So here I am.. but where’s my creativity?

Photo by Jim Crotty. If only I knew how to work a camera.

Photo by Jim Crotty.
If only I knew how to work a camera.

While looking at my program evaluation I saw the category I dread the most, art. When it comes to art, I am a 5-year-old and can barely color within the lines. I am not a photogenic person nor do I have an eye for photography like I wished I did. Then there it was, creative writing. It could not have been a better fit for me, as I did not have to embarrass myself trying to draw, paint, sculpt or take a picture. I heard creative writing was fun and easy, and who does not want an easy class. Little did I know, it is a lot harder to be creative when you are trying to think of ways to be creative.

I walked into smith hall, expecting a boring class filled with a syllabus reading, having a teacher read me the entire syllabus as if I do not know how to read on my own. My expectations were completely wrong and honestly I do not know if I was really prepared for what I was about to experience. Instead of a boring class filled with the syllabus, I walked into a class playing the song “Celebration” and I was immediately put out of my comfort zone. After the first day of class, I realized that this class will push me out of my comfort zone but it’s a challenge I am fully open too. My shyness will need to disappear and I need to be willing to engage in the class, rather than sit in the corner hoping I do not get called on. I have to not be afraid of failure or judgment, and say what is on my mind.

I have always loved writing, but I have also always had a strict format I have had to follow.  I have realized that my expectations for this class were completely wrong, and while this class does not have to do with building something physically artistic, it has everything to do with being mentally artistic. Creative writing will require me to write in ways I am not used to and will require me to be confident in my writing, as everyone in the class will be able to see all my writings. Creative writing is about exploring your ability as a writer, and in order to realize your potential you need to be willing to write freely and be open to improvements. Practice does make perfect, and in order to perfect my writings I need to be prepared to put in the work it will take to realize my ability as a writer.

I enjoy that this class will allow me to choose what I write about. I am not confined to writing a strict response to a question, but rather writing a response about how interpret a reading or assignment. I dread that my writing will be public but I have to realize that in this class there is no right or wrong. Everyone will interpret readings and assignments differently, but that is what will make this class the most interesting. This will not only expand how I could interpret things differently, but it will also allow me to see and experience everyone’s personalities. I am terrified for the short story assignment, although I am positive it will be the most exciting. I constantly second guess myself, and I know this will be a struggle while writing my short story. I need to be willing to just let my mind go and explore all the different options I have. Writing with confidence will definitely be a struggle, but I know that by the end of this class I will not only perceive things differently but my confidence as a writer will be much higher than it was when the class started.

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John marvelous magnificent Mayer

What I did not tell you in my about me, is I love John Mayer. Yeah, I get it he’s not the most attractive male singer, but have you heard his voice? I didn’t know angels existed on this earth. The first sentence in this song is “Welcome to the real world she said to me” and since the real world is something I’m terrified of as I never want to grow up, I thought it was appropriate. You can thank me later for providing you with this amazing voice to listen to as you browse through my blog! But I warn you, you may get distracted and catch yourself singing along.

Hit me with honesty.

We as writers learn the craft of good writing through exploration. We do not improve as writers by simply reading one story. We do not improve as writers by taking notes from our teachers on what they believe makes writing good. While theses notes may be helpful, they are there to direct you, not to teach you how you should write. Writing is personal, and you grow as a writer through exploration. Go out and read different stories, explore the different techniques writers use to make their stories intriguing. By exploring these different techniques, you learn what makes certain stories good and what makes certain stories unbearable. Absorb and use these techniques to improve your writing and to make your writing your own. Becoming a good writer is a process, and you should not be afraid to make mistakes, actually I encourage you too. Be bold in your writing and be confident in it. If you make a mistake, then oh well, it is something you learn from and this will only improve your writing more.

