Zip Doc of Learning1

This past week has gone incredibly slowly. I have written so, so much poetry. And two other, more in-depth Zip blog posts.

I have used my time very effectively and am ahead of my schedule. Technically, I could paste it all into a template right now and just be done with it.

However: I was reading through my poems for the 100th time and all of a sudden felt really, really sad and incomplete. The chapbook was missing… something. So I sorted through my feelings and wrote some emo poems about religion. I keep having little moments like this, where my poems feel good and complete and then suddenly! something is off, and I must delete this word, or fix this phrasing, or change this order.

I’m also looking into professional publishing options a little, and it all looks very daunting.

I’m very excited.

A pro so far of chapbooks? They have one specific topic. This allows for an indepth look at a theme or message without having to write a hundred poems.

A con so far of chapbooks? They have one specific topic. My feels on my topic are way too diverse without writing a hundred poems. I’ve started to delete poems, which hurts my soul, and I even tried combining poems. Some of them have come out nice.

This makes me regret choosing such an intense topic for myself. Maybe I’ll expand, and make a full book for indepth! Maybe go into publishing too. That would be cool.

Also, Mr. Morris, I’m not sure if it’s the poetry you suggested but! ‘I could pee on this’ is the funniest and most heartwarming poetry. Makes me miss having a cat.

This is getting long. I’m really enjoying reading other people’s poetry, just because our styles are so different. It’s all very inspiring.

I love Zip. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had doing a school project.

my poems, which are in the process of being edited! and ordered!


Grade 10 Eminent Speech- Mary Shelley

I post too much!

But here is my eminent speech for Mary Shelley. I’m pretty proud of it, and my performance. I felt veeery theatrical. I improvised a little, but I mostly stuck to the script with lots of long pauses, hand motions, and stomping.

It’s Midnight!

And I’m up drinking and thinking about how it’s funny that I write about a man who could bring the dead to life, but that so much of my life is shrouded in death. My life is a joke and

I’m angry

Even my own wedding day- which is supposed to be the best day of my whole existence- is going to be because my fiance’s late wife DROWNED HERSELF.

A week ago she committed suicide

5 days ago I started to plan a wedding with her widow, a man I very much love

And 4 days agonI began to suspect that it wasn’t her hands that pulled the trigger, but my father’s. I tried to tell people the truth and they called me crazy. I’m not crazy!

I’m not crazy! I’m not crazy! I’m not crazy! I’m just… angry.

And tomorrow I marry the man I love with a murderer walking me down the aisle.

My sister is my maid of honor. But she’s a little preoccupied and can’t really make the date because she’s resting easy in our family grave

And I’m an unwed mother at the age of 19. It’s like I’ve already joined her.

My hands- my words- my ink- do not feel like my own. I am a writer simply because I am a puppet of fate. Prophets have possessed these fingers, and it’s only right that tomorrow they’ll bear their own metal shackle of their own. In the form of a ring.

How poetic. Very fitting.

Dr. Frankenstein- will be my greatest creation. My greatest literary achievement will be a man who could bring life to the dead.

I only wish I could do the same.

Zip, post2

Another Zip post!

Again, you ask? Well, yes.

To start answering my question…

What are the pros and cons of the chapbook form? 

A huge pro is length. For a starting poet, a length of around 30 pages (regular chapbook contests ask for 20-40, but most websites I visited suggested 25-30 as pretty standard) can be reassuring and a bit of an easier feat. Chapbooks are usually focused on one specific theme. Meaning, all the poems are directly related to the chosen topic. Chapbooks can get crazy specific. If you didn’t read my last rambling blog post, my chapbook is mostly focused on my journey of accepting my sexuality- and in turn, myself. Warning! If sexual orientation is a topic that makes you wildly uncomfortable, I do not recommend reading my chapbook! It’s not for you!

You may wonder, hey Charlotte, why do you talk about being gay so much? Good question, reader.

Welp, I have spent most of my life as a young person with thoughts and feelings battling this part of myself that, to many other people, seems rather significant. I grew up in a religion that simultaneously told us that (quote) ‘questioning God’s word is a sin’ and ‘gays are the worst things to happen to the world’. I am 100% serious. Talk about traumatizing my dudes.

The internal (and slightly external) battle I went through to come out has been one of the most important and defining experiences of my life. Not to mention, extremely emotional. Hence the poetry.

Also, mental illness! Another topic that surrounds my life! Is also mentioned!

A con of chapbooks?

