November 2010 Archives

Sophisticated Website

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

So. I owe you readers another blog. I've been behind lately, and I apologize, but instead of keeping up with my entries I have been making mad progress on my website for class. It has been my favorite thing to work on lately. There's just something about html coding that is so rhythmic and soothing. Now I sound like a dork, but seriously, to the organizer in me there is nothing better than the systematic writing of html format.

Here is a look at what I have been up to. There's a navigation bar and everything now. Yes, I realize there are not links to pages yet for "My Favorite Things" and "Creative Spaces," but be patient. It will happen. Check out the site and also feel free to offer up any advice for editing, improvements, revisions, whatever you want to call it. Thanks!

Site Map

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

So. I've been working on my website for a while now. This is going to be the basic layout for how it's going to work.

First there's going be a homepage.
On the homepage there will be links to my poetry, my blog, my twitter profile, and my sister's tumblr page.

Clicking on my poetry will take you to a page where all the titles of my poems are listed.
Clicking on one of the titles will take you to that poem. Each poem will have it's own page.

Clicking on the blog will take you my Seton Hill Blog.
Clicking Twitter will take you to Twitter.
And clicking on the link that says favorite links, will bring you to a page of links to my sister's blog and a few of my favorite authors' sites.

That's the basic layout for now. It shouldn't change that much, but we'll see.

"Paging Dr. Stevens, paging Dr. Stevens."

Ronald Stevens, a young, but accomplished surgeon, had never had to do a full-scale brain surgery before. He wasn't nervous, though. He wasn't even shaking, though the pleasant female voice paged him again. It was time to get down to the O.R. He wasn't late, but he should go. He still had fifteen minutes to prep. He wasn't late. He wasn't nervous. He smiled at a couple of interns as he picked up his pace, and suddenly, almost too soon, he was faced with the swinging double doors to the surgical wing, looming before him like two stern deans just itching to fail him. But he wasn't nervous.

"Dr. Ronald Stevens to the O.R. Dr. Ronald Stevens to the O.R."

It was the voice again, the voice telling him to proceed, with caution of course. He heaved a sigh, gathered his bearings, pushed through the stainless steel doors, bore a right, and there he was. The patient was already there and had been prepped for surgery, anesthetized and everything. The lab technicians were all stationed around the operating table along with an assisting surgeon, Dr. Masters, and two nurses. He wasn't late.

He took a deep breath, washed his hands, tied a mask around the lower half of his face, put on the latex gloves. Good thing he had put on his scrubs for surgery that morning; he wouldn't have remembered now if his life depended on it, let alone the patient's life. He wasn't late. He wasn't nervous. He had this. This was just a simple lobotomy; it happened every day. There was nothing to worry about.

The lab techie shaved the patient's scalp, and the nurse sterilized the area where the incision was to be made. Now it was his turn. He picked up the scalpel and slieced ever so carefully, making a clean, even cut a little left of center. He set down the scalpel for a moment and his breathing became more rapid. He was not hyperventilating. He was not nervous.

When the part of the skull was removed, and the mass of brain was visible, Dr. Stevens felt as though he was havinga stare down with his worst enemy. There it was, so pink and fleshy. It was hard to fathom, all th etiny rivets and maze-like columns wound among columns, they were all in his hands. He imagined the pink, bloody mass pulsating, almost at him, as if daring him to make a mistake. Oh, the pink, and the blood; suddenly he was aware of the blood. But he had seen blood before. He was not going to vomit. He was not nervous.

"Dr. Stevens?" Dr. Masters raised a quizzical eyebrow towards him. "Are you alright?"

Dr. Stevens took one look at Dr. Masters and handed him the scalpel before dashing from the room wiht his hand over his mouth.

Admin 407

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

The overhead fluorescent lights buzz into the silence, and one can feel their brightness permeating down into the stillness of the room as the students finish the in-class writing assignment. Someone drops a pen, breaking the concentration of several of the students around him. Papers shuffle, and the cool, plastic chairs are shifting against the clean, white tile floor under the weight of those who sit on them, on their spindly, stainless steel legs.

