AUTHORS FORWARD: In this day and age, art is an ever evolving field. It, like the rest of the world, adapts to a new standard, urged on by an onset of new technology. Through the decades and century we see a clear and defining pattern of innovation in art. From hieroglyphics with the Egyptians, to emblems drawn on Roman shields to inspire fear into the hearts of those who dare attack the nation, art has formed many roles, with the help of many different technologies. In more modern times we see Jim Henson's approaches to art take flight, such as how he used television to allow himself to become the performer and the audience, at the exact same time. With a camera in front of the stage, and a TV behind it, he'd experience his own art as he created it. So similar is the digital age today, with forums, and websites like Amazon that allow us to publish our work, yet continue to work on them. For we are both the audience and the performer, and that allows
the human element of work to be vastly improved. Elizabeth Hyde Stevens says that "Art Isn't perfect. Art is human. It's about expressing something about life. And if it doesn't do that, it isn't art." We learned to create this human art through class by developing poems, and analysing formats of poems. Such an examples of these, include the Ballada, a French poem with rhyming and a syllabic form. Others include the Sestina, which is a 39 line poem, following a complex rhyme scheme. The form itself, originated in a song form, instead of a poem. One of my favourite forms, the Cinquin, rhymes at the end. One of mine ends with: "Back and forth, and back and forth. Our hands together, my feet pointed north." On the fiction side of the course, we learned to develop characters and analyse emotional arcs during storylines. One of my favourites was in the short story "The Modern Crusader", in which Savannah goes through all these trails, convinced her brother, Arman is putting her through it. She's encouraged because she knows she will be better for it. But by the end, the figure pushing her along through hardships is the man she is hunting. "'Because I am him. I killed your parents, and I killed Arman. Just like you’ve killed many of my friends. Whatever plan you had for destroying my country, it’s over.'" She in surprise, can’t understand. She stands there, a woman distraught by the world. The bullet strikes her, throwing her body deep into the snow." My favourite assignment was the final short story, in which I got to participate in creating a larger, more engaging story. It allowed me to express my creativity in new ways. Plus it was interesting taking characters I’ve had thought up for a while, putting them into a new setting, new scenarios, and seeing how the story plays out. My least favourite assignments were the poetry assignments, I'm not a poem fan. Not in the slightest. And it proved a challenge for me to keep producing poems. My specialty and skills lie in writing creative fiction and short stories, so creating poems is especially challenging for me. Working with various poem formats and styles was hard, as you had to keep true to the meter, and I’m not adept with working within that.
The other assignment that helped me grow the most, by far, is the digital story. I’m not well adept with non fiction, especially about myself. I have a tendency to want to tell other stories, and let my past stay in the past. However, working within the context of the assignment forced me to be more open minded about sharing my personal stories, and is a good lesson for the future about expressing yourself to others. Non Fiction: I believe: That whatever happens, happens for a reason. That grace was extended to us so we can extend it to others. Faith is greater than fate You should never go cross country without giving the dog Dramamine There are some places in the world that are just not worth it, and that humans put value to things where there is no worth. That in order to look good, some products need a better graphic designer. It's not a good idea to over extend yourself.
That with hard work there should be hard rest. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. Performing music is the greatest art there is. EXTENDED FICTION:
The rush of the train follows the eastern wind on its way into the station. Arman DuPont, feeling somewhat sick, closes his eyes, the cool breeze of the Swiss Alps splashing against his cheek. Upon seeing his sister, he holds her tight, letting the fragrance of her neck, a rich lavender aroma, topped off with a hint of vanilla, billow gently under his nose. "Seems like someone got touchy in the five years I haven't seen him," Savannah says.
