Greetings! (Yes, I am that strange.) I’ll be filling in for Selayna for a couple of months as she gets some much-needed rest—well, as much rest as she can get pounding through chapters on her graduate thesis. Since this is my first post on “The Art of Writing,” I thought that I would go ahead and introduce myself.

I am a hodgepodge of nerdiness.

Though that sentence was no doubt the child of a fatigue-addled mind—I’ll be honest, it’s getting very close to my bedtime, folks—that doesn’t make it any less true. While some people tend to gravitate toward one or two specific areas of geekdom, I can’t seem to stick to any of them consistently. In high school, I was the band nerd, the honor’s student, that random chick who always had a book tucked under her arm. During my undergrad, I was the English major who didn’t want to teach, the turncoat who joined the Dark Side to become a copyeditor for the college newspaper, and then I was that bizarre woman who would rather play Halo than watch a chick flick.

But many of the things I enjoy—music, writing (creative or otherwise), even video games—do have something in common: the ability to tell a story.

The cover to Redwall, the first of many really, really good books by Brian Jacques.
The cover to Redwall, the first of many really, really good books by Brian Jacques.

I love getting lost in a good story. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed, even when I was a kid, reading Redwall until it was way past my bedtime. My parents caught me—most of the time—and I would lay my book underneath my pillow so that I could dream about the red stone abbey and the spirit of Martin the Warrior that watched over it.

Fantasy tales in particular have always had the ability to draw me in. There’s something remarkable about the vast, unknown worlds just waiting to be discovered—or, to be created. As an English major (in grad school, now), I’ve had plenty of time to develop my skills as an academic writer, but what I’m really passionate about is creative writing.

Yet, there’s another side of me that sometimes clashes with my imaginative, creative side if I let it: I’m also a grammar nerd.

For some reason, I love making all those little proofreading marks, tearing up a story or an article and coaxing it into something beautiful. Such a thing made it very difficult when I attempted to write poetry, which more often than not turns conventional grammar on its head.

Since this seems like a good place to end my little introduction, I’ll leave you with a small taste of my creative writing. I usually lean more toward fantasy—in novel format, which might be slightly too long for a blog post—but I’ve already mentioned poetry, so I’ll go ahead and share one of my better poems.

This is one of the poems I wrote for a graduate class. We were given a prompt: come up with the most bizarre title, and then switch with a classmate to let them write a poem based off that title. Here’s the result:

Hitler Brushing His Teeth

White faces frozen on a red hill

watch him scrape,

then swish chemicals that kill.

No imperfections exist

on the pristine surface of a

National Socialist.

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