This program is made possible through a generous gift from Ruth and Russell Bolton
in conjunction with the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Reading!

This Sunday, April 29, we'll celebrate another great semester of Bolton Workshops with a reading at 6:30 p.m. in the Honors Hall.

We're looking forward to hearing your work... and there'll be special surprises for all our readers.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Know that You Can't Avoid the Stairs in Life: Words of Wisdom from the Honors Hall Boltoneers

The last Honors Hall Workshop was all about the list: top 5 things we wished we knew about WVU, about Morgantown, about 5Ks. The lists were fabulous. We reminded each other that at WVU, you can't avoid stairs, you will find wonderful friends, and for 5Ks, wear something with pockets. From there we built wonderful stories, essays, and poems celebrating all things list. One student wrote a letter to herself with expanding her list of advice. Another student wrote about the journey of the stairs. Another wrote a poem about growing up. As they were reading their creative lists, I was reminded for the umpteenth time how wonderful these students are. And so, in the spirit of lists here is a Top 3 list of things that I learned from the Bolton Honors Workshop:
1) It is amazing what people can write in fifteen minutes. This year, we've seen some beautiful lines of description, fleshed-out characters, and wonderful sonnets. All created and developed in less than thirty minutes!
2) Be prepared to be amazed at Honors Hall Boltoneers insight. As we discuss professional examples of writing during workshop, it never fails that I will be amazed at at least one person's insight. Again and again, these students have taught me to rethink a piece and to see a line of description, poetry, or dialgoue in a new light. 
3) Be prepared to be amazed, period (be prepared to laugh, too. Seriously, these Boltoneers are funny!). 

Thank you, Honors Hall Boltoneers! It has been a pleasure working with you this year. I am continuously amazed by your dedication to writing and your endless enthusiasm. I can't wait to hear you read your work at the final reading on Sunday, April 29, at 6:30 in the Honors Hall. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Top 5 Reasons to Come to Bolton on Sunday

1. There will be sweet handouts of the writing variety.
2. I bet there will be treats.
3. It is our last Bolton of the year.
4. We will write up a storm.
5. List stories!

Come to the Honors Hall Bolton Workshop this Sunday, 4/15, at 3:30. RFL Apartment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sketchy Characters

In Arnold's last Bolton meeting, we discussed our favorite characters and why we love them. These loves of ours ranged from Ron Weasley, "ginger representative" (said enthusiastically and coupled with a fist pump) to Gatsby, because "he's a boss." When creating characters, our goal is to present a captivating person whose presence, appearance, quirks, and mannerisms will stick with readers, and keep dragging them back to the page.

After chatting, I explained the workshop would be dedicated to character sketches. I passed out blank sheets of paper, and a couple of groans surfaced. A reluctant voice from afar mumbled, "We're not drawing again are we?" Laughter, and I joined. I'll be honest. I wanted to mess with them a little; a character sketch is when you draw a character with number two pencils . . . Just kidding! I informed them they wouldn't, in fact, be drawing. After a "phew," I continued. They would be introducing a character in a moment in time--with words. Ideally, character sketches give the audience a strong mental image of the character, how they speak, their way of doing things, and an idea of their value system. It's called a sketch, because it avoids the character's whole history.

But what were flying papers about in my sneak-peek reminder blog? Well, it was how they found their inspiration! How the flying papers went down: Each person sat with a piece of paper in front of them. First, I asked them to write a place and a first name, then pass. Second, I asked them to write a last name, then pass. Third, I asked them to write three physical attributes, two adjectives, two nouns, and two verbs, then pass. Fourth, I asked them to write an everyday task, two lines of dialogue, and three lines of interior monologue, then pass. Fifth, I asked them to write one deep, dark secret, and one no-no, something the character would never do, then pass one last time.

With the paper they held in their hand, that amalgamation of information, the Arnoldite Boltoneers' jobs were to create memorable characters, and did we meet some characters! Roxanne Jarvis, a tall, green-eyed chain-smoking people-watcher. Sean Mizkophski, a mysterious red-haired man, who grew up on the streets with his mom, and would never ever hit a woman. Eve Boviar, a shy girl with blue-streaked hair, who must shower every morning and every night to function. And Masha Meduzot, a sterile green-and-gold-eyed woman, who has fallen in love with her brother.

With that said, it has been a fun and creative semester at Arnold with some interesting and talented characters. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Bolton Showcase! Thank you for the great year.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Month of Love

In February, Braxton Tower embraced the blown sonnet. Students treated "the little love song" as a puzzle they were determined to crack. Once they got started, students didn't want to stop. Here are some samples from a couple of our brightest stars: Joshua Carnes and Andrew Poszich.

When I Write, There's a Sonnet Boom!

By: Joshua Carnes

Tonight, I walked through rain to find her.
Again, reminded of its inconvenience.
My sight is blocked despite my desire.
But in my frustration, I find no difference.
Like the rain, she to my heart is long awaited.
She quenches my soul as though it were dust.
She is my bane and with every breath anticipated
My vision is blurred with overwhelming Lust.
One day, we will meet again when my intentions are true.
Mark my words, Fate--who keeps us separated.
That day you will fail, since the idea is not yet new.
What I feel is like a war vet but more decorated.
The war is fought for Love, and it is omnipresent.
No beginning, no end--my heart has been drafted.

Sonnet 42

By: Andrew Poszich

Alone, I wait upon this girl to come,
Laudable charm has left me in dismay.
I stare at my phone, what have I become?
My mind blank, I don't know what to say.

The rain pours down against the window pane,
Time slowly ticks by, where can this girl be?
I fret that my waiting will be in vain.
I thought this time would be different for me.

Distraught I feel, to nothing else compared.
It's getting dark now, desolate my heart.
Question her actions? Would I even dare?
Too bad it's getting late, I must depart.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow,
I will see her and be wrought with sorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Let's Bolton!

Hi, Arnoldites. Fun is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:15! There will be flying papers.

*Not to be confused with paper airplanes.