"I've conquered worlds, third world toppled governments, discovered great wealth. And all this time I've lost the one thing that matters most." "When is it ever enough? When can I really come home?" "Not to say that things will be easy," Arman sighs, "but I still have a very special place for you in my organization when it is finished." "That's why you flew me all this way. You really don't give a damn about anyone else, it's all part of the scheme," Savannah says. "I've always cared about you. Why else would pay for that Canadian education of yours? Or bribe the American immigration officers to leave you alone? Or get you a powerful job at Navigo Enterprises where you can prosper? That wasn't about favors." "Sure seems like it is." "Do what you want. You're a big girl with your own free will. Big brother doesn't need to hold your hand anymore. But you better play ball if you expect me to be around long enough to walk you down the aisle if you ever get stupid and settle down. I love you with all my heart, why don't you love me? Why don't you obey me?" "Because I don't know what to believe any more, Arman," Savannah says. "Oh sister, we don't call big brother by his real name unsecured, do we?" A burly, muscular man, standing next to Arman, grunts. His fingers, the size of sausages, pull her by the hair and shove her against a wall. "No! I'll deal with her," Arman demands. She's dropped upon the ground. Her hair drapes over her face like a torn veil. "You're not family. You're a monster," Savannah says. Arman's shadow lingers over her. "Even monsters," he says, "deserve revenge. And if there's one thing you and I both know, it's that revenge is a family business."
"We have no reason for vengeance anymore. Just go in, wreck the economy, and conquer the nation. It’s just routine." Arman's cool demeanor turns violent as he turns towards her. He strikes her against the cheeks. The vibrant sound of soft flesh against bone bounces off the mountain side. Her brother's rage pins her to the ground. "You've gotten soft. You're too young to remember our father, yes, but you're far too old to pretend his death never happened. This man," Arman holds a picture of an American soldier, "killed him two decades ago. The brotherhood lost one of its greatest leaders that day." Savannah lays upon the ground too fearful to get up. Arman glares at her in the ground, staring with disgust. He tosses a sword next to her. "When you're ready, come find me. Kill me for bastardizing you, like Damien Boyd bastardized us." Arman, accompanied by his bodyguard, vanishes. *** The sword glows in the darkness as nightfall descends upon the Swiss Alps. Savannah, holding it tightly, presses a button on accident, and a slight beeping sound comes from the bottom. Her sore arms carry it farther into the mountainside. No one’s there to help her. Nothing’s around to support her. Of course, she knows, Arman would do something like this to her. How funny it is, for a sharpshooter in a secret clan to be shipped off to Canada, given a different name and life, to suddenly be plunged back into the cool feelings of abandonment as she scales the Swiss Alps. She knows why, and wouldn’t expect anything less. “Best in the brotherhood, and therefore, the world.”
Arman only takes the best soldiers. And working in a corporate office for five years is a good way to forget how to survive. Soon, she knows, the American government will belong to the Brotherhood. “He needs to make sure I’m not weak.” The trails ascend to a plateau of a smaller mountain, where the sword buzzes, alerting her to a beacon on the other side of a small structure. “I’ve always thought that Arman’s homing beacons were poorly thought out, but considering no one’s ever found the brotherhood, I suppose it works.” A small hole in the dirt is a telltale sign. “How sloppy of him.” She plunges the sword inside of it, twists the handle, and pushes the weapon further down. A low rumble crescendos in the distance. The sound of her heartbeat rises in her chest. Tiny beads of sweat drip down her cheek as she looks up to see a white cloud rushing down in front of her. “Arman!” she screams. The white mass barrels down a hill above her. “Arman! This isn’t a game anymore.” She turns around, pulls the sword out from the pit, and cowers behind it. “Yeah right, like that’ll do shit.” She examines the area around her. “Three trees, a large rock, four hills above me, and a pristine, white landscape. He’s not giving me much to work with.” The rolling snow comes crashing down on a cliff above her. “Ten seconds at most…” With the sword in hand, she attacks the nearest tree, which is along the side of a hill, striking it at the base. “Nine.” A fiery red glow radiates from the sword. “Clearly this is Arman’s modified sword. One of the ones he uses in battle.” She takes a millisecond to breathe.
