The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. Stop and make sure that everything you are doing right now is really what makes you happy. I don’t understand how you can smile all day long but cry yourself to sleep at night. You’re really amazing, and one day, maybe very soon, you will find someone who really means the world to you and you will fall in love with them, and he will love you to bits. We must see things and people for how they are instead of how we hope, wish, or expect them to be. 3.The writer must avoid the two essential faults of creative writinga€”those that touch its essence and those that are accidental.
4.The plot should have a beginning, middle, and end, and thus resemble a living organism in all its unity.
5.The beginning and end of the story must be capable of being brought within a single view or theme. 6.Plot should be arranged on the complex plan, one in which change of fortune takes place through reversal of situation, recognition, or both and includes scenes of suffering. 8.Plot can consist of either a single thread or double thread in which an opposite ending occurs for the good and bad characters.
10.Plot should imitate actions that incite pity and feara€”pity as aroused by unmerited misfortune, and fear by witnessing the misfortune of a character like ourselves. 11.This character must be someone who brings misfortune on himself or herself, not through vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.
13.The writer must focus on the action in the story and the part taken by the characters, and not drift off in several lines of action carried on at the same time.
14.The writer should put the scene before his or her eyes, as if he or she is an actual eyewitness to an event happening while writing. Hero or heroine faces jeopardy that incites in reader emotions of sympathetic fear and anxiety as to the outcome of the situation.
Plant the idea or action early, then develop readera€™s understanding by returning to idea or action later in story. Description is the attempt to represent reality by using language to present as directly as possible the qualities of a person, place, object, or event. 1)The Eye of Insight sheds new light by examining inscape, viewing the interior, the shape within the shape of a thing.
2)The All-Accepting Eye examines things that we might rather not see, discards the labels, and searches for the beauty in a flaw, beginning discovery with the thing and not its label.
3)The Gliding Eye observes things in movement through time or space or both, picks up details of the passage, recording birth and decay of sensation at the center of a spinning mind. 4)The Childa€™s Eye observes a thing with the seriousness of a child at play, in a focused, highly concentrated way, without hurrya€”like watching an ant crawl across the ground or observing a dung beetle move a mass five times its size and weight. 5)The Dream Eye fragments reality and reshapes it, perhaps using symbols to penetrate below surface appearances.
The Naked Eye merges with the Imaginative Eye to create effective descriptiona€”The Big Picturea€”by making things from, not making things up. New idea built from comparison between two unlike things; tension between two actualities creates possibility, or new meaning. An Allusion measures a thing against a known cultural or memory tweak by referencing something the reader will know (Allegory, Conceit, direct or indirect reference to other texts (intertextuality), music, movies, etc.
Respond to each othera€™s work with respect, depth and thoughtfulness, in a manner that is civil and constructive.
Over the Top a€“ material is presented in such a way that reader has a hard time believing the story.
Greenfield, Tennessee, a farm and factory town of twenty-two hundred in the statea€™s rural northwest corner, has never been more than a place between places, one in a long list of towns to be passed through along kudzu-choked U.S. It was in fact the railroad, and not the nearby Mississippi River, which was the prime mover in the delta land where I grew up. On September 2, 1979, two members of the Weakley County rescue squad found the raped and murdered body of eight year-old Cary Ann Medlin in one of the communitya€™s namesake green fields, not far from the Illinois Central tracks. I remember hearing news of her murder and running to find my first grade yearbook, hoping to fix her school days photo in my mind so I wouldna€™t lose it.
It wasna€™t until twenty-one years later, long after Ia€™d left Tennessee, after Martin and Greenfield had became only places in my mind and that Lovera€™s Lane a Memory Lane that I began to consider the murdera€™s place in a childhood which I now see as violent in so many other ways.
That first grade photo of Cary appeared over and over in the news in the months leading up to the Coe execution, along with another I found printed years before in the Nashville Tennessean and now reprinted as the newspaper re-capped the story: a shot of those rescue workers bent over the soybean plants, long-haired and t-shirted, hunting the girla€™s body.
Bob Cowser, Jr.'s first book, Dream Season, was a New York Times Book Review a€?Editor's Choicea€? and a€?Paperback Rowa€? selection and was listed among the Chronicle of Higher Education's best-ever college sports books. Above our heads, a banner of the eartha€™s children: an African boy with corduroy hair, a fur-muffled Eskimo, a golden girl from Holland. Six years later my first stockings were seamed and I thought of Miss Ranney while I sat on the edge of the bathtub shaving the pale brown hairs.
