Sunday, June 12, 2011

Writing About Writing

In the interest of keeping my brain functioning for more than a few weeks past graduation, recently I've been looking back at some of my writing from the past four years.  As most of you know, I was an English major, and in my senior year decided to express my desire to write by declaring a Creative Writing Concentration.  What does that mean exactly?  Not much.  I'd already taken more writing classes than are needed (4) for this classification, and it was as simple as filling in about 3 lines on a form in the Registrar's office.  In trying to further this effort, though, I took a class called Advanced Prose in the spring of my senior year.  This was a small workshop style class--only nine members and one meeting each week.  Our projects could be whatever we desired.  Most people wrote fiction (short stories and two attempts at a novel), there were a couple of deeply personal memoirs, and one collection of travel writing stories.  Those were mine if you couldn't guess.  

In my four years at Colby, I was blessed with spare time and free-thinking parents, and therefore, I found myself on several extended trips.  You've probably heard about most of them--scrambling across slickrock outside Las Vegas, climbing in Mallorca, driving through California.  There were a couple earlier trips (senior year of high school) that I also chronicled in the course of my writings at Colby.  Now, finally, in my advanced prose class, I had the option to edit, rework, and collect all of these somewhat related stories into a somewhat cohesive anthology.  Who knows if any of it will ever be published in any way (which is a loose goal of mine), but at this time, who better to share it with than the folks that sometimes inhabit the stories?  And if you aren't in any of them, don't fret, I'm sure you were in my thoughts while I was there...
Calico Basin, NV
Big Sur, CA

So here it is, the collected works. The stories are one big word file, but they come in a folder also containing an intro, a table of contents, and an afterword.  Those pieces were added at the end, when I submitted it as my final project.  They are a little silly, sure, but I wrote them in hour.  The rest of the stuff has been evolving for 5 years.  It's a lot of words, and you don't want to read it all, so here's a brief narrative table of contents to ease your burden:

(the stories are in chronological order)

The March Slog--2006: A frustrating journey that eventually led to the Grand Canyon and my first glimpses of the Southwest

The June Odyssey--2006: An ill-fated road trip/job experience

The August Occurrence--2006: A somewhat dark tale of some time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Secret Slots--2008: Climbing in Red Rocks during my year off with the Colby spring break trip

To Big Sur!--2009: The first January roadtrip

Dog Days of Winter--2010: The second January roadtrip

The Bells Toll--2011: Climbing and noshing in Mallorca

Hooked on Halifax--2011: A weekend drive to Nova Scotia with my brother, Malcolm

Revisions: I revised two stories for the final project, and while not heavily edited, they are a touch better than the originals I hope.

So that's it.  Eight stories (ten if you count the revised versions).  Don't feel pressure to read them all, or read any really.  But if any sound enticing and you find yourself bored one afternoon, read one and let me know your thoughts.  I don't like sharing my writing too much, but these are stories I liked writing, and feel confident in their quality.  And though they are all travel stories of a sort, there is a somewhat strange evolution in style as the years progress.  I suppose that reflects my state of mind during each trip, and the level of my writing directly after  them.  I hope you enjoy the collection, and don't neglect to critique--it would mean a lot to me to hear what all you wonderful folks have to say.  

Click here to download the zipped folder of .docx files.  Let me know if you want them in a different format.

Thanks for reading.

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