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twilight zone except not ooky spooky

come wander with me-

the lateness of the hour,

the midnight sun;

its a good life.

nothing in the dark (but) the mind and the matter?

its a good life.

on thursday, we leave for home.

its a good life.

he’s alive,

(s)he’s alive,

(w)e’s alive.

its a good life.

So this (two star, writing) assignment said to make a poem out of the titles of episodes of the twilight zone! My main goal was to make something cutesy and sweet, because that is the opposite of what the Twilight Zone is about, and I think I succeeded!

The process? Look over the master list of Twilight Zone titles and look for inspiration! Then, start writing them down to draft a cutesy poem! I was originally going for the a theme similar to “The Ones” Ellen Doré Watson (I also wrote about one of my favorite quotes from her here!); which is a nice, we’re all just humans trying to exist and be happy, let’s be kind to one another. Peep my planning!

Oof you might not be able to read my handwriting, oops! But yeah, the first 8 or so lines was my stab at that sort of theme. However, I didn’t really like how I was just listing things, and I didn’t see anywhere to really go and tie it all together from there, so I decided to switch to a more, the world is nice and I’m glad to be here vibe, which I think I accomplished better. The only modifications I made were all punctuation, and anything in parenthesis was added. The parenthesis are not meant to be anything poetic, they just serve to differentiate.

After I hammered down what I wanted the poem to mean, the rest was just searching for the titles that could convey that. I really used the “its a good life” title to hammer that point in, but I think the repetition sounds nice. I wish there was less punctuation, because i prefer my poetry to be kind of grammarless, but I feel like it was necessary to convey the pacing and pausing that I wanted. The grammar on the second to last line (“we’s alive”) is for sure funky, but I wanted to stay as true to the original title as possible. Thus, we’s alive. And as silly as it is, I actually do really like how it sounds after the “he’s alive / she’s alive” bit. So there you have it! Poetry by liz! (even though the Twilight Zone writers were really the ones doing most of the writing).

its a good life. -liz

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Assignments

the answers you’ve been waiting for

I’m just typing things to build the suspense, this is a blatant attempt at clickbait. Lets hope I can do this correctly lol. Aren’t you guys all so curious as to what answers you’ve been waiting for?? You’ll just have to click to find out, because you’re not gonna know based on the little snippet you can see here! mwahahahahaha! ((pay no attention if you have not come here from the ds106 mastersite :))

black and white cat GIF

This assignment wants me to tell y’all something about my blog name! so that’s what I’m gonna do!

romanticist cliche . That’s me! As it says on my blog title, that’s sort of my entire being. Romanticist as in hopeless romantic- which I am- and Romanticist as in the artistic and literary movement- which I Love. While I was setting up this blog, I was sitting at my desk, where I have an ABUNDANCE of buttons decorating my workspace. One of them, which I got at Riverby Books (10/10 recommend if y’all are in fxburg!) says- you guessed it- romanticist cliche. The moment I saw it I knew I had to have it. I’m also a sucker for anything cliche. I like to pretend I’m not. But I am. And I’m finally truly embracing that, which is lovely and wonderful. The low caps is also significant, my natural state of typing is in low caps, mostly because its so much prettier than the normal rules of grammar are, but also because then I can use capital letters to Make Emphasis and is even more powerful. Plus the low caps plus the words romanticist cliche plus the everything else about my blog just gives such a cohesive vibe and makes me stupid happy. So there you have it!

Voila! This assignment was relatively straightforward, but I mostly chose it because I wanted to talk about how cute I think my blog is, and also because I do want to explain why I went with chill and subdued rather than Wild and Eighties (which is also a GREAT vibe!!!). There is a little bit of a struggle in opening up about how cutesy and romantic I am, but I have gotten more and more open since I’ve arrived at college, so not too much of a struggle. Definitely recommend this assignment because I’m nosy and want to know the reason behind all y’alls blog names :). I was gonna attach a photo of the button is question, but I am currently far away from my dorm and thus will not be doing so. Apologies, you’ll just have to trust me!

toodles! -liz

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Assignments

murder mystery, but make it sci-fi

Wadsworth flicked the lights off, filling the house with complete and utter blackness, causing screams of surprise and shock to scatter throughout the drained dinner party.

“So who’s the killer?” asked everyone, all at once and all very loudly.

” Who is it? Tell us!” they continued, giving exactly no time for him to respond.

“FOR CHRISTS SAKE” Wadsworth shouted, which finally blessed the room with silence, “You’re all daft, aren’t you!”

