A wide ride and an unique semester to say the least. Learned so much, came so far… I am a Kean Graduate!!!
A wide ride and an unique semester to say the least. Learned so much, came so far… I am a Kean Graduate!!!
Well… we have reached the end. My final e-lit piece is hot off the press. I got to say… I had fun doing this project. It was stressful at first because I did not know what technology to use but once I decided, everything worked out and I think I put together a good story. As I was watching the presentations in class on Wednesday (which were amazing), I felt like my story could not compare. Everyone presented such a deep and moving story and I am over here with a fairytale/fiction story. I brought this up to my mom and she brought up a good point. That that is the kind of writing I specialize in. I have always been able to come up with good concepts for fiction/children’s stories. So I am not shocked my elit piece led me here.
SO my actual story: Adventuring with Adelaide.
The story of Adelaide Bennett takes place in the 1980’s just as she was about to turn 18. Tired of being controlled and told she needs to have a husband in order to ever become queen of her home St. Caspian, Adelaide sets off on a journey across the water to St. Craester’s, an island that does not rule with a monarchy and is ruled by women. As she hatches her plan to leave, Adelaide realizes that she might not have thought this plan all the way out. She is now faced with a decision… will she continue at St. Craester’s and stand up for her beliefs? Or go home to St. Caspian? and live her life has a lie?
This story has a heavy woman empowerment/feminism theme attached to it. I like to describe it as Princess Diana when she dismissed the Royal Family and live her life the way she wanted too. Mixed with a little Mulan where she fought for what she believed in. Many stories out there that capture the same vibe but the elements I added through the technology made it stand out. I used Instagram.
The Instagram feed portrays her diary with all her entries. I then told the story on the Instagram story option. I divided all the elements of the story in the Highlights tabs on her page to make navigation easier and readers can choose an ending. I also made another Instagram page that was made by her parents when they could not find her to track that journey… A lot of different things to click on and explore.
I am happy with the way it came out
Click here for the full experience: https://rolston05.wixsite.com/mysite
Fuel, a hypertext work of fiction that uses a series of short stories to tell the tales of those serving hard time in deep space. Once launch has been initiated, the lives of inmates and how each managed to find themselves incarcerated in the farthest reaches of known space will be available for viewing. Fuel – the ore – is mined from the asteroids by convicts. When the Wormwood meteor storm destroyed much of Earth in the early 21st century, its trail led back to a treasure trove of wealth and power. Men and women who have been tried, convicted and sentenced to minimally 10 years all the way to life without parole, make the years-long journey at warp speed to the asteroid field where Riker’s Island and Alcatraz Prison space station await them. Inmates serve their time doing hard labor, working in the asteroid mines where life gravitates precariously. One wrong move and everyone goes drifting off into deep space.
Larry Storms, a government operative, uncovered secrets on Earth no one wanted out. Corrupt government officials seal his fate and send him off to Riker’s, on the farthest edge of charted space in an attempt to bury the truth and keep dirty little secrets where they ought to be – buried. Larry struggles to free himself and expose the corruption of government officials back on Earth.
My elit piece is coming along. I have named my Victorian Princess. Her name is Adelaide. Adelaide Bennett. I came up with the name thro if u a random name generator I found online: They had a category for any subject for a story you could think of! Mermaid names, criminal names, modern names, victorian names, estate/mansion names, you name it!! I felt like the name Adelaide Bennett was as Victorian as it was going to get.
While the theme right now steered a little away from the Victorian era… it is now more of a royal family/feminism story… Kind of a princess Diana meets Mulan situation??? I think I am going to use Instagram as my outlet… I want to have my princess keep diary entries so i think I will use the Instagram feed as her actual diary… and tell the story via Instagram stories… I want the readers to be able to choose their ending… I am going to have 2 different endings. I don’t know exactly about what yet… I have thoughts I need to free write!!!
In the past months, I’ve been involving myself to the world of electronic literature thanks to our amazing class. Learning about the many different types of electronic literature helped me in developing ideas and understanding about how to construct my own electronic piece.
For my own electronic piece, I went with the style of interactive literature. This is one of my favorites among the many types. This being the case, my piece is one that focuses on the concept of relationships, thus mainly dealing with drama, love, choices, and understanding one’s role in a relationship. This is something that can be experienced through the main character (Kyle), and his relationship with two female characters. Kyle is offered two endings as part of choices. Each of these provides Kyle a different lifestyle and love life, with one being more positive than the others. It is up to the reader to choose the type of relationship Kyle should have and with whom, though the choices of interaction built in the story as part of a roadmap.
