Thursday, March 31, 2016

Journal 5 from Mika

Journal 5
The most important and educational idea I noticed in this chapter was the idea of "Telling the truth" in creative nonfiction. The section of the chapter that discussed "what the truth is" was interesting because it was honest when describing 'truth" in writing. This paragraph acknowledged that memory Isn't always exact by saying "Memory is selective" (Starkey, 181). Over time, our minds can slightly or significantly alter our memory, exaggerating or downplaying certain details of events. Although memory isn't always the most accurate, we often have to trust it when writing personal experiences in creative nonfiction. Telling the truth in writing is often difficult or painful for the writer, however, raw, honest, ideas and events often make for the best writing material. In this chapter, Laurie Lynn Daimond explains this by stating, "Tell the truth, even if it makes you wince" which is surprisingly good advice for writers.

I found the essay I liked on The first think I noticed about this essay was the unusual title, Sin. The author used a lot of comparisons in this essay. I really liked that the author included a lot of nature and country aspects of life in his essay. It also kind of includes a flashback because he describes attending church as a kid. He set a field on fire, starting with some hay, then lied to cover it up. He also stole matches to start the fire. I think he considered his lying and theft more of a sin than the actual arson. 

Writing Exercise 9

The King's Head pub in Galway, Ireland


Imagine yourself stuck in a box. There’s no room to move, you’re just pressed into the corner and forced to watch the world through the glass walls. But the people watch you, too. Closely. Every time someone looks at you, cowering in the corner of your glass coffin, it’s like the oxygen is sucked out from your little space, and you suffocate. 
That’s what social anxiety feels like to me. 
I never really understood that I had social anxiety until the day I arrived at the Columbus Airport, suitcase in tow and Ireland brochure clutched in my hand and damp from a nervous sweat. The jitters of traveling to another country were present, of course, but it wasn’t the cause of the shaking hands. I told no one; I refused to let my fear ruin the trip for me. It tried its best, the fear, to take over my body and render me immobile in the plane, at the hotel, and in the back of our coach, but I pushed through. I dug my heels into the Irish soil and told myself to suck it up, because I was in the one country I had always dreamt of visiting. I hardly ever sat still long enough to let my mind wonder about what in this new place could cause me harm, but when the shakes did set in, or my palms started to feel slick with nervous sweat, or my heart started to pound in my ears, I would just clench my fists and tell myself to suck it up, because I was in Ireland, damn it, and there was no way I would let my insecurities mess it up. 
One of my biggest battles occurred while we were in the city of Galway, a bustling city full of art and music. It was one of the cities I was dying to visit. However, being the art capital of the country, it was incredibly crowded. After a rushed tour through the city, led by our lovely mother-hen of a tour guide, we returned to the lavish hotel I was to call home for the night. The thing about this trip was that, since there were so many of us, we were divided into subgroups, with four in each group. One of the girls in my group decided that she wanted to go out for the night, and the other girls didn’t want to go with her, so I didn’t have a choice; I had to go. I managed to rope the girl who was to be my roommate for the entire trip into going with us. The three of us crammed into the taxi, and we were dropped off in the middle of the city square. It was dark, and pub lights cast a homey glow over the cobblestone walks and splashed their yellow warmth onto the walls of the nearby buildings. Led by the girl from my group, we wandered our way down the dark street. I felt my stomach doing flip-flops whenever we passed an alley, or left the safety of the lights from the bars. We came to one of the oldest taverns in the city, The King’s Head, and that’s where our night began. 
I’m no social butterfly, but the girls I was with? You could literally see their wings, they were so social. It didn’t take them long to draw the attention of an Irishman or two and launch into a laughter-infused conversation. I, on the other hand, sipped my drink in the back of the pub, pressed against a wall, furthest from the band, directly behind a table full of bachelors. Immediately, I regretted my decision to leave the warmth of the hotel. I could have just visited the bar down there, rather than throw myself into the loud, beer-spilled mess that was The King’s Head. I had to take a swig of my beer and remind myself that it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I would be okay. I just had to make it through the night. 
And make it through the night, I did. A couple beers into my adventure into Irish nightlife, I found myself talking to one of the more approachable men from the table in front of me. Midnight came and went, one passed us by, and by two a.m. I hadn’t realized that I was feeling fine. There was no shaking, no sweating, just laughter and something that resembled comfort. I had never in my life felt so relaxed around strangers. There was only me and my happiness knowing I was living a dream come true. 

