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4/30/2013

LOTS OF LOVE

Creative Writing Portfolio | Kassie Bonner


Bonner 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction

 Creative Non-Fiction

3

7

o Rough Draft

8

o Final Draft

16

o Revision Response Essay

24

 Creative Fiction

27

o Rough Draft

28

o Final Draft

34

o Revision Response Essay

46

 Poems

49

o Rough Draft

50

o Final Draft

55

o Revision Response Essay

59

 Journal

62

o Prompts

63

o Poems

72


Bonner 3 Introduction I began writing in January of 2013 with the mindset that I was not as good a writer as I used to be back in high school. There was a lot of teenage angst in my life back then, so I had all sorts of emotions to fuel the poems and stories I’d write. I believed that a broken heart was the best source of material for poems especially, so I feared that since I was decently content with my life at the time, I wouldn’t have anything to really dwell on to write good, meaningful material. My lack of confidence in my writing ability kept me from having the desire to write. For this creative writing class, my goal was to gain back some of that confidence so that I could be a good writer like I was back in what I thought to be my prime. As the months went by, I discovered my strengths and my weaknesses in my writing. Editing is my forte when I write; both while I write and when I make revisions. I found that I had very little mechanical, punctuation and grammatical errors, even in my rough drafts. This made the revision process of my work really good for contextual editing because I didn’t need to focus much on anything else. I seemed to struggle with developing creative content, at least in my own personal critique. A lot of effort was put into creating what I wrote so that I could feel at least a little satisfied. This portfolio is not arranged to show how I progressed with my writing over the semester because each genre was different enough so that it would not correctly show how I got better. Instead, it is arranged simply in the same order as the workshops were scheduled. The writing workshops in this class were very beneficial to my writing process. Knowing that people were actually going to be reading what I wrote influenced the work I put into writing. I tried to choose content that would interest my audience and also keep them engaged. Again, starting out I had a lack of confidence, so I really wanted people to like what I wrote. Through


Bonner 4 the workshops, I was able to get all sorts of feedback that not only helped in my revisions, but also helped boost my confidence. Writing my creative non-fiction piece was the easiest for me. This piece came from actual events and introduced real people, so I didn’t have to make anything up. I wrote what happened, and I had my own personal feelings and memories to fuel my writing. The specific story I chose was over a part of my life that I feel very strongly about. I was actually inspired to write this because of a TV show I was watching at the time, and one of the characters was going through almost the exact same situation. I watched that show with a strong desire to scream at the girl and wring her neck because I knew the consequences of her actions. That’s when I finally decided to write my story. I wanted to share what I went through in hopes of helping other people understand the importance of the lesson I learned. The fiction piece was decently difficult for me. Everything I wrote was made up, so I struggled with making it seem realistic. My focus of this piece was to make it seem like it could also be a non-fiction piece. I don’t have a defined origin of the idea for my fiction piece; I made up this story through in class assignments. I actually made up the characters before I knew their story, so I wrote the story around the characters. In doing that, I noticed in my rough draft that I focused so much on getting the story in there that I left out a lot about the characters themselves. My revision process focused on developing those characters more and making them fit better into their story. Although satisfied with my fiction piece, I still liked my non-fiction story better. I realized that, against my previous beliefs, I was better at writing about my own personal experiences than I was at writing fictional stories. Poetry used to be my strong point back in high school; I felt that I was always able to just pump out a poem easily and painlessly because of the mass amount of crazy feelings I was


Bonner 5 always having. Ever since starting college, my poem writing quickly became stressed and pretty terrible. They always felt shallow and forced. Of all the sections that were covered in this class, I was most worried about poetry. However, I was surprised at after a few warm-up poems in my journals; I did better than I thought I would. Almost every poem I wrote was based upon a prompt, whether it was an in-class prompt or one from the textbook. Writing using prompts dramatically improved my poems because I didn’t stress over trying to come up with my own ideas. Using the prompts allowed me to go outside my comfort zone, and that’s really what helped me write poems I was very satisfied with. With all my writing in this class, I seemed to have a common theme: love. I didn’t really realize it until I started putting everything together, but I couldn’t help but think to myself, Dang. There’s lots of love here. I’m at a point in my life where that’s my focus, so I channel that into everything I write in some way or form. It makes me happy, and since it’s such a deep and raw feeling, it makes for a really good internal prompt. By the time the class was finished, I discovered that I gained back some of my lost confidence in my writing. One of my goals was to get better like I was in high school. However, I learned through this class that as we mature and grow, so does our writing. My writing style will never be what it was in high school because I am not the same person I was back then. My writing is different because I have different focuses and have different experiences. And that’s one of the coolest things about writing; it’s forever changing. The following pages are filled with the work I wrote as me, the twenty-one year old junior in college who is hopelessly in love. As time goes by, I have hopes to continue growing and allowing my writing style to grow with me. Now that I understand how to accept my writing style, I have plans to continue writing in my own free time to keep myself involved. I will probably invest in a prompt book of my


Bonner 6 own, since that proved to be helpful in this class. While I may not get “better” per say, I can certainly be more familiar with who I am and how to best use that knowledge to get the best out of my future work. And that’s really all I want.


Bonner 7

CREATIVE NONFICTION


Bonner 8 Kassie Bonner Prof. Whiteacre Eng 285-3 February 25, 2013 Rough Draft Fool Me Thrice It all began when I went behind my parents’ backs. I was a liar, a betrayer. I thought I was good at it, but I would later find out that I wasn’t as good as I thought. I thought I found love through a deep friendship. I thought I had it as good as it could get. I thought I was making for myself the dream every girl had. I thought I knew better. I thought I was right, but I was wrong. It took me 5 years to figure it out. When I was 13 years old, I became more active in my church’s youth group. That youth group became my second family. One person especially became a very close friend of mine, and his name was Josh. We had so much in common, and we thought a lot alike. We quickly became good friends with inside jokes and memories to share. I enjoyed his company, and he enjoyed mine. Before long, that friendship began to create feelings of admiration that turned the relationship into more of a romance. All would have been fine except for one thing: Josh was 18 years old. We both knew that a romance was not something we could have because of our age difference. Instead of accepting that and continuing on as friends or setting boundaries, we had a secret relationship hidden deep under our friendship mask. Notes exchanged in secrecy were how we communicated, as this was before texting and Facebook. The thrill of expecting a note every time we saw each other at church was probably what made the relationship so desirable. I called


Bonner 9 him my boyfriend, and I was his girlfriend. We were never physical. We never could be. Through letters and chance alone time at church, we fell in love. It wasn’t long before my parents found out. My feelings for Josh were too great to disguise as a giddy 13 year old girl. My parents put an end to this secret romance, disapproving of the age difference and the lies. We could no longer talk to each other. We could no longer see each other, as he was no longer able to help out with the youth group. More than anything, they were angry with him because he was the adult in the situation. I was just a kid, a giddy school girl with a crush on an older guy showing attention to me. Of course, it didn’t feel like that then. I truly cared deeply for him, and it hurt to have to end my relationship and all communication with him. I wish I could say that was the end of it. To tell this story in its entirety would take much too long. Two more times Josh and I tried to have this secret romance work, as our affection for each other just would not go away. Each time we were discovered and shot down. We thought we were meant to be. Finally, I turned 17. It was my last day of driver’s ed, and I was excited about it. I really, really hated driver’s ed. It was 2 hours of my life every day I felt was wasted. I went straight from school to this class, so my free time after school didn’t even start until 6pm, which was just too late for me. Needless to say, I was ready to be done with this class. The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was losing one of the few times I had to spend with Josh. He would come during my 15 minute break with a bag of gummy worms. We’d sit on a bench out front and talk about our lives while we shared that bag of gummy worms. It was the most time we’d ever spent together in a week before. It was a luxury. Secret romances did have


Bonner 10 their flaws. It was worth it, though. When you loved someone that much, you would do anything to be together. Even if it meant lying to your parents again and again. That’s what love was. So when the instructor said my 3 favorite words, “Time for break,” I was the first one out of my chair and out into the hallway. And as expected, Josh was there with two bags of gummy worms in hand. “Wow, look at you,” I said, smiling as I walked toward him. “Two bags?” He smiled and kissed my cheek when I was close enough to him. “I thought I’d go all out since we are celebrating the end of driver’s ed.” We walked hand in hand to the bench we normally sat on. The first time he visited, I was so nervous about someone seeing us and it somehow getting back to my parents. By now, a few weeks later, I wasn’t anxious anymore. We exchanged small talk for awhile. As the 15 minutes came to a close, we started getting a little more serious and somber. “So…” Josh began, crushing the empty gummy worm bag between his hands. I looked up at him, feeling an uneasiness creep into my rib cage. I knew what he was about to ask, and I didn’t want to talk about it. “After today, the only time we get to see each other is at church. We go right back to where we were before. Pretending like we don’t exist.” I looked down, folding the top of my gummy worm bag to secure the remaining worms. “Yeah, I know.” “I don’t know about you, but after spending all this time together, I don’t really want to do that.” “Josh…” I began.


Bonner 11 “No wait, hear me out,” he said, cutting me off. “This worked really well, staying after school. Maybe you could tell your parents every other day that you have a meeting or something after school. So we could see each other.” I took a deep breath. The thought of that made me nervous. So many things could go wrong. That already happened to us last time we tried that. While I was “at a meeting after school,” my mom arrived much earlier than the time I told her I would be done. So when Josh and I were walking around the loop, a walking track around the school’s soccer fields, we looked up to see my mom’s van parked in the parking lot. Luckily, we saw her before she saw us and we were able to dart away, unseen. Honestly, I didn’t ever want to feel that fear again. “I don’t know,” I said to Josh. “It’s a really big risk. You remember what happened last time.” “Yeah, I know,” he said. “But we will be more careful.” “How careful is more careful? We are walking around my high school. There are so many people that know me. It wouldn’t take much for my lie to fall through if someone even glimpsed us together. I just don’t want to take that risk…” I could tell he was frustrated. I couldn’t blame him. He wanted to spend time with me. Unfortunately, I was the one who was more concerned about the risks involved, so I was the bad guy not wanting to spend time with him. It was a constant struggle with our relationship. Thankfully time ran out, so the conversation had to be wrapped up quickly. We always ended our conversations with a high note, whether that be us singing a very off pitch note in a high octave or some cheesy joke. We hugged and parted ways. I could feel my heart sink as I walked back to class. I was usually so excited at the thought of finding ways to see him, but here recently the fear of being discovered was just overbearing.


