My Writing Life
The first piece that I recall writing still hangs on my mother’s refrigerator. It was a short, crudely scribbled poem that I had made for her for Mother’s Day when I was seven to thank her for all she had done for me. It means a lot that my mother has held onto that writing for so long, but the sad quality of it makes me cringe when I pass by it. I like to believe that my writing has vastly improved since that day, but sometimes in the midst of writer’s block I’m really not sure that it has.
I continued writing throughout my life. Mostly through song lyrics during my days of “teen angst” or what I thought was angst. However, I didn’t really get interested in writing seriously until I joined the newspaper stuff at my high school in tenth grade. I spent most of my time in tenth grade writing feature articles on events going on at the school mostly because I was new and wasn’t sure what I could get away with yet.
In my junior year, I began to find a comfort spot and focused mostly within the realm of sports writing. Writing sports seemed to be both simple and fun because I enjoy sports and reporting them consists mostly of regurgitating information from a box score to paragraph form. It wasn’t until my school started considering changing our school name of Indiana Indians because it was offensive that I truly found what I enjoyed writing.
A friend of mine and I co-authored an article satirizing the “offensiveness” of team names to display our disinterest for changing the school name. The article was popular among students, and our advisor sent it to a journalism contest where we received second place in opinion articles. After that I continued to write within the opinion and editorial sections throughout my senior year. I also worked on the editing staff as a senior, which was an interesting experience, because it made me more aware of mistakes that I could be making.
When I began college, I started with a major in Political-Science so the only writing I was doing was for papers in classes. About two years into Political-Science I realized that writing was where my talents really lied so I switched to the English department, and began to write both within classes and on my own time. I enjoy writing fiction most, but I have written in non-fiction for research papers, and creative non-fiction for personal stories which I see as an enjoyable challenge.

My Facebook

Class Projects

1. Contributions to Class Web Project

When it came time to edit my article there weren't many errors that had to do with spelling or grammar. Most of my errors came down to how the page was formatted. Everything was in blocked paragraphs, and nothing was set up in a way that would catch a scanning reader's eye. In order to fix this problem the first step I took was to make everything bulleted. A bulleted paragraph or list is very commonly used, but I believe that is because it works. However, for the bullet to work the paragraph has to be shortened or differently formatted. To make this happen I did shorten the sections that remained paragraphs, but there were some that I was able to break into lists. Overall, I think my page can now be read in about a minute, while still containing all the information that it contained in its original form.
My Final Contribution
In the editing process I reviewed the pages made by two additional authors. I think out of the suggestions I made to others that the one I made to Ryan Mance's page was most crucial. I was a bit at a loss when it came to editing Ryan's page because I am by no means an expert on poetry so I was really scratching and clawing just trying to find something that could stick without changing the creative qualities of the piece. My suggestion that stuck was to finish the story that Ryan's poem was telling. In my first read of the page the poem was just about 10-12 lines telling about a bad ending with time travel. With this suggestion Ryan was able to give the story a beginning and middle to put the end into perspective, and I personally think it really makes the page complete.
Suggestion Page
Ryan's Poems: Final Form

2. Poster Project

For my poster project I decided to do a poster from one of the topics from the IUP news page that Dr. Sherwood provided to us (Society of Professional Journalists). For the assignment we had a few requirements. The requirements were to have at least two text boxes and at least two image boxes. For the text boxes I chose to provide a title and the information that the poster was there to provide. For the image boxes I used one image from the creative commons search page creative commons , and for the additional images I just used the images from the page for the society of professional journalists society of professional journalists; which is where I also got my information for the text boxes. I assumed that since I was promoting the society it would be okay to use their images and information;however, I am aware that in most instances permission would have to be sought out. I have had experience using Microsoft Publisher in the past, but using Scribus was a nice, new experience for me. I think that I may be finding Scribus easier and more enjoyable to use.

