Journal 1:

I think that perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of this chapter is on just the second page. Here the authors argue that there are two reasons for our seemingly primal need for fiction: “The first reason: entertainment. We crave entertainment…The second reason: meaning. Our curiosity, and perhaps insecurity, compels us to explore continually the who, what, where, when, and why of our existence…the search for truth” (2). I think this small paragraph hold the essence of what fiction is. From my experience this is entirely true, we seek to explore not just ourselves and our worlds but nearly everything that is uncomfortable or uncertain and one way in which this is done is through fiction. This leads me to another point made in the chapter regarding the source of inspiration. Though the idea that one of the best places to look for ideas is right inside the “backyard of your own life” is not unfamiliar to me, it is sometimes difficult to see how it could be so. The authors claim that “there are probably hundreds of things in your seemingly mundane existence that, if looked at with a little insight and whimsy, could be turned into good material.” Thus, sometimes it is not necessarily what it is, but how it can be spun; turned into something worth reading.

Journal 2:

In the Story “Cathedral” the act of looking, actually physically being able to see, is juxtaposed next to seeing as a deeper level of engagement (shown though the blind man). The narrator can see, but he seems to only see what is in front of him as it is shown and nothing deeper. I think it is an interesting contrast next to the blind man, who, though he cannot see at all, can engage with people and others on a deeper level. When the two men are drawing the cathedral, it is almost as if they come to a mutual understanding, the narrator begins to see inside, to see past just the walls. It is an interesting message that is wrapped into such a short story, and I think it goes along with the points made in my previous journal: the idea that sometimes the best material comes from seemingly simple and/or mundane ideas.