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JoslinWA2 for Portfolio

JoslinWA2 for Portfolio

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Published by EVJoslin
Joslin WA2 Elizabeth V. Joslin English 101.002 Ms. Angela Kennedy September 20th, 2010 Writing in the Dark When my first semester English Professor prompted us to reflect on the difference between summary and analysis, I initially thought this would be a topic I’d have very little to write about because the differences are relatively straightforward and dry. The room is lit and Merriam Webster’s dictionary is on the bookshelf in the corner. But after a few days I was unable to shake the very cle
Joslin WA2 Elizabeth V. Joslin English 101.002 Ms. Angela Kennedy September 20th, 2010 Writing in the Dark When my first semester English Professor prompted us to reflect on the difference between summary and analysis, I initially thought this would be a topic I’d have very little to write about because the differences are relatively straightforward and dry. The room is lit and Merriam Webster’s dictionary is on the bookshelf in the corner. But after a few days I was unable to shake the very cle

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Published by: EVJoslin on Dec 12, 2010
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Joslin WA2Elizabeth V. JoslinEnglish 101.002Ms. Angela KennedySeptember 20
th
, 2010Writing in the Dark When my first semester English Professor prompted us to reflect on the difference between summary and analysis, I initially thought this would be a topic I’d have very little towrite about because the differences are relatively straightforward and dry. The room is lit andMerriam Webster’s dictionary is on the bookshelf in the corner. But after a few days I wasunable to shake the very clear images of summary being a person ‘Telling someone ‘I have a giftfor you....and it’s in a blue box with a red bow, and in the box is a toy piano.’ and analysis as achild shaking a present under a Christmas tree...’ So I wrote it all out. I expounded with other metaphors, such as ‘Summary is the gift you get for someone in the office; Analysis iswondering how on earth someone who has known you so long could still not know what youlike.’ I found it satisfying to write the short poem, and it came relatively effortlessly, and itwould not have happened if I’d given up on the idea and copped out with short textbook explanation.When I revisit journal entries I’ve done for the class I notice I’ve been fairly even handedin the extents I went to explore each topic I’d been given. This may be due to a number of things, but namely: A) I’m neurotic, and B) Family encouraged me from a young age to think aboutthings. Not only wonder, but also ask questions, of others and of myself. Thus, when I’ve beengiven a task or topic to write about, I feel compelled to really feel it out. Sometimes I come to the page and the proverbial room is lit up, and I can identify everything in the room and tell you how
 
Joslin WA2each thing relates to another. But most of the time it’s more like I’ve been asked to walk into areally dark room with a flashlight. I use the small spot of light to help guide me through theroom, to find all the other lights. The room becomes brighter and I can better see where I amgoing. With a clear sense of direction, I navigate through the writing process with confidence.Looking back on other writings I’ve done for English class my first semester, I becameaware of several things about my writing process and style. When rereading the first assignmentI had to turn in for a grade, I was struck how linear my story telling is. Not that I am striving to be able to tell every story as a patchwork mash of time, jumping from present to future, to past,to future, etc., but there is a skill to being able to weave time, and I’d like to have it. I understandthis skill can be developed, only with concerted effort and exploration.Another of our exercises asked of us to share some photographs of ourselves engaged insomething were literate in, or an image to represent our literary process. Two of the pictures Iincluded were of me in front of my old typewriter, one a photograph and the other a painting of afairly similar scene. I included those pictures because they represent where I was at that time inmy life with my writing. The book, my old
Outlaw Bible of American Poetry
, contains many poems I admire and have had influences my own writings. The painting represents my more“broodish” tendencies in writing, and the photo represents my more “bookish”. The paintingdoes a great job at capturing the isolating state of being in deep and distant thought I go intowhen I write.The third photograph I included for the exercise had been taken in 2008, while I wasvisiting my mother in Las Vegas. An image of a perfectly intact, and new looking crayon on theground in a parking lot, there was no profound reason for my wanting to take the photo. I saw acrayon on the ground, thought ‘neat’ and ‘Oh, I have a camera on me’ and snapped the picture.
 
Joslin WA2On later reflection, I realized this image could actually say something about my writing process.Said process usually starts by noticing a small, random, innocuous object or moment. From thatsingle moment begins hours upon hours of meditating on thoughts about the object or possiblesymbolic meanings.Were I to write something about or inspired by the picture of the crayon I would start bythinking of the factual details of the image or metaphor. This usually helps me develop thecontext in which I’ll tell the story or poem. For example: The crayon in the picture is green andfully intact. It is on the ground in Vegas. Las Vegas is a city that is known for melting anythingthat touches its scorching pavement. By getting my mind wrapped around the most basicelements of the subject, I am better able to move forward and further develop my thoughts aboutimplications and meaning.I fumble around in search for subtleties and ways the things may relate to one another. Itry to abstract each element, by several degrees, to get a feel for the complexities. For example,the following are some thoughts I would explore to develop more fully: Green is a color we useto represent nature, money or jealousy. People refer to cities as concrete jungles. Las Vegas is place many people come to with dreams of “hitting it big” gambling. It’s a hot, dry climateknown for melting anything that touches its pavement. After carrying on like this for a while, Itake a step back, look at what I have, and hone in on the story I want to tell or angle I’ll beapproaching the topic from--my proverbial “second light switch in the room.” In this type of writing, I want my reader to think about what I have to say.I don’t usually go these extents to write messages to friends on Facebook, text messagesor even emails to coworkers. I tend to keep those brief and to the point because I
don’t 
wantthem to think too much about what I’ve said. When I’m writing these messages I am trying to

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