And We’re Off!

Seeing as how I had very little clarity about my Capstone project, any sort of activity or aid that might help spark some inspiration in my brain was more than welcome.  Receiving this assignment to browse the web for possible topic ideas proved to be just what I needed, as it helped me to hone in on areas that interested me, and on subjects that I definitely wanted to stay away from.

Initially, I was drawn to the broad headings of “Business,” “News & Current Events,” and “Social Sciences”.  Since a lot of my undergraduate career has revolved around social sciences and business, I would love to do a project that would actually benefit my professional goals, but that would still allow me to stretch my talents and learn new skills such as graphic design and Photoshop.  Because of this, I thought it might be interesting to do some sort of ad campaign for a new product or for, say, a new and upcoming musician at the University of Michigan.  Being able to work on something from start to finish that would be along the lines of what my career goals are could help me to test the waters and gain relevant experience.  I want to do something completely different from my gateway project, and this type of campaign could be just the thing.

Alternately, the anxiety that the headings like “Engineering” and “Government, Politics, and Law” gave me was sign enough that no project of mine would ever revolve around these fields.  Although I may not have entirely figured out my project through the rabbit hole search, I have definitely narrowed down the list and found glaring subjects to avoid.

Overall, through this process I have come to realize that I would like to stick with a subject area that is relevant to me and not do something completely random that will not be applicable or useful to me in the future.

Looking forward to seeing where the semester leads and what kinds of ideas everyone comes up with!

Roll The Windows Down, And Enjoy the Ride

On the first day of Writing 220 class, I remember the feeling of being in way over my head. We were asked to talk a little bit about our favorite books and our favorite authors, and my answer came up short. In all honesty, I am not much of a reader. When I was little, I was more interested in playing outside than sitting down and reading a book. That character trait has stayed with me into college, and I still do not devote much of my leisure time to books. Although reading was never a huge passion of mine, my love for writing has only grown over the years. I get bothered by the fact that there is an assumption that people become writers because they love to read; can’t I become a writer because I just love to write?

After getting home from class that night, I started doing some research about famous authors (embarrassing, I know), in case we were again asked about this topic in a future class. I wanted to be able to fit in and not admit the fact that I don’t devote much, if any of my free time to books. Looking back on this now, I am more mad at my past self for trying to morph into a stereotypical writer and fit in, than I am about the absence of novels on the shelf in my room.

So…

My advice to you, and to my future self is this:

Slow down, and enjoy the ride. Maybe even pick up an ice cream cone just because you can. Let the process happen to you, don’t try to make yourself fit the process. Although ‘you’ as a writer may not fit the mold of your peers or those who have come before you, you were accepted into this minor for a reason. You obviously have talent and a passion for the written word, so don’t let your differences make you feel inferior.

Celebrate the fact that you are different, and if you aren’t much of a reader either, hey, shout it out! Let your writing speak for itself, and enjoy the process of experiencing the minor. The air outside is nice, so roll those windows down and keep on driving.

Good Luck!

Abigail

A Whole Nother Blog Post

I feel ashamed and rather reluctant to admit it, but I am indeed what people classify as a Grammar Nazi.  There is an unparalleled joy that I receive from reading a piece of prose with flawless grammar, and also an unparalleled anger that bubbles inside of me when I spot an error in a published novel (I mean come on, these things go through rounds of editing, don’t they?).

That being said, I am not claiming perfection.  I know firsthand how easy it is to miss a typo or to forget a comma in a paper.  But, there are a few grammar flaws for which I show no mercy:

The use of ‘these ones’ and ‘those ones’ instead of ‘these’ or ‘those’

  • I must have inherited my hatred for these two phrases from my mother, seeing as this is her biggest pet peeve.  My skin crawls whenever I hear someone, especially a professional use the phrase because it in unnecessarily wordy and definitely not grammatically correct.  I once came across the phrase in a book and refused to read the rest (yeah, I’m that serious about it).

‘A whole nother’… what the heck is a ‘nother’? Another whole is more like it.

  • Just as I am typing out this blog post, that irritating red squiggly line has made its mark beneath the word that I hesitate to type again.  “Nother” is not, nor should it ever be, accepted by the dictionary.  It is not a quantifiable amount and it is most certainly not a recognized word in the English language.