The second hand makes it's way meticulously, mechanically, around the face of the clock, looming before the classroom like a beacon of presistence and urgency. Time's almost up. If one looks closely, one can almost hear each though it were being impounded into one's very mind, in their brain, in their ears, though of course, in reality, there is no sound at all. Still the clock grows bigger, magnified times a hundred, so large to a prson in that last row that it could in fact occupy th entire capacity of the room and grow, reaching back further and further, until it was just touching the tip of the nose of that person. But that would be letting one's imagination run wild with the wind.

The wind outside. The wind. The windows. The windows to the right that run all the length of that far wall, a faded peach color, and smooth like a peach, too, though not fuzzy, thankfully. Through the spotless sheen of glass, behind the window frames, lies the world outside the classroom, outside the building. There are trees and people, birds, and the wind. Gleaming through the paned and shuttered windows, rays of sunlight poke their way into the gloom and mechanical air of the classroom, like a long lost, but not so easily forgotten friend. They dance their way across the floor and the desks, through an dpast the students. They reach, reach, reach their never-ending light into the room with an air of promise. They promise joy and freedom and fancy. They stretch all the way to the door.

The big wooden door looms over the room like a guardian of time. No one enters, and no one leaves but by specific leave. It is both the captor and the savior. Through this door is the way to freedom, to outside, to sun, to wind.

Blog Portfolio III

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

From editing articles on Wikipedia to remix projects, we traveled to the valley of multimedia projects. We also started learning how to code web pages in html for our own sites. I have continued to post bits of my creative work, as well as relating them to ideas on how to kindle one's own creative pieces. My posts since the last portfolio have been rooted in:

I commented on classmates' blogs and responded to comments on my own blog.

I posted lengthy and sometimes slightly risque creative pieces, and provided commentary on how I got my ideas for those pieces in either comments or separate entries.

Along with leaving commentary on my own blogs to enhance my readers' experiences, I also make brief reference to my ideas accompanying links to my blog entries on Twitter.

On my entry about my multimedia project, I included a link to the Facebook page I created for Seton Hill's Creativity Center.

I express myself as a writer and a professional not only in my blog, but also in my microblog.


I successfully put together a smoothly edited video, uploaded it to a web page, and incorporated the link to the page in my entry about my multimedia project.

Multimedia Project

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

Not only is this a last-ditch attempt to amp up my third blog portfolio for class, but it is an overdue shout-out to something that should have been previously mention. Let me just start by saying the Multimedia Project freaked me out like no other. Before this, I had never done anything related to shooting, editing, or uploading video content. By the time I had completed it, I not only learned I could easily do all of those things fear free, but I learned an even more important lesson.

Don't be afraid to ask for help, and do it sooner rather than later.

I pitched my project to current and potential students of Seton Hill about the values of the Creativity Center, which I don't think a lot of people really know about, and extended it to the Facebook community by doing the writing portion on a the page I created for it, as well as uploading my video on there, so that everything was in the same spot. Without further adieu, check out the page!

Staging the Scene

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

So, I haven't posted a non-creative piece entry on here in a while, so I thought here I would talk about how I my idea for my short story," Sunday in the Park." It's one of my favorite things that I've written, and it was inspired by a prompt in Writing of Fiction for a journal entry.

Dr. Arnzen provided us with a bit of dialogue and told us to "stage the scene" by writing out a short piece, filling in the action around the dialogue, and using only that dialogue. It was really fun to see how different everyone's turned out. You couldn't even notice they all had the same dialogue.

This technique is something I still use in my writing today. Whenever I'm stuck, it usually helps me to start off with some dialogue first, and then to write around it, to stage the scene. Of course, it depends on what you're working on, so it might not always work. I find it usually works best when you're starting fresh on something, but don't really know where you want to go with it just yet.

You could also combine this trick with the overheard conversation exercise, I discussed in a previous entry. Use someone else's conversation, but write your own scene to it.

