The Making of a Western Genre Expert

So this week was pretty fun, I thought! I enjoyed watching and listening to more westerns. As mentioned in my post, So You Think You Understand Westerns I have definitely learned a lot about the western genre already. I really enjoyed reading Crane’s short story The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky; I thought it was very well written and I liked the slight suspense aspect of not knowing what would happen once they got to town. I used some of my knowledge to create my character, Marlene! I had a lot of fun creating her character and deciding what her background would be. I even included a little cliffhanger since I know we are using them in the future!

The writing assignments this week were pretty fun also! I enjoyed writing a letter to myself as a child (even though I chose to write to me at 16) and writing about what my future could be like. I also created a story using articles from The Onion which was really fun! I thought my story was pretty well put together considering I tried to use article titles only and not a lot of filler.

Here are my daily creates for the week:


I had the most fun with putting a western background into my window. I used gimp and had a hard time getting it to work, but I think it turned out pretty well. I found the background through google and went from there. The other two were pretty straightforward in terms of what I had to do.


I started organizing my blog last week, so I didn’t make too many changes this week because I like the simple layout I have going. I have a feeling I may need to switch it up eventually and add some more categories or sub-pages but I think for now, I like the overall structure.

Hope you guys had a good week too!

Shape of The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

I decided to apply Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories to The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane. The beginning of the story starts off a little above the ‘B’ axis, because clearly the couple is newly married and seems to have just come in to some money (based on the brides excitement and concern over the cost of dinner). Their story curve moves upwards some and then begins moving downward as they approach Yellow Sky and Jack worries more and more about the town’s reaction to his marriage. The curve is also moving downward because Scratchy Wilson is looking for a fight around town and Jack is the only one who can stop him, but the townspeople think he is still gone. The line plateaus for a bit because it’s “exciting” that we know Wilson and Jack are both going to Jack’s place but do not know what will happen. The shape quickly moves down when Jack and his bride arrive at Jack’s home and have guns pointed at them and then jumps back up when Wilson leaves.


Today, In America…

Iowa is preparing for presidential candidates to pass through the state and has decided the overcrowded GOP field forces them to create massive town hall stadium. Clinton’s campaign is the first to pass through the state, followed by Jeb, Sanders and Trump. The retreating Clinton campaign torched Iowa town to slow advance of Sanders volunteers. Meanwhile, across town, the Jeb Bush campaign kicks off a 3-state farewell tour with an Iowa town hall meeting. During the meeting, the Governor demands to know which star on American flag is Iowa’s, which results in an Iowan comforting sobbing Jeb Bush at town hall after the meeting. Shortly after Bush and Sanders leave Iowa, Trump’s campaign arrives. At a meeting, Trump tells Iowa dairy farmers he has cows 500 times bigger than theirs. Clearly upset by his comments, the dairy farmers leave and decide not to vote for Trump. After all the campaigns have gone through town, reporters are speaking to residents about their experience. An Iowa restaurant patron can remember every breakfast ruined by presidential candidates.



So this clearly isn’t the best story, but I tried to use exclusively article titles and as little filler as I could. I think it turned out pretty interesting! Links to articles are in the post instead of down here clumped together! I used articles from The Onion, because it is the best source for ridiculous news 🙂

Bakery Owner

Kelly Hendricks is a world famous bakery owner. She attended University of Mary Washington from 2012 to 2016 and went on to become a financial analyst. During her time at UMW, Kelly was a part of Sigma Beta Delta and Omicron Epsilon, the business and economics honor societies. She was also the Game Night committee chair for the campus programming club. After about 10 years, she decided to pursue her dream of owning a bakery.  She opened her store front in Quincy, Massachusetts with the name Muffin Top. Muffin Top quickly became one of the most popular bakeries in Quincy and even won an award for best bakery. Over the next few years, her bakery continued to grow and she had two children with her husband. After a few years, Kelly opened another shop in her hometown, Fairfax, Virginia. Now, Kelly runs her bakery in Quincy while raising her kids and occasionally does some consulting on the side.

Hey You, It’s Me in 6 Years

Hello 16 year old self!

So we are 22 now and about to graduate from the University of Mary Washington! I have some things I want to tell you about high school: don’t stress out so much! You spent a lot of time studying and stressing about classes and getting into a good school. Guess what? You did it! However, you also missed out on a lot of stuff, so I propose you relax. Go out and enjoy yourself a little more! I also want you to know that boys are not that important (and you found a pretty great one in college anyway). It’s also important that you spend time with the family, even though they drive you crazy.

So enjoy the rest of high school while you can and make sure you enjoy college too (you meet some pretty great people)!



(assignment here)

Meet Marlene!