Rebecca McClanahan has published nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007 and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow prize in nonfiction. There was a woman who died while I was in Daffiama; she was young and eight months pregnant. Jillian Schedneck taught Literature and Creative Writing at the American University in Dubai for the 2007-2008 academic year. Sitting on the edge of her bed, with legs dangling and shoulders slumped, my six-year-old stares at the wall in a trance. She moves to the beat of her own drum, but once in the car, I settle into the morning routine. As the overburdened stretch of I-95 south of the Capitol extends before me, with cars packed in every lane as we creep toward our northbound destinations, I cannot stop the seething anger and indignation that boils within me.
Our passage onto the base is slowed at the gate by the forklift placing barriers in front of the gate shack.
I look at her, and though I answer a€?yes,a€? I realize that I was late because I forgot to leave. Being a mother is not just something I do; it is who I am, who I should have been, and who I always want to be. On the way to work, I listen to the news, but then I turn it off and just listen to the sound of my breathing. During my first sixth months of recruiting duty, workdays lasted from 0700 to 2300 Monday thru Friday, and from 0800 to 1800 on Sunday. Making all those a€?numbersa€? was occasionally impossible, especially the a€?three appointments for the next day.a€? The recruiter had to contact the staff non-commissioned officer in charge and report his numbers before securing. Create Scene, driving home, reflecting on the hours spent on the road as a recruiter and the nastiness of the bars carried on Na€™s clothing into the cara€”describe car: At the end of that night, I went home exhausted, sweaty, and smelling like the smoke from the bars, an odor I despise.
Create Scene: Pulling into the driveway at 0200 all I could think of was getting a shower and going to sleep. Deodorant soap replaced the smell of sweat and cigarette smoke from my body, but the taste in my mouth was getting worse.
A recruiting SNCOIC doesna€™t want his recruiters getting caught with their integrity down but he is willing to risk it to make mission.
This is a separate story inside this storya€”N is avoiding the real story by ending with this: Anyway, rumor had it the old man had assaulted a recruiter in Georgia and the Colonel just moved him to a new duty-station, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Like I said before, you have real talent, so dona€™t think badly of your writing when you see my comments.
One of the most important things you can do, is to take this piece and determine what is summary and what is scene.
When you create your timeline, start with placing the major events in this piece on the line first.
Being assigned to recruiting from my usual job as a criminal investigator was both good and bad. Getting back to those tasks based on statistics, stay with me now as I get through how the numbers worked out.
I talked to those people either on the telephone or in person, what we called daily activities.
When I returned to my desk from the bathroom, the old sergeant was heading out the door with his Bible. This was the guy I had to call every night and get approval to secure, to leave work and go home at night.
After almost five hours of talking to people on the phone and going out and talking to people at malls, stores and various other public places, I felt done for the day.
Dragging ass, I continued to approach people around 7-eleven stores and such, acting like I just happened to be stopping by on my way home from work. After ironing out the details and writing down his contact information, I finally left the musty tavern and drove home, exhausted and sweaty. The glowing numbers on the clock said it was a short night before I had to get back up and start another recruiting day.
Born and raised in a small town in the South, David Charles joined the US Marine Corps as a teenager during the Cold War period. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. I just need a guy who will hold his ground and tell me to stop running from everything I’m afraid of.
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around.


Though it’s an uncomfortable thought, before God can really begin to use a person for His purposes, He must break that person. When you find your prince, you will realize that all the frogs that came before him suddenly won’t matter anymore. Why can’t we get all the people together in the world we really like and then just stay together?
I love the feeling you get when you’re around someone you have feelings for, I love how happy it makes me, I love being able to have someone to talk to at all times, having someone make you smile and laugh. Because one day, you might wake up from your sleep and realize that you lost the moon while counting the stars. No matter how many quotes and song lyrics you post, or however much you write your heart out, sometimes words can’t describe how you feel. There comes a point when you have to realize that you’ll never be good enough for some people.
This goes out to all of the people who have been broken, but have been strong enough to let go. We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. Determine the point at which protagonist must make a decision in order to achieve goal (crisis). Coherent: Distilled image remains True to Life by reproducing the distinctive features of original. Consistent: Distilled image links the intended meaning from beginning to middle to end creating Unity of Meaning, as in an extended metaphor or exemplification.
