This Album is Heaven Sent

PICTURE ChristinaI’m not the kind of girl who wonders why Katy Perry hasn’t been making new music. I’m not the kind of girl who cries herself to sleep with Lana Del Rey dripping in her ear like melting popsicles turned black and grey.

I’m the type of girl who listens to the weird musicians, with the mellow voice and cocky attitude. The musicians who don’t care if they have fans or not. I’m the type of girl that listens to bands from the 90s and early ‘00s. Who listens to the musician that only posts music on sound cloud, and expects their fans to post concert videos on random YouTube pages.

Ever since seventh grade, I’ve been obsessed with the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs. I absorb the orchestral background like a washcloth absorbs sweat and grime. I bask in the off pitch voice of Liam Gallagher as he sings about some girl that he’s probably still in love with. His voice drifting in the prominence of the cellos, acoustic guitars, tambourines, and drums. Leaving me in a tranquil state that makes me smile, even when tears are fanned out on my cheek like a parachute.

This is the album I listened to when I got a phone call saying that I was accepted into Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The album I listened to when I had to stay up until 2:00 in the morning, because I had to finish a “group” project by myself, since no one finished the book we were assigned. The album I listened to before my dog was diagnosed with cancer. The album I listened to when she died. The album I listened to when I decided to tell a good friend of mine that I had a crush on him. The album I listened to when he told me he was dating a girl whose name wasn’t even her real name. The album I listened to after an old friend of mine walked by me, and neither one of us said hello. The album I listened to when I won an iPad for a poem I’m not proud of. The album I listened to when I wore eyeshadow for the first time. The album I listened to when my friend told me it looked bad. The album I listened to when my doctor told me I was done growing. The album I will listen to when I get accepted into one of the colleges I want to go to. The album I will listen to when I get my first car. The album I will listen to when I get married, then divorced, and decide that maybe I should wait a while before looking for another man. The album I will listen to when I retire and live in a beach house, even though I hate sand.

As long as I listen to this album, I’m okay.

-Christina Sumpter, Senior Creative Nonfiction Editor

Writer-ly Relationships

writers-blockDA’s writing department flourishes a plethora of interesting relationships. We spend four years getting into small groups and dissecting each other’s personal writing. As each year progresses, said writing blossoms into embodiments of the writer. We learn to pull inspiration and authenticity from our actual lives. Then, we go to class and sit idly by while class members peer into a sliver of who we are. On the page this calls to be a highly intimate experience. Yet over these years, I’ve watched us all leave the writing classroom and hardly even share eye contact. On the page, it would seem that these people reading into my life would be the closest friends. Writers, though, don’t follow societal norms. We have to go against the grain.

Instead, we writers associate in more subtle ways. We all walk around on campus as if a part of a secret society. As if we’re all too busy being the quiet observer in the corner -pooling ideas for the next short story- to acknowledge one another. Whenever I’d pass by a fellow writer, my lips would give a small smile accompanied by a quick head nod. This year, I’ve greatly stepped out of my comfort zone. Writing has taught me that nothing is learned if risks aren’t taken. Maybe it’s senior year blues, maybe nostalgia, but I’ve put in a lot more effort to form an actual relationship with these incredible people. Not a single trace of regret has surfaced since.

In the coming months, we’ll all go our separate ways. Inevitability at its finest. But these unique perspectives that I’ve sat beside for the last four years aren’t about to leave. As I continue pursuing writing, I’ll always refer to my original, and most cherished critics.

-Mariah Abshire, Editor- in- Chief

Sometimes, It’s Hard to Walk Away

indexWriting is built on relationships. Writing is composed, constructed, resurrected, and thrown together with a relationship in mind. In literature, readers -myself included- are quick to judge the characters without in depth analysis or benefit of the doubt to the situation unfolding. As readers you place your struggles and the concepts of your own personal relationships into the text, sometimes letting it overshadow the new way of thinking the writer wants you to experience.

For example, last year, I read the book Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. This book is sewn together with beautiful language as it follows the life of Janie, a mixed race woman in the early 1900s. Though I connected to the strength and determination the main character had the entire time in the book, I couldn’t understand why she stayed married to a man who abused her. Even after reading this book, I weighed the argument that Janie had a nice life married to a pastor but was muted into submission by him. I didn’t understand why she didn’t just pack her stuff and leave. As a senior in high school I have already begun to mentally pack my bags for college and have grown to understand Janie. I’ve learned that even when the front door is open it’s hard to leave the people and the place you’ve called home for so long, that there is a relationship you have to even the drippy faucet you’ll only notice when you’re gone.

As the year progresses I take the idea on relationships Hurston gave her character Janie and now look for it in other stories. Relationships run deep. They don’t need to be subjected to a list of archetypical characters. In the long run, they are really hard to walk away from.

-Chrissy Thelemann, Submissions Editor