Good poetry may be excluded because it doesn’t fit with the theme, or the chapbook is too long. I definitely could not find a home for some of my favourite pieces. I’m planning on sticking one at the end and one on the back cover because I love them too much. Also, with this length, it can be hard to articulate the full story you want. I’m finding it difficult to be satisfied with the order, topic, and formatting of the poems because fewer poems mean slightly less flexibility! For indepth, a collection??

I have my poems pretty much in the order I want. We will see if I change my mind, but right now I’m just going through and changing a few words here and there, tweaking a little. Deleting and replacing poems, changing them back, changing them back again. You know. The usual.

I’m still EXCITED!!! I figure I have to make 5 copies. 1 for my sister, 1 for Mr. Morris, 1 for myself, 1 to store, and 1 to have (and maybe give away at a later date).

See ya talons blog!

(and probably in like 3 days, and with even more parentheses, italics, and exclamation marks!)

Zip, post1

I’ve actually been working on this chapbook since I decided on my zip topic, which was a bit over a week ago. In this week, I have written down 50-odd poems for selection. Some old, many new! My theme is going to be the experience of being closeted, coming out, having real feelings for a girl throughout, and then being out and with a girl.

So, a hugely personal and private topic.

I’ve noticed that towards the end of my poem writing a whole lot more style and structure has come into play. It’s super fun to play with word placing and such things. I’m kind of sad that many of my poems just don’t have a home in my chapbook and I’ve started deliberating the release of a second chapbook.

Maybe not during the span of this Zip project, but eventually. This is all very exciting. I have not been this excited about a school project in such a LONG TIME!!! The last time I remember being this motivated was the Science Lesson Plan, and even that was nothing compared to this feeling. I’m feeling very go go go! It’s eating up all my homework time, but I am a-okay with that.

Nobody is gonna read this so I might as well say. I have a hard time working really hard and being super duper motivated to do work that does not excite me. Grades could not mean less to me. I’m working on this! But this is kinda why I’m the head of 3 clubs and will do the homework for the date it’s due and just… forget or straight up not hand in homework until a week after. Does this mean I’m going to peak in high school? Maybe. Does this mean I have a great time and love all the work I do, always? Most of the time.

Back to Zip. I’m going to start typing out all of the poems so I can edit and order easier. Why did I not type things out in the first place, you ask? Well, I find it easier to be inspired by real paper than a computer screen. If you have not tried writing on real paper by candlelight, you are MISSING OUT! This may be why so much of my poetry mentions heat or fire or burning. I really only write good poetry by candlelight.

There’s also this poet who goes by ‘Evl Mtn’ whose style is really cool and absolutely nothing like mine. It’s very eclectic and modern and complex and strange. Reading his poetry has been really inspiring, and you can see echoes in style among my more recent work. I really like how he formats and spaces his poetry. I think that’s sick! 

Toodloo TalonsBlog.

A Poem: 

flickering candle flames

are so peculiarly small and fragile

for a being who can both light up a room

and set it on fire

More Poetry: 

my pen is a thousand times more literate than my mouth.

ravels of wildflowers bloom with ease from carbon ink whilst my seemingly able lips and curling tongue stay dumb. my head, however, can man fields of a thousand species. Articulate all the world’s philosophy into a tiny lily. a frankly unintelligent bystander shrieks ‘fewer words equate fewer thoughts’

“no” my mind replied. feeling no need to elaborate further than that, as a person with such a brutish and unkind opinion could not possibly deserve- or begin to comprehend- more than a single syllable.


Even More Poetry:

I have spent most of my life with my lips sewn together

how dare you ask me to be silent

when my words are finally


Zip Proposal- Chapbooks

My question is- What are the pros and cons of the chapbook form?

I’ve been interested in literature and poetry for most of my life. Recently, I have been looking into different forms of compilation and publication, and I thought Zip was the perfect opportunity to pursue one of these options.

Throughout this project, I would love to compose a chapbook of 20-30 poems. I plan on writing 50-60 poems up front and then deciding which poems make the cut based on my theme and plot. For my final product, I would love to have a couple copies of a chapbook. I am really, really hoping for a physical form, but I also know that self-publishing on Amazon is an option too.

Poetry is such a free, self-directed, and highly personal way of self-expression. I’ve never really been taught to write poetry, but then again, poetry is a skill you can only teach so far. Truly great poets are mostly self-taught with a distinctive style. I hope through this process I can find that style for myself.