Bonner 12 Not two weeks later did I have to worry about the fear of being caught. One day after school, mom and dad asked me to come sit with them at the table. Anytime that happened, something good wasn’t about to go down, so immediately my stomach flip-flopped. The three of us sat down, and I tried to act natural like I wasn’t hiding anything. I was trying so hard that I really had no idea if I actually looked innocent or so innocent that I looked guilty. My dad got right to the point and asked me, “So. Before we start, is there anything you want to share with us? Anything in your life we don’t know about?” There it was. He was giving me the opportunity to come clean. I could save myself, even if it was just a smidge. But I wasn’t going to give in. There was a small chance that he was trying to catch me in a bluff. I didn’t want to take that chance, even though I knew in the back of my mind that they knew about Josh and me. I knew because just a few days earlier I had accidently left my phone in the van to go into a store with my mom. When I got back, I noticed that a text message from Josh had been viewed. The text said, “I love you.” I knew my dad read it. I knew. But I still lied, right to their faces. “No, nothing.” And there it was, the lie of the century. They didn’t need to tell me how disappointed they were. I could see it creep across their faces. I immediately regretted my decision. There was a pause before my dad continued. “Kassie, I read a text on your phone from Josh saying ‘I love you.’ Can you please explain that?” I was surprised by how calm he sounded. There didn’t seem to be a hint of anger in his voice like the last few times we had this conversation. I looked down at the tablecloth and shamefully said, “Josh and I are in a relationship…again.” I even winced at that last part. I


Bonner 13 wanted more than anything to never look up from that tablecloth. I didn’t want to see the hurt in my parents’ eyes. But I had to. I owed them that. My mom sat silent next to me with her lips pressed together and her hands folded in front of her on the table. Of the two of them, she disapproved of Josh the most. She didn’t believe, even if there was no age difference or lying on the table, that Josh was not a good match for me. Of course, I was convinced that she was just mad that we kept lying to her. “Kassie, we are passed the point of understanding,” my dad continued. “This is not the first time you have lied to us and gone behind our backs to pursue Josh. This isn’t even the second time. You just sat here and lied to us, right to our faces. I can’t even begin to describe the hurt and disappointment your mom and I are feeling right now.” I couldn’t even begin to describe the shame and disgust with myself. How dare I do this to them…again. I prepared myself for the same speech on how I was forbidden to see Josh again. I started planning in my head how I was going to cope with not talking to him. I was promising myself in my head that I just couldn’t lie to them again. But then my dad surprised me. “We are tired of fighting with you. You are no longer 14 anymore. You are 17 years old. If you want a relationship with Josh so bad, we are giving you permission to court him. We don’t like the idea of you courting Josh, but it seems like you are not giving us a choice. So. If you want to be with him so badly, you now don’t have to do it in secret.” I was in shock. This was not the way I had expected it to go. Never in a thousand years did I think they would give me permission to be with Josh. Excitement filled my heart: no longer did we have to lie! No longer did I have to worry about being caught! Finally, we could have a normal relationship.


Bonner 14 The conversation eventually came to a close after they had me explain why I wanted to be with Josh. They took my phone, and I was grounded from it for a month. My internet and TV privileges were also taken from me. A big part of me didn’t even care. I could finally be with Josh. It would only be happily ever after from then on. Two months later I was sitting down with my dad again talking through my breakup with Josh. This time, though, it was a decision I was making all on my own. With the shadows of secrecy no longer a driving force in our relationship, the doors of Josh and I’s relationship were thrown open, allowing light to fall on every detail. It wasn’t long before I started to see what my parents had been trying to tell me all along. I finally began to see what kind of man Josh really was. Josh was a 22 year old man who did not choose to go to college. He worked in a factory and complained about it. He often told me stories of how he slacked off at work, but no one noticed. He had no desire to go to school, even if it meant being able to provide a better life for me. When he was 18, he fell for a 13 year old girl and encouraged her that it was ok to lie to her parents and go behind their backs. Then 2 years later when she was 15, he was ok with lying to her parents and family and friends so he could be with her. He was okay with being manipulative to get his way. At 22 he still lived with his grandparents in their basement. He was controlling and stubborn. He was always right, even if he was wrong. He always had to have the last word. He did not like my parents, and told me that often. He wanted to avoid them, though that proved difficult because I was only allowed to court him. He was not ok with that. In two months, I found out that my dreamy, secret love was actually, in a nutshell, an immature and selfish man who was always butting heads with my parents and unwilling to better


Bonner 15 himself for me, the girl he supposedly loved. And I realized that was not what I wanted. That was not what I deserved. When I met with Josh to break up with him, I was scared. I hated confrontation, and I did not want to hurt him. Breaking up with Josh was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I was afraid I was going to suffer many months with a broken heart. But Josh fixed that right away. He began to argue with me. He would cut me off, not allow me to speak. He said over and over, “I think, I want, I need, I this, I that…” Not once did I hear anything about me. My brother had to come get me from the room Josh and I were in because Josh would not let me leave until he was done talking. Finally, as I was leaving the room, Josh shouted at me, “I’m not done!” I looked at him and firmly said, “Well I am.” And I walked away. I dealt with his attitude and accusations for many months after that day. He wouldn’t give up that easily, I will give him that. But it was over. It was finally over. In those two months, I changed and grew up more than any 17 year old ever had. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking about my present. Suddenly I wasn’t just a high school girl with a cute high school relationship. Suddenly I had to start thinking like an adult. Suddenly I had to start making choices for my future. I was stressed over things that hadn’t happened. I was stressed over things that could happen. I was tired and worn. But I grew. I matured. I realized what my parents did for me. I understood what they were trying to do before. I realized how important family was. I realized how devastating lying and betrayal was. Those two months forever changed how I viewed relationships. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice…it’s about damn time I learned my lesson.


Bonner 16 Final Revision Fool Me Thrice It all began when I went behind my parents’ backs. I was a liar, a betrayer. I thought I was good at it, but I would later find out that I wasn’t as good as I thought. I thought I found love through a deep friendship. I thought I had it as good as it could get. I thought I was making for myself the dream every girl had. I thought I knew better. I thought I was right, but I was wrong. It took me 5 years to figure that out. When I was 13 years old, I became more active in my church’s youth group. That youth group became my second family. One person especially became a very close friend of mine, and his name was Josh. We had so much in common, and we thought a lot alike. We quickly became good friends with inside jokes and memories to share. I enjoyed his company, and he enjoyed mine. Before long, that friendship began to create feelings of admiration that turned the relationship into more of a romance. All would have been fine except for one thing: Josh was 18 years old. We both knew that a romance was not something we could have because of our age difference. Instead of accepting that and continuing on as friends or setting boundaries, we had a secret relationship hidden deep under our friendship mask. Notes exchanged in secrecy were how we communicated, as this was before texting and Facebook. The thrill of expecting a note every time we saw each other at church was probably what made the relationship so desirable. I called him my boyfriend, and I was his girlfriend. We were never physical. We never could be. Through letters and chance alone time at church, we fell in love. It wasn’t long before my parents found out. My feelings for Josh were too great to disguise as a giddy 13 year old girl. My parents put an end to this secret romance, disapproving


Bonner 17 of the age difference and the lies. We could no longer talk to each other. We could no longer see each other, unless it was a smile and wave during Sunday morning church service. My parents talked with our Pastor and my youth leader about what was happening, so Josh was no longer able to help as leader in the youth group. More than anything, they were angry with him because he was the adult in the situation. I was just a kid, a silly school girl with a crush on an older guy showing attention to me. Of course, it didn’t feel like that then. I truly cared deeply for him, and it hurt to have to end my relationship and all communication with him. I was mad at my parent’s for tearing us apart, but I felt awful for lying to them. I refused to even admit that deep down, I had a feeling they were right about everything. But I was so focused on what I selfishly wanted, not what I needed or what my parents thought. Not even how the choices I made were negatively affecting those around me. I wanted so badly to be in love like the characters in the books I read and have my own love story to dream about when I went to sleep every night. I wish I could say that was the end of it, my parents breaking up Josh and me. To tell this story in its entirety would take much too long. As I continued through high school, Josh and I tried to make our secret romance work several times. Our affection for each other just would not go away. Each time we were discovered and shot down, and each time my parents were crushed by my lying and betrayal. Josh and I really thought we were meant to be. Finally, I turned seventeen. It was my last day of driver’s ed, and I was excited about it. I really, really hated driver’s ed. The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was losing one of the few times I had to spend with Josh. He would take the time out of his day and drive across town just to come during my fifteen minute break with a bag of gummy worms. We’d sit on a bench out front and talk about our lives while we shared that bag of gummy worms. It was the most time we’d ever spent


Bonner 18 together in a week before. It was a luxury. Secret romances did have their flaws. It was worth it, though. When you loved someone that much, you would have done anything to be together. Even if it meant lying to your parents again and again. That’s what love was. So when the instructor said my three favorite words, “Time for break,” I was the first one out of my chair and out into the hallway. And as expected, Josh was there with two bags of gummy worms in hand. “Wow, look at you,” I said, smiling as I walked toward him. “Two bags?” He smiled and kissed my cheek when I was close enough to him. “I thought I’d go all out since we are celebrating the end of driver’s ed.” We walked hand in hand to the bench we normally sat on. The first time he visited, I was so nervous about someone seeing us and it somehow getting back to my parents. By now, a few weeks later, I wasn’t anxious anymore. We exchanged small talk for a while. As the fifteen minutes came to a close, we started getting a little more serious and somber. “So…” Josh began, crushing the empty gummy worm bag between his hands. I looked up at him, feeling an uneasiness creep into my rib cage. I knew what he was about to ask, and I didn’t want to talk about it. “After today, the only time we get to see each other is at church. We go right back to where we were before. Pretending like we don’t exist.” I looked down, folding the top of my gummy worm bag to secure the remaining worms. “Yeah, I know.” “I don’t know about you, but after spending all this time together, I don’t really want to do that.” “Josh…” I began.