Sunday in the Park

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

Emily was running late, so late. She was supposed to meet Charlie, whose friendship has blossomed into more than friendship over the past several months; but no, first she had a tryst with Oliver in Central Park. She couldn't imagine what he was up to, although she had some idea, and was sure beyond a doubt that whatever he had planned, it was going to be just ridiculous. She rounded the path on the Literary Walk and the statue of William Shakespeare came into sight, along with Oliver, who was pacing by the statue nervously. She couldn't figure out why he had wanted to meet here, of all the places in the park they could meet; it was where they had met a little over three years ago, and besides that insignificant detail, meant little more to her than any other place they had gone together.

Well, she thought to herself. Now is as good a time as any to end it. I mean, he has to know. It's been over for a while. If he didn't know, then he was just plain stupid, or in some major denial. It was now or never. She gathered her bearings, and, with a deep breath, brought herself into his range of vision.

Upon seeing her, Oliver immediately got down on one knee, presenting her with the bouquet of roses she hadn't noticed in her pre-meeting observation with one hand, while with the other hand he dug in the lapel of the ridiculous suit he was wearing. The sight of him down there on the ground would have been almost comical, though he had surprisingly good balance. And then it hit her, what was going on here. Oh, Jesus, she thought.

"What are you doing here?"

It was the only thing she could think of to say without acknowledging what was about to happen.

"Isn't it obvious?"

He gestured to the box she presumed was holding a ring with a jerk of his head, and tried with further effort to hand the roses off to her.

"I suppose that's what you want people to think," she responded, placing one hand her hip and waving her free hand towards the only two people in sight, an elderly couple on a nearby bench, who, with one look at each other, rose in silence and vacated the lane.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Oliver pleaded with her. He was starting to sweat. His glasses were askew and his cowlick was starting to stick up, despite the massive amounts of hair gel he had applied in order to get his hair to stick to his skull earlier that day.

"Oh, sure, play dumb. That's your response to everything, isn't it?" She was thinking again of Charlie and wondering if it was possible that he really didn't know. It was pretty obvious to everyone else.

"No, I have another one."

"What's that?"

He searched for the words and, after a long pause, retaliated with, "I often tell people to...shut the hell up."

With his rise in temperament, he had finally fallen over, though with a vain struggle to keep upright. It had all happened so fast. The ring box had gone flying, and the roses, which had managed to come undone from the arrangement, despite Oliver's clutching at them, were now strewn in all their beauty, sporadically along the base of William Shakespeare. It was as though his body had succumbed to a state of defeat and rejection, long before he had even considered it.

Emily rolled her eyes impatiently. She didn't have time for these games, and she rather annoyed at Oliver's feeble attempts at winning her over, to say the least.

"I see how it is." If this turned into a fight, if she made it his fault, maybe she could avoid telling him outright.

Oliver had managed to regain his composure somewhat, and had placed the ring back in his inside pocket for safekeeping. Now wasn't the time, obviously. He began trying to reassemble the roses into some kind of order, and looked towards Emily.

"So are you going to help or are you just here to distract me?" He said this gently, almost teasingly.

He was trying to make jokes now. Well, Emily wasn't going to stand around for that. She looked at her watch. I'm just going to have to tell him and get it over with.

"No, I have to go. Charlie is waiting for me."


"Yes Charlie," she snapped. "And he's waiting."

"Who's Charlie?" this quietly, truly defeated. He knew. Somehow, inside, he must have known it all along. It was really over, after all these years.

She couldn't do this any more.

"I have to run. See you."

She turned to go, and he called after her with false hope.

"Maybe you will."

"Maybe I won't. And, oh, one last thing."

She searched for something to say that wouldn't sound too harsh, and as she struggled to find the right words, her eyes began to well up.

"What is it?" Oliver prompted, half with worry, half with hope.

Maybe she would change her mind, and with his pent up eagerness at this thought, he squeezed the handful of roses around the stems, no longer in their packaging. He winced as he felt the thorns pricking his fingers. He had forgotten about the thorns.

