Making the Impossible a Possibility

Posts tagged ‘reflection’

A Change of Scene

I am reluctant to toy around with my writing.

We were assigned to work on one of our pieces out of our notebooks for homework, so I took one of the free-writes I had enjoyed and found interesting and quickly typed it into my laptop. An hour and a half and seven pages later, I was finished with my fiction piece.

It was a Dystopian story, about a man who has an impossibly cruel task set forth in front of him {see page on College Writing Camp 2011, No More.} I was happy with the way my piece flowed, the picture it created, and excitedly set it down in front of me in class the next morning.

“Today, we are going to share our homework in groups of four,” Michael said. “You will pick one of the pieces of writing to transpose into a script. We will act it out in the Lecture Center. There are three aspects you need to address. First, you need to add a character. Second, you need to introduce an unexpected prop. Third, you need to turn an existing character into a caricature. You have forty five minutes to do this.”

I was placed into a group with Emma, Cyrus, and Alex. They each read a piece taken out of their own memoirs. I shared an excerpt of my fiction piece. They wanted to transpose my fiction piece into a script.

I was both thrilled and upset. I didn’t want my piece to be ruined, but I felt so special that they had chosen my writing! We took a scene from my story:

“Take heed! You have until four thirty to set up your encampment. Then you are expected to set off the explosives. Understood?”

“Yes sir,” I mutter, my jaw set into stone. The man grits his own teeth, hops down from the cockpit with his absurd, wraparound sunglasses. He marches over to me, and in one instant slams me into the scorching sand with his meaty arm.

“Excuse me?” He yells down at me.

“Yes, Sir!” I say, loud and clear, wiping the grit out of my eyes.

“Do not fail, Bronson.” He stiffly turns around and marches back into the airplane. A hot gust of air bursts around me as the airplane roars away.

And assigned the parts accordingly. Cyrus was the caricature of the mean agent. “TAKE HEED!” He roared. “YOU HAVE UNTIL FOUR THIRTY—”

Alex was the sarcastic yet complying main character.

Emma became a random woman from the town, who walked up to Alex {Bronson} with pure grace and said,

“You don’t have to do this!,”

placing a flower in Alex’s hair.

The whole effect ended up being pretty comical. It was such a sharp change from the original piece. I still was able to narrate everything that was going on, but it definitely struck something within me.

I realized that I accepted the change that we applied to what I thought was my finished story. It was interesting to see it interpreted in a new light.

It was also a marvelous thing to see my characters come to life, breathing and being right in front of my face. I wanted to thank my classmates {friends? Everyone is so friendly here!} for enlightening me, for showing me that I could accept change within my piece.

This experience has let me become more comfortable with letting things go within my writing.

Cut and Paste

I feel that every writer has a certain insecurity, a varying level of distrust in self confidence. We cannot comprehend that our writing can be something great, if we give our work the time to blossom and grow, cultivate it into something more than that first draft.

I walked into the workshop today, proud to have fifteen pages of typed work in my hands. I beamed as my friends glanced at the thick pile of paper in my hands, smooth glossy ink catching the light. Then Michael walked in. Our professor said,

“Today, we are going to take the pieces we wrote and cut them up. Reassemble them into fragments of our lives. Cultivate it into our own autobiography, center it around a certain theme.”

He tossed a pair of safety scissors at us, a roll of tape, and tore off large sheets of newspaper.

“Begin. You have fifteen minutes of working time.”

Everyone immediately dove in, meticulously cutting up their work. Chunks of paragraphs strewn on the sheet of newsprint in front of them. I stared at my pile before me, dubious.

“Can we include fiction?” I asked meekly.

Eight pages of my work were comprised of stories that I had just come up with.

“Only if you’re the character involved or really connects to this theme. Remember, we are creating a portion of our autobiographies for our portfolio piece,” Michael replied.

I pushed those eight pages off to the side, saddened that they did not meet the criteria, and held the first sheet in my hand. I took the scissors, and made the first snips.

Surprisingly, I started to get even more involved in cutting up my pieces. I cut out mere sentences, not just chunks of paragraphs. I wanted to combine whole different pieces into one large thing, a piece that truly emphasized who I am as a writer, a reader, a daughter, a friend, a girl, a lover, a person.

After I really looked at what I had done, I began to notice a connection. This type of writing really reminded me of a stream of consciousness piece. But it’s so blase to use a cliche title. So then I realized that all of my pieces of my life take part in different locations, all connected together to form the map of my world. I decided to entitle it, “A Stream of Mobility.” I think it really personifies who I am. I am constantly in motion, whether it’s just my fingers typing or flipping pages, my mind in a whole different location, or busy with extracurricular activities or school or family and friends.

