Dear Mr. Dickens: An Open Letter

My dear Mr. Dickens, I hope you are well and not at all rolling over in your grave. (It is, after all, nearing Christmas and renditions of your famous holiday tale are promenading before audiences who are mostly wondering whether they actually turned off the oven or whether the turkey they pretend to like is…

Non-Writing Writer

I was inspired this morning as I walked to practice piano for an upcoming recital... this would have been great, had I been inspired to practice. Rather, I was inspired to set the opening of Wordsworth’s The Prelude to music.  My roommate (bless her) stopped me just in time: “Ryanne, if you write a melody and…

Dystopian Reality

Dystopian novels have been "in" for several years now. The Hunger Games and Divergent were the most popular reads of my high school days. Brave New World, 1984, and Anthem were on the AP reading lists. I continue to devour Ray Bradbury's work. However, we forget the purpose of dystopian fiction, which is to warn and protect us from creating such futures in reality.…

To the Books on my Shelf: A Sonnet

  Too often, I find myself staring in admiration at my bookshelves. The ornate covers of collectables, the crackled pages of old favorites, the bright illustrations of new editions... *sigh of delight* To my abashment (isn't that a lovely word for a not-so-lovely feeling?), I own and admire many books I have yet to actually…

Reflections on Writing a Novel Draft

During my journey home from Italy, I was super bored and, thus, my brain went crazy and came up with a novel idea that I am ridiculously excited about. Thankfully, I hit 50,000 words on my other novel draft, so I was able to set that one aside without too much guilt to begin this…

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…

Romeo is not Romance

I was perusing Pinterest this afternoon and came across this nifty picture. Seeing that it included classic books, I stopped my mindless scrolling, looked through it, and nearly shouted aloud. No. No. No!!! No. No. NO. N.O. No. What was so frustrating about this pin? Well, first of all is the fact that it lists…