My first Draft E-port

After spending around 3 hrs searching for a photo for my E-port, I finally found one that will also provide me with a good theme. It’s a picture of a bicycle, parked on a rocky shore overlooking the straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac bridge. It will work great because I can tie in a theme of discovery, meaning that I’ve spent a lot of time in the Minor in Writing trying to discover what drives me to be a writer.

Another reason it works great is because it allows me to tie in a little bit of Mackinac Island theme as well, which originally was my plan. I’ve spent a lot of time there and I was thinking that I would describe how the island captures my imagination, which ties into the creativity element that I really enjoy when it comes to writing.

Although I really do like my new E-port, I am still also considering using my old E-port and just transferring in the new artifacts and doing some new reflective writing. I’ve received some feedback that the newer one looks better and more professional. For that reason, I will probably stick with it, but I am very open to more feedback if you want to check out both links below and tell me which one you like more.

I feel that the newer theme easier to understand and navigate. It also incorporates somewhat of a nature theme, which I think would work well for future jobs I may apply for, since I would like to do environmental communications.

Here is the new theme: http://begerp.wix.com/capfoliobeger

Here is the old theme: http://begerp.wix.com/patrick-beger

Mapping My Eportfolio

I have came up with a somewhat odd but hopefully intriguing idea for my E-portfolio. I’m not sure if it will work.

I really love Mackinac Island. I have been going there since I was a kid so it holds a level of magic and nostalgia for me. But it also captures my imagination as if it is a magical place that only exists in my mind. So I thought it would be interesting to tell the story of my writing through different places on Mackinac Island that I have visited. For example, I could use the Grand Hotel as my representation of my writing in the Minor in Writing. I could explain that it allowed me to write with the most amount of freedom and creativity, so I value it the most. This is represented in the Grand Hotel for me as well because…

I’m not sure if the idea will work, but here is my Eportfolio mapped out on paper using that theme:

Eportfolio Map

Mapping My Project On A Timeline: Mini-Assignment

I am thankful this is a mini-assignment because it felt necessary to make a timeline for the fiction short-story I am writing. It is titled “Turn of the Century,” and it is essentially my prediction of what could go down in the future. The story is based in the future, the year 2098 to be exact, and it follows the main character Elizabeth Raya, who formerly worked for a scientific research agency until she quit her job to investigate UFO’s. She learns that there seems to be a connection between UFOs and the natural disasters that occur almost regularly on earth due to climate change. But this isn’t a description of the story, it’s a description of the timeline which I have posted below (you may not be able to read my small, not-so-legible handwriting).

 

Turn of the Century Timeline

 

This will be beneficial as I continue to write the story since I can use it to add pieces of information that I think should be included in different points on the timeline. This will help me to plan how these important pieces of info should be woven into the plot and where would be good places to plant “clues.”

The numbers roughly correspond to the number of chapters I predict this short story would have, but it is also possible that there will be no chapters.

If so, the first chapter will essentially introduce the characters and some of the conflict. It will introduce the main character Elizabeth Raya and her current boyfriend Jawanza Wright. We will quickly learn of Elizabeth’s job working with a prestigious governmental science research agency. At the end of the first chapter, the UFO phenomenon will be introduced which will spark Liz’s curiosity.

The second chapter will build tension of the UFOs until it reaches a critical point when a major UFO event occurs and creates news across the world. Liz will soon began to investigate UFOs for herself in her free time, until chapter 3, where she decides to quit her job to research UFOs professionally.

The story will continue to build tension as she investigates UFOs, but first returns home to Mexico to be with her family. That is where I may include a new, small subplot. Finally, near chapter 6, Liz will be introduced to a government official who informs her that the UFOs are indeed alien, which pushes the story into somewhat scary territory.

As she develops a new relationship with the government official, they learn that a world meeting is taking place to talk about the global warming disaster and some people believe the aliens will be there.

That marks the climax of the story of chapter 8, as they both find a way into the meeting. Liz will actually see the aliens and learn of their plan with humanity. The final chapter will describe how the world has been effected and how Liz’s new job is to introduce aliens into society successfully.

I recommend for people writing fiction to make a timeline early on, because it will definitely help with writers block as you won’t have to keep running into dead ends within story. The timeline will always keep you on track.