“Eight.” She strikes the tree again, burning through more of the trunk. “Seven.” The rolling snow drenches her hair as the first drops hit her in the face. The cold sting of icicles sheer the flesh from her cheek. “Six.” In a third, titanic blow, she topples the tree. “Five.” The leaves rattle as snow piles on top of them. “Four.” Then, as the tree knocks itself against the hill, the canopy of leaves forms a leevy, redirecting the avalanche, and saving Savannah from being crushed under it’s weight. The snow forms large piles around the sides of the trees, but staying out of the center, where Savannah watches the avalanche continue down the slope of the mountains. By the end, she’s there alone, terrified of what else might be in store for her. “Well done, indeed.” Arman appears out of nowhere, standing three feet deep in snow. “Am I finished yet?” “The brotherhood is never finished,” Arman draws a pistol from his holster. It’s sleek, modern, and probably advanced beyond what even she could imagine. He fires a bullet at her, obviously aiming to miss. “You better get your ass out of the snow if you ever plan on defeating Damien Boyd.” “Doesn’t sound like a name I should care about,” Savannah says. “Oh, but you should. He’s the man you’re after. He’s your target.” “Isn’t our target the American government?” “The American’s are falling! Damien Boyd, or as you might know him, ‘Charlemagne’, is making quick work of Voltaire.” Savannah freezes in the snow.
“And how do you know this?” Arman laughs under his breath. He pulls off his ski mask, revealing a face Savannah’s never seen. “Because I am him. I killed your parents, and I killed Arman. Just like you’ve killed many of my friends. Whatever plan you had for destroying my country, it’s over.” She in surprise, can’t understand. She stands there, a woman distraught by the world. The bullet strikes her, throwing her body deep into the snow. MICRO FICTION 1: They live in the small apartment together. Each of them have their own routine. And their own way of doing things. Yet both end up each morning watching last night's news, which they never could stay awake for, and gasp at the horror before them. "It's a sunny day in Alexandria. With a light fog over the city, and a slight chance of acid rain, it's turning out to be the best beach weather we've had all month." Oliver slouches into the couch. "Third day this week they've called for acid rain. Ain't that a sign we have a problem in society?" "Don't say these things out loud," Danielle hushes him, " we don't talk about our problems."
"And don't you think that's a shame? Ain't he supposed to help us?" "He is helping us. He's always helping us. Voltaire always keeps his promises." Oliver, sightly taken off guard, looks at her with indignation. "Fine, you can believe that all you want, but between you and me, he's full of lies. What's with you today? Ain't you fed up as usual? It ain't right to see you roll over and play dead." "It's funny you mention that," she says. "Mention what?" Danielle, with a rush of adrenaline, whips out her pistol and shoves it against his skull. Two white, gloved hands wrap around the trigger. "We don't normally play games with death," the White Glove says, " but that sure as hell doesn't mean it 'ain't' fun." MICRO FICTION 2: With his pistol in hand, placed into the holster, and fastened underneath his jacket, Nightfly boards his motorcycle. "Sir, it's not even ready." The mechanic in the jumpsuit persuades him, yet again. A flick of a switch, and two turret bullets into the Chesapeake Bay later, Nightfly disagrees. "Sorry sonny boy, it's date night. Oliver Lombardi's calling my name." The tires squeal as he hits the gas, terrifying the aging mechanic. Across the side of the machine, a neon light glows, "The Zealot's Bride."