My fear going into this project is public feedback- mainly from my family. The subjects I plan to write about are sensitive and are not exactly topics I converse with my family about. However, I believe that good poetry is honest. If I try to filter my writing there is really no point to this project anyways. I am going to write first and figure out my audience later. I must be authentic to myself.

Some skills I would like to develop during zip are:

  • Formatting a poem
  • Binding a book
  • Sticking to a theme
  • Time management

Beyond the logistics of creating a chapbook, time management is crucial during this project. I have a very small amount of time to create something that, in my eyes, is quite substantial. I think the fact that I am personally motivated is a huge factor in me being able to get it done in time.


Day Day Actions
1 Dec 4


Work block

Write proposal

2 Dec 5


Type poems out
3 Dec 6


Type poems out, MACHETE!
4 Dec 7


Start tweaking
5 Dec 8


Work block

Figure out draftorder, tweak

6 Dec 9


Write remaining poems, if needed. Continue tweaking.
7 Dec 10


Write remaining poems, if needed. Continue tweaking.
8 Dec 11


Work block

Order poems. Continue tweaking.

9 Dec 12



Get the template for chapbook

10 Dec 13



Put poems into chapbook

11 Dec 14



Put poems into chapbook, print first draft

12 Dec 15


Work block

Based on draft, tweak order and poems

13 Dec 16


Finishing touches for order and poems. Look into self-binding options.
14 Dec 18


Finishing touches for order and poems.

Buy materials for binding

15 Dec 19


Work block

Finishing touches for order and poems.

16 Dec 20


17 Dec 21


18 Dec 22


Work block


Winter Break Make presentation

My timing is a little ambitious, but worst comes to worst I can work into winter break.

I’m so excited! Zippity Zap let’s goooooo!!!


Goodbye Eminent

Here I am. It’s crazy how much can change in a year.

That moment right before I got on stage, the lights too bright to see the audience, my heart pounding in my ears, peaking from the edge of the curtain… is so deeply and irreversibly etched in my mind. I felt both panicked and strangely calm. I could only remember the first line of my speech so I just closed my eyes, cleared my head. Listened and breathed.

Then I did it. I performed, and I improvised a little, and I felt great. And in a flash, it was over. Months of mental preparation and thinking and leadup was over in under 2 minutes. I was backstage watching my Talons Family and thinking about how, a year from now, I would be in the audience. I felt so tired, and so much adrenaline, and wished I could go and perform my whole speech over again. It was too short a moment in my mind.

I really liked my learning centre. Sure, there wasn’t a whole lot of text and a quiz and fancy lights. But I think it emulated Mary pretty well. I took a bunch of aspects of her life and stuck it in a significant moment, and just became Mary Shelley for a night. I do wish I had gotten a bit more of a central location, as it was my last Eminent night. No regrets though! I still had a blast and a half.

I’m thankful for Mr. Morris. You did great! Nobody, to my knowledge, needed a speech prompter- which was already a huge step up from last year and shows how you giving us that extra time really made a difference in how our night went. I’m thankful for my beautiful friends who edited my speech, and gave me criticism, and kept me going throughout the day. I’m thankful for Ms. Mulder and Ms. Salisbury for keeping the night running and being awesome supportive teachers. I’m really thankful for the 9’s. Their praise and support and love was a great boost-up. I’m sure they’ll do great next year. I can’t wait to watch them perform.

There’s so much I want to say.

This is it.

Eminent has been a wonderful learning experience. Most of my posts have been pretty disparaging, as I assume nobody reads them. There’s no disparagement here now. I am truly grateful for what Eminent has taught me, and I really am a little sad it’s over. I almost don’t want to post this.

Bittersweet never felt so sad.

Until next year, Night of the Notables. I’m awaiting my phone call.

Document of Learning- Eminent Interviews

For my interview, I wasn’t sure where to start. First, Mary Shelley’s primary achievements were around the 1820’s, taking people who personally know her off the table. She wasn’t involved in politics or activism (although she was a feminist) so I discarded the idea of historians. Her legacy hasn’t lived on in any organization/company form, so that wasn’t a lead I could follow. Her real impact was her book, Frankenstein. So I contacted horror movie fanatics, memorabilia collectors, and other estranged fans.

While I can understand her impact as writing one of the most famed novels in the world, I didn’t really know her true effect until I talked to some of the people she very much influenced. I talked to two different people about the effects of Frankenstein.

