my last challenge journalllll!!!!

So I’ve had way too many challenges with this project than 4 challenge journal blog posts can encompass. More of them had nothing to do with my project, and everything to do with my insane life outside of class but back to my challenges. I definitely did not give myself enough time to finish my essays that I wanted to include, which is sad but this project is not done.

True Crime is a weird fluid genre that is way more difficult to write than it looks. My last challenge is revision. I always have a hard time with revision because I never stop once I start, which I’m told is a good thing. But, let’s be real, when you’re on a deadline, constant revision plus all of the other requirements for this project is not practical.

In the past, I’ve just had to suck it up and turn it in, even if I wasn’t happy with my final product. I’m very happy with mine right now, I just don’t feel finished. Looking back, there have been a lot of things I’ve written that haven’t felt “finished”. Most of my essays I’ve written in college actually, haven’t felt finished.

This feels like a project that in my mind, needs to be finished “just enough” for the parameters of the project. Although this feels like my baby, and I want it to be on display for everyone in its perfect, final form, I know this is going to be a years’ long project that I will continue long after this class is over. Which is so. freaking. exciting. I’ve found a new writing love!

Challenge Journal 3

I’m having a lot of challenges with figuring out how I want my project site to look. I had this problem with my gateway e-portfolio too. I am just so picky and have a very particular vision. I worry about being campy because I really want my project site to be creepy and unsettling–because that’s what this story is, creepy and unsettling (to say the least).

I also don’t want it to be cliche and kitschy (idk how it would be, but that’s always a worry). My goal for this entire thing (even after we turn in our projects) is to keep working on it and add much more as I do more research. I think in order to calm my worries I am going to have to begin designing my project site long before I think I’m ready.

I’m a very linear worker. I like to do things from beginning to end, though that is not always the most conducive for doing things well. I really feel like I need to wait until my writing is finished before I can begin making my site but that’s just…wrong?? Anyways, I began designing my e-portfolio early on in the semester and I still use mine to this day. One of the things I’ve loved most about the MiW is that I can use what I’ve made as I continue, you know, continuing. I haven’t gotten sick of this project once and I hope my design pickiness won’t get in the way of that feeling.

Challenge Journal 2

So I have a lot of experience with creative non-fiction, which is how I approached writing true crime. But I had always been working with facts and experiences that are my own–and it was rather easy to make them interesting. Figuring out how to create a narrative out of my own experiences was a challenge when I first began, particularly when I took ENG 325 and 425 in the same semester (so. much. creative non-fiction. but i loved it). I really struggled with what people would find interesting about my life and how they would react to my stories. For this project, I feel very much the same. Except, these are not my stories to tell and I don’t know what the victims of the murders I am writing about would like said about them.

So it took me awhile to know where to begin with writing their stories. Eventually, I just had to suck it up and think about what wanted to know about these young women. It was sort of the opposite of my method of deciding what to include in my personal essays. I put myself in other people’s shoes and wonder if what I am talking about would be interesting to anyone except me.

Now, I’m putting myself in the victim’s shoes and asking what they would have liked said about them. For instance, I am reading a lot about how one of the girls was really into drugs and often ran away–it was a way for the press to downplay her disappearance and highlight her “high-risk” lifestyle to bring blame to her instead of her murderer.

I do not want to do that, so I’m trying to figure out ways to include her life, without blaming her decisions.

When is an okay time to cry? Asking for a friend.

heh heh senior year is forgetting your password to the miw blog & having to reset it in order to turn in your capstone project.

Here’s the result of so. much. blood. so much.

Sweat, and TEARS also. Mainly tears. I’m exhausted from being elbows deep in murder and missing women for the past three months. BUT, I learned so much about myself in the process. Like the fact that I am capable of watching 8 hours of Law and Order in a row for “research” –as long as the star is Edie Falco.

