Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why I don't go to readings.

The reason that I do not go to poetry readings or literary readings is the same reason that I do not watch DVDs with commentary. When I read, I like to make my own opinions out of things and go from there. I actually never want the input of the author. I feel that that can ruin any personal experience I may have from a book.

Poetry and Fiction are fun to figure out on your own. If you have someone telling you what it is all about and the method behind the madness, then it takes the fun out of it for the readers. Any time that I have been told what a piece is about, I have hated it. Any time I have figured out, on my own, what I think a piece is about, I've enjoyed it much much more.

SO, if you want me to read anything that you have written, then don't tell me why you wrote. Don't discuss it with me. I don't wanna hear from you. I'll figure it out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tom and Huck

This semester, I did not have to read any books in any other classes. To, me, being that I am an English major, this was amazing. I don't think I have ever had a semester with such little reading to do. In one way, this was good, because it gave me more time to focus on other aspects of my classes. In another way, it was not good. I enjoy reading and I like being introduced to new stories and ideas. Sometimes, I end up hating them, but other times, I end up loving them. So, this semester was a win/lose situation

One book that I was forced to read over the summer (which was the last semester I had) was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. It had actually been a really long time since I read that story, and I enjoyed doing so. It is a classic story and there are many more important themes in it then I remembered there to be. This may be because the most vivid memories that I have of Huckleberry Finn are from the Johnathan Taylor Thomas movie Tom and Huck and the episode of Wishbone (the show where a Jack Russell Terrier played different roles in classic stories in order to teach them to kids) in witch Wishbone played Tom Sawyer. So, in retrospect, the story was more adult then I remembered it to be.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was actually a book that I was pleased to read, so my summer class went pretty smoothly. The themes of slavery, women, prejudice, and more are very prominent in the book, and being that the story is being told by an abandoned boy, it makes it much more easy to relate to. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are both classic books that I will be able to read at any time for the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Emotional Reading

I don't know if I am a cold person, or if it's just that I get more emotionally attached to movies than books, but stories rarely make me cry or laugh out loud. Maybe I think too much about things or that I need to see them in order to be effected, but it takes a lot for a book to effect me emotionally. Surprisingly, to me at least, and interestingly enough, because the hype of the movie surrounds us right now, the Twilight series of books effected me more than any other book I have read recently. I cried, laughed, hid beneath my covers, and more while reading each of the 4 books.

Maybe these books are the only ones I can think of that effected me emotionally because I am super excited about going to see the movie tonight at midnight. Or maybe it's because they are the 4 most recent books that I've read, but there was something about these books that hooked me from the start. I immediately connected to the main character Bella and I also immediately fell in love with Edward, the vampire. It may also be because Stephanie Meyer has an amazing way of making you feel like you are part of the story. All of Bella's heartbreak, elation, love, excitement, disappointment, and more felt like it was my own. When I was done reading the books, I felt as if a part of me was gone.

I would be completely lying if I said that there were no other books that ever effected me emotionally. Nicholas Sparks books can always make me cry, but in a typical way. Horror and mystery books will scare me and make me nervous. But there has not been a book that has made me feel like part of it the way the Twilight books have.
I can't wait to pull an all-nighter and relive that world in a whole new way!!

Story to workshop

This is the story that I handed in as my 4 page short story. I need help fixing it so I have decided to work shop it today. It came from my party scene prompt story and I extended it into 4 pages. You guys may recognize some of it because I think I read the 2 page version of it in class once. I really need your help and input guys. One of the comments that I recieved is that it's a good scene but it's not quite a story. I want to find a way to fix that without taking away the mystery and vagueness that I was going for in the story.Thanks!

Search Party

As I approached, the first odor that hit my nose was stale beer and the thumping of the speakers inside sounded like a heartbeat. It was a brisk fall day that called for a jacket and I slowly walked to the front door of the large house. When I opened it, music hit me like some unseen force; I almost fell backward.