3. Scribus for Wits

Scribus for Wits

4. Project Proposal

5. Final Project

For my project I decided that I wanted to edit and publish an article that would represent the type of article you would see in a sports journal/magazine. I originally intended to use a work of my own, but did not have finished content ready. I have a friend who writes for SB Nation (Sports Blog Nation), which is a blog for sports enthusiasts. I picked his most recent article, with permission, and decided to edit it in AP style, which is most commonly used for journalistic purposes, and publish it into the form of a sports article on scribus. The voice is an opinionated narrative with an audience of sports fans. Most sports fans are males between the ages of 15-35, but there are certainly fans outside of that range. I hope to appeal to all readers by using an appealing visual layout.

Style Sheet:

Editing Log:

original text
first edit into AP style
second edit
first submission into article form
first edit in scribus
second edit in scribus (added outlines to objects, added new style with spacing and indent options, added object)
added two text boxes and two images, planning one last read through and possible spacing modifications

6. Portfolio

1. My Writing Life

  • This was the first assignment we did for class. It was essentially a page-long description of the writing experiences that we've had in our lifetimes. These experiences were to include both in-school and out-of-school works as it was to show how our writing has progressed, and how our interest in writing has evolved. My page turned out to chart my interest in reading and news eventually progressed into a love for writing as well. This project was not difficult in any way because it was simply just a one-page paper.

2. Time Traveler's Anonymous

  • This was the web design project that we did for class. Our class decided to do a sort of whimsical instruction manual on what can happen if we eventually learn how to travel through time. We were each told to design our own page that we could contribute to the page. Some students chose to do poetry, some instruction style, and some explanation style. I chose to do my page as an instruction page for how we could go about time traveling, but it was presented as a way that the page represented a self-help group for people interested in time travel. I didn't find this project particularly troubling, although it did change quite a bit once we went over some good rules for online construction and Chicago style.
  • Time Traveler's Anonymous
  • This part contains my editing contributions to Ryan's project. Ryan at first did a poem on time traveling. I am not very adept at poetry because I prefer stories ( I like having a beginning, middle, and end). So when editing Ryan's poems I did exactly that; I asked him if he would consider adding a beginning to his poem. His eventual project evolved into three semi-linear poems that told a complete story about time travel.
  • Editing suggestions for Ryan's page
  • Ryan's Final Page

3. Poster Project

  • For this project we were asked to design a poster. Although I've had experience in the past with Desktop Publisher, this was my first time using Scribus. I'll admit, I didn't know what I was doing very much. All I knew was how to make text boxes and and picture boxes, so I'd say it was certainly a good learning experience. I'm not proud of this project, but I'm proud of the lessons I learned while making errors because I was able to apply my newly learned skills to my final project. This was also one of the first times that I learned how to properly attain images. I wasn't really aware that Google images weren't free to use so my images are most likely illegal. I've since learned how to avoid that by sourcing, gaining permission, and using open-source images from websites such as Flickr.

4. Scribus for Wits

  • For this project, we were required to write instructions on how to use Scribus. We were each assigned a page to work on, and although we each only wrote one or two paragraphs, we were all required to do editing and lay out for our own pages--among others. This was not a difficult project, but it was a nice way to show that we were starting to master Scribus in explaining the software, and that we were starting to master style in editing.
  • Scribus for Wits

5. Final Project

  • For our final project we were required to choose a piece, 6+ pages in length and either written by ourselves or by someone that we had permission from, and to edit and publish that piece. I was originally going to produce a piece of my own work, but I did not feel that I had enough available content, so I explored another option. I have a friend that writes for a sports blog online, so I decided to edit and publish an article of his choosing. Considering this piece was already published on a blog, it was pretty polished. My job was to edit in AP style and form it into an article layout that you would see in a magazine such as ESPN or Sports Illustrated. I was able to construct this using text boxes and images. I feel that my work on this project shows a lot of progression from earlier in the semester when I was just learning Scribus.