The main central inquiry of the work is to: enhance awareness on the difference between a good and a bad relationship. Also, to educate readers (who might be able to relate to the situation presented in this work) on dealing with such experience.
I chose the image above to use as my final GIF for this final blog post because living with OCD is like living with a permanent glitch in your brain. Colors are ultra bright, distorted and always flashing. I chose each of the GIFS and images in my project slides very carefully. I hope the images help evoke the anxiety, fears and confusion that I’m trying to highlight throughout the piece. If I had more time I would have included even more of my real life symptoms and rituals. But that can and will be found in my MA Thesis memoir: The Seashell. This disorder is insidious and forces you to believe in false truths and to engage in ridiculous and shame producing rituals to combat the anxious feelings and ruminations. This slowly but surely begins to impact every single aspect of your life. This dizzying loop we find ourselves in as sufferers is what fuels our daily lives. The thoughts are absurd and the rituals are even more distressing. But the feelings this disorder produces are very much real, tangible and completely intoxicating. For this final #elitclass project I decided to explore my brain, the OCD brain with you all. If you are unfamiliar with this mental health disorder, consider yourself lucky. If no one you know is a sufferer, again you’re very lucky. If you hear or read about OCD on some television show or on Netflix somewhere, please don’t believe everything you read or hear. I hope my project dispels some of the myths and stereotypes of OCD.
The Scribble Scrabble Brain is a hypertext non fiction story that takes you through two different portals of the brain: the right side and the left side. As the participant you can choose either side to explore. I urge the participant to try the left side first only because it gives better context to the disorder. You have the option to go back to the title screen after you are finished exploring to try a different side of the brain. I chose to focus on four major aspects of my life that OCD has violated. These are: LOVE, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP AND SELF ESTEEM. When you click on the LEFT side of the brain it will take you through the distorted and twisted thoughts that I would have about each specific area of my life. Then when you are done exploring all facets of this portion of the brain you can go back and click on the RIGHT side of the brain. This then switches gears and takes you on the wild ride of exploring the obsessive rituals that OCD tricks you into believing will help cure your anxious feelings, doubts and extreme fears. This part of engaging in absurd rituals to combat the anxious feelings is the most troubling of all. It once stole hours from my days and years from my life. Time I can never get back. But by sharing this with you all it helps to heal that part of my soul that was violently taken from me.
It was important for me to distinguish the difference between the two. The symptoms of this complex disorder and the actual physical obsessive rituals you feel compelled and forced to do in order to alleviate your debilitating anxiety. I’m sure for most of you what you are reading is confusing and disconcerting. That’s actually what I was aiming for by creating this final project. No more sugar coating, no more lies or fabrications of what my REAL LIFE experiences with OCD have been like over the last twenty plus years of suffering. In the past I would lie, cheat and steal if I could just to avoid telling these very real, very hard truths about my illness. I felt shame, guilt and isolation for many years. I just hope what my project lacks in techy innovation it makes up for in me being completely authentic, raw and real. I won’t ever lie to guys I can promise you that. There is too much at stake. So here it is my final contribution, my most vulnerable self for you to dissect and analyze. Very few people in my life have these personal insights into my scribble scrabbled OCD brain! Just Mom, Dad, past therapists, my psychiatrist and my dear friend of over twenty five years. And now you guys. I must say you are in good company. Thanks again for a wonderful semester! I’ll miss you all dearly. Please take care. I know you will light this world on fire with all your amazing talents! Xo.
Below I embedded a video and song from The Misfits one of my favorite bands. This particular song: Last Caress spoke to me during this hectic final week of classes. Music is an important part of my existence. It has given me light in the darkness and breathed new life into my soul at dark times when I felt dead. The lyrics are dark and perturbing but so is my OCD brain at times. As dark as the song and lyrics may be, the melody, the dancing and nostalgia of a simpler time during the Doo Wop era is quite beautiful. I guess you can say despite all my issues, I have a beautiful brain. I wish I knew how to embed music and sounds into my project but sadly I couldn’t figure it out in time. But I’ll leave you with this our: Last Caress. Enjoy! Xo.