Essay from Lee Gutkind mentioned in our Chapter. From Mike Lohre

Lee Gutkind, born 1945, in an American writer, speaker, and literacy innovation.  He is the founder of the literacy mag Creative Nonfiction and started the first ever MFA program in creative nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh.

Likely the biggest name to know in creative non-fiction, Lee Gutkind has written and edited many of the genre's best examples.  His essay, "The Creative Non-Fiction Police?" gets to the heart of the differences and challenges inherent in writing creative essays.  Here's the link for you to read:

Journal 5 - Mickey Pfarr

I think that the most interesting bit I've read thus far has to be the creative aspects of creative non-fiction in general. I've always thought of it was dry and tedious, but it can actually have a rhythm, a tone, and a specific style. Non-fiction can be pretty, and although I knew a lot of the creative aspects already, it's like a refreshing slap to my face saying, "Hey, don't just write what people want to hear. Write what you feel, too."

I've picked the essay "On Coming Undone" by Siri Steiner. This essay is jam-packed full of gross information on what happens inside and on a body as it decomposes, but it's not gross at the same time. She starts off by introducing herself as a little girl, wondering about death, and then goes to explain the life that's born from it. In a morbid way, it's actually quite beautiful. I hate bugs, especially the gross kind that come from decomposing flesh, but the way she writes it is descriptive in a very pretty way. My favorite bit has to be the dialogue, though, between her and her mother about death. Have a read!

Journal 5- Sam

Part One: In this chapter, I thought that one of the most important aspects of writing non-fiction was to be ethical with your writing. It's very important to be accurate, but not put others on blast. I don't think any writer wants a lawsuit on their hands. For a class piece, the issue isn't super serious because it may just get you into trouble with a friend. However, if you plan to publish, the writer may have to decide what can be left out. I thought it was really interesting and challenging because the writer has to be truthful, but they have to make sure they don't cross a line with someone else. "the accuracy of your reporting is an issue, and the more the people you are writing about have at stake, the more you are bound to a truth that all (or most) reasonable parties can agree upon," (198). The writer has to make sure that they are ethical with their writing while still remaining honest about the events.

Part Two:  I read the story "Man on the Tracks" by Erika Anderson. This is a story about a man in New York who us standing on train tracks in a busy subway. The narrator tells the rrader all of the manynthings you could do in that situation, but shows what you end up not doing. Two men try to talk to the man, then try to lift him but hes too heavy. The narrator tries tonhelp, but remembers they can barely carry groceries. They finally get the man onto the platform just before the train arrives.  As the rest of the people start to get on, the man starts yelling "train." He tries to get on, but the narrator stops him and tells him he cant getnon. After the weird encounter, the narrator feels like they have to tell everyone. The people only ask a few questions before losing interest and changing the subject. I thought it was really interesting how the author putbthe reader into the story. It makes you wonder what you would do in that situation. I also liked the style and format. "I tell..." "They say..." I liked the parallels of the last paragraph, and it helped keep track of the conversation. I wanted to know more though.  What happened to him? Why was he yelling "train"? Why did the narrator tell him he couldnt get on? I liked the story, but I was left with more questions than answers.

Exercise 9 Mika


Every year, during the summer, I go to the Marion County Fair. I always have so much
fun there with my friends. I have certain foods I especially look forward to. It’s hard to not spend money when your walking through a hazy world of popcorn, Stromboli, lemonade, and deep fried Oreos. I’m fond of some of the more unusual fare, though, gator meat, lamb gyros, and deep fried cheesecake are among my favorites. The midway games are fun too. I try to win a bunny every year too, but always seem to fail but never learn my lesson until I’ve spent ten or twenty dollars. The fireworks are usually the best part, though. Usually, I manage to find good seats to watch them from. One year, I even got to watch them from a tank because I had friends there who were in the military.
Last year, the fair was extra special because I spent it with my friend, Hope. We spent a lot of time together that summer because she taught me how to ride horses. So, I spent the week of the fair with her and her other friends who all owned horses. I will always remember getting kicked in the knee last year by a baby pony. I think she was just scared. It wasn’t a big deal, though, because the she was only about the size of a dog. I took this picture on the fourth of July with Prancer, the horse I learned to ride on. Earlier in the day I watched Hope do some 4H competitions with him. One was a costume contest. Hope dressed up as Pebbles from the Flintstones. Afterwards, I helped Hope spray him down and brush his hair. It was one of the most memorable fair weeks ever.

