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Empty Horizons

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Abstract "Empty Horizons": A Creative Writing Piece Max Harmon "Empty Horizons" is a creative writing piece composed of two different short stories sharing a common narrator. The first story "Can you dig it?" details a trip the narrator takes to

Abstract "Empty Horizons": A Creative Writing Piece Max Harmon "Empty Horizons" is a creative writing piece composed of two different short stories sharing a common narrator. The first story "Can you dig it?" details a trip the narrator takes to South Dakota to go hunting shortly before starting college. On the trip the narrator contemplates certain aspects of his life and the events of the story serve as a vehicle to explore the narrator's mindset as an eighteen year old about to start a new phase in his life. The second story "Toads, Sharks and Beautiful Encounters with Uncertainty" takes place during the summer before the narrator begins his last semester in college as he attends the funeral of his recently deceased grandmother in Hawaii. During the trip to Hawaii, the narrator meets a girl his age and they are able to bond with each other over feelings of loss and uncertainty. In this story the narrator explores his feelings about life with college graduation on the horizon and comes to terms with some of the anxieties that have been plaguing him since the start of college. By detailing these two distinct and important time periods in the narrator's life the reader is able to gain a sense of understanding in regards to the narrator's own process of beginning life as an adult.

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Date Created
2014-12

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New Sonoran: A Graphic Novel

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In the event of a climate disaster, everything changes, but the places we’ve romanticized as a frontier will become new to us once again. New Sonoran is, in essence, an American story on a global problem. It draws on American

In the event of a climate disaster, everything changes, but the places we’ve romanticized as a frontier will become new to us once again. New Sonoran is, in essence, an American story on a global problem. It draws on American pioneer/Old West/cowboy culture, the lasting effects of climate change denial, and the individualism that pervades American culture. I want to use this project to underscore the actual isolation of individualism, as well as create a new story that speaks to a problematic but evocative cultural history while accessing an uncertain future. For this project, I drew from a varied palette of media: comics, video games, and the pervasive cultural malaise that surrounds my current generation.
The work is based in anxieties, but its media influences are a strong indicator of tone and concept. At the very least, they helped me articulate why I wanted to work on a graphic novel on a post-climate change Sonoran. This desert that I’ve grown used to will change irrevocably, but it will be a new frontier to explore while the old will become a loss to mourn. This cycle of change is something I want to highlight in my work: we can worry, mourn, and fear, but there’s going to be something new.
New Sonoran is a graphic novel based upon the journey of Sage, a cartographer and anthropologist who travels the desert, annotating maps and studying a desert irrevocably affected by global climate change. As she catalogues the changes and losses in this new landscape, she learns how residents have adapted, and how people may still relate to the land.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Relays: Short Fiction Anthology

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A collection of chronological, interconnected short stories following the lives and changes of a family throughout the 20th century, connected through the generations by unifying objects carried in from story to story.

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Date Created
2019-05

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sign on the dotted line to release the record

Description

The poems in sign on the dotted line to release the record force the gaze to the grotesque & complexity in the pregnant body, to the failure of the medical system, to the mother in birth. With hard syntax &

The poems in sign on the dotted line to release the record force the gaze to the grotesque & complexity in the pregnant body, to the failure of the medical system, to the mother in birth. With hard syntax & unflinching language, the work spools synaptic lyrics into a graphic cesarean birth narrative that places the woman, in all her vulnerability & ferocity, back into the work of pain, of birthing, of body & mother. It returns not just honesty, but the value of honesty to the birth story: however complex. sign on the dotted line to release the record records & sets the record on fire.

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Date Created
2017

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Bearly Surviving

Description

Every year, Mr. Chapman takes a group of high school students on a bear-sighting trip called “Ex-bear-dition.” The story picks up at their arrival to Montana where the students learn about bears and quarrel with one another. When it’s time

Every year, Mr. Chapman takes a group of high school students on a bear-sighting trip called “Ex-bear-dition.” The story picks up at their arrival to Montana where the students learn about bears and quarrel with one another. When it’s time to take the long-anticipated, killer hike at Glacier National Park, the students find themselves in situations that require them to put their wilderness survival skills to the test. Peggy, one of the teaching assistants, and Nathan, one of the students, take a tumble in the snow, unable to return to the group. Mr. Chapman also finds himself incapable of hiking out, so the group must split again to go get help. Keller, the other teaching assistant, must lead a small assembly back to the trailhead, while Mr. Chapman’s remaining students, and Nathan and Peggy must weather their camps. This novella is a series of narratives and found materials.

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Created

Date Created
2022-05

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As the Spider Spins her Web

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Uncle Dan is dead. He’s dead and Aunt Clara and Mike move across the country, leaving Jack and Jamie in their small Ohio town. Jamie spirals out of two relationships she thought would last forever, and Jack adventures across the

Uncle Dan is dead. He’s dead and Aunt Clara and Mike move across the country, leaving Jack and Jamie in their small Ohio town. Jamie spirals out of two relationships she thought would last forever, and Jack adventures across the country to bring back his cousin and return the family to a sense of normalcy. But the pair will soon realize that normal is relative and the truth is how you spin it, especially in the face of grief.

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Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Reasons to Stay Alive

Description

Reasons to Stay Alive is a short story that follows the protagonist, Corinne Larson, and her experiences with depression and anxiety as well as self-harm and suicidal ideations. It is meant to act as an antithesis to media that romanticizes

Reasons to Stay Alive is a short story that follows the protagonist, Corinne Larson, and her experiences with depression and anxiety as well as self-harm and suicidal ideations. It is meant to act as an antithesis to media that romanticizes suicide, such as the television show 13 Reasons Why (2017), and instead glorify growth and healing. Specifically, it focuses on the importance of social support in the healing process. The story is separated into three different formats: narrative, letter, and free-verse poetry. It is prefaced by a poem titled ‘death by suicide’ that discusses the stigma around suicide and the reason why the phrase ‘commit suicide’ was changed to ‘death by suicide’. The story then starts with a letter written by Corinne to her future self during a time she was really struggling with depression and self-harm and suicidal ideations. It is a plea with her future self to tell her everything will be alright. The rest of the story is broken into four parts, each about a specific and important person in Corinne’s life. Each part starts off as a first person narrative from Corinne’s point of view and is a memorable experience she had with each person and ends with a short letter addressed directly to each person. The letters are a chance for Corinne to tell each person how important they are to her, how they made an impact in her life, and how they gave her a reason to stay alive. Between each part is a poem that deals with different themes relating to depression or anxiety. The story ends with a letter written by Corinne to her future self that goes back and addresses the first letter. It gives past Corinne some words of advice and tells her that her reasons to stay alive are the important people in life as well as herself and the person she will become.

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Date Created
2021-12