She reached for his wounded hand and placed in it a few tissues from her coat pocket, for the blood that was now oozing from his fingers.

"Be careful with that."

Is She or Isn't She?

Bethany Bouchard
Vote 0 Votes

We met in this place I used to go to, this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop two streets over from where I work, and a block and a half from where I catch the bus back to my apartment every day. She was tall, with a certain in-born strength that seemed almost unnatural, and despite her broad, athletic build she moved with the grace of a prima ballerina.

Maybe she's an angel, or a seraph, I thought to myself. She is too exquisitely beautifu to be of this world.

As I continued to watch her, mesmerized by her every movement, every shif in her seat, every wrinkle of her nose, every flit of an eyelash, I became aware of her presence not three feet from where I was sitting and felt sure, just from continuing my detailed survery of this captivating creature that she was the very embodiment of perfection. With my mind, I willed her to look up and see me, too. I wondered how long it had taken me to disengage from my musings and notice her attention shift to me. I hoped she hadn't seen the drool.

"Hey there, fella," she said. "Your coffee's getting cold."

Her voice. Her voice! Her magnificent voice was Mendelssohn's "Hallelujah Chorus;" it was birdsong on a summer day. I had to pull myself together; I mentally shook myself and then dabbed at my chin with a napkin.

"Oh, yes," I replied. "I suppose it is...I'm sorry, if I was staring...I didn't mean to stare, it's're so...and...sorry."

Why couldn't I form words in front of this miraculous woman?

I glanced at her nervously to see how she would respond dto my prattle, hoping I hadn't blown it. She feigned indifference. Oh, the mystery! Why couldn't I be coy and cool? I tried again.

"It's're very beautiful is all...I suppose you're used to people st-...but still, I shouldn't have been...I'm Dave."

She calmly laughed it off, and I noticed her voice had a deep ahd husky quality to it, not like those of other women I had dated. Then again, it was sexy, but stil la little off-putting. I just wished I knew how to read her, so I would know if I was wasting my time; however, she hadn't left yet, so that was a good sign.

"Let's say you and I get out of here and go somewhere," she said suggestively.

Not knowing how to take her, I quickly agreed, and picked up her check and mine.

"I didn't get your name," I reminded her, by way of asking what it was.

"You can call me Dannie," she replied.

"Um, should I...?" I started.

She cut me off. "I'll drive."

And that is how we ended up back at my apartment. We didn't even make it all the way back to the bedroom, and it hadn't been five minutes, but she already had my shirt off and her blouse unbuttoned halfway down. Her kisses started out slowly, long and languourous; they were sex on the beach. After a minute though, they became rough and rushed, but I culd still sense the passion in them. Her hands were large, and I noticed the skin on her arms was tough and coarse, like someone who had spent a lot of time in the sun or working outdoors in the elements. And they were hairy; her arms were really hairy. I don't think I can remember any woman in my life being so hairy, unless my grandma, but before I could make comment on it, her tongue was in my mouth.

It took a while, but I finally removed first her shirt, and then her bra. Her breasts were full and perfectly symmetrical, almost too perfect to be real. She moved with animal instinct and lunged for my belt buckle with her hands without stopping the kisses. I tried to feel up her leg which also harbored the same toughness to its skin, but just as I was nearing the bottom of her skirt and going for the kill she pushed me away, spun me around and threw me down on the sofa.

Now I was getting pissed off. Who did this girl think she was? I was the man there; I couldn't remember ever being so bullied by a woman before. It was time for me to take action. I was not going to be pushed around by this beautifully demonic temptress any longer. Just as she made to mount me, I pulled myself out from under her weight, grabbed her by the shoulders, and rammed her against the wall adjacent to the sofa. I held her arms against the wall, pinned her by the wrists and pushed my weight against hers, using the entire length of my body and all the strength tha was in. That's when I noticed a hardening beneath the fabric between us, not mine, "hers."

Let's just say I won't be calling "her" again.