February 21, 2004

I'm back and better than ever!

I know, I know. I am a terrible addition to the blogginator crew, but the past week and a half has been insane! Last time I typed, I added some new poetry and that was on the 13th. Since then I went on a date with an amazing guy for Valentine's Day, written papers galore, read Diamond Age (which by the way I do not recommend), gone to see "As You Like It", studied for three tests, and just basically had the best week of the entire school year. You would think that because of all the stuff I had to do for school I would have been miserable, but actually I have never been happier. My friends have even mention to me that I seem a lot more upbeat and less worried about something going wrong. I don't know why, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had such an amazing time last weekend. That's why I haven't written in awhile. I was trying to not let my emotions run away from me and speak about such a personal subject, which is now what I am doing.

So. Here I am writting for the first time in over a week and I couldn't be happier. In further news, I am leaving for Habitat for Humanity tomorrow morning. I can't wait. The group that is going is absolutely amazing. They are a bunch of really great people, and I can't wait to work with them. This week should be full of spiritual moments, good times, and a lot of hard work. The benefits for us. Seeing a family that has almost nothing get something that they can own for themselves. It is going to be so rewarding and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my spring break. Yes I do have a lot of homework to do, but that is what the 7 hour car (or van if you like) ride is for.

Hope you all have an amazing break...and I'll type at ya when I get back!

Tiff

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:02 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2004

More Poetry

For my poetry fans...here are some more to soothe your ravaged soul.

Dissolving Doubt


The sun will rise
Driving fog away.
Shadowed by dissolving guise,
You shall find your way.
Beginning now, with growing size,
The morning starts your day.

The endless traps are far behind-
A safer road ahead.
Donít be afraid to use your mind,
Or better yet, your heart instead.
It will, to you, be always kind,
And help you rise from bed.

So even though things look rough,
Donít be scared and hide.
Look to the day Ė taking it by the scruff
Say, ďToday I am going to ride!
I will take the bad and the tough,
Remembering the good comes with the tide.


Homecoming

Iím going out!
Smells musty
Down the shoot!
Whoo! Here I go!
Friends laughing
People clapping
Television blaring
Couples dancing
Oops! There goes the chair.
HA! I tripped
Man its cold
Rattling
Clanking
Whatís that noise?
Flash
Tires burn
Bent pole
Daddy, Iím home!

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 12:58 AM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2004

The Circle

Oh boy. Let me tell you how hard iambic pentameter is. This is my downfall, but here goes my shot at it...

The echos of past loves surround my heart
Embracing, Passionate, Disillusioned
Drawn to me by my conflicted, kind soul
Wishing for love, I allowed them too near
Their hearts only felt the coldness draw near
Now their revenge circles my one true love
Stopping his quest before it has begun
Detained I could see his fuedal attempt
My rescue is foiled - hope is blocked
This is my end - I will not be on top

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004

A simple grade school activity.

We have all, or at least most of us, gotten a chance to take a special toy or book into show and tell in grade school. We were able to share what we loved about it and how it made us feel happy or say. But, when did it become so hard for us to show and tell? When did the definition change?

This paper has shown me that I desparetly need to work on my showing and telling skills in writing. For the last week I have been working on my draft of "God's Bowling Alley", and try as I might I couldn't find anything wrong with it other than spelling errors. Thankfully, Dr. Jerz required us to post a draft of our work to get help revising and Amanda took a look at my poem and pointed out things that I, myself, couldn't see.

Before I show how I have started to correct my showing instead of telling errors, let me say that when writing poetry I usually just write. I don't plan or intend for a poem to have a certain theme, but sometimes it does happen. That is one of the things I liked about this assignment. I as a writer was forced to think of where I wanted to start and end.

The Colorodo State University gave showing and telling tips in its writing guide. The site explains that "showing versus telling is an important aspect of creating effective description [in a piece of writing]." This reminded me of something that Amanda had said during out revising session. She mentioned that by letting my readers "see" what was happening instead of myself "telling" them what was happening it allowed my readers to become more involved with my poetry.

Here are some things I changed, with the help of Amanda, to make my poem more show instead of tell:

Telling: Soon it grew dark, and the air became chill
Showing : Shadows flew in and the air grew chill

I know there is only a slight difference in the revised sentence, but in the second I felt that the poem grew more with description. Another example would be:

Telling: The sky was brightened by Lightning's never ceasing flashes.
Showing: Brightened was the sky in unceasing flashes

This to me says so much more, and it also addressed another problem my poem was having. In everthing I write, I tend to get a little wordy, and I know that to be a bad thing in poetry. So not only did I fiz the problem of showing instead of telling, but I trimmed the sentence as well.

Another thing this exercise has shown me is that i have a great tendancy to wrtie in rhyme all the time. Perhaps by writing in free verse I will draw more readers to my poetry than would otherwise read my blog entries. Also, it is through free verse that I hope to break myself of rhyming every time I sit down to write.