When it comes to short stories, honestly I have not read many. Actually, I cannot think of any off of the top of my head besides the short stories we have had to read recently for class and Dr. Seuss short stories, as I like to pretend I can live my life off his quotes. Since I have not read many short stories, I do not know exactly what I like when it comes to short stories, but I can only guess. I am a very free person, which is probably why I am so drawn to Dr. Seuss. However, I truly enjoy reading realistic stories, especially ones I can relate to in some way. For me, realistic stories have a way of stealing my attention, and it takes me a while to get it back. Out of the short stories we have had to read for class, I enjoyed “The Lady with the Dog” the most. What really drew me to “The Lady with the Dog” was not only how descriptive the author was but how it was a story I could relate to, as my parents got divorced due to an affair. I really enjoyed that the characters were not portrayed to be perfect, and that the author showed how each of them had problems. A quote I really enjoyed was from Anna when she states “”Forgiven? No. I am a bad, low woman; I despise myself and don’t attempt to justify myself. It’s not my husband but myself I have deceived. And not only just now; I have been deceiving myself for a long time” When I am reading a story, I want the author to lay honesty on me. Tell me life is not perfect and tell me that I will face obstacles I will not know how to handle.

Out of the stories we read, “Black and White” was my least favorite, as I found it extremely difficult to follow the second person narrative. Second person narrative is a writing style we do not see as often, which is probably why it was so difficult for me to engage in. While spitting on cleaners is not something I do in my free time, I did enjoy “Gob”. I did not enjoy reading about how teenage boys find it humorous to spit on people. However, I did enjoy that it was a story that we could relate to in the sense that we all have something we regret and wish we could change. I especially enjoy how the author ended “Gob”, because while the cleaner did not say she remembered the boy, the simple gesture of moving her hand across her neck said it all.  Through reading these short stories, it shows how important it is to “read, read, read”. If a writer does not read all different types of writing, they will not know the kind of writing that sticks out to them the most and the kind of writing they want to stay away from.

Everyone cries, especially in public.

How do I feel about reading my work aloud to the public? I hate it. I always tell myself to be confident in my writing and I am until I actually have to read it to other people. I feel like everything sounds better in my head, and sometimes when I read aloud I second guess myself. When I get asked to talk in front of people, I immediately get worried and for reasons you might not guess. See, when I get in front of people and am scared, I tend to cry. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY, none. But, you’d be proud to know that not only did I read my work aloud in creative writing, but I also was able to present in front of my spanish class with no tears, so clearly this problem is becoming better. When I had to read my work aloud in class, not only was I scared but I learned some very helpful things. When you read your work aloud, you put a tone to your reading. If the tone that comes from reading aloud is not the tone you want, then it is up to you to revise your works so that it is read in the tone you would like. Also, when you read aloud it allows you to identify words or lines that just don’t quite fit. It allows you to receive feedback from your peers and ways to improve your work, and if your a perfectionist like me, improvement is a must.

She asked me, what’s a good story?

Dear Student Writer,

She enjoys writing and embraces all it has to offer, as she uses it as her escape. When she feels forced to write, she doesn’t end up liking anything. She likes to write when she feels no pressure, when her mind can be free. This allows her mind to explore all the ideas that she has to offer, and allows her to write what flows. She doesn’t write to satisfy the reader, but writes to satisfy herself. She knows that everyone is good at different genres of writings, so she embraces the kind of writing she knows she is good at. She sometimes is ashamed of her writing, as she is worried that her readers wont enjoy it. She realizes that she needs vulnerable and she needs to allow her writing to be public. She needs to allow her readers to give their feedback, as she knows it will only improve her writing. She needs to be observant of her readers, listen to the reader’s tone, watch the reader’s reaction, as she knows this will help her make her story stronger. It will allow her to see the impact her story has on her readers and will allow her to make changes in order to have her story come across the way she wants it too. She enjoys writing realistic stories, as they are the most relatable. She likes to draw her ideas from situations either she has gone through or people she knows have gone through and uses writing as kind as her venting session. She doesn’t like to expand her writing, as this is her biggest fear. Realistic stories are what come natural to her, but she knows she needs to at least attempt other genres of writing. She needs to create actual scenes, and not scenes that people have necessarily experienced. How does she know she is not good at writing fantasy or mystery if she has never tried it? She enjoys reading stories such as Dr. Seuss, that are whimsical, but she’s terrified of writing these types of stories. Dr. Seuss lightens her spirit, and allows her to relax. While she is a grown up, these stories allow her to be a child for a couple of minutes. These stories allow her mind to be creative, but when it comes to writing theses stories, she over thinks it. She needs to not be afraid of word play but rather take the challenge on. On the other hand, her favorite books to read are mystery. She enjoys reading stories that throw the reader off, keep the reader guessing, so why not try to write these stories herself? She enjoys to be on the edge of her seat, and not knowing what to expect next.

