Another Mountain Climbed

What. A. Week.

This week started out with a strong mentality of, “Let’s get ‘er done!” I got a LOT of work done on the first day. This week was a special one because my brother flew in from Wisconsin for the first time since leaving for his new job. It’s been over 2 years at this point because of Covid! I wanted to make sure to have as much time as possible to spend with him, so my goal was to get as much work done as I could at the start of the week to allow more time with him the rest of his visit. Fortunately, for this class, I was able to get most of the work done on the first couple days of this week while keeping up day by day through constantly looking at work from classmates and leaving comments on the posts that really stood out to me. With things like Daily Creates and of course this post, I had to trickle a little bit of work across the week, but I’ve also found that it is MUCH more enjoyable to do the work when it’s leisurely and when I’m given breaks. Though I think the quality of my work this week is exceptional, the stress I felt while doing it would have been substantially less and the fun I had doing it would have been substantially more had I done it throughout the week. Thankfully, this is only a one time thing, so now I know for the future! Anyways, let’s get into how I conquered this week.

I started with my first Daily Create of the week. I’ve found that I’ve really started looking forward to doing these, or at least looking at the prompt and what others following along have created. This one INSTANTLY stood out to me because of the fact that I have my own little guy that typically sits on the corner of the monitor I’m actively looking at while typing this. I set up a scenery pretty easily, but found that I struggled to get a picture that close that had decent lighting. I had to use my phone’s flash, but sometimes the whole picture would come out completely white because of how close the surface the light was flashing on was to the camera. Thankfully, I ended up getting a pretty good picture, and built a story from there. I thought that with his expression and the fact that it seems like he’s got a spotlight on him that he seemed guilty, so that’s where I started–the rest is history!

In my first post of the week, I wanted to tackle the assignment of analyzing a story. I haven’t been much of a reader over the past few years, though I’d enjoy reading for leisure more often, so I felt that in terms of written media I didn’t have much to pick from. Conversely, I consume a lot of streamed content online, especially from YouTube. The specific stories I wanted to address were those of home invasion survivors told in a comfortable interview environment. I felt that the dynamic between interviewer and interviewee had a lot to do with how the stories were told, and being able to experience 3 different stories that all related to the same over-arching “theme” told a lot about the importance of perspective and a storyteller’s background. Though I had already seen this video, I watched it again and really focused on the elements that stood out to me.

The writing assignments portion of this week was truly refreshing. Most of the writing that I get to do for my classes is very formal and often statistical and research driven. I don’t mind doing those assignments, but of course I prefer to flex my creative muscles from time to time when writing. This first story, with a very clever and intriguing prompt, opened my eyes further to the possible fun activities in this course. The prompt for this is to use random word, phrase, name, and fortune cookie generators to create the backstory, personality, and name of a custom superhero. For this assignment, I really let my imagination carry me away to wherever it felt. Being given “Elemental” as a superhero name, I instantly knew I wanted to do something to do with storm chasing. Though I don’t know much about storms, or giving advice to your son, I feel that I captured a lot pretty creatively in this short work. This assignment was 3 stars.

I wanted to shift a little away from the strictly creative side and go for a bit of a deeper assignment. I was to write a letter to my mom for this, something that I haven’t done in a very long time. Thankfully, I’m able to live at home while doing school, so I get to see her and show her appreciation every day, but with her being diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of Covid, every moment matters. Nothing is taken for granted anymore. I wanted to take this opportunity to truly put things into words. In addition, Bob Ross has actually been present in a few different ways in our relationship, allowing for more bonding time, such as when she helped me paint his face on my parking spot, so I felt that element made this post work even more for this class. This assignment was 4 stars.

This assignment (and admittedly the next, in tandem) has to be some of the most fun I’ve had tackling an assignment in years. I love being put up to a good challenge, especially when it incorporates creative writing. The prompt here was to take the alphabet and create a short story where each new word starts with the next letter from the one before. I can’t say I didn’t struggle with some letters, such as the last 5, but I feel like I was able to successfully create an enticing story. I also struggled with not being able to use words such as “the,” “and,” and so on. Ultimately, I came out with an unsettling but captivating short tale. This assignment was 3 stars.

As previously mentioned, I had a blast figuring this one out. The prompt was to create a poem using titles of Twilight Zone episodes, a show I had never watched before but have heard many things about. Similar to most, I went in with knowledge that the show is unsettling and off-putting in many ways, so I wanted to create something with a similar vibe. My story ended up much darker than I had initially intended, but as I looked through the list of titles, I couldn’t help but feel that the story I created pretty much wrote itself. Some of the titles worked a little too well together, such as “The Graves” and “Mr. Garrity And The Graves.” It all felt a little too perfect, and I got some great feedback from classmates! This assignment was 2 stars.

For my final blog post of the week (prior to this one), I touched on the concept for a long-form story. I honestly went into this pretty blind, worried about how I could come up with anything substantial or interesting. Considering I already struggle to find literature that entices me, I felt that this could be a big barrier. Instead, I began to think about the fact that not all literature is fantasy, action, and/or science fiction. I can write about real things. So that’s where I began brainstorming, thinking about real life things that are very important to me: mental health, disability care, treatment of refugees, treatment of the less fortune, etcetera. Though I’m not completely sold on either of the ideas I brainstormed, I do think I’m on the right path to finding an excellent topic for me to invest my creativity, research and thought into.

For Wednesday’s Daily Create (which I admittedly revisited on Thursday after not being very interested in Thursday’s prompt), I wanted to flex my design skills a bit and head over to Canva to create something. I wanted to go on the funnier side, as I often am inclined to do with daily creates, and thought to myself, “What if there was a park where fires were welcomed?” Ultimately, I came to a park in Hell that is meant to be consistently burning, the opposite of what Smokey always wanted.

Finally, today I wanted to finish out the week with a bit of more serious poem for the Daily Create. When brainstorming, the first thing that came to my head was “…turning green like copper,” in regards to getting sick in response to something. Immediately after, I thought of the playful and comedic way some people say “iron” as “i-ron” and thought it could have a slant rhyme with “I run.” From there, the story kind of just flowed out of my fingertips and onto the screen!

Though this week was full of stress from all sorts of different sources, I feel as though I was able to really creatively express myself and tackle some assignments that were incredibly enjoyable. I feel even more prepared for what’s to come, and with that, this was just another mountain climbed on my journey!