The room, shockingly, remained quiet

He continued “Well. I’ll walk you through it one more time, slowly this time. The first victim, Mr. Boddy, was grazed by a bullet, after which he pretended to be dead. The room was pitch dark, which makes the likelihood of any contact with a specific target very slim. Who could possibly have had the training that would allow them to even make contact with Mr. Boddy?”

All eyes turned to Colonel Mustard, all feet shifted away from him suspiciously. He started t speak, indignantly, but was interrupted by Wadsworth once more.

“The next victim, Mrs. Ho, found stabbed and shoved in a cupboard. The murder had to take place while we were making sure Yvette was okay, and the only person not accounted for at that point was the, supposedly dead, Mr. Boddy. He stumbled into the kitchen, hell-bent on revenge on all of us, forgetting about Mrs. Ho, who has a strict moral code and a very loud scream. He grabbed a knife, then saw her, with her back turned, and had to act quickly. He stabbed her in the back, then shoved her into the cupboard where she remained.”

“But then how did Mr. Boddy die?” asked Professor Plum

“Elementary, my dear Watson!” cried Wadsworth “We discovered Mrs. Ho in the cupboard, completely panicked, and spent a solid, oh, minute and a half standing the kitchen panicking. The most logical answer is that Yvette, who knew from her powerful eavesdropping capabilities that Boddy was sick and tired of Mrs. Ho and her cooking, and had expressed interest in ‘getting rid of her’. Well, immediately after seeing that, Yvette sprinted back to the parlor and grabbed the first weapon she laid eyes on, the lead pipe. She saw Mr. Boddy slip into the bathroom to wash up and hide himself, and followed him in and bludgeoned him to death, then rejoined us before we even NOTICED that she was gone!” Wadsworth paused to take a breath.

“Well what’s next, what happens next??” cried Mrs. Scarlet!

“Hell lady, gimme a minute to breath, I’m not the only one who can deduce things.” After taking an exaggerated minute to breathe, Wadsworth continued. “I’m surprised you were the one to beg me to continue, considering what you and I both know comes next.”

Everyone shuffled away from Mrs. Scarlet, who stood, shocked and appalled.

“And what exactly is that meant to mean, butler?” she asked, emphasizing and venomizing final word.

“Don’t play sly, murderer” Wadsworth said “You killed Yvette because you were madly in love with Mr. Boddy! God knows what you saw in him, likely some twisted form of Stockholm Syndrome.”

“I did no such thing and I am shocked, appalled, and frankly, DISGUSTED that you would accuse me of being in love with that disgusting excuse of a man.” Cried Mrs. Scarlet

“Well its the only thing that fits, and additionally-” He started to speak, but was cut off by the the parlor door being straight up kicked down. Everybody turned and faced it, only to see…

MR. BODDY

Standing behind him were all the rest of the murder victims, although there was something just a little bit off about them.

“MR. BODDY?!” shouted everyone, in eerily perfect unison.

“In the flesh.” Boddy stated, amused.

“But, you were dead, we saw you dead, I know who killed you! I know who killed all of you!” said Wadsworth, stumbling over his words in his confusion.

“Didn’t you ever wonder what I did with all that money I was extorting from you? This house didn’t cost THAT much money.” He paused dramatically before continuing. “Although I love blackmail, my first love is SCIENCE. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve loved science, especially the more back alley experiments, the kind that aren’t necessarily ‘ethical'” he said, exaggerating air quotes around the word ethical. I’ve wanted to conquer death since I was a boy, and I’ve finally done it! The person you killed was actually my twin brother, who I was willing to put in danger because I had finally figured it out. How to bring people back. I brought you all here together because I knew that given the opportunity, you would all lose your you-know-what and kill somebody, giving me the perfect opportunity to test my new technology.”

“You created ZOMBIES” cried everyone, except not in unison, in a clamber of volumes and voices and tones.

“No, I’ve conquered death! And they obey my every beck and call! Watch! GO GET ‘EM BOYS!”

The small army of the undead lurch forward, with surprising speed and agility for what were essentially zombies.

Cue a Scooby Doo-style montage of all the guests being chased in and out of the rooms by the zombies, slowly getting picked off one by one is various comedic cartoony, cartoon violence manners, until they are all gone and the only one left is Mr. Boddy.

“Good job my pets! Together we will rule the world! Rule it! Mwahahahahahahah!”