On the other hand, I could go on and on about aspects of grammar that I love.  For the sake of your time and sanity, though, I will stick to just one. The comma.  I love the comma key more than any other key on the keyboard and more than any other character on the page.  Commas make writing sound like speaking, and that is why I appreciate their presence so much.  They may be small, but their presence is significant.  You, comma, will always hold a special place in my heart.

“Say What You Need To Say”- John Mayer

For my repurposing project, I am taking inspiration from a note I found tucked in a textbook of mine one day reading, “Did you know that I love you?”  This small piece of paper with seven short words struck me in a way that no text message or email of the same length could do.  Because of the tangibility of the note and the rarity of such things in the highly technological world we now live in, I wanted to create a space in which small messages like could be preserved and celebrated.

When setting out on my research journey, I first turned to the one source that immediately inhabited my mind when thinking about the project: Postsecret.  I am sure most of you know what this site is, but in case you don’t, here it is: Postsecret is a website which accepts submissions of post cards with messages written on them.  These messages cover everything, literally ranging from confessions about pooping to confessions of suicide attempts. Images of these post cards are then pasted on the screen of the website for viewers to scroll through.  Here is a link if you are curious to see more.

While Postsecret is the site I found myself browsing originally, I later found another site with a similar idea that was more along the lines of my goals for my project.  This site is called Cardboard Love. This one utilizes small pieces of cardboard for the medium of the message, and again accepts submissions of notes that people intend for another person.   This site gave me a lot of encouragement that other projects like this could exist on the web, because I thought Postsecret had the market on the web and no other similar sites would be able to thrive.  

While my research has only just begun, I am confident of my path after finding sites like these.  And if you have a burning message that you just need to have published ASAP, keep your eyes peeled and I’ll have you covered.

Could I Say ‘Happy’ Any More?

So, yesterday morning I woke up and had a revelation that life is just the best.  I didn’t need the Marimba ring tone to tell me it was time to get up, I woke up naturally to the brightness of sunlight streaming into my room.  That beautiful moment as well as the few days of sun we have been experiencing here in Ann Arbor (after seemingly endless gloom) have prompted me to reflect on other things in my life that just make me blissfully giddy.

I must preface this list with a disclaimer about me being moderately OCD.  This charter trait does not bother me, though, as organization is in fact one of the things I will never get sick of.  So here it goes: a list of things that make me perpetually happy, in a happily alphabetized list…

A good online shopping sale
Christmas (Which I consider being the months of November- February)
Costco Socks
Crafting (anything and everything)
Labeling (anything and everything)
Looking at funny pictures of babies
Michigan Basketball winning
Minnie Mouse
Molten Lava Cake
Pastel Clothing
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Roomie Kylie (special shout out for helping me brainstorm this list)
Shirley Temples with extra cherries
Wilkins family ‘make your own pizza’ nights

While the point of this post may be unclear, it made me happy to write.  School is not always fun, but I have my list of sure-fire ways to make it better.  So when the sun hides itself from campus for another indefinite period, I’ll just go browsing for some more baby memes.  It might be something small, but hey, at least it makes me h.a.p.p.y.

baby toes
Courtesy of funnymisfit.com

 

 

 

 

Writing is.

Writing is a friend that never bails on you,

a hug of warm air on a summer day,

and a shiny new pair of nude patent heels

WRITING IS RELEASE

Writing is a backstabber,

a dark cloud that looms over your head,

your worn-down soles after walking too long in old tennis shoes

WRITING IS A HANDCRAMP

We are undeniably handcuffed to writing,

possessing a key that is far out of sight.

Writing is our fuel. It is undeniable.

IT IS LIFE

HOLA PEDRO!

Abigail, never Abbey, Wilkins is an aspiring writer with only a mostly-empty composition notebook to prove it (hey, it doesn’t say entirely empty).  In her spare time, Abigail enjoys reading baking and crafting books, singing ballads, and silently stalking social media.  She believes that sunglasses are an underappreciated and essential accessory to the daily wardrobe.  In the future, Abigail hopes to take a trip to Australia, create her own Crayola crayon color, and discover a flavor of macaroon that she actually enjoys.

Stay tuned.

IMG_6434
Abnormally large picture of myself