I am sitting at one of the tables by the window in the hallway near Java, listening to the song, “Whatever’s On Your Mind,” by my favorite band, Gomez and watching the ever entertaining “parking lot ballet,” in an attempt to find inspiration, not only for a short story I am writing, but for this blog. As I gaze at the white feathery clouds and marvel at the mild winter temps, I think of all of the knowledge I have gathered from the amazing professors who have shared information in an attempt to educate some one like me, who has no idea where to start or what to do when I get there. I have learned that a story revolves around “a stranger in a new town,” or “going on a journey,” and that poetry doesn’t have to rhyme or be about having your heart ripped apart by an idiot lover. Being involved in various writing classes and workshops has taught me that it is o.k. to think outside the box and eaves drop on conversations while standing in line at Chipotle. It is a fabulous feeling to give birth to a character and allow him or her to manipulate my mind and push the boundaries of my imagination and ask the question “what if?” Writing gives me permission to puke up past experiences, wishes, dreams on to a blank page and create a journey to entertain the soul, and exercise (or exorcise) the demons that linger and annoy. Being duly diligent and revising twenty times or more to achieve a coherent piece are lessons I have learned from writing classes at Normandale. Since I am a shy, backward individual, creative writing has helped me to establish a voice and express myself in ways I never imagined.
I believe a quote by Lucille Clifton sums up how I feel about and what I’ve experienced through the creative writing program.
“It is so nice to find your tribe, or actually, what happens is, your tribe finds you, and you are so happy.”
It is a privilege to be president of the Creative Writing club and to be able to work with a talented, creatively opinionated and witty group of people. Being able to read and critique the submissions for “The Paper Lantern” has been a tremendous learning experience and entertaining. After years of restless curiosity and confusion, I have found a part of whatever lost treasure I am searching for at Normandale. Without sounding too slushy or clichéd, I believe I have found “my tribe” and I am “so happy.”
By: Patti Lindaberry