My first interview was with Marc Buxton who wrote this article about the appearance of Frankenstein in comic books on Den of Geeks. The enthusiasm shown in the article was enough to convince me of his expertise. In interviewing Marc I learned a whole lot about people taking the Frankenstein Monster and applied him to their own ideas, playing with the concepts of life and death- and what it means to be alive. We also talked about the art aspect of Frankenstein and how comic book artists would have their own take on his creation. This conversation was really beneficial for my understanding of ‘Fandom Culture’ and how one 150-year-old scripture- and all its outlandish ideas- can bring a community together. Buxton explained how finding and researching Frankenstein (and other comic book subgenres) gave him a lot of happiness and connection, especially with other fans. Mary built a community!

My second interview was with Susan Hitchcock who wrote a book about the cultural impact of Frankenstein called ‘Frankenstein: A Cultural History’. The book was appropriately named. Landing an interview was a longshot as she released the book in 2007- but it was a shot I’m glad I took! While our talk was brief, her talking pace was very fast. My brain is full.Hitchcock (brooklyn99 ha) talked to me about not just the media influence but ethics influence Mary’s novel had. The idea of ‘what it means to be alive’ was raised in Frankenstein, and never really put down. As we saw in Buxton’s interview, what she really talked about was the influence of a stunning amount of mediums. Theatre, film, dance, books, graphic novels, and music have all take a hit by the Shelley Hammer Of Literature. I took from this interview that while Frankenstein is simply a novel written by a young girl 150 years ago, it’s impacts are immeasurable. The artistic talents that have gone into developing this masterful essay into modern mediums continue to perpetuate Shelley’s legacy. Not to mention the uncountable amounts of money made from her ideas.

From this experience, I learned of the value in reaching out. Despite my past post about eminent interviews, this was far from impossible. I had a great time geeking out with Marc, and Susan’s cultural knowledge was invaluable. While these interactions didn’t tell me too much about Mary, they made me learn of the true depths of Frankenstein’s eminence. What a guy.

This was a good experience, but I am okay with never doing this again.

Goodbye Forever Eminent interviews.


3 Wise Nugs

I interviewed Mr. Findley, who runs the school newspaper at Glen.  I got both tons of information on the journalism career path and these three wise nugs about choosing a good career overall.

  1. No matter the career path, having a good work ethic will get you far.
  2. Finding an occupation that will consistently spark your interest is important than any salary or reputation.
  3. Being able to prioritize and organize the work you’ve been assigned is essential.

Mary Shelley- Speech Outline

Mary Shelley’s life was at a pinnacle around 1816- not necessarily of success, but a pinnacle of change. In February of 1816 she gives birth to her first son, she begins to write Frankenstein in June, her sister commits suicide in November, and in December her man Shelley’s wife dies- and they get married a week later. My speech will take place in the moments before her wedding when she’s waiting alone for her cue. Within this time she’ll reflect on her sister and fiance’s late wife’s death, as well as the new life and joy recently introduced. I plan to play with the themes life and death, and they are themes very present in her novel, Frankenstein.


Set the scene- sitting in a chair the moment before her wedding, 1816. About to see her parents for the first time since she ran away in 1814.


It’s a shame my sister isn’t here to stand beside me- it’s not a shame my fiance’s late wife passed the same way she did (suicide). I can’t help but think her death wasn’t by her own hand but my father’s. I can’t say I’m unhappy with the outcome. I’m in love.


Bringing life to the dead with ink and paper, if only I could do the same outside the realm of words. Standing up.

Falling action-

19 years old and my hands are puppets to fate. Frankenstein has taken on a life of it’s one- instead of my name on the bindings, fate and karma should take ownership.


Tragedy has- and will- take over my life. I am simply the messenger.

Eye Contact

I sized her up behind the rim of a steaming clay coffee cup with burning curiosity. Her upper body was swathed in translucent, fluttering silks that ballooned flowingly around her slender frame. No less strangely dressed, her dark and lean legs wore a pair of vibrant gypsy pants that, despite their overly casual perception, seemed as though they came as a gift to her exquisiteness as a result of her extensive travels. To put it simply, it wasn’t strange how she held my attention from across the room. This girl radiated a peculiar magnetism as she perched with grace on the edge of a rickety stool, slowly flipping through a gilded novel. She shifted and her darting eyes met mine, slowing down time until we were completely and undeniably alone in our shared trance. Her gaze was unapologetic, freckled, and a dull shade of green. I watch decorated fingers close her book and lose the page, still holding my eyes in her gripping stare. And as soon as it began, the moment was over. The only remnants of the encounter were our flushed cheeks and the cold coffee in hand.