Posts Tagged ‘Homework’
How are you?
No… really… How are you?
We ask these questions to each other out of rote socialization, and most times the answers go unheard. We ask it in passing in the halls, we ask it as a place holder when there is no other way into a conversation, and we ask it to be polite. How often does someone ask it to genuinely know? How often, when asked that question, do you feel that the person asking has already moved on to the next strand of thoughts before you’ve even opened your mouth? How often do you actually listen for an answer?
The problem with this query is that all too often it is mistaken for “How are things with you?” They’re not the same at all, really. One implies curiosity about the circumstances and events in your general life, the other, the first, is a curiosity about you the person, about how you feel and are engaging with the world.
To answer the question honestly requires a moment of introspection, evaluation (of both yourself and the perceived relationship between you and the questioner—do you trust them with your emotions? With the truth?), and honesty. It requires you to lower your shields if just for a moment to let someone in to see your world, for good or for ill.
So this homework assignment is a question, even a Meme, if you will. I want you to stop, take a moment and answer. Emotions are wily things, and often the more profound they are, the more difficult it is to express them without asking someone to crawl inside your head and heart to feel it themselves. But that’s the beauty of words. They provide you, when strung together, with the ability to describe emotion—whether in a jumble of words together, through metaphor, through analogy, or through poetry or a story. Even images carry great weight to convey meaning and emotion.
Express it however you wish, and feel free to leave it in the comments here anonymously, or to me via email. Feel free to leave your name, but I hope that the anonymity will provide for a cushion of honesty and sincerity without the fear of scrutiny. Here’s your chance to capture whatever emotion/s—wonderful, horrible, or middling–you’re feeling right now and express them to someone who genuinely wants to know…
How are you?
Tsk, tsk, tsk…
Only two (three, if you count the nearly finished Fairy Tale I received over email *coughMikecough*) of you finished the homework assignment. RebelliousFlaw’s rendition of the Spinning Wheel in the classic Sleeping Beauty certainly makes you feel bad for tossing all those spinning wheels in a room! And Alex took a completely different, but insightful look at how the atmosphere can affect a story… and he did it in Comic form! You both get A+’s for the week and my gratitude.
The rest of you… I know… I know… Election this, and snow that… and Halloween this…
So this week, we’re getting back to basics. Back to what this little creative journey started off with–Character creation.
Don’t think, don’t weave intricate tales, don’t try to be brilliantly insightful. Just tell me who this is. You tell me as much as your creative mind allows, or as little. Some people’s first instinct when looking at an image is a snowball effect of ideas and stories. Some need more guidance. At the very least, answer the following:
- What’s her name?
- What’s her favorite movie/book? (Does she even have one? Can she even read?)
- What is her favorite time of year?
- Is she allergic to anything?
- Has she ever been married?
- How many siblings does she have?
- What is her dream?
See? You don’t have to answer those specifically, but if you’re having trouble getting inside the heads of characters you’re writing into short stories (Or novels for NaNoWriMo), sometimes these mundane questions help.
No excuses this week, hmm?
All right, boys and girls… Vacation is over!
It’s been a while since our last homework assignment, and I’m thrilled to see folks still posting their responses to the older assignments. I’m still considering a way to properly celebrate all of your fantastic responses here on the site, so if you have any ideas let me know! Okay, time to get down to business. For reasons that shall remain mysterious, I have recently become re-obsessed with Fairy Tales. Because I can’t get them out of my head, I’m going to infect you all as well!
One of my favorite assignments to give out has always been part of my Adaptations class, and I’m dying to know how you creative folks would approach it. Consider, for a moment, the traditional Fairy Tale. Usually you have an inanimate object at the heart of the story. Take, for example, Cinderella. You have a glass slipper causing all sorts of conflict and trouble. Some Fairy Tales have more than one (even in Cinderella, you can think of the Carriage, etc). You even have peripheral characters who appear but don’t have much to say. Fairy Tales are all about imagination, the fantasy world, and giving life and importance to things outside of the norm. (Okay, I’m not going to rant about the didactic nature of Fairy Tales, or the symbolism here. That’s an altogether different post. Let’s stick to the fun, hmm?)
Once upon a time…
You homework this week is to think about one fairy tale (I don’t care if it’s the Brothers Grimm, Anderson, or even Disney’s masterful theft), and reconsider the story from the point of view of either an inanimate object (Glass slipper, anyone?), or one of the peripheral characters (Maybe the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio). Retell your condensed version of the story either in the comments, or on your own site.
Don’t forget to post a trackback (use the link for this particular post so it automatically posts in the comments section and everyone else can see it)! My favorite example I ever received on a different version of this assignment was Hamlet, as told from the point of view of Hamlet’s dagger.
Remember, be as creative as you like and use whatever medium you want! Just make sure you let us know where to find it if it’s not in the comments!
…. and they lived Happily Ever After….