Senior creative writing major Sienna Ruiz and alumna Tabitha Lawrence read their original work during the third installment of the Fall Fiction Reading Series on Dec. 4 over Zoom to an audience of 23.
“The Foxhole” based on Lawrence’s time at the University, centers around two characters, Beth and Dorian, who are in a complicated relationship. The story begins at the end of their relationship and works its way backward.
“I wrote this from what I saw and experienced during my time at La Verne,” Lawrence said. “And I think this is what most college relationships are like at some point.”
Ruiz’s first story, “Middle Years” involved three main characters, Eric, Ricky and Mateo, three middle schoolers who are close friends and get into trouble together. Ricky, who is going to flunk eighth grade, feels ashamed and is scared with how angry his mom will be because she works two jobs, and she left his father because he would beat her. Ricky’s friends and classmates have no idea of what is going on in Ricky’s life.
“There can be struggles,” Ruiz said. “But no one may notice, and I wanted to show that everyone has different backgrounds and struggles.”
Her second story, “The Collector,” is about a woman feeling scared of some sort of creature out to get her.
For this story, Ruiz said she wanted to have a magical creature, and she also wanted to address a real social problem.
“The main character has depression and I wanted to show that she is suffering,” Ruiz said.
Professor of Creative Writing Sean Bernard, who coordinated the event, said he was proud of his students.
He said the virtual readings, each of which includes both current creative writing students and graduates, have been a great experience.
“I feel like I know the students, both current and graduates, fairly well, but what happened today is something that’s always profoundly delightful,” Bernard said. “Their ability to surprise me by reading pieces I had no idea existed, pieces that are tight, strange and ambitious. It was amazing.”
The final reading of this series will be at 2 p.m., Jan. 24.
Lilliana Perez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.