Anyway, here’s my website that for all intents and purposes is “done”. But if you’re really into true crime, and this story interests you, I am definitely going to keep revising and adding to it…so check back if you want!

Congrats to us all, we freakin’ did it.

Sorry I’m late, I thought I published this but never did.

Looking over the writing I’ve done in the past couple of years, I couldn’t establish any set thing I did in order to get any of these projects off the ground.

In other words, I don’t have any rituals. I wish I did and I’ve tried very hard to think of some but then it felt too forced and I also wasn’t very inspired so all I could think of is making myself a cup of tea. I try to listen to music when I write but if I’m honest, as of the past month or so, I haven’t really been able to write even with all of the music I usually turn to (Fleetwood Mac, Lorde, and Elton John mostly).

I thought having to do this blog post could prompt some inspiration while I tried out different rituals when I sat down to write, but instead, I started panicking even more than I have been when faced with a blank page.

Most of the writing I’ve done in the past few years has been creative non-fiction that has come straight from my life which can come quite easily from memory — like Joan Didion spoke about in one of her essays (or at least I think it was her) you can watch it like a movie in your head and then just describe the movie. Maybe that’s my ritual for writing (at least my non-fiction) — replaying the movie in my head.


&and just like that, We’re Done

So this semester has gone by way too fast. I’m a rising Junior, yet, it still feels like I just got out of my dad’s car and moved into Northwood III (RIP to that freshman dorm).

I’m really not ready to be done with the Gateway. I’ve loved it so much. It was one of the couple of classes I have taken since I’ve been here that I looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday and the only one I would willingly get out of bed at 10 am for. I’ve learned so much in my time here about my writing and about myself. Until this semester I had forgotten just how fulfilled I am when I’m writing. It sounds so cheesy but it really has been the best kind of ride.

This may or may not be me right now…because of finals and all…ya know.

447&here’s what I have to show for it:

It’s definitely not something I would show to potential employers. Unless I decide to drop out of school and become a professional eater. (You’ll have to take a peek to see why)

Even though I’m sad this class is over, this Jonah Hill picture is an accurate depiction of how excited I am for summer to begin.

So that’s it, I’ve been trying for a half hour to find a gif of Seth Rogen that will actually move which has proven to be an impossible task so I’ll just leave you with this gem. (& my personal fave)


BTB Queso is better than Panch’s Queso (& other advice for the New Kids on the Block)

So this was me last year right before I applied to minor in writing. It was daunting because I hadn’t really written in a couple years and I felt a little rusty.

MIW Tweet

Kristen Wiig just got me in that moment ya know? But now I’m in the program just like you and I am in love with it.

So my advice? Just really dedicate yourself to everything you do in the gateway course. It’s a wonderful (and might be the only) time to really find your voice. Everyone might say this but you get what you put into it. It’s a lot of work but if writing is your thing (which, DEAR LORD I HOPE IT IS OR YOU’RE IN THE WRONG CLASS) it won’t feel like work at all.


Also, make friends with the people in your class. Ask them for help! Let them read your stuff. This is NOT the class to be shy in. LITERALLY slide into their emails and be like “HELP” (then swap #s because this is not 2002, unless you like emailing..then go for it). If they’re good people they’ll deal with your neediness. And *BONUS* who doesn’t like making new friends??? This is the one time I’m asking you not to take DJ Khaled’s advice okay? Take mine.


Okay but now take his advice. As you’re creating your projects, don’t forget why you’re doing them. T asked us many times “what is at stake for this project”, don’t lose sight of what’s at stake for you!

giphy But that’s really all I have advice wise. Congrats on getting into the program and have fun in the class! It definitely went by WAY too fast.

Where am I? Who knows anymore.

We’re almost done with this semester and WHOA has it flown by. I am honestly going to miss this class so much.


Anyways, where I’m at with the third project is what I’m supposed to be talking about.

