Writing Statement:

Being a writer was not my first plan for my life. It was a fun little hobby I frequently took part in, but never a career option. In fact, when I discovered I had any sort of real talent in writing, I was already on a college hunt for any sort of local university that had a Music Therapy track. If I had to deal with any sort of stress, writing became my escape. Reading had always been a favorite hobby of mine. Even when I was as young as eight, I was being introduced to stories like Sherlock Holmes (thanks to a little after school show called Wishbone). Writing was not that much different. I discovered that I was rather good at it and it came somewhat naturally. I, now, contribute at least half of my creative ability to my ADD. It helps when your mind practically has a mind of its own.

I gave up any sort of (limited) aspirations I had as a Music Therapist and revisited several universities to look at the English departments. IUP was one of the few that really stuck out. While touring the campus, I never really looked any majors or tracks to begin with, but there was something about IUP that made me feel welcome. I was comfortable on campus. Since being here, I feel as if my natural writing abilities have been enhanced with the things I have been required to write and have written in my spare time for fun. I mainly enjoy writing things from a realistic perspective, but I have a few sci-fy works in the making. I'm not much of a poet, but I'll dabble with it here and there. Writing, for me, is no longer just an escape: it's a way of life that cannot be changed.

Contributions

Class Web Page:

For our first real writing and editing project as a class, we were assigned to write about different experiences or aspects of our everyday life while here at IUP. One of the most influential aspects of my personal experiences here at IUP was living on campus. I had never lived by myself before, so transitioning to a dorm room with a roommate was a lesson I needed to experience by myself. However, there various parts of living in a dorm that had a negative aspect in my experience here, various experiences that could be prevented. By attempting to add some humor, I explained various experiences of dorm life in the view of student new to independent living. After writing our own pieces, we were to edit and make corrections on our fellow students pages. I looked at Michael Kane's Life at IUP. Several classmates of mine looked at my article and gave several tips on what needed to change, a lot of them being grammatical or syntax errors. Some were tips on sort of advice needed to be changed in order to make the tone flow a little better. So, I took some of their advice and changed some of the sentences in hopes that it would be easier to read.
First Draft
Second Draft

Scribus page:

I, personally, had a lot of difficulty navigating Scribus. I’m not exactly the most tech savvy, so this was a challenge to operate. That also explains why it isn’t exactly the greatest thing to look at. However, also taking into consideration that many posters that are printed and advertised here on campus are done so in black and white ink, using a lot of colored images would be a waste as the colors would not show up. I also had difficulty deciding what information was important enough to be on the poster without taking out too much or not including enough. However, after all that is said and done, I do want to continue using Scribus as it is a very useful tool in the manner of advertising for events or various other ideas. There is only so much one can do with other operating programs like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.

Final Project:

Proposal:


Original Pieces:

Posted below are some of the original pieces I began with. The first pieces I had to rewrite for documentation purposes based off one of the older peer-reviewed pieces. When I had originally written them, I didn't save them to a different file; Instead, I went back and made the direct changes onto the already existing file. So, by ignoring the corrections on the paper, I reconstructed the original document. In this section are two of the original pieces. These are being uploaded specifically as they are two of the pieces that were revised into the final project. The first piece, originally titled 'American Soldier', appears as a flashback, with several edits made to POV for the sake of the rewrites. I had initially planned on including many more of the original pieces, but found many of them to be difficult to include into the rewrites.



The second piece edited in the rewrites was initially titled 'Sedation'. I cut the initial first half of the piece as I was not fully confident including several of the parts. This piece was not specifically featured in any previous peer-editing sessions, so the edit marks are my own and they are recent.


