eight-book deal?


It is 7.30 am. You are about to depart for work from the bland, nondescript starter home of a cop in a crime novel. You wipe down the countertop of the dated beige kitchen, clearing the last crumbs of toast away, when you notice a crime scene photograph of a horribly mutilated woman beside the exhausted coffee machine. Trembling, you pick it up. You’re sure you’ve seen her somewhere before.

Crime Novel Cop: [sneaking up behind you] You don’t want me to tell you what…

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How to Get Accepted By Glimmer Train (as of Winter 2015)


I enjoy reading issues of Glimmer Train, and this one in particular had some great offerings. Even the stories I disliked the most had something worthwhile to provide. I can find short stories in many places, but the ones in Glimmer Train reveal the best path to a first ever publishing. Here are my previous reviews, from the worst story to the best:

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Why Reading Is Like Weightlifting (or: why I love graphic novels)

I mentioned on April 1st that I was reading Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov. I finished the book today. Mind you, the book only has 300 pages, and I started a good deal before April.
If you want to know what I thought about Pale Fire, you can find my review on my Instagram. Yes, the review consists of one picture. To find out what I thought, use your interpretative skills.
I like creating critiques of books through visual shorthand. It’s a weird hobby, but the practice helps me abstract my reaction to literature, record what I read each year, and create a type of analysis never seen before. It’s also in danger of ruining my reading hobby.

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Personality Flashcard: A Cheat Sheet For Creating Minor Characters

So instead of updating Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar, I spent this week creating the character sheet for Henry Cockburn. I say “this week,” but it was more like “today.” “This week,” I prepared myself to jump over the hurdles of procrastination to get to today’s results. Despite my resistance to filling out these questionnaires, I’m still proud of the work I did. And the results will make the next few chapters much easier to write!
I’ll create another sheet for Amal, and then I am done. When I first started writing a novel back in 2012, I made character sheets for anyone who lasted more than two scenes. I don’t think that’s happening again. Yet I’d still like to have a reference for minor characters regardless. It’ll be more fun to let readers fill in the details on bit players… but I’ll need to give my audience somewhere to start.

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The Three Ironclad Rules Of Similes And Metaphors

If you searched “why do writers use similes” and looked at, say, this Quora page, you’d receive the assumption that authors employ metaphor because it’s nice to have. Anyone can say, “It’s fun to be able to compare things with a simile!” But that doesn’t answer the question. Why say something is like another thing, or something is an abstract concept of some sort, when you can just describe what the thing is?

No, seriously, why not? Maybe we should limit ourselves on the whole abstract comparison thing.

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Searching For Reasons To Not Research

I hate research. It’s the number one aspect of writing that keeps me from actually putting pen to paper. The worst thing is, all this stress resides solely in my head. While I sit and write, I keep asking myself, “Do you know enough about this?” While I sit and research, I keep asking myself, “What if you’ll find something new and story-changing in the next hour?” And while I’m doing neither, I keep asking myself “Shouldn’t you be writing?” It’s madness, all of it. I seem hardwired to seek out all information that’s not relative to my life and to avoid any other bits of knowledge… but you all know I’m pursuing an English degree, so that revelation shouldn’t surprise you.

I wish I knew who made this.

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