Down through the countryside, and straight through the pastures, the motorcycle trails through southern Virginia. All terrain tires make quick work of crop stands and gopher holes. A voice comes over his personal radio, "Have you found it?" The Zealots bride comes to a sudden stop in front of a country barn. "This really isn't Navigo's style. I don't see a fancy door anywhere, let alone their signature defences." Nightfly, careful of his surrounding, steps onto the ground and treads towards the door. "Think about it," the mechanic says,"Why would they make it obvious? They know we'd raid the hell out of them if we found them." "Right." He thinks to himself. The barn holds little more than an excessive amount of hay and spare piles of wooden planks in the corner. "Somethings off." He whips out the pistol and points it at the ground in front of him. Two rapid fire bullets plunge into the floor, and the sound of empty air underneath him brings a smile to his face. Soon, the Zealots Bride is fired up, and a single guided missile plunges into the boarded floor, decimating the wood and crippling the barn on top of it. Fallen parts of the roof crash in front of the gaping hole. The cunning Nightfly, using his pistol, knocks loose a hanging plank and uses it as a bridge to walk over the debris. "It isn't proper barnstorming until something's destroyed," He says. "Good thing you're not running for office, there'd be some serious allegations over this," The mechanic says over the radio. "Not like there's really elections, anyways." Beneath all of the debris is a metal door. A well placed EMP disables the need for a passcode, and he opens the door with ease On the inside, the duo of turrets ignore Nightfly as he strolls on by. He pats them on the barrel. "Sleep well, kids." Further into the small bunker is a single vial, a glowing blue chemical that rages into the darkness. Underneath it is a single note, "Executive order A199. Deported from Kuwait: July 5th, 2079."
Immediately Nightfly speaks into the radio, "Pack your bags, we're heading overseas." VILLANELLE: I run, farther and farther, into the darkness of the night beyond madness, beyond the town With no jacket for comfort, and no battery for light I have given up the gift of my sight to find but my lover floating before me, dressed in her wedding gown I run, farther and farther, into the darkness of the night I see children, I see animals, and all give a sudden fright I hope that though they're just a dream, I won't let them down With no loved one for comfort, and no hope of light
Old ghosts cackle in mind, and torture me in my blight And I behold the sky only to see my God before me frown I run, farther and farther, into the darkness of the night I reach the city, and into hotel I take my flight And on the softness of the bed I lay my head down With no blanket for comfort, and but one battery for light For you, my future, seem to be rather bright And I lay there, in my mind it pounds 'Run farther and farther, into the darkness of the night, With no woman for comfort, and no bearer of light.' Cinquin: I pay the five dollar fee to get in. Everyone's having a grand ol' time. This women comes around, "would you dance with me?" Back and forth, and back and forth. Our hands together, my feet pointed north. Triolet: I've kept my secrets, and each one has kept me deceived They meet every evening, and work all day long. They keep me from telling myself the truth I've kept my secrets, and each one has kept me deceived About politics, about opinions, about even themselves. I've longed to know about love, about what's really beautiful I've kept my secrets, and each one has kept me deceived They meet every evening, and work all day long.
Cinquin: He's cunning, and sassy, and a world class act. Classy haircut, orange tinted glasses, and striped kevlar armor laced with gray. An army of ghosts, and a market so black, that even the government can't fight him, it's a fact. Beware the Zealot! Nightly comes for a fight. Do not dare cross him, let him flee, don't try to be bright. Cinquin: I ran through the forest and dashed beyond the trees The road beneath me is barren, and the winding hills ascend Through billows, and windy curves, I feel a gentle breeze The source of my joy depends On experiencing nature at every end Free Verse Poetry: Flying Flying Over rivers And far over trees. They soar next to eagles Several realms above the ground. The wings made of steel, The seats bound with leather A pilot comes over and says "Seat belts, please," and as you look left,
the ground is gone. Just to reveal the majesty of flight. Graduation: It seems so long so far away full of winding roads and shaky bridges It starts out slow and somewhat simple. With stop lights straight roads and the alphabet. Then as the grade increases the roads get kinda rough. Suddenly old country roads with potholes and fading paint and algebra stumble under your tires. And then you get to the final stretch and you can see your home over the horizon but the road block crashes down before you and the label "Graduation Project" stops you in your tracks. After several months, and many days volunteering you overcome it. Victorious still! And as you pull into your house, cap and gown dawned, An official greets you. He hands you the diploma smiles at you shakes your hand Then all so suddenly It is finished.