The end effect looks like this:

Technically, I think that you can read my whole piece of writing on this picture. I am planning on creating another page on this blog to post the writing that I am completing here at my camp. I hope these posts will help you learn right along with me!

Overall, in effect with this post, I wanted to emphasize how scared I was to try something new. To destroy my pieces, and create something entirely new out of them. Something that, in effect, became entirely better than the first drafts. I think that’s the hardest part about being a writer, parting with your stubborn ways for the good of the progression of the piece. I am learning to let go, and let the writing do the rest.

Examining Poetry: Part 7

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. As National Poetry Month draws to a close, I would like to take time to reflect on what I have learned throughout my two-week celebration.

I noticed that over the past few years, my poetry has captured more of a direct focus on the subject of the poem. The ideas became more thought out and directly connected, rather than a muddle of themes intertwined into a sloping array of poetry. {Then again, one could differ with “City of Decadence and Decay, although I believe that connecting those elemental themes together led to a successful creation of a fictional city atmosphere.}

I would like to end this installment of National Poetry Month with a short lesson on how to write rhyming poems. I waited to cover the concept of rhyming poems, because some people have the misconception that *all* poems have to rhyme. As seen in the previous examples I posted, rhyming isn’t necessary with poetry. However, a lot of people do like to attempt to write rhyming poems, so I thought the perfect way to end this celebration of poetry would be to write a small lesson on how to write a rhyming poem.

A Short Lesson on Rhyming Poetry

1) The first step is to always pick a subject to write about. The easiest way to start a poem is to write about a topic that you know quite well, or even a memory that you’d like to share with an audience.

2) Choose the rhyme scheme that you would like to try to write. Two of the most common rhyme schemes are A/A/B/B, or A/B/A/B. As you progress with your poetry, you can even try more difficult rhyme schemes, like A/B/A/B; C/D/C/D.

An A/A/B/B rhyme scheme goes a bit like this:

When I was young, I used to wish

On stars that looked like silver finned fish

Or perhaps like little flowers

That gleamed with celestial power.

Now, that was an absolutely terrible written example, but I tried to emphasize my point. A/A/B/B rhyme schemes have the first coupling of lines rhyme, and then the second coupling of lines rhyme. I showed this by turning wish and fish red, and flowers and power blue. This rhyming scheme continues on through the rest of the stanzas of the poem.

An A/B/A/B rhyme scheme goes a bit like this:

One blistery summer morning

Rose an unnerving, sudden wail;

It happened without warning,

And thus started my adventurous tale.

As you can see from this example, in an A/B/A/B rhyme scheme, every other line rhymes with one another. This rhyming scheme continues on through the rest of the stanzas of the poem. I showed this by making morning and warning orange, and wail and tale purple.

3) The final suggestion to take heed of is watching the syllables of your lines. If the lines of your poem get too lengthy, it can hinder the gentle flow of your poem. Then again, you should match the format of your poem to the mood of your poem; an angry poem might be a bit more choppy than a smooth, gentle love poem. Make sure you read through the poem and see if the words flow correctly through your mind. Sometimes it helps to take the effort to read your work out loud.

Once you follow those three simple rules, you can head off on a wild adventure with all of the lovely words and ideas flowing through your mind!

I hope you enjoyed this series of poetry posts as much as I have had writing them. Thank you for taking the time to follow along with me! 😀

Examining Poetry: Part 5

An Ode to the Boy Who Lived

In that train station,

At the platform with the awkward numbers;

As you stood there, apprehensive,

A little boy with a peculiar scar,

The mark of an encounter with evil,

I fell in love.

It is not often that one such as I,

Who has read numerous books,

That of which most have just

Slipped far back into my memory,

Losing the true message they conveyed, but

Keeping the nonessential tidbits,

Such as the fact that there was a character named

Grace, who loved to wear green hair ribbons,

Or that there was a house address of

44 Millsburrow Lane, with a quaint little

Duck pond and cookie cutter accents.

But you, you;

The one with two faithful, steadfast friends,

With a dependable mentor with

Knowledge and wisdom beyond that one can imagine,

The one who has the mark of love,

And the courage and luck to be able to persevere

With the uttermost diligence to preserving that

Which you have learned will be the best that you

Can have, that of which includes friendship and

Trust and, of course, love—

Dear little boy staring at the brick pillar before you,

Frightened, curious, and so unnerved—

I owe you much gratitude, for you

Are the essence of one story whose message

I will never forget.

This short little poem is something that I just wrote in March. Of course, it is dedicated to one of my favorite {characters} book series, Harry Potter. I wanted to emphasize what an impact J.K. Rowling’s series has made on my life. I must admit, I have grown up with Harry Potter, and I learned many life lessons just by reading the books. Rowling made me laugh, cry, get angry, and dream along with the characters within her books, which made a wonderful lasting impression for me.

