• Gravity and Other Minor Obstructions

      Whorton, James, Jr.; Trask, Jacob; The College at Brockport (2015-05-06)
      This thesis traces the beginnings and growth as a writer, of the author. The following is an excerpt from the thesis, which will serve as an abstract: Inspiration for a particular piece of work, whether it be short fiction, poetry, or something else entirely, usually comes to me in the form of a single or couple lines. Sometimes these lines will come from nowhere, sometimes they will come from conversation, but most often they will come from objects or things I see during the day. For instance, the third story in this collection, titled “Wearing Thin,” begins with the line “The red, cyclopean eye at the top of the radio tower winks at me as I pass, almost furtively.” This came from a night when, while driving home with a friend, I spotted a large wind turbine that was being used to power a factory complex beneath it. As I looked up at it, I noticed the red light blinking at the top, and the line was born. I took out my phone and jotted it into a note, and, once home, I began work on what would become the story, based purely around the light on the top of the turbine. This collection is really about trying to put those moments into words that can’t be. When I started, I didn’t think any of the stories would have a common theme at all, and I was fine with that. I figured that was all right, as long as it displayed my creative ability and all that jazz. But once each story was in varying levels of completion, I noticed that the pieces did, in fact, have a lot in common. Without providing any sort of plot summary or anything of that nature, they all seemed to become about loneliness. Sure, there’s a bit about depression thrown in, a bit about the madness that seems to dwell just beneath the surface of the mind, and other things, but I feel that the three pieces, as a whole, are about being lonely. I felt that this topic, this feeling, is something a lot of people my age contend with, especially in college. It’s a difficult time, figuring out what you’re doing with your life and who else is going to be around in it. I wanted to do my best to capture that in these stories.