Mr. Boddy gets so caught up in his evil plan and laughter that he doesn’t notice all his creations surrounding him maliciously. He doesn’t notice until its too late and he too gets got by the zombies. Final scene: freeze frame with all of the victims in a jumping group high five, the screen receding inwards on the scene until its all black. “fin” scrolls across the screen in a pretty cursive font.

This (three and a half star, written) assignment was to write and alternate ending to a film. The film I went with was Clue the Movie, released in 1985, set in the 50s. This was definitely a really interesting take, and the format of the movie made it very conducive to this assignment.

As far as process goes, I watched the movie last night, which has three alternate endings (all three of which are showcased in the watch at home version, but when it was first released in theatres, only 1 of the three was showcased at any given theatre). Thus, I just added another ending onto this movie. I tried to keep with the relatively light-hearted and comedic vibe of the film, but I wanted the ending to be a little bit less serendipitous and happy as each of the three actual endings were. I was writing out who murdered who, and in the midst of doing so, I realized I could really spice it up by completely changing the vibe of the movie. So I did that! Although the zombie thing is kind of out of the blue, so is the entire rest of that movie so it fits!

The other reason I chose to go with zombies was because it kind of made the movie fit into the mild angst vibe of the 80s that a lot of the other films have (while still being funny- at least to me). The attack of the zombies that kill everybody fits with the Night of the Comet angst, and the Many People Die is reminiscent of Heathers. What I liked about this movie was that it was more outright humorous than the other ones. Not to say I didn’t also enjoy the other ones, but this was a nice change of pace. One thing I struggled with on this assignment was actually trying to create something original and creative while still working within the constraints that the first hour and ten minutes of the film set up. The zombie line might be a little bit outside of those constraints, but the film never really revealed what Boddy did with all his blackmail money, and he obviously had a lot of it, so I did fill a plot hole! The other thing I struggled with was trying not to create any new plot holes with my ending, but I think I accomplished that (anybody who has seen the movie, how’d i do?) This was a really fun assignment, especially with this movie, 10/10 recommend!

watch out for zombies, – liz

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Assignments

Antinuclear Organization needs your support!

This assignment required me to find a bunch of newspaper headlines and make a story with them. I decided to use only the UMW newspapers, and, keeping with the theme, only headlines from the 80s! Here is the story I came up with! I was actually able to do this with only one modification to the headlines, which was that the last line, as written in The Bullet is “You’ve come a long way, Mary”. I modified it to read simply “You’ve come a long way.” because the name implies a gender influence that kinda collides in an nonconstructive manner with the rest of the story.

Times are changing

— Antinuclear organization needs your support!

Presidents help keep pace with changing time

—Antinuclear organization needs your support!

Key decisions made at meeting. Construction to increase

—Why do we need any more?

. Increased popularity due to new image

—Change it

The best defense is a good offense

—Educating for peace

Strategic arms, not just talk

—These preppies are all on heroin!

Candidates call for communication

—Good, not great

Funding energy a ‘must’

—Times are changing

The price is right

—Losing focus on a cause

Good, not great

—Times are changing

You’ve come a long way, Mary

I formatted this as a (fictional) conversation between two people, one a nameless member of the government, the other a nameless antinuclear weaponry lobbyist figure. The majority of the story is the lobbyist figure and the government figure debating whether or not to continue developing nuclear weaponry. The latter half of the story is the lobbyist figure sort of forgetting their battle against nuclear weaponry and accepting nuclear technology as used for energy. Additionally, this is not meant to be a statement against nuclear power as an energy source, I am not educated enough on that subject to make a stance, I just wanted to capture the vague sense of foreboding that people in the 80’s and during the Cold War felt as a result of the nuclear arms race. (how’d i do?)

In order to complete this assignment, I first spent a couple minutes fiddling around on Simpson library online card catalog thing in order to find old scans of the UMW newspaper (then called “The Bullet”). Then, I set the year to a few random years between 1980 and 1989 and just started skimming newspapers for fun or useful sounding article titles. Whenever I found one that piqued my interest, I added it to a master list of article titles. One that didn’t make the cut, but I still quite liked is “The chipmunks are coming! The chipmunks are coming!” Once I had a good number of headlines, I looked through them to see if there were any common themes popping out or anything that looked like the beginnings of a plot. I used what I had to create my story/poem-with-a-plot/complete and utter masterpiece, and then skimmed a few more newspapers to look for the finishing touches.

