The idea that struck me the most was the memory that Hugo shared on page 79 when he talks about dropping his gun on accident in the plaza square. As someone who has never been touched by war, I can't possibly relate to how those Italians felt during the war, but at the same time, I can get an understanding. To an American kid, a gun could be fascinating and you would want to see more of it to understand it. But to those Italian kids, that gun meant war and pain. It was a cruel reminder of the world they lived in and how hard things were for them. Hugo hadn't meant to drop the gun, but when he did, he had cleared that small plaza almost instantly. It's funny how something we Americans took for granted others couldn't and that's a lesson that gets repeated throughout history. It's a sad and depressing lesson, but one we don't seem to learn from.
In chapter 9, the idea that stood out the most to me was how Hugo used something like the eviction of The Admiral and his wife to write a poem (pg. 104). The idea behind Hugo's entire book is all about what triggers you and that's so very true. There are times where I am listening to a song and I start imagining a totally different story for that song with characters that I don't know the names of. I have used pieces of conversation to spark ideas and even feelings I get when I go somewhere to get an even better pool of ideas to pull from. Hugo goes on to say that no matter what job you take, nothing will modify or destroy the impulse you get to write (pg. 109). The idea I get from that is no matter where you are, if you have a passion to write, you should do it. There isn't anything holding you back, except yourself, and you are your own worst critic.
I really loved doing the workshops. It gave me a chance to get to know my classmates a little better and even catch a glimpse into the way their lives have been shaped with the language they provided. I really didn't like criticizing others work because I have been known to me "mean", but the workshop helped me with that and gave me an idea on how I can be more constructive.
I really enjoyed hearing everyone speak their poems aloud because it gave me a better sense as to what they were trying to convey in the poem. As someone who received praise, it was nice to know that my sense of humor isn't lost on others. I tend to have a very dry sense of humor and I think it's important that as a writer, you leave a little piece of yourself in your works. Hearing the criticism from everyone else was refreshing too. I wasn't honestly expecting to get the warm reception I did get, but I was ready for the criticism more. But the way they criticized my work wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I know I said that I have a thick skin when it comes to my writing, but there are still times where I get self-conscious and fear the "negativity" I will get. I'm fairly certain that's part of the human condition and there's nothing that can really change it. So I am hoping that with the workshops, I can ease up a little with my self-doubts and not worry so much as to how everyone will receive my work. As long as it's not too personal, I know that my thoughts and feelings will be understood and I hopefully won't need to elaborate too much on the meanings of things.
Word count: 640