REVIEW: New Light

Annette Gilson is a master of fiction. She has spent several years perfecting her craft, and it shows in her novel New Light.

It’s not exactly a romance, nor is it a philosophical or scientific work. It’s not fantasy, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s based on reality. New Light is a hybrid of a myriad of genres neatly woven together to create a whole new kind of novel.

Gilson takes on the awe-inspiring task of taking a mysterious and otherworldly subject – visions – and explores what makes it so fascinating by using a blend of scientific and poetic language. If any other author tried to do so, I’m sure it would have become a muddled mess, but Gilson does so with ease. She is able to perfectly balance her vivid images with scientific jargon that overwhelms and pacifies the reader into understanding.

Continue reading

Advertisements

ARTICLE: The Visions of Oakland University’s Director of Creative Writing

The time has come. I am officially a graduate of Oakland University. This final article as Photo Editor (and occasional reporter and blogger) for the Oakland Post marks the end of an era of learning my passion in life: creative writing. I have met many people on my journey to getting my bachelors, but one person who has helped me the most is the one and only Annie Gilson.

I had Gilson as a professor for my Advanced Creative Writing course about a year and a half ago. My good friend and fellow author Adrian Schirr was joining me, and I felt prepared to take the class by storm. However, I was not at all prepared for the intensity that is professor Gilson and her teaching.

To put it simply, she is a powerhouse of creative writing. Her energy was never less than 150%, and her passion for writing was even higher. She didn’t hold back with her critiques, and I admit that I left class with tears in my eyes after having some of my work ripped apart. However, it was the critiques I needed to hear, not the critiques I necessarily wanted to hear. That was one of the most important values I learned after taking Gilson’s course. I needed to develop a thick skin when it comes to revising and critiques. My writing isn’t perfect, and I need to know and not let my feelings get hurt when someone says “this makes no sense!”

The best part is that Gilson applies everything she teaches to her students to her own writing, which I learned when I interviewed her about her novel New Light, which was first published in 2006, and reprinted in 2010.

Continue reading

D&D Session 15

FINALLY. After a month of waiting, we were finally able to play D&D again! Here’s the summary of what happened during this wonky, RP-heavy and battle crazy session:

SESSION 15

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL10) and Basile (LVL12)
  • Lorn (LVL 12)
  • Marven (LVL12)
  • Neebs (LVL 12)
  • Dwayne (LVL12)
  • Rheagar (LVL 12)
  • Alkaid (LVL 12)

After all of the sudden visitors at his home, Rheagar decides that he needs to put wards up to protect their base. Lorn says he can hallow the home, cast Discern Lies, and put up a Symbol of Persuasion. However, he can only do so for a small fee. Rheagar trades the Horn of Gondor to Lorn, who then sells it to Marven for him to use at his new club.

Rocky then decides that he would like to visit his keep, and invites the others to join him. Sbeen runs out to find “Not Friend,” to bring him along. Sbeen asks people around town where “Not Friend” Marven is. They explain they heard his name being called out that night at Ashisa’s shop. Sbeen runs into the shop to find in Ashisa’s room. He picks up Marven under his arm to carry him out, but Marven kindly requests that he at least put on pants first. After finding them he allows Sbeen to carry him back to Rheagar’s. Sbeen skips the entire way back singing. When they arrive, the party notices that Marven is covered in black scales and is “ripped like Jesus.” His wings and horns are also larger. No one seems concerned.

Basile allows Ciaran to go with them, but chooses to stay back to talk with Levi in private. As Lorn teleports everyone away, Basile confesses all of his sins (minus the devil stuff) to his Dad. Even though he knows that Levi already figured out his identity, he’s still too ashamed to tell the truth. To atone for his sins, Basile has to find a Tomb of Clear Thoughts and donate it to a Temple of Ioun. Basile says the only one he knows of it back in Modelheim, to which Levi replies he’ll have to find a different one.

Continue reading

ARTICLE: Beloved English Professor Retires After 27 Years of Teaching

79a511768c821d444769bf551cf9d544

Professor Edward Haworth Hoeppner reads poetry from his collection “Ancestral Radio” during his farewell reading on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

After nearly three decades of working at Oakland University, English Professor Edward Haworth Hoeppner is retiring. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, he had a farewell reading in Dodge Hall, where nearly 100 students and faculty — both past and present — came to listen to his poetry and to bid him farewell.

Hoeppner’s Early Life

At 64 years old, Hoeppner has done a lot in his life. He grew up in Winona, Minnesota on the Mississippi River and studied for a year to become a priest at St. Mary’s University. When he decided that wasn’t the right path for him, he started to focus on English and Creative Writing.

“My high school English teacher first got me really interested in writing. It was illegal. We used to go to his house and drink beer and talk literature and that continued through college,” Hoeppner said with a laugh.

Continue reading

D&D: After the Tournament

Last week I was bored at work and felt like writing. Ever since our last session, I had been thinking about everything that took place after the tournament: specifically how Basile handled seeing his mentor and father again. So, I wrote a short story based on what happened! (At this rate, I might end up writing another novel…)

Enjoy!

