October 2010 Archives

I am a sweat pants and t-shirt kind of girl. It's what I wear when I'm around my room cleaning or trying to get stuff done, and sometimes even down to the dining hall for dinner if am not feeling inclined to put my "out-of-the-room clothes" back on. The worst feeling the world is having to wake up in the morning and endure the initial contact of actual clothing on my skin, so I usually try todelay it until the last possible second. And so my day begins.

It is bad enough to vacate the protective shell of warmth and comfort created by the soft linen sheets and cushiony silk down that are my bed covers; but then to have to peel off the pajamas that are like a second layer of skin to me is total and complete agony in surrender. I remove the pants first, to get the worst of it over with. Along with the removal of the long, soft, fleece-lined sweat pants that just barely graze the skin comes the feeling of cold and vulnerable nakedness. I quickly try to block these thoughts from my mind as I grab a pair of jeans and pull them on, one leg at a time. I wince at the feeling of the cool, restrictive feeling of the denim material, clenching itself around my legs and binding me within the coarse, rough walls of its inflexible imprisonment. I button the hard, cold, brass button at the top, and zip up the jagged teeth that make up the sides of zipper, lacing myself in to this blue jean cage indefinitely.

I breathe in deeply, as the most difficult and excrutiating part of the dressing process comes to a conclusion, the first steps in becoming a functional human being for the day complete, and move on to strappping on a bra, which surprisingly doesn't bother me as much as putting on a pair of jeans does. It is comforting, the feeling of lift an dsupport a bra provides me; it's like waking up for the day, knowing that life is hard, but you have friends. I feel the chill in the air of my room and quickly try to correct it by slipping a gray camisole over my head. The feeling of the light cotton material against the skin of my torso is like Heaven is holding me in the palms of its hands. I pull on a flowy, blue, spaghetti-strap tank top over the camisole, and think of how at least the top part of my self can feel the freedom of movement today, as the dreaded jeans come into my mind again, with their pulling, pinching tension. I love this shirt, I think to myself, trying to keep the start of my day on a positive note. Wearing this shirt is like being held in the arms of someone you love and danced around a field of flowers on a sunny day. It is like being cradled in a cloud of security and knowing I am safe and free, fearless and beautiful.

And as I think these things, I notice the denim of the jeans beginning to loosen its grip around my legs. The tightness is not as much as earlier. They are a reassuring hand on my knee, a strong arm around my waist. Knowing I can breathe now, I walk out the door and face the world wondering how soon it will be before I will want to put my sweats back on.

Previously in the blog porfolio, I reviewed the beginning entries of the semester, adventures in microblogging, wikipedia editing, remix projects, and creative writing, among other things.

Now, as the semester has progressed, so have the entries in my blog, becoming more defined in ethos and discussion, and including some of my own work, as promised.


I respond to the opinions of my readers by giving them what they want to see more of in my blog, as well as commenting back to their comments they leave. I also comment on my classmates' blogs.


I provide links in my microblog to new blog entries, so that all my readers can be alerted if they want to stay caught up. I also have entries detailing brainstorming ideas for writing that are extremely specific.


On the entry, Harvey Frick is Reborn, I left a comment at the end of the entry explaining where my idea came from for it for those readers who are interested or want to try a similar technique.


In my remix project entry, I provided the links to the original sources for the material.


The tone my writing sometimes takes on is reflected in the short piece, Complications and in the Tweet linking to that entry.


This portfolio showcases how I learned to include a creative commons license in my entries, and also how to link a picture in a microblog post.


Bethany Bouchard
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I need to stop doing this, thought Scott, as he finished up he online chat with Babycakes6402. It isn't right, not when I have a perfectly adoring and loveable girlfriend right upstairs.

He smiled just to think of Amanda, yet, at the same time, it was oh-so-thrilling to be the object of Babycakes's online pursuit. Enough, that's enough for today. He closed the laptop with the idea of a quick romp in the sack in mind, and hoped Amanda was up for it. As he made his way down the hall, his stomach rumbled, and, with a sigh, he made a detour towards the fridge.

"What time is it?" Amanda called down the stairs. She had an interview at three, and would just be getting out of the shower.

"It's one-fifteen!" Scott yelled back to her, imagining her in a little pink lacy bra and pantie set from Victoria's Secret, or, better yet, still in her towel.

"Thanks!" she responded, sounding rushed.

He opened the fridge, hoping to find some pudding. He stared at its contents blankly, momentarily distracted as he fervently recalled Babycakes's last words to him only moments before: "Go rev up your engine, big boy; I'm gonna wax down my car."

Was it creepy, these little online sexcapades? No, he shook that thought out of his mind almost as it came to him. It was just normal male instinct taking over, it's not like it was hurting anyone. But it would hurt Amanda, if she knew...But she doesn't know.

Scott was called out of his reverie by the cold air coming from the fridge and monotonous hum of the machine, and only then remembered he was still standing there with the door open.

"What the hell was I looking for anyway?"

He couldn't remember. He shrugged it off and grabbed the can of whipped cream and jar of maraschino cherries instead. He grinned as he imagined Amanda, perfumed and primped, waiting for him. He shut the door, and as an afterthough, grabbed the cowboy hat sitting on the top of the fridge and made his ascent up the stairs.

"Hey babe!" he called.