Turn of the Century – My Pitch Letter

I am quite proud of this pitch letter and it actually inspired more interest in me to write this story. I’m looking forward to finally starting this project and am happy I chose it. Here’s the pitch letter:

Turn of the Century

Pitch Letter

Consider this… The media has successfully made many citizens doubt the reality of global warming due to the way it is presented in media, though scientists nearly unanimously agree it is real. If the media can make us doubt something so real, imagine what they could do with a subject that already seems like a joke to everyday society. A subject like UFOs…

Imagine the year is 2098, and global warming has scared developed countries to use much more green technology, but the climate is still in a tail-spin of natural disasters. As people around the world are now well aware that the climate has been impacted by humans, there is a feeling of doom looming over humanity as they struggle to solve the problem. Meanwhile, people are beginning to take notice of the ever-more frequent UFO sightings that have been occurring near natural disaster sites. It begins to spark a media firestorm of coverage. That is when environmental scientist Elizabeth Raya quits her job to begin working with an agency within the UN that investigates UFOs. The more she learns of these sightings, the more she discovers the long history surrounding them. After another large Tsunami hits the Caribbean, Elizabeth learns that a team of the best scientists and world governments are planning to gather to discuss a new solution to global warming… working with an alien species.

  • How would something like this impact humanity?
  • How would people react if governments around the world had to announce to citizens that aliens from another planet are working with us to save the planet?
  • WHY are they helping!?

That is exactly what my new short story will bring to light, in a frighteningly realistic way. It will be approximately 30 to 50 pages long, and will easily be a shorter rendition of a potential novel. The audience that I thought this type of work would be geared toward is high school to middle-aged liberal minded artists, due to their creative mind and openness to new ideas. However it also has potential to capture the interests of environmentalists and scientists.

Audiences are going to eat this story up because of the new perspective it takes on an ‘alien narrative’ in a way that seems very real and possible. This story is actually a representation of what I legitimately consider to be a possibility in the future, after I have spent many years being interested-in and investigating the UFO phenomenon.

The project is not intended to include any graphics, but perhaps a few sketches or digital representations of certain aspects of the story may be included.

This short story will come at a great time in the world of literature, when creative science “non-fiction” and fictional stories that incorporate realistic elements such as the Dan Brown novels (who I will use as a key model) continue to capture the interest of readers. Secondly, there is a heightened attention on the science community right now as global warming continues to be an issue. In combination with my database of UFO knowledge, interest in climate change and activism, and my desire to tell my first fiction story, I believe this project will prove to be an engaging success for readers and myself.

 

Making Another Writer’s Decisions

As the prompt suggested, I feel like helping Carly come up with ideas for her project in turn helped me generate some of my own. We were both on the same page before the brainstorming process began; we didn’t fully understand the assignment 🙂 But we decided to spitball some ideas starting with what we are already interested in and the ball kept rolling from there. I did not however, come up with a specific list of things for Carly to try; I mostly just threw idea darts into the air after learning some of her interests, and I found that some of them stuck and some of them did not. I thought that this process worked pretty well for us, because it allowed the other person to come up with ideas that the other may not have thought of.

For instance, Carly mentioned that she loved Eminem growing-up and could quote every single one of his lyrics. I found this interesting since I also love music, and we came up with the idea that she should try writing song lyrics as if she was writing an album. After reading her post, I see that she is excited for that idea and has come up with many more interesting ideas branching off of that as well.

Carly did the same for me by asking questions about my interests and then threw some ideas into the air. From our brainstorming session, we came up with a number of good ideas that I know I will have trouble choosing between now. Some of them are:

  • A fictional book about a government official who learns that aliens visit earth and then tires to uncover more details
  • A stand up comedy routine
  • Sit-com script
  • Organize a concert that raises money for sustainable farming and make a documentary about it
  • Make a documentary about recent graduates who chose to pursue something other than their degree field
  • Finally a documentary about artists who have been struggling for years and how they cope with life / what they’ve learned.

As of right now, I am most interested in the first and last idea on this list. If it were not for Carly, I may not have considered the documentary idea that would follow struggling artists which I have a lot of interest in.

Based on this experience, I would maybe change my advice in the future by having my partner write down their interests and hobbies, and then I could come up with a bunch of related project ideas. However, I actually think that our natural conversation and the interest we showed in helping each other could not have been more productive. This experience taught me to consider obscure ideas and to get another person’s point of view whenever possible because their unique perspective can be instantly more valuable than many hours of thinking something through myself.

 

Detroit City Is The Place To Be

A while back, I went to a presentation by a writer who works for Rolling Stone and recently wrote a book about Detroit, which is the title of this post. It was a recommended event to go to for gamefication points which I never ended up actually writing about… So what better time than now!

The writer was interesting because he was relatively young and knew A LOT about Detroit. The book is a non-fiction I think, that includes interviews of people living in the city. It also talks about some of the history of detroit, how it came to be the way it is, and what makes it unique from other cities. Most of it though, covers what life is like in Detroit now, and how there is so much opportunity on the horizon (which could end up being good or bad).

He mentioned how a once famous baseball diamond was being used by kids in a park now and is totally overgrown, how the police rarely show up in some neighborhoods, and even how some citizens are growing their own food and organizing their own community groups to help support each other. Hearing him talk almost sounded like he was describing the post-apocolypse. But the premise of the book is all about opportunity, and how the long standing history of Detroit makes it a much more interesting place to be compared to a city that is more corporate built and ignores community.

