Tag Archive | Creative writing

Follow-up on the Goal

So… workshopping your story is like ripping out part of your soul and handing it to someone else, then trying not to bleed too much while they critique it. Poor little story.

 

Because I care about my story and because I want my story to be good, I’ve taken in to the Writing Center twice, Writer’s Workshop once, I’ve had two people from class workshop it, and I’ve been to my Creative Writing teacher three times. Every time I go, he finds something new that needs work. That’s good. I wish the other resources were as helpful as him (I feel bad going to him so much, since he’s only one person and has an entire class of people to help out). Still, it gets hard, and sometimes it feels like the story will never be good enough.

 

I just want people to like it.

 

It was due for class yesterday. We turn in three stories during the semester. Once I get this one back, I’ll see what fixes I should have made to get a better grade, then I’ll workshop it with a good friend of mine when she comes to visit, and eventually I’ll submit it to the school’s literary journal, Outlet.

 

I know it seems strange that I’m going to submit something after my experience last year. I hated submitting my work. I didn’t think I should submit anything unless I truly that it was worthy of being published, which I didn’t. This time will be better because: a) I like my story better, b) I recognize this will be my last opportunity to submit undergrad work, c) I’ve already gotten a rejection letter before, so it won’t be a new experience.

 

Besides, I’ve got to work toward something. I need to have some sort of ambition, or I won’t get anywhere. I still don’t know what’s going to become of me when I graduate in April. Publishing is not the goal so much as feeling worthy and having the courage to submit the thing. That’s no small thing. It’s hard to have courage when the story never seems to get done, only closer.

 

If I were to get what I want, really get what I want, I’d be able to share the story with others and they would laugh, meditate, find understanding and clarity in the story, and ultimately end on a high note, feeling better about life. A lot of short stories I’ve read end on a low note, which I think is rather mean. I know there are disappointments in life, but I think there are more happy endings than we really believe. At any rate, I want my readers to enjoy the story. Laugh and meditate. That’s going to be the goal.

 

I’ll give you more updates on the story later. It’s called “Cracked.”

The goal

By the way, I think I should tell you that I’ve made it my goal to submit a short story to my school’s literary journal before I graduate.

This is a story I’m writing for my Advanced Creative Writing class. We’re to write three short stories this semester, and they all have to be “literary.” This means no fantasy or sci-fi and it means the work must “deal with the profundities of the human experience.” I never much cared for “literary” fiction myself, but it’s worked out pretty well so far. I think this could be one of the best short-stories I’ve produced– as far as craft and value– while still being fun. I’ve workshopped it with different people, and hearing them laugh is what gratifies me the most. Yesterday in a Writer’s Workshop, I was told that the ending was satisfying and that I paint well with words. O_O

I still have work to do, but I want to the story to be in it’s best form. Then I want to submit it for publication. I have to take this opportunity to submit undergrad work while I can. Wish me luck.

Entitled: Shifter

 

It’s been a while since I’ve down an abstract image.

 

This is based off a concept for a story I can’t seem to realize. Her name is Artica. She’s an ice titan. One day, she hunted a wolf on her sister’s territory. Said sister called it poaching, and punished her by sealing her into the wolf’s skin (think selkie coat), transforming her into a wolf for the night. The enchantment is fueled by moonlight, so the spell dissolves with the coming of day. Then Artica can work her way out of the wolfskin, then carry it around in case she ever wants to transform into a wolf again.

The trees are reminiscent of a kind I saw during my road trips in the west; my cousin tells me they are lodge-pole pines. I always thought they made an interesting image.

 

This is really the sort of thing that can only be accomplished with a loose concept and a lot of improvisation. Art takes risks. If it looks beautiful but chaotic… I guess that’s only fitting.

 

It is possible I’ll squeeze one more image out of myself before I go into another semester of school. It’s been lovely to work on something I can actually finish, unlike, for instance, my writing projects.

