The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

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The End of Creative Writing

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So, today is the last day of my creative writing class. I have to say, I am glad I wasn’t planning on going in that direction for my Writing Arts major. I don’t know if it was the teacher or me, but my spirit has been broken when it comes to writing creatively. I don’t like sonnets, or found poems or sound poems, and I don’t want to force my creativity by writing 3 journal entries a week. It’s not my style. But still, I did get some good feedback with my work, and also some not so amazing feedback, which also upset me. A teacher shouldn’t tell you the RIGHT way to write descriptive. Every writer has their own style, and if they and their readers are happy with it, that should be enough. Today’s writing style is a new way to write, not the only way to write. For your viewing pleasure, here are some links to 3 of my pieces.

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYhI8a3ThaypZGZ2dDc1MnFfMGY3Y3BuM2Ny&hl=en

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYhI8a3ThaypZGZ2dDc1MnFfMjdxcDNudGd4&hl=en

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYhI8a3ThaypZGZ2dDc1MnFfMWQ2dzZjdmNu&hl=en

The first piece is a project that I previously spoke about in my blog. Here is the very long comment I got on the back page of my paper:

“The End” is crossed out.

There is no trigger for the dad to change his mind. Maybe the art teacher brings over Lizette’s portfolio, or he misses her and goes into her room and sees copies of her application materials- the artwork, the letters, the resume- and realizes that she is really talented. Maybe someone else in the art field tells him how talented she is. Then he has to acknowledge that an MD was his dream, never hers.

It would be nice if there were a symbol of Dad’s change of heart- maybe he tells her on the phone that a surprise is coming, and its tickets to the Picasso show opening at MOMA.

You’ve done what I told you, and put in lots of action and dialog tags. However, some of the action is mundane and should be skipped over. Do we need to know the woman went into her should bag, pulled out a manilla envelope and handed it to Liz? Why not just she handed Liz a manila envelope. All of the extra actions drag the story. Use your details for meaningful actions.

Also, group your actions and dialouge tags. Sometimes when you have an action, you don’t need the tag.

I crossed out all the interruptions (ok, well,oh,yeah, and names). You’ll find the text reads fine without them. They become annoying to a reader. Ok for spoken but not ok for written conversation.

Don’t tell the reader how or why the characters do things. Part of the fun of reading is is figuring those things out. Show how through actions; show why through context.

Liz and Jane are overly cheery sometimes, praising each other. You could do more with Jane’s financial situation (her reaction). Mrs. Holinday is clueless.

You use setting well to advance the plot and show character.

Voice is overly wordy (narrator). Simplfy. Liz and Jane could be more distinguishable from each other.

I don’t think the scholarship should fall into her lap. Besides that, the trigger and the symbol, plot is effective.

I think you’re still feeling your way with new techniques and haven’t quite found the right balance yet. This is keeping your writing from sounding light and natural. Ease up a little and trust your natural voice a little more.

93/100

Written by augeregua

December 10, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Posted in Writing Arts

Tagged with , , , , ,

I’m feeling very good

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WeFeelGood.org has some really inspiring things on it, if you click on any random dot. Some things might not relate to you. However, it’s simple to quickly change the criteria for a search. Country, gender, age, mood, and even feel words can be filtered. Having been on this site, I have realized how mood lifting and inspirational this site can be, and it gives some pretty good advice too.

This site also allowed me to think that maybe…there is hope for the human race. We aren’t heartless drones after all. My favorite so far is from Michelle Bloom. She says, “how i interpret, how i see, feel, know, much more in paintings than anything i think, even words, even if words communicate easier with a bigger audience”. I can relate to this in a different way, in how words will make much more sense to me than a painting or a math equation. Finally I would like to say that while writing this, my computer crashed, and I had lost that quote. Sad, I started clicking through the interactive website once again and FOUND the same quote. I found this amazing, as there are so many, but if you do not specify a date, you will end up getting the “feel” words from the last few hours. Being able to click on the quote and being sent over to the person’s blog is rather useful as well.

Written by augeregua

December 9, 2009 at 3:02 AM

Am I Us or Me?

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MMOs, RPGs, MUDs and all of the other kinds of online multiplayer games out there are, I have to admit, very fun. In World of Warcraft, I get to be a level 80 blood elf paladin. My sword is called the Claymore of Ancient Power, and for someone who hasn’t played for even a year yet, I feel I am not too bad. In EVE online, I work for a corporation, mining asteroid belts, while pirates attack me. I am paid in a currency called ISK, and the more I have, the more I can equip my ship with better mining gear, better rocket launchers, and get even better ships.

Eventually though, I end up thinking to myself… for all the effort I put into these games, I could be putting the same amount of effort into my real life. Sure, I don’t get to go through speed at hyper speed, or fight Onyxia, but this is what I have, and I need to make the most out of it. It must be nice for Doug, the college junior in Sherry Turkle’s article “Who Am We?”  http://j.mp/rrOT9 Getting to experiment being a woman, a macho man, a rabbit, and… a furry (look up this term; I will not explain it here). MUDs provide him with the anonymity to indulge in fantasies, and be someone who may be looked down upon in real life.

One could probably say that MUDs are today’s version of the science fiction book. When books became easy to acquire and the population learned to read, it is safe to assume that the readers would sometimes escape their reality and get lost in the stories they read with an obsessive nature. Now, parents urge their children to stop spending hours in these games, and to pick up a book. Ironic.