Bonner 19 “No wait, hear me out,” he said, cutting me off. “This worked really well, staying after school. Maybe you could tell your parents every other day that you have a meeting or something. So we could see each other.” I took a deep breath. The thought of that made me nervous. So many things could go wrong. That already happened to us last time we tried that. While I was “at a meeting after school,” my mom arrived much earlier than the time I told her I would be done. So when Josh and I were walking around the loop, a walking track around the school’s soccer fields, we looked up to see my mom’s van parked in the parking lot. Luckily, we saw her before she saw us and we were able to dart away, unseen. Honestly, I didn’t ever want to feel that fear again. “I don’t know,” I said to Josh. “It’s a really big risk. You remember what happened last time.” “Yeah, I know,” he said. “But we will be more careful.” “How careful is more careful? We are walking around my high school. There are so many people that know me. It wouldn’t take much for my lie to fall through if someone even glimpsed us together. I just don’t want to take that risk…” I could tell he was frustrated. I couldn’t blame him. He wanted to spend time with me. I was the bad guy not wanting to spend time with him. Unfortunately, I was the one who would face greater consequences, so I was the one who was more concerned about the risks involved. I didn’t realize it then, but he never took the time to think of it like that. It was a constant struggle with our relationship. Thankfully time ran out, so the conversation had to be wrapped up quickly. We always ended our conversations with a high note, whether that be us singing a very off pitch note in a high octave or some cheesy joke. We hugged and parted ways. I could feel my heart sink as I


Bonner 20 walked back to class. I was usually so excited at the thought of finding ways to see him, but here recently the fear of being discovered was just overbearing. Two weeks later I no longer had to worry about the fear of being caught. One day after school, Mom and Dad asked me to sit with them at the table in the dining room. Anytime that happened, something good wasn’t about to go down, so immediately my stomach flip-flopped. The three of us sat down, and I tried to act natural like I wasn’t hiding anything. I was trying so hard that I really had no idea if I actually looked innocent or so innocent that I looked guilty. My dad got right to the point and asked me, “So. Before we start, is there anything you want to share with us? Anything in your life we don’t know about?” There it was. He was giving me the opportunity to come clean. I could save myself, even if it was just a smidge. But I wasn’t going to give in. There was a small chance that he was trying to catch me in a bluff. I didn’t want to take that chance, even though I knew in the back of my mind that they knew about Josh and me. I knew because just a few days earlier I had accidently left my phone in the van to go into a store with my mom. When I got back, I noticed that a text message from Josh had been viewed. The text said, “I love you.” I knew my dad read it. I knew. But I still lied, right to their faces. “No, nothing.” And there it was, the lie of the century. They didn’t need to tell me how disappointed they were. I could see it creep across their faces. I immediately regretted my decision. There was a pause before my dad continued. “Kassie, I read a text on your phone from Josh saying ‘I love you.’ Can you please explain that?” I was surprised by how calm he sounded. There didn’t seem to be a hint of anger in his voice like the last few times we had had this conversation. I looked down at the tablecloth and


Bonner 21 shamefully said, “Josh and I are in a relationship…again.” I even winced at that last part. I wanted more than anything to never look up from that tablecloth. I didn’t want to see the hurt in my parents’ eyes. But I had to. I owed them that. My mom sat silently next to me with her lips pressed together and her hands folded in front of her on the table. Of the two of them, she disapproved of Josh the most. She didn’t believe, even if there was no age difference or lying, that Josh was a good match for me. Of course, I was convinced that she was just mad that we kept lying to her. “Kassie, we are passed the point of understanding,” my dad continued. “This is not the first time you have lied to us and gone behind our backs to pursue Josh. This isn’t even the second time. You just sat here and lied to us, right to our faces. I can’t even begin to describe the hurt and disappointment your mom and I are feeling right now.” I couldn’t even begin to describe the shame and disgust with myself. How dare I do this to them…again. I prepared myself for the same speech on how I was forbidden to see Josh again. I started planning in my head how I was going to cope with not talking to him. I was promising myself in my head that I just couldn’t lie to them again. But then my dad surprised me. “We are tired of fighting with you. You are no longer a child anymore. You are 17 years old. If you want a relationship with Josh so bad, we are giving you permission to court him. We don’t like the idea of you courting Josh, but it seems like you are not giving us a choice. So. If you want to be with him so badly, you now don’t have to do it in secret.” I was in shock. This was not the way I had expected it to go. Never in a thousand years did I think they would give me permission to be with Josh. Excitement filled my heart: no longer


Bonner 22 did we have to lie! No longer did I have to worry about being caught! Finally, we could have a normal relationship. The conversation eventually came to a close after they had me explain why I wanted to be with Josh. They took my phone, and I was grounded from it for a month. My Internet and TV privileges were also taken from me. A big part of me didn’t even care. I could finally be with Josh. It would only be happily ever after from that moment on. Two months later I was sitting down with my dad again talking through my breakup with Josh. This time, though, it was a decision I was making all on my own. With the shadows of secrecy no longer a driving force in our relationship, the doors of Josh’s and my relationship were thrown open, allowing light to fall on every detail. It wasn’t long before I started to see what my parents had been trying to tell me all along. I finally began to see what kind of man Josh really was. In those two months, I found out that my dreamy, secret love was actually, in a nutshell, an immature and selfish man who was always butting heads with my parents and was unwilling to better himself for me, the girl he supposedly loved. And I realized that was not what I wanted. That was not what I deserved. When I met with Josh to break up with him, I was scared. I hated confrontation, and I did not want to hurt him. Breaking up with Josh was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I was afraid I was going to suffer many months with a broken heart. But Josh fixed that right away. Not long after we met up at the church in one of the rooms downstairs, he began to argue with me. He would cut me off, not allowing me to speak. He said over and over, “I think, I want, I need, I this, I that…” Not once did I hear anything about me. That’s when it finally hit me; this relationship was about what he wanted, what he thought, what he believed. That’s why he never felt or understood my fear. That’s why he never made the choice to wait for me and respect my


Bonner 23 desire to be honest with my parents. That moment in that room is when I realized the importance of the “we” factor in a relationship. Finally, my brother had to come get me because Josh would not let me leave until he was done talking. As I was leaving, Josh shouted at me, “I’m not done!” I looked at him with the new confidence gained through my recent realization and firmly said, “Well I am.” I walked away without looking back. I dealt with his attitude and accusations for many months after that day. He wouldn’t give up that easily on trying to convince me that we were meant to be, I will give him that. But it was over. It was finally over. In those two months, I changed and grew up more than any 17 year old ever had. Suddenly, I wasn’t thinking about my present. Suddenly, I wasn’t just a high school girl with a cute high school relationship. Suddenly, I had to start thinking like an adult. Suddenly, I had to start making choices for my future. I was stressed over things that hadn’t happened and was stressed over things that might happen. I was tired and worn, but I grew. I matured. I realized what my parents did for me and understood what they were trying to do before. I realized how important family was. I realized how devastating lying and betrayal was. I realized the importance of truth and how much honesty or lack thereof can put strain on anything. Those two months forever changed how I viewed relationships between two people in love and between family members, but those months also helped me realize how the two types of relationships are dependent on each other. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice…it’s about damn time I learned my lesson.


Bonner 24 Revision Response Essay The overall process of revision with my paper proved to be beneficial in polishing my work even further than it was when I began. I usually edit as I write any paper, and that is what I did as I wrote this creative non-fiction essay. My first draft is usually not too much different than my final draft simply because I put a lot of effort into my first draft. I use any revision process to polish and refine my first draft even further to get it as close to perfect as I can. Most of the revision notes from workshop were about paragraph breaks and punctuation errors. Some notes I agreed with, and some notes I did not agree with. I agreed that there were some paragraph breaks that didn’t make a lot of sense. There was one sentence in my essay where I told the readers the problem with Josh’s and my relationship, and I had the one sentence in a paragraph by itself. I wrote it like that originally to add dramatic effect for the readers, but I realized it wasn’t that dramatic of news to write it in its own separate paragraph. It flowed better tagged on to the end of its preceding paragraph. There were a lot of punctuation notes I received that I did not agree with. I wrote the sentence “We had so much in common, and we thought a lot alike,” and one group member noted “You don’t need commas before ‘and’ when it is only two parts of a sentence.” I decided not to take that advice and keep my comma where it was because I’ve been taught that you always use a comma when combining two complete sentences together with a conjunctive. Aside from mechanical notes, I did get contextual notes that made me rethink how I wrote certain sections in my paper. One of my group members shared with me what she thought to be the lesson I, the narrator, learned through the experience I shared within my non-fiction essay. The lesson she thought I had learned was not actually what I wanted readers to pull away


Bonner 25 from the story, so I went back into my concluding paragraph and added some sentences and thoughts to better relay what the purpose of writing the essay actually was. Other contextual notes prompted me to delete about 3 or 4 paragraphs from my original paper. Some paragraphs were not completely relevant to what the topic of the essay was about. There was a section where I wrote extensively about how much I disliked a driver’s education course I had taken. One group member noted that it was slightly distracting because it was not that important to the story, so I cut it down to one sentence. There were about 2 paragraphs where I explained in great detail “what kind of man Josh really was.” Every time I read it in class to group members, I always thought about skipping it because I felt like I was ranting. I finally just took it out because I actually was ranting, and it wasn’t necessary to the story. After I took the paragraphs out I realized that I had summarized what I had written already by saying “In those two months, I found out that my dreamy, secret love was actually, in a nutshell, an immature and selfish man who was always butting heads with my parents and unwilling to better himself for me, the girl he supposedly loved.” That was all I needed to say, not waste 2 whole paragraphs ranting about what I didn’t like about this guy. Outside of workshop and personal revision also proved to be helpful. I used a different kind of revision method I found in the textbook that helped me pick out things that needed fixed such as adding more detail to certain sections. I was slightly surprised, but delighted, to hear that every person that read my essay was not bothered by the length but rather enjoyed the story because it was dynamic and an easy read. Any corrections needed to be made to my paper were decently easy ones since it mostly involved deleting or adding material and not a lot of modification to material I already had.


Bonner 26 Overall, the revision process proved to be more beneficial than I originally thought it would be. Many revision suggestions I received from other group members I did not decide to consider. This was mostly because they were suggestions on grammar or punctuation and were incorrect. A lot of revision suggestions that I did consider were contextual, and they did end up making my essay stronger. I used to be skeptical with peer revision because in past experiences they have never helped my writing, but through this workshop I was able to use peer suggestions to make changes to my essay that made it a much better piece of creative non-fiction writing.