A Poem: The Minstrel’s Lament

It turns out that I actually do write poems when I have nothing else to do. I wrote this while I was waiting to go to work yesterday:

 

And so I taught my tongue a rhyme today

But then for naught I sung the time away

Lest I be caught and hung for crime some day

I think you ought have flung a dime my way

 

Mind, I don’t think it’s a really brilliant poem. I’ve taken too many literature classes to believe that. Still, I think it worth the time. It’s nice to celebrate the small successes in creative endeavors

New Image: Pact

I should have posted this days ago. I finished it days ago. Here’s what I said about it on Facebook:

This is my late Talk Like a Pirate Day tribute. There might be a better version of this coming when I stop being mad at the scanner. These are two characters my sister and I created when we were kids, Avion and Tara. Avion was the former captain of the Sea Stallion, but (due to circumstances yet to be determined) has become a ghost (I tried to make him slightly transparent in the image) who must haunt the new captain of his ship– which happens to be Tara.

I developed a fondness for pirates when I was seven, after watching Pirates of Penzance. I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but I loved it. The Pirate King had a place in my heart long before Jack Sparrow. Then just throw Muppet Treasure Island into the mix, and my view of the lot has been completely… theatricized. That’s how I like it.

I am almost satisfied with how this picture turned out.

 

 

It’s got a different sort of feel to it. I think it’s the pallet that does it. And the sky, perhaps. It’s a boring sky. A pale sky. And yet, that’s what I was trying to go for. All in all, I think it works, I just think it would work better if I had other stuff going on. But never mind. I think it was worth producing.

 

Other news: I got my rejection letter for my Creative Writing final project. I never wanted to submit the thing in the first place, so I’m not broken by the rejection.

Moreover, I’ve started yet another writing project. This time, however, I have a good friend eager to see my progress, so I might possibly keep up with it until the finish. In the meantime, I’m also cutting fabric squares for a service project that my church is doing in collaboration with other churches. I’m glad I get to feel useful and apart of something bigger than myself and my own creations.

What next?

School will be finished in less than a month. A little over three weeks, actually. That’s not much time at all. In theory, then, I’ll have time to work on some projects. Lately I’ve had a rekindled desire to create something. I am grateful for this semester, because I have been able to create– in my Creative Writing class and in my Basic Writing class. I’m grateful to have that opportunity to get feedback and help from professors.

 

There are some particular achievements from this school year that I am particularly grateful for and excited about. One is my Heritage Notebook. It was an assignment from my Classical Heritage class, and what it did was help me learn skills that I later applied to creating Adin and Laura’s engagement present. I’m also proud of the video I made about creating. I was able to share it yesterday, and that was a good experience. I very much like the creative nonfiction work I wrote for my creative writing class, and it’s been exciting to work on this piece of fiction as well. I’m also proud of the opinion essay I wrote in my basic writing class.

 

I can’t help but wonder what else I can do. I’m sure there’s great work still to be done. Could I create a gift for somebody else, like I did with Adin and Laura?

 

It is still uncertain whether or not I’ll be here next semester. Wish me luck.

My current writing project

Forgive me for being remiss in keeping you updated, I’ve been busy with schoolwork and suchlike.

 

Along with my responsibilities as a student, Seminar Coordinator, and Relief Society instructor, I have a couple of projects that I’m working on. One, of course, is the engagement gift I’m going to give to my dear friend and roommate. The other is a story, part of a series of short stories about a group of fairy godparents. Their job, of course, is to bring the happy endings to whatever case they are faced with, whether it be evil stepmother, mad prince, or family feud. The one I’m doing right now is based on Romeo and Juliet. I’m having such a fun time making fun of it. That particular play really bothers me, because I can never really believe that Romeo and Juliet love each other. They’re just dumb teenagers. That’s why I delight in putting my own twist into the story.

 

I dearly hope the semester will go well. I have no idea what I’m going to do once the semester finishes.

Poems

We’re doing a poetry unit in my Creative Writing class. I don’t know if people realize how much is involved in poetry– meter, rhyme, alliteration, assonance, imagery, caesuras, and everything. We were supposed to write a poem that focussed on imagery. The criterium was to take a high, low, or turning point and base the poem off of that, describe and make meaningful a particular object, and to engage at least three of the five senses. Oh yeah, and it had to be at least twenty-five lines long.

It was hard.

 

I eventually created something. I don’t like it a whole lot, but there are a few aspects I appreciate. The “high point” I chose was creating “Masquerade,” which I consider to be my best work of last year. Here goes:

 

The Happiest Color

My colored pencils gave a fraction of

Their lives to the work. My Carmine Red bled

While my White sweated, and my True Blue shed

A tear or two in her labour of love.

Though the paper was still smooth to the touch,

The deep layers of color changed the flow

Of the grain. Of course, getting there was slow

Work, but seeing the color spread was such

A surreal experience, to think that

They could fashion something likes this.