The reason I chose to go with nuclear arms and energy is mostly due to the abundance of articles and headlines about the subject within the 80’s, which is a very interesting part of the psyche of the time and is likely reflected in the pop culture. The vague general sense of foreboding certainly is; movies like Night of the Comet and books like The Handmaid’s Tale portraying horrific dystopian futures for the planet. This is actually the second draft of my headline poem; my first draft was sort of a flop; it didn’t really have any meaning and what little meaning I was able to construct was in a ballpark I didn’t really want to be spending time in (vague, but essentially it was quite dark and I wasn’t vibing; there’s a time and place for dark media and I decided now was not it). I am really pleased with how this story turned out; I think it captures the anxiety and the “the world is out to get me” fear that stemmed from the Cold War in the 80’s, and it has a little bit of a plot and I even got to use some poetic devices.

stay groovy -liz

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i’m living up to my blog name

“Why don’t we write each other love poems? / Look at me collapse into babysobs and bare need, me, / sturdy and self-sufficient.”

“Inevitable Postcards” Ellen Doré Watson

This (two star, written) assignment required me to share a quote I’ve read and explain why it interests me. I have always really enjoyed this quote, how sweet and purely pleasant it is- but considering the name of my blog, y’all probably aren’t surprised. Right below are pics of the poem that I took, since I couldn’t find a copy online, in case you’re interested in reading the whole thing.

you can rlly tell which half of the poem i prefer lol
(hint: its this one)

Part of what interests me about this quote is how, within the context of the rest of the poem, it’s almost surprising, like she was all of the sudden overwhelmed with affection for her significant other and just couldn’t keep it in. It’s a marker of a huge tone shift between the first and second half of the poem, the shift is just so noticeable, and I love it, but I’m interested as to where that came from. Additionally, I really like how she contrasts her general sturdiness and self-sufficiency with “babysobs and bare need”, sort of showing how even Very Strong People can go crazy go stupid (emotionally). That there is nothing wrong with having big, huge, uncontrollable emotions and that it is okay to have outpourings of those emotions. Its a really nice, refreshing outlook to read about. The other incredibly interesting thing about this quote is its intro, “why don’t we write each other love poems?” Its, as I stated earlier, very sudden and kind of a shock given the prior content of the poem. The way its almost talking to the reader, treating the reader as her lover, is a Hot Take that I generally really enjoy seeing in poetry. Not to go too English professor on here, but there is also some fun alliteration with “babysobs and bare need” versus “sturdy and self sufficient”, that is fun to think about, the effects and implications of that alliteration. Overall, this is, to me, a really powerful quote that speaks volumes about the nature of love and its un-ashamed-ness (that’s a word, right?).

Now for the “reflect on the assignment” part! This was a nice way to ease into the ds106 assignment flow after taking a (probably foolish) weekend break from it. The most difficult part about this assignment for me was choosing which quote to write about, for I recently got into poetry and thus have a lot of highlights and markups in my Ellen Doré Watson book (which, btw, 10/10 recommend if you’re into poetry). I decided on the cheesy romantic one partially because of my blog name- romanticism cliche- and partially because I was just really feeling a light-hearted and cutesy moment. After I settled on Watson’s cheesy love quote, I took some time to figure out what really draws me to that quote, and then wrote that down!

xoxo! -liz

important ps: any poet/poetry recs? def doesn’t have to be romantic/cheesy!

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ALIENS

This (written) assignment entailed writing a story, on anything you wanted, writing in your normal writing style, and then rewriting it using “The Up-Goer Five Text Editor“, a software that you can type into that lets you know when you use any word that isn’t top 10 hundred most used. This was really fun because it allowed me to be creative with no parameters, and then challenged me to be even more creative! Following is the first draft of my story, with whatever words I wanted to use included!

