Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Writing Outside the Box

I am a horrible person and completely forgot to post last week so I shall make it up by posting at least twice this week.
We are almost a month into the semester and so far I absolutely love Intro to Creative Writing. It is pulling me a bit outside my comfort zone, we did some work with poetry which I have next to no experience in, but I think that is exactly what a class like this needs to do; if you only write things you're already comfortable with you will never learn anything new.
What I love most about the class, so far, is the assignments we've been given. The manner in which I've had to come up with and create my pieces for the class is unlike any other writing I've ever done. This past week, for example, I had to write a piece modeled on "The Raven" by Barry Lopez and "The Search for Marvin Gardens" by John McPhee.  After reading the essays I had to pick a noun, research the facts and myths behind it, and then combine those facts and myths to write a piece in the genre of my choice. I chose to write a short fictional narrative about a little girl looking up at a Japanese folding fan and imagining all the stories it might tell. I plan on posting the story this weekend, after its been workshopped and touched up.
Another assignment I was given was to make a list of descriptive details of a memorable event in my life and then make another list of details for a fictional event happening in the same location. The assignment was to put the lists together in a way to create a poem combining the details of two events. As I mentioned I have very little experience with poetry so I would like to work on that one quite a bit more before posting it, but I'm sure it will make it here at some point.
It has not even been a month and I'm already thinking about writing in ways that had never occurred to me before, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I became a writing major. I can't wait to see what other wonderfully strange assignments my professor will come up with. It is going to be a good semester, I can feel it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Damn you Reality

So as I mentioned in my first post one of my New Years Resolutions was to write two short stories every month. Since making my resolutions classes have started and I have come to realize that I simply do not have the free time to write two stories every month. I started taking Japanese this semester and it requires quite a bit more study time than I had expected, and thats only one of my 4 courses this semester.

Rather than just giving up on my resolution I would like to amend it to writing one short story a month. I do not think that is an impossible goal, and it is simply more realistic than my original goal.

On a similar note my first short story should be up within the next few days. I haven't quite decided how to go about posting them yet, as they are quite a bit longer than a blog post, so be patient with me. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inspiration

When I was little my Dad didn't read me fairytales about princesses in puffy dresses, frog princes, or evil queens. Instead, he read me The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I remember laying with him on the couch when he read the part about Gollum and his riddles; that was always my favorite part. When I was older I discovered Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and from then on I was hooked on fantasy. I didn't grow up dreaming of being a princess like most little girls; I grew up dreaming of being a great writer like Tolkien, and unlike those other girls, who one day realize they will never be a princess like in the movies, I intend on making my dream come true.
The beautiful thing about Tolkien's work is that it was, and has remained, something so completely unique. There are many stories out there that are considered high fantasy, meaning they take place in an entirely fictional world (though I will admit I prefer to believe they are real). I have yet to find one, however, that even compares to Tolkien's Middle Earth. He did not merely create a new world and give it a name. He created new races, each with their own culture. He created a complete language, not merely a few made up words, and even went so far as to create variations of the language that emerged over time. To top it all of he created an entire history, dating back long before the time any of his books take place. Middle Earth becomes a real place to anyone who reads anything by Tolkien. I want people who read my books to feel the same way about the worlds I create.
To be honest I do not believe that anyone could ever compare to Tolkien. I do, however, believe that I have the ability to write something people will remember. J.R.R. Tolkien is my absolute greatest inspiration as a writer and my dream is to some day have at least one person be as inspired by my writing as I am by his.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Happy New Years everybody!

Considering it is New Years Day I decided my first post would be about my resolutions for 2012.

Personally, I have never really done the resolution thing. I just never took the time to stop and think about what I really wanted to accomplish over the next year. For some reason I found that it was much easier to think of resolutions after completing a semester of college; it has a funny way of putting things into perspective. Of course, some of my resolutions are the type you could find on anyone's list - I want to stop biting my nails and to start working out twice a week - however I also made a number of resolutions that, assuming I keep them, will give me an excellent start towards my writing dreams. I have decided to attempt to write 2 short stories every month, all of which I will be posting here. I also plan on reading at least 1 book a month (I so badly wished to make it 2 or 3 but with classes it simply would not happen). Lastly, I have resolved to finish my first book, or at least a very rough version of it; how great would it be to pay for my creative writing bachelors with earnings from my first book? I also plan to post here at least once a week to keep you all up to date on this writer's journey.

I hope I will later be able to look back on 2012 as a great step towards the top of bestseller lists. What will 2012 mean to you?