Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Piece of the Action

The slaughter at the desk is over. For the moment. Slowly, the academic warrior lowers his mighty pen while around him pools of red (ink) lie drying beneath the harsh light. He sighs, stretching cramped muscles, and rubs bloodshot eyes. Before him rests the carnage of the battle, student papers marked and scarred. In his small black book he records the roll call of the grades.

For a moment, a wan smile flickers across his worn visage. He thinks of victory, of peace returned to this war-torn land. But in the distance he knows that more foes gather. He knows that there will be only a brief hiatus before the fighting resumes. And this time the enemy will bring their full power to bear on his pitiful defenses. More finals are coming. And this time his strength is less. This time his reserves are exhausted. He broods upon the rising battle.


And Announcing: The following comes from Christine Eldin, who is going to be having a week's worth of fun for writers and readers on her blog coming up soon. As you can see from the schedule, I'll be involved, as will many other fine writers. Check it out if you get a chance.

Begin Quote:
Dear authors, writers, anonymous editors, and agent hotties,

I would like to invite you to Author's Week for a week of contests and fun and free books! Author's Week will be held on my blog from May 3 through May 9:

Festivities will kick off on Saturday May 3 with an Oldies but Goodies Contest. I will have funny questions about the following authors who have supported my promotions in the past (cool prizes also!!)

Mary Cunningham CURSE OF THE BAYOU
Edna Cabcabin Moran THE SLEEPING GIANT
John Elder Robison LOOK ME IN THE EYE
Patricia Wood LOTTERY

May 5 - May 9 will feature the following authors giving away books and making appearances on my blog. Come chat, make jokes, win prizes!!!

Monday, May 5: Charles Allen Gramlich “Swords of Talera”
Tuesday, May 6: Holly Kennedy "The Silver Compass"
Wednesday, May 7: Daniel Tomasulo "Confessions of a Former Child"
Thursday, May 8: Sandra Cormier "The Space Between"
Friday, May 9: Stacia Kane "Personal Demons"

**If you are able to mention my Author's Week on your blog sometime between now and May 2, please send me an email. I will put your name in a hat and pick a random winner who will receive a nice gift from Dubai.**
End Quote:


the walking man said...

A battle waged, fought bravely and, without remorse; is still yet only a battle, the war has not come to it's finale, no not yet.



Thanks for the heads up on C Eldins blog maybe I'll pop over sometime before the sun rises and looky see

Mary Witzl said...

I too have soldiered on through the dawn's early light over student compositions. I too have wielded the red pen unmercifully and struck down the lazy and unproductive with the third, fourth and sixth letters of the alphabet. So good for you, and just remember: summer is on its way. It won't be long...

I'll be there on Author's Week!

Bernita said...

What was that bit about the old war horse and the sounds of battle?

Sidney said...

May you rest well after that battle.

Donnetta Lee said...

Ah, the wages of war! So much blood is shed. Be sure to recuperate before author's week. Best.

Heff said...

Charles, "your tongue is prettier than a 20 dollar whore."

ivan said...

Mailer says a writin' general sends his armies out on paper.
And Authors' Week seems like a good bivoac

ivan said...


Blazing saddles!

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, indeed, the battle may be over, but not the killing. Christine has a great blog with lots of fun stuff.

Mary Witzl, thanks for stopping by. I see you have the same battle scars. We'll have to trade war stories over a mug of ale sometime.

Bernita, good point. Not sure what I'd do if I were put in the barn. Sleep for a bit, of course. But then I might miss the glory. Naww!

Sidney, that's what I plan for today.

Donnetta, the battle renews seriously tomorrow and Tuesday. By Wednesday I'll probalby be mostly just under "sniper fire."

Heff, do you kiss your momma with that mouth? I at least hope you wash it out with some Bacardi 151 first.

Ivan, at this time of the year my armies seem to have melted away.

writtenwyrdd said...

Ooooh, another party! Thanks for mentioning it, Charles. I did Love SoT. Marvelous stuff.

Now rest up and gird thy loins for the next onslaught of grading. (I do NOT envy you that.)

laughingwolf said...

will look further into this confab, thx for the invite!

hope your students are able to fit words together to make sense, unlike the poor prof in a southern ontario university, where he was chastised by the associate dean for telling some students they had no clue about how to write intelligently... in a public relations class, no less :(

Erik Donald France said...

Looks intriguing, for sure. Good beans, Wellington.