The first room I entered was lit in a dim orange glow and I noticed empty plates and bags of chips in randomness, along with empty cans and bottles. There was a dark spot on the rug, it could have been soda or vomit, and a large pile of coats on a couch.

"Yo man! You coming out back?" A large muscular boy of about 17 appeared in the door frame in front of me and I jumped at the unexpected voice. The light coming from behind him was bright and I could not make out his face.

"Neh," was the mumble that I did not expect to hear on my right. I turned to see that the pile of coats on the couch had moved. The shadow in the door frame disappeared quickly and, as my heartbeat returned to normal, I began to wonder what was "out back."

I moved through the war-like living room toward the kitchen. The light coming through the doorway was much more white than the first room. I had to squint my eyes as I walked through and, when they adjusted, I saw five or six pizza boxes stacked up on the counter. My clairvoyance told me they were empty without even looking inside of them. From the window behind me I heard the sound of a ping pong ball bounce off a table. Almost immediately after the first, I heard another. My earlier question was answered and I knew what I’d find "out back.:"

Looking around again, I got a chill and realized how ghost-like this house was. It almost seemed as if every party-goer had been abducted 10 minutes before I arrived and all that was left were the memory of their voices. I shook off the feeling and exited the kitchen through a doorway on my right. I ended up next to a set of stairs that led down and in front of me was a door that led "out back," or so I assumed. I heard more ghosts coming from the bottom of the stairs and I decided that outside might be a better place to try first. I turned the door knob and the large white door creaked open. I stepped out onto a wooden deck and I finally saw some life. There were floating heads down on the lawn, their bodies were cut off by the deck, and I decided not to mess with them. Next to me was a large, blue bucket full of floating beer cans and ice and beside the bucket there was a circle of teens around something, a keg I assumed. I couldn’t see their faces, but I didn’t recognize any of them.

I turned around and headed back into the kitchen, ignoring the basement for now. I decided to try the direction I didn’t go in before. I walked straight through the kitchen, the orange room was to my left and a new doorway with a flickering blue light was in front of me. I entered the dark room and saw a movie playing on the big screen TV. Two girls were sleeping in awkward positions on the couch opposite the TV with their hair covering their face. I assumed they were not quite "sleeping." I scanned the rest of the dark room and noticed there was another girl in the reclining chair. I had to take a closer look at her, but I didn’t know who she was.

I didn’t want to go in the basement so I went back in the orange room and took out my cell phone. No service. Behind the couch with the pile of jackets, there was a staircase leading up. It couldn’t hurt to check it out so, slowly avoiding the talking coats, I headed up the stairs. It was dark in front of me and I got another chill. The creaking of my feet on the steps was not very comforting either.

The door in front of me was small and I could hear that someone was exorcizing their stomach contents on the other side. It sounded like a male. The door to my right was wide open and the room was dark. I could make out a large white bed, but I detected no movement.

I turned to my left and headed down the narrow hallway. I passed another closed door on my right and I could hear ghoulish moans and groans coming from inside. I laughed to myself and went toward the door in front of me. It was a welcoming sight because a warm light was coming from the cracked opening. I stopped in front of the door and slowly pushed it open. I poked my head over the threshold and beheld a girl sitting on a pink bed.

She was not just any girl though. She looked as if she had been through too much in one night. Her hair appeared stringy and covered half of her face, and although she was sitting up, I couldn’t tell if her eyes were open or not. Her dark makeup had expanded around her eyes and her lips looked pale and chalky. I stepped into the room.

The girl did not move, so I crept toward the bed. I was scared. Her chest was moving up and down, so I knew she was not dead. I slowly leaned toward her and put my hand on her arm. She jumped, but did not open her eyes. I wrapped my hand around the milky white limb and tightened my grip. Taking in a deep breath, I shook her and she opened her eyes.

The look I saw on her face was a mixture of fear and anger and I quickly backed away. She said nothing and closed her eyes again. I knew I needed to save her, but I knew she did not want to be saved. "Come with me." I whispered. She responded by quickly rolling her eyes into her head.

