by John Castle
I remember being eighteen and sitting in my therapist’s office one summer day. I sat in the center of his large couch with my hands folded as he read to me from an old beaten up spiral notebook with several tears, stains, and scribbles that decorated it’s pages. Each page described a fear, a confession, a hatred, a sense of sorrow, all with a tone of dread and hopelessness. I was taken aback by what I was hearing, and a part of me questioned whether the author was being a bit dramatic. It was astonishing to hear the amount of pain the writer of this journal had been in. The only thing though was, this was my journal. I was the one who had filled these pages. All of these fears and frustrations were mine, and I had spent a good portion of my summer that year documenting them in that very notebook. Except, at that moment it was as if these feelings didn’t belong to me at all.
by Angela Faustino
As someone who has dedicated her life to studying writing, I think a lot about what makes literature effective. There are the essentials of course, the rising and falling actions, a solid plot, conflict, a climax, and an end all resolution that concludes the story. I feel the most important thing that a story can give is a sense of other worldliness. When a piece is that good, it harnesses all of these elements, and leaves the reader with a sense of awe after its resolution.
As an avid gamer, and someone who enjoys watching playthroughs of games, I often wonder: Why aren’t video games considered valid pieces of literature?
by Marissa Stanko
Trying to find your identity as a writer is nerve-wracking. There’s pressure on all sides to do certain things or be a certain way or write at certain times and so on and so on. It took me a long time to feel like I was a writer, and even now I struggle with feeling like I don’t write “the right way.” One of the things I always felt forced to justify as a writer, even to myself, is that I like to listen to music while I write, and it isn’t instrumental. Studies, blog posts, and articles galore tell me that I shouldn’t listen to music while I write, or that if I do, it should be classical, instrumental, or a playlist designed to fit the piece I’m working on. Lyrics distract from writing, they say. Music puts your focus somewhere else. And I know for many people, that must be true.
by Georgia I. Salvaryn
It has long been debated whether audiobooks are better than traditional books and e-books, but it is an argument that has no end. While some people believe audiobooks are eventually going to take over the reading world, others believe traditional books and e-books will have a long-lasting existence and influence on the book-loving community. Eventually, one’s use of audiobooks or print media comes down to two factors: ease and enjoyment.
In Dina Folgia’s opinion editorial Why the Future of Writing is in Audio, she discusses the revolutionary addition of audiobooks and storytelling podcasts to the literary world and the growing popularity of this form of “reading.” She argues that readers will eventually turn to audio for better entertainment and for convenience (i.e., a reader can listen to their favorite actor read their memoir while driving to work.) Her conclusion:
It’s no secret that print media is on the out. It will never go away, not completely, but the shift to the digital sphere has removed the emphasis from physically published content. Audio has already begun to breathe new life into old genres like horror, and is extending far beyond the conversational sphere and into the world of narrative. Writers would be foolish to overlook this massive new platform for creativity.
While I agree that this electronic medium is on the rise, I do not believe that it will kick print media to the curb.
by Christina Cullen
Last week my father asked me “What do the letters A.D. stand for?” as I racked my brain for the Latin Anno Domini and realized how little I had paid attention during my Catholic school days. He continued, “You know, when you search for something on Google, you sometimes see the letters A.D. What does that mean?”
My father recently retired from a corporate job and started his own signage business. He is a master networker and can make personal connections in minutes, but for him the online realm is a new landscape. Despite being the first in our family to own a computer, smartphone, and tablet as well as the fact that Google Adwords, the world’s first “self-service advertising program” was launched in 2000, two decades passed before he realized these two tiny black letters at the top of a Google search are the abbreviation of advertisement.