Writer-Fish (Salmo Allogus)
Other Names and Range
The writer-fish is a freshwater species. It is also known as the scribble-fish, the keyboard-fish, and the ink-fish. Its primary habitat is Oregon’s Willamette Valley, although sightings have been reported as far east as Ohio.
The writer-fish exhibits a large range of adult sizes, usually ranging from 200 to 10,000 words, although the largest recorded specimen was over 60,000 words. The fish’s coloration is often white with black markings, although blue markings are not entirely uncommon. Scales are between a sixteenth and an eighth of an inch in size, usually slightly slanted to the right.
Spawning takes place near stacks of papers and computers. The immature form of the writer-fish, known as the outline, usually takes between two and four weeks to mature. Outlines dwell in the dusty depths of libraries, content to feed on both primary and secondary sources.
Adult writer-fish feed on critique and revision, usually seeking out their prey in areas of calm, clear water. The adult lifespan of a writer-fish is between two months and a year, although some specimens may survive much longer.
The writer-fish is currently not listed as endangered, although it may be threatened in some parts of its range. Recent wildland firefighting activity has disrupted its usual spawning season, although this activity may also have yielded some positive effects. Current efforts to restore habitat on desks and dining-room tables have met with some success.
The writer-fish is not generally considered a well-known or oft-sought game fish, although it enjoys some popularity in the academic and electronic fishing communities. Yields have dropped off considerably in the last two years, although this year has marked what may be the beginning of a marked increase.
Not long ago, I helped remodel my parents’ garage. When the building was first built, it was not constructed very well, and almost the entire bottom half of one of the thin plywood walls had begun to rot away along with the framework underneath it. That wall was never sealed properly, so years of Oregon rain eventually took its toll. I had a large hammer and a crowbar, and I had to tear out the rotting pieces of wall and framework so that I could replace them. As I went through this process, I found other structural problems along the way: the doorframe was not even, more of the walls were leaking than I first thought, and much more of the framework was rotting than I first noticed. What was supposed to be a simple replacement of one wall soon turned into a much larger project that required me take down all but one wall in order to fix everything.
Although it requires much fewer hammers, being a writing center tutor is much like the process of remodeling. People’s papers are rarely problematic due to little things like misplaced commas; instead, they usually have much greater structural problems. Also, quite possibly the biggest problem, the students’ papers might have a foundational problem: not following the assignment directions. As a writing center tutor, it is still my job to pull down walls and find structural problems. However, the main and most important difference is that I am not rebuilding the structure. I am helping someone else rebuild, or, as the case may be, helping someone plan to build in the first place. Once the framework and foundations are in place, building a well-crafted essay is not that difficult: it’s as easy as nailing the plywood back onto a frame.
I am not a magician that can put an essay in a hat and pull out a perfect piece of composition; I am not a critic who will tear things down and never try to repair them. As a tutor, I am a craftsman, a carpenter. In many cases, I am a rebuilder as well. And, just as with any building, it is important to have a solid foundation and a good framework. The last thing I did on my parents’ garage was make it watertight again. The last thing to do on people’s essays is the small things as well. As a tutor, I have the opportunity to help other people with the framework they are trying to build on, and through that, I help them craft something that is as beautiful as it is useful. As a writing center tutor, I am a builder.
I am a writer, and I love to tutor writing.
Writing gives me a lot of happiness and joy in my life, and I am still enjoying it.
I would like to share this fun and happiness to everyone.
I believe that every student writer can get improved in their writing, and all of them deserve a wonderful writing experience.
Therefore, when I tutor the student writer, I will give them a completely fresh and good feeling about writing.
If they dislike writing before, I will make them fall in love with writing.
If they have already loved writing, I will make them get married.
I will teach students the right and most effective way for them to do their writing.
I understand writing sometimes could be very tough for some students. He maybe still feels awful about his writing even he tries several times.
But I will never give up on him, because when I look through his eyes, I know that he is eager to learn everything about writing even after having so many terrible experiences, and he will not give up on himself as well.
I will let all the students know that writing center will always be their home sweet home if they need any kinds of help after their long journey of writing.
A Forest In Mind
Every paper towers over me,
as it is just like a tree,
that branches out in different ideas,
leaved with individual thought.
