All posts filed under: Creative Writing

What does the future hold?

How many times have I walked on the path of this park? The grass has gone from green to yellow and from yellow to green so many times that sometimes I see green grass and dandelions in December. Did I see kites on the sky last spring or have I seen them every year? I’ve been coming to this park for so long and always with different emotions. Sometimes the ducks and the geese are here, and they will never know how much I have lost and lose again when I remember. Elizabeth Bishop wrote, The art of losing isn’t hard to master. / Then practice losing farther, losing faster: / places, and names, and where it was you meant / to travel. Learning loss was never my intention. I lost my father figure at seventeen, and I lose him again when I remember. When I walk on the path of this park, I see people who I’ve seen before: the couple, the runner in her pony tail, the family of four, the man with …

One Tip for the Uninspired Writer

The greatest lesson I learned about writing was to treat writing as a conversation. Before then, I thought academic writing was formal, an assignment to turn in to teachers and professors. Writing can have personality! Treating writing as a conversation took the weight off my shoulders because I could now approach writing as a conversation over coffee. Looking at writing as a conversation felt like a new concept for me. But it made sense. For a conversation to work, you take turns discussing a topic, you sometimes give a counterargument, and you add points. When I think of the word conversation, I usually think about in-person conversation and hearing people’s voices and the tones of their voices. We talk about pretty much everything from the weather to our troubles to our loved ones. This also applies to writing. The underlying structure of effective academic writing–and of responsible public discourse–resides not just in stating our own ideas but in listening closely to others around us, summarizing their views in a way that they will recognize, and …

Telling Stories at a Bonfire without Any Companions

The outcast, deep thinker, and storyteller, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, doesn’t stop sharing his stories even when no one listens to him and everyone rejects him in Sherman Alexie’s short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”. He says: “We are all given one thing by which our lives are measured, one determination. Mine are the stories which can change or not change the world. It doesn’t matter which stories as long as I continue to tell the stories.” In addition to storytelling, Thomas has the gifts of seeing visions, receiving messages about the future, and knowing what people are thinking. One of the problems with Thomas’s storytelling is that he’s been retelling the stories for so long that his community becomes tired of hearing them, but one begins to wonder: are people actually listening to them, taking in their messages? At one point during the short story, Thomas asks his former friend, Victor, for a favor that seems really simple, but which will take a lot of effort and courage: Can Victor listen …