Allusion requires an understood knowledge base between writer and reader and recognition of a Cultural Memory Tweak by the reader in most cases.
Elusion is complex and mysterious and requires not just recognition, but discovery of what is absent. In depicting the motions of the a€?human hearta€™ the durability of the writing depends on the exactitude. Submit line-edit suggestions, marginal comments, and an end comment (summary of your thoughts on the piece) addressed to the writer. Offer an end comment that notes what you believe the work to be about, how you see the work achieving this, and what opportunities you can see for further exploration in this work. My slightly larger hometown of Martin, ten miles north up Highway 45, took its name from tobacco plantation owner Colonel William Martin who donated land for the railroad bed. Cary had gone on a bike ride with her little brother twenty hours earlier, gotten into a strangera€™s Grand Torino and disappeared. Her stepfather worked in those days on the assembly line at the Goodyear tire plant in Union City, her mother as a nurse at a Jackson hospital, and before moving to Greenfield in the summer of a€?79 the family had lived for a time in Martin. As the state of Tennessee prepared to execute Coe for the Medlin murder (its first execution in forty years), I began to understand Bean Switch Road as a rutted track in memory which might run between me and many people I loved and respected, separating me from them. Both Medlin and Coe are as dead as they could bea€”Coe for almost five years at this writing, Cary Ann for nearly a quarter century. He is also the author of Scorekeeping, a collection of coming-of-age essays, and his essays and reviews have appeared widely in American literary magazines, including Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, American Literary Review, Sycamore Review, Brevity, Sonora Review, Fourth Genre, and Creative Nonfiction. I checked the seams each morning as we stood facing the chalkboard, my hand across a place I called a pocket but she called your heart, and I pledged allegiance to a flag no bigger than my brother's diaper flapping on the line. I fingered my Brownie badge and renewed my oath to help other people at all times, especially those at home.
She has also authored four previous books of poetry and two books of writing instruction, including Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively.
I didna€™t go to the funeral, but those who did said you could see the baby circling around inside of her, like a hand moving under a sheet. The first one fell with the Twin Towers, and as the clots of blood dripped into the toilet, I said goodbye almost thankfully, glad not to bring a child into such a world.
Something is different, something has changed, and I search my body for signs that my baby is still therea€”check my breasts, my belly, the fluid in the toilet, and back again to the breasts, wondering if the life inside me has died.
Not just any brown, but the kind you make with paint or too many layers of crayon when youa€™re a little kid.
I would have gone to the funeral and made them cut the baby out while it was still alive, instead of after it had died.
Her essay a€?Circling,a€? which first appeared in Brevity, will be anthologized in Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press, 2009). As she rifled through the box of pencils, Alejandra must have also been watching my backside as I bent over Todda€™s desk, pondering the thin line of flower-print elastic that clings to my waistline. He has dutifully added the e, but his compositiona€”five sentences describing his homea€”is riddled with errors.
Calculating the hours, I am certain the Virginia state legislature steals an hour and a half from me five days a week.
Amandaa€™s before and after school care is local to our neighborhood, and my year old baby attends the day care on base.
Calculating the hours, I am certain the Virginia state legislature steals an hour and a half from me every workday.
We are working with the Marine Corps program manager to set the timeline and milestones for the new Department of Defense messaging software. She joined the Marine Corps in 1990 and is currently a Master Sergeant servingA with III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa Japan.
Those activities included about 200 telephone calls and, getting back to this day at a little after 5 p.m. Having joined for law enforcement training, his first Marine job after a€?recruita€? and a€?studenta€? was as a military policeman. But there are other people out there who want to help you fight the good fight, and you need to let them in.
It is a reason to get started, to grow, to find new ways, to reach within yourself and discover strength, commitment, determination, discipline.
You tell them things that you’ve never actually shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. I think when bad things happen- whether someone dies or people argue or split up- you get to a point where it’s just too hard to go back. Brokenness is not a popular idea in our culture, but there is usually no sweeter time of intimacy with God than when He takes our life and our sinful habits, and destroys them, so that He can build us up again. I just try to let love surprise me because you never know who you’re going to fall in love with.
How your best friend can become your worst enemy, or how strange it is when your worst enemy turns into your best friend.