In a fog of papers,
finished and unfinished,
it is easy to get lost in what is accomplished,
and what is left to do.
But writing is a searchlight,
that illuminates a path between the trees.
Writing branches out excellent ideas,
and leaves clear thought.
It’s always not a straight road, with a clear horizon and a level path—it’s twisty and rough. Sometimes, instead of a track, there’s nothing but rough boulders that you have to pull yourself up until you’re out of breath and every step feels like a victory. Sometimes it opens up, long stretches where you can see the destination and you can race easily towards its end.
There are many branches on this road, each fork a plot twist, every offshoot an idea. If you follow the side paths, there’s no knowing where you’ll end up, and sometimes, that’s half the fun. It’s not always easy to see where you’re going, and sometimes the road goes through thick forest, dark enough that the only thing around you is the feel of the cobblestones under your feet and the hope that somewhere soon you’ll be back into the light.
Sometimes, the road’s been washed out, and you have to go back, and it feels like the backtracking is longer than all the progress you made. Somehow, though, in the end you get back on the right path.
For the most part, the road is lonely. Sometimes, you see other people, fleeting shadows in the half-darkness. You nod your head, and try to smile, but they pass by without meeting your eyes. They’re fixed on their own journey.
Then, sometimes, someone stops and asks for directions. At first, it’s a little awkward. It’s a difficult in the beginning to find the right words after so long taking this path by yourself, but then it gets easier. You tell them about the shortcuts through the hills, the impassible rocks, the places where the road opens and clears.
As time passes, the road becomes less solitary. In fact, the whole path looks different now. The more people you talk to, the more visible your own track is, and the easier it is to pass on tales of the road ahead. At first, maybe you thought you were helping your fellow travelers, but now it’s plain that they were helping you too.
The road never ends, of course, because where would be the fun in that? There are still times where you stumble and fall, as do the people you’ve met on the path, but now you can help each other get back up. Over time, the road isn’t as scary as it once was. The darkness in the trees just makes your other senses keener. The boulders are a challenge, not an obstacle, and when you reach back to take someone’s hand, pulling them up that last steep step, you know you’re not alone.
- Peephole into My Brain
- Work in Progress
man·i·fes·to noun \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\ : a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group
I’m writing this blurb to – no, rephrase.
If you have time to take a moment and read – nah, rephrase.
As I write out my thoughts – nope! Forget it.
I struggle to call myself a writer. I forget or more accurately, I don’t feel I deserve such a title. “Such a title”, what does that mean? Let me restate: I neglect to include writerlyness (that’s a made up word) in my self-proclaimed identity. I am a dancer, a daughter, a student, a friend, I’m motivated and curious, open and excited, but a writer? That sounds like a label, an identity for someone who rights books, or teaches literature, and certainly not something I am.
False. I AM a writer, and so are you.
Like a teapot of water left on the stove and an empty mug abandoned, forgotten, many of my ideas go unattended to. Life gets in the way, fear or doubt creep in, inspiration drops to nothing…But at some point, perseverance must prevail. At some point, it is necessary to just sit down and get something out. The result is so rewarding! Even if “writing” actually means jotting down a note on a Post-it Note so as not to forget, or “writing” actually means internet slang in a message to a far away friend, unedited, just feelings.
Sometimes I write with my heart, and sometimes I write with my brain.
Sometimes I write with a pencil, and never do I write with a pen.
Sometimes I get my work “edited”, sometimes I just let it stand.
But always do I recognize it’s never quite the end.
Take this manifesto rough draft as an example. No formal title, notes to myself, visible edits, a collection of ideas, and ultimately, a sneak peek into the work in progress that writing is, that humans are. As a writing consultant at the Western Oregon’s Writing Center, I feel that it is of utmost importance to understand, accept, even embrace that writing (that life) is a process. A process that is challenging and totally doable: a process that craves attention, revision, drafting, and patience. It’s a process that sometimes needs to be let go and sometimes, it’s a process that needs to be started. And no matter what, I believe everyone can write. As a tutor, empowering students with tools and compliments is a priority of mine. I vow to do what is in my power to make each student believe in themselves, believe in their writing skills, and feel invited to identify as “a writer”. I hope to teach tools that can be used over and over and help students grow and learn. I hope to provide a safe place for collaborative, supportive conversation about writing in whatever form it comes.