Miss Darcy

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman having read or seen Pride and Prejudice, must be in want of a Mr. Darcy." - Jane Austen and Ryanne McLaren* *Note: The above quote does not actually represent the entirety of this post, but I did think it rather apt in capturing the feelings of Austenites…

Literary Tourism

Don't be a tourist. I don't mean don't travel; by all means, see the world and explore new places! But don't be a tourist, defined as "a person who travels for pleasure, especially sight-seeing and staying in hotels."   That doesn't sound so bad, but can one really experience a place through simply seeing sights and…

Personal Dictionary Part 1: Brain Snacks 

Stink it, I've created another one.      Another what?          Well, I use these phrases that a friend once dubbed "Ryanneisms." They are phrases that nobody else seems to use and earn me quite a few odd looks when I say them in everyday conversations. But I'm learning to just roll…

“I Met the Fall”

November is my favorite month and not just because of Thanksgiving, pumpkin flavored everything, National Novel-Writing Month, the fact that eleven is my favorite number, or even my birthday. I love November because, living in Arizona and California, this is the month when Autumn finally arrives and, this morning, she arrived and met me with…

Encouragement 

Sometimes in the midst of concert season, the muses (or my professors...) decide to make a huge paper due. But, sometimes, the very book about which you are writing a paper gives you a little word of encouragement to turn your stressed spirit into a "stubborn spirit."     "I will endure it, keeping a…

Accidental Poetry

I came to the library with intentions of finishing Dante's Paradise and therefore getting ahead on my homework, but I made the dire mistake of listening to one of my all-time favorite orchestra pieces, Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending." (Stink it, Dante! You distracted me with "as a lark wheeling in the open sky"...curse your beautiful…

Poems and Trees and Such

It is National Poetry Day and I feel compelled to participate. Unfortunately, I tend to be much better at prose and the occasional limerick. Don't believe me? The crowning achievement of my poetic career is this, written in eighth grade and shared by my dear friends throughout the entire school during a poetry appreciation event. Thanks…

The Word Crimes Inferno

In reading Dante's Inferno, I was struck by his ability to identify, categorize, and assign fitting punishments to various sins. This is not perhaps the most cheerful observation, but it was certainly intriguing and made me think (apologies for the morbidity): what crimes I would punish were I to write a modern Inferno and how would I…

#WriterGoals by Homer, Odysseus, and Ryanne

Yes, my title is a hashtag. Sometimes I like to break the trend of ordinary prose. Sorry not sorry. Ironically, however, this post is based on writing standards set waaaaaaaay back in the days of Homer. In reading through The Odyssey for my university's honors institute, I realized two things: First, listening to Chopin's nocturnes whilst reading makes…