A terrified girl lies under her bed, shaking with her eyes tightly shut. She feels her stomach churning and her body is filled with a tingling sensation. She hears the footsteps and squeaking of the floor, as each boot leaves an imprint on the carpet. She covers her mouth to make her breathing as quiet as she can, but loudly exhales on accident. She sees the feet of the man stop, turn, and head her direction. She slides up towards the wall, as she sees the bed skirt slowly lift up.

Lets be realistic

My personal statment of intent for short stories

Fiction is usually thought to be a type of story that is not true. I believe some people have the completely wrong understanding of what fiction is and what fiction can be. Fiction doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Short story fiction should not always be about a life we wished we could have, or a world we wished we could live in. To me, short story fiction should be realistic and relatable. Of course, from time to time it is relaxing to read a short story that makes life seem perfect, but this perfect life should not define fiction. People need to read stories they can relate to. By making a story relatable, it draws the reader in on a much deeper level then just visually. It gives the reader emotions, and it lets them know they are not the only one facing certain problems.

For me, “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, nailed a realistic fictitious short story. He drew you into the story through a tragedy, an affair. He did not make the characters seem perfect, and he was not afraid to show their flaws. After the affair had first happened, Anna states “ Forgiven? No. I am a bad, low woman; I despise myself and don’t attempt to justify myself. It’s not my husband but myself I have deceived. And not only just now; I have been deceiving myself for a long time.” The author shows you that Anna is ashamed of her actions. He lets you know she’s not perfect, and that love isn’t always perfect. While we like to think that love is a great thing, it can also be used as a weapon. In my short story, I want to show the reader that people makes mistakes, no matter how perfect someone might think they are. Also, I want the reader to feel connected with the short story through flaws. Sometimes people don’t know how to justify what they did, they just know they did it, and they understand it’s wrong. However, just because someone knows their actions are wrong, doesn’t necessarily mean they will fix it.

The short story “Gob”, was a great example of showing regret. Everyone has done something they have regretting that they can’t seem to forget. In my short story, I hope to bring these regrets back to the surface. Let the reader know its not too late to fix something they had done in the past. While talking about his regrets, the narrator in “Gob” states “I saw her again today. She came out from the liquor store in Majorstua, the bottles pushed down into a worn brown bag, and I sensed shame, shame is the only word I can use—shame. It was twenty years since I’d seen her last”. Also, the narrator proves a great point as he states, “…This is what I dwell on, twenty years later”. Just because something happened in the past, doesn’t mean it has stayed in the past. Regret is apart of our world, and its important for my reader to know that regret is not permanent, and can be something you can fix. By fixing regretful things, it allows you to be happy and at peace with yourself.

Momma’s Mac and Cheese.

Photo from Allrecipies.comSomething else I forgot to tell you, I live off of mac and cheese.

Photo from Allrecipies.com
Something else I forgot to tell you, I live off of mac and cheese.

Originally, I hated writing prompts as I felt forced to write about a certain topic. However, I came across this writing prompt and was immediately drawn in. It was a prompt that allowed you to tell a story through a food recipe. It did not give you a specific topic to write about, and I believe this is why I enjoyed it. It simply gave you ideas of how to structure your story and an example to look at if your chose to.

