1). Although there were many good little stories from Chapter Eight, I think my favorite was the Spinazzola story (pg. 82-84). There was something liberating about the story in that Hugo was stuck in this war he didn't seem like he wanted to be in and was trapped, and lost, in the Italian countryside. I don't know what's it's like to live on a constant basis of thinking "today could be my last day," and that must have been so hard on him. All it took to lose himself, from his worries about getting back to base to the fear of losing his life, was a field of grass in a remote little town: "I didn't care about getting back to the base now. I didn't care about the war. I was no a part of it anymore," (83). I think using past experience or personal history in the book and his poems helps try to deliver a truth that we can never understand. That's the thing with history taught in class and our elders telling their stories: in history class we have the detached version of what happened since we can't time-travel back and experience it ourselves. The stories the elderly tell gives us an insight of what life was back then. Obviously it's 2D version we see in our minds, but in the elders minds, it's 3D and their stories gives our 2D version a spark of life. That's why I like listening to my grandparents stories. Even my dad's stories are magical to me since I'll never experience the life he lived when he was younger and that's how I feel about Hugo's stories as well.
2). I have two things for this. The first comes from Chapter Three "Assumptions." I love this chapter. I love quite a few of the little story ideas from this chapter. Hugo was right about assumptions: "But silly or solid, assumptions are necessary elements in a successful base of writing operations," (19). I think I sometimes get stuck into trying to write something I denotatively when I should try and find another way of getting my meaning across and not go for obvious and literal meanings. I think I put my favorite assumption on my first post, which would be the prisoner assumption.
The second idea comes from Chapter Five "Nuts and Bolts." "Carry a small pocket-sized notebook and jot down lines and phrases as they occur," (38). I do not do this. When I write, I usually think about the idea for some time and then try to write it down. Sometimes it's successful, other times it's not. I don't have the urge to write things down. My creative writing teacher from Harding has a full notebook on hand whenever she has something to write down. I'm sure Hugo does as well. When I have tried to do this, I look at the clean blank paper and it makes me feel bad about wanting to sully the cleanness with my chicken-scratch. It's ridiculous about feeling bad about an inanimate object, but I do. It would definitely help in the future if a need a word or phrase that's in a convenient little book and I have other poem possibilities from the book.