Author’s Description: Womanhood is an electronic literature piece dedicated to addressing the various components of womanhood. The piece reflects the author’s views and experiences with womanhood and femininity. The text is written as a collection of poems that detail four important components of womanhood: Virginity, Venus, Genitalia, and Race. Readers are invited to choose which section of the text they would like to explore by answering the question, “When you hear the word ‘Womanhood’, what comes to mind first?”
Link to Final Elit Story Project: https://www.inklewriter.com/stories/38254
I honestly enjoyed creating this project. It tested my creative and poetic abilities. There were many times during the creation of this project that I became extremely frustrated. I was frustrated by my lack of coding skills and overall tech knowledge. When I first began the project, I wanted to create something very similar to Queerskins; an elit piece that seamlessly incorporates imagery, sound, and text while also telling a powerful story. However, after a few failed attempts at utilizing Wix, I quickly realized that the initial vision for my project would need more than two weeks to create. I decided to stay within my lane and utilize the digital tools suggested by my classmates. My search led me to Inklewriter, a simple but powerful platform.
Overall, I am content with my final project. However, if I had more time and resources, I would have loved to create this as a collaborative project. I would want to interview women of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and upbringings about their experiences with womanhood and femininity. My current elit piece is told from my perspective. The perspective of a Black woman. In order to provide readers with a more in depth look at womanhood, interviews and just a more inclusive knowledge of the different facets of womanhood would have been very beneficial to my final project.
Our Hands takes the reader on a journey to different parts of the world to experience the different kinds of pollution and environmental harm present in our modern world. All of this is real based on actual places dealing or having dealt with these actual situations. You can travel to a beach in NJ, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, China, Antarctica, Africa or Australia to see first hand the damage thats been done to the environment and the terrible things that continue to occur. This piece is in no way meant to offend anyone or have anyone feel attacked or targeted based on their individual actions or businesses, products or beliefs supported. In many parts of my piece, however, it is designed to make the reader uncomfortable with the situation. It is accessible through a series of hyperlinks designed through Twine.
I really like how my piece turned out. YouTube “how-to’s” were my bible in figuring out how to do the coding and picture additions. I’m not tech-savvy so I was struggling at first! As I said in my intro, I didn’t want anyone to be offended by my piece or think I’m targeting anyone but I definitely had a goal of making the reader uncomfortable with the situations, locations and poetry I exposed them to and put them through because (1) this stuff is real and happening too frequently and (2) it should make people uncomfortable.
I also made the piece that you may have to go through multiple times in order to visit all 8 destinations because I wanted the reader to be in control and I didn’t want everyone to experience the same progression in the same order.
Many times when I started writing the poems, I got side tracked or tried to go off and mention too many points or bring up too many ideas so the poetry was something I tried to revise and thin down to focus on the main issue in that environment and only focus on that single aspect. Also when it came to “coding” and learning from YouTube the different ways to add different elements and making my piece navigable, I often got distracted, discouraged and overwhelmed but I think overall, my piece came out how I wanted it to and serves the important job of informing and leaves the reader with some feeling of hope and a motivation to better the world we live in!
That’s a wrap folks! It has been a challenging semester for all of us. Coming into the semester, I despised the idea of doing all our coursework in an online environment. To this day, I’m still not a fan of it, but what other option do we have? Sit back and wait for all of this to pass over before we continue our lives. Not I. It would be too hard to take a break, walk away for a few unknown amount of semesters, and then try to get back into the swing of things. I think not. It really wasn’t an option anyways.
Here we are though. Above, you will find that I have loaded my project file for your viewing pleasure. The cover page is the first one upon opening it. Through this project, I experimented with many different tools. Many of which, I had no previous exposure too, which led me to becoming very frustrated and wanting to throw my computer across the room. It was very tempting. So I explained what my vision is on the cover page.
Ideally, I wanted to have the picture that I used for every other page, as the main picture. Upon clicking on the different objects, it would zoom in, much like looking through a camera as it zoomed in, and then a clearer picture would entail a story and reflections. I thought it would be really cool if it could have been made into a virtual reality piece. The reader, or user would see the pictures as if they were in person. Add correlating sounds to match the visions. All while the narrator, yours truly, shares his thoughts and ideas while making observations and reporting them.
I started to explore some of the new features of PowerPoint, like using audio recordings in each slide, but something didnt jive when I saved the recordings and it was really infuriating me once again. So to save my lap top and sanity, I finalized it as is. Hopefully you will enjoy the journey that I take you on, as the Forward Lookout.