Thursday, 4/11/2013:

Today in class, I assembled all of the already written pieces of Jack's story into one folder to make it easier to find. Once they were organized, I reread the pieces, making little notes on things that need to be changed. Overall, as I reread, I tried to figure out if the piece in questioned would fit into the new draft. For the newer draft, the piece would be longer and open with Jack awaking from the nightmare or flashback. He'll already be home from the war and dealing with the end result of what happened overseas. Because of the opening change, I plan to include some of the earlier draft pieces, like the intro which features his decision to join the military after 9/11, as flashback as they are important parts of his character. As I decided on which pieces will be featured, I decided on which need to be cut down and which need to be expanded on. Also, I came to the conclusion that, with the current selections, two new sections will need to written in order to stay consistent. This shouldn't be too difficult as they would be placed in between two already existing pieces.

Sunday, 4/14/2013

I started working on different scenarios in which the rewrites would take place. One of the biggest contenders right now is a therapy session between Jack and a doctor about any PTSD he has, but I'm not completely sold as that seems like the stereotypical scene for recovering military personnel. Then again it's one of the few logical and believable options I have. Any rewrites to happen after a single short would probably involve different scenarios, but I don't feel like I have that sort of time, in between planning the rewrites I already have in motion and my other classes as well as work. I've made a list of the different scenes that can play out, but I'm not really sold with them yet, so I'll probably just play with each of them in the time being.
The list of scenes are:
  • PTSD Therapy Sessions
  • Talking with Dad on the back porch
  • Talking to a fallen friend's headstone
  • Keeping a journal as ordered by the therapist
  • Talking to a neighborhood kid

Tuesday, 4/16/2013

Today, we were instructed to format a style list of what we would be working with for our project. While I tried to formulate a list, I had started to play with the different perspectives and styles the newest compilation would be at. I have since decided that, if it reads well enough, I will rewrite the piece into a first person, present tense perspective.

After viewing the progress made to any/most of the changes made to the rewrite thus far, I narrowed down the list of style and formatting changes to a smaller list to keep in mind as I made changes to the second half of the project.


Wednesday, 4/17/2013

I'm actually finding it difficult to document any and all edits I make as I go along. I do not normally do that and can't find myself able to try and make a habit out of it.
I am still struggling to rewrite the second half of the updated piece, a part that includes a hugely rewritten section out of the original pieces. As a result, I have been doing several written character sketches and writing many prompts in order to reacquire the specific tone and voice Jack has been speaking in for the majority of the piece.



Tuesday, 4/23/2013

As a peer editor, I reviewed several poems from Melissa, Meghan, and Arria's poetry zine. I enjoyed the poems that I had been presented with. The only edits I believed that needed to be made were grammatical. In several poems, there was an over-abundance of commas that were not needed. Princess had reviewed my own piece. She recommended I correct a couple grammatical and syntax errors, but overall, she enjoyed it.

Monday, 4/29/2013

I managed to finish revising the second half of the rewrite. It seemed like it took forever as I couldn't really find the tone in which it needed in order to continue. Because of that, I was stuck for a while. I guess it was a mild form of writer's block.

Thursday, 5/02/2013

Today, Michael reviewed the second revision of my project. There are only a few grammatical errors that need to be corrected. As a reviewer, he said to me that he enjoyed it. It has a good pace and lots of detail. Point of View stays consistent. He recommended that one of the later lines be the title. He said it "spoke to him". I personally am torn between leaving it at the length it is now (9 pages) or including one more of the previous short stories. I'm also considering making some of the dialogue between Jackson and his therapist longer as to provide more characterization between the former marine and his doctor.

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Information:
My name is Aubrie Newcomb. I just recently turned 22 and am a senior Writing-track English Major at IUP. I currently have an Associates Degree of the Arts from Westmoreland County Community College and will (hopefully) be finishing my Bachelors Degree this semester.
Other random facts:
  • A huge Sherlock Holmes (book series) fan
  • Have a younger sister
    • have to refer to her as "younger" due to the fact that she is about a foot taller than me.
    • calling her a "little sister" is redundant because there's nothing little about her
  • Like to think of myself as a real life hobbit
  • Spirit Animal(s) are Eric Foreman (That 70's Show) and my friend Shannon.