Class Reflection by Colleen Thomas

Class Reflection

            I really have loved this Creative Writing class. I tried to take it in Junior High but there weren’t enough people taking the class so the class was canceled. I am really glad I had the opportunity to take it my senior year. I decided to take it because my family thinks I have a potential in writing. I also have a really hard time being creative and I thought that this class could help me to be more relaxed and less stressed when I write, so that I can write better. I have learned a lot throughout this semester in Creative Writing. I have other classes that I feel don’t really teach me anything but this one has been very beneficial. I enjoyed the variety of different types of writing that I learned about. Whenever we started a new unit that scared me or sounded boring, I would moan and grunt, but I usually ended up liking the section in the end.

            I feel like the projects we did were much better keepsakes than other writing assignments I have done. I really liked the memoir books and the newspaper. I am proud of the work I put into them and I want to keep them for a long time, to show my progress throughout the years. My favorite units were memoirs, newspaper, and poetry. I liked short story as well but it was a rough concept for me and I struggled. I didn’t like gothic horror fiction at all. That type of writing is hard for me to grasp and I’m really glad that I could choose whether I wanted to write a short story or a gothic horror. I would have had a really hard time if it had been required to write a gothic horror.

            I always felt like there was a great feeling of creativity in the classroom. I loved listening to and looking at my peers’ papers. I think that evaluating other people’s work is one of the best ways to learn. When we did the peer corrections, I learned a lot by criticizing and praising the work of others. I also have really liked the wordpress idea. Documenting a lot of my work on my own blog makes me feel like I have accomplished so much during this class and it makes me want to continue on with better writing. This class isn’t just about filling in the criteria of the class. It is about teaching students something that they can keep with them for the rest of their lives.

            This class has definitely expanded my view on the possibilities of writing. I now see different options for writing in my future. I am going to try to get into Creative Writing 2 so that I can work with other people who want to learn more in writing. When I think about the time spent in this class, I only think of it positively. I had fun but was still able to learn and grow in a variety of ways. No time was wasted and I am really glad that I took Creative Writing. It has overall been a wonderful use of my time. There were difficult times but the class mostly allowed me to think and brainstorm in ways that I never have before. I know that I have a lot more to learn in writing but this last semester has been a great start for me.

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Short Story and Gothic Horror Reflection

This is a reflection on the Gothic Horror and Short Story section in Creative Writing. I basically enjoyed short stories more than Gothic horrors but I learned many things from both.

Short Story and Gothic Horror Genre Reflection

When we first started this section of Creative Writing, I was not excited at all.  This unit was a lot harder for me than poetry was.  I feel like poetry is more natural for me.  Short stories require a lot of creativity and knowledge of how to write a story.  I had not heard many short stories before this unit, so this was a new experience for me.  I have heard some of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing at times before but have never liked his writing very much.  I had a great time exploring other kinds of writing, and finding a way of writing that I like.

I enjoyed looking for symbolism in books and films.  There are numerous symbols that can be found in every day things you see and read, if you just look for it.  Symbols add meaning to the stories, and I usually like the stories much more if I find symbolism in them.  Finding symbolism can also trigger a more developed connection between the reader and author.  I knew there was a lot of symbolism in “The Chronicles of Narnia” but I didn’t realize how much there was until I researched it and thought about it.  C.S. Lewis put a lot in there, just waiting for us to delve into it.

I don’t like Edgar Allen Poe very much.  I never have and I don’t know if I ever will.  I see why people like his writing, but it isn’t my favorite.  I would have liked this unit better if we hadn’t spent so much time learning about Poe’s type of writing.  I don’t think we spent enough time looking at other writing.  I also don’t feel like I received a very good background for short stories.  I wish we could have had more time to work on our short stories, and more time to evaluate other short stories.  I would have liked to read the stories in class, as well as watch them.  I believe that you can get a lot more out of reading, than you can out of watching.  The movies were interesting, but they didn’t help me to fully understand the writing.

Writing short stories takes a lot of work.  You need to keep the readers’ interest, as well as make sure that the story makes sense.  I realized that writing short stories is something I still really need to work on.  I know I have the potential to write in that way, but it will probably take me a lot more time and practice to get my short stories they way I want them.  I didn’t do this short story for the class very well because I didn’t have a strong idea of what to write the story about.  I know I could have done a better job if I had more experience, and understood how to make a really great short story.  I can tell if a story I read is good, but putting my thoughts into writing, and trying to use the same effective ways of writing is quite different.  This has been an interesting unit, but I do feel like we started and then it was over with before I could get a grasp for the whole idea.

Faulkner vs. Hemingway by Colleen Thomas

Here is my Faulkner vs. Hemingway assignment. It was a little bit challenging to try to write like authors who write so extremely different but it was still fun to experience writing on opposite sides of the scale.

