Writing 101

New Blog Round Up

Today’s Writing 101 assignment was to pick some stories you’ve read recently and share them with your followers. Unfortunately for me, I’ve been super busy the last few days and haven’t had a ton of time to spend just reading the other blogs. But before I got busy, I did have the opportunity to find and follow a few blogs and that’s what I’m going to share. Enjoy!

  1. A Reading Writer
  2. Sarah’s Attic of Treasures
  3. When My Brain Farts
  4. The Patient Gardener
  5. Kelli Blogs

To my fellow bloggers, both mentioned and not, thank you for your support throughout this course! Keep in touch. Keep doing what you’re doing because what we do is pretty cool!

Daily Prompt · Writing 101

Sink or Swim

This started as a draft two years ago, apparently. Our challenge yesterday (because I’m continuing to not do well with the blogging daily) was to “mine our material.” So here it goes with the starting a new post from an old draft (which is in bold).

Today’s Daily Prompt is to write about a time when you were left to fend for yourself in school, work, or at home.

I remember junior year in high school I started taking AP classes. These were the first college level classes I had ever taken. Now, all my life, I was in the advanced classes. Pre-AP, Honors, all that jazz. If there was a regular class and more challenging class, I was taking the more challenging class. And, honestly, it was fine. I never really had a problem with it. Most of the time, I was bored because pretty much anyone could take Pre-AP classes.  Anyway.

I remember my AP English class junior year and my teacher told us she was going to “throw us into the deep end, but we’d be okay.”

Evidently, that stuck. It’s now my senior year in college and I still remember that day. I remember how scared I was when she said that. And I had a fabulous internal visual of essentially drowning. I’m a strong swimmer and that’s never really been a thing I was concerned about, but you know how it is in the movies where someone slips in the water and is flailing around and can’t breathe? Yup. That’s how my first AP English class felt. And how senior year felt. And how college feels basically all the time.

However, we did make it. All the way to graduation. And now all the way through the third year of college. And the first five weeks of my senior year. And while I’m terrified, I know I have a support system that is going to continue to help me, and I’ll be just fine.

Writing 101

Public or Private?

Today’s challenge was to write about how your writing might change if you changed your blog from public to private.

I think my blog would be even more informal than it already is. And I think it would include more personal topics than it does, because my audience will have changed from the whole blog world to just me. As it is, I do a lot of writing for myself, and I can see a difference in my tone and my voice when I write with the intention of keeping it to myself. I think it might be an interesting experiment to see what people think of other things I have written, but that might be an experiment for a much later time.

My London Adventure · Writing 101

Out & About, In & Around London

I know my blogging this week leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m planning on catching up this weekend. So there’s that. Anyway. Day 13’s assignment was to create a story through a series of vignettes. First of all, I didn’t really know what that word means. But I learned and had a really difficult time forming a story around that. Then it hit me that I never shared my London photos with the blog world, and also, that’s a series all on it’s own. So here we go with this.

Dover Castle
Canterbury Cathedral
The Globe Theatre
Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre
Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy of Arts
Whitby Abbey
Loch Ness
La Boheme at Royal Albert Hall
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre
St. James’s Park

Dover Castle: It was cold and misty. But we got to learn about the history there and specifically about World War II and D-Day.

Canterbury Cathedral: It’s really fancy and we got to sit through an evensong service there.

The Globe Theatre: We got to tour The Globe, which is where Shakespeare performed, so that was pretty cool, but we also got to watch a show in the brand new indoor theater they just built.

Les Miserables: This show is a musical in the most basic sense of the world. There was literally no speaking, only singing. That was a shock. But once we got past that, it was okay. Definitely not my favorite of the musicals we went to see.

Sensing Spaces: Basically the coolest art exhibit ever. Artists featured were given rooms and basically told they could do what they wanted in them. The exhibit featured was made of plastic and really long straws and all the visitors were invited to contribute, so that was pretty cool.

Greenwich: It’s a really historical city outside London. We went to different museums and things, but we also got to stand on the Prime Meridian. And it was a nice day, so we got to take pictures outside the museum about time zones.

Hogwarts: When we visited the Universal Studios Harry Potter Experience, the last room we went through was the model Hogwarts that filmmakers used to film the wide angle shots of the castle. I was in my glory all day. In fact, I scared my mom when I wanted her to call me so I could share my stories with her.

Whiby & Whitby Abbey: This was the first stop (I think) on our coach tour/ spring break. It was right on the water (both a river, pictured, and the ocean) and it was a great time to be there. The weather even sort of cooperated.

Loch Ness: Scotland was also a stop on the tour and we took a short break from being on the bus to take some photos with the lake and its monster.

