Wes Kelley’s Introductory Reflective Essay
My three projects consist largely of works of fiction. My wildcard “Make Your Own Adventure” revolves around how important fiction is and how it surrounds us in our daily lives. My first essay is written on T.C. Boyle’s short story “The Fugitive”, a work of fiction following a man with tuberculosis. The Frida Kahlo essay, my second work, talks about Kahlo’s almost cinematic life and how it affected her artwork.
The three writings in this portfolio were inspired by works of fiction or by a remarkable story. My writing process would begin with me reading or experiencing a good story, and I would be driven to dig deeper. I was inspired to write about “The Fugitive” after being assigned the short story in class. With the Frida profile piece came about after I saw her work on the cover of my art appreciation textbook. The inspiration for my wildcard, how fiction is very prevalent in our lives, came from my favorite books and television shows. I realized that most of my favorite shows and books (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad),
were all works of fiction. So in reality, my projects were inspired by the shows I binge watch.
Once I’ve been inspired to delve further into a topic, I star research. With T.C. Boyle’s “The Fugitive”, I read up on the symptoms and transmission of tuberculosis. With Frida’s profile piece I read up on her life and watched the 2002 biopic with Salma Hayek.
In high school, my AP Art History class provided me with some more insight and information into the works of Kahlo, allowing me to tie her unbelievable story into her paintings. The thought of the idea for my “make your own adventure” after watching the Inferno (the film version of the Dan Brown novel) preview. I thought about how Dante Alighieri took parts of the Bible and weaved them together with mythology and other fictional stories to create one of the best known literary works of all time. After all the inspiration came the writing process.
Whenever I would write these papers, or any paper for that matter, I tend to do the bulk of it in one sitting. Not necessarily the night before, I could sit down three weeks before a paper is due and write the majority of it then. I then go back later and correct, add, and delete things as need be. Sitting down and cranking out pages at the time somehow draws more out of me than writing a paper in stages. When I write in stages, I tend to get distracted and away from the point, but by doing it in one period of time I am able to keep track of my thoughts. I can see the negative to this. I have thought that since I write most of my papers in one sitting, then I can save it for the night before the due date. I do see the wrong in this, but don’t get me wrong, though, I have (regrettably) done papers the night before. Yes, just like every English teacher has told me for years, you work suffers by doing it the night before. But, that being said, I completed my paper on “The Fugitive” in one night. The Frida paper I took more care in writing because I love the story of Frida Kahlo and I genuinely enjoyed reading and writing about her life. The “make your own adventure” required me to work in stages and could not have been completed the night before because of the many connecting and overlapping aspects.
I tend to be a visual learner, and because of that, my works tend to be visual as well. Each of my three projects and my biography have visuals. When we read “The Fugitive” in class my attention was drawn to the cartoon printed in the magazine. Due to this attraction, I included them in the essay. My Kahlo profile piece is centered around her artwork, so naturally, I included pictures of her paintings. My wildcard piece includes cover art to books, shows, and movies mentioned in the annotations to give the viewer some sort of a break between blocks of text.
Fiction has always caught my attention. It creates worlds we would otherwise be unable to reach or even fathom. My most favorite stories are fictional, or so unbelievable that they might as well be fictional, and they are what inspired me to create the pieces I have in this portfolio.