Glad the pen is still mightier than the sword, or their modern equivalents :->

Steve Malley said...

If I were a better mimic, I'd do you a Frazetta mockup of Conan the Librarian! :-)

Looking forward to your guest-blog!

X. Dell said...

From your characterization of the process, I would gather that grading is tougher on you than it was on me:-) My sympathies.

The Authors' Week sounds like fun. I'll definitely check it out.

cs harris said...

All over now but the tears!

ChrisEldin said...

Charles, I love your battle description!!!

Thanks for posting about the upcoming contest!! So far, it's your name and Bernita's name in the trusty hat. Fierce competition.

May I ask a favor? After sending this email to (won't say the large number) people, there's a typo.

Could you fix Edna Cabcabin's book title to read "Sleeping" Giant? I misspelled 'sleeping.'


And summer's right around the corner. Troops will be off to other can take a rest.

Charles Gramlich said...

Writtenwyrd, I'm very glad you liked Swords of Talera. Much appreciated. Looking forward to seeing over at Christine's party.

Laughingwolf, that's one of the problems with education these days, the attirude of "don't disgruntle the consumer," that is, the students. But sometimes they need to be told such things.

Erik, a lot of faculty members don't use red ink anymore. Hurts the students' feelings. I think at times they need to have 'em hurt just a little so they'll have a reason to improve.

Steve Malley, I can see Conan now, pen drawn over one mighty shoulder while pools of drying red ink lay scattered and a pile of student papers lies smoking and stained on an altar to an ancient God.

X-Dell, everyone tells me I take it too seriously but I've been doing it this way for over 20 years and it's hard to change now. Plus, it's the volume. I gave an entire test in essay form and it takes a long time to read them.

Candy, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Christine Eldin, no problem. I'll fix the typo today. Looking forward to the Author week.

Lana Gramlich said...

After the next battle I'll tend to your wounds...If you know what I'm saying. ;) *L* I'm sure part of your treatment will involve many hours of reading, bird watching & general relaxing on the deck, perhaps with an occassional, cold beer.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you'll be my valkyrie.

Josephine Damian said...

Charles: School starts and ends early here in FL. Just checked my grades and saw a sweet pair of aces. Summer school, here I come.

Avery DeBow said...

I have fallen out of the loop lately, so I've just caught up on your last four or five posts. As usual, you've informed me, made me think and laugh, all in equal measure. Although, the first two paragraphs of this post made me smile the most; you're a master of humorous melodrama!

As for your post on filler words, I have to admit that the more I write, the worse my speech becomes. I forget words, stutter and stammer. I don't know why, but I think it might be because my brain has at that point reached maximum capacity and is just dumping items at random to make space.

Ello said...

I am not done yet. I have 2 more weeks to battle through. I may have to let my blog go dark while I do so as it is kicking me butt, Ar.

Lisa said...

I hope you get some rest in between bouts!

steve said...

Great writing in the Sword and Sorcery tradition. I'm afraid battling the evil forces of the Union Pacific Railroad would be a losing proposition for me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Josephine, once I'm finished it'll be writing here I come. Can't wait.

Avery debow, thanks for the compliment. I go through stages like that, with dropping words, etc., and it mostly seems to have to do with stress.

Ello, I've only been able to just do the barest miniumum on blogging. And as for grading, round 2 started today. I'll be going on and off until next Tuesday before the last of it is done.

Lisa, I should have another short break on Thursday, Friday, but then I have a test Saturday to give.

Steve, no one fights the corporations for long.

Danette Haworth said...

Ha, Charles! Loved your battle narrative. See you at Chris' May 5th.

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Considering that they were the choosers of the slain, I'd rather be your Florence Nightingale...

SQT said...

Thanks for letting us know about the contests. I'm lucky enough to already have your book and Stacia Kane's, but I'm always looking for stuff like that to pass on.

Charles Gramlich said...

Danette, I'm looking forward to it.

Lana, you already played that roll after my last couple of motorcycle accidents. And did it very well, I might add.

SQT, it should be fun. Thanks for picking up my book.

benjibopper said...

that takes me back to my (brief) TA days, ripping statistical projections to shreds. good times.

Demon Hunter said...

Glad you're finally finished with those :*) Get some rest.

Charles Gramlich said...

Benjibopper, so do you enjoy root canals as well? ;)

Demon Hunter, well, another set of grades will be done today by noon. And then I have grading coming in next Saturday and Monday. After that I'll be through for the semester.