It’s just business: A businessman sharp and stylish A businessman older and gray. He comes into the shop, and glances through the products. 'I'd like this,' he says. 'It'll be a twenty, mate, clay don't come cheap these days.' Says a clerk. 'Dear me, no. I don't want the vase. I want to buy the shop.' He’s got the moment It’ll take just that moment. He's gonna sign that contract, and the world’ll be his. The owner comes out And his anger flares before the man. 'Whaddya want the shop for?" "Whadda YOU want the shop for?" The business man responds. They jib and they jab The business man whips out his wallet And out flies a card. "Smith and sons, inspectors at large?" The business man smiles. A sign is posted on the door. "10K is awfully generous for a condemned building." "Now that's just stealing, mate." The owner walks out of the building.
Around the sides Then back inside. "I ain't seen nothing worth condemning." "And I don't see anything worth redeeming." He mocks the owner Insults the employees With the authority of a God he banishes them from his brand new realm Leaving his palm open offering those five, lowly numbers and one heart wrenching comma to separate them. The Letter: I've checked the mail daily, hoping I'd see it. Waiting patiently. Waiting diligently. Then the day comes, the fabled day arrives. I open it slowly, praying it's in my favor. My eyes water at the thought of finally getting in. "Please be good. Please be good." The seal opens And my fear comes forth. Out comes the letter! "You've been denied" My heart sinks. A fire burns inside. Just knowing I didn't get accepted into the literary journal makes me want to try even harder.
ORIGINALS: The Letter: I've checked the mail every day, hoping I'd see it. Then the day comes, and it arrives. I open it slowly, praying it's in my favor. My eyes water at the thought of finally getting in. "Please be good. Please be good."
And the seal opens Pouring out my excited energy Then out comes the letter! "Sorry, you've been denied" My heart sinks at the thought and I cry inside of myself. Just the thought of knowing I didn't get accepted into the literary journal made me want to try even harder. Looking over this poem, It felt cheesy. Very uninspiring. I rather found it depressing, truth be told. So I took it, revamped it, eliminated the awkward “And/Me” words in the poem. By doing this I made it feel slightly more natural and less artificial The focus of the introduction was changed around for an added emphasis on dramatic effect, involving the wait for this letter. It’s just business: A businessman sharp and stylish A businessman older and gray. He comes into the shop, and glances through the products. 'I'd like this,' he says. 'It'll be a twenty, mate, clay don't come cheap these days.' Says a clerk. 'Dear me, no. I don't want the vase. I want to buy the shop.' If he had a moment it would take just a moment. He'd sign that contract, and the world would be his. The owner comes out And his anger comes out.
'Whaddya want the shop for?" "Whadda YOU want the shop for?" They jib and they jab The business man pulls out his wallet. And out flies a card. "Smith and sons, inspectors at large?" The business man smiles. A sign is posted on the door. "10K is awfully generous for a condemned building." "Now that's just stealing, mate." The owner walks out of the building. Then around the building. And back into the building. "I ain't seen nothing worth condemning." "And I don't see anything worth redeeming." He mocks the owner Insults the employees And with the authority of a God he banishes them from his realm Yet leaves his palm open offering those five, lowly numbers and one heart wrenching comma to separate them. Sentence rewrites and re phrasings make the new version much easier to read. It’s efficiency, combined with a fresh representation, make it a more affable story. Of course, the core of the story stays the same, it’s the method in how the substance of it is delivered. This can often be more effective than rewriting the poem entirely.