Bonner 27

FICTION


Bonner 28 Kassie Bonner ENG 285 – 3 Professor Whiteacre March 26, 2013 Rough Draft Between Love and a Hard Place A million thoughts raced through her head as she searched through his small, cluttered desk for the thing that could change her life for the good or bad. While pushing through a pile of folders, she stuck her hand is something gooey and spongy. “Ugh…” She pulled her hand back from a half eaten piece of cake. “Ugh, Felix…this is why you need a woman in your life…” Stephanie wiped her hand on one of the towels hung over the chair and then threw it in the overflowing laundry bag hanging on the back of the bathroom door. The tiny apartment was hardly big enough to fit three horses, yet she still had a difficult time finding her boyfriend’s resume. She was with him when he printed out a copy, she just couldn’t remember where he put it. Her heart jumped when she took a moment to glance at her watch. Felix was going to arrive in just a few minutes. She needed to find that resume and fast. She set her Prada bag down on the rumpled bed and threw back her long, golden waves in a loose ponytail. “Ok, if I were Felix…” She thought for a second and suddenly a light bulb came on. “Ugh. He wouldn’t keep it in a folder…he likes convenience, not organization.” She turned on one foot and went to the tiny bathroom. She tried to ignore the sink full of his shaved beard hair. And of course, there was his resume, on the floor next to the sink with notes scribbled all over it


Bonner 29 like an author’s note pad. She couldn’t help but smile through her disgust. Felix may be messy…but he was always thinking. She heard the door open in the other room. “Steph? Are you in here?” Her mind raced while she looked for a reply. Suddenly she had one. “Yeah babe. Um, hey. I’m in the bathroom and…well, could you slide my purse in though the cracked door? I’m having…some woman issues.” And just like that, no questions asked. ~~ Stephanie looked at him with an exasperated look. Felix could tell she was frustrated, just like he could tell this conversation was not going to accomplish anything. “You know…my dad is hiring down at the dealership. He needs salesman,” she said, careful not to meet my gaze, as if she knew what I would say. “I think you would be great. And so does he.” Felix sighed heavily. “I don’t want to be a salesman. You know this.” She looked at him then. “Then what do you want to be, Felix? What? You didn’t go to college. You aren’t planning on going to college, to my understanding.” “Is this what this is about? That acceptance letter from Yale? Stephanie, I didn’t even send them that application. That was you!” He glared at her as she continued looking at the ground. “Why can’t you understand? I’m not…I’m not like you. I don’t want to go to college.” Now she looked at him. “And you think I don’t know that? But that’s just it, Felix. Life isn’t about what you want. It’s about what you need to do to survive. You should know that by now.” At that she waved her arm in a wave-like motion. Felix looked around at his studio apartment, barely big enough to call an apartment. When he didn’t respond, she went on. “I understand that you have dreams. I have dreams too. But dreams don’t just happen. People don’t just get lucky. Opportunity’s don’t just waltz in


Bonner 30 your door. Sometimes you need to take the first few steps.” She looked at me. Now it was my turn to look at the ground. There was a long pause and the small room felt even smaller. Finally Stephanie stood up. Felix looked up at her and saw she had tears in her eyes. “Aww, Steph come on…don’t be like that…” She shook her head. “No, Felix. You don’t be like this.” She looked at him. “We’ve been together since sophomore year…you know…you knew what I needed. I need stability. I need to assurance that I will have a life to look forward to and…” A soft sob escaped her lips. “And you can’t give me that right now. You’re not even taking responsibility for yourself.” Now it was his turn to stand up. They stared at each other for a long time while he battled with myself internally. He loved this girl. But she refused to support my choices. How long would a relationship built on that last? Felix shook his head and looked down. “I need to do this…you know…” My voice faded out. “Good bye Felix.” And then the girl he loved turned and walked out his door, and he chose to let her. This time, freedom did not taste so good. ~~ Felix walked quietly into the hospital room. It was dark, the curtains in the window pulled shut. He thought about quietly calling out to the man lying motionless in the bed, but even that might scare him. So instead, he walked over to the side of the bed where the man was and gently laid a hand on his forearm.


Bonner 31 “Dad?”No response. He was asleep, as he usually was. Turning around, Felix searched for the same chair he sat in every time he went to visit his father. Once he located it, he picked it up and brought it over to the side of his bed and sat down in it. For a good ten minutes Felix said nothing, just thinking. He didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Finally he sighed. “Remember when you and mom had that big fight when I was really young? And she walked out the door, and we were both afraid she wouldn’t come back? That’s what I feel like right now…but worse.” He leaned forward and put his head in his hands. “Stephanie left me yesterday…though ‘left me’ might be the wrong wording.” He took a deep breath and spoke slowly. “At what point do I decide what’s more important? What I need to do with my life, or what someone I love wants out of me? How do I love someone but then allow myself to be…miserable?” He sat up and looked at his father lying in the bed. The monitor next to him beeped quietly, his breathing was steady. Felix placed his hand on his father’s and smiled. “I will never forget the joy and relief on your face when you opened the door and saw mom standing there. For the first time, you didn’t try to steal kisses from her when I was in the room.” He chuckled at the memory. “You went right to her and kissed her long and hard. And even as an eight year old, it didn’t make me sick. I knew you loved her. “I want that, Dad. And I know the woman I want it with. But…but she doesn’t have faith in me, Dad.” He sighed again, even more heavily. “I guess she didn’t have parents like I did, teaching me it was all about following my heart and not about…I don’t know…conforming to what the world expected of me. “It’s like I have to choose. Do I want love? Or do I want to live my life the way my heart tells me to? …I think I already made my choice, though I thought it would feel better than this,


Bonner 32 having the freedom to make a choice. But Dad…my heart is just breaking. And I don’t know if I made the right choice.” Then Felix felt pressure on his hand. He looked up and saw his father’s eyes looking into his. They stayed that way, just looking at each other, giving each other comfort in each other’s company, and Felix knew what his dad was telling him. ~~ Two months later there hung a sadness in the air that couldn’t be explained. It kept anyone from talking, and made it hard to breathe. Felix looked over at his sister, Rose, who sat at the table across from him. Tears rolled down her face silently. He then looked over at his mother who looked as if she wanted to say something, but couldn’t. He knew it was him who had to say something. He cleared his throat and ran his hand over his neatly trimmed beard. The two women looked at him, their eyes hollow. “I can make a few calls. If you girls want to, um…rest. Or something…” He felt like he was talking to strangers, and his mouth felt like he hadn’t had anything to drink in years. “No, I will help you,” Rose said as she looked at her mother. “Momma, why don’t you go take a bath? I just got this new bubble bath for my birthday, and it’s wonderful.” She swallowed hard when Mom didn’t respond right away. “It smells like lavender and peaches. It will help, I promise. It will help you feel better before we go…” Rose looked at Felix with pleading eyes. He nodded and spoke up, “It’s a good idea, Mom. Why don’t you go down the hall with her?” Finally their mother spoke. “I can do it myself.” She took a deep breath and sat up straight, looking at her children. “I want you two to get a hold of the family. Coworkers. Friends.


Bonner 33 Just let them know what’s going on.” With that she pushed back her chair and stood up. Felix could tell she was holding back tears as she looked at the two of them. “I love you two so much. Don’t you forget that.” She smiled weakly, turned and walked down the hall. Rose let out a hushed sob once Mom was out of earshot, so Felix reached across the table and put his hand on hers. “We are going to get through this.” She sniffed. “Yeah…yeah I know we are. I just…what’s going to happen to Mom? Neither of us lives nearby. We are so far across town.” He squeezed her hand. “Don’t worry about it. I can stay with mom. You have a family to take care of. Mom knows that. The last thing she would want is for you to leave them to come over here. She’d probably whip you and send you out.” Felix chuckled at that last part. Rosa smiled as well. “You’re right.” The smile disappeared as she looked at her brother. “Have you talked to Stephanie yet?” Felix looked down at the table. “We haven’t spoken since the day she walked out my door.” It was Rosa’s turn to squeeze his hand. “I think now would be a good time to start talking.”


Bonner 34 Final Revision Between Love and a Hard Place A million thoughts raced through her head as she searched his small, cluttered desk for the thing that could change her life for the good or bad. While pushing through a pile of folders, she stuck her hand is something gooey and spongy. “Ugh.” She pulled her hand back from a half eaten piece of cake. “Ugh, Felix. This is why you need a woman in your life.” Stephanie wiped her hand on one of the towels hung over the chair and then threw it in the overflowing laundry bag hanging on the back of the bathroom door. The tiny apartment was hardly big enough to fit three horses, yet she still had a difficult time finding her boyfriend’s resume. She was with him when he printed out a copy, she just couldn’t remember where he put it. Her heart jumped when she took a moment to glance at her watch. Felix was going to arrive in just a few minutes. She needed to find that resume and fast. She set her Prada bag down on the rumpled bed and threw back her long, golden waves in a loose ponytail. Ok, if I were Felix. She thought for a second and suddenly a light bulb came on. He wouldn’t keep it in a folder! He likes convenience, not organization. She turned on one foot and went to the tiny bathroom. She tried to ignore the sink full of his trimmed beard hair. She couldn’t help but wish he’d shave that mass of hair off his face. And of course, there was his resume, on the floor next to the sink with notes scribbled all over it like an author’s note pad. She couldn’t help but smile through her disgust. Felix may have fallen into a downward spiral of messiness…but even through his depression he was still always thinking. She heard the door open in the other room. “Steph? Are you in here?”


Bonner 35 Her mind raced while she thought of a reply. Suddenly she had one. “Yeah babe. Um, hey. I’m in the bathroom and…well, could you slide my purse in though the cracked door? I’m having…some woman issues.” And just like that, no questions asked. ~~ Stephanie looked at him with exasperation. Felix could tell she was frustrated, just like he could tell this conversation was not going to accomplish anything. “You know…my dad is hiring down at the dealership. He needs salesman,” she said, careful not to meet his gaze, as if she knew what he would say. “I think you would be great. And so does he.” Felix sighed heavily. “I don’t want to be a salesman. You know this.” She looked at him then. “Then what do you want to be, Felix? What? You didn’t go to college. You aren’t planning on going to college, to my understanding.” “You know what I want to be!” Felix exclaimed. “And you know why I don’t want to go to college.” He eyed her suspiciously. “What is this really about? That acceptance letter from Stanford? Stephanie, I didn’t even send them that application. That was you!” He glared at her as she continued looking at the ground. “Why can’t you understand? I’m not…I’m not like you. I don’t want to go to college.” Now she looked at him. “And you think I don’t know that? But that’s just it, Felix. Life isn’t about what you want. It’s about what you need to do to survive. You should know that by now.” At that she waved her arm in a wave-like motion, gesturing to his small apartment. Felix looked around at his small studio, barely big enough to call an apartment. When he didn’t respond, she went on. “I understand that you have dreams. I have dreams too. But dreams don’t just happen. People don’t just get lucky. Opportunities don’t just waltz in