Journal 5- Morgan DeWitt

Part one: I learned the most about creative nonfiction from the "Telling the Truth" section. When we first starting writing and reading about creative nonfiction I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around how nonfiction writing and creative writing could coexist. "Telling the Truth had a lot of good quotes that helped me understand the subject and inspired me to write the two stories we did. One of my favorite quotes was from Joan Didion, "Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing." I really liked this because I pictured myself writing a true story and then later incorporating research to better the story. Separating the two things and bring them together in unison really helped me

Part two:  The story I read was called The Library as a Story. Here's the link:

The Library as a Story was about the evolving world of books and bookstores. I felt a personal connection with this story because I absolute love the smell, the touch, and the heartiness of a real book. I am not one to read a novel or a textbook off of a laptop or a tablet device.

The story offered a lot of good imagery in the beginning that I enjoyed, "One Sunday night in 2006, I saw a yuppie parked in her sport utility vehicle outside my village library. Lit by the dim light of her laptop propped against the steering wheel, she was using the library's wireless network- before Monday morning deadlines at the office, I guessed. The library that never closed was being born."

This was one of my favorite lines in the whole story, the ending especially hit home.

I also admired the research he did on all the different mediums you can find literature on and how.

I would definitely suggest this read if you appreciate real books. 
One Sunday night in 2006, I saw a yuppie parked in her sport utility vehicle outside my village library. Lit by the dim light of her laptop propped against the steering wheel, she was using the library’s wireless network—before Monday morning deadlines at the office, I guessed. The library that never closed was being born - See more at:
One Sunday night in 2006, I saw a yuppie parked in her sport utility vehicle outside my village library. Lit by the dim light of her laptop propped against the steering wheel, she was using the library’s wireless network—before Monday morning deadlines at the office, I guessed. The library that never closed was being born - See more at:
One Sunday night in 2006, I saw a yuppie parked in her sport utility vehicle outside my village library. Lit by the dim light of her laptop propped against the steering wheel, she was using the library’s wireless network—before Monday morning deadlines at the office, I guessed. The library that never closed was being born - See more at:

Journal 5 Jeremiah

1 The most important aspect of creative nonfiction that appears in fiction yet is forgotten in traditional nonfiction, is the use of imagery. When writing a poem or fiction, writers use their imaginations, imagery seems to come naturally. When writing non-fiction, the details and their accuracy seem to override our need for entertainment, and scenes that can be described in a way that inspires are depicted as pure, precise, plebeian facts. We find ourselves talking about how cheetahs can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds, when we should be talking about how only 77 cars have been able to accelerate faster than a cheetah, and that the cheetah, unlike the cars, can slow down nearly as fast. Not to mention, that a cheetah doesn't make enough noise to scare away every animal for miles. Imagining a race between a super car and a cheetah makes a clear depiction of how much quicker a cheetah is than it is fast. Imagery is probably the biggest difference between boring and creative non-fiction writing.

2 I enjoyed "Two on Two" by Brian Doyle 
This essay focuses on Basketball, which I can relate to because I played basketball in high school. I could tell it was about basketball from the very first sentence, where he uses a lot of jargon that someone who hasn't played would like not know, but a basketball player or fan would recognize, and instantly be able to relate to. He talks about all of the different kinds of people he played with, describing some of the memorable ones. The poem continues to do this until he talks about how he quit because of his injury. Then he fast forwards and talks about how he got married and had three kids. He then describes how he played two on two basketball with his kids, and how happy he is. I liked how he slowed down time to describe every detail. In basketball, even the worst players notice at least five things at once. To be able to even think what they are in your own head would take about three times the amount of time a player has to react to what they see and hear. Slowing down time is necessary to talk about real basketball. Using this technique to talk about his two on two match with his kids is a great technique, especially with the circumstances. There is one thing I hated about this essay however. There is nearly no punctuation. Commas are all but absent. they're placed only where it would be appropriate to put periods. Reading off his lists in the beginning is especially confounding.

