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Danielle Farmer 5/8/2014 Center Someone left the window open so in crept the frigid winter season, the glow from her chocolate skin slowly fading from her head to her toes, God’s angels giving her wings to escape these earthly sensations of burning flesh. Squeezing my eyes tight as I pray for times of warm breezes bringing in flowers, but trees bust through the ceiling creating a direct pathway to heaven. My prayers collide with an ear-less head as I try to rewrite God’s plan with the power of my mouth. Gray limp trees cover the ground with the dull snow falling in its wake. My body is slammed with emotions with chattering teeth and shaking knees, my tears escape the cage my mind has become brushing my cheeks like the kiss of defeat. Draping cloaks, layer on layer with my center. How could she leave me? I’m left with His clenched fists punching holes through my stomach, gut, and chest. Heaving my unuttered words, I’m to blame, laced with a venom I can’t convey. Trapped in the whirl wind of broken branches cutting my skin. Pushing past exterior, my spirit tries to join hers Trying to bring her back to me. My mind trying to reach crevices it’s never known existed as my breath struggles to flow as, my heart struggles to break free of human bodily constraints but I can’t bring her back. I struggle to cop as my eyes still search for the inhale of her breath to show our matching heart beats and floods from my internal being fills the world as I can’t control the inhale, my hands trailing behind red stains of flowing guilt as I struggle to preserve my sanity.


Fire rips through the punch holes burning the scratches under the skin, bleeding from the thousands of wounds caused by my own hands. It’s my fault. My essence is wrecked like, branches weighed down from the piled up, rained on, snow. Why would He let this happen to me? Screams, take the possession of the forming flames traveling throughout my body, shaving down the resistance that I have to, my Father’s enemy. Control gone. Will gone. Me Gone.


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Danielle Farmer Prof Katie Writer’s Mind 5-9-2014 Coming into this class I was a little unsure of what I would be learning in a course called Writer’s Mind. Different things went through my mind about what this course may entail; what if they try to tell me how I should be thinking or say that I should be using the writing process of other writers. Luckily neither of those concepts is what the class is actually about. This class helped me better understand myself as a writer and the steps that I take in order to produce my finer products. This class has better helped me to understand that I have only been skimming the surface when it comes to developing my skills, and building on new techniques. Through this class I have worked to become more expressive, with the technique showing and not telling with a balance in all aspects of my writing. Calibration Assignment This assignment was a big eye opener on my writing process and what I do self consciously or steps that I make myself do. My Wordle came out with most of my words used once or twice with about ten words that were used often. Those words alone were what my poem were built on like, “beautiful,” “understand,” “black,” “Black,” and “beauty.” Out of the ten biggest words on my Wordle, only two were concrete words, while the others were abstract. This leads me to think, as a whole was the poem too abstract, did I not give it enough concrete imagery where my readers can understand it. In my current writing, I noticed that I lean on abstracts as a way to describe common things in fresher way. This does leave me to wonder if I make a picture that my readers can work to understand when I use that technique. In my poems I will need to work to find that balance, so my reader will do a little bit of work to figure out something’s, but they won’t be confused as to what I am talking about. Then for the reflection


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piece of the assignment, without much instruction I took on a very informal approach, taking it as far as starting my paper off with “So.” In later assignments, including the first draft for my self-reflection, the casual tone is still evident in my writing. I still prefer to take on a more casual, easy reading tone that runs hand in hand with the informal tone. I was able to demonstrate self-critical awareness of my work, taking notice of what I liked and didn’t like about my process. Parody Assignment During this assignment I really had to work on the technique of showing and not telling, because here I couldn’t make going to get a perm an interesting story without really expanding on this technique. I had to work to think of different ways to describe a certain situation and creating a picture in the reader’s mind. Through the different drafts, my images had to move from cliché (insert lines about desert) to something more personal and unique to my story. I struggled and I did not get a very good handle on how to make the reader understand that an action was only occurring in my mind, without just coming out and saying that it was happening in my mind. In Fire Victory, I was imagining my hair burning off of my head when I was looking in the mirror, and one of my readers was not aware that my hair did not literally burn off, it was all in my head. I need to work on getting my readers to clearly understand what image and concept I am trying to convey. My piece resembled that of Dillard’s writing, Living Like Weasels. I incorporated her writing style of adding the message at the end of the passage, but it stills incorporates the images and wording used througho ut the piece. This came about once I made a revision because my first draft seemed to just come to halt and then I explained my message.


