Comments on Edits

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Joey — I think that your piece has greatly improved. Clearly, you’ve added more information and depth into your piece. I feel like it elevates it and makes your piece not only more readable, but easier to follow (and to make the reason want to continue to read). It is engaging and I think it has greatly improved from your first draft; good job!


Alisha — Yours has not been revised just yet. I’ll be sure to check this and I look forward to reading your piece!


Sweet Nature

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This is a poem that I wrote for my Shakespeare class this year. Our topic only had to do with nature so I kind of took the idea and ran with it. I hope you enjoy!

Twilight dances on the horizon.

Birds beckon to the coming night with their melancholy melodies.

Bright colors bleed into each other on that defined, vertical line.

Yellows bleed into oranges; sherberts saturate the canvas sky.

And I sit on Nature’s blanket and watch the scene unfold.

She puts on a wonderful show

She would put all entertainers to shame.

I bring my fingers up to the sun, set them up rectangular, picture format

One eye half-closed, squinting to get a better lock through this makeshift lens.

Take a picture, I hear it lasts longer, I had heard before.

The sun dips lower and lower into the ocean and finally

It dips so low into the ocean that it makes that letter

“X” marks the spot, the pirates said as the light shines through, reaching for the

Four corners of the earth.

Its arms reach up until they can extend no more

Then they disappear

And the sun,

Dipping lower and lower into the horizon

Shares it’s beacon of light one more time

Before hiding behind the horizon

Not to be seen again until it is once again to begin the circle of life

Once again.

Revised story

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Photo courtesy of National Weather Service.

I’m from California and being here in Vermont, I tend to miss it a lot. This is a piece that I wrote when I went back to visit for a short weekend. I thought that I would sort of personify California in order to show how intimate my relationship is with my home state.

Looking out of the large, rectangular train window, I gaze at the dynamic landscape. The muddied, large mountains in the distance are wrapped in a translucent blanket of fog. Closer to the path of the train, thin rays of sunlight protrude. The wheat colored grass looks like it has been dipped in flecks of gold and alters the shade of the wheat colored blades to something of a royal orange. Coming up on my left are fields of green where strong men in straw hats pick the last of what looks like cabbage by the light of day. One of them stands upright and brings his arms behind his back. In a stretching motion, he bends his back and extends his hands toward the blue, gray sky.

And even though I’m not a fan of physical labor, I would give anything to be in his shoes. Working means staying in California, being in California means staying in the place that I know and love, and love, well, that ultimately means happiness, doesn’t it? But for now, I’ll have to live on the wings of nostalgia. I’ll take these memories and store them into the chamber of my mind where they will collect interest and mature over time. And then, on a rainy day, when I miss California all the more, I can cash in these thoughts like a paycheck.

Photo courtesy of 123RF

I will miss her rugged mountain         ranges and the way they look like still portraits of an ocean on the land. I will miss the salty air of the coast and how the smell stains my clothes until I wash them. I will miss the way the fog rolls in and how Mother Nature takes back the land in her ghoulish way. I will miss the crisp blue skies and how they seem to extend forever, from the north to the south and the east to the west. I will miss the brown fields with sporadic patches of green and how the thin, fragile grass bends back and forth in the wind and starves for just a drop of water. I miss her rays of sunshine and how she wraps her invisible arms around me and never lets go of me in her maternal embrace. I will miss everything; I will miss home.

But for now, Vermont will fill that void in my life. Even though it’s nothing close to my Golden Coast, it will have to do for the time being. Until my next visit to my home state, I will reflect on the good and the bad and assure myself that one day, I will come back to her.

Why I wrote this:

The second written piece should be a little self-explanatory. Being away from home can be difficult to cope with at times; however, through my writing, I find it easier to deal with. I personified California because I wanted to show the reader the personal connection I have with the state. It’s not just something; it’s someone for me. I hope that I gave the state character through vivid descriptions and visual accounts. I hope I also described our relationship successfully and showed how hard it is to say goodbye.

Stories n’ stuff

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Photo courtesy of Mom Logic

We’ve all felt this way, once or maybe even twice. I attempt to reveal the emotions behind a terrible experience that someone has undergone. I try to make it so that it can reflect any depressing situation, not just one particular one. 

After months of curling myself around the feeling of a half-empty bed. After long conversations of compromising with the weight of an empty chair. After adapting and growing and changing and accustoming to the awkward scrapes that silence sometimes emits, I wanted to feel again.

I wanted to press myself into every curve and crack of another human vessel to fall asleep. I wanted to spark laughter and create promises and captivate an audience with another person’s lips. I wanted to snap back and conform and relinquish all forward movement just to fall back into simple and unremarkable grooves in a worn wooden floor that is a human heart.