Exercise 9 from Andrea

                                                          The Years I'll Never Forget
                                                                Andrea Daily
Swimming has always been a huge part of my life. I think everyone has a passion for something and for me that was swimming. I was never a fan of high school, so swimming is the one thing I looked forward to after school. I loved how I could hear the screams of people cheering and the minute I went underwater it all disappeared as if it was just me and the water and no one else. It's not all about swimming back and forth and racing though. Although I did love that part, it was the people that really made it fun and enjoyable. The picture shown above is from a districts swim meet in 2015. If it weren't for those three people standing beside me I would never have made it through ten years of swimming. They always supported me and motivated me to do my best. Every swim meet in high school all four of us swam in the 400 freestyle relay, which means each person swims a total of 4 laps. Every time I would hear, "Go Andrea!" "Kick!" "Swim faster!" it motivated me to push as hard as I could through the water. That was the last swim meet all four of us swam together. It was a very emotional day and I think all of us shed a couple tears. It was also one of our best meets we ever had. Every single one of us dropped at least three seconds and we missed the record by two seconds! In such a short race it's very difficult to even drop a second, so I was very proud of all of us. It was a day none of us will ever forget.
When swimming ended, I wasn't sure how I would survive without my teammates. We began to drift apart and didn't hang out as much as we did during the swim season. In the summer I began to reconnect with my teammates when I started working at the local outdoor pool in my town. It brought back great memories of my swimming years and I felt like I was reliving a part of my days when I was swimming. Every summer I work at the same pool and catch up with all of my old teammates and it always makes me appreciate the great times I had with them.

Exercise 9- Sam

October 31st

Halloween. A time to laugh with friends over silly costumes and eat various candies until our teeth rot away. From the youngest of ages that my memory allows, I remember always loving this holiday. The scary movies that made my blood run cold as I could feel the eyes that weren’t actually there on my back. Running into my parent’s room at midnight because the “Friday the 13th” marathon that was playing on AMC had chilled me to the bone. I still see Freddy Krueger’s face in my nightmares. I loved walking around my small town on Halloween as I filled my bag to the brim with sour candy, chocolate, and popcorn balls. Feeling the night air shift as the sun went down, I would blow out to see my foggy breath. Trick-or-treating was always so much fun. I loved seeing the reactions from babies as I wore my scariest, monster mask. The elderly people would laugh and tell me how cute my witch costume was. I wore that costume for four years straight. I still remember the lady who told me I was too old to be trick-or-treating and how my dreams were crushed. The next year I refused to put on a costume.

            Once high school came around, I was invited to my very first Halloween party. My friend in band was having everyone over to her house for games and a costume contest. Finally! I can dress up and enjoy Halloween again! My friends and I were excited to get together outside of the dreary concrete walls of our school. Now the hardest task was weighing down on my shoulders. What should I wear? I went back and forth through potential outfits, but I knew it had to be something spectacular so that I would win the costume contest. My family and I went to the Halloween store in my desperate search. It didn’t take me long before I found the perfect one. “Napoleon Dynamite” was, and still is to this day, one of my favorite movies. I can’t explain why, but I love the ridiculousness of the whole film. Napoleon’s wig and glasses were included in the package, I just had to provide the shirt that said Vote for Pedro. I had to make my own with sharpies and one of my dad’s old shirts, so the quality was a little off.

            When it came time for the party, my mom dropped me off in front of the house. Mackenzie was dressed as an angel, Julia was the Wicked Witch, and Sarah was Nicki Minaj. Now, I loved my friends, but my costume was obviously the winner here. We took pictures and I recreated some of the classic Napoleon lines. “Tina you fat lard, come eat your dinner.” “My favorite animal is a liger.” The people at the party were eating it up! I have this competition in the bag. Finally, it came time to announce the winner of the contest. My palms started to sweat and my knees began to shake. I was ready to claim my prize. And the winner is…Nick as Neo from The Matrix! I was furious! How could Nick have won? All he did was wear a cape and sunglasses. He didn’t even commit! I couldn’t look at Nick for the rest of the night without blind hatred filling my eyes. Sure, it was a bit melodramatic, but I felt jaded. He even came to the party late and ended up winning MY title. My friends said it was a rip off and reassured me that my costume was superior. Eventually I had to bite my tongue and enjoy the night. We roasted marshmallows by the fire and made the gooiest s’mores known to man. We bobbed for apples and my wig got soaked. When my mom picked me up, she asked me how it went and if I had won. With arms crossed, I looked out the window and scowled, “I don’t want to talk about it.” 

Nicki Minaj and Napoleon Dynamite: Paparazzi Shot
Word Count: 674

Writing Exercise 9- Morgan DeWitt