Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some New Good Stuff....

Photo Credit: Mark Zimmerman (August 2004)
See the original image here!
 I have a new article up at Suite 101, a site for which I've written on and off since early 2009. I generally write about literature, especially those poems and stories I teach in my courses. Today's topic is Emily Dickinson's "The Soul Selects Her Own Society". You can read the article by clicking here.

Another article, written in 2009 and titled Understanding Thomas Hardy's Ruined Maid, seems to help students, since I get comments of gratitude on the interpretation page frequently at the end of each academic semester. And it is this article's success that encouraged me to reapply to write for the site, in conjunction with my appreciation of the section editor, Julie Burtinshaw, who has a careful and kind eye.

The wonderful Hope Clark, whose weekly email leads I receive each Friday, recently wrote an article about these content sites, like Suite 101 and About.com. She indicated that they have helped to impose a disquieting industry standard; that is, writers produce an enormous word count and apply hard-won subject knowledge for little or no money. To make clear what she means requires more explanation. At Suite 101, revenue is generated not by page views but by ad clicks. That means, you might visit an article page, but the writer only earns a portion of a cent when someone clicks on those (somewhat annoying) hyperlinks advertising belly blasters and whatever else stands beside or interrupts the article text. And so, over the past two years, with a year-and-a-half-long intermission, I've made about enough money to buy half a tank of gas for my large, green, yet not-very-eco-friendly behemoth.
However, I look at it this way: I'm supplying content for the possibility of making money. And believe me, there have been many more times in my life when I've supplied content and made nothing at all, without even the prospect of making anything ever on the words supplied. At least, at Suite101, I know that my words are read (and apparently prove helpful to someone) while I get, albeit slowly, some jingle for my pocket. Plus, I get to geek out on one of my favorite subjects: literature. What could be better? Well, okay. Two hundred dollars per article. Sure, that would be fantastic, but with the way the industry is right now, I'll take what provides that jingle in between working on larger writing projects.

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to give a shout-out to an excellent site I found while reasearching today. Check out Clattery MacHinery's blog. (Cute name, by the way.) There are some amazing photos and interesting poetry considerations there.

Also, last night was Carson McCullers' night on AMC. We watched The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and DVR'd The Ballad of Sad Cafe and The Member of the Wedding. Tonight, friends, is movie night.


  1. btw, the photo you post of Emily Dickinson's grave appears to be identical to the one I took in Amherst Massachusetts in August 2004 --- see http://zhurnaly.com/Emily_Dickinson

  2. Hello, Zhurnaly~ Oh! many apologies! I believe I snagged this from a google search, and the search engine probably picked your picture up from the web, I'll bet. I will definitely add a photo credit, directing people to your site, in just a few moments this morning. Thank you! :) Savannah