Mommas mac and cheese

1. Put away the Kraft mac and cheese, and grab a box of pasta noodles. While the shapeable spongebob noodles are irresistible, it’s time to grow up. Any noodles will do but you remember momma always using elbow noodles. They were perfect for sliding onto your each tip of the fork, and allowed the cheese to fill the middle, as if this meal wasn’t fattening enough. But who’s counting calories? Not you.

2. Pour some water in a pan and wait for it to boil. Momma was always so precise with her measurements, as it had to be 3 cups of water, but no one is as perfect as momma. Lets be realistic, all the water gets drained at the end so there’s not need to try to live up to mommas expectations, as its almost impossible. Fill the pan with water making sure there is enough to cover the noodles. Pour the noodles in the water, but don’t forget to add a drop of olive oil, as momma says it prevents the noodles from sticking. No one likes noodles that stick together, and momma made sure you remembered this. While the noodles are cooking you feel the steam on your face and you remember momma telling you a secret, that you can use now thanks to puberty.

“Honey if your face is ever breaking out, boil water and put your face over it, not too close though, as the steam will open up your pores and help cleanse your face”

Who ever thought that advice would be helpful, but I can thank the mountains on my forehead for making me remember this as the noodles cook.

3. The noodles seem like they should be done any second, and you reach for a noodle, remembering the game you and momma would play.

“Here honey, grab a noodle, throw it against the wall, and if it sticks its done”

You reach for the noodle, toss it between your hands like it’s a hot potato, and throw it against the wall, it sticks. Your noodles are now done and the next stop is the strainer. Pour the noodles in the strainer, allowing the water to drain.

4. Once your noodles are water free, the next step is making the cheese. Don’t you mess up, as this is momma’s favorite part.

“It’s all about how creamy you make it. The secret is using whipping cream instead of milk. But shhhhh it’s a secret”.

You reach into the refrigerator, tempted to grab the 2% milk, but you stop yourself. You find the whipping cream, and can almost taste the creamy flavor in your mouth. No not the canned whipping cream you sicko, the whipping cream in a small milk carton. Don’t whip the whipping cream up!

5. Grab another pan, as this is what you will make and cook your cheese it. Momma always made fun of you how this was the hardest part, as you are not the most patient person. But breath, relax, and have patience, as it will all be worth it when that first bit comes. Get 2 tablespoons of butter. Melt the butter over low to medium heat, remember momma says to be patient, you don’t want to burn the butter. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter and stir constantly to prevent lumps, that text message can wait “LOL”.

“ No mom, LOL does not stand for lots of love, its stand for laughing out loud.” Pour in the whipping cream, not the 2% milk and continue to stir until the mixture is thick and smooth. Shred two cups of sharp cheddar, not mild cheddar, but sharp, as momma says the taste is distinctly different. Add the cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper into the mixture, and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted.

6. Pour the macaroni noodles into your cheese mixture; making sure every noodle and noodle hole is covered with cheese. Pour the noodles into the casserole dish that momma gave you, as she promised it would come in handy one day. You don’t cook often, but you couldn’t have thanked momma more for the casserole dish, as it came in handy when you missed her most. Evenly distribute the noodles into the casserole dish, as momma has always stressed the importance of not making one section thicker then another.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and once you hear that time beep, put on your hot pads and place the casserole dish into the oven. Make sure you set the timer for 20 minutes, as last time you forgot, burning the mac and cheese and making momma not too happy. DING! The timer goes off, and you can’t wait to take that first bite, but still be patient. Put on your hot pads and carefully take the casserole dish out of the oven, as momma would always worry about you burning yourself. I know you cant wait to taste the creamy cheese, but allow the dish to cool for a couple of minutes, as having a burnt tongue is no fun.

8. After having time to cool, dish yourself up a bowl. Momma always said your eyes were bigger then your stomach, so try taking a smaller portion first. Make sure you poor yourself a glass of milk as momma always wanted you to have strong bones. Grab a fork, swoop the elbow noodles onto the 4 tips of the fork, reach your fork up to cheers like you and momma always did, and take your first bite.