Bonner 36 your door. Sometimes you need to take the first few steps.” She looked at him. Now it was his turn to look at the ground. There was a long pause and the small room felt even smaller. Finally Stephanie stood up. Felix looked up at her and saw she had tears in her eyes. “Aww, Steph come on. Don’t be like that.” She shook her head. “No, Felix. You don’t be like this.” She looked at him. “We’ve been together since sophomore year. You know, you knew what I needed. I need stability. I need assurance that I will have a life to look forward to and-” A soft sob escaped her lips. “You’re not even taking responsibility for yourself. Until you can get yourself together, you can’t give me what I need right now.” Now it was his turn to stand up. They stared at each other for a long time while he battled with himself internally. He loved this girl. But she refused to support his choices. How long would a relationship built on that last? Felix shook his head and looked down. “I need to do this. You know-” His voice faded out. “Steph I can’t.” Stephanie took a deep breath trying to hold back the sob sitting in her throat when she realized what his answer was. She stared at him for a moment, hoping that he would change his mind. When he didn’t say anything, she gulped and in a hushed voice said, “Good bye Felix.” And then the girl he loved turned and walked briskly out his door, and he chose to let her. This time, freedom did not taste so good. ~~ Felix walked quietly into the hospital room. It was dark, the curtains in the window pulled shut. He thought about quietly calling out to the man lying motionless in the bed, but even


Bonner 37 that might scare him. So instead, he walked over to the side of the bed where the man was and gently laid a hand on his forearm. “Dad?”No response. He was asleep, as he usually was. The doctor had already given him less than a month to live with his cancer being as far along as it was. Turning around, Felix searched for the same chair he sat in every time he went to visit his father. Once he located it, he picked it up and brought it over to the side of his bed and sat down in it. For a good ten minutes Felix said nothing, just thinking. He didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Finally he sighed. “Remember when you and mom had that big fight when I was really young? And she walked out the door, and we were both afraid she wouldn’t come back? That’s what I feel like right now…but worse.” He leaned forward and put his head in his hands. “Stephanie left me yesterday…though ‘left me’ might be the wrong wording.” He took a deep breath and spoke slowly. “At what point do I decide what’s more important? What I need to do with my life, or what someone I love wants out of me? How do I love someone but then allow myself to be…miserable?” He sat up and looked at his father lying in the bed. The monitor next to him beeped quietly, his breathing steady. Felix placed his hand on his father’s and smiled. “I will never forget the joy and relief on your face when you opened the door and saw mom standing there. For the first time, you didn’t try to steal kisses from her when I was in the room.” He chuckled at the memory. “You went right to her and kissed her long and hard. And even as an eight year old, it didn’t make me sick. I knew you loved her. “I want that, Dad. And I know the woman I want it with. But she doesn’t have faith in me.” He sighed again, even more heavily. “I guess she didn’t have parents like I did, teaching me


Bonner 38 it was all about following my heart and not about, I don’t know, conforming to what the world expected of me. “It’s like I have to choose. Do I want love? Or do I want to live my life the way my heart tells me to?” Felix paused to take a deep breath. “I think I already made my choice, though I thought it would feel better than this, having the freedom to make a choice. But my heart is breaking. And I don’t know if I made the right choice.” Then Felix felt pressure on his hand. He looked up and saw his father’s eyes looking into his. They stayed that way, giving each other comfort in each other’s company. His father didn’t need to say any words for Felix to know that he was saying, You’ll figure it out. ~~ He asked the doctor to contact him first when it happened. By being the first to know, he could better control how the news got around. More importantly though, he would be able to make sure he was available for his mother. With how frail and quiet she had been the past few weeks, Felix knew he needed to be there for her as soon as it happened as he was afraid she’d withdraw deeply inside herself. He didn’t want to lose his mom too. Even though he knew the call was coming soon, when the doctor on the other side of the phone told him the news, Felix felt as if his life stopped. He tried to sound as collected and eloquent as possible throughout the call. Managing to get through the entire conversation sounding fine, he lost it near the end when his voice broke as he thanked the doctor for contacting him first. A look of sadness and empathy on the man’s face could be visualized through the pause the doctor took before speaking. “I’m so sorry, Felix. If there is anything I can do to help…” Even he was lost for words.


Bonner 39 “Thank you, Steven,” Felix said, clearing his throat. “We will keep that in mind.” He put his shaking hand to his forehead and took a deep breath before speaking again. “Again, I will shoot you a text when I’m with Mom.” Felix ended the call and sat still for a few moments. Soon his hand went limp and the phone fell to the floor. The sound of the phone hitting the floor triggered the month’s worth of pent up tears. He sat there on the edge of his bed for a few minutes, unashamed of the choked sobs escaping his throat. His dad was dead. His best friend, his mentor, was dead. He was the man who always had the answer, who always knew what to do, who always knew what to say. Now he was gone, and Felix felt more lost than he ever had. Overcome with grief and frustration, Felix stood up and shouted, shoving the mess of folders and paper off his cluttered desk. Seeing the wood of his desk for the first time since he first moved in prompted him to continue clearing off everything on his desk. Soon there were empty coffee mugs, newly made coffee stains, papers, pens and a plethora of other desk supplies scattered on the floor around Felix’s desk. Tears silently streaming down his face, he sat down in his desk chair and stared at the bare desk before him, thoughts sluggishly swirling through his mind. His dad never got to see him become something great. His dad died seeing his son as a failure. As the years went by without any progression with his extraordinary computer skills, Felix stopped caring about a lot of things; most importantly his hygiene and personal care. Despite his lack of success, he refused to compromise what he believed in to be something great. That’s how he was raised, and his dad was the only one who really understood him. His dad was the only one who supported him not going to college.


Bonner 40 High school held Felix back from being the best he could be. The constrictions of the educational system didn’t allow him to prove his skill with computers and programming. He wasn’t fit for a classroom. Homework was pointless work. Tests were useless tools for examining knowledge. He was probably the smartest guy in the entire school, but the school’s grading system said otherwise. And people wondered why he didn’t want to go to college. He wasn’t about to pay thousands of dollars to sit in a classroom being taught the things he already knew and be restricted by the systems he hated. He didn’t know how much time had passed when he started awake to the sound of his phone going off. He sat up, the soreness in his back and neck screaming at him after being in the uncomfortable position for so long. He tried to rub the sleepiness out of his eyes as he gulped down the feeling of a lingering sob. “Jeez, I’m so tired,” he said to himself as he laid his head on his forearms again. He felt as if the load of all his stress and feelings of failure had finally caught up with him in the midst of his grief for losing the one man who always understood and believed in him. Now Felix was at a loss for what to do. He thought about going back to sleep, but then a gold-colored reflection on the floor beside him caught his attention. As he bent over to pick it up, he saw that it was a card from when he graduated high school. “Congrats, Grad!” was splashed on the front in shiny gold letters. He opened the card and read the typical greeting anyone would see in a store bought card, but it was the handwritten note on the other side of the card that he really paid attention to. Felix, You’ve done it! You are finally done with high school. Didn’t I tell you it’d be over in no time? I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of you. If I


Bonner 41 had the option to choose any son, I would choose you a million times over. You have what it takes to go far. Don’t let the world tell you any different. Now get out there and show the world what they’ve been missing! Love you son, Dad

By the end of the note, Felix’s vision was blurred with tears. He had forgotten about this card, even though he kept it for all this time because of its encouraging words. In the year that Felix had been feeling unsuccessful, his father still believed in him and encouraged him every day when he was still alive and healthy. He never lost faith in him. “I can do this,” Felix said aloud. Liking the sound of those words and actually believing them the first time in a long time, he said them again more loudly. “I can do this!” His eyes looked up to the ceiling, and he smiled. “Here goes nothing, Dad.” With his new-found confidence, Felix stood up and wiped away the tears lingering on his face. He headed to the bathroom where he picked up his razor and began to shave the unruly hair sticking out of his face. After all, a successful computer technician didn’t look like he was dragged in from the street.

~~ There was sadness in the air that couldn’t be explained. It kept anyone from talking, and made it hard to breathe. Felix looked over at his sister, Rose, who sat at the kitchen table across from him. Tears rolled down her face silently. He then looked over at his mother who looked as if she wanted to say something but couldn’t. He knew it was him who had to say something. He knew it was now his turn to lead his family.


Bonner 42 He cleared his throat and ran his hand over his neatly trimmed beard. The two women looked at him, their eyes hollow. “I can make a few calls. If you girls want to, um…rest. Or something.” He felt like he was talking to strangers, and his mouth felt like he hadn’t had anything to drink in years. “No, I will help you,” Rose said as she looked at her mother. “Momma, why don’t you go take a bath? I just got this new bubble bath for my birthday, and it’s wonderful.” She swallowed hard when her mom didn’t respond right away. “It smells like lavender and peaches. It will help, I promise. It will help you feel better before we go…” Rose looked at Felix with pleading eyes. He nodded and spoke up, “It’s a good idea, Mom. Why don’t you go down the hall with her? I will make a few calls here in-” Finally their mother spoke, cutting him off. “I can do it myself.” She took a deep breath and sat up straight, looking at her children. “I want you two to get a hold of the family. Coworkers. Friends. Just let them know what’s going on. Tell them dates. Times.” With that she pushed back her chair and stood up. Felix could tell she was holding back tears as she looked at the two of them. “I love you two so much. Don’t you forget that.” She smiled weakly, turned and walked down the hall. Rose let out a hushed sob once their mom was out of earshot, so Felix reached across the table and put his hand on hers. “We are going to get through this.” She sniffed. “Yeah. Yeah I know we are. What’s going to happen to Mom? Neither of us lives nearby. We are so far across town.” He squeezed her hand. “Don’t worry about it. I can stay with mom. You have a family to take care of. Mom knows that. The last thing she would want is for you to leave them to come over here. She’d probably whip you and send you out.” Felix chuckled at that last part.


Bonner 43 Rose smiled as well. “You’re right.” The smile disappeared as she looked at her brother. “Have you talked to Stephanie yet?” Felix looked down at the table. “We haven’t spoken since the day she walked out my door.” It was Rose’s turn to squeeze his hand. “I think now would be a good time to start talking.” ~~ It was about a month before he began to look for her and another few weeks to find her, as he no longer had any contact with her. Supposedly, Stephanie had decided to change her major to Teaching, so she transferred to a different college. He finally found that she was enrolled in the University of California in Berkeley, so Felix took the hour trip from Stanford in his new car to visit the campus in hopes of finding her. He was unfamiliar with the campus, so he had to ask many passing students about certain locations. Finally one helpful student told him about an app he could download on his phone to look for and find the different places on campus. He was happy to discover that there was a Jamba Juice on campus, Stephanie’s guilty pleasure that she had at least three times a day. It was lunchtime, so he decided to go and wait at Jamb, hoping to catch her on one of her runs. Two and half hours later his fear of waiting in vain was relieved when he saw a beautiful blonde woman walk in through the doors. Stephanie was a tad more tan than when he last saw her, but everything else was the same. She had on her typical jean shorts and was wearing a tank top in her favorite color, light blue. Her golden blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders in loose curls. His heart started beating faster than normal as he watched her go up to the counter to order.


