I was watching Volver & Remembered I had to do this

So we get to make an e-portfolio! This is pretty dope. I’ve looked at quite a few. I like a lot of them actually. Like Hannah’s is pretty awesome! Very welcoming and fun. Also very pink (which I’m going to be honest and say pink isn’t my color but it works well for her and showcases her personality, YAY!) Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.43.29 PM

I particularly like the accessibility of her portfolio. It’s all very easy to navigate. Everything is laid out pretty neatly, however new windows open when you want to see her work up close. I’ll have to figure out how to get around that feature, it’s very distracting to me.

I also really liked Cameron’s portfolio. It had music on the home page which was AWESOME. For some reason I really liked it but I know it can be distracting. I might play around with it and see where it goes though. Here’s a fun screenshot of Cameron’s homepage! Hopefully this makes this post more exciting as a whole. (I’m sure you’re riveted by my opinions right now)Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.52.49 PM

But I like the picture in the background and how clean it looks. I don’t think I’ll include tabs for links to the blog because this isn’t the kind of writing I want to showcase. I mean, I just figured out how to change the text color sooo…

Project III

Essentially, I have a very rough idea of what direction Project III is going for me. Since I turned a piece of media into prose I’m looking to make that again into something more artsy. Initially I thought I’d do some sort of photo set, but as Danielle pointed out in our meeting, I wasn’t too excited about it. I still feel like my Project II isn’t completely fleshed out, which is weird because I just handed it in. So that’s why I think I’m so stuck with starting this third project.

However, we threw around the idea of some sort of video/montage thing. I suppose that could work but I’m not too excited about that either. My voice is terribly shrill and chipmunk-like in recordings so I think I’d hate to hear myself read my stories out loud. So I am basically lost right now. I don’t even know where to begin other than that I want to do something visually. That’s what is lacking in my project II. Initially I had meant to have the screenshots of the tweets interspersed with the prose of my memoirs but due to formatting issues, I resolved to just italicizing the tweets and putting them at the beginning of every story.

If anyone has a fun idea of some sort of medium I could use to turn a memoir into something visual, please feel free to enlighten me because right now I’m pretty lost.

Project II Update

My Project II is rather mediocre right now. I don’t think I’m doing a good job of making my tweets into something that anyone would care about. I’ve written a couple memoirs based on them so far and I think it’s all junk if I’m being honest.

Also my Google Docs doesn’t have the font Harper’s uses in their publication which is where I do all of my writing so that’s been a little bit of a setback.

Right now I have about 4 more memoirs to write but I’m keeping them rather short so I don’t think it’ll take very long. I’m in a little bit of a slump right now. I’m really uninspired and it’s been hard for me to write anything I deem of value but then again, I’m really way too hard on my own writing.

I think once I get home for break I’ll be able to clear my head and produce something I think is of value.

I think revising the “Why I Write” piece as many times as I did has put my head in a weird place.

I think I’ll get over it.

Project II Research

I started my research by looking at various popular news and entertainment outlets online like the New Yorker, The New York Times, and HuffPost. A memoir type thing didn’t really fit in any of their sections so I kind of  branched out to Women’s magazines that might have some sort of “Life” section. None of them really did. I found Salon.com that has a Life section but I’m still contemplating whether or not to write the memoirs for that section. As of right now though I’m trying to mold my tweets into some sort of narrative that could fit in that section if need be. Otherwise I’m hoping to visit the Hopwood Room soon to try and find some sort of creative magazine to place my work in so I can maybe be more creative with my writing.

Where has Paris Review been my whole life?

To say I’m utterly enamored by the Paris Review is an understatement. I read the interview with Jeffrey Eugenides because in high school I read his book Middlesex and loved it. I remembered how he interweaved many narratives in such an effortless way to write an incredible novel. It amazed me how he said he didn’t like to write in a beautiful space and preferred to be in “small cramped rooms with not much in them”. Very different from how I’d imagine a writer who creates such complex stories as he does. It also struck me that he had a writing schedule he stuck to. I suppose I don’t think about writing as a job and I don’t like making a schedule of when I write but every author is different.

Eugenides remarked about how much he rewrites and reworks sentences a lot. It was awesome to see how dedicated to producing quality work he is. It inspired me to want to be a better writer because oftentimes I find myself writing sentences once and hardly touching them again other than to fix grammatical errors.

I also fan-girled a little over how he answered the way he outlines his books because it is very similar to how I write.

“So I plunge in headlong, and after a while I get worried that I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going, so I begin to make a fuzzy outline, thinking about what might happen in the book or how I might structure it.”

Every time I write something with any sort of length I resort to this method of outlining. I like to begin with my own organic ideas and form it into a coherent structure when the time comes for me to have to. If I write with too much structure to begin with I feel constricted and like I can’t put my voice into whatever it is I’m writing, even if it’s a structure that I make for myself.

