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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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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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2019-05

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Writing the aerodynamics of hunger

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Raised on card-catalogues, then expected to save the world with microchips, there is a generation that was left straddling two millennia. Often lumped in with the X’ers or Millennials, this generation didn’t grow up with or without technology, technology grew

Raised on card-catalogues, then expected to save the world with microchips, there is a generation that was left straddling two millennia. Often lumped in with the X’ers or Millennials, this generation didn’t grow up with or without technology, technology grew up with them. The poems in The Aerodynamics of Hunger strike a balance between the easy-going materialism of the 90’s and our current culture of instant gratification, between the tendency to treat science like a God and prescribe God like science. These poems see straight through the world of hypersex and click-bait, yet they admit their complicity in its creation and distribution. They watch the world become connected on a new level, but testify to the resulting struggle of place one’s self in relation to something, anything. The burden is great, but journeying through it is an undeniable pleasure.

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Date Created
2016

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Reasons to Stay Alive

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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