Tiff

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:12 PM | Comments (1)

February 9, 2004

UPDATE!!!

Ok. For those of you interested in my poetry, I have done a lot of revising to a once called "God's Bowling Alley". With the help of Amanda, I was able to change the poem and make it much better sounding and a little more illusive. I hope you guys enjoy this. And once again thanks Amanda for all the input and showing me what I needed to know.

A Shadowed Peace

A sunny one in the valley, but clouds floated in.
Lying beneath the yellow sun, a prickling of my skin.
A tingling heat was about the wide-open skies,
A covered head protected blurried eye.

Shadows flew in and the air grew chill
A wrestling heart - a battle of will.
"Come back Great Giant and keep them at bay!"
I yelled to lands miles away.

Overhead a battle was staging,
The giant was hidden - the battle was raging.
Below on Earth a fast race run,
Searching for a quiet fun.

Running for shelter, looking over my shoulder,
I saw an army of small boulders,
Attacking the trees and grasses still cold.
I wondered, what will happen to them? What does their future hold?

Brightened was the sky in unceasing flashes,
Which was answered with loud bashes.
Entering the scene a blowing about.
"Stop this madness!" I screamed with an incredibled shout.

I looked at those about me, their day in shambles.
Parents holding tear-streaked children speaking in rambles.
Among them one said to his mother,
"Why can't I play with my brother?"

"Because, God is outside bowling today,"
The mother replied in a reverent way.
"You see the lights high in the clouds?
Those are the bowling balls in each of his rounds."

Then thunder crashed from above,
The child cowered in embracing love.
"Do not be afraid of echoing booms,
Only strikes and sounds, not doom."

"Mommy, do angels play God's game?"
He asked, slowly forgetting his pain.
"Of course, my darling, they are the wind.
Their clapping hands are exclaiming His win!"

It was then that the wind began to subside.
The thunder grew distant, lightning went to hide.
The clouds separated, sun streaked the sky.
Then there - a rainbow on high.

We all stood with wonder and stared at its beauty.
"And there my child, is God's everlasting duty.
At the end of this game, He is sending a sign,
Thanking us, His children, for lending Him our time.


I hope you all enjoyed the new version. Thanks once more goes to Amanda. YOU ROCK GIRL!!!

Tiffany

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 3:15 PM | Comments (2)

February 6, 2004

The Day of Love

Ok everyone. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I know that a lot of people out there think that it is just a day created by Hallmark, but after some good old research (Thank you Google!), I found out there is a lot more to this holiday that hugs and kisses.

First, let me start off with what the New Advent people have to say. (They take their information from many different sources, one of which happens to be the Catholic Encyclopedia.) Here we can find out that there is not just one Saint Valentine, but three. All of the saints with this name are matyrs, however there is more known about the first two than the third. One of the two was a priest in Rome and the other was a bishop of Interamna (or todays's Terni). They both suffered in the second half of the Third Century and were buried on the Flaminian Way. (An interesting note: On the way there is a gate that at one point was known as the Gate of St. Valentine.) The little that is known of the third saint is that he is from Africa. The New Advent places the beginning of the conventional beliefs of Valentine's Day during the Middle Ages when halfway through February the birds began to pair.

Now, St. Valentine the priest has serveral stories surrounding him. Catholic Online said that Valentine was beheaded for assiting martyrs in the persecution under Roman Emperor Claudius II with the help of Saint Marius. Apparently Valentine was accused of marring young couples against Claudius' orders. Claudius did not believe that a married soldier was a good soldier. Another site gave more detail into the history of the day, however one can also learn that he died on February 14, 269 A.D. and that some say he left a note for the jailers daughter who had become his friend during his sentence signed "From Your Valentine". For these and many other reasons one can see why Valentine is the patron saint of lovers.

Now on to the commercialized version of Valentine's Day. It was not, as most think, created by Hallmark. I discovered through my research that a woman named Esther Howland actually created the first American Valentine. Born in 1828, Howland recieved her first English Valentine shortly after her graduation in 1847. From there she realized that this could turn into a formittable business and enlisted the help of friends to create her own Valentine company. Taking out her first ad in the Worchestor Daily Spy on February 5, 1850, Howland brought the commercialized Valentine's Day to America.

Now I know that that is a lot of information for one to process, but I hope that in the long run people will read this and realize that Valentine's Day is not just a day for lovers, but is also a day to reflect on someone who did not conform during the persecutions of the early Christians, but actually went against them and said "You are not right for stopping this and I will continue it whether you like it or not." And in the end he paid the most ultimate sacrifice for what he believed in, he paid his life. That has to mean something on this happy day.

Hope I didn't bore you all to death, this is just my feelings on the day seeing as people keep asking me.

