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Final Prompt for Fall…..

14 Dec

Bonjour, tout le monde!  I thought as one last artful activity, or “credit opportunity”, we’d return to creative writing, telling a story.. but, ah!  You don’t have 4-5 pages of expository luxury to expel your narrative.  With this invitation, you only have 300 words, not a drop more!  Tell a story, show a story, but get to the point, and focus on singularity, not too many things, or people, like Hemingway with the dark-haired beauty, or Kerouac with Alf, or Wolff with the Bullet, Ms. Plath in her bath with everyone dissolving…

Be mindful with your words and how many you use…  REMEMBER, don’t go past 300!  This is very much an exercise in Flash Fiction, or micro-fiction some would say.

Have fun, enjoy your writing!  And, keep writing!  Even and especially after this final prompt.  If you don’t write, no story’s told.

Merci, and I’ll see you all around campus.

Loyally.  Yours.  Always,

mM

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Rubric, Focus Paper

10 Dec

As I discussed in class today, the final writing you submit for the semester IMG_9869will be evaluated in ten areas.  All of which I went over in class today, and are enumerated and explained below.  Above anything, and everything, just write from your convictions, from where you feel comfortable, and don’t second-guess yourself.  When you start to doubt yourself, and let yourself tire and give up, you’re infecting your writing.  Let it go too far, and the writing will be terminally compromised.  So write well, and enjoy…..  -Mike

(each dimension below is worth 5 points)

1 –  Title:  A creative, relevant, engaging, and non-cliché title that serves as the first words of your essay, and an orientation as to what we’re about to read.

2 – Introductory Paragraph:  The first paragraph of the essay which contains the thesis, yes (a thesis written out, not just lazily inferred or hinted), but equally as crucial provides a context for the argument, and adequate lead-in to your idea’s body.  This paragraph is where you station yourself in your idea and clearly let the readers know where you’re going to take them.

3 – Body Paragraphs/Paragraph Balance:  These body paragraphs not only support your thesis with strong examples and explanation of the examples, but should read smoothly, with a compliment to each other and provide strong structure for your position.  No paragraph should be underdeveloped, nor excessive in length.  I know, that doesn’t help.  Use your best judgement.  There should be a fluidity and a musical sense when reading though these body paragraphs before reaching the conclusion.  Think of the body paragraphs and the balance they’re to demonstrate as a foundation, a core, a heart.  Keep that heart in the healthiest of conditions!

4 – Voice:  Confident, authoritative, with definite language.  Don’t qualify yourself!  But, don’t come across arrogantly, either.  Assertiveness balanced with civility and humility is what I, and your future “professors”, are looking for (and if they’re not, they should be).

5 – Transitions:  Logical and untroubled connectedness, paragraph to paragraph.  Nothing random, or unexpected, or removed from paper’s principle and guiding intent.

6 – Mechanics:  Oh, the fun stuff!  Yes, it’s exhaustive, but truly, colleagues and friends, it makes you a stronger, more lethal, writer.  So.. punctuation, capitals, grammar, syntax, verb tense, spelling (as spellcheck doesn’t find it all!), indenting…  Give the paper several reads and examine every word, sentence and paragraph.  You have to be especially stringent with your paper and yourself to find mechanical inequities.  And when you do, you’ll be a stronger and more versatile writer.

7 – Conclusion:  Closure.  No loose ends.  Introduce nothing new.  And, no provocative or antagonistic rhetorical questions.  Everything should have been answered by now.  By the conclusion, we as readers should have a clear and uncompromised understanding of your position.

8 – MLA:  In-text citations, quoting, bla bla bla…

9 – Works Cited Page:  2-4 outside sources, MLA format (all information), numbered and in alphabetical order.

10 – Word Choice/Variety:  Play with words, use different words, make language your own.  Use synonyms, yes, but don’t be disingenuous with your language–  In other words, don’t sound like you’re reciting from a thesaurus.  Make your words reflect and convey mood, passion, authority and confidence from you as the scholar, the writer, the investigative journalist.  Display a mastery with language and you’ll pocket the 5 points for this dimension.

(Total – 50 points)      

And that’s the semester.  Time moves quicker than we want it to.  But all we can do is appreciate each moment as its own standalone piece.  There’s more to be written and more to be said, expressed and lived.  More to be read from us as writers.