 

Inadvertent Consequences

Family is said to be the most important thing in life, so what happens when you lose it? What happens when your family goes from being whole to broken? I could see it in her eyes, her painful eyes, something wasn’t right. My mom likes to think she can cover her emotions and act as if she is perfectly happy all the time, when that isn’t the case. Yes, of course my mom isn’t perfect but to me she is the greatest mom there is. I thank her every day for trying to keep it together for the sake of my brother and I, but with age comes knowledge, and her emotions were getting easier to read by the day. Parker, who is my younger brother, had no idea what was going on, and its best that way. He’s a child; and is as innocent as any other child. He shouldn’t have to worry about this. His wonderful, bright and imaginative brain should be on what super hero he wants to be next and who he is going to save, not try to worry about saving my parents marriage.

 

“Mommy where’s daddy” Parker would ask.

My mother would answer, “He’s just working late sweetie, your fathers a very hard working man”. This answer became familiar to me, as it would always be my mother answer with a slight variation.

“Your father had extra work to do tonight honey”

“Your father got called into a meeting at the last minute love, but he will be here when you wake up”.

While I admire my father for being a hard working man and dedicated to his job, I wished he would have been more dedicated to my family, and as selfish as it sounds, more dedicated to me. My father started “working late” and it made me wonder, why doesn’t my father want to be around? Does he not enjoy spending time with Parker and I? Has he found a new daddy’s little girl? I know I’m not perfect, but I’ll try to be daddy, I’ll try to be. I will clean my room every night! I’ll brush my teeth, eat my veggies, and be in bed by 9:00, I promise! I won’t sass, I will mind my manners, I will do anything you say to keep this life. It’s the only one I’ve ever known. I couldn’t comprehend a different one. No amount of brownnosing could change the imminent future. Every day my mother would have bags under her eyes, and while concealer is a gift from God, it couldn’t cover up those bags. She was worn out, not only emotionally but also physically. She became thin and fragile, and depression got the worst of her. While I knew to an extent what the situation was, I honestly wasn’t prepared for what was about to come my way.

 

I remember coming home to my mom, my mom’s best friend, and my mom’s best friend’s daughter, who happened to be my best friend. From the second I walked into the room, I could tell it was not going to be one of our get togethers filled with laughter and hide and go seek. This play date consisted of no playing, but instead was filled with pain. Instead of being put together like my mother always is, pain covered her. Her face was pale and red, with her eyes swollen. Her breathing was loud and inconsistent, with short uneven breaths taken in, and one big breath let out. Her confidence was gone, and she stood in every way but tall. And this is when my family became broken.

 

My mom told me my parents were getting a divorce. I viewed this as a heads up that something destructive was coming my way. There we sat the next day, in the counselor’s office, my mother, father, brother and I. My father immediately broke into tears. There’s something you should know about my father, he never cry’s, and if he does, I’ve never seen it.  My father is the most confident man you will ever meet; with his head always head higher then those around him. He always carries himself extremely well, with the best posture. Not on this day though, as his head sunk to the ground with his shoulders slouched over him. He was ashamed and you could see it on his face. His head hung low the entire session, with his eyes staring at nothing but the floor. He didn’t engage, his words didn’t come out straight, and sitting still didn’t come easily.

 

The counselor shared with us that my parents would be getting a divorce, which I like to think I was prepared for since I knew the day before. But how can a young girl prepare herself again to hear that wonderful word “divorce”. I’m somewhat glad Parker didn’t understand what was going on, as he slowly could adjust to it. I however, could comprehend what divorce truly meant, no matter how badly I wished I couldn’t. After the counseling session, my brother went with my father, and I went with my mother, as she wished to spend time alone with me. In this time, she shared with me that she wanted to be up front with what was going on, and while I thank her for being honest, honesty was used as a weapon in this situation. I soon found out that my parents were getting a divorce due to another women, one of my mom’s closest friends. Sickening isn’t it.  As I was young at the time the divorce happened, it didn’t really hit me what exactly happened till my teen years. When my dad would have Stacy over, I was comfortable with her because I had been around her my entire life.  But as I grew older, I started to despise her.