I’m doing pretty well with it. I’m quite a bit further than I was with Project II at this point. My collages are coming out pretty well. I think they tell the story I want them to tell and they’ll add a much needed visual to what I wrote for Project II.

It’s all working. No epiphanies. I’m doing well.

Except this is an accurate depiction of me right now, so that might not be considered “well”. nap



Also enjoy this yawning sloth.

200 (1) And this sleepy puppy.

You can tell it’s the end of the semester.

“It’s Friday, I’m in Love”

I like to think I’m a very easy person to get along with. Nothing bothers me much, you can eat all of my food or make a mess of my room when you stay and I wouldn’t be so much as a little bothered.

tumblr_mm0wphNhV31s99m4bo1_500(My family thinks I’m Elaine Benes; I probably am)

I like to focus on the things that matter. That’s probably why one of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about things they have total control over. For instance, when people are complain about being tired, yet they procrastinated their 8 hours of homework by watching 8 hours of Netflix and then next thing they knew, it was all nighter city.


People should take responsibility for their actions. It’s not as though someone held a gun to their head and said “You have to procrastinate”. They chose to prioritize their life in an odd way. I don’t want to hear your complaints. Maybe complaining in general is a pet peeve of mine.


I don’t like to complain much. I realize how fortunate I am. (I’m not saying I don’t; I’m still human)

I think that’s part of what’s wrong with the world. We spend too much damn time complaining about all of the things we don’t have and yet we do nothing to recognize the things we do have. It’s very unfortunate.


I don’t like the “work so hard I’m going to jeopardize my mental health/physical well-being” mentality my generation has either. The two go hand in hand. As though being able to go days on end without proper sleep and an out of control coffee addiction are tokens of a well-lived progressive life. To be quite frank, I enjoy my 8 hours of sleep a night and giving it up to seem like I’m getting more done doesn’t seem like a plausible plan.


dfnifoiawhrf fjwiejrweof;jwfiw

People think they’re being productive when they don’t do anything but work for days on end. I think that’s ludicrous. Why should I have to kill myself to be productive? And why should I be allowed to lament about my poor life choices and hope someone sympathizes with me? That’s hardly fair.


How about we go to bed earlier, and scream joyously about how much sleep we got? About how well-rested and ready to take on the day we are? Why don’t we admire people who take care of themselves? We need to stop listening to the miserable people who complain about situations they put themselves in and tell them to go to bed earlier or do their homework during the day when they have time instead of at 2 in the morning. There’s no reason we should be living the way we do as college students. It’s a pathetic excuse for a life and I’m done living feeling like I’m not being productive because I go to bed at 11 every night. Because you know what? I wake up at 8 every morning, ready to begin my day.


Por que no puedo hablar en español?

What animal am I you ask? Well, I think I could be any animal to be quite honest. It depends on my mood.


I think I’d like to be a graceful animal like a swan but that’s laughable. I’m so damn clumsy, I trip over my own feet on a daily basis.

swan butt Me as a Swan tbh.

Well I don’t know what other animal I’d be. I think I’d like to be something fierce like a bear or a lion. Except I’m tiny and intimidation is not my strong suit. Sometimes I wish I were taller.


Maybe then people would take me seriously when I get angry instead of laughing at my anger. Maybe I’d be a sloth. Lord knows I can sleep for 18 hours a day without a problem.


I’d love to be a giraffe. Then I’d be tall.



I don’t think I’d like to be a dog. Too loyal. And they love unconditionally. I’m too fast to hold a grudge and cut people out of my life. I’d make a terrible dog.



But maybe that means I’d make a good cat? I don’t know. They’re sassy and my roommate says they’re like mini devils. I kinda like them. I’ve never had to pay too much attention to any cats I’ve owned. That sounds terrible. They’re just all so independent. I like that about them. I think that might have to be the animal that I’d be. I wish I had a much better animal I could be. To be honest I hate how cliche the animal I ended up with is. I just panicked and started writing and now this is what I have.