Posted on February 1, 2020
What is Write and What is Wrong
Graphing A Story
Every great story has a rise, a fall, and a conclusion. But not every story has them in that order. Some stories have characters starting off poor and end up wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Some stories follow the demise of powerful individuals or regimes by incredible ordinary people. Stories are designed to sell you on an interaction or experience someone has encountered and make you feel as though you were with them every step of the way. Feeling every emotion they felt, breathing every breath they took. good storytelling is more than starting from nothing and gaining everything. Good storytelling should invoke feelings of great empathy, true fear, and never-ending wonderment.
Kurt Vonnegut’s “Story Shapes” help facilitate a visual understanding of how stories are told. This conceptual idea of graphing the ups and downs of important story moments is not new, but nevertheless fascinating. when taking a look at the graphs of Cinderella, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones, they are similar, yet different. Each movie begins with a nobody, that nobody finds a purpose, discovers something about either themselves or the world around them, and makes out victorious in the end, triumphing over evil.
For my chosen additional article to read, I chose The History and Evolution of Pop art by Heritage Editorial. The art of the 80s has always been so captivating. From the bright, bold colors to the subtle glances into the dark, capitalistic mindsets of Americans nationwide. Founded through an obsession with consumerism and POPular culture, Pop Art paved the way for new artists to expose the American people’s true habits and beliefs. As far as the article structure goes, the Kurt Vonnegut Shape Graph would look like a high frequency waveform. Bouncing up and down quickly between history lessons on certain artists and locations of new art styles.
When asked to analyze similar 1980s concepts, Pop Art influenced the entire decade. Glorifying popular movie stars and painting soup cans displayed America’s ever-growing interest in mass-produced goods and the entertainment lifestyle we consume. Storytelling through pictures and collages (Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist) helps sear the idea of combined realities into the everyday American citizen. The 1980s were a time of freedom and bold thinking. For every citizen living their day no differently, there were 4 others trying to live life on their own terms. It is my opinion that I believe in the 1980s, we were more likely to take care of one another. neighborhoods could be walked alone at night with no fear, parents and kids lived happy and ignorant to the world around them. In today’s age, every single aspect of how America is run is being shoved in your face, no matter your age. The 1980s had James Rosenquist, we have Banksy. Both artists represent a side of the country we do not want to see or hear about.
The article did an excellent job providing historical storytelling with real examples of the artists’ work; Not being bogged down by artistic lingo or droning anecdotes about irrelevant information.
Writing Done Right
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”– Marcus Aurelius
When faced with another day, we grow with anticipation or anxiety. Excitement or dread. What could happen today? Anything. A dog being walked by their owner could walk right up and demand love from a complete stranger. The love of your life could be having breakfast on the same street you decided to take your car to for an oil change. I see a world of endless possibilities. I see a cloudy day filled with endless sunlight just waiting around the corner. Trees, flowers, old brick buildings; they all remain stagnant, waiting for an outside force to change them. Maybe change comes from within. Maybe growth lies in the realization that with every new day, you will experience excitement instead of dread.
Facing Your Fears
How many people can you name with a fear of heights? A lot, right? What about spiders? Way too many. Hell, even snakes or crawl spaces. We all know someone that can stand any of these (rightfully so) terrifying things. But I believe I have a fear that is quite unique. Would you like to know what that fear might be?
Yep. Moths. The tiny, little, rejected butterflies that live off that delectable lamp light. Here is what I think goes through a moth’s head when they have the audacity to be in my presence…
Ah, what a beautiful summers night it is. All my friends are flying around, having the time of their lives, smacking their heads against the Johnson’s newest porch light. It really is the nicest on the block, let me tell you. Oh, what is that? That person opened their door to let their dog out. It has some weird perm haircut. I don’t understand this whole “1980s aesthetic” these people are doing these days. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to see what the ~inside~ lifestyle is like. Fantastic, flew right in with no problems at all. It’s so strange how my flight pattern is so sporadic and uncomfortably fast compared to the other bugs that I’m friends with. Oh well, its what makes me unique I suppose.
Wow! He has ANOTHER light on upstairs in his tiny mirror room, I want to go check it out! OH MY GOD, HE LOCKED ME IN HERE WITH HIM, WHY WOULD HE DO THAT??? I HAVE TO ESCAPE! The only way I know how to escape is to continuously fly into him until he agrees to open the door! Why is he swinging at me??? I’m just trying to leave this terrifying predicament I have gotten myself into!
Oh hey, he’s grabbing a 1985 GQ magazine to hit the door open w-
An 80s rendition of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost:
In going from street to street at night,
I rode hastily on my Schwinn,
But little did I know what I would win,
Getting to a friends for an overnight.
An Atari game system lay untouched,
And hit me with a feeling as though I got punched,
My body posture quite crunched.
Time and space doesn't matter
when the level I need to beat requires a ladder.
That Bucket List Though
No better time then now to create a list of things I’ve always wanted to do…
- Visit a new country with my wife
- Exploring new places is fun regardless but when you have someone special with you to enjoy it with, that makes the entire trip more memorable.
- Get a tattoo
- I have always wanted a tattoo in honor of a special person to me and hopefully one day I will pull the trigger and make an appointment.
- Start my own company
- Whether it be a clothing company, inventing a new product, or building new homes out of crazy materials, it is a dream of mine.
- Design my own custom dream garage
- I love cars and having a dream garage completely outfitted with workbenches, cabinets, and car lifts would be amazing.
- Go to a drive-in movie in my Jeep
- I’ve never been to a drive-in movie and my vehicle would be perfect for it.
This week has not been easy. Many personal things have come up, hindering my ability to work on any of my school work. But once I started it, I really got the ball rolling and finished it all within a days work load.
First, I started the readings and watched the assigned videos. I really enjoyed the Shapes of Stories video by Kurt Vonnegut. It was an excellent visual tool to better understand iconic story structure. These readings and videos better helped me understand what makes a story important.
Second, I applied what I learned from the readings and videos to the Pop Art article I read. Breaking down articles by story structure was new to me but it was fascinating learning about the history of Pop Art and how the artists shaped art as we know it today.
Third, I started on my four written assignments for the week. My first assignment was “Another Day” where we had to talk about going outside and observing what is around us and what it could mean. I took that opportunity to look into what a day can provide for you mentally, rather than physically. My second written assignment had me write a story from the perspective of what I fear most. That fear being moths. Moths terrify me because they have no expected flight path and that terrifies me. I need to know what bugs and animals are doing or else it sketches me out. They also love to only touch me when they fly into a crowded room. Nobody else.
My third assignment was to parody a famous poem. I perused the internet for a little bit to find a great poem that wasn’t too short and wasn’t too long. I finally decided on Robert Frost’s “The Door in the Dark” poem. I put my own 1980s spin on it with my favorite old video game system, Atari.
This week had its ups and downs but it ended on a good note and I am thankful for that. looking forward to what next week brings.