“Between the ages of twenty and thirty, I read with a voraciousness unmatched in any other decade of my life. I was trying to become less stupid.”

This is very much how I feel right now at 20. I have this idea that the more well read I am, the smarter I’ll be. I think it’s a bug that a lot of people get and I think there’s an air of truth behind being more knowledgeable the more you read.

 

“One last point—people often ask me why I chose to narrate a novel from the point of view of an intersex person, and my answer is, every novel should be narrated by an intersex person. The job of the novelist is to inhabit both male and female characters, so in a sense every novelist should possess a hermaphroditic imagination.”

I loved his point about writing from both gendered points of view. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever tried writing from a man’s point of view. I kind of only write from my own but the way Eugenides described embodying both genders and creating real characters through that embodiment was wholly intriguing and made me want to try.

“I have four or five novels, each about 120 pages in length. One is a satiric novel very much like the one you’re wondering if I would ever write.”

To me this is crazy! I can’t imagine having finished books just laying about. I admire that he hasn’t published them yet though because I imagine they’re not as great as he would’ve liked them to be yet.

Much of what Eugenides says about his writing is that he incorporates his real life experiences and sometimes experiences that aren’t his own. I find the amount of work he puts into his novels astounding and can only hope to write the way he does someday. Reading his interview and learning how he uses all of the different tools he does to create his literature really reminded me why I write and inspired me to keep writing the things I enjoy.

Advice Doesn’t Sound Like a Word if You Say it Enough Times

So the first advice post I read was “Blog 12: Closing Time One Last Call for Alcoh…**Advice” by Rebecca Soverinsky. If I’m going to be honest, I chose to comment on her post because her words were so encouraging and hopeful to me. I’m bed ridden with the plague right now so doing homework that made me feel a little bit better was so helpful. Rebecca wrote about how capable we all are as writers which is something I sometimes forget about myself. Pushing boundaries was also another aspect of her post that intrigued me as well.

Which brings me to why I chose to comment on Anna Prenzler’s piece “Go you. Do you. Be you.”.  Anna touched upon stepping outside of our writing comfort zone which is something I’m quite afraid of if I’m being frank. Using mediums other than notebook and paper or Google Docs is daunting to me. Anna’s post reminded me that although these sort of things might be frightening at first, there is no room to grow without them. I suppose I’ll learn to step outside of my writing comfort zone in time.

I’m not that interesting I promise.

So I’m Olivia. A sophomore here just trying to avoid grad school by having two majors and a minor while consuming my weight in chai lattes on a regular basis. I’m perpetually ill. I can’t be in Ann Arbor for longer than a week without getting sick. It’s quite a problem. Anyways, my goal is to be a journalist. I’d really like to travel and write because those are my two favorite things in the world so mixing the two would be ideal. I love Kanye, Seth Rogen movies, and dyeing my hair purple.

But I promise I’m not that inIMG_0424teresting.

I began writing relatively young, in middle school and the midst of my teeny bopper angst. I rarely wore clothes that matched, preferring mismatched neon socks and tutus which garnered me the nickname “Punky Brewster” by the first English teacher who ever asked me to write for myself.

My class was tasked to write a poem about a wagon and I remember thinking that mine would be different from all of the red wagons my peers were dreaming up.

“Maybe I’ll make it blue, or rusty” I thought.

An hour later mine was red, just like all of the other 7th graders. Typical preteen peer pressure that made me surrender my difference.

I remember approaching writing as something that wasn’t mine; like I could never write something beautiful like Robert Frost, terrifying like Poe, or hilarious like Sedaris. It was something I didn’t feel I could fully grasp because more times than not my words stopped midway through a sentence and my ideas were like the jumbled mess of clothes on my bedroom floor after I do laundry.  Middle school me retreated into herself and cliché-ly compared pillows to the likeness of clouds and the blueness of the girl’s eyes to the shimmering ocean.

None of this has told you explicitly how I write which is what it was supposed to do. To be quite honest when I wrote this I didn’t know where I was going with it and I didn’t care that I wasn’t directly following the prompt. It wasn’t until someone else had read it and told me their interpretation of how I write that I knew this was how I did it.

When I write, I strive for the difference I wasn’t able to achieve with that initial wagon.

Saying something new and exciting, something no one else has said before invigorates me. I have this crazy idea in my head that maybe someday my writing will change someone; make them feel something. When I sit down to put words on paper, no matter if it’s for a class or my column, I remember that sad red wagon that I didn’t give the chance at a life.

So every time I sit down to put word on paper I always remember that everything to come out of my mind into fruition has potential to change someone’s mind.

That is how I write; with purpose.

And I’ve resolved to never take a chance away from that poor little sixth grade wagon again.