Graduation date: 2004The purpose of this thesis was to create a sustained piece of fiction that both\ud represented my growth as a writer throughout my time at Oregon State University, and\ud wove together a mixture of imagination, language, and creativity. My hope was to write\ud a novella that incorporated and drew from themes including work, community, and\ud family relationships, and also was an exploration in the very structure and form of literary\ud fiction.\ud After completing the novella, I found that similar themes continued to appear\ud within my fiction during my ongoing growth as a writer. What I ended up with was a\ud novella and collection of related stories that reflected the influences of my advisor Tracy\ud Daugherty and his tutelage, the courses that I took at this university and my\ud undergraduate university, and my own personal history.\ud This thesis was written over a two-year period, during which drafts of this novella\ud and stories were written and rewritten. Each story and chapter was submitted to a writing\ud workshop, read and edited by my major and minor advisor, and carefully reworked and\ud redrafted after much scrutiny and attention.\ud During the course of writing this thesis, many things influenced me, the most\ud prominent being the world of fiction that existed all around me. I was influenced by\ud fiction that I was reading in my course work, such as Donald Barthelme and Philip Roth,\ud but writers that I had grown up with, like Edgar Allen Poe and Ray Bradbury also\ud influenced me. Beyond the world of published fiction, I found not only influence, but\ud also more importantly inspiration from the work and criticism of the writers and students\ud within the Creative Writing Program here at Oregon State University.\ud The end result of these two years of work, study, writing, and criticism was a\ud piece of fiction that I am proud of, and plan to publish. This collection of fiction\ud represents not only a sustained study on the craft of creative writing, but also serves an\ud exploration of my own voice and style, and an awakening of my identity as a fiction\ud writer
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