Let’s talk character! Two quotes attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald are “Character is plot, plot is character” and “Action is character.” Sure, we can’t all create Gatsby in the context of Gatsby, but that’s not the point or the objective. The objective is to create a character that flows within the context of whatever story … Continue reading Characters and Characterization
Recently, the editors of the Oakland Arts Review sat down and we discussed what good writing meant, to us at least. So, what is good writing? I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know what the answer to that questions is because I think it varies from person to person. What I think … Continue reading What Is Good Writing?
Depression is something I have struggled with for a while, it was never the easiest thing to help those in my life truly understand, as well as myself, so to give my heart and mind some sort of healing, I would write about everything, especially about my depression. My grandmother had been sick with cancer, … Continue reading Life as a Writer and Creator with Depression: A Reflection
I would like to say that when I began my college career, I was fairly confident with my Cinema Studies major and what I wanted from it. I believe it was during my sophomore year or at the start of my junior year when I realized my love for writing and wanted to pursue that … Continue reading Class Is In Session
Ah, kids. They say the craziest things. They also tell the most interesting, compelling stories that make absolutely no sense at all. Or at least, I did when I was a kid. I have a box in my basement that’s just full of weird stories I wrote when I was younger—a kingdom of cats … Continue reading Why You Should Look Back at the Stories You Wrote as a Kid
Despite the occasional vague pronoun reference or f-bomb, I've always fancied myself a relatively articulate and polite English speaker (growing up so close to Canada has its consequences). En français, however, I undergo a Jekyll-like transformation from Midwestern Judith Martin to angry truck driver doing stand up for the French navy. A typical conversation is … Continue reading Sappho in Paris: The Poetic Value of Lexical Cosmopolitanism
They should be. Maybe not in the sense that their life is one big lie, or that they manipulate the people around them in order to achieve their goals. Although that is an option, I'm talking more specifically about the character lying to themselves. One of the best pieces of writing advice I've ever come … Continue reading Is Your Character a Liar?
Each edition of a literary journal is something unique and special, like an ice cream cone with sprinkles. Each sprinkle (story) has a different flavor. The book starts from the book cover and goes all the way to having a diverse set of authors presented in the journal each time with an array of poems, … Continue reading Why Read Literary Journals
Some people enjoy the lingering smell of petrichor before a rain, freshly cut lawns, gasoline, the sweet notes of vanilla and almond found in the underlying mustiness of old books. I always enjoy hearing about people's favorite scents because they tend to be anchored to memories fossilized in time; one of my friends loves the … Continue reading Remembering Zines: Rubber Cement, Cheese, and Doing Your Thing
In 2007, the comedian Mike Birbiglia released the album My Secret Public Journal. Incidentally, this was the year I started to write. I had listened to stand up before, but Mike’s was different. My experience with stand-up, up to this point, had been listening to Steven Wright on road trips with my dad. And while … Continue reading Learning Storytelling through Comedy