The princess lived in a beautiful, big castle full of servants and food and all the activities she could possibly want, yet she was still unhappy. Materially, she was completely provided for, they made sure of that. However, they could not risk her knowing any of her kind, lest she realize how poorly they treat her and then try to escape. However, isolating the princess only served to strengthen her resolve to get off of the spaceship. When she turned 18, she was finally permitted to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this castle for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A mass catastrophe, they said, unavoidable, had hit the earth. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire universe. It would be enough to rebuild the population with limited biological damage (meaning: inbreeding would not be an issue), but only if each person made as many biologically different children as possible. Fortunately for the princess, the aliens had an abundance of high-tech machinery that could be used to speed up the birthing process, so it was much shorter than nine months and much less painful. The princess, a bisexual lady, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and attractive, because if there were only 29 other human beings, she wanted to like them. She asked the aliens when she would get to bond with the other humans, but was merely brushed off. “When you and all of them are all healthy, then we’ll have a mixer.” This went on for weeks, until the princess was certain that everyone else was either healthy or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she was introduced to another person. A man named John who had also been inconveniencing the aliens. And although it sounds like a match made in heaven, John was sent to the brig for his loud and quite rude comments on any and everybody who walked into his castle space. So the princess was, essentially, punished for her curiosity. She sat through her time with John and then promised to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the princess snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she high-jacked an escape pod off of the ship and flew away. From the escape pod, she could see the deforestation brown covering the planet, the deep blue of the melting polar ice caps, and the cement grey of what should have been ruins of skyscrapers, but as she got closer and closer to the planet, she saw something even better- neon lights, flickering and enticing patrons to come drink, airplanes flying through the sky, and, best of all, a Starbucks. It was good to be home. She knew those aliens were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just thrilled to be back on Earth with her loved ones.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Only using the most used 1000 words!

The woman of power lives in a beautiful, big house full of help-people and food and all the fun she could ever want, yet she was still not happy. She was completely taken care of, they made sure of that. However, they had to make sure she did not know any of her kind was still not dead, in case they realize how bad they have it and then try to escape. However, making alone the lady of power only made stronger her want to get off of the up-goer. When she turned 18, she was finally allowed to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this house for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A big bad happening, they said, could not have been stopped, had hit the big round land ball. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire star and big land ball place. It would be enough to make more humans with only a few bad body side things happening (bad bodies would not be a problem), but only if each person made as many different children with different parents as possible. Good thing for the woman of power, the not-land ball-people had a lot of things that could be used to fast up the baby making steps, so it was much shorter than 9 months and much less pain-causing. The woman of power, a woman who thinks men and woman are beautiful, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and pretty, because if there were only 29 other humans, she wanted to like them. She asked the not-land ball-people when she would get to meet with the other humans, but was brushed off. “When you and all of them are all not dying, then we’ll have a party.” This went on for weeks, until the woman of power was sure that everyone else was either not dying or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she met another person. A man who had also been bothering the not-land ball-people. And although it sounds like a match made in the place where God lives, he was sent to a space for bad people for his loud and mean comments on any and all who walked into his space. She sat through her time with him and then promised the not-land ball-people to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the woman of power snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she took an escape-goer off of the big goer and flew away. From the escape goer, she could see the no-trees brown covering the land ball, the deep blue of the going-away ice blocks, and the sad grey of what should have been broken tall work houses, but as she got closer and closer to the land ball, she saw something even better- bright lights, lighting and trying to get people to come drink, big sky cars flying through the sky, and, best of all, a coffee store. It was good to be home. She knew those not-land ball-people were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just excited to be back on the land ball with her loved ones.

This actually wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be, the editor makes it really easy to tell which words are unacceptable, and then its just a matter of what word (or words) I should use to replace it. I had a really good time with this actually, because I do tend to speak in a somewhat unconventional manner, using odd words and language, so being able fully commit to talking funny was quite fun. I started out by writing my story in the editor, completely ignoring all the red lines and messages of disallowed words. I actually ended up writing so much that I got an error message! I ignored that too though, because the squiggly red lines were still popping up. After my story was finished, I started from the beginning and edited out anything with a red squiggly line, finding an appropriate replacement word or phrase to put in its place. Once I was red line-less, I copy-pasted the entire thing into this blog post and went to sleep! The next morning, I woke up and rechecked the story for unusable words, copy-pasting in smaller chunks so as to avoid the error message, and all was well!

There is very limited reasoning as to why I chose aliens; I was going to a traditional princess story, but two sentences in decided to make a sort of Rapunzel with a twist (the twist being ALIENS!). The space and alien theme does sort of tie into the Space Race, which was a part of the Cold War, which was coming to a slow end in the 80s, but that’s a little bit of a stretch. My other 2 assignments for this week are sufficiently 80s (although I suppose I’m not the one who gets to decide that), so I just let myself have fun. I did have a lot of fun giving the princess and escape route, and even more fun nixing the idea of her being saved/having a male suitor to help her- my active revolt against that trope in the 80s (see: Night of the Comet). All in all, a really fun assignment, and will be playing with this editing thing in my free time.

10/10 recommend! -liz