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Creative Writing

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An Imagination Exercise

Explanations for what that weird noise I heard in the middle of the night could have possibly been, arranged in order from least likely to most likely: Continue reading

Thursday, February 27th, 2014, 6:37 p.m.

Scene: I looked out my second-story window just now, and on the sidewalk below in the twilight, I saw a man—mid-20s, slender, complete with post-college facial hair that he surely finds impressive—waving quickly and intensely at someone in the distance. I craned my neck to see the wave’s target, only to find that the man, decked out in a full anorak with the hood raised, was waving at a solid wall of evergreen trees. I looked again. The man began to jump up and down, mouth moving furiously, waving insistently at what remained a group of evergreen trees. I cracked my window to catch a snatch of what he was saying, but by then, he had stopped (presumably) shouting and segued into a small, repeated wave pattern. The wave slowed and slowed, until it stopped altogether. The man put his anorak hood down and proceeded to walk in the other direction, a giant smile on his face. Just before I closed the window, a soft, whistled strain of “Whistle While You Work” drifted into my room, chillingly pitched and surprisingly quiet. One final glance at the wall of evergreens revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and the man continued on his merry way, no sign of the excitement that just took place anywhere to be found.

Post Office Sketch #1

As part of my duties as assistant editor at Hobby Farms magazine, I am responsible for making weekly to semi-weekly runs to the local post office to pick up mail and send out back issues of the magazines, etc., which means that I have to frequently wait in line. Because I’m perpetually analyzing my surroundings, I’ve come in contact with quite a few characters in my time at the post office. These are their stories.

She’s the quickest worker they have: middle-aged, but always at the top of her game, dark hair pulled back into a loose ponytail with a 90s-style scrunchie. She can prepare a package for delivery in mere seconds, her slightly weathered hands moving so quickly that they seem a blur in the harsh lighting, shaking the computer’s touch screen with a flitting intensity. Her whole body is tense, brimming with an inexhaustible energy that manifests only through her quick, accented speech and rapid movement. Eye contact is beneath her—if she spent time looking at your face, she would add a few seconds to her average interaction time. That’s not to say she’s unfriendly or standoffish; rather, she graces you with the occasional thin smile or peeks at you from beneath her bangs while she puts a sticker on your parcel, and she always uses an appropriate honorific to address you: “Hello, sir. How may I help you today?” Continue reading

Dream Log: 1/1/2013

I’m trying to start 2013 off on the right foot, blogging-wise. Here’s a recollection of a short but crazy creation of my sleeping subconscious last night.

Dream: I am starring in a stage production of Little Shop of Horrors as Seymour Krelborn. I know. So, I’m doing the show, and suddenly, the orchestra comes to a crashing halt (yes, full orchestra!), and I hear some yowling offstage. A shadow appears, and makes his way into the stage lights: it’s my horrifyingly human-sized cat (also named Seymour in real life, ironically), dressed up as Puss in Boots from Shrek (which I’ve never seen). He strides over to me, jabs a paw/claw into my chest, and yells in a thick New Yawk accent, “That is MY paht!” I give him a petrified look, and wake up.

Happy 2013, y’all.

Despair Has Its Own Calms

This week, as part of the coursework for a free online literature class I’m taking with Dut and my fellow blog warrior Erin, I read Bram Stoker’s classic Gothic vampire novel Dracula for the first time. Given my penchant for horror, it is no surprise that I loved it completely. So, with a tip of the hat to Mr. Stoker and without any further ado, I give you my foray into vampire fiction; just don’t expect any glittering or romance here.

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Caught in the Grip Unyielding

As I’ve experimented with creative writing throughout my high school and college years, one inescapable truth became quickly evident: my writing just drips with melodrama. Everything is overblown and grave, with overwrought adjectives and intense mood. (This is probably why I love Florence + The Machine so much.) With that fact firmly kept in your minds, I present my latest piece of poetry, inspired by a throbbing headache yesterday that I could not shake. Continue reading

An Attempt at Poetry

I am not a poet. I’ve always wanted to be one, deep down, but I just never put the time and effort into it that I should have. That, however, doesn’t stop me from trying.

For this little ditty, I wanted to move beyond the limitations of the haiku form, but I wanted to stay with short, three-line stanzas. The whole poem stemmed from the title line, which popped into my head while I was writing an email to my friend Kelcie. It wasn’t intended to be so dark, but it developed a mind of its own while I wrote it, and I just went along for the ride. Be gentle, Internet-world. I am but a fledgeling poet; young, and enamored with melodrama and wordiness.  Continue reading

The Afternoon Haiku Challenge

Earlier this morning, my friend Dut mentioned to me that he challenged himself to write five haikus in fifteen minutes, equally motivated by boredom and a desire to enhance his poetry skills. Not one to be left out, I thought this was an excellent idea and took it upon myself to enhance my own burgeoning poetry skills (which are fully on display in this “classic“).

I tweaked the idea a bit, though. Initially, I wrote five haikus in fifteen minutes (three of which are included below), but I also decided to take a theme and write a haiku series on it as well, spending no more than three minutes per poem. I did this once with the colors of the rainbow (Challenge 2 below) and once with a keyword (Challenge 3 below, built around the word “dream”). The results of this little afternoon adventure are below, and I’d love to know what you think, Internet-at-large. Continue reading

Sleepy + Poetry = Goldmine

This morning, I was sleepy at work. Because I was sleepy, I wrote a “poem” (I use the term loosely) in an effort to wake up. This was the result.

A Poem for a Pleasant Summer Morning

Sleepy is little Cory, sitting at his comp;
The tea he just drank is giving him no pomp.

The pleasant mint flavor did nothing to awake
This poor and lazy boy, in need of a good shake.

“Wake up,” he tells himself. “Awaken! Do your work!”
To no avail, he sinks deeper into dark sleep-murk.

He tries to write a poem, to turn his brain back on;
It’s going well, when suddenly, a lit…………..
dsfg’kl;df’hkasjdlghajsdg;hasudghasjgdbhnajk

ASLEEP.

I think I’m going to self-publish a book of my own poetry. I’ll call it A Squirrel Among Lions: The Poetry of Cory Hershberger. I mean, if I can keep my rhyme scheme so beautifully intact and my meter so inspired all the time, how can I not succeed? I smell a new career in my future, and it smells like overblown self-worth and misguided aspirations with hints of vanilla and citrus.

The Crazy Dreams Continue: Nights of 7/5-7/7

Ever since the nightmare I had two weeks ago, I’ve been having some ridiculous dreams. None of them have been remotely as scary as that one was, but they have been wild nonetheless.

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"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"

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