Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts

Major

Creative Writing

Date of Defense

4-26-2013

Graduate Advisor

John Dalton, MFA

Committee

Mary Troy

Steve Schreiner

Abstract

“This Is the Best I Can Do” is a collection of short stories and poems that explores the psychology of lost ideals. The characters in these stories hold convictions about how the world is and how people should be that are altered when they are placed in situations that prove reality is far more complex. With shaken faith comes the necessity of building a new understanding not only of the world around them as a whole but of their own lives and identities. These revisions are not necessarily improvements, but they are necessary. Whether the faith is in a deity, a philosophy, or a person, the works contained here seek to find out what happens to a person when his or her foundation crumbles.

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