Professional Writing Showcase
Our Media and Communications students are continually producing amazing works. These are just small samples of the enormous amount of high quality works that have been generated by our students. We are continually gathering more works, so please come back again soon.
I have always been on a search for love; fascinated by the magic of being so closely connected to and intimate with a person that the line between our two souls becomes blurred. It may be science fiction to switch bodies with another, but through love it appears almost possible for those in it to share both forms together. The development of this ephemeral yet paramount experience lies not merely in the extended exposure of those involved, which would create a bond– however strong – originating at the moment of first contact. No, this mystical phenomenon extends both into the past and the future by the sharing of preceding stories which display former ideologies (and growth by contrast), including regrets and accomplishments, as well as the hopes and dreams, fears and frustrations of what yet another day will bring. Through this act of trust and disclosure of ones inner most humanity, the mind of the partner drifts back to the time and location of the previous events expressed, creating the scene in however much detail as the memory and imagination allow. Connecting in the moment, the two souls can also converge in focus when conversing on the ever changing, illusory path that lies before us all. Becoming more and more vague the further these minds look down the trail with transient eyes, the horizon of reality subtly slices the known from the unknown and existence slowly becomes an obvious matter of interpretation as perspectives are shared, confronted and morphed. One can almost equate this sentiment to that of an imaginative, childlike wonder. In any case, this augmentation of a relationship throughout time can make a week feel like a month and a year feel like a day, inducing an almost “déjà-vu”-esque sensation of traveling through or manipulating time.
But I digress; the cliché of romance has forever eluded me on a heart felt level. I have felt strong attachment to another through the building of trust and the rest, and indeed done what one would call romantic gestures. Unfortunately, for me romance is nothing but a disguise for the cold truth of reality; nobody wants to feel alone. Somehow emotions drive most, if not all, ones decisions, only to be rationalized with logic thereafter. For any planning taking place, the brain only comes in to figure out how to accomplish what the heart want (metaphorically of course). If love is truly as wonderful as humanity has been claiming it is for centuries, then what is left for those who do not feel it? Those who are forever in search, seeking their own apparent birthright to no avail. Us unlucky few (or many, I’m not one to comment on the inner reality of others) will feel as lonely in a crowd as we would on the moon, full or new. The image of laying leisurely by a fire, nestled softly by ones true love watching the snow fall gently down outside through a cabin window is one that brings forth great longing for companionship in those of us who can only dream of such a feeling. The experience of emotional security, stability, consistency; the fear that it is only an idea or a concept that those who believe to have it simply convince themselves is true, in likeness to the placebo effect. In waiting for this currently hypothetical situation to occur, or one parallel to it, I take solace in the simple conclusion that life looks long at the start and feels short at the end but inevitably comes to an end. No matter what discomfort one may feel, even for the entirety of this human experiment, death remains equally as inexorable as life in this cosmic performance. As they say, “…a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” What they don’t mention is that a thing isn’t ugly because it lasts either.
By Ethan Kahn
I saw the pageant angels in church when I was a teenager. I decided one day I’d have a baby. My baby wouldn’t be a Mary. I was gonna call her Jane. The name ain’t special, but Jane holds a solid weight. My own parents were Appalachian folk. We weren’t in the money, but they were dependable. I knew if I had a girl named Jane that she’d be dependable too.
I didn’t see boys when I was in high school because I had Promise. Promise is something that can get you out of coal if you avoid having babies. I did my studies. I wasn’t the best but I tried the hardest and that shown. Things really worked out the homecoming game my senior year. I trained as a singer and that was where I had the most Promise. The music director made me National Anthem Girl. I did every game. When I sang the crowd cheered louder than any touchdown.
That last year my singing had extra ups and downs. Made me sound like Mariah. After the game was won (our boys don’t know about nothing but winning) a man from the losing side came over to me. He was from California. He’d never heard a thing like my singing. He asked please I could come with him to his agency called Star Light. Said he’d get me a label.
My folks didn’t stop my leaving. My Mom was real proud. Said how she was going to see her little girl on the radio. Daddy said you don’t see radio. I packed one bag because I knew I’d be making money real soon. I followed the man in the suit across the country to a small box studio in an alley behind a Costco in Ocean City.
I cut an album and made a little money, enough to make a trip up coast. I got myself a new religion. I found my god in the eyes of a man who spoke to aliens. He knew how our universe really came from the Star People. He said the things we thought were real in the Bible were just tests to see if humans could be trusted not to kill strangers. AJ, that’s short for Alien Jesus, taught me real faith. He even gave me my own star-baby.
Before the weather turned AJ went off on The Mission. I was alone with my faith and a baby belly. I sent a question up to the High Council of Alien Angels. Got my answer in the song of tree leaves. Nature whispered a name for the child. I called her Lulu Sage. She were blessed by dew and sun and AJ, even though he wasn’t with us.
