By Paula Diaz
“Once upon a time there was a lizard with a jet pack.”
A lizard and a jet pack seem like quite the odd combination, but for the Asbury Review’s Editor-in-Chief Katie Oostman it was the perfect place to start the university’s first-ever longest short story.
“The Asbury Review comes out every semester and is seen as prestigious poetry literature,” Oostman said. But the image of it being inaccessible to students on campus be- cause of its “prestigious-ness” is something that Oostman wanted to see change this year and her way of doing just that ended up with her idea of the longest short story, which was hosted in the Student Center this past Oct. 3rd.
“I wanted to do something different this year and the short story al- lowed that. I started the story with the first sentence and now everyone writes a sentence to continue it in exchange for a cookie, which has mo- tivated several to [participate].”
Many students lined up around the far corner of the Student Center reading and giggling as they read the progression of the lizard’s tale. “We’ve had several students come back throughout the day and add more to the story. There’s been a lot of ‘good Lord where could this go,’ followed with squeals of delight,” Oostman said. “If there’s one word I could use to describe today it’s ‘passion.’ I didn’t expect to have 11 pages for a story…it’s been pretty intense.”
Oostman’s desire for this short story was to unite the Asbury community and encourage students to add their content to the Review. She believes that many people are unaware of this publication or simply need a little more encouraging in order to submit their pieces.
“Our goal with this short story is to raise awareness of what the Review is. Several students think, ‘I’m not creative or I’m not a writer,’ and to be honest, if you think you can write it can be expressed in any way. This was my idea [of making writing] fun, entertaining and silly without pressure,” Oostman said.
The lack of pressure has been evident. With the amount of laughter the rough draft of the story caused throughout the day, Oostman hopes the longest short story will become an Asbury tradition.
“This really shows Asbury’s community through the fact that [the idea] is working in the first place,” sophomore Alanah Gardener said. And to say Oostman’s idea isn’t creating community and excitement would be an understatement.
“I think this is the best thing ever,” junior Kelsey Boyle said. “It shows our creativity and includes everybody. It’s just a little way to become unified.”
But what about the ending of Asbury’s very first longest collaborative short story? “It’s a surprise! If you want to see the ending then you have to come to the Student Center the 18th of November and pick up a copy of the Asbury Re- view!” Oostman said.