Friday, September 20, 2013

Avid Reader and Religious Nut

Who is Ashley Nelson Rands? Well that is me! It was difficult to look around my house and find just a few objects that represent who I am.

The image on the right displays a lot about myself. It is an image of the Savior Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon and Bible. I grew up a member of the Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This image and these books of scripture represent my beliefs and my priorities. My religion has shaped who I am. What I have done with my life has been mainly because of my religion. I have carried this particular picture of the Savior with me throughout my life. It was my mother's when she was a little girl. I look at it and think of her and then I think of how valiantly and diligently she has taught me throughout my life to be a good person, a good christian.

The second artifact from my home was this picture of the Mt Timpanogous Temple and a star with wood shavings in it. Now this star has a lot of significance in my life. When I was a little girl my primary had an activity that involved helping build this particular temple. Afterwards we each received a star with wood shavings in it. It was my most prized possession. Around the same time my grandmother was in a car accident and was confined to her bed. I would ride my bike every day to visit her. One day I gave her my star to help cheer her up. She kept the star throughout my life and displayed it in her home. Every time I would come to her house I would see this star and remember what I did. She gave this star back to me in this last year. This star represents to me of what sort of character I have. It is a symbol of my devotion to my family and describes my love for everyone. I have always tried to be kind to people. My husband would sometimes say that I am "too nice". I like pleasing people and serving them. I look at the star and remember the service that I rendered to my grandmother and my desire now to always look for service to others when I can. (I also got married in this temple).

This artifact from my home is my diploma from Brigham Young University I graduated with my
Bachelors in English. I think my degree placed strategically next to these books represents a lot of who I am socially. I have always loved books. I love reading and writing. I spend many hours reading books and also writing. I love writing creatively as well as academically. That was one of the reasons why I decided to major in English. My time at BYU really shaped my life. I look back on who I was before BYU and who I am now. I haven't changed drastically in my personally but rather I have become more confident in who I am. I feel like my thoughts have developed and I have a more well rounded individual. Since attending BYU I have developed a thirst for knowledge and helping my family with their own writings.

This last artifact is my family. I think my family comes second to religion on the impact that it has had on my life. My family has been my center. My family is my priority in life. I recently was married and now my family has just grown even larger. I have always been close to my family. My friends would look at me strangely because I considered my parents to be my best-friends. I still do consider them to be my close friends. Spending time with my family is what I enjoy doing most in my life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meeting the Learning Outcomes

(Sorry this is late, took longer to create it then I thought it would)

For English 295 I believe that both the class and myself met the learning outcomes for this class. Here is a link to Dr. Burton's blog page for our class's learning outcomes. I liked the format that Bri used when discussing meeting the learning outcomes so that is the format I am going to follow as well.

So how did I and the class meet the learning outcomes for this semester?


At first it was hard to understand exactly the mediums or ways I was supposed to 'consume'. I wasn't sure what really constituted as consume either. It wasn't until I met with Dr. Burton a few weeks into the semester that I realized that I was consuming and creating and connecting all at once. How I was doing this was fan-fiction. Reading fan-fiction has been a big part of my consume process (link to my blog about it). Whenever I would read a book I would immediately go onto fan-fiction to see what had been written about the characters. There were discussions you could join as well. It was fun to see the different interpretations.

Another way I consumed literature was trying my hand at reading James Joyce's Dubliners online as well. Although I found it more difficult to read I still took away something. (Link to my blog about reading online). I also started reading blogs as part of my consume. I found quite a few blogs that helped me in my understanding of James Joyce. (Link to my Blogs of Understanding). I also started reading forums and discussions on Goodreads and various other sites. (Goodreads discussion, and forums discussions blog). I also had fun bookmarking articles that I wanted to read or look at through Diigo. (Link to my diigo) I know other people in the class also had fun with reading blogs and discussions. Some even were able to consume on Twitter.


Well I think by making this blog as other people in class we participated in the creation process. But not only making this blog but commenting on other blogs and participating in making our eBook. (link to our Ebook) By involving ourselves in group discussions or forums we participated in creating.

Also when we made a collaborative google doc was also our class creating. I have made since many google docs and shared them with my classmates for study guides (blog about google docs)

Going back to fan-fiction that is also part of creation. Although I don't have anything as of yet that I am publishing on fan-fiction I still created some stories. I attempted to recreate the story of "The Sisters" from Dubliners as well as trying my hand at creating my own story of Rainbows End. (I hoped to have it finished and published by now but....things got a little busy. One day).


