(Chelsea Blog Picture)gal-sisterhood-12-jpgMany say that you will forget the people you meet before college, or even in college. They say that you will probably be able to walk past people you hung out with 24/7 in high school like they’re strangers. It is hard for me to understand this concept since I have had the same group of friends since I was a year old.

I met my best friend of 15 (almost 16) years ago in Pre-K. Before we knew how to talk or what certain words actually meant, we understood each other. It’s been that way ever since, even though we’re 375 miles apart and never seem to be available at the same time. When we happen to have share spare time, we talk and it’s like we’re in that Pre-K classroom again, feigning deep conversation.

I met the rest of my friends in K-4. We unintentionally bonded while running around the playground and pretending to nap. Nothing has changed, except now we spend most of our time sleeping at each other’s houses with one of us being forced to sleep on the floor while the rest of us try not to hang off of the bed. And we hardly ever run.

When I imagine my future, I don’t see a lot of concrete details. I see colleges floating in the air, and grasping majors. I see career opportunities rolling away like tumbleweeds in a deserted town. The only thing I can hold onto, the only thing real, is the image of my friends and I, together. I envision it as a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants or Sex and the City scene, as something iconic

I don’t talk to my friends every day. I hardly talk to my best friend during the week and I see the rest of my friends about once a month. We don’t have a movie friendship where I have them all on speed dial. We don’t have the Disney Channel friendship where I can walk to their house in five minutes or less. We have our own type of friendship and I can’t see myself walking away from that or passing it up for anything.

-Chelsea Ashley, Junior Website Editor


Art Means Breaking Rules

picassoquote3I have a thing for rule breakers. J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye basically gives the middle finger to background introductions. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road completely ignores the existence of quotation marks. William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury jumps from perspective to perspective of a dysfunctional family. In a way, the writers that break the rules become the “Gods” of fiction. Their brave and daring choices burn a mark in eternity.

Personally as an artist, I try to foil and warp the rules of writing as much as I can. I picture all these rules in a little cardboard box: use punctuation. Use correct grammar. Use one point of view. Have a “proper” beginning, middle, and end. The most ridiculous rule I’ve heard is that writers shouldn’t use alliteration in fiction. The reason for this is that “The story matters first. Don’t try to make the language all frilly. Focus on the plot and characters, etc.”

However, I find exquisite worth in a complete story that involves sound devices. I write to make art, not color in a checkbox of “correct tenants of fiction.” Sound devices in general provide so much interest. It is more than okay to be poetic in a fiction paragraph. In fact, it is beautiful. A textured paragraph is like a jalapeño chip. It’s seasoned and spicy and hot. It’s jumping with flavor. As a reader, it makes me want more.  As a writer, it makes me want to create more.

Now, I can’t say all this without some disclosure. I’ve trained at art school for writing. I wouldn’t be able to understand the worth and purpose of breaking outside the box if I didn’t place myself in water to swim the basics. Overall, writing comes down to two main things for me: passion and intent.

Passion creates life in a piece. I spark on a thing I care about and from there I flavor it with seasonings, such as personification, sound devices, symbolism, etc.

Intent comes from deep, spiritual realization. A discovery at the end of a reading journey really wraps the bow on a whole story. It’s the perfect touch. It’s the purpose for reading. It’s the purpose for creation.

At the end of the day, I find a purpose within my existence to be an artist. I don’t care about “what’s right” and “what’s wrong.” Stories belong to something that’s larger than society’s box of rules. Traveling the road of “safe fiction” in the land of writing is alright but I’m done being a tourist.

If stories are islands, my goal is to climb to the top of a volcano, and splash in the hissing lava. I want to make the words on the page flicker, and I want to make them burn.

-Kat Roland, Art Editor