 

One week at moms, the next week at dads. Sounds pleasant doesn’t it?  While my brother and I had two houses, we didn’t exactly have a home. While I like to think I can blame Stacy for all of this, my dad unfortunately is the culprit to. My mother claims to her friends that my father “thought with his head, and not the one on his shoulders”.  While I didn’t understand it at the time she said it, I cant help but laugh at it now. My mother is very clever when it comes to stating the obvious, without stating the obvious. However, she had no problem stating the obvious when it came to Stacy. There were nights filled with tears as I would over hear my mom crying to her friend

“I trusted her, I confided in her, I told her everything”

“She was my best friend, she knew all my problems with my husband, and fixed them by opening her legs”

 

Obviously this was a lot to take in as a teenager, but I was at the age where I understood everything my mother was saying. Stacy, who was close as anyone, destroyed my family. She took away my father from Parker and I. What kind of person has no soul and has no problem not only breaking up their family, but their best friends family?  It was like a bad “Wuthering Heights” adaption.  Stacy aspired to the upper class and she viewed my father as an entrance to what she believed her life should be like. She wanted vacations, expensive jewelry, posh clothing, and ultimately the respect that comes with it all. And so, Stacy would hear all my mom’s problems, and try to help her. While in secret, she was trying to fix them herself. While I like to despise Stacy for what she has done, deep down a part of me thanks her. I know that sounds inhuman and weird, but hear me out.

 

My parents weren’t happy together, as hard as that is to admit. If they were happy together, my dad wouldn’t have felt the need to have an affair. Yes, my dad could have been thinking with his head, and not the one on his shoulders. If this were true though my dad wouldn’t have felt the need to get re-married. Marriage is suppose to be sacral, and happen once. Yes, it was difficult watching my father re-marry. And I understand how hard it was on my mother, but in the end it made them both happy.  My father wasn’t  “working late” anymore. He was there at night to spend time with Parker and I, and we were able to not only wake up to our father but were able to see our father before we fell asleep.  While he was still dedicated to his work, he became more dedicated to Parker and I, because he was able to build a relationship with us stronger then the one we had before.

 

My mother no longer had to wait up at night wondering where my father was. She didn’t have to fill our heads with the answer “daddy is just working late”. By letting my dad go, she really let herself free. She didn’t have to worry about covering her emotions anymore, for the sake of children. She could gain back her confidence, and while it was broken once, I knew she wouldn’t let it get broken again. She was happy. While I’m sure if my parent’s marriage did work out, as in actually working out, she would be happy as well. But you can’t force something that’s not there. My mom realized that she couldn’t force herself to be happy, and this divorce, while it took time, allowed her to be honestly happy.  It allowed her to be healthy, both physically and mentally, which was such a relief to see.

 

Stacy, although she couldn’t keep her legs closed, is what made my dad happy. Although, I don’t see exactly what he sees in her, its’ nice to see him happy. It’s nice to have him around and its nice to see Parker grow up with a father who’s actually there. While it sucks that part of my childhood was filled with “daddy working late” I’m glad the rest of Parker’s childhood doesn’t have to be this way anymore.

Promising Pictures.

Photo by me. Inspiration behind this short story.

Photo by me.
Inspiration behind this short story.

As I have stated before, being creative is not exactly a strong suit of mine. So when I was asked to look at writing prompts and then write a short story, I immediately became frazzled. However, I found out that when it comes to writing prompts, they actually help me get going when it comes to writing a short story. I find it easier to write a short story off of a writing prompt because I have a focus. They are not telling you what to write about, they are simply narrowing your options down to specific scenarios, and it is up to you to bring these scenarios to life.