But everyone gets tired of waiting, assuming, hearing promises, saying sorry, and all the hurting. For the people who have hurt so badly that they felt that they could never love again, but kept their head up. You get all lined up just the way you like it, and then something beyond your control comes along and bumps you off center. It’s those moments where you get high off just breathing in so deep, you feel your lungs getting cold. Scatter descriptive details by breaking large clumps of information into smaller bits and sprinkle throughout the story.
More than a century ago now a conductor on a southbound Illinois Central Gulf train offered the town its name, noting the fields of winter wheat still green late in the year. Engineer Casey Jones lived 50 miles south in Jackson, Tennessee at the time of his legendary 1903 wreck, his modest house there now a museum. By the time they found her tiny body atop a trampled swath of soybean plants just off Bean Switch Road, a notorious Lovera€™s Lane, the corpse had begun to turn in the late summer heat. I was as sad as a nine year-old boy could be about the business I suppose, but Cary had violated that cardinal rule of childhood about talking to strangers, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had Robert Glen Coe in custody just three days later.
I sensed with a kind of strange excitement how the photo was an emblem of my childhooda€”the unmistakable heat, those men, something awful hidden just out of sight. We sang of mountains and amber grain, our voices always a beat or two behind the warped '45 spinning on the phonograph beside the globe on Miss Ranney's desk.
Later that year, I was in Home Ec tracing my face shape with soap onto a mirror when the intercom crackled the news. McClanahana€™s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, and numerous other publications.
Later I felt bad that I hadna€™t gone to the funeral, but I was never sure if my motivation was guilt or disappointment over missing such a spectacle.
This one is taking its time, and I have nothing more than my intuition to tell me that ita€™s gone.
Ia€™m still not completely sure, so I survey again, trying to find the feeling that was once there, that still comes back in little wisps, but seems mostly gone. You mix all the colors togethera€”the good colors and the bad colors too, just to see what will happen, and you come up with a muddy, greenish, sickly version of the color brown, a sort of chaos and confusion of life and lifelessness all blended into one, never to be separated into sky blue, tangerine, and sea foam again. I would have taken the dead womana€™s baby for my own, as a guard against the possibility that either of us would ever be alone, as a stone thrown in the face of death, as protection against this circling, this looking for something we both need desperately that is no longer there. I consider asking him what the correct spelling might be, imagine him looking up at me with big, brown eyes, searching the details of my face for the correct letter, but decide to just tell him what he needs instead.
I nod solemnly, mentally adding another dress code violation to my long list of teaching errors. Traffic is finally moving, and this idiot thinks the left lane is for pacing instead of passing. On the way to work, I listened to the news, but sometimes I turned it off and just listened to the sound of my breathing.


Looking at my watch, I realize that the few minutes that I have been delayed will cost me many more. With my simple math skills, I conclude that including weekends, they rob me of at least ten hours a week. My thoughts are focused on security, contingency operations, alternate network operations, and the myriad of requirements to overcome the obstacles presented by this occurrence. She knows something terrible has happened today and I dona€™t know how to explain it to her. Being a Marine is not something I do; it is who I am, who I have been, and who I will always be. The hands of time are moving again, but now I hear the slow, steady tick tock of each moment.
She is also married to a Marine and has two daughters, ages 13 and 8.A She has served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and her husband has served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Once he cut his teeth guarding gates and on patrol, David became a Marine criminal investigator. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness, don’t waste time with regret.
And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too, even when you’re in the dark. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. For the people who that learn from their mistakes and never stop moving forward, even when they take two steps back. Sometimes, we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Wishing on all the stars in the sky for the answers to your questions, for something to believe in…someone to hold.
After all, something has drawn you here, readera€”you want to know what it is the searchers seek among the soybean plants. Lawrence University, where he teaches courses in nonfiction writing and later American literature, and an adjunct member of the faculty of Ashland Universitya€™s Low-Residency MFA program. Our world was the Weekly Reader, hopscotch and jump rope, the only war the Cold One which America of course was winning.
They lived only for my welfare, wrote notes about my progress and pinned them to my shirt, exchanged report card signatures. McClanahan, who lives in New York, has received the Wood Prize from POETRY, a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and (twice) the Carter prize for the essay from Shenendoah.