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Memento Narrative Assignment During this assignment I had to mix the genres of non-fiction and creative writing and to intertwine the two I was able to show an understanding of a variety of genre conventions. This assignment made me dig within myself and pull out two times in my life where I never related to each other until this assignment. I am not a very emotional person and I am extremely private so this was a hard assignment, but I decided to try and see what I pull out when I am filled with emotions. This came from the responses that I received back from my friends and family members, which all were very positive. That made the interviewing process a breeze, and my topic just came to me, a light hearted word that reminds me of some of my darkest moments. The end Dark to Light I wrote after remising about that day. I know the quotes are exactly right and the conversation isn’t verbatim from that day, but they are along the right path.I took what he remembered, and what I remembered and combined them together. In the beginning I was alone and no one knows about that day, which meant I was my only source for what happened that day. My epoxides wouldn’t vary in my actions too much, so they were all slightly similar which made it easier to remember. Writing this piece toke me down an emotional spiral that helped me make my writing more powerful. I was no longer afraid or timid when I started typing the words onto the page, I wanted the piece to be as raw as possible. From this I decided that I didn’t want to hide much from the reader so I incorporated my thoughts at the time, putting them in italics and on lines by themselves to really drive the point. This assignment helped me to understand that I can write powerful emotional pieces about my past that conveys these strong emotions. Shadow Poem Assignment This assignment gave me the opportunity to pull from the darkness of my soul and convey a message that has never really left my lips. I was able to write about the death of my


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mother and convey the guilt, blame, and destruction of myself that many people never saw. I worked hard to show those emotions along with death, sadness, and anger. I worked to show those emotions and feeling without directly saying them. Center is filled with imagery such as, “Gray limp trees covered the ground with the/ dull snow falling in its wake” and “Squeezing my eyes tight as I pray for times of/ warm breezes bringing in flowers, but trees bust through/ the ceiling creating a direct pathway to heaven.” In the first draft I only had the wintery and seasonal imagery in the beginning, but then I laced it throughout the poem, creating a pattern, the winter season going along the theme of death and when I am thinking of happier times, the season resembles spring. The inspiration for the wintery images came from her birthday being in the winter and she passed away towards the beginning of winter. This was also an effort to draw different characteristics into the poem. This poem was an effort to tell a story, but there wasn’t much narrative to convey that story, so I went back and decided what part of the story I wanted each stanza to convey, inserting in abstract feelings such as guilt and blame, but because everyone may not describe those feelings the same way, I need to put some sort of label on them. My poem was filled with too many abstracts, too much showing and not telling. I need to work to find a balance, which I do not feel like I found a balance that I like as of yet. I am working to get out of the mindset that once I write it, that is how it should be set up. Once I write it, tweak it with revisions I have a hard time wanting to rearrange the stanzas and cutting lines. I take in all of the suggestions that my peers present me but I only want to change a few words but leave the structure the same. To make progress, and taking in the advice given, I rearranged some of the lines along with the stanzas, working outside of my comfort area. With the rearrangement it helped the story flow better. The narrative of the story was confusing for my


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readers, so creating an easier flow is what I focused, even if it meant taking out parts or adding parts. I needed to make the poem clearer, that was my main critique that readers thought I was losing my virginity, getting raped, and even cutting myself and none of those things were happening. I need to make my poem more in the moment, what was happening as I was feeling all of these emotions, because all of this happened over a matter of moments once I walked into the bedroom and saw my mother laying dead on her bed. I felt faint from the rush of emotions that I felt, which for a first try I do believe that I am off to a great start. To be able to put emotions down on paper that rushed my body that made me almost faint, I do feel like I am on my way to make this piece truly beautiful. My revisions for this piece won’t stop until I feel like I am as close to perfect as I can be. Where the reader can feel the whirlwind that I felt, and know what is going on. They will get the concept that I lost someone dear to me, someone who shared “matching heart beats,” mother and daughter. My poem goes from her dying to me finding her and then my grasp on my emotions and reality. Words will never be able to show how it felt to lose my mother, but with this poem I hope to give my readers a glimpse into what it may have felt like. I have a voice where I can affect people’s emotions and that is a power that takes responsibility. My skills as a writer will only develop from here; I have built a basis for my natural unconscious decisions when it comes to writing. So I will work from the skills that I have acquired and make every piece one where I show and don’t tell, with a balance. I have done assignments where there wasn’t enough showing and then one where there was too much, so the balance can be found in the middle and I am working towards that middle.

Danielle Farmer's Writer's Mind Final Portfolio  

Spring 2014

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