Anyway, I ended up buying a copy for my grandparents since they have lived in Detroit and surrounding areas for nearly their entire life. I might get around to reading it too on break and think it would be worth while for anyone who is interested in Detroit.

Lyric Analysis??

I’ve been meaning to blog about this idea for most of the semester, and now thats its crunch time I remembered! It has to do with my interest in music lyrics. First off, I play music and I write songs, so I find the idea of lyric writing very interesting. Some things I’ve noticed are, there really is no full proof, great method for writing lyrics. People have been doing it differently for years. And another thing is, some great songs don’t really have good lyrics. Now what I mean by good lyrics is hard to define, and I don’t mean some high in the sky amazing poem with tons of metaphors. Even LMFAO could be considered good lyricists in my book.

But some songs have such simple lyrics, with very little coherence that it almost sounds like a young child wrote it.. But the song is good! So in some ways lyrics aren’t that important, as long as they capture the mood of the song and have a good melody. But then I think , well if lyrics are so easy to write, why do I have such a hard time writing them? And why do some songs sound good when sung, but lyrically they are meaningless? These questions are what started my interest in reading tons of song lyrics by relatively well known artists as well as some I’ve never heard of.

A lot of times people will say, “write what is real and true to you,” but it seems that is not even close to enough advise. What’s interesting is that some songs are catchy, but lyrically fail (ex: Friday, by Rebecca Black). That is a clear example of bad song writing. Whether that was the goal or not, people laugh at the song because of the lyrics. But if they are true life lyrics for Rebecca Black, than wouldn’t that relate to a lot of people? Anyway I could rant on this for hours, but maybe next time you like a song, try looking up the lyrics. Try to forget what the melody is and just read it. You may find it surprising how simple or odd some lyrics are when you aren’t listening to the song.

E-portfolio showcase

I was able to catch the very end of the e-portfolio presentations, with just enough time to present mine. To be fair, I thought the presentations would go until 1, but I’m still glad I came (the jimmy johns, chips and juice was nice). I wish I would have been able to come sooner to see everyone’s portfolio’s, because from what I have seen in this blog, I can’t believe how cool some of them are. I’m very impressed by those who wrote their own code, and even those who designed their site really well through any of the other host sites. I will definitely learn from some of the creative designs and will most likely try to improve mine in the future (or change it all together).

I especially like some of the designs that include a really simple homepage (a large photo background, with name and a small introduction as the only writing). I hope to simplify mine more in the future and possibly try out a similar layout.

A Brief Course Reflection

I will admit that when I started this course, I expected to turn in about 4 papers and do some simple blogging for assignments. But each project ended up catching me by surprise and pushing my writing and overall ability to handle a new task more than any of my other classes. Looking back I am very happy with what I accomplished and am proud of myself for being able to handle it all.

After we read some example “Why I Write”‘s, I thought I would be able to whip that out easily, but I ended up being caught off guard by how much more difficult the question became to me. I actually did have to ask myself why I signed up for this, why I like it, and why not anything else? So that assignment started the chain of surprises.

I am tying to decide which project was my favorite right now, and I’m going to go with the Repurposing, mainly because I am most pleased with that result. Looking back, I’m really thankful for the topic I chose because if I would have went with a grant proposal I think I would have been beating my head against a wall by the time it was E-portfolio time. But since I chose to write about Pop music, I feel more satisfied with my result. My repurposing project looks quite similar to my publication venue, Pitchfork.com, and I enjoyed the challenge of writing in that style.

Finally, I think what I will take away most (aside from the gained knowledge of writing in new styles) is that I can take on more than I thought I could, especially when it comes to taking on a new technology challenge. Although the challenges seemed difficult at times, I now feel more confident in my writing ability as well as myself, in general.

 

My E-Portfolio

Clever title huh? My E-portfolio struggles are finally over and I will be honest and say I am pretty happy with the result. I say pretty because I debated between a couple different templates and I can still find room for improvement. But I like the final result because I included a lot of reflective writing and pictures (probably too many pictures) so whoever views the portfolio should get a strong sense of what I’m about. I am very thankful I chose to use Wix, and can safely say that was my best decision of the entire process. I’m sure for more advanced web designers that isn’t the go-to route. But for a complete beginner like myself, I can’t imagine it being any easier to use.

I think the design will be easy to navigate and hopefully the pictures will encourage some clicks. Overall, I’m most thankful for my knowledge of web designing that I never had before. That was the first time I ever ‘made’ a website, and at first the task seemed overwhelming. But now I could see myself using that skill in the future, and will no longer be afraid to jump head first into any real life “tech challenges.”

 

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