The walls are closing in on me, as I hear nothing but the pounding of my own head. I am over whelmed, sweating and everything but confident. I am on my own, away from my family, in this new room that I am supposed to call my own. Sure, it has everything from home to make it “my room” but it is the exact opposite. The walls are painted beige and blend together as if I am confined into a box with no exit. I surround myself with pictures on the wall, hoping to soothe my soul. These pictures do nothing but remind me of all the people counting on me to succeed. I am the first in my family to go to college, pursue my degree, and hopefully end up with a job I am passionate about. Not only am I trying to pursue my degree, but I am also pursuing my passion along with my father’s passion of being a colligate athlete. Sure I love soccer, more then anything, but it’s breaking me down. Everyday I step onto that field and work my ass off but feel empty and dead inside as I walk off that field. My passion is dissolving slowly as my coaches take away my confidence. I am the hardest working player and get no reward, what if that’s how my life turns out? Should I start to live by the motto “Hard work never pays off” These cream pillows have dissolved my tears, and have become my best friend. They hear and absorb my voice and they understand by lifting my head up. As I stare at my pictures on the wall that spell out “HOPE” and I am re-evaluating if this was the right word. There are so many things to be hopefully for, but then, here I lay hoping I don’t fail. I look at the faces on the pictures and I know what they are hoping for in my life, but is that what I am hopeful for? There’s my mother, who I absolutely adore. She hopes I grow up and finish college, which was something she wasn’t able to do. Growing up terrifies me and I want nothing more then to live my life off of Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney quotes. Growing up and living on your own is something people look forward too, but its something I have come to dread. I miss my family, my dogs, home cooked meals, and my own bed. I look at my father, as I know he is so proud of me for getting recruited to play the sport that has united us.  Soccer has always been something that has connected my father and I, and is the reason why we are so close. But what happens if I stop getting playing time? Will he still support me, even if I am sitting on the bench? The last thing I want to do is let him down, and that’s what keeps me going everyday as I step onto that field. I look at my brothers, who I know look up to me. I am their older sister, but do I really want them to see my fear of growing up and have it become there’s?  As I lay on my mattress staring at the ceiling, I realize this room isn’t mine at all. These red sheets are pathetic, and when did I begin to like flowers? The red is suppose to “brighten up my room” as my mother would say, but it does nothing besides make me want to close my eyes and see darkness. This mattress sucks my body in, and is known as comfortable by my father, but I hate it. I feel no support, not even from a mattress that I paid for to support me. But as I look up I see a picture of my entire family. Not just my mother, not just my father, not just my brothers, but my family together. Finally it hits me. Support is not something I can buy, I have just been too blind to realize that I have had it my entire life. My family has always supported me and has always hoped for the best. They are there in times of need, and they are there to help me gain back my confidence. They speak words of wisdom, and hope for nothing but the best. They have handed me their knowledge, knowing I will succeed. As I stare back at my wall, I realize “HOPE” was the right word the entire time, and the only person not being hopeful was myself.

Pretty Poetry

Dear Student Writer,

She asked me what is considered good poetry? And I told her the answer truly lies within herself. Poetry is different for everyone, but for her it is an escape. She enjoys writing poems that are free, and by free, I mean in content and structure. She finds it hard to write poems when she is bound to a structure and she finds herself slowly straying away. She focuses so much on fitting the structure of the poem that she loses completely the thought and emotion she is trying to convey. She admires poets who find it easy to follow a form, and has learned a lot about her poetry style by trying to follow these forms. She enjoys creating her own structure to mirror something she is trying to say in her poem She has come to find out that word counts or structures are not what make up her poems, but rather the words she choses. She enjoys telling stories through her poems, and her poems are more realistic them whimsical. She does not enjoy rhyming in her poems, probably because rhyming does not come natural to her no matter how badly she wished it did. She enjoys that poetry is not only made of words, but most importantly images. She loves that through poetry; she can convey a single thought solely trough images. She has learned that there are more styles of poetry then a Haiku, and poetry doesn’t necessarily have to be your words. She has learned that it is okay to combine lines from different poems, to create her own poem, which is a technique she enjoys greatly. She enjoys word play and all the different options she has whether it be through the sounds or meanings of words. She enjoys how the tone in poetry can change so quickly, depending simply on the words she chooses or how she changes her structure.