Pace Bend Park: Spring Break Photography

Pace Bend Park: Spring Break Photography

Ack, I meant to post this sooner, but college has been hectic. For the last Spring Break of my college career (*tear*), my boyfriend and I traveled to Pace Bend Park for 3 days. Originally, I had thought of going to the coast, but more reasonable minds insisted that peace and quiet would be better than seemingly endless multitudes of loud, drunk college kids. (Not sure if that’s an exact representation or not, but that’s the gist of what I heard from others and read online.)
Anyway, I took some cool pictures while I was there, and thought I would share them with you guys. Let me know what you think!

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There’s definitely a dark and mysterious story here, isn’t there?
The actual landscape was just beautiful. If any of you guys are ever near Lake Travis, Texas, I’d recommend stopping here. The park was right on the lake, and a few of the campsites are out in the “backwoods”, pretty separated from everyone else. It was a wonderful way to escape.

Writing Snippet: In Farewell

Writing Snippet: In Farewell

(As an aside, I did a little writing exercise in one of my creative writing classes to the tune of Linda Barry’s 9-minute writing exercise video. This was the result. Oh what one can learn about oneself in nine minutes… Anyway, if you’re interested, start out with either a word in mind that means quite a lot to you, or a little bag of words that you will, subsequently, choose one of. Farewell was mine.)

 

In Farewell

The earth was hard during that dry season. Kayla could think of nothing else as she shoveled the hard gravel in her backyard. Certainly not those little white whiskers and soft fur. No. Around her, the house was quiet and solemn. Any other day, she would be engaged in a game of tag with her two sisters, or taking out the slip’n’slide they played with on the hotter days. The green leaves of the trees surrounding her would sway despite the muggy lack of wind. The trees would seem to revel in the childish foolery, tossing this way and that, as though if they had legs, they might just join in.

But not today.

The quiet seemed almost to echo, and when a car passed down the little gravel road a hundred feet from Kayla, speeding, rocks flying, it startled birds and leaves from the still trees, and the neighbors’ chickens. And little Kayla. The neighbors always drove so fast, not waiting for tiny, little paws of beloved four-legged creatures to scamper from the road, hurrying inside for food and shelter.

They never waited.

The Beauty of Punctuation in Text Messages

The Beauty of Punctuation in Text Messages

As a ’90s-born college student, I’ve lived through every form of text message – from chatspeak to long sentences with actual punctuation – (wow! what a thing to tell my kids some day…). And I’ve noticed a couple quirks of the punctuation in texts these days that sparked my fancy.

The Period

Considering that nowadays the period has become anything but redundant in its usage, tacking a period on to the end of a sentence tends to give more meaning to it. For instance, if you do include it, it adds a touch of finality, even anger, to the text. But left off, it could even suggest what an ellipses suggests: a non-conclusion, an open ending.

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It varies, of course, on the texter. If one person regularly includes a period at the end of each sentence, and then suddenly doesn’t (and, of course, they are one of the awesome few that actually re-reads their texts – omitting spelling or grammar errors in the process ~so annoying to get those, but then I have been termed a “Grammar Nazi”) it’s probable that there is some sort of hidden meaning in it. Or they’re just tired/unobservant.

Ellipses

These three little dots, I’ve noticed – especially in social media / popular memes, have given texts a sexual undertone. (Depending on context, of course.) More broadly, it lends the sense that the textee must read between the lines to find the meaning of the text. Or it could imply, as it does in formal literature, merely a silence or a thoughtful tone.

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I picked up this cute little text-punctuation from a friend of mine. I’m not sure the correct way to use it – if indeed there is one – but I usually stick it at the beginning of a little phrase that is somehow connected to the sentence before it.

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I’ve heard, however, that if tacked on to the end of a sentence (sans period), it mostly provides an affectation of cuteness. (It apparently migrated to America from Japan.) Of course, it also has its uses an approximation, a negation (for Computer Science nerds ;), or even, according to UrbanDictionary, a way to censor sexually explicit words.

Multiple Marks (Exclamation, Question, etc.)

For some reason, it’s always annoying to find this type of punctuation in published short stories or novels. Perhaps it seems repetitive or uneducated. But I found it’s used rather a lot in text messages without being overbearingly agitating. One cannot text, for instance, “‘Ohmigosh!’ he said excitedly.” You must instead write, “Ohmigosh!!!!” (Well I suppose you could text the first one, but I can’t promise you won’t come off as rather pretentious. If that’s your thing, more power to you. She laughs and winks as though she herself doesn’t do this.)

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Question Marks

I actually find it super interesting how leaving question marks off a sentence that is meant to be a question, or adding a question mark to a statement, can effect the meaning of the sentence. Much like, in literature, writing:

“You’re leaving?” she said.

or even

“He’s dying, isn’t he.”

lends so much more meaning to each line.

It works the same way in text messages and it’s beautiful. Leaving off a question mark to what is obviously a question adds an air of indifference or resignation, I think, while adding a question mark to an obvious statement lends doubt and the need to confirm the statement. (That is at its most basic level.)