Just as consumption and creating are linked so is connect. By reaching out and consuming blogs and forums and then commenting we are connecting with those people. Also our Webinar is a form of connecting. It was really hard contacting people and letting them know about our Webinar, especially if they were people I did not know. It was difficult to go outside my box and actually contact other people through their blogs but I think I made some valuable connections. I made some friends on Goodreads and discovered a whole world through blogs.

I was already connecting through fan-fiction through the reviews I sent people and discussions I participated in. One thing that was really great was I was able to connect with Jude Mai who allowed me to use part of her story in my eBook chapter to help make my point about fan-fiction being a great source for literary criticism.

Here is a link to my blog about fan-fiction which participates in all three of these outcomes.

Through all of this I think the class and myself fulfilled the outcomes for this class. It was a great semester and I really learned a lot. I am now changed when it comes to doing research. I can no longer think of research as simply going to the library. Research involves much more than that. It involves consumption of all sorts of mediums:blogs, books, forums, Goodreads, discussions, Diigo, articles, and fan-fiction. Research also involves our own creating and connecting to the world around us. If we can't really do that then we haven't really participated in research.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Come join my English 295 class for our webinar that we will be hosting. It talks all out our free eBook that we will be making available to the public soon. This is what we have been doing this semester, working up to this point!

Whew! Editing

Whew! I think that is what most are thinking now that we have our eBook almost completed. I know I was feeling the heat last week. When I was thinking about the editing that needed to be done on Wednesday I had to surprise a gulp. But that part is done!

My brother got married last Friday and so my family was in town. I was trying to juggle spending time with family and managing three other classes and final projects. It was no easy task but I did it. I don't think I would have accomplished all I did without technology.

Wednesday night after my classes and the bridal shower for my sister-in-law, and a surprise visit to the hospital (my sister had broken her foot) I bunkered down to do some editing. Nyssa had already sent me several of her edits to look over and I needed to start the manuscripts that she assigned me. I stayed up until I could not longer think straight. The next day I headed to grandparents. Luckily they had internet so I continued to work on my editing.

Unfortunately I didn't get finished with all the editing by the time I went to my other grandparents (they didn't have an internet). I finished the edits but I had no way of getting them to the proper individuals. I resolved to not worry about it until the following day (the wedding day). It was one crazy filled day but I managed to send off the edits that were needed and then returned to my family to enjoy their company.

All of this wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for technology. Before starting our editing we needed to get the author's permission that they had their final copy ready. I was stuck at the hospital thinking about all the editing I could be doing but I didn't have my computer nor a way to contact the authors. Then my mother pulled out her new phone and told me she had internet. I was able to get online and contact all the authors I was editing.

Once I got home I was able to start on the manuscripts. We used track changes in word which is really great to see what you have deleted or added, plus the editor can add comments to the author. It was really great since our edits were going through two people so that the previous person could see what had already been done. One thing that really helped me was showing the paper in the 'final stage' which enabled me to see the document with all the editing accepted. I was able to go back and forth looking at the final copy to the edited copy catching some mistakes.

My mother's phone came in handy again on Friday when we were traveling back from Salt Lake. I was able to access my email and stay in touch with the editing team in a quick and efficient way.

It was great working with Nyssa and Aly. Nyssa would send me her edits and I would then send it to the author. I would edit the manuscipts I was assigned and then send them to Aly. One thing that I think might have been easier in this whole process was making myself more available. It was really hard when I was without interent. I could check my email but I was unable to send the documents that I had edited.

This was the editing process for creating our eBook. If you want more narratives or a different narrative on the editing process check our Nyssa's and Aly's blog.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Being Out There

Earlier I was really excited because I found my blog while searching for other blogs. Well Sam pointed out that I had MapLoco on my page. I had originally thought the only purpose of this widget was to show who was viewing my page currently and where they were. I had no idea that I could click on it and actually find out how many people had visited my site, when and where they were at.

To my utter surprise I found that more people are looking at this blog than I had originally thought. It makes me reevaluate the things that I have written (also makes me want to go back and fix somethings). I didn't know I had such a wide audience. Really the only people I thought would look at this blog were people in class, how wrong was I? I think that might change how I post...meaning I might give more explanation for some of the things I have posted.

Within the past month here are the locations and numbers for visits:


Atascadero, CA 1
Provo, UT, 78
South Jordan, UT 1
Salt Lake City, UT 39
New York, NY 1
Austin, TX 1

Other places that people are from that have visited my site:
Peru, Hillsboro, United States, Canada, India, Ecuador, Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom

Stepping Over Joyce's Paralysis: Evolution of Secondary Sources

My Final Paper

“The Sisters”

“There was no hope for me this time: it was my third stroke. Night after night I knew I was not long for this world. I kept waiting for the boy to come but he never did. I couldn’t blame him. I wouldn’t; I couldn’t.
My mind was clear; almost as it had been before the incident. I believed it was God’s way of saying he forgave me; I wanted it to be. What I had done warranted no forgiveness.
When Father O’Rourke left is when I felt the peace, the clarity. It was when I knew I was not long for this world. I hoped heaven would receive me.”

