Five was the magic number

Five was the magic number, not required, but I went with it…

            I have chosen five essays to include in my creative nonfiction, final portfolio.  Four because they are strong pieces and the fifth piece to prove (to myself) that I am able to edit my own work.  Nonfiction writing is my personal preference to read and write.  This course has enabled me to create work in many nonfiction genres.  As a blogger writing about my life nearly daily, this experience at several “hands” of nonfiction work has improved my self-published, online posts.  The five essays in this portfolio best represent my work achieved through workshops in the classroom and professor comments on previous drafts.  Most importantly, these pieces represent my nonfiction voice.

The first essay, York’s Uncharted Territory, is my favorite and the piece I’m most proud of, because it is risky and risqué and I imagine unique, compared to most profile pieces submitted for this course.  My strength as a writer is edginess and the forwardness of my voice.  I dare to be different and take chances with my work.  During the workshop process of this draft, my classmates were surprised when I agreed to visit this club and get a first-hand experience.  As a writer, this was a challenge for me: to visit and write about a taboo place.  I jumped in, ready to live it, so I can tell it.  The result of the entire writing and workshop process developed into an exemplary profile of York’s secret club.

The second essay, Quattrone’s Tornado Experience, was the easiest to write because Rebecca Quattrone was an excellent subject to interview.  In this piece I deleted paragraphs of unnecessary print and web links to reduce the cluttered look.  Quattrone was a fountain of fascinating and emotionally moving quotes.  Her quotes made this piece flow and made it a genuine, human-interest story.  I was surprised and proud when Quattrone told me I “rocked it” and she would be attaching the piece to her online profile.  The interview assignment was a great learning experience, and personally rewarding for me and Quattrone.

The third essay, Disney’s Over-rated, was just a little slice of my life.  This piece did not need much revision to the original.  I enjoyed sharing this memoir, because I felt relief as I typed angrily on my keyboard.  The little mishaps of life, the funny moments, and spurts of anger and streams of tears, all make for memoir moments.  When I laugh, I write.  When I cry, I write. When I am annoyed, I write cool.  The sarcasm and snark of this piece work in place of hot, angry, words or thoughts.  Writing memoirs, for a fact, keeps me out of jail.

The fourth essay, You have a Sexy Dash!, is a representation of my blogging style.  This short piece allowed me to express myself through my favorite punctuation.  As an assignment, it was ironic, as I dislike punctuation and believe it is overused and generally unnecessary.  My weakness is punctuation, due to my disregard.  I know when and where comas are placed, I just don’t like the pause they create in my sentence flow.  Fortunately, my disregard for comas did not appear to affect my grade.  This prompt has created an idea for a story format in a new piece.  One without punctuation

The fifth essay, What Happened to the Good People?, is my proof I can edit.  I was extremely long-winded in this piece and reduced it by nearly half.  This was rewarding, though difficult, process.  Editing out large amount of material moved the action forward, getting to the rant and cutting out the unnecessary details of the trip to the mall.  I was excessive in the description of my day prior to the incident leading to the rant.  After “removing the fat” from this piece, a much leaner, more focused rant appeared.

This course was an excellent outlet for my nonfiction writing.  The guidance from my peers and professors was academically rewarding, as well as, personally rewarding.  As a result, my confidence has grown and I look forward to using my newly gained and groomed skills in the future work of my academic career.  Travel writing is my dream and nonfiction is my ticket there.


  1. I remember the sexy dash post. 🙂

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