Senior creative writing majors Jefferson Croushore, Cara Musashi and Selena Cordar brought in a full house as they shared their talents during a creative writing student reading Wednesday in the Ludwick Center Sacred Space.
With over 30 eager audience members to hear the students’ pieces, event host Andrea Martínez, senior Spanish major, began by introducing the first reader, Croushore.
Croushore’s piece was a science fiction fantasy based off of a series he is creating about a strange cat. Titled “A Call to the Beyond,” he wrote about a woman wishing to speak to her deceased husband. Little does the woman know, her husband’s spirit lives on within her black cat.
The inspiration behind this series stems from Croushore observing a black cat in his neighborhood and building off of that.
“I went with it and the black cat soon became my prompt for this nine part series,” Croushore said. “I intend on finishing this series and I am excited for what is to come with it.”
Many audience members noted his descriptiveness and depth in the story, as it seems to be Croushore’s personal touch. Paying attention to colors and textures, Croushore plays with the senses and answers the who, what, why, when, and where questions in his fiction pieces so they feel real.
Following Croushore, Musashi began reading her piece titled “Paradise.” She read the first six of her 15-page series.
With her piece, Musashi brings life to the unknown. The “Avatar”-like piece can be described as a fiction fantasy dream as the life around her character becomes deeper than the world when they speak to a black panther. Whether it involves talking to a voice heard in the trees or laughing with the stars, Musashi’s “Paradise” brought a surreal feeling to the audience that is outside the normal realm, pairing the realistic life of nature to dreams.
Musashi first started this story as an assignment, but quickly fell in love with it. Her inspiration came from listening to “Paradise” by Coldplay. The lyrics of the song spoke to her and she added a twist with the fantastical world.
“Initially I didn’t plan on this piece going as far as it did, but I got hooked on it,” Musashi said. “I kept on going with it and I am revising the 15 pieces I have now and putting my heart and soul into them.”
Completing the trio of readings, Cordar stepped up to the podium and read three of her own short, non-fiction pieces.
Cordar’s three pieces allowed the audience to get a glimpse of her life.
Her three pieces – titled “Callused,” “Thirteen,” and “Endurance” – exemplified how hurt can grow and how easy it is to conceal, how inner thoughts look behind closed doors, how you can feel invisible, and how women experience life with certain fears.
Cordar said her life inspires a lot of her writing. She likes to write from a personal experience because it creates a unique way of portraying life.
“I was nervous because this is the first time I had read these pieces out loud,” Cordar said. “It is a level of allowing people to see certain parts of my life that are jaded.”
Sean Bernard, professor of creative writing, said he was excited and proud of the three students.
“It was nice to see them slightly improvise their stories with their personal touches,” Bernard said. “All of their stories are fantastic and it is very fulfilling to see.”
Kristen Schoenick can be reached at email@example.com.