Bonner 44 Finally the nerves of seeing her were catching up to him, and he feared he might even lose the confidence to face her. Before he could change his mind and leave the shop, Stephanie dropped her wallet she was holding and turned to pick it up. As she stood up, she glanced over toward Felix. Their eyes met and she froze, still halfway bent over. She stayed like that for a brief moment with her mouth open, staring at Felix. She was no doubt surprised to see him there, but she must have been surprised by how cleaned up he looked with his new haircut and fitted clothes. Finally she seemed to snap to and stood up straight. Felix smiled at her, feeling the warmth of his love for her creep through his veins. She smiled too, which was a good sign, and she walked to where he was standing. “Hey,” he said when she was close enough to hear him. “Hey,” she said back. Her voice was just as beautiful as he remembered. They stared at each other for awhile before she broke the silence. “So, how are you?” She was at a loss for the right words. “I’m good,” he responded, his heart beating faster. He decided to skip the small talk and get right to the point. “Steph, I came to tell you that I’m better. I found a steady job at a local business running and testing computer software. I’m taking a few online classes through Stanford while I work. I finally moved out of that crappy studio and into a one bedroom just a few blocks from my job.” He laughed. “I actually have a couch now.” By that point Stephanie had a hint of a smile on her face. She still wasn’t saying anything, which made Felix nervous. “Anyway, I just…I thought I’d come up here and see how you were doing.” Stephanie let out a chuckle. “How long have you been waiting here?” She asked. “Oh, just a few hours is all. I mean, I had other stuff to work on so-”


Bonner 45 Stephanie had stopped listening at that point. She finally saw the man she fell in love with standing before her once again, better than he ever was. She finally saw the man she knew he could be. She finally knew that he had decided to make the change he needed to make for himself. She finally knew that he still wanted her. She finally was more than happy to interrupt yet another typical Felix rant to give him the answer she knew he was looking for.


Bonner 46 Revision Response Essay Writing this fiction easy proved to be more difficult to write than the nonfiction essay. Instead of taking what I already knew and writing it down and then fine tuning it, I had to start from scratch and create a story and characters. I struggled specifically with finding a good ending for the story. I was afraid I would make it too cheesy and predictable, as I wrote a love story. I found that, in order to finish, I needed to better create the characters earlier in the story. I did not have a linear pattern to editing and revising this essay; I started from the beginning, got close to the end, went back to the middle, finished the story and then went back to revise the middle portion again. In this workshop, my peers were essential to getting this story to where it needed to be. When I shared my first draft, most everyone was able to point out holes in my story. For example, one peer wrote in his comments that “I don’t really know what Felix’s dream is.” I knew what it was in my head, but I didn’t realize that I hadn’t actually told the readers that important information. So I went back and actually stuck in hints throughout the story so that the reader could infer what Felix wanted to do with his life. Everyone was able to take from the story what I had hoped, so I did a good job conveying the underlying message. What I needed to work on was the surface of the story; the characters, the plot and the back story. During workshop, a fellow peer told me that she wished she knew more of Felix’s back story. One peer also write in her comments that “I didn’t like him at first because he’s gross and unrealistic about life, but when we saw his point of view when he was talking to his dad I found myself liking him.” Felix being my main character, he was very undeveloped, and I wanted to make sure readers liked him and understood his actions. That is why I created a whole new scene where I let the readers know what Felix’s dream was, why he


Bonner 47 was the he was and why he stuck so strongly to his decision not to attend college. Because my peers desired more character development, I was able to add one of the most important scenes to the story. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much my peers enjoyed the scene between Felix and his father. I actually didn’t revise that section very much because I believe it was exactly how I wanted it. I included it to show Felix’s hesitation, his father’s condition (which hinted at later conflict for the story) and his close relationship with his dad. Workshop proved that I was able to get all of those things across with how the scene already was. The fact that this scene was such a hit actually gave me the idea for the mood I’d write Felix’s monologue in. My personal editing outside of workshop was when I did my fine tuning. I read through the story several times trying to fill any holes. A lot of what I added was clarification. The first scene between Felix and Stephanie was edited the most. I went back to make the dialogue more realistic and believable. I realized that there were logic holes in that conversation. For example, in my first draft, Stephanie simply says “Good-bye” to Felix after they have an unclear breakup. It simply wasn’t meaningful or realistic. I went back to write a clearer breakup and give her more reaction. After all, she is breaking up with the love of her life of a few years. Even as I write this revision essay, I am going back to that scene to make sure it is realistic. This story was originally in first person, so I also had to go back and make sure it was consistently written in third person. When I first rewrote it, I missed a lot of “I’s” and it was confusing to readers. For this fiction story, most of my focus for revision was on filling any holes and better rounding the story so that readers could read it without thinking, “Well what about…?” Most of the editing I did was adding entire scenes to give readers a better understanding of the characters. Secondary editing was going through and making sure those


Bonner 48 scenes fit in with the rest of the story. Overall, through the revision process, I was able to make this a complete and heartfelt story readers could enjoy, understand and relate to.


Bonner 49

POEMS


Bonner 50 Kassie Bonner ENG 285 – 3 Professor Whiteacre April 12, 2013 Rough Draft Rising Up I like to think that, when a casket is being lowered into its grave, that it’s actually the world all around it rising up, as if it’s fighting against the sadness, trying to prove that it can and will move on.

I Feel I feel pressured to write continuously. I feel that I might not do it correctly. I feel the cramp in my hand. I feel like typing is healthier for my hand. I feel like writing truth. I feel like not making myself vulnerable to other people. I feel like I need more sleep. I feel like I need to call about my broken coffee machine. I feel like I should have gotten one that worked in the first place. I feel that I hate calling companies about my problems. I feel guilty about sharing my problems to others. I feel that they don’t want to listen. I feel that I might make them feel bad. I feel that I do not want to hurt other people. I feel kind of silly for wanting to take that pain instead. I feel like my back hurts, as it has since my freshman year. I feel so annoyed that it still hurts. I feel sad that it will continue to hurt. I feel self-conscious about how I sit in my chair. I feel that I need to lose weight. I feel that my boyfriend lies to me when he says I am beautiful and look fine. I feel that I am just being a pitiful girl. I feel that I need to be more ok with who I am and what I look like.


Bonner 51 I feel like that is just an excuse I tell myself when I don’t go work out. I feel gross when I work out. I feel that everyone looks at me and thinks, “Ick.” I feel slightly awkward on the shuttle at night when I go to work out. I feel annoyed at the shuttle drivers when they drive slowly. I feel complete when I hang out with my best friend. I feel excited and silly. I feel that we need to make more puppet videos. I feel unwise when I talk about God with my best friend because she is very wise. I feel encouraged when I talk to her about God. I feel that I want to know Him more. I feel like this poem is done.

The Flight Falling through cloud 9 Like falling off a cliff Of happiness and understanding To lick the ground in desperation My mother told me To be careful in love Even now her voice rings out As I fall Reminding me of the place I once was And the flight I’m taking now

Dream Talk I speak, but you do not hear “I love you…” I whisper, Running my fingers through your thick hair “I love you so much, it isn’t fair…” I embrace this precious and still moment Letting my heart swell with emotion “If only I could describe how I feel, “For you to understand that this is real.” I stare down at your still face A lump in my throat and happy tears in my eyes “My affection for you, my desire, “It’s a burning in my soul, a fire.”


Bonner 52

I touch your soft cheek, I lean down and kiss your lips “I miss you when you’re not here, “You give me a reason not to fear.” And you open your eyes and look up at me “Hey,” you say, and smile at me “Hey,” I say, and smile at you And I know that you love me too

The Writer’s Tool I’ve been to many places Been in many people’s care But this place? This place I do not like. Hot and sweaty. Such binding threatens to break me. Not that it matters much I will simply travel elsewhere in the future. What I don’t understand Is what defines someone’s value. So many of these…people Believe it’s money It doesn’t make sense to me Here I am, inexpensive according to many And I’m treated as disposable Because I can be easily replaced, I guess. False. My importance in this world is underappreciated Where would anyone be without me? Who would those “famous” people be without me? Nowhere. No one. They slap their name on my work. And they are the valuable ones. And then what happens? What happens to me? Lost. Forgotten. I end up in a dark place I can’t leave. I can’t leave without help. So I sit and I hope. I hope that someone will decide I have worth. And choose me All while I hope that they will be different


Bonner 53 Different than the last. But I have not met that person yet. Until that day, I will remain just a tool A tool to be used and disposed of Once my “purpose” is done. Until that day, my worth is defined by money. Until that day, my worth is underappreciated. Until that day, I remain lost in the dark. Until that day… I am just a writer’s tool

Beautiful Beat It was a cool night, and I could feel that beat Pulsing through the air at a steady pace Just one of those sounds that really touch the heart One of those sounds that everyone seems to love Rushing to the stage with an incentive in the race The hope to touch the hero they wish to meet I had hoped to touch the hero I wished to meet To meet the creator of that beautiful beat Because every time it played it made my pulse race And my world slow down to a steady pace That’s what it was supposed to feel like, love It controlled emotions, time and the heart That was the night it took control of my heart That moment when across the crowd two glances meet That moment when it’s like a fairytale love When I no longer heard that bass beat But instead a different sort of pace Because I was about to run a different sort of race As I ran that race Learning that there wasn’t much control of the heart It was impossible to keep a safe pace Because you were the hero I truly wanted to meet The creator of the true beautiful beat That beautiful beat that keeps time in love It was the song of love Every time it played it made my pulse race It was a sound that could not be beat


Bonner 54 It was a clear melody of the heart Where emotion and time would meet And keep an ever changing pace Back to that night with my pulse’s quick pace When I first discovered true love Giving fate and I a reason to meet All those fans, to the stage they would race But I could not ignore the calling of my heart It was a cool night, and I could feel that beat Keeping time in love, giving a reason to meet The melody of the heart, an incentive in the race A different sort of pace but still a beautiful beat


Bonner 55 Final Draft Rising Up I like to think that, when a casket is being lowered into its grave, that it’s actually the world all around it rising up, as if it’s fighting against the sadness, trying to prove that it can and will move on and not look back.

