Various Artifacts Found in Crystal’s Bedroom

Lot 001. Framed photograph of Crystal and her friends wearing 8 different college tshirts corresponding to the different colleges they would be attending. Taken in August 2012. Sits on Crystal’s desk.


Lot 002. Antique jewelry bought in the last few years. Includes pearl necklace, pearl-and-garnet ring, and silver bracelet. Links on bracelet are coming loose. Ring is adjustable to size.


Lot 003. Daily Makeup. (Pictured from left) includes Victoria’s Secret gold shimmer eyeshadow, E.l.f. black liquid eyeliner, Ulta 4-pack eyeshadow palette (with taupe, golden brown, dark brown, and black, though golden brown is nearly empty), N.Y.C. liner pencil in jet black, Dior Show mascara in jet black, and a slanted eyeshadow brush.


Lot 004. Empty pill bottles. Found on Crystal’s dresser.



Lot 005. Hand-sewn elephant pillow. Made by Crystal in the summer of 2011 when she thought she was going to die of boredom. One side is navy pattern with pink felt ear. Opposite side is pink pattern with navy felt ear. Sits on Crystal’s bookshelf, unless she finds the time to make her bed, in which case it sits on her bed.


Lot 006. Disposable wooden spoon from Anthropologie. Given to Crystal by a friend in the winter of 2011 because they “felt weird to eat with”.  Has been taped to the wall next to her bed since then.


Lot 007. Halloween Card given to Crystal by a friend in late September 2012. Message on front reads “Holy Sheet”. Message inside card reads “it’s halloween!” Message from friend reads: “hehehe….I feel like you’ll either really love or really hate this card but I thought it was funny! I hope you’re having a fun and safe and studious junior year so far!! I miss you, I need to come up and visit and meet Nick! Okay bye love you! –Your favorite Baltimore resident.”


Lot 008. Dreamcatcher. Given to Crystal by a friend in the fall of 2011. Red and blue beads and blue feathers. Sits above the head of Crystal’s bed. Some feathers have fallen off.


Lot 009. Postcard from London featuring Buckingham Palace. Given to Crystal by a friend studying abroad in England in the fall of 2012.



Constraint to I

It isn’t inviting, limiting this in I’s. I sit, I think, is it fitting? “Knitting in bright lights is insipid!” I insist. Finding things with I’s is inhibiting. I find I’m wishing fish into swimming fits. Writing strings. I’m sighting sniffling pigs, flicking filth. I’m mimicking birds singing. I’m whistling with instinct. I’m miming living things. It fits within limits. This is skimpish lit.


Thoughts on SPX

On Sunday, September 16th our English class took a field trip to the Small Press Expo, or SPX, in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to arriving I had no idea what to expect, but was generally imagining something in between an art fair and comic-con. I was immediately overwhelmed by how crowded it was, and how many booths there were, and felt very shy about approaching any of the booths or asking anyone any questions. However, I found that all of the artists were extremely friendly and more than enthusiastic to talk about their work.

What I found as a trend at this expo was a diaspora between the traditional, Japanese-graphic-novel inspired comics and a newer, simpler design of comics, with a few mixes in between. I found myself most drawn to comics featuring cute characters, ones with big eyes and tiny smiles that gave characterization to cats, unicorns, manatees, or cupcakes. These comics seem to be pretty popular on the internet these days.

It was interesting to see how the internet had made a difference in the way graphic novels and comics were presented at this expo. Some booths had iPads featuring their internet shorts for passerbys to watch. One thing I noticed about these artists was that their creativity knew no bounds. Many of them seemed very interested in experimenting with form and showed their originality not only through their comics, but the way they presented their comics as well. One artist built a paper model of a skyscraper and set each panel of his comic as a floor in the building, complete with moveable slots that allowed the panels to change as the scene changed. Another artist used photographs of tiny clay figurines in her comics and presented those clay figurines on a cake stand at her booth. Another artist made complex puzzles out of his work. I was not expecting artists to sell things other than paper copies of their comics, but many of the artists were extremely talented in other art forms as well and sold other crafts and things at their booths. I learned from the expo that being a comic book artist is more than just being good at drawing or printing; to succeed in the comics world it helps if one is a well-rounded artist in other mediums as well.

We also got the opportunity at the expo to hear an interview with Chris Ware given by our professor, Dave Ball. I found this interview fascinating as I was a huge fan of Chris Ware’s book we read for our class, The ACME Novelty Library Report. One of the things I found very interesting in the ACME report was Ware’s use of color and how that color could contribute to the story in a subliminal way. Chris Ware said in his interview that he felt a story could be told through color just as much as it could be told through words or pictures, and I think it is this detail that gives his works such artistic depth.

Overall I was very impressed by all of the artists at SPX and their ability to combine both their artistic talent and creative mindsets to create works that were all so uniquely different from one another.  It definitely broadened the definition for “experimental fiction” for me and helped me to better appreciate the artistry behind the world of comics.

image courtesy of Jason Viola,

ACME Review Collage


(Click on image to view larger)

Works from which this came:

Article on Our Generation–The Generational, Spring 2012

Prospectus on Final Article–The Generational, Spring 2012

Final Article (Sylvia Plath)–The Generational, Spring 2012

Close Reading: Paul’s Case–American Lives, Changing Contexts, Spring 2011

Final Article (Paul’s Case)–American Lives, Changing Contexts, Spring 2011

Final Article (Gustave Flaubert)–The Craft of the Short Story, Fall 2011

Close Reading: Auden–The Generational, Spring 2012

Sylvia Plath Annotated Bibliography–The Generational, Spring 2012