There’s more between when she were a child and the day she died. Too much to say. One morning her body shown up on the muddy waters of Sabine River outside Conclusion. I’ve wondered since if I might have done more right by her. Like how maybe things would have gone different for my baby girl if I’d gone ahead and called her Jane.
By Tamara Day
Everything was erased. All memories, aspirations, fears, observational abilities, and all knowledge and experiences I had accumulated through my brief existence on this rock whirling around a gigantic fireball through space. Even the tool of thought itself, of language, was wiped clean from my mind. But I was awake, conscious as a blank slate; I simply existed as a state of awareness without any stimulus or subjectivity of any kind. Even now while trying to convey the magnitude of this momentous occasion I know without a doubt that the true meaning behind these words will never be properly conveyed to anyone who has not personally experienced, to the same affect, precisely what I have. My brain was turned off, practically flat-lined, yet I was alive and aware; it was an eternity.
By Ethan Kahn
The sick spread through the town of Conclusion from one crib to another. The disease was a floater, carried by the humid air through open windows. Death drifted into neighbor trailers. A few children were passed over but a lot of babies died that year. Lulu’s baby wasn’t special. When that little throat closed up and took no more breath Lulu was the only one with time to feel sorry. The other Mamas were too busy praying for mercy or giving thanks or burying their own children’s small hands.
Arkansas cared a deep lot when the first wheez came. He kept caring for a few days while the coughing was worse. Then he cared so deep he drank the whole bar. After a week passed Arkansas’ caring got so bad he couldn’t stand being around. He left to buy a pack of Marlboro Lights for Lu. She knew he wasn’t coming back. She saw leaving in his eyes. Lulu was too busy in her own deep-caring about the baby to be sad watching Arkansas go.
Now that the baby was dead Lulu felt the missing part of Arkansas leaving.
“Never any good that boy,” Bet insisted to the diner’s crew. The cook thought Lulu couldn’t hear from the corner booth. “Never trusted him. Not when she was with the babe, not after the babe was born. He flat refused to give it any Christian name! And now look, him gone and her– no baby. No husband. Could be worse. Imagine Lu alone with a daughter?”
“This is better,” agreed the Reverend when he counseled Lulu. “What’s life for a single mother in Conclusion? Try to look at what’s happened from the view of eternity. You and all the other young mothers get a fresh start.”
Lulu packed her fresh start in a black leather suit-case. She folded up her blue wedding dress around a copy of the King James Bible. She added a picture of her and Arkansas from before the baby belly pushed him away. Lulu walked her suitcase out the door. She didn’t pay the bills before she left or clean up the roast chicken. Let the good folk of Conclusion deal with that mess themselves.
Mama Sage lay out front of her own trailer. She spread on a blanket in the grass and watched clouds. She opened one eye and smiled at her daughter. “Lulu Baby Girl, come count clouds with me.”
Lulu looked down at Mama and clutched hard at running away. “No I won’t,” Lulu said. “I’m leaving Conclusion.”
Mama Sage closed her eyes and nodded. “How long?”
“Where you gone to?”
“West I figure.”
“I went West when I was your age.”
“I know, Mama.”
Mama Sage pulled one eye open to look at Lu. “Arkansas meeting you out there?”
Mama Sage nodded like she knew. She rolled over on her belly, shading her eyes. “What you got in that case there?”
Lulu shrugged, “Little things.”
“Well you hold on there. If you got room Mama’s got something for you. Just wait one minute.”
Lulu hopped impatient on her feet while Mama Sage ran into the trailer. “Okay but hurry! I miss this bus I gotta wait two days!”
By Tamara Day
Hello Reader. Although this story is written for you, it is not meant to give you anything. At the very most one can only hope this list of words incites some mild amusement or optimism, and at the least does not impose pessimism or sadness. It must be made aware to you, Dear Reader, that any outcome of this experience you are choosing to embark on is self-made. I, the God of the universe you are stepping into, have done nothing to or for you. All you take from my creation is the preferred interpretation appropriate for what you need to develop in your own story. Remember to thank yourself.
In the beginning there was a pure Singularity. It had nothing to put its attention on, so it put its attention on the nothing; there was peace.
Time did not yet exist, neither did space, nor anything else. All there was, apparently, was the nothing, for the Singularity was unaware of itself. The division between it and the nothing it was observing was nil, such as a newborn child. Then, a flicker; an unease and discontentment which began to pervade the entire observer, eventually distinguishing it from the nothing (as nothing cannot be anything). The partition completed, there were now two; the something and the nothing, existence and nonexistence.
The Singularity now had something to be aware of, itself. It was no longer able to focus on the absence – the nothingness – for the somethingness – its self – was far too much to ignore. Like trying to hear the silence of a song or see the shadow of a star, there was no longer a Singularity. There was a Duality.
By Ethan Kahn