Faulkner vs. Hemingway

As a child, I spent most of my time in a meadow by my house. There was one particular summer day that I will always remember. I woke up with my heart beating fast. As usual, I leapt down the stairs for breakfast, and since there were no chores to be done, I gathered a few snacks and sped out of the house as quickly as I could. I ran across the bridge, tore through the bushes and trees, and then silently peaked through the bushes to the clearing ahead before I scampered in with an anxious tingling. On this day, I had brought some books to read. I lied down on a blanket and started to read of the adventures in far away lands. All was normal until the afternoon. I had eaten my lunch and was gazing upward when I saw something that to this day is hard for me to believe. I then had an adventure that astounded me and when I rushed home to tell my mother for supper, she smiled as she was cooking and said, “Oh really, Jimmy?” I know now that she didn’t believe me and I doubt that anyone ever will but it was an experience I will always remember as the day I met the fairy.

Faulkner

As a child, he spent a great deal of his team in the cryptic meadow near his house. During this particular summer day, he woke up with his heart beating like a drum sounding the news of victory. He leapt down the stairs, full of hopes and desires. His mother, a young woman though she looked older than her age because of her many labors, looked down at him knowingly and handed him his breakfast. She had kind eyes and an endearing sort of aura around her, which seemed to emanate from her, and sparkle around those who were near. Jimmy ate his nutritious meal with vivacity and anticipation. Since there were no chores to be done or duties to do for his mother, he was allowed a quest away from the house, as long as he returned home for supper. At this point, Jimmy took the place of a refugee as he quietly gathered all provisions for his long journey. He grabbed his special pack before filling it with his usual needs:  a compass, a watch, nuts, sandwiches, books, toys, and a blanket. When his mother was otherwise occupied, he tip-toed through the kitchen to the back door. Unable to contain his excitement, he threw open the screen door and sped off as fast as he could as the door slammed shut behind him. He ran along the cobble stone path to the rickety bridge over the creek. It had always been there and it had always been sturdy so he didn’t fear it now. He tore through the bushes and trees until he came to his very own clearing. It was his meadow. The very thought gave him an anxious tingling as he scampered into his secret world and began his own adventures. Jimmy walked around the clearing with an irrepressible anticipation. He took out his favorite blanket, a worn and tattered fragment of fabric but as important to him as bushels of gold, and he lied on it with a precious book of imagination grasped in his hands. My mind raced through the lives of characters in far away lands. As I lied on my blanket, gazing upward at the blue sky, thinking about all I had read, I saw something that to this day startles me and is hard for me to believe. I then had an adventure that astounded me and when I rushed home for supper, I could hardly contain my excitement. My mother was busy cooking and as I blurted out my experience, she said, “Oh really, Jimmy?” as she kept on working but she said it with as much interest as she would if I had said I found some dirt. I know that she didn’t believe me and I doubt that anyone I ever meet will believe me but I will always remember it as the day I met the fairy.

Hemingway

As a child, I spent a lot of time in a meadow by my house. There is one particular summer day that I will always remember. When I woke up, I had breakfast before going to the meadow. I ran there and began to read on a blanket when I got there. I read about adventures in far away lands. I had eaten my lunch and was looking at the sky, when I saw something that to this day is hard for me to believe. I then had an adventure. I ran home for supper and told my mom. She just said, “Oh really, Jimmy?” I could tell she didn’t believe me. I doubt that anyone ever will but I will always remember that day as the day I met the fairy.

Who I am like

I think that I write more like Hemingway, than I do like Faulkner. When I write, I add a little detail but not a lot. I have dislikes and likes of both authors. I feel like Faulkner gives too many details and I get lost in the sea of all the words. Hemingway is a lot easier to read but I feel like it’s sparse. I would rather read things that are more descriptively written. I think there should be a good balance between both types of writing. I don’t like the really long sentences in Faulkner’s writing. I am similar to Hemingway in writing, except I like a relative amount of description.

Newspaper Reflection by Colleen Thomas

Here is my reflection on the newspaper we did in Creative Writing. I was really overwhelmed with the newspaper assignment but I eventually got it all figured out and I actually enjoyed it.

Newspaper Reflection

When I first found out about the newspaper assignment, I was completely overwhelmed. I had a hard time figuring out how to format my pica paper and I didn’t know what the subject for my newspaper should be, but I finally got some ideas from friends and it all worked out. My friend suggested writing about old people and I really liked that idea. I quickly came up with the title, “The Elderly Edition” and my mind went wild from there. I gradually came up with stories I could use in my newspaper and I came up with ads targeted to the elderly.

You always hear about funny stories about older people. For example, everyone finds it funny to hear about a tough grandma, who whacks people with her purse. This sort of thing is often found in movies and books. Over time, I became more interested in my newspaper, even though I still couldn’t think of subjects for my last articles. The last article I wrote was the one called “Elderly Companions.” My mom gave me the idea for this one when she looked at our daily newspaper and saw an article about dogs. I became more creative with the assignment after a while.

The hardest part of the whole newspaper was formatting the articles onto the paper. I spent hours trying to get the articles the right width and height. This part was very time consuming and I felt like it was quite unimportant. I don’t know if there could have been an easier way to do it. I would have liked this assignment a lot more if that hadn’t been so hard. Other than that, I really liked it. I enjoyed having as much time as we did to work on all of our requirements on the newspaper. I was able to come up with things later that I wasn’t able to earlier. This was a fun assignment for me and I am glad that I was able to do something so creative. I trust my creative abilities more now.