I knew I had to get her out now, and since she was skeletal and half my size, I decided to pick her up. I figured she wouldn’t like it. She fought me a little but soon gave in and slumped against my body. A rush came over me and I swiftly moved out of the room, back down the hallway, and down the stairs. I saw a familiar jacket in the living pile and quickly grabbed it. I flipped it over the girl in my arms and headed for the large front door.

The chill in the air woke her up and she looked at me in a demonic way. I couldn’t get to my keys so I had to put her down in the grass. I dug around in my pocket, pulled them out, unlocked the car, and flung open the passenger side door. I turned back to the body in the grass, grabbed her wrists, and pulled her into a standing position. She looked at me again as I stuffed her in the car. I walked around to the other side and got in. As I started the engine, the blast of heat made the girl more aware. She slowly turned her head to her left and our eyes met.

"Do I need to take you to the Hospital?" My own voice sounded distant and unfamiliar.

She grunted and slowly moved her head from left to right.

"I’ll just take you home then," I replied. She nodded once and closed her eyes. "If you don’t die in your sleep..." I added. She glanced at me sideways with her eyes half open. "You’re going to die when you wake up." This comment made her face twist into what I assumed was an expression of confusion. I answered her in five simple words. "Mom’s going to kill you."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm really at a loss right now. I feel like I have nothing to write about and my creative side is on vacation. I've been trying to think about the prompt and what I am writing, and it's just not working. My mind keeps going back to other less important things. I think about my ex boyfriend, or my sister... And I have an idea for a story, but I don't think I can make it 3 pages. I need coffee and a break from life. I'm so stressed out that my mind can't seem to focus on one person, place, thing, or idea (noun) for more than 10 minutes.

Another issue I am having right now is the fact that I have no ink left in my printer. I have just enough to print the story I am writing and then not enough to print the items to be work shopped tonight, which I cant quite seem to find anyway. Life is a big mess right now, I'm going to try and finish writing my story and then I'm going to get coffee.

p.s. I am so nervous about the Jets/Patriots game tonight that it is also dominating my thoughts. Go Jets! (an we should probably leave class a little early so I can watch the game!!) :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is a literary website?

To be completely honest with everyone, I do not have a favorite literary website. I sat in front of my computer trying to think of one, but ended up just watching the Karate Kid, which happens to be on AMC right now. Then, when I snapped out of my Ralph Macchio trans, I realized that everything and anything can be literature. I agree with Melanie completely on this one.

So through my contemplating, I decided to share my favorite website that has actually inspired me to write stories and poems: Post Secret.

This website has been a big favorite of mine for a few years. It is a place where people can get artistic and share their secrets anonymously. Sometimes the secrets are so shocking that they really make you think about life. Other times, they are so funny, that they just make your day better. And the best is when you read one that you totally relate to and you realize that you are not alone.

Recently, Post Secret has been made into two or three books, where they have printed out the best secrets that have been posted over the years. The wealth of ideas and thoughts that surround the Post Secret world are amazing and inspiring. Many of my stories and poems have evolved from other peoples' inspiring secrets. Post Secret helps to get me through my own life.

Daniel is learning how to punch now... finally. I'm gonna go back to that, but I'm glad I could share my favorite not-quite-literature literary website with all of you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Literary excellence is a hard thing to define. I believe that someone has reached the state of literary excellence when their writing has the power to evoke true emotions within the reader. An author like this has to have mastered the English language in a way that does not seem possible. Also, beyond the technicality of the English language, they must be able to use their mastery to to make their readers get sucked into a different place. They need to be able to make us laugh, weep, shake, hate, love, and more.

If I had to give an award to someone for literary excellence right now, I would have to award it to Edgar Allan Poe. There will never be another writer quite like Poe, and his stories and poems have the ability to not only mess with your emotins, but your mind as well. His words are beautiful, his stories are unforgetable, his rhyme schemes are impeccable, and he has made me sleep with the lights on.

I leave you with this...

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he
hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked,
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

-Edgar Allen Poe