There is something about the way the breasts suddenly deflate, the way the body stops gurgling and humming, that lets me know I will continue to chase after the symptoms of another life in my body without ever finding what I am looking for.
This brown, this color I am, it sucks in the colors of crocuses, bananas, my husbanda€™s eyes, and it holds them tight, keeping them for its own but never changing, never brightening to a rich mahogany or surrendering to black.
As my bitten fingernail zigzags over his sentences, I realize that even my fingers dona€™t match my image of a fourth grade teacher, who should be neat and composed, with a rosy complexion and trimmed, polished nails.
He grins back at me, but there is something about his expression, the penetrating, hooded brown eyes, that tells me he knows Ia€™m overlooking his other mistakes. She is currently working on a travel memoir about her experiences in the United Arab Emirates titled a€?Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights.a€? Her creative work has been published in literary journals such as The Common Review, Brevity, and Fourth River. Adding lanes in both directions just wouldna€™t have been right a€“ all that grass dividing the highway looks so much better!
Most of his career was in military law enforcement minus some out of specialty assignments, including three years on recruiting duty.
When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.
For the people that wish loneliness wasn’t a part of them, but put up with it anyhow. You grow up, make friends, lose friends, go to college, lose track of people, meet new ones, and sometimes you ask yourself why. Having absolutely no control over yourself, being caught up in a place you wish you were miles away from. She is not someone who must ask repeatedly for attention and good behavior, whose voice gets muffled in the chatter of children, who anxiously picks at her nails and tears at her cuticles until tiny red bumps appear. I finally allow myself to smile as I imagine the opportunity to place a full handed slap across the face of the Neanderthal that came up with that brilliant idea. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting, or laugh with you when you make a fool out of yourself. And as time goes on, you learn more and more, absorbing every second of detail without even realizing it.
For the people that are okay with taking up all of the room in the bed, even if it sometimes feels a little empty. But all I can tell you is the every single experience you go through like this has changed you in some way. Being stuck somewhere between the past and the future, nowhere near where you should be-in the present. And now these paragraphs lie before you like stands of trees, a deep forest of wonder and darkness whose mystery beckons.
Each morning Mother locked my thermos and only Miss Ranney could loosen it, leaning over me in her ivory crepe blouse until the cap sighed once, then was free. The rest of the orbit swirls out from there: King murdered the week of my senior prom, then Bobby in a hotel just miles from my school while I marched to Pomp and Circumstance, not knowing that within a year on a July night in the back seat of a Volkswagen, I would pledge what was left of my heart to a boy leaving for Vietnam while above us the tired moon finally gave in to a tiny man in gravity boots, planting an American flag. Shea€™s probably doodling on the desk, her long, dark lashes cast down as she tries to escape the demands of the classroom and enter into the world of her drawing. She is no longer a manipulative ten year old who pouts when she wants permission to draw hearts on the chalkboard or be excused to the lavatory for the third time in an hour. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over.
Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather, they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. Then one day, you wake up and realize how much this person actually means to you, and you love them for every strength and weakness.
How the people who once wanted to spend every second with you, think a few minutes of their time is too much to spare.
Ia€™m trying to ignore her insubordinationa€”she should be writing a paragraph like the rest of the six students in my after school reading classa€”but clearly another one of my tactics has failed. In a moment, Alejandra has become a young woman learning how to manage the intimate details of our gender. There is never any pressure, jealousy, or competition, but only a quiet calmness when they are around. Do not hate because someone broke your heart, or because your parents split up or your best friend betrayed you. For the people who periodically miss the past, but are so much more excited for the future. I turn around, ready to demand she sit back in her seat, prepared to be heard and heeded this time, but she is looking at me, wide eyed. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song, or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. For the people that have so much tied to their past relationship, but break those chains to start fresh. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid, it’s like being young again.
For the people that pick up the phone and are tempted to call, but keep their dignity intact instead. Laughter seems part of daily life where, before, it was infrequent, or didn’t exist at all. Be thankful that the road is long and challenging, because that is where you’ll find the best that life has to offer. A phone call or two during the day always helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.
For the people that still believe in love even after all of the hurt their heart has endured. For all the people that gave up not because they were weak, but because most times, it’s better just to let go. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. It will truly make a difference in the way you see yourself, and the way others see you. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind, or even a storm cloud on the horizon.
You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.
You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soulmate who will remain loyal until the end.




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