Glencoe: One of the last stops on the tour, and also in the middle of nowhere. We spend the day hiking in the mountains and getting soaked in the mist, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Ambleside: One of the other last stops on our tour and the only night most of us had ever spent in a hostel. The wifi was terrible, so we did some roommate bonding instead.

La Boheme: One of the saddest shows a person could ever see, but also it was in Italian. That was cool, even from the nosebleed seats we were in. And we all decided to get dressed up to go to the opera and as cold as it was, it was totally worth it for the beautiful pictures we took.

Wicked: One of the best musicals ever. I was really lucky because I ended up going to see it twice, and just like with everything else, the second time brought new and different light to the show and that was really cool. It was the last show we went as a group to see and a handful of the girls got dressed up again.

St. James’s Park: On one of the last days we were in London, Lisa, Clarissa and I got dressed up because it was a beautiful day and we had new clothes we wanted to try out and did a photo shoot. We took turns taking pictures of each other in front of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and also in the park with the trees and the flowers. The experience was unforgettable.

My study abroad experience was easily the highlight of my undergraduate career.

London was an experience and I can’t wait to go back.

To create this story, I went through all the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I took and found basically all the selfies I could find and though they would make for a great series of stories. Or at least a great sum of the memories I got while I was there.

I hope you enjoyed it and if you’d like to see more of this type of storytelling from me, let me know! Thanks.

Writing 101

Biggest Fear in 100 Words [or Less]

My biggest fear is the unknown. Not so much not knowing, as not being able to find out. I take great comfort in the fact that if I have questions, I can Google the answer. There are, however, some things to which the answer does not come as easily. So maybe the answer is found in a book. But still there are answers that cannot be found in a book. And those are the hard ones. Finding the answers, or rather, knowing I can’t find the answers for sure, is really the biggest fear.

Today’s challenge was to play with word count, ergo the short read. I’ve found that since I started maintaining a blog, I usually blow word counts out of the water (especially if it’s only a couple hundred). I think it’s good to remember that sometimes short and sweet is valuable too.

Writing 101

Space Between the Posts

Many of my Writing 101 posts have been about my writing process (how procrastination is part of it, why I write, where and when I write, who I write for and to, all that jazz). Today we’re gonna talk about the space between the posts.

Sometimes we all need a break to recharge. I can usually recognize that need when it arises in myself because I feel foggy, for lack of a better word, and I have even less motivation to work on things. I’m apathetic and even more tired than usual. And I have no energy and I just don’t care. It’s really hard for me to be in that place, because I know that’s not me. But I’ve learned how to cope with it and how to make things work even if that is the case.

I was actually in that place for the better part of last week. It’s hard because going through the motions isn’t usually sufficient to get me through things for very long. And sometimes writing helps snap me out of it, but it doesn’t always. And that’s when Plan B (aka, lay around and eat junk food until you feel like moving) commences.

That’s what I do in the space between the posts and school and social life. I recognize the need in myself to take a break. And when I do, I take a whole break. I don’t see anyone, and I read a book (or two) or watch a movie (or six) and I just chill. That’s what I need to recuperate and I trust the process.

Writing 101

An Update Over Coffee

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you about school. Classes are going well. I’m a little overwhelmed with three PR classes taught by one teacher, but that’s okay. I’m making it work. I’d tell you about how miserable my leadership class is. My group is…interesting, to say the least, but that’s okay. I’m making it work. You’d be proud.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you I graduate in May and that I wish you could be here to watch me walk. Sometimes it’s like a looming dark hole, but sometimes it’s a bright shining door. I’m really excited. College was good for me and I’ve grown, but I’m ready for the next adventure.

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you about my big plans, where I wanna travel. I’d tell you the stories from travelling in London and Italy, and I’d tell you that I wish you’d been there.

If we were having coffee this morning, when I’d finished my rambling stories, I’d thank you for everything you’ve done for our family. I’d thank you for the legacy you left for us before you got sick.

And you’d tell me how proud you are of all of us.

Today’s assignment was to present an “update” over coffee. I started writing and then I realized who I was writing to. My mom’s dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about seven or eight years ago. The last family trip we took was to Paris in the summer of 2008. I have a lot of good memories with him from long before that, playing in his garden at the home he and my grandma shared in New York until he was moved to a nursing home a few years ago. It’s been increasingly difficult for all of us to go visit him because it’s so sad to see such a strong man become a shell of himself. Some of the most recent memories I have of him are sitting at breakfast making him coffee. Once he had me put something like 11 sugar packets in his cup. That was before I started college and before I started drinking coffee. I treasure the memories I have of him and I know he’d be proud of me and wherever he is mentally, I pray he’s happy.