Wait . . . stop . . . this is not James Joyce’s story! The short story “The Sisters” from the collection Dubliners is actually told from the point of view of an unnamed boy. This boy had become friends with a priest, Father Flynn who had just passed away.
The boy had been waiting for his death but after the death the boy was didn’t know how to deal with the passing. This boy “wished to go in and look at him but [he] had not the courage to knock.”

The story is unique because Joyce does not give us all the information and leaves it to the audience to make conclusions. Parts of conversations are left unfinished and we are left guessing what was meant. An example is in the last line when Eliza, one of Father Flynn’s sisters, says “Wide-awake and laughing-like to himself. . . . So then, of course, when they say that, that made them think that there was something gone wrong with him. . . .”

So if this is the real story where does this other story come from? It is not written by James Joyce but by me. It is what we call fan fiction. There is a website dedicated to stories such as these, It is a site that people can recreate their own story based on another tale.

Researching in the digital age has changed rapidly over the last few years. The reason? It is because there are so many resources and information that we can look at by just using the Internet. Because of mediums like blogs, forums, and fan fiction literary criticism is moving towards more informal sources. Secondary sources are changing from the formal to informal, from inactive to interactive, and from unsocial to social and are just as legitimate as scholarly sources.

At the Start

During my research of James Joyce and his book Dubliners I did not restrict myself to just the library. I had many forms to gather my information. I would read blogs, go on forums, join discussions, and read fan fiction.

These may not seem like official scholarly sources and these sources teachers usually don’t accept when writing a formal research paper. Yet, these sources I was able to find out the same information, if not more, about James Joyce and Dubliners as if I had used official scholarly sources.

Maybe in formal writing secondary sources have remained relatively the same but informal secondary sources have sprung up everywhere today changing the ways that we do research and interpret works. People are writing blogs or joining forums to discuss the books that they have been reading. They are not scholars but some of them make the same points that scholarly papers do.

We research and write to understand. When we read we try to interpret and understand the words on the page (or that we have listened to). In order to understand we research, whether it is informal or formal. After we have done research we then try to create or write. By following this process our thoughts are able to mature and grow.

Informal Research

In my research I was able to contact several people about their readings of James Joyce. I felt like this was very useful in my research. One blog I came across was from a woman who actually lives in Ireland. It was interesting to see that her perspective on Dubliners changed as she spent more time in Ireland. She noted, just as James Joyce did, that people in Ireland do experience a sort of paralysis or at least a loyalty to their country and a reluctance to leave it.

Another blog Die Zeitschrift focus on the character of Father Flynn and notices that he has a “[desire] to confess something.” As I was reading this blog my eyes opened a little to Father Flynn’s little secret. I had been, at first, confused about the story of “The Sisters”. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Conversations were confusing and facts were missing.

Once I read the blog I went on a search to find more about Father Flynn and this sin that he believed he committed that caused him to be “sitting up by himself in the dark in his confession-box, wide-awake and laughing-like softly to himself.”

One website, The Modern World, wrote an article about Father Flynn and his ‘condition’. His symptoms suggested his crime was sexual perversion. He was driven mad by his own guilt and by the disease he contracted.

These sources are legitimate even if they don't have the stamp of scholarly attributes because they contribute. They contribute in an analytical and social ways. We are part of a big collaborative world and most information is within easy reach.

Formal Research

Just as I did informal research I was able to find information I needed from the approved scholarly sources. In an article by James Sullivan, he writes about a friend of James Joyce, Padraic Colum, who assisted the author in publishing Dubliners.

James Joyce wrote about things he knew. His characters were often based on people he knew and he didn't hide that fact. That was one of the reasons why it was so hard to publish Dubliners and some of his other works. For myself, I have a suspicion that the unnamed boy might be based a little on Joyce himself.

My reasoning is, after reading The Atlas of Literature, James Joyce went to Catholic school and learned lots. This priest, Father Flynn, is a representation of the Catholic Church. This little boy has learned so much from Father Flynn which is why he feels guilty of being free of him. I am not sure that James Joyce ever felt guilty about leaving the Catholic Church but he did acknowledge their help in his education. Just as the little boy becomes distant from his emotions, James Joyce has distanced himself from the church.