I Feel I feel pressured to write continuously. I feel that I might not do it correctly. I feel the cramp in my hand. I feel like typing is healthier. I feel like not making myself vulnerable to other people. I feel like I need more sleep. I feel like I need to call about my broken coffee machine. I feel like I should have gotten one that worked in the first place. I feel that I hate calling companies about my problems. I feel guilty about dumping my problems on others. I feel that I might make them feel bad. I feel that I do not want to hurt other people. I feel kind of silly for wanting to take that pain instead. I feel like my back hurts, as it has since my freshman year. I feel so annoyed that it still hurts. I feel sad that it will continue to hurt. I feel self-conscious about how I sit in my chair. I feel that I need to lose weight. I feel that I need to be more ok with who I am and what I look like. I feel like that is just an excuse I tell myself when I don’t go work out. I feel gross when I work out. I feel slightly awkward on the shuttle at night when I go to work out. I feel annoyed when the shuttle drivers drive slowly. I feel like riding in a car with someone who drives faster. I feel complete when I hang out with my best friend. I feel that we need to make more puppet videos. I feel unwise when I talk about God with my best friend because she is very wise. I feel encouraged when I talk to her about God. I feel that I want to know Him more. I feel like I’ve reached the end of my thoughts.


Bonner 56 The Flight Falling through cloud 9 Like falling off a cliff of happiness and understanding to lick the ground in desperation. My mother told me to be careful in love. Even now her voice rings out as I fall, reminding me of the place I once was and the flight I’m taking now.

The Writer’s Tool I’ve been to many places, been in many people’s care. But this place? This place I do not like. Hot and sweaty. Such binding threatens to break me. Not that it matters much. I will simply travel elsewhere in the future. What I don’t understand is what defines something’s value. So many of these people believe it’s money. It doesn’t make sense to me. Here I am, inexpensive according to many And I’m treated as disposable because I can be easily replaced, I guess. False. My importance in this world is underappreciated. Where would anyone be without me? Nowhere. To go a day without me would be impossible. Who would those “famous” people be without me? No one. They slap their name on my work. And they are the valuable ones instead of me! And then what happens? What happens to me? Lost. Forgotten. I end up deep in a dark bag or on a sidewalk stuck in a crack.


Bonner 57 I have even been left in a bathroom once. And then I can’t leave. So I sit and I hope. I hope that someone will decide I have worth and choose me. All while I hope that they will be different. Different than the last. But I have not met that person yet. Until that day, I will remain just a tool. A tool to be used and disposed of once my “purpose” is done. Until that day, my worth is defined by money. Until that day, my worth is underappreciated. Until that day, I receive no credit. Until that day… I am just a writer’s tool.

Beautiful Beat It was a cool night, and I could feel that beat Pulsing through the air at a steady pace Just one of those sounds that really touch the heart One of those sounds that everyone seems to love Rushing to the stage with an incentive in the race The hope to touch the hero they wish to meet I had hoped to touch the hero I wished to meet To meet the creator of that beautiful beat Because every time it played it made my pulse race And my world slow down to a steady pace That’s what it was supposed to feel like, love It controlled emotions, time and the heart That was the night it took control of my heart That moment when across the crowd two glances meet That moment when it’s like a fairytale love When I no longer heard that bass beat But instead a different sort of pace Because I was about to run a different sort of race As I ran that race Learning that there wasn’t much control of the heart It was impossible to keep a safe pace Because you were the hero I truly wanted to meet


Bonner 58 The creator of the true beautiful beat That beautiful beat that keeps time in love It was the song of love Every time it played it made my pulse race It was a sound that could not be beat It was a clear melody of the heart Where emotion and time would meet And keep an ever changing pace Back to that night with my pulse’s quick pace When I first discovered true love Giving fate and I a reason to meet All those fans, to the stage they would race But I could not ignore the calling of my heart It was a cool night, and I could feel that beat Keeping time in love, giving a reason to meet The melody of the heart, an incentive in the race A different sort of pace but still a beautiful beat


Bonner 59 Revision Response Essay I went into this workshop with every expectation to end up with lots of revisions to my poems because I have never been very comfortable with the poems I have written in the past. However, to my surprise, I left this workshop with the least amount of revision of all three workshops. I found that I was much too satisfied with my poems to really want to change them too much. I also think that, because many of my peers felt a similar unease with poems, editing and comments from other people didn’t prove to be as rewarding as comments from previous workshops. The poem “Rising Up” was originally I sentence that I thought of when I was watching a funeral on a TV show. I was impressed with the thought, so I wrote it down in hopes to use it later. I decided to use it as a poem, and I kept it a short poem because the thought was big enough that it didn’t need to be drawn out. I played with the format during an in class revision to make it resemble a casket. One peer commented “I like the structure of the poem and that it is centered because it makes the title pop out at you,” which was exactly what I was going for. I liked it as it was, and so did my peers, so there was not much revision done there. I stepped out of my comfort zone for my poem “I Feel.” I originally wrote it as a free write with limited thinking, just writing. Almost everyone in workshop said it was very relatable though a few people mentioned that it was lengthy. I liked that it had a sense of unobstructed flow to it, so I didn’t want to shorten it too much. Instead, I went in and deleted some of the lines that were not as relatable to those around it and added some lines to connect some thoughts a little better. For example, I added the line “I feel like riding in a car with someone who drives faster” to lead into talking about my best friend instead of just jumping to her from the shuttle. I found that by doing this is made it feel more compact, though it didn’t lose its raw thought feel.


Bonner 60 “The Flight” was written in class in about ten minutes with a prompt given by my professor. I thought it was going to be the most cheesy and terrible poem, but I ended up loving it. During peer revision, someone commented that . “’The Flight” is about falling in love,” which is not what I wrote it to mean. I thought about going back and changing it to be more obvious that it was about getting your heart broken, but then I realized that the ability to interpret it in different ways was very interesting, especially since the two interpreted meanings were opposite of one another. The poetic irony was too good, so I did not change that poem. I originally had six poems, though I did not notice that until making my final revisions. I decided to cut out “Dream Talk” because I felt it was my weakest poem. One peer mentioned that it was “a little hard to read because of the constant quotations.” I personally didn’t feel it was difficult to read because of the quotations, but I did feel that I didn’t execute them the best. With most poems I try to make rhyme, it felt forced and fake. It was easily my first vote to go. I enjoyed writing “The Writer’s Tool,” but I had most conflict with this poem. I originally wrote it using a prompt to write from an inanimate object’s point of view. Not wanting to reveal the speaker too soon or too easily, I purposefully write obscurely. However, I still felt it was clear enough to be deduced. When the poem went through workshop, I discovered that not many people, if any, could figure out who was speaking in this poem. One peer wrote “I still don’t understand “The Writer’s Tool” even with the help of the title,” though everyone knew it was an inanimate object’s point of view. Reluctantly, I went back to the poem to try and make it more clear that it was indeed a pen speaking. I cleaned up punctuation to make it flow better and added and rearranged some lines, to drop more hints. For example, I added the lines, “I end up deep in a dark bag, or on a sidewalk stuck in a crack. I have even been left in a bathroom once.” I decided not to change the context as much as I thought I’d have to. Between the title and the


Bonner 61 extra hints I put in the poem, I felt it did a fine enough job telling the reader who was speaking. To make it more obvious would have taken away from the sense of mystery that I liked so much about the poem. Another peer commented on the format of the poem saying it was “difficult to read because there were no stanza breaks.” I purposefully did not break it into stanzas because this poem is a rant, and to have stanzas would be giving it too much organization. I was able to end with “Beautiful Beat,” the most difficult poem I have ever written. Because I spent so much time on it initially, I felt that I did not need to revise anything. As it went through workshop, people said only good things about it. Even when I posted it on Facebook, I got good feedback. When I finished it, I was proud of what I wrote, though I will admit to being slightly afraid to revise it in the case of me ruining it or having to rewrite a lot of it. Perhaps in the future I will go back to it, but for now I am completely satisfied with it.


Bonner 62

JOURNAL


Bonner 63 Prompt: Describe a time you were stressed from another point of view Thoughts on the shuttle: I was sitting on the BSU shuttle when she ran over and hopped on. She seemed in a hurry. Too bad this shuttle has been sitting here for awhile now. I wish I knew what the driver was waiting on… What is she doing? She just hopped over to the other side of the shuttle… is she taking a picture of her car? Whatever. Oh! I love this song! I’m glad they play this station on the bus. I actually know these songs. Oh hey. More people running over to the bus. Don’t worry people. It’s not taking off anytime soon. Good thing I’m not in a hurry. This is why I leave early every time I need to be somewhere. I have plenty of time to get where I need and make sure nothing happens… Oh! And now the bus is going. Wow, so he was randomly sitting here this whole time for no reason? That’s annoying. Hmm. That girl from earlier seems really antsy. She’s tapping her foot…oh wait. She’s singing too. Maybe she is just in a good mood. Maybe both. Eh...who cares. First stop…no one ever gets off at Lafollette. I remember when I lived there my freshman year…ugh. I hated it so much. Loved my floor. Shwoody 6 girls, yeah! I should shoot Liz a message on Facebook sometime…I haven’t seen her in forever. Second stop…everyone gets off here, it seems. Maybe because of its central location…or because there are so many TCOM students. There goes that girl, first one off. I guess she was in a hurry after all. Where would she be going in a hurry at 5? That’s such a weird time to have a class. Maybe all these people are in the same class.


Bonner 64 …what’s that where that girl was sitting? ...oh no. She left her wallet. That’s going to suck. I should probably get it and give it to the driver. Thoughts in the Atrium: Do I want coffee? Nah. I don’t want to be up all night. Chik-fil-a sounds good. I like their chicken sandwiches. And the lemonade. Though I need to add sugar to it because it’s a little to sour for my liking. Oh yikes! Just about ran into that girl standing there. Did she hear me mumble my apology? I’m not really sorry though…she shouldn’t be standing in the middle of the food court. Although she did seem kind of frantic, looking through her packed purse thing. Was that a folded pair of pants she pulled out of there? Who carries pants in their purse? Maybe she needs to change later. Girls are weird. I really don’t understand why they need to change all the time. Just wear one thing a day, for crying out loud. Hmm. She’s leaving. She didn’t even get anything. Maybe she forgot her ID card. Too bad girls don’t carry wallets. Always have it on me. Keeping your ID on your lanyard is lame anyway. Thoughts in the NewsLink studio For the last 15 minutes that girl has been checking her phone a lot. She seems on edge. I wonder if she has ever auditioned for something like this before. I wonder if she is auditioning for anchor…maybe weather. She doesn’t look much like she is into sports…I don’t think I need to worry about competition. Why isn’t she looking over her papers more? Maybe she has done something like this before. I have. I wouldn’t waste my time on my phone though…she’s so quiet. I haven’t seen her before. She can’t be a TCOM student. Has to be for weather then… Thoughts in Letterman hallway


Bonner 65 That went well! That broadcast meteorology class with Call definitely helped. I feel bad for that other girl…compared to everyone else, she didn’t have near as much experience. Props to her for auditioning still. I definitely did better than her. I hope she can still get a spot on the show though. She seemed nice enough and talked a little more once most everyone left. I thought she looked familiar. Oh….I can’t remember when that next meeting is, I will ask her…that was awkward. Didn’t mean to talk to her when she was on the phone. At least she was nice enough to answer me. Is it weird that I told her I’d see her tomorrow in class? Nah. She probably didn’t even think twice about it…but maybe she did. Gah, I feel so awkward listening to other people’s conversations. I wish people wouldn’t talk on the phone in public places sometimes. It’s annoying. I don’t want to know what’s going on in her life. Huh…I guess she can’t find her wallet…that would explain why she kept looking at her phone whenever she could. Do I have my keys? …yes. It’s so cold out tonight. I hope she finds them and doesn’t have to run all over campus. Though it sounds like she might have left them in her car… Thoughts on the shuttle Only an hour left of driving. Then I will be done. I wonder if Stacy has put the kids to sleep yet? I hope so. It will be tough getting them up for school in the morning. They don’t seem to…hmm. I think this girl is going to ask me something…ah. Another lost wallet. She seems worried. I hope someone found it…well, I need to call it in. I’ll let her know she needs to sit down and ride…why is she going way back there to that seat? I will need to ask her more questions… gotta wait for this car to pass before I can pull out onto the road.


