Summing up an entire person in a handful of words is an impossible task, but I’ll try to provide you a peek. My name is Alexis Aulepp, and I’m a junior, a COMM major, a book-lover, a night owl, a people pleaser, a “mom friend,” and a writer. Some of my interests include poetry, photography, dad jokes, my faith, good food, cute dogs, and random acts of kindness. My favorite place to be is inside my own head, and my least favorite place to be is inside my own head (or the gym – that place is a nightmare). I write (in part) because I like to spend a lot of time in my favorite place. I keep writing (in part) because my least favorite place gets dark sometimes, and written words often provide the illumination I need.
While I’ve been writing in a variety of forms and genres my whole life, it wasn’t until middle school that I started taking “book writing” more seriously. I had written several “books” before then, but Eighth Grade was the first time I fully fleshed out what I hoped would be my first novel (eventually, trilogy). While pieces of this story have been written, I always found myself spinning my wheels, knowing too much of the characters and the world and the potential plot to dare put the wrong thing down on paper. This hesitation to tell the story incorrectly was, I think, why my Origin Piece became exactly what I needed: a shot in the dark with no expectations (other than to have fun writing it).
My Origin Piece, then, is the first three chapters of a novel for middle-schoolers that I’ve started writing – this time on impulse, with only a vague and malleable sense of plot and almost no sense of characters (save for the protagonist). This novel, titled “It’s Pronounced Pegasus” (or I.P.P. for short), is a gossip magazine, Disney Channel Original Movie, and stereotypical coming-of-age tale all packed into one. It’s narrator and protagonist, Logan Ceallaigh, is the self-proclaimed “Pegasus” of her high school, and she’s just as quirky and hilarious as her chosen moniker implies. Unfortunately, Logan is given another moniker after her first day of high school goes laughably wrong, and this launches a bullying scandal that will be played out over the remainder of the novel. Shortly after the bullying scandal reaches its peak, however, there’s a twist: Wes Cameron, the golden boy of Logan’s grade, asks her out. The resulting plot they hatch catapults Logan into the ranks of the popular, leaving her to grapple with the meaning and value of “popularity,” as well as how this newfound status is changing her.
Since I don’t know much about Logan or her story yet (other than what I’ve listed above), I’m really excited about how these experiments are going to push me to understand the novel in new ways. I’m hoping to explore more of who Logan is and why the events happen the way they do, as well as get back in the “freshman year of high school” mindset. To do this, my current plan is to make a website, a book trailer, and an audio essay as each of my experiments, with the eventual goal of making the website the completed project. Upon completion, the website will house both the book trailer and the audio essay, as well as other cool extras like character bios, cover art, and interviews with the author.
It may be a bit preemptive to make an entire book website before the book is even written, but what can I say? I’m a writer! And, as with any writer, my overactive imagination is both a blessing and a curse, a reason to love my mind and a reason to fear it. Hopefully, this class and these experiments will bring out the best in me, but there’s a big chance that this plan is too ambitious for my perfectionism and grand, creative dreams. But, I suppose there’s only one way to find out. As with any writing, I’ve just got to get started.