Harvey Frick was an accountant. He had not always wanted to be an accountant; he didn't even want to be one now. What he had wanted was to be a writer, but that was a long, long time ago. His parents' voices still echoed in his head from many years ago...

"If you want to further your education, and if you expect us to help you pay for it, you're going to have a pick a major that will pay the bills," his father had sternly told him.

"Yes, hone, and I just don't see Creative Writing as something that would help you do that. Why not go Pre-Med?" his mother suggested.

That was how Harvey had become an accountant. Now he was forty-three years old, and he felt he had accomplished nothing he set out for himself to do all those many years ago, when he was a young man of eighteen and the world had been wide open to the possibilities.

Sure, he appeared to be the perfect employee, but Harvey, in fact was not. He never called in sick or came in late. He even came in to work for others who called off. He showed up to work every day, Monday through Saturday, at eigh o'clock on the dot and always stayed at least an hour later than closing time at five to finish up paperwork or anything else he might want to work on. And though he had earned the right to two weeks' paid vacation every year since his third consecutive year ov employment and the Richardson Accounting Agency, having no wife or living family to spend it with and very few friends, he never felt the need to take advantage of it. He was the perfect employee on the outside, but on the inside, he didn't even want to be there. And isn't that really the key to any successful career? That the very essence of being a good employee was rooted in the depth of one's core, programmed into their DNA or something, is love for their job, love for what they do? In Harvey's opinion, it was.

Then, one day, a not so extraordinary day, Harvey did something completely out of the ordinary. He called his boss and told him he would not be in for three months and to hire a temp in his place until then. He was taking his vacation.

I've lived my whole life without really living it," Harvey told himself, in a brilliant moment of revelation. He wanted to be the man he was when he was seventeen. A man who still knew how to dream, who saw things with many pairs of eyes and from many different perspectives, not just his own, someone who didn't go through the motions everyday, but lived in the moment; and then it came to him. He was going to write a book.

As I'm sure most people have done at some point, whether accidentally or on purpose, all of us at some time have been tempted to eavesdrop unnoticed on someone else's conversation. Once, for an assignment in a Directing class, we were asked to listen around on purpose to other people's conversations, voice record one that was particularly interesting or obscure to us, and type up the transcription into a script format, changing the names, of course. The four best conversations were chosen to be cast, directed, rehearsed, and presented to the class at a later date.

The purpose of these "Overheard Conversations" assignment was to show how someone's naturally spoken dialogue and action could be staged into a truthful and naturally depicted production. More importantly, I learned from it that stories can be found everywhere, including in the conversations of every day people. Especially in the conversations of every day people.

Why am I telling you this? For all you writers out there who have hit a creative roadblock, or are just plain stumped, try eavesdropping on some unsuspecting people and see what you can make out of their words.


Bethany Bouchard
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I must admit, yes, this is a blog where I want to share my creative writing process and some of my work; however, I am slightly nervous to post some of my work here. We just did a whole section on copyrights, does my work still belong to me if I post it here on my blog?

On the other hand, I would love to share it with everyone who reads. Maybe I'll just have to bite the bullet and post. Yes? No?

For my remix project I used text from Dorothy Parker's poem, "Reformers: A Hymn of Hate", Emily Dickinson's poem, "In Vain", and one of my own poems called "Ella Fitzgerald Mornings and Hot Chocolate Nights," which I will post in a separate blog later. Here is the result of mixing these together:

Reformers: A Hymn of Ella Fitzgerald in Vain

I hate Reformers;
I cannot live with you.

Juke box jazz sultry savvy-
They raise my blood pressure.

It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf and full
Of sass and class and saxophone and

The sexton keeps the key to the Prohibitionists;
There are the Fathers of Bootlegging.
Makes me want to dance the Charleston all day.
They made us what we are-
I hope their satisfied.

Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
Like those flappers with their beads and
Feathers and short skirt fringes and bobbed hair.

A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

They can prove that the Johnstown flood,
And the blizzard of 1888,
And the destruction of Pompeii
Were all due to alcohol.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait.

They have it figured out
That anyone who would give a gin daisy a friendly look
Is just wasting time out of jail,
To shut the other’s gaze down,-

You could not,
Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald
And smoking and drinking coffee all day.

And anyone who would stay under the same roof
With a bottle of Scotch
Is right in line for a cozy seat in the electric chair.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege, boozing it
Up at night though it’s Prohibition?

They fixed things all up pretty for us;
Now that they have dried up the country,
You can hardly drink unless you go in and order one.

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’.

They are in a nasty state over this light wines and beer idea;
They say that lips that touch liquor
Shall never touch wine,
That new grace
Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

Those days are long and hard and rough and tough.

They say that the Eighteenth Amendment
Shall be improved upon.
They’d judge us - how?
For you served Heaven, you know.
Or sought to;
I could not.

Juke box jazz sultry savvy
Over their dead bodies

Creative Commons License
Reformers: A Hymn of Ella Fitzgerald in Vain by Bethany Bouchard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.gutenberg.org.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2678/pg2678.html.

Works Cited

Dickinson, Emily. Poems [Series One]. 2001. ProjectGutenberg. Web. 20 Sept. 2010.

Putnam, G. G. Noncensorship. 2004. ProjectGutenberg. Web. 20 Sept. 2010.