 

Basile lay in the middle of Rheagar’s home with his eyes closed. He was too exhausted to keep up his invisibility or to silence the internal and external voices of his friends as the slowly made their way to the house. Rheagar was arguing with Dwayne about something unimportant, while Lorn watched him and jot down his thoughts about Ciaran’s performance in the tournament. He knew that he’d have to explain everything to the nosy druid soon. Meanwhile, Ciaran sat beside him on the floor, recounting every moment of his fight.

“I had to fight Roger Lord Mortimer, Neebs, and that new guy!”

“Yes, I know. I was there.”

“I kicked them all in the dick, like you told me to. It really got them all mad.”

“You did a good job.”

“I know I was protected by our bond, but I can’t believe my arms didn’t come off or that my eyes didn’t get gouged out!”

Basile grimaced. “Before a mark can be made on your skin, I’ll have to die first.”

“I’m sorry you had to get hurt for this to work,” Ciaran murmured, laying down to rest his head against Basile’s shoulder. The tiefling held in a whimper of pain. His shoulders still ached after having his arm ripped off and regenerated. “I wish I was stronger.”

“I can handle it. You’re very strong, and Lorn was there to protect me,” Basile assured his brother. “It will all be worth it in the end.”

Continue reading

D&D Session 14

We left our last session in the middle of a cliff hanger. Our party was just about to battle Torque, the Bronze Dragon, and I have been DYING to play this session. I have done a ton of brainstorming with what I’ve been wanting to do with Basile, and we were able to get it ALL DONE in this session! After a week of itching for more, here is the summary of what happened!

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL10) and Basile (LVL12)
  • Lorn (LVL 12)
  • Marven (LVL12)
  • Neebs (LVL 12)
  • Dwayne (LVL12)
  • Rheagar (LVL 12)
  • Alkaid (LVL 12)

The party quickly prepares to battle Torque. Dwayne casts Greater Invisibility on himself and Lorn casts Nerveskitter. Ciaran and Xylander are scared by his presence and flee.

  • Lorn quicken casts Haste, and then casts Dimension Door. The triton counters Lorn’s spell. He gets off Rocky, who moves up to Torque. He swings his horn and is blocked by Torque.
  • Torque slams his hand against Rocky and uses Quivering Touch. He then uses Stunning Fists to punch with his fists and curled wings at Rocky to try and knock him out. Then, he blows repulsion gas to force everyone to back away. Only Lorn, Rheagar, Neebs, and Basile weren’t repelled.
  • Marven backs away and empowers his slow breath on Torque.
  • Rheagar shouts his Lions Roar and takes a step back. He shoots four arrow at one of the tritons. Three of them hit.
  • Neebs quicken casts True Strike and takes a few steps back. He then shoots an arrow of Shivering Touch at Torque. He catches and deflects it into Rocky.
  • Dwayne casts Prismatic Mist around Torque and four of the tritons. Torque is not affected by the spell.
  • The tritons begin to move forward toward Rocky and miss their attacks. One of them tries to break the enchantments on the slowed tritons, but it fails.
  • Alkaid shoots off five arrows at the spell-casting triton as he flees. All five slam into his chest.
  • Basile runs into the room and, after keeping a safe distance, shoots a Hellfire Eldritch Blast into Torque’s wing, tearing it to shreds.
  • Lorn casts Bite of the Werebear on himself and Rocky. The spellcasting triton tries to dispell it, but fails. Meanwhile, Rocky gouges at Torque twice with his horn, then follows up with a bite and two swipes of his “claws” as he acts like a “kung fu bear.”
  • Marven, who is still running away, grabs his Immovable Rod and shoves it down his pants and shouts “snorkel!” He is unable to continue running away and then shoots off a Ray of Enfeeblement from his wand at Torque. The attack crits, and Torque immediately becomes weighed down.

Continue reading

LIFE: A Very Productive Summer!

This summer has been so busy, with every moment of every day being spent to house hunt, plan for the wedding, and work. However, I did manage to find some time to squeeze in some fun events. Below are just a few of many things I did this summer.

JUNE

20882797_1659602960725660_5608851874901112300_n

Held a bonfire with old friends for the Summer Solstice!

19113968_1632446933444265_904148758045339807_n

Had a date at the Cider Mill to pick fresh strawberries! Eleven pounds worth!

20280521_720425758145472_8283907675924474076_o

Congratulations Nancy and Jay Lasky on your beautiful wedding!

JULY

grand rapids

Spent the weekend with my family in Grand Rapids to celebrate my cousin’s high school graduation!

IMG_7526.JPG

Celebrated Eddie’s little brother’s high school graduation!

20375791_1683331751689116_1259392120444354324_n

Date night with Eddie to see Demetri Martin at Meadowbrook Amphitheater.

IMG_7617.jpg

Had my 24th birthday playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends!

AUGUST

20616890_1689302014425423_3574092313493409194_o (1)

Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with a friend from work, whose birthday was just a few days before mine!

20545336_10214072261542478_203331423491112279_o

Work on some Youtube videos with Team Final Rush (as well as complete one of my own speed paint videos)

ISqhqx5hr5t4wg1000000000

Eddie and I bought our first home on August 11th! (More information on that to come once we move in later this year.)

IMG_7626.JPG

Had the bridal party hang out and get to know each other better in the form of a pool party!

21014047_1708456995843258_1660604376229962246_o

Went to check out a new zoo!

And lastly, we took a ton of engagement photos! You can get that I’ll be posting more of those when I get the proofs back.