Category Archives: Career Related

Goals & reorganization

I’m a loser baby…

So I have an obsession with goal-setting. Unfortunately, I set too many goals and don’t allow myself the time necessary to follow through at least when it comes to this blog. It also happens that I get over excited and begin to branch that goal into 87 different directions at once.  I’d like to think that the more goals I set, the more I’ll eventually accomplish. So I’ll keep throwing them out there and eventually I’ll have a few success stories {Yes? No?}.

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of it…

Chapter one of GWW Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Alexander Steele, as the title suggests, examines the what, how and why of fiction.

Fiction |ˈfik sh ən|(noun): literature in the form of prose, esp. short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

According to Steele, as humans we write stories for two reasons: entertainment and meaning. Entertainment is obvious. But what in the world does he mean when he says, “we seem to have a primal need for fiction, or really any kind of story, that is as deeply rooted as our need for food, shelter and companionship,”? Well, as humans we are curious and we are insecure. We are searching for the who, what, where, when and why in life. As Steele says, this lofty goal is the search for truth.

Think of the classics. Think:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

“The Tell-Tale Heart” Edgar Allen Poe (1843)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

“The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhob (1899)

What do these all have in common? They satisfy our primal needs. They are both entertaining and have great meaning.

I’ve come upon the first “Your Turn” of the book.

Choose a work of fiction that you cherish. In a single sentence,
try to state the major reason why you love reading this work.
Then list several ways with which you think the author achieved
this effect. The reasons don’t have to employ any fancy terms 
and they don’t have to make sense to anyone but you. You’re simply
trying to tune in to the source of the magic.

I can’t pick my favorite work of fiction. It simply isn’t possible. That is just as impossible as picking my favorite song. I cannot do it. I’ll do this exercise on my most recent read, The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

I love reading this book because Lisbeth Salander is so extraordinary, and yet she possessed qualities that resonate with readers.

The author achieved this because 1. He made Salander a loner who was beaten down by society and those she relied on. Who hasn’t felt this way before? 2. She was odd, someone not many people would give a second look to. But she was a capable and extremely moral person hellbent on doing what was right. Who doesn’t want to fight for what is right? 3. Though relatable, she is extreme, an extent  readers would think about going to but probably wouldn’t have the cajones to carry through.

What I am saying is she provoked my curiosity because she was a peculiar character and yet, she was like me. She fights for what she believes in. She is searching for justice and the truth just as I am. Salander was just one aspect of the book though. I think the book was phenomenal because it takes readers to a fantasy that still grasps at reality. Seemingly real people in extraordinary situations, I suppose. Makes you wonder, if I were in those situations would I do what these characters did?

Have you read The Girl Who series by Stieg Larsson?

What did you like and how did Larsson achieve that effect?

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ WorkshopWriting Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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Portfolio

Here is draft #1 of my portfolio. It is still {very much} in progress. I’m planning on adding a bunch of other pieces of work, but that is a matter of sorting through allmy school, work and internship docs from the past 4 years. I also updated my about.me page–click here to check it out!I’d love your suggestions, thoughts, comments, constructive criticisms, questions, ideas and whatever else you have to say. 🙂

Check it out!  

Day One–This month’s goals

I’ve always had this obsession with trying to be a well-rounded human. My definition of a well-rounded person has, of course, changed and evolved as I have grown into who I am, but mostly it just never stop learning and improving.

That being said, this next month I am taking a break from both jobs that claim me 7 days a week and my graduate night classes. I’m going upstate to Western New York for an entire month, so I have set up a number of things I want to do. I’m really looking forward to take the time to work on me.

1.       Get back in shape. Working and being pretty busy has distracted me from my own well-being. I’m going to focus on eating the right things and working out on a regular basis. I need to get back into the habit of making my health a priority. I’ve stopped cooking and have resorted to take-out because of its convenience. That is going to change. I LOVE to cook. I’m taking all my cook books home with me. My father and I are going to enjoy home cooked meals!!!

2.       Read. Read. Read. There is nothing more frustrating than craving a good book but knowing you don’t have time to read the books assigned for class and the ones you crave. I have a list of books I want to read as long as Santa’s naughty list! I cannot wait!!

3.       Work on my career. I am pretty young for a graduate student. I love school, but it can only do so much in terms of real world experience, networking and social media. I’ve created a Twitter (@SarahRyck) a few weeks ago and I am working on building a PR network. I have met so many nice people who are willing to mentor a newbie. I want to be involved, start conversations, learn about PR and continue to meet wonderful people.

4.       Write. If I had to choose one thing as my passion I would say writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in first grade. My father used to have to take all the notebooks and pens out of my room when it was time for bed otherwise I would be up all night writing elaborate stories and diary entries.  Lately, I’ve fallen out of the practice of writing every day.

5.       Enjoy my friends and family. Being so far away, I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I’d like catching up with my friends and family back home. I’m really excited to take this opportunity to spend some time with them.

6.       Zen. I’m really interested in learning more about being Zen and Buddhism things like meditation. Being so busy can sometimes mix up my priorities. I’d love to learn to be more aware. Right now, I am completely clueless, but it is something that interests me.

Those are just a few examples. I am going to be busy back at home, just busy in a different way. I’m uber excited!

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