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Volleyball was present in my life during a huge chunk of my formative years. I started playing when I was around 8 years old as part of a program called volleybees which my club offered. One of my first memories of volleyball was during serving practice. Volleybees used lighter balls to play with, but we had a chance to play with the competition-grade, heavier balls at the end of practice. Normally, we would serve from the middle of the court instead of the end line, but that day, I decided to serve at the end line with the heavy ball…

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The blue sky emerged again after another snowstorm here in New York. I feel pretty grateful that the monotone, white grey world only lasted a day, as opposed to two days last weekend. The snow always used to make me happy. It meant no school, curling up on the couch by the fire, watching Spongebob Squarepants reruns, and not worrying about a single thing. The snow still makes me somewhat happy, but not that same all-encompassing, simultaneous joy and relief. That is all to say; I’m glad it’s not snowing anymore.

But alas, I’m learning to celebrate things that are…

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Tasty delights induce screen-play fantasies… Maybe it’s that most of my days are spent reading and watching stories; they crop up in odd places, a bit like Google Deep Dream, but instead of psychedelic faces, they are potential story premises. Anyway. Not all foods create this response, but here are a few that do.

The pomegranate seems like the most obvious one to start with, as it has been a symbol in literature and religion for centuries. When Hades captured Persephone, he offered her six pomegranate seeds. The fruit did not only bind her to the underworld, as anyone who…

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I’m not sure how to start this; I’m having trouble writing lately. I have several drafts here on Medium, none of which I can seem to finish.

Over the last couple of months in college, I was almost manically trying to figure out what to do when I finish. I spent hours each week searching job boards, sending out applications, cold calling, and getting no responses. When I wasn’t doing that, I was planning a move, attempting to smooth intricate, pesky bumps in this fruitless process. Nothing from this time has produced any change. …

Hurry before they’re immortalized with an uncomfortably full bladder!!

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It is within the minute details that our stories can be lifted out of the vast, mysterious abstract universe. Including just a nod to a fact of the reality you have created can ground and strengthen it. I recently finished a draft of a short story where, unbeknownst to me at the time I was writing, the bathroom situation was essential for my character’s existence.

Figuring out what details to add is one of the biggest challenges I encounter when I sit down to write. I believe the reason for this is my ardent need to get to the conclusion…

Photo by the author

…is like seeing beautiful abundance in the distance but being unable to reach it. While arriving in this place is obtainable, it takes effort; there is no magical transportation device. So, you and your partner decide to build a boat in hopes that it becomes strong enough to carry your conjoined weight on any troubled waters. In the beginning, the build goes smoothly; you communicate effectively with each other and examine and tighten loose screws on your promising, ripening structure. You share design plans and refer to older models that did not quite work out, ensuring the same mistakes will…

Joshua Tree by Gabriela Carnabuci

This theory became increasingly important to me in 2020. I am a sentimental person in general, but stagnation is particularly reminiscing-inducing. I am not alone when I say that 2020 was life-changing. I found myself both physically and emotionally isolated. Brewing within these dark times was an intense urge for travel and adventure. There were also tinges of regret for not taking more advantage of freedom when I had it and fleeting thoughts along the lines of, “I could have enjoyed that vacation a bit deeper.”

On one particularly dark night around May, I was cocooned in my blankets, my…

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Around November 2019, my professor for a course on sudden fiction told us a story of a writer who kept a daily journal. She explained that doing so allowed him to preserve each day of his life from the mundane to the profound. Because of this ritual, he had captured in detail the day he met his wife. This anecdote specifically sparked my intrigue to keep one of my own—to ensure that important events would not be forgotten. I had a fresh notebook waiting for me at home that day.

I formed a nightly journaling habit by putting a post-it…

Photo by and of the author

It has been a year since I walked out of my first pole dance class. I had always been an admirer of this movement but had hesitated for a while before finally signing up for my first class. What had caused my hesitancy was fear—I was afraid that I would not be strong, graceful, or flexible enough to follow the instructor’s cues.

I remember talking with my mom on the phone right around this time last year. (She is a pilates instructor and dancer, so not only exercise but intentional movement were key themes in our house.) I told her…

The short answer is: probably not. But it’s become a bit more complicated in my mind.

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I’ve contemplated this question for a while now, both personally and with my peers in college grammar classes. The short answer is: probably not. But it’s become a bit more complicated in my mind. While standard English is important, I’m afraid that continuing to use it as the one and only “almighty” English can negatively affect our writing community.

I am referring to standard English—its definition is a bit shakey—as not only the grammar we learn in grade school and through handbooks, but also tone and diction. Standard English is what’s deemed more ‘professional’ and ‘academic.’ It’s the difference between…

Sophia Carnabuci

Writer, dancer, singer, guitar-…er? I’m here to tell you about it all.

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