All posts tagged: Creative Nonfiction

It’s gonna be…oh wait, May’s over!

Photo Credit: Photos Public Domain Well, clearly time got the better of me this year. And now I am met with the task of summing up months of the MFA experience in a single blog post. Here goes! Compared to the fall, the spring semester was pretty calm from a personal standpoint – no houses were flooded, no childhood pets died on me, mid-term assignments did not coincide with working at a costume shop at Halloween time (though there was another move involved – we moved the store right before finals, so that was wonderful timing.) I managed to explore Orlando some more (well, really just the thrift stores between Sanford and Orlando and also spent a lot of time tracking down the Beyond Burger and my favorite Philly beer, Victory Kirsch Gose, at stores in Altamonte Springs.) Oh, and I saw my two favorite musicians/humans in the world, Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde (the Pretenders), play together at the Amway Center. One of my courses had us taking friend trips in the area and …

Contractual Community: Minority Students’ Place in the Creative Writing Program

Image: Conal Gallagher A lot has happened since the events of last semester as detailed here. I thought about what it might look like for me to give an update on promises given, what has improved, what hasn’t. And yet, I feel like it’d be unnecessary, in a sense, to give another somewhat in-depth barometric of things overall. A problem had been pointed out, namely the program’s inadequate approach, specifically under the helm of the current director, Jeff Lockwood, to address issues uniquely relevant to minority students. A call had been made and had been heard. Anymore expended emotional and intellectual energies, other than acting for the sake of my own survival if necessary, would be undue labor on my part, at least in my view. Then, there’s simply the matter of our program’s change in directors starting next year, from Jeff Lockwood to Brad Watson. So rather than go in that direction, I thought I would discuss a topic endemic to the creative writing program generally: problems with the notion of “community.” (Although, if …

Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart

(The “you” in my title refers to MFA program applications…) (Brief moment of silence for George Michael, with whom I share a birthday and therefore a Christmas half-birthday…I had “Careless Whisper” on repeat all day at work and am now planning to researching the history of the saxophone in pop music for a new work. But I digress) Hi Everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting; I’m very excited for this year to be over, is all I can say…I doubt next year will be any less hectic, but hopefully it will be more focused. Took a while to recover from the midterms/Halloween/moving houses debacle, but we managed to get the new place all set up, just in time to host my program’s Holiday Party! The event served as much-needed motivation to get everything cleaned up and to go grocery shopping…made a vegan chili that turned out well and didn’t kill anyone with its spiciness so yay. The party culminated in a White Elephant book exchange, in which we all contributed a copy of books we …

Eye of the Storm

Image: Colin Well, hello, everyone! I do apologize for the delay in my posts; the start of my MFA career has unfortunately coincided with the worst month or two of my life. So that’s been good. I’ll try to keep this part to a minimum (though as seriously I work on manuscripts for the first time in 4 years, I’ve been reminded of just how wordy a writer I am). Just as my boyfriend and I got our things unpacked in our new place in Orlando, a repair guy from our leasing company managed to burst a bathroom pipe and flooded half the house. When it was clear that the leasing company had no intention of fixing the damage, we had to make plans to move over the course of October. October is, of course, mid-term season and the small business I work for happens to do costume rentals so it happened to be a busy season there, too. So needless to say I’ve been exhausted! On top of all that, my 20-year-old cat passed …

Sienna Golden Malik Introduction (University of Central Florida ’18)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons It’s about two weeks into the semester now, and I still don’t know exactly what I’ve gotten myself into, but I sure am happy to be where I am, eating a pineapple pizza in UCF’s Student Union and getting my keyboard all greasy as I type the latest version of my introductory post. I honestly had to start this entry over a few times, unhappy with what I’d written and a bit doubtful of my talent—the writing portfolio that had worked for me so well during the application season was composed of works at least a few years old and I started to fear that I’d been out of school for too long and had lost my knack for writing! But just being back in school for these few weeks, surrounded by fellow writers and already reading and writing more than I have in years, I’m starting to feel steadier. Right now there are tropical storm and tornado watches in effect and I might have to caulk and float my Prius back …

Stop writing, then write

Image: alone in a bar by x1klima I’m not sure how the rest of you write. A good friend works with twenty-something drafts that he keeps renumbering; I work mainly in my head. I need to feel an essay before my fingers know how to make it take shape, and I have to see it in script before I know how to find the message hidden in the keyboard. I’ve learned though, that working out my head and my hands only with essays makes them calloused in certain places, tight in others, and less open to different movements. In the creative field, this rigidity is dangerous, restrictive—boring. So this summer, I learned to get creative with something else. I left the essays to frolic about in my mind while I committed my hands to working with colors, textures, quantities and shapes. Without an art space and a supreme lack in supplies, I turned to cooking for a creative outlet, and I experimented with that medium as I would with anything in an art studio. This …

Writer, Queer

This morning, I woke up in time—before I had to start rushing for work, before the heat turned us both into puddles—to actually take my dog on a decent walk. Titus, a corgi, loves gallivanting through his territory, a little Napoleon up against the big dogs who roll over in his presence. He loves people, especially if they have food, and he loves finding their leftovers in the grass, often gulping them down before I can stop him. As a kid, the only family dog I remember well enough to have had a bond with was a mutt named Tristan—with the colorings of a German Shepherd and the floppy ears of a Golden Retriever, plus the curly tail of a Shiba Inu, he had the attention span of a third-grader on Koolaid. While Titus’ favorite activity on walks is sucking up anything remotely edible like a vacuum sucking up Cheerios under a toddler’s high-chair, my childhood dog Tristan lived to chase cute little woodland creatures. He’d run from window to window in our house, slobbering …