Marlene owns a saloon in Puggville, a small town in Texas that has been mostly deserted until recently. She inherited The White Mule from her parents, who died in a tragic horse carriage accident. Now that the railroad is finished, all sorts of new folks have been showing up in her bar along with her few regulars. Business has been booming, especially since she was given a large sum of money from a young entrepreneur to expand her saloon. She is not quite sure why this man chose to help her expand but she is becoming suspicious of him, especially since he started a gambling ring in her back room. Since the construction of the railroad, the town is growing rapidly and its citizens are worried it will be taken over by its many new, often morally dubious, members.

So You Think You Understand Westerns?

So I’ve been reading a few of the suggested Old West Legends, Wisdom, insults and slang and I realized there is a lot more to Westerns than people think. If you asked me before this class what I thought the main themes of westerns are I would’ve said cowboys, gun fights, tumbleweed. After doing some research I realize that while cowboys and gun fights are part of westerns, there is more to them than that. I noticed that there is generally some mention of how harsh the wilderness is (the Stephen Crane short story mentions the man has a face reddened by wind and sun) and there is almost always a setting described as desolate or barren. Another theme, which I noticed in Ice Man, is some type of restaurant or saloon in which some type of action takes place. A stand-off is another common theme among westerns. I can’t quite

While reading Ice Man and The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky I realized that Ice Man seemed to be a bit more modern in terms of the writing and how everyone spoke. It seemed as though Crane’s story was closer to what we would consider a western than Leonard’s.

So far I would have to say my favorite thing about Westerns is the insults and slang. I loved reading the page with slang, it made me pleased as a pup with two tails! 🙂

The Week Full of Exploring and Creating

Happy week two everyone!

This week was a lot better than last for me, I played around with WordPress some and got the lay of the land figured out (I think). I had a lot of fun with the Daily Creates on Twitter (check them out, here!) Sorry you all had to experience my artistic struggle with the drawing. The first daily create, I took maybe a little too literally but I figured it still explained the quote, so I went with it! For the second, I got to color a cow! I was real excited about this one, because I love cows, like a lot. I just kinda went with my imagination and chose random colors for him. The third one was another pretty simple one, we just had to knock on something with some sort of pattern. Overall, I enjoyed doing the Daily Create assignments! I thought they were fun, quick little things that you can get done with simple tools.

The Assignment Bank assignments were a little different, but I love them because they’re all made by people for other people to do! I love that idea, mostly because the assignments are created by us which I think makes them more fun and relatable. I chose a Visual, Web and Writing assignment for this week. My visual assignment involved taking a photo and changing the color and hue to make it look totally different. I used a picture of a garden decoration shaped like a butterfly that I took from underneath (so you can see the sky). I darkened it some and then brightened the pink in the clouds. I changed the hue around and honestly just moved the dial until I thought it looked pretty. I used the editing software that came with my surface, not sure what it’s called. My web assignment was my favorite, by far! I got to create my dream room on Pinterest (which I’m obsessed with). I had a lot of fun searching through bedroom ideas and furniture to find things I liked. I think once I have the money and time to actually decorate my own room, it’s going to be a problem getting everything to match and go together. The last assignment, I wrote about freshman move in day, which was a pretty chill day! I also added a little picture of Bushnell and circled my room, for reference.

I got to know a little more about WordPress and my chosen theme this week as well. I added two new pages including and About page. I also officially named my blog (yay!)!I explored the assignment bank as well and tagged some assignments that looked interesting for the future. I’m excited to see what the Daily creates have in store for us this week too!

I Like to Move It, Move It

4 years ago, I moved into Bushnell Hall for my first year at UMW (wow, I’m getting old)

It was a surprisingly pretty day outside besides being extremely warm. My dad, stepmom and sisters dropped me off and helped me unpack the cars and get everything in the room. My roommate and friend, Valeria had already moved all her stuff in so I just had to unpack and get settled. My family and I went to lunch at Pueblos, which is still one of my favorite places in Fredvegas to eat Mexican food (which is my favorite). After lunch, they headed out and I began unpacking my stuff. That day feels pretty surreal now that I’ve moved into another dorm and then a house of my own (with my roomies, of course). The best part of the day was getting everything settled and seeing how proud the family was of me ( I’m also the first one to go to college).


Assignment Heaven

This week, we also started using the DS106 assignment bank, which I think is amazing! I love that the assignments are made by students and rated based on their difficulty. I chose to do a visual assignment, a web assignment and a writing assignment (which is it’s own post)


For my visual assignment, I had to take a picture and change the hues to make it look different. Here is what I did! The top photo is the original!

original butterfly


The web assignment I chose was to create my dream room on Pinterest. The board is here:

I chose a layout for the room and some different furniture that I liked for it as well. I found a color scheme and bedding as well as some decorations. I chose to have a little reading nook also because I love to read and be comfortable!

I look forward to doing more of these throughout the semester!