“A Robber in our Town” a feature article by Colleen Thomas

This is the feature article from my newspaper. The title of my newspaper was “The Elderly Edition.” I wrote about a town where elderly people live. I had the idea for this article soon after coming up with the idea for my newspaper and I thought it was quite funny. Feature Article

“A New Day Will Come” a poem by Colleen Thomas

This is the piece of my choice. When we were given the assignment to write a found poem, I decided to incorporate “Lord of the Rings” movie quotes into it. This poem was a lot of fun for me because I love the quotes from this trilogy. A New Day Will Come

5 memoirs in series by Colleen Thomas

One of our memoir assignments was to write five memoirs of the same subject. I decided to write a memoir for each of my five siblings. My siblings mean a great deal to me so it was fun to write it all down. Memoirs on my siblings

Memoir Reflection by Colleen Thomas

This is my memoir reflection. This type of writing was new to me but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Memoir Reflection

Writing memoir pieces has been a new concept to me.  I never really thought of memoirs as a type of writing but now I do.  I have often written about events and thoughts from my view, but I never realized I was writing a memoir.  When I write in my journal, I am writing memoirs.  I thought it was beneficial when we read some memoirs that Sandra Cisneros wrote.  It gave me some ideas about what I could write about.

My favorite assignment in this unit was the 5 memoirs all about the same theme.  I chose to write about my siblings.  I really enjoyed writing about memories I have had with my brothers and sisters.  Memories flowed in to my mind as I wrote about my past.  Some thoughts brought feelings of regret and pain, while others brought joy and delight.  I dwelled more on the happy experiences in my memoirs.  I don’t remember a lot of my childhood for some reason, so I wasn’t able to write about specific experiences with all of my siblings.  Some of my memories are vivid, while others are very faint.

Memoirs aren’t my favorite form of writing.  I don’t feel like this unit brought out my maximum ability to be creative.  I liked the poetry unit more because I have done poetry before.  I am not that experienced with memoirs, even though I have written about my memories.  I don’t really know how to be creative with that type of writing yet.

The assignments in this unit were a little difficult for me to do.  I liked writing about traditions in my family.  This subject is specific, and I was able to use experiences to portray what I thought of the tradition.  I enjoy writing about things that bring me joy.  I had a harder time researching my name and birthday.  I couldn’t find very many famous people with my same birthday, and I struggled with finding out what was going on in the world at the time I was born.  It is hard to talk about something that happened in history, when you don’t know anything about it.  I also had a hard time with the 2 perspectives assignment.  I argue with people at times, but they aren’t big arguments.  I couldn’t think of a memorable event, in which I and someone else had different perspectives.  It was a challenge for me to fill out 2 pages about an experience.  It is much easier for me if I write about numerous experiences.

Overall, I thought that this unit was a great use of my time and I am glad I could learn a little bit more about memoirs.  I plan on incorporating these ideas in my writing in the future.  I enjoyed thinking about my life and my significance.  I definitely think it’s true that you need to learn how to write about yourself, before you can write about the lives of other people.

Poetry Reflection by Colleen Thomas

This is a reflection of the poetry section in Creative Writing. I really love poetry so my reflection is pretty positive.

Poetry Reflection

Poetry is my favorite kind of writing.  It is the best way for me to write down how I feel.  I love creating pictures and beauty with poems.  Poems are a very effective way to show your creativity.  I love to take words and put them together in a way that draws other people’s attention and pleases my desires.  Poems can have very unique styles, since everyone has a different background that inspires them to write about certain things and write in a certain way.

I personally like rhyming poems the best, out of all the poems there are to choose.  I enjoy finding words that rhyme but still add to the flow of the writing.  I feel like I have accomplished something when I can put a poem together that rhymes, but still makes sense.  I am a perfectionist, so I like things to have organization.  I have a hard time with poetry that doesn’t make sense, doesn’t flow, and doesn’t seem to have any organization.  Some of e.e. cummings’ poems bother me, while others I marvel at.   I don’t mind if people write how they want.  After all, that is what poetry is all about.

One of my favorite poems is Barter by Sara Teasdale.

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

This poem is absolutely beautiful.  I love poems that give me peace, happiness, comfort, and inspiration. I feel like glorying in the beauty of the earth and all of the lovely things that I have been blessed with when I read this poem.  She does a wonderful job with the imagery she puts throughout it.  Each line seems like a work of pure art to me.  I don’t thing Sara Teasdale could have written anything more beautiful or well structured.

During this unit, I have learned many things about myself that I didn’t know before.  I have a hard time unleashing the creative side of myself, because I get so tied up in wanting everything to be perfect.  Writing these poems has helped me to realize that I can have some talent writing poems, if I just let my hands on the keyboard run away with my innermost thoughts.  I treasure the delicate words that lift me and others up, so this unit has been very enjoyable.

“Divine Bonds of Love” a poem by Colleen Thomas

The extended family on my dad’s side has a tradition of singing. This poem is an endeavor to describe what singing together feels like. Divine Bonds of Love

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