Enjoy your writing and editing till final submission, and we’ll soon speak, and write just a bit more next week, together.

À La Tienne, votre instructeur,

mM

Week 16… The Focus Paper

30 Nov

IMG_4064-1Your Voice..

Your Identity…

Your Intentions….

On the page.

Hemingway has a way of

18 Nov

intriguing and frustrating us with his language.  I suppose the frustration would come from the exhausting sentences and their proximity to the more curt march-like clauses, then we have the intrigue of him, and where this story is going, and what he’s going to show us about this place he’s chasing, Paris, what there is to the Feast.  And, frankly, how does he afford to live like this, just walking around café to café, writing and observing people and living as this libertine penner?

And, Ms. Stein’s influence on Hemingway… your thoughts?  Do you sense any mood change in Hem when he’s around Ms. S?  Some would call their relationship abusive, dysfunctional, reciprocal, and, at times, just plain awkward.  Like when she addresses the issue of ‘inaccroachable’ (25), how Hem says he didn’t agree, but “I did not believe in arguing with my elders.” Is this meant to be a passive insult at Ms. S?  OR, is there something deeper, more elemental and combustive going on?

And, the topic of food, the cuisine, the sensory appeal of Paris that Hem shares with us.  What does that do to the read, to this memoir, if it is in fact such.  We have all this mention of Literature and Art and culture, but somehow you could argue something’s missing.  Some centrality… what?  What’s missing in this feast Papa’s prepared for us?  And, if you feel nothing’s missing, or it’s too early to tell, then fine!  Share your observations with us and share where the strengths are in this next reading (through ch. 13).  I said last meeting that Hemingway is taking us on a tour through HIS Paris, so what does he observe and what do you observe in those observations he shares?

HW:  Read through Chapter 13 (page 100 in the edition I ordered to the bookstore..), and post a 250-300 word reaction, addressing your observations in the text, and if something’s missing or if he’s so far provided a coherently structured manuscript.

Merci!

Hem/Ernie/Papa

16 Nov

Hem

We have an author that has more conviction than most, but somehow demonstrates vulnerability and a certain sensitivity that’s trounced out by boldness, this masculine paradigm.  He writes in discipline as well as in between excesses and indulgences.  He’s proverbially aware of life, death, and their unmistakeable and irrefutable interconnection.  Reading his work, you can see he admires everything around him, everything and everyone.  It’s all material.  It can all be on a page.  Which is similar to the other authors we’ve read but with this author there’s more intensity.  And a stratosphere of more confidence, near cockiness in his compositions.  When reading his sentences, try to determine which clauses convey strength, and which deliver a sense of vulnerability.  This will help determine who and what we’re reading.  I’ve said before that ‘Hem’ is his own genre, one of only a few American authors that have achieved such, I offer.  Similarly, Hemingway wants us to experience truth, the truth of where he is, what he sees, hears, tastes, touches, smells, feels, wonders and loves.  A soldier on the page, in his sentences and in life, while still visibly sensitive, vulnerable, and dare I direct.. ‘feminine’.  Let me know if you see what I see in the Feast.  And if not, what do you see, what are you observing?  Because, quite frankly, this memoir or novel, or just ‘book’, is all about observation, life and appreciating the day.  Appreciating the Feast itself in the savory city of Paris.  Prendre plaisir!”

WEEK 12, SRJC 1A

2 Nov

Plath.  The multiple Plaths.

How many can you find?

Is there strength in this multiplicity?

Creative Writig Project– 

News.. Opinion.. Final Writing for semester

Journals

WAW’s–

What do stories do?

We’re full of stories–

NaNoWriMo

9/16/15 Meeting — the draft

16 Sep

Drafts are a funny thing, I’ve always thought.  Hemingway said the first draft of anything’s shit, but I disagree–  OR, it doesn’t have to be.  For today, let’s focus on the feels of the papers; how the topics are introduced, how they’re supported and how you incorporate not only evidence from the text but your outside sources as well.  And then, how you wrap it up.

IMG_8623-0

And Mr. Wolff?  What are your thoughts on his attitude, thus far?  Granted, we only read two of his short works, but there’s an obvious presence on the page, wouldn’t you say? 

Let’s go through his stories, and see what observations in his prose should be noted…