Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Morgantown loves: independence, weekends, diversity, new friends, all-you-can-drink Icees in the cafeteria, the locals, acceptance, seasons, college atmosphere, pepperoni rolls, Eliza’s , mountainscape, daily access to NY Times (small town and strict father), Bolton, the Rec, free sporting events, pedestrian lifestyle, Chick-fil-A, opportunities, free activities, the Meal Plan, view of Morgantown from room, the architecture of the old buildings, FOOTBALL, semester long library checkouts, Ogawa
Hometown misses: big and comfy bed, parents picking up the bill, the beach, pork rolls, cats, family, oldie-but-goodie friends, flat roads, AC, homecooking, cable, reliable mail, feeling safe (current shooting at the nightclub Karma), gigantic TV, car, mom’s food, free time, backyard, the lake, museums
After sharing our heart pangs and longings, we fit our love inside fourteen lines which took a lot of deleting because we’ve got big hearts over at Arnold. How does your love measure up?
Come join us on October 24 at 7:30PM for a Halloween themed workshop.
Did I mention cookies?
Monday, September 26, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Students who are not able to attend the meeting but would like to be on the Calliope staff should email or call the magazine's faculty sponsor, Mark Brazaitis, at Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu/304-293-9707.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I’m not going to lie; I was nervous as I walked up to Honors Hall on Tuesday. This being my first Bolton, I didn’t know what to expect. What if no one showed up? What if everyone hated the prompt? What if everyone was just plain mean?
My fears were quickly put aside as I stood in the RFL’s book-lined living room. A girl walked in, holding a notebook to her chest. “I can’t wait to write,” she said. I knew then that everything would be fine.
Six students put their homework aside for an hour and joined us at the dining room table. Eating cake and cookies, we wrote in between bites. The topic: dorm life. The rules: 50 words or less. Flash nonfiction. We discussed the importance of each word in writing, and I reminded them how flash fiction or nonfiction makes the writer pay attention to each word. When dealing with only a few words, each word has to carry its own weight. Frivolous words get thrown out quicker than a bowling ball in a sinking canoe.
The time came to share, and after the first student read, I wondered if they even needed any reminders on writing. They covered it all: roommate admiration, budding romance at an open mic, the enticement of chanting coming through open vents, the description of a flyer on a wall, the wonderment of living alone, the dangerous ground of hair spray in bathrooms amongst girls. Each of them reminded me of something that I forgot to mention in my mini-lecture: the importance of a final line. All of them had one final poignant sentence. Yes, I know, the whole students teaching the teacher something has been done, but at times clichés are true.
I left that night almost skipping out of the dorm. After all, any night that combines writing and cake is a pretty successful night in my book.
Next up: Fiction on October 4th.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
It probably would have had nothing to do with the weather anyway that RFL Dr. David Pariser and his wife, Live/Learn Community Specialist Debbi Pariser, were able to round up eight students, mostly freshman, for the evening.
Now, maybe it was the promise of the free food that made them so enthusiastic to be there, but I’m going to say they were just excited about the prospect of writing. Who isn't? And, they just seemed like a good bunch of ambitious students. After a meet-and-greet in the Pariser’s comfortable, wood-trimmed living room, we adjourned to the dining room for a wonderful spread of herb chicken, ziti (?), and other accoutrements. I know. It sounds like typical wedding food. But it was a cut above, catered by the university.
We ate and wrote and talked about writing and ate and read our writing with our mouths full and ate some more. It felt like a Parisian gathering of expatriates. Speaking of which, our writing topic was home. And we talked about Hemingway’s notion that a writer cannot truly write about “home” unless he/she is far away from it. Most of the students are pretty far away from it, and I was worried for a moment that bringing this Hemingway thing up might have backfired and only serve to roil up homesickness. But it didn’t.
True to Hemingway’s theory, they each turned out beautiful, true, panoramic meditations on the subject. They weren’t meditations of longing. And I was impressed by their natural writing talents and their seekers’ creativity and I look forward to reading their pieces once they’ve got them in finished shape (they only had ten minutes).
I think at the next workshop (Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m.), we’re having steak and writing fiction. So come on over.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
We started the workshop by writing as many six word memoirs as our brains would allow inspired by the theme of transitions. We each picked three of our favorites to share with the group and explained what they meant. A few gems:
"Went for a walk, started running." (Jordan O'Brian)
"I need more trees around here." (Mariah Painter)
"This situation only happens to me." (Chad Kriss)
Then we picked our favorite of the three and expanded on it in twenty-five words or less. Here, Bolton Writing Workshop friends and fans, is the first ever piece of hint non-fiction to grace the web (I think). Drum roll regardless!
"I Shouldn't Have Any Married Peers"
by Mariah Painter
I remember how she wanted to be a vet and help animals.
Now she thinks only of housekeeping.
We wanted to go to college together.
And they say creative people can't add. Pfffsh.