Introduction: In this blog i am writing a nonfiction scene about my present life. I used the articles What is Creative Nonfiction? (Lee Gutkind) | Making Scenes in Memoir (Lee Martin) to use to help me write my scene. This scene was at a place called ERRF. ERRF stands for East coast reprap festival and it is basically a 3d printing convention.
As my best friend Dennis and I walk up to the community center in Belair Maryland we couldn’t contain our excitement. We planned for this moment months prior and now the moment was finally here. I open the door with my 3d printed prop gun in hand and approach the desk where two women sat with smiles on their faces. We hear the sounds of chatter and machines running on the gym floor below. We quickly sign in and receive our tickets and head down the stairs. Surprisingly the gym didn’t smell like an average gym, instead the scent of the gym was of maple syrup, yes i said maple syrup. You see when a 3d printer prints with a filament called PLA it emits a scent of maple syrup because it is made with cornstarch. The first thing we see as we exit the stairwell is rows and rows of tables with 3d printers of all shapes and sizes and 3d prints that range from multiple colors, multiple materials, to prints the size of a table itself. We look around to figure out what to look at first and we approach a booth that is three tables long and filled with projects of all different types like an empty spool of filament that was turned into a small garden, and an organizer made out of tic tac bottles.
The next booth we walk up to has a 3d printer in a briefcase and a british man.
“Would you like to see my portable 3d printer?” the man who Dennis dubbed an MI6 agent says to us. We both eagerly say yes and he folds the printer up and closes the briefcase to show us exactly how to open the printer up and turn it on which is comprised of about ten to fifteen strange and complicated steps i cant entirely explain but it was mind blowing. The next booth we walk up to had to be the best one.
As we approach the table we are met with small chirps and buzzes coming from little electronic devices and circuits, and in the very center of the table was a button that says “DO NOT PRESS” so as any curious human would i press the button, but nothing happens. Dennis and i look at each other in confusion because it was obvious that something was supposed to happen but there was no one at the table to provide any insight so we agree to come back later. About half an hour passes and i spot a woman behind the table so we quickly make our way back to the table so we could learn something. The woman who owns the booth has vibrant green hair and out on display on her hands and arms are intricate tattoos. The woman introduces herself as Amie. Amie explains to us that the button that was oh so intriguing isn’t working properly because the floor, meaning the area where the convention is being held, was too loud so you couldn’t hear the noise it made.
I had just finished skiing down a slope up in the poconos when I decided to take a break from the cold. I walked into the lodge and bought a hot chocolate before looking for a place to sit down and relax for a little. I found a seat near one of the fireplaces where three people were involved in conversation. I sat down and introduced myself. They introduced themselves and I discovered I was in the presence of professional writers: Don Murray, Mary Karr, and Anne Lamott. They informed me that they were talking about The Writing Process.
Since writing is one of the more daunting tasks for me specifically I decided I should probably ask some questions while I had the chance.
“Whenever I need to write something the biggest challenge I have is getting into it, how do you guys get started?”
Anne thinks for a second before speaking “I have a one inch picture frame I put on my desk to remind me of short assignments.it reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one inch picture frame.”
Don strokes his beard as he says “The writing process itself can be divided into three stages: pre writing, writing, and rewriting. The amount of time a writer spends in each stage depends on the person.”
he took a moment before adding “start with pre writing, it is everything that takes place before the first draft. It will usually take 85 percent of the writers time.”
Mary shook her head, disagreeing with what Don said. “For me, the last 20 percent of a book’s improvement takes 95 percent of the effore, all in the editing”
I found this very interesting because Anne’s point seemed extremely helpful for someone who procrastinates and has anxiety like me. “How do you guys edit?”
Mary was quick to respond “every writer I know who’s worth a damn spends way more time “losing” than “winning” if success means typing a polished page that lands in print as is”
She took a moment to sip at her own hot chocolate before adding “every writer needs two selves, the generative self and the editor self. The editor self thinks only of saving the reader time and shaping a powerful emotional experience. She can’t turn her complaints and suspicions and doubt off.”
Anne was more than happy to answer my question “I always show my work to one of two people before sending a copy to my editor or agent. I feel more secured and connected this way, and these two people get a lot of good work out of me.”
“What about first drafts” I asked, finding all of their answers very interesting.
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something, anything, down on paper.” Anne said helpfully.
Don decided to add some input “writing is the act of producing a first draft. It is the fastest part of the process, and the most frightening, for it is a commitment. When you complete a draft you know how much, and how little, you know. And the writing of this first draft, rough, searching, unfinished.”
It was then I ran out of hot chocolate so I decided to go back out on the slopes. I thanked everyone for their input on the discussion before heading out of the lodge.
In this blog I am answering the questions from The Proust Questionnaire which originated from a parlor game. It is said by answering these questions an individual shows his or her true nature. I personally don’t believe that you can figure out someone's true nature by how they answer questions due to the fact that everyone interprets things differently.
__1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being with my closest friends and family.
__2.__What is your greatest fear?
I am absolutely terrified of spiders
__3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
__4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When they say they are going to show up at a certain time and they leave you waiting for hours without letting you know they are going to be late. My friend does this every once in a while and i absolutely hate it because i think something happened to him especially when he doesn't pick up the phone.
__5.__Which living person do you most admire?
No one comes to mind.
__6.__What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably junk food but I am trying to get better at it.
__7.__What is your current state of mind?
I’m in a pretty positive place which is a welcome change from my normal anxiety inducing mindset.
__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Probably obedience because I don’t like the sound of it. Yes i agree it is good for people to listen but obedience just sounds like you expect someone to act like a dog and wait for commands.
__9.__On what occasion do you lie?
__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance?
__11.__Which living person do you most despise?
The coach from my first robotics team, it’s a long story but in short he treated me like garbage.
__12.__What is the quality you most like in a man?
__13.__What is the quality you most like in a woman?
__14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I am pretty sure i use “quite” and “like” a significant amount.
__15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Probably my family.
__16.__When and where were you happiest?
Probably when I am with my family in Rehoboth.
__17.__Which talent would you most like to have?
Probably computer programming.
__18.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
How much I procrastinate.
__19.__What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making an adaptive device for a five year old boy.
__20.__If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I have no idea.
__21.__Where would you most like to live?
I am pretty happy living in pennsylvania because I like how you can see the change in seasons and you can get a break from hot temperatures in the fall and winter.
__22.__What is your most treasured possession?
As of current probably my 3D printer.
__23.__What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When someone loses their will to live.
__24.__What is your favorite occupation?
__25.__What is your most marked characteristic?
I believe it is my kind and funny nature.
__26.__What do you most value in your friends?
That they always have my back.
__27.__Who are your favorite writers?
I don’t have any because i like a lot of writers.
__28.__Who is your hero of fiction?
I don’t have one.
__29.__Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Leonardo Da Vinci because he is both an inventor and an artist.
__30.__Who are your heroes in real life?
I don't really have any heros.
__31.__What are your favorite names?
I don’t really have any
__32.__What is it that you most dislike?
Nothing comes to mind.
__33.__What is your greatest regret?
Wasting my time trying to be friends with a toxic person who was manipulating me.
__34.__How would you like to die?
I would prefer to die in a peaceful way.
__35.__What is your motto?
Nothing is broken if it can be fixed.