A waxy scent accompanied the kiss

I gave it. Yes, I do that. Then I sat

Back to observe it one more time before

Sharing. Rarely am I completely won

Over by the art, but part of the fun

Is in improving. I had nothing more

To add, so I let my pencils a rest

Their dull and weary heads. I tucked them in

Their case, then quickly went online to win

The comments they earned from their best

Work of the year. A friend of mine even told

Me he’d buy a print! Sunburst Yellow beamed,

Blush Pink flushed faintly, and Apple Green seemed

Less sour when he knew his work would be sold.

But the happiest color, so they say,

Was Azure. There were many smiles that day.

 

Then in class today we were supposed to write another poem based on an aaa bob hard rhyme scheme. I might like that one a lot better.

 

Value

The journal lay with edges worn,

Cover stained and pages torn

Upon the desk, lost and forlorn

The writer dead, the binding old,

Yet worth more than a pile of gold

The value in the stories told.

Success on an unplanned project!

Today was a good day.

 

Mind you, it didn’t start out that way. It rained yesterday and the rain froze overnight and got a little snow on top. I was up at 5:45 trying to get the ice off the car so I could take my sister to seminary. Eventually we had to give up, that car is difficult enough even without ice covering it and the road.

 

There wasn’t much chance of going back to sleep, so I puttered around on my computer before breakfast. I watched Dancing with the Stars, and it was absolutely lovely– with one of the best concepts for a trio dance that I have ever seen. It put me in a really good mood. So much so that I actually did a more thorough job of cleaning the kitchen than I normally do.

 

When that was done, I got worried that today would turn out to be really unproductive, like yesterday almost did. But instead I found a secluded room, and I recorded myself reading something I wrote weeks ago, a spoof of Sherlock. It’s not a brilliant piece of work, but it is funny. I had intended to put it on a flash drive and give it as a gift for Christmas, but I read through it yesterday and I thought it was a shame it wasn’t an audio recording, things tend to be funnier when they are heard than when they are read. Then I realized… why not? I probably could record it, and then burn it onto a C.D. Today I did the recording. It turned out good, it didn’t even take too long. I got a lot more bang for my buck on this project than I typically get with my artwork or writing comics… and I didn’t even plan on doing it, it just sort of… happened.

 

So now I’m exhausted (it didn’t take too long, but it was draining enough) but I’m also super excited because of this success, so I’m on an adrenaline rush. Bad combination. Still, it’s opening up new possibilities in my mind. Maybe I can look into comedy, and work on that along with my artwork. I don’t think my skill in either will get me money, but I think it could make people happy and that’s good.

 

I am so grateful for successes like these. I’m grateful for my creative abilities, and I’m grateful for those things that make me happy, like Dancing with the Stars and people who make the world a more beautiful place, like The Piano Guys (who, by the way, just posted a new video– go watch it).

New Image: Masquerade

The amazing thing is that I actually like this one. In fact, I like it so much I don’t want to look at it too long, for fear I’ll find something about it that I don’t like, thereby ruining the effect.

 

 

I’ve already sort of explained most of the story behind this image in my post “Behind the Mask.” The idea was that each of the costumes/masks are significant in some way either to the character or to me. That’s why it was so fun to conceptualize, it was a creative challenge. Now it’s fun to think about other characters I have and wonder how they would dress for a Masquerade Ball. I tried to create a Cinderella based story that takes place on Masquerade Day and decided that my title character, a fairy godfather named Bastian, would have a gargoyle mask for the occasion. This is partly because he hopes the stoney face will keep people from chatting with him, but also because he’s standing guard on this occasion.

I also imagined that his lady-friend back in the fey realm would dress as a flower girl. The idea was that she would have a basket of flowers, and if you lifted your mask to her and showed her your real face, she would give you a flower based on what she thinks of you. So, if you reveal yourself to her and it turns out that your her friend, she would probably give you a yellow or pink rose, to signify friendship. She carries other flowers like rue for those she disdains, pink carnations for those to whom she is grateful, purple hyacinth for those she feels she has wronged, and a red rose in case the one she loves should reveal himself to her. It’s fun, because the main theme of the holiday is identity, yet instead of picking a costume/mask that speaks something about her own identity, her costume was meant to entice other people to reveal their true identity. People often like to know what other people think of them.