Another variation of these types of poems are called “Found” poems. You can use any ideas, characters, or phrases from your favorite books to create a poem about them. Just be sure to cite the copyrighted books carefully!

You can read more on how to make a “Found” or “Fan Fiction” poem here.  🙂

Examining Poetry: Part 3

Someone Else’s Shoes

Someone else’s shoes

Are worn at the sole

Scratched by heartache, pain, joy

A thousand stories woven into

Battered leather,

Giving into

Someone else’s shoes

Are sparkling,

Dazzling up to full potential

Hiding the fear that remains inside,

Fluttering, masking

True emotions,

Which cannot be exposed to

Someone else’s shoes

Are sturdy, strong

Fit to weather it out

Unbending, tolerable

A sense of support for

Someone else’s shoes

Are tiny, fragile enough to

Fit a doll into and

Place all of her being into,

Cram her tiny imaginative ideas

And let a thousand dreams and wishes

Lie hopeful to be picked up by

Someone else’s shoes

Are brand new, hip

Full of personality,

Quivering with pride and

Carefully taking each confident

Step into

Someone else’s shoes

Are lined with memories,

A warm quilt of history and nostalgia

Family, friends, and the like

Slipping into

My own shoes

Are standing still, waiting

For new adventures, possibility

Full of hope and future,

Tentative, impatient, shy,

For someone else to step into,

While I finally try to walk into

Someone else’s shoes.

This poem was written towards the end of my freshman year. I wanted to write a take on how I felt of the cliche “Before you criticize, walk a mile in their shoes.” I tried to capture the transition between the personalities and ages of the different people. I attempted more of a stream of consciousness writing style.

To find out more about the stream of consciousness writing style, you can read about it on another WordPress user’s blog, here. It is very efficient for anyone who struggles with writer’s block or is frequently stressed by the day’s activities. 🙂

Examining Poetry: Part 2

I Am Unique

I am original, an imaginative girl.

I wonder if anyone knows the true me.

I hear a bubbling brook, surrounded by rustling weeping willows.

I see moonlight beaming onto iridescent spider silk.

I want to have a successful career in children’s literature.

I am original, an imaginative girl.

I pretend I am at work on a novel.

I feel that my dream is becoming reality.

I touch the smooth, shiny keys, creating a new adventure.

I worry I won’t fulfill my long-term goals.

I cry when natural disasters destroy lives.

I am original, an imaginative girl.

I understand fate decides your future.

I say that even the smallest person can make a difference.

I dream that everyone will find true happiness.

I try to be a successful student.

I hope someday the nation will recognize me as an important person to my generation.

I am original, an imaginative girl.

This “I Am” poem was written  September 13th of my eighth grade year. Surprisingly, the statements I write within this poem still reflect most of my thoughts, wishes, and goals that I have now.

I believe “I Am” poems are a wonderful way to start writing poetry. They are so easy for any beginning poet{ess} to start with, because you just contemplate your own thoughts, wishes, dreams, goals, and memories to write about the elements that you are truly composed of.

To make your own “I Am” poem, you can use this nifty little widget. “I Am” poems are also referred to as “Portrait Poems,” so you can use these examples to get your own creative juices flowing. 😀


Examining Poetry: Part 1

Raindrops

Raindrops

Entracing my windowsill

Raindrops

Gently twirling from the skies

Raindrops

Pools collected on tar

Raindrops

Refreshing sips of pureness

Raindrops

Shattered bits of rainbows

Raindrops

Dew collected on crocuses

Raindrops

Tinkling onto the weary path

Raindrops

Collected on the treetops

Raindrops

Patterns woven softly

Raindrops

Patting down on mud

Raindrops

Forming quickly

Raindrops

Slowing down rapidly

Raindrops

Dried up by sunshine

Raindrops

Trickling down onto my cheeks

Raindrops

Gathered on my lashes

Tears flowing down

Refreshed.

The aforementioned was one of the first {well, legible} poems I ever wrote. I wrote this poem in the September of my sixth grade year- I know, I can’t believe I myself remember that! Five years pass so quickly… moving on.

I remember this poem was to signify how I viewed raindrops, and had to switch into a different message toward the end. Therefore, I wrote the story about a girl who is looking out a window in the spring, watching the rain shower. Toward the end, you can realize that she is crying about something, but ends up becoming calm after taking the time to let her tears pour down.

I want to post a series of these poems to reflect on how I’ve grown with my writing over the past five years. So now, I’ve shared one of my poems. Go on! Find courage and write one of your own today, too! 🙂