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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Blog Post is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Are you green with envy when you see amazing description? Would you give your right arm to write such dazzling sentences? Are you sick and tired of stale prose? Have you ever cried like a baby over a great line? Okay...maybe some of these are a stretch, but I know I certainly get a wonderful twinge in my stomach when I stumble on a great moment of description.

This Tuesday for the Honors Residence Hall Bolton Workshop, we're going to practice avoiding cliche in our description. Join us as we find our own unique ways of description while eating delicious goodies.

Tuesday, 2/26, 7 P.M. RFL Apartment in the Honors Residence Hall.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Upcoming Spring Workshop Dates

We hope to see you at one of these upcoming workshops!

In Dadisman/Stalnaker with Christina Seymour: March 11, April 8

In Honors with Rebecca Thomas: February 26, March 12, April 23

In Summit with Rebecca Doverspike: March 4, March 18, April 15

In Arnold with Rebecca Childers: March 11, April 8

And stayed tuned for a very special announcement about a reading... details soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's Not You. It's Me.

It was all about subtext at the Honors Hall RFL apartment last night. Just in time for Valentine's Day we tried our best pick up lines and break up lines, and let me tell you, these Honors Hallians have some good ones. 

We started the night subtext free. We each came up with a break up reason, passed it to the left, and then wrote the scene without subtext. We struggled, finding out that when we talk to people by saying exactly what we mean, the conversation kind of dies. It turns out, we like to evade the truth. 

So, we ended the night doing just that. We each came up with a location and an activity (Starbucks ordering coffee, buying one item at the grocery store, someone ordering carnations, etc) and wrote a romantic scene, a scene where two people like each other but haven't yet worked up the nerve to ask each other out. Innuendoes ensued as did charm and romance and a few moments where we all said "aw" together. It was a lovefest just in time for the loveliest day of the year. 

Come join us for our next writing session, Tuesday February 26 at 7:00 p.m. There will be goodies and prizes and plenty of writing galore, so stop on by the Honors Hall RFL apartment. You won't be sorry (and that was said subtext free). 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Serial Killers, Hospitals, Funeral Homes, and Lasagna

We have been busy writer-bees at the Dadisman/Stalnaker hall Bolton Workshops. (Can’t you wait until there are real bees?!) Two weeks ago, we used Chuck Palahniuk’s and Bret Easton Ellis’s character-monologues to inspire our own serial killers. Warning: such an exercise surprises not just your friends but also yourself, especially your answer to the question “Who is your killer’s favorite victim?” *Chills*

Last night, Nick, Karli, Morgan, Lacey, Shannon, and I covered the topics of hospitals and funerals: not much less chilling! I was so shocked at the material these writers have. I told them to quit talking, start writing, and get those nonfiction essays published immediately. There was a stunningly elemental comparison of hospitals and funeral homes, a five-year-old girl who bit her dentist and got smacked for it, a very compressed expression of “I hate hospitals,” vials of blood, a broken ankle from a painful horse-kick,  and multiple blown veins when a nurse, this writer supposed, plotted for her to look like a drug addict.

Among this conversation, the lasagna was cheesy-good, the garlic bread was buttery-good, and George the dog rustled playfully upstairs. Thanks for Debbi and David for always creating the warm, happy atmosphere.

We will meet again on Monday, March 11, at 6:30pm for a poetic ode-frenzy. See you there!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Using Our Words

Last week, we found inspiration in paintings. A storm was coming--as storms do in January--and we sat around the table in the Honors Residence Hall apartment looking for warmth and inspiration. We found it in paintings of sunshine, Greek gods, and Icarus falling into the sea. We read poems inspired by the art and shared our own thoughts on them. The statue of Apollo reminded one Boltoneer of meringues. It made me look at the marble statue differently. And that's exactly what such writing should do, we said. It should make us re-see, rethink, reimagine our world. With that task in mind, we each wrote about a painting from either Monet, Manet, or Hopper. The results made each of us notice something different about the art. 

Below is a poem from Boltoneer Emily Buras writing about Monet's "An Artis's Garden"

A (young) Artist's Garden, A Response to Monet's Painting
Emily Buras

In a tangled jungle of sunflowers, 
behind the red brick house
the trees follow daylight.

An abandoned work basket becomes old Indian ruins, 
ripe for exploring.
Mud-stained, weary, his play clothes a mess, 
the famous adventurer braves 
garden cat attacks and
fierce cicada war cries.
Playtime lasts for weeks, 
on end.

While fording the river of 
stepping stones 
El Dorado comes into view. 
"Tea-time!" cries the queen of the natives.

The explorer sheathes his butter knife machete, 
stolen from the kitchens, 
and leaves the jungle for another day.

The sunflower trees turn to follow his retreating
golden head,
mistaking him for the sun.

Join us this Tuesday, February 12, at 7 p.m. in the Honors Residence Hall RFL Apartment. We will be writing about all things love--both falling in and out of it. See you then!