Mental Floss: 9 Mournful Facts About Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 10:06 am on Friday, October 30, 2015


I wrote another Halloween-themed Mental Floss post: 9 Mournful Facts About Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”

Ravens can really talk. Here’s a video of a raven saying “nevermore.”

The Atlantic: Should Literary Journals Charge Writers Just to Read Their Work?

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:20 am on Monday, October 26, 2015


I’m excited to share an article I wrote for The Atlantic on literary journal reading fees. It looks into whether literary journals should charge writers fees to submit their writing, an important issue that needs more discussion.

Check out: Should Literary Journals Charge Writers Just to Read Their Work?

Mental Floss: Halloween Edition

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:57 am on Saturday, October 24, 2015

Here are my latest Mental Floss articles. They are Halloween themed. Wooo (spooky noise).


10 Monstrous Facts About ‘Frankenstein’

The amount of death that happened around Mary Shelley during the writing and publication of Frankenstein is astounding. Three children, her half-sister, Percy Shelley’s first wife… the list goes on. No wonder she wrote about bringing the dead back to life.


10 Blood-Curdling Facts About ‘Dracula’

There are so many interesting components that went into writing Dracula: Jack the Ripper, the painter Rossetti digging up his dead wife’s grave, the connection between English vampires and Frankenstein, and more.


15 Mysterious Facts About Owls

I love owls.


11 Facts About ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

I don’t know about you, but going through the Dust Bowl sounds like a much scarier nightmare than Frankenstein’s monster.


11 Strange Facts About ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’

There’s a theory that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this book while on a three-day cocaine binge. It does make sense.

Mental Floss Articles: Walden, Chocolate Factories, Witches, Spiders, and More!

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:54 am on Monday, September 28, 2015

More Mental Floss articles that I wrote! Get ‘em while they’re hot!


12 Gloriumptious Facts About Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl actually was a chocolate tester for a candy company when he was a kid. It stuck with him (so to speak) and inspired Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


10 Transcendental Facts About Walden.

Did you know Thoreau started a 3,000-acre forest fire before going to live in the woods?


10 Things You Might Not Know About Charlotte’s Web

EB White was fascinated with spiders and even took her egg sack back to his New York apartment with him. He was delighted when it hatched and the baby spiders spun webs all over his room.


10 Witchy Facts About The Crucible.

While Arthur Miller was writing his allegory for McCarthyism, he was having an affair with Marilyn Monroe. I can’t help but surmise this must have influenced the affair between Abigail and John Proctor.

Book Review: Felicia Day’s Memoir

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:50 am on Thursday, August 20, 2015


I reviewed Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)for KQED, including thoughts on GamerGate. READ IT HERE.

Articles: L. Frank Baum, Horton Hears A Who, And Jack London

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:34 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Here’s a few recent articles:


13 Facts About L. Frank Baum’s ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’

L. Frank Baum was a fascinating person. I had no idea. He was a chicken farmer and a traveling salesman and went around the country performing a melodrama that he wrote himself. And he claimed he was going to start a Wizard of Oz theme park on a nonexistent island off the California coast. My new hero.


10 Facts About ‘Horton Hears A Who!’

I was reading this book to Gideon and realized that it was an allegory for World War II. When I looked into it deeper, I realized that Horton Hears A Who was Dr. Seuss’s atonement for his racist actions against the Japanese during the war.


10 Facts About ‘The Call of the Wild’

I gained respect for Jack London while writing this. I was able to confirm that it’s true he was rejected 664 times in the first five years of writing. He had a spindle with a needle on it on which he would impale his rejection letters. Eventually he had a column of rejection slips four feet high. That’s some major grit.

Article: Great Expectations in Mental Floss

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:09 am on Saturday, July 25, 2015

Did you catch my most recent article in Mental Floss? It’s 11 Dickensian Facts About ‘Great Expectations’. Did you know Estella may have been based on Charles Dickens’s mistress?

Also, remember the 1998 movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke? It seemed like it was going to be so good, and then it was so bad.


Why doesn’t her shirt have buttons?

Article: 14 Things You Might Not Know About ‘The Sound of Music’

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:42 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


Did you know that The Sound of Music turned 50 years old this year? I recently re-watched it for my Mental Floss article 14 Things You Might Not Know About ‘The Sound of Music’. Now I really want to go to Austria.

Article: Luther Burbank Experiment Farm In Via

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:39 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


Want to learn about the white blackberry, the spineless cactus, or the trifoliate orange? Consider taking a trip to the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm, which I wrote about for Via Magazine.

Fiddle-dee-dee! 18 Facts About Vivien Leigh

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:34 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


When I was a kid, Vivien Leigh was one of my heroes. My admiration was re-awakened by this recent Mental Floss article Fiddle-dee-dee! 18 Facts About Vivien Leigh. She was a fascinating lady.

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