I wanted to trace a visage under my fingertips again. I wanted to drink in every plane and visible surface with my eyes, lips and tongue. I wanted to be a missing half. I wanted to complete a puzzle. I wanted to be every awful cliche out of every awful and twisted fairy tale. And as if everything else weren’t impossible enough of a craving, I wanted all of it with you.

I wanted someone to stroke my hair till my eyes drooped heavily. I wanted a good morning kiss even when I didn’t have to wake up. I wanted a goodbye that promised another hello. I wanted to fall into patterns and daily routines, reading the morning paper with my morning cup of coffee. I wanted to make love again until I was too exhausted to move and before I closed my eyes to dream, to hear a genuine “I love you.”

But tonight I will tuck myself into my half-empty bed and I’ll converse with the shadows in the corners of my room. I’ll drink my morning coffee in a rush to catch a bus and tell myself goodbye and hello. I’ll stick to routines that I know.

Why I wrote this:

The reason why I wrote the first story was to put my own spin on times that were depressing. Yeah, it might be cliché but I tried to be descriptive and move away from the typical aspects of “omg, my boyfriend and I broke up and now I feel broken” thing. I like to focus on the human emotion and find new ways to bring a character to life through my own voice.

Nothing is as it Seems

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Here’s a creative story between a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

“Yeah, you would like that, wouldn’t you?!” I yell as I turn on my heel and storm out the door.

“Al, I…Jesus Christ!,” he screams after me, his hand outstretched towards the space between us. It’s his pathetic attempt to bring me back to him. I’m not falling for this anymore. In one swift movement, I slammed the door fast behind me. Even though it was a violent, it was fluid. It seemed so natural.  CLUNK! the door goes behind me as it slams shut. I walk towards the parking lot to my grey Ford Focus, my head swimming with a million and one thoughts. My keys are in my hand, attached to the hot pink, Vermont lanyard. They jangle. Hell, even they seem angry. I hear the door close behind me and his noisy footsteps close the angry space between us.

“Al, will you please tell me what the hell is going on?” he asks me, his voice laced with a mixture of worry and curiosity.

“Nothing,” I say, completely void of emotion. I say it mechanically, like it was planned. And even though this fight was never planned in the first place, nothing is always my go-to phrase. That one syllable word was probably the best word that could possibly describe my mood.

I said nothing because that’s what I really hoped was wrong. Nothing.

I push myself towards the car, closing the space between my escape and myself. It’s my way out of here. And let me fucking tell you, there’s nothing that I could have wanted more in that moment in time.

“Alyson, I need to know what the hell is wrong,” he tells me, almost hissing the words out of his mouth. I bring myself to look at his face. He looks dazed and confused, in a haze of sorts. And even though he looks completely devastated, I won’t break down.

“None of your fucking business,” I say matter-of-factly, grabbing the plastic door handle of my car. He reaches out to grab my boney wrist. I close my eyes and try not to totally overreact.

“Get away from me,” I say with my eyes closed. I focus on my breathing. Breathe in, breathe out, I remind myself as I slowly open up my eyes again.

“Just tell me what’s wrong,” he asks me, his voice getting softer and more inviting. I continue to breathe deeply and slowly. In. Out.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m just being immature,” I say, turning to face him. “Again.”

“Alyson, please don’t be this way. I can’t take this,” I says, his voice breaking.

“Stop being this way?,” I say, feeling my face getting redder by the second. “Stop being this way?!” I repeat, my voice getting louder and louder in the public parking lot. By now I’m infuriated. I have to tell him, I eventually convince myself.

“What’s wrong is that you’re totally dishonest to me. You talk to people behind my back when you claim you want to talk about problems we have with only each other. You ever heard of the word hypocrite, Tyler? Because you sure as hell fit the bill as one,” I say, my voice laced with anger.

He winces as I say the word. I take that as inspiration to go further.

“You talk to this girl and tell her that she’s gorgeous? How many people do you really say that to, huh?” I continue, becoming more comfortable and in tune with my emotions. “You said that to me once, I say. But now, I really do doubt that you stood behind one hundred percent of that statement.”

Tears begin to gather around his eyes. Have you ever seen a grown man cry? It’s something special, it really is.

“Doubt is like a terminal disease, Tyler,” I continue to say. “It doesn’t go away, no matter what treatment I use. It’s totally and completely rooted. I can’t take it out or forget about it.” I point to the left side of my head with my index finger. “It’s right here.”

He turns his head to look away from me. I know he doesn’t want me to see him cry. To men, I guess it’s a sign of weakness. But what the hell do I know?

Photo courtesy of ACS.

He cries silently. I almost want to reach out to him. Sometimes basic human contact can do wonders. But before I offer my outstretched hand, I remember that he was the one that hurt me. No, I reassure myself. He did this to me. He deserves this.

            Fuck I tell myself, closing my eyes in an attempt to block out everything but the thoughts in my head, he had this coming.