Another reason that he had a hard time getting his work published was because of the content. His stories were often a little inappropriate and made some people feel uncomfortable. James Joyce was creating something that had influenced his life, his time in Dublin. He was reproducing what he saw which is something we all do in an attempt at understanding.

Rob Tocalino remarks about James Joyce and his writing habits. James Joyce did not look kindly on the Dublin people. He wrote about situations and Dublin in a more negative light. Joyce believed that the people in Dublin were in a sort of paralysis, unable to really progress until they moved away from Dublin. The characters in his stories often wish to escape but few can really escape.

Fan Fiction

Just as I created the fan fiction about “The Sisters” to understand the story, we all participate in creation. I tried to put myself in the priest’s shoes. Tried to imagine what it would feel like to be dying. After reading some blogs and forums I was able to understand the character of Father Flynn.

I tried to imagine how he would be feeling right before his death. He would want redemption but after feeling guilty for so long he might think that forgiveness is beyond his reach. My version of the story may not be what James Joyce had intended but it allowed me to connect to the characters in a way that I had not before. It allowed for more interpretation.

As I was trying to find more fan fiction stories I came across Jude Mai’s story “James Joyce’s Araby Pastiche” which she wrote and posted to

“Araby” is about a boy who is infatuated with his friend’s sister. He has elevated her in his head and thinks being in love is this great thing. He is so head-over-hills that he offers to go to the bazaar, Araby, for her to get a gift. To him this market possess a “magical name” as if he is on a quest to some magical place for the one he loves. His illusion his shattered when he arrives and he realizes as the story closes that he is “a creature driven and derided by vanity.” The story drops off there and we are left to wonder about the boy and what happened to him afterwards. Did he go back to his crush? Did he grow out of his boyhood fantasies?

The story that I came across answers some of those questions that I had. In Jude Mai's story our young hero was just returning from Araby. As he was leaving the train station he spots the girl that he was infatuated with in the arms of another man.

She writes of the boy’s heart being crushed. But then at the end of her story the boy declares that it no longer matters because he is in love with someone else. I think it is an interesting take on the story of "Araby." The boy continues to go through these fleeting feelings for girls as if going to the bazaar had elicited no change in him.

These sites have enabled my reading of certain stories to alter and change. It gives the audience a fresh perspective on characters that they are familiar with and a chance to see how other people view and interpret the characters.

Nearing the End

Secondary sources whether they are informal or formal help us in our reading process. The secondary sources are evolving and moving away from the scholarly. The information that is shared on these sites are not taking away from knowledge but helping it to grow because of the many minds that are now able to share and exchange information.

When writing a research paper about James Joyce blogs may be helpful to refer to just as a fan fiction story. These informal sources are interpretations of the text just as an article and can be just as legitimate. Of course, informal sources cannot be the only source we use but a healthy mix of both will help with creating well-rounded paper.

Scholarly Works Cited

Sullivan, James P. "Padraic Colum's "James Joyce as a Young Man."" James Joyce Quarterly. Volume 45.3 (2008): 339-347. May 2008.

The Atlas of Literature. Ed. Malcolm Bradbury. London : New York : Don Mills, Ont.: London : De Agostini ; New York : Distributed in the U.S. by Stewart,, Tabori & Chang ; Don Mills, Ont. : Distributed in Canada by General Publishing Co, 1996. Print.

Tocalino, Rob. "James Joyce." Bookmarks 2011/05 2007: 14. Print.

Other Works Cited

Em, “Dubliners, by James Joyce.” C’est la Vie. January 9, 2011. Web. Retrieved May 23, 2011.

Phillips, E. K. “’Dubliners’ by James Joyce.” Die Zeitschrift. June 1, 2011. Web. Retrieved June 6, 2011.

Steinberg, Faith. “’The Sisters’ and the Case of the Broken Chalice.” The Modern Word. 2002. Web. Retrieved May 23, 2011. Web. 2002 Web. 2008


It was harder than I thought it was going to be making a "tweetable" thesis that Dr. Burton asked us to do.

First Try:

Because of mediums like blogs, forums, and fan fiction literary criticism is moving towards more informal sources. These informal secondary sources can be just as legitimate as scholarly sources. The evolution of secondary sources is changing just as our modes of interpretation and ways of reading the text is changing. Secondary sources are changing from the formal to informal, from inactive to interactive, and from unsocial to social.

Second Try:

Because of mediums like blogs, forums, and fan fiction literary criticism is moving towards more informal sources. Secondary sources are changing from the formal to informal, from inactive to interactive, and from unsocial to social and can be just as legitimate as scholarly sources


Secondary sources are changing from the formal to informal, from inactive to interactive, and from unsocial to social and are just as legitimate as scholarly sources.