To see the most drastic, painfully obvious grasp of my improvement, see the original draft of the first paragraphs in “The Modern Reformer: Act I.” “She stumbles towards me....and now she's done for. For three days we’ve had no food or drinkable water; we’ve starved ourselves of nourishment and hope. Her weak body falls into my arms as I catch her with a startled burst of energy. My hands deliver her into a resting position before my fingers check her neck for a pulse. She’s still alive... thank God...sweat rolls down my eyebrows in relief. The thought of losing her lingers in my mind. Her pale skin glows like moonlight against the reflections of the water. Any scrap of food could be the difference between life and death. Gahh...The Antax. The source of my physical suffering. What a damn miracle. It keeps me alive to suffer...I feel pain, oh God, I feel it, but I don’t know if I can die. I've made it this far haven't I? Why don't I crawl out from my grave and yell ,"Shoot me you assholes! Tear my flesh, destroy it...finish me" I long for death, I crave it. No human deserves such a penalty. Such a price. Such pain. Victoria's feet skim the cavern gravel before I sit her upright against the rocks. Her hair lays out like a stained and tattered blanket. In my hand is a pile of loose soil and grass with a mixture of earthworms and other small insects. The crumbling dirt has a loose feel to it and the insects in the mix jump around the palm of my hand. The soft grains slip through my thumb as I press them onto her tongue. Her stained lips tremble. Her jaw shakes violently as she slowly swallows the mush. "Come on, breathe!" I put my lips to hers, pushing air into her lungs. The taste of the mud revolts me....yet her faint aroma lingers in my nose, and as she lays in my arms, her twisted shoulders begin to unfold and relax. The first sign of hope is always the greatest, it’s the beacon that salvation still exists. Even with a mouth full of earth she is beautiful; there was never such a gorgeous creature. It took a moment to notice that I wasn't giving air, but rather sharing a kiss. A kiss of hope.” In comparison, examine the segment from the first published edition. “It's been a brutally cold October. The harsh winds rush across the countryside, forcing Virginians into their homes where they burn oil from the Federal government’s rations. The population lives comfortably in the false warmth of the government’s hands. Damien Boyd, however, doesn't feel any warmth, just the cold sting of frostbite and panic
as his wife shakes in terror. They’ve been hiding in the caverns for three days. Each day brings them closer to death and the empty abyss of despair. Damien’s wife, Victoria, rubs her biceps, and shivers on the ground. She shimmies over to a pool of still water in the rock formations. She cups her hands, dips them, and drinks. Her hands freeze in the water, but she’s so thirsty she ignores the cold. Damien opens his eyes as Victoria slowly gets to her feet. Somehow she's gathered the strength to stand, but then violently collapses to the ground. She’s passed out again. It horrifies Damien to think this could be her end. He looks up into the darkness and fights to hold back the tears. "She would want me to be strong, but I'm just not able to be." A second glance at her is just too much. In a fit of anger, he screams into the cavern. The echoes bounce off the walls and scares away a family of bats. He throws his body over hers and wraps his arms around her sides. The heavens haven't ever been this silent. He cries out to anybody, nobody. "Tear my flesh, destroy it... finish me. If she's gone, just let me die." Damien gropes around the caverns in search of insects or anything that could nourish his dying wife. He trails winding corridors and dark enclaves. Nothing. But at the mouth of the caverns is a small pile of dirt and tiny insects. The dirt is damp from the morning rain and the earthworms inside of the mound play in the mud before he picks them up and places them in one of his socks along with loose dirt and grass. He shrinks into the shadows of the cave so that if a surveillance drone or airplane were to fly by he can take shelter quickly. He returns to Victoria with his sock full of food. The crumbling dirt has a loose feel to it and the insects in the mix jump around the palm of his hand. The soft grains slip through his thumb as he presses them into Victoria's mouth. Her stained lips tremble. Her jaw shakes violently as she slowly swallows the mush. "Come on, swallow!" He puts his lips to hers. The taste of the mud revolts him, yet her faint aroma lingers in his nose. As she lies in his arms, her body starts to relax. The first sign of hope is always the greatest. It’s the beacon that salvation still exists.”