Bonner 66 Oh good. We have a wallet. I don’t know what it looks like. Now I need to shout back to her because she sat so far away…ok, good, at least she is coming back up here. Blue with purple and green flower petals? Why is she having a tough time describing her wallet to me? Maybe it’s not hers…oh. She said it’s hard to describe. I can’t really hear her…ok, I need to ask her name…what did she say? Oh, Kassandra. Oh what a lucky girl. Let me tell her we have it in the office…yep. Must have been hers. She is way too relieved for it to be anyone else’s. Does she need to get there tonight? Let me ask her...she’s in a hurry. Oh. There she goes. She was so thankful. I’m glad I can help students out like that. One thing I like about this job. Though I wonder if she knows that the office closes at 5… Thoughts in Noyer Why is Kassie asking for the desk phone number? She must be going to call me. I wonder if she was able to get her wallet…uh what’s the last number…oh yeah. Sent. Why are there so many people going outside? It’s so cold. Back to coding… And there’s the phone. I bet that’s Kassie…yep…yeah, saw that coming. Every office closes at 5. She should’ve known that. She works in an office here….my keys? Why would she want me keys? …she must want in my apartment. I bet she thinks she needs her ID to get her apartment unlocked for her…yep…oh great. She sounds upset. I must have offended her. Why does she always think of the most negative intentions first? I should probably tell her I’d be happy to let her have my keys…ok, yeah she is upset. Stubborn girl. Ah, now she sounds like she’s going to cry…don’t do that…it’s not the end of the world...and there she goes. She was short ending that call. She didn’t say I love you more than once. She’s upset. Sigh. That girl. She gets upset so easily. I wonder if she will actually call the CA…


Bonner 67 Thoughts in the CA car Is it really that hard to hold onto your key? Even with the free housing with this job, it’s just too annoying to go out this late. Especially when it’s this cold. Now I’m going to miss out on the end of that show. It’s always Schiedler people too. Nobody in Anthony seems to get locked out as much. That’s probably just because I live here at Anthony. Of course. Ok…apartment 98…I don’t remember where that is. I wish this map was more clear. Why don’t we have two CA’s on duty? One in Anthony and one here…then I wouldn’t have to come all the way over here…ok I think it’s around here. I will park here. Oh shit, it’s cold. Good thing she is able to sit in her car. Apartment 98…I don’t see it…I should have asked her what her car looked like. I should have worn gloves. Ok, where is this apartment? These are in the 70s…should have gone down one more street. I’m sure it’s right over there. I will just cross through the playground here…ugh, it’s way passed 10 minutes. I hope she doesn’t get crappy with me for not showing up on time. Where is this damn apartment? Too cold to walk around in the dark looking for crap...ok. Here is 105. It’s gotta be in this strip. And there is a running car. 102…98. There she is. Oh good, she doesn’t seem mad. 30 minutes is a long time to wait. I would have been pissed. Ok, let’s get this over with so I can get back home…I wonder if she will try to talk me out of charging her the money…she did seem to know what I needed to know to let her in. I bet this isn’t her first time locked out…I should probably ask though…huh. It is her first time. Ok. $6 isn’t too bad. She doesn’t seem to think it is either. Though she looks happy enough to be standing inside her doorway. Maybe she didn’t just lock herself out…whatever. Ah, she dropped her car keys. She’s got her hands full…I’ll get em…and there we go. Got her signature. All done then! Back to the cold.


Bonner 68 Prompt: Describe a humiliating moment you witnessed I didn’t know how long they had been going at it before I happened to notice. On one hand, no one really would have noticed unless they were looking for it. On the other hand, we were on a band bus right after a competition. Three seats from the back of the bus, I was lucky enough to get a seat to myself. I had my earphones in and had my legs stretched out on the seat, my feet hanging in the aisle. My attention had been on the book I was reading, but I looked up to see where we were and if we were close to being back to the school. Instead of a landmark, I got a full of view of two of my band-mates making out in the seat across from mine. Of all the couples in the band, this seemed the most unlikely. Here we had the younger trumpet player, his second year in the band. Everyone knew him, as he was the choir director’s son and the younger brother of the trumpet player known as The Legend. Then we had the older flute player, leader of her section in her third year. She wasn’t popular, according to high school definition, though she her name was known as “the nice, smart girl.” Two different people, though I guess they found something in common. Although surprised by the discovery, I didn’t think too much of it. This was a band bus, after all. Kissing was bound to happen between couples when the moment was found. I only started giving a little more attention to what was happening across the aisle when I looked up 5 minutes later and it was still going on. I could help but wonder if they were running out of air yet. 10 minutes passed and by this time, the people sitting in the seat in front of the kissing couple had noticed. Unfortunately for the kissing crusaders, the people in front of them thought it would be fun to start taking a video on their phone. Looking back on it, I should have said


Bonner 69 something. I knew the flute player, and I knew she would be embarrassed to know a video was being taken of her. I knew this mostly because her doing this was very unlike her, hence why I was surprised when I first made the discovery. By the time they did come up for a breath of fresh air, basically everyone in the band knew what was going on in the seat across from me. Even the members on the other bus. All it took was one look at her phone and flute girl’s face went red very quickly. Not so much for trumpet boy. In fact, he looked rather pleased with himself. Two things I learned from this: First, don’t kiss and tell, especially if you are not even the one involved in the kissing. Second, save yourself the trouble and don’t give anyone the opportunity to watch a kiss and tell. Some things you’ve just got to cherish yourself.


Bonner 70 Prompt: From a given set of sentences, choose one as a first sentence and create story intro I have a photo of a man whose name I don’t know. I knew who he was, though I wasn’t supposed to. The picture was stolen from my mom’s Box of Things Sarah Couldn’t Know. At least that’s what I called it because every time I asked about that small wooden box hidden under her bed, she’d always change the subject. I was usually pretty good at keeping my curiousness at bay, but after a few years of knowing this box existed, I just had to know what was in it. Besides, I was 15 years old. With just me and Mom in the house, we didn’t have much room for secrets anymore. That’s why I snuck into her room one day before she got home from work. There were all sorts of stuff in there that seemed pretty pointless to me, so I didn’t quite understand why she wouldn’t share anything with me. Then I found the picture. It looked like it had been torn in half, though I knew the other half was my mom because I saw her hand with the ring she always wore. The man was handsome. He had dark hair with a slight wave to it, just like mine. He seemed to be looking at something outside of the picture, and he had a huge smile on his face like the photo was taken right before he let out a loud laugh. It was the purest form of happiness I had ever seen. Looking at the photo made me happy, but then I seemed to come back to reality as I thought more about the photo itself. My mom had some sort of attachment to this photo, so it had to mean something. The fact that she was ripped out of the picture made me better understand the deeply hidden sadness she seemed to carry in herself every day. I couldn’t help but wonder the same question every child of a single parent asked themselves; could this man be my father?


Bonner 71 Prompt: Describe a memory you have That night it was warm and rainy. It was late, and my love and I were hungry, so we left my apartment and ducked through the rain to get to my car. We jumped in and shook off, as anyone would do after running through the rain. I backed out of my parking spot, and when I drove halfway through the parking lot, David suddenly told me to stop the car. So I did, hesitantly, thinking he had forgotten his wallet or something. I was about to tell him I could pay when I noticed him looking at me with a suspicious smile on his face. “Get out,” he said. I squinted at him, confused. “What?” Again he said, “Put it in park and get out.” So trusting him, I did what he said. I opened my door and stepped into the rain. Looking over the top of the car at me, he motioned to the front of the car. By this time I had a smile on my face. I moved to the front of the car as he silently told me to do. When we both stood in front of my car, lit fully by the headlights of my car, he carefully took my face in his hands. Very sweetly, his brought his lips down on mine. When he pulled back, I was beaming. “There,” he said. “Now you’ve been kissed in the rain.”


Bonner 72 Defiled Once driven by love Now driven by lust Thrown around in the dust Like just another choice With no thought of the future With no thought of the future No thought of the heart Forgetting it plays a huge part In any fragile or serious bond That leaves an impact That leaves an impact Leading the world to believe a lie Just to pass the time by When it’s so much more But defiled in carefree action But defiled in carefree action Causes those who wait To feel the world’s hate When it used to be Once driven by love

Morning Friend A steaming white mug reflects light to my bright eyes Its warmth travels through to my delicate hands Deep breaths and vanilla mocha fills my searching nose The low hum of delight meets my peaceful ears My friend, that bitter sweet liquid on my yearning tongue


Bonner 73

Think Me a Man? Oh, to my love of junk food galore My perfect peppermint patty and pie What more could I ask for? How about some Warheads until I cry? How about a cool glass of root beer? My, oh my, the cravings for a Kit-Kat Are overwhelming indeed To never be fulfilled is my greatest fear. I want cake until my belly is full and fat To never share my cookies out of greed Certainly I will take another Tootsie pop Make it two and add some caramelized corn! So many sweets, I just can’t stop! Those chips are mine, just to warn. Bulging brownies and peanut butter bars I could eat them pan by pan Gimme a glass of milk and a donut Chocolate and gummy bears; I’m among the stars The way I down a Coke, you’d think me a man! Oh the love of that which gives me a gut!

73 Pages I bid thee farewell With lots of love I did write These pages of white


Lots of Love  

A portfolio of the work I did in my Creative Writing course at Ball State University.

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