Tiffany

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:48 AM | Comments (5)

February 5, 2004

So what if I comment?!

Some of you out there in the blogging community told me today that I was sad for commenting on people's blogs as much as I do and I think that you are all just sad for not commenting. I love the feeling of recieving a comment from someone. It makes me feel as if I have made a difference and people actually enjoy coming to hear what I have to say. I like to return the feeling. By commenting on other people's blogs I have in a sense given them some feedback on what I have read of theirs.

Commenting is also the only way for people to know the views of others who may not have time or want a face to face conversation about a topic in today's culture. So you know what, I don't care if you have a problem with me commenting all the time in blogs. It's just what I do, as well as, a way for me to pass time in a lonely computer lab during work. If you have a problem with me commenting on people's blogs, fine, but that isn't going to stop me from leaving comments and it is certainly not going to make me lower the number of comments I make on people's blogs. Hey! Maybe I'll just comment more. How bout them apples?

Tiffany

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 4:42 PM | Comments (2)

God's Bowling Alley

Ok. I wrote this poem as a start to my creative writing paper for Dr. Jerz's Intro to Lit class. Some people have already told me that they think I should revise the poem to free verse. My problem is that I am not a free verse poet. I love rhyme and meter, but perhaps some of you could give me a hint as to what I need to do to make my rhyme and meter better, or even if you think it's great the way it is, but just minor things need changed. Please let me know before I continue writing poems that will go along with my theme...

The day was sunny in the valley, but clouds were floating in,
I was lying beneath the yellow sun and could feel the prickling of my skin.
The tingle of heat was all about us in the wide-open skies,
It was so intense that I had to cover my head and protect my helpless eyes.

Soon it grew dark, and the air became chill.
I struggled and wrestled with a mighty battle of will.
"Come back Great Giant and keep them at bay!"
I yelled to the land so many miles away.

Up in the sky a battle was raging.
The giant was hidden and there bgan a great scathing.
The earth below was caught in the center,
And the creatures around me took up a canter.

Running for shelter, I looked over my shoulder,
When down from the heavens rained the small boulders.
Attacking the trees and grasses still exposed and cold.
I wondered, what will happen to them? What does their future hold?

The sky was brightened by Lightning's never ceasing flashes,
Thunder answered with loud and laborious bashes.
Wind entered the scene and blew everything about.
"Stop this madness!" I said with an incredible shout.

I looked at those about me, their day in shambles.
Parents holding frightened children, who were speaking in rambles.
Among them I heard one child say quitely to his mother,
"Why can't I go out and play with my brother?"

"Because, my son, God is outside bowling today,"
The mother replied in a reverent way.
"You see the lights high up in the clouds?
Those are the bowling balls in each of His rounds."

It was then that the thunder crashed from above,
And the child cowered into his mother's embracing love.
"Do not be afraid of the echoing booms,
They are just strikes and the sounds simply loom."

"Mommy, do the Angels play God's little game?"
The child asked, slowly forgetting his pain.
"Of course, my darling, they are the wind.
Their clapping hands are exclaiming His win!"

It was then that the wind began to subside.
The thunder grew distant and the lightning went to hide.
The clouds spareated, and the sun streaked the sky,
Then there, clear as day, was a rainbow on high.

We all stood with wonder and stared at its beauty.
"And there my child, we see God's everlasting duty.
At the end of His game, He always sends a sign,
Thanking us, His children, for lending Him our time."

I looked at the woman with the utmost respect.
Now to you I ask that you gently reflect.
What stories have you of God's Bowling Alley?
I will certainly never forget what happened in the valley.


I know it's kind of long, but I hope you enjoyed it. Dr. Jerz if you are reading this I made some changes from the copy I handed in in class today. Hope they make more sense. FEEDBACK IS WELCOMED AND WANTED!

Tiffany

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:38 PM | Comments (3)

YAY! Blogs have returned!

Ok. So yesterday I went to blog after my little break only to find that the login page was "Forbidden". Much to my dismay I thought that maybe it was just my computer...so I ran to a computer lab in Brownlee...same result. Now I as really upset and so I ran to Karissa's room because she had posted the latest blog entry, only to find that she was there, but her roommate Melissa was having the same problem! I was so distraugt that I called the CIT department thinking that it was firewalled because of the new software they had us put on our computers to keep out viruses. This was logical due to the fact that earlier in the day I was able to leave comments on the boards and was able to sign into my blog. Well, then the comments went down so I called Dr. Jerz and left a message on his answering machine (yes Karissa I called it an answering machine) letting him know what was up. Then there was a "Whoops" message on the main page of the blogs curtosy of Dr. Jerz. Let me tell you that I was rather disappointed, however as you can tell as is well now and blogging has returned!

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:12 PM | Comments (0)