Written by augeregua

November 20, 2009 at 2:03 AM

Posted in Reading Response

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Twitter for Love, Twitter for Hate

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Until my required use of Twitter in my Intro to Writing Arts class, I had never used Twitter. I saw it as a way to follow celebrities and your friends. Well, I really don’t care what celebrities are doing, and if I wanted to know what my friends were doing at every moment, I would ask them. But then this weekend, we were assigned the task of reading articles on how twitter got started, and the list that changed my mind– http://mashable.com/2009/05/08/twitter-authors/. One of my favorite authors in the world – Neil Gaiman — is on twitter?! And OMG, he talks to my favorite singer, Amanda Palmer! Insane! Who knew? Why wasn’t I informed of this sooner!? Here I was, making fun of people for following for following Ashton Kutcher, forgetting that my type of celebrities are my favorite authors and bands! Terry Goodkind, Terry Pratchett, Brand New and The Dresden Dolls…and I can follow what they do day to day? It’s like accepted stalking, but I’m not going to complain.

I have also discovered other interesting things about Twitter. Like did you know that there are such things as Twitter Wars? Apparently what happens is that when two countries are at war with one another, the citizens like to have arguments over twitter as well. Amazing.   http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/social_network/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212700657

Written by augeregua

November 17, 2009 at 9:59 PM

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A piece I wrote for CW1.

After the Closing

After the last of the library’s patrons have left and the harsh fluorescent lights have been extinguished, the books give a collective sigh of relief.

They have survived another day in the oily hands of the public, who have once again shown a complete disregard for their physical state.

The new books shift their chapters in irritation from the breaking of stiff bindings, and the bending of too-fresh pages.

The classic, most loved books bristle with indignation over highlighted passages, words written in margins, and dog-eared pages.

The old, worn tomes sag like the most weary of elders as glue crumbles away, and missing pages are mourned.

Others simply lean against one another, envious.

Written by augeregua

November 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Posted in Writing Arts

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Feeling Un-creative in Creative Writing I

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In my Creative Writing I class here at Rowan University, we have been assigned the task of writing a story. It will be eight to ten pages long, typed, and must have all of the dynamics of a short story. This includes but is not limited to an antagonist and protagonist, there must be a conflict. My main character must want something externally that is obvious, and then something internal which is harder to spot.

My beginning must provide background, establish a dramatic question, and drop the reader into the middle of the action. There must be three conflicts in the middle of my story, and there must be a trigger event, a bleak moment, and complications. In the end of the story, My character must learn a lesson or make a discovery, and then there must be a resolution or change in my character.

Besides the fact that these requirements are not the ONLY way to write a short fiction story, I do not think my professor should enforce this assignment on all of us. Not every single creative writer is a short story writer or even a story writer at all. Poets, novelists, children’s stories. We should be able to write what we are comfortable with writing… but I am required to write this farce of a story for a grade, so here is how it is going to go. Feel free to critique. I came up with the plot in a matter of 10-15 minutes, and it is rather cliché I am sad to admit.

My character Lilith Harrison is a smart girl living in the upper middle class neighborhood of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Learning comes naturally to her, and there is nothing she cannot accomplish once she sets her mind to it. Still, her father Gregory Harrison III has pushed her to go to school to become a doctor, and she has been accepted to enter college at Penn State on a scholarship. Her sophomore year of college, she is dorm-ing with an art major named Jane Fitzpatrick. They become fast friends, and as their relationship becomes solid, they discover that Lilith’s talents extend to include that of an amazing artist. All she would need is tutelage. Lilith decides to switch her major from that of medicine, to art. Only when she tells her father, he is livid. He wants her to become a doctor, and a doctor she shall be. For a while, she gives in to her father’s wishes, but soon grows weary of her classes. As the year progresses, she must deal with her father’s disapproval as she continues her love of art on the side, Jane’s apparent jealousy of Lilith, and the enterance of a well known artist taking an interest in her.

Let me know what you think. It’s a load of bull simply spewing out of my mind at the moment.

Written by augeregua

November 13, 2009 at 5:34 AM

Prepare for the future? Harder than it sounds.

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I cannot say I am surprised with the state our country is in when it comes to the technical abilities of American citizens. C.L. Selfe, author of Literacy and Technology Linked, provides good statistical information on where our country stands today with technology. Selfe points out that even though former president Clinton put the Technology Literacy Challenge into effect, the poorer parts of the country, like the inner cities which contain high numbers of poor colored students. Because there is no money in these areas, there are not many jobs, and not many people wanted to take jobs in these areas, because of the low income.

The lack of money is in direct relation to the lack of computers, and those that can teach students how to use them. Schools and the towns they reside in do not have the budget to buy computers when they can barely buy text books or pay their teachers a decent wage. So unless the government is willing to completely fund the purchase of technology for poorer public schools, or force well educated teachers to teacher in these areas, the minorities are sadly out of luck.

In terms of the literacy and technology going hand in hand, I believe that it is a matter of “out with the old, in with the new”. While I was in high school, my English teachers were often 60+ years old. We read from falling apart books filled with Shakespeare sonnets and watched fifty year old movies. Maybe as a younger generation of teachers begins to replace them, which have a better education for this time, students will be able to learn both technology and literacy.

I wish the world was as easy as asking the country to take charge and make sure that everyone has the best education possible, but there are neither the funds nor the man power to make this possible.

Written by augeregua

November 13, 2009 at 1:38 AM