A Pandemic Plagued with Boredom Sparked a Creative Mind

Arnold Lopez writes to challenge the mainstream beauty standards in America.

By Gregory Fazio

Lopez uses the time between classes to work on his romance novel.

While on his bus ride to school, Arnold Lopez is never without his notepad handy as his mind floods with new ideas for his upcoming romance novel.

“I write for those who are unrepresented,” said Lopez. “Romance is not only for people who are conventionally attractive.”

Lopez writes with purpose and the romance novel he is writing is pushing the limits of the conventional romance genre of literature. The characters in his romance novel are not conventionally attractive, but still headline his novel. 

His goal is to create relatable characters that everyone in his audience can connect with.

Lopez’s messages in his work are taboo to mainstream America, and those that think only the most physically beautiful people in the eyes of American culture should have lead roles in movies and novels. 

During the isolated periods of the lockdowns, Lopez found solace in writing and realized that it could be fun. Writing helped him cope with the stress of the pandemic and kept his mind busy during such an idle time.

Prior to the pandemic, a bachelor’s degree in English Writing was not Lopez’s academic path. Eventually, he switched his major from Psychology to English Writing with a minor in Journalism.

Lopez plans on publishing his first romance novel after he graduates from CSI. He also plans on working as a journalist, covering topics he is passionate about, such as video games and music.

Journalism will grant Lopez a stable career, as he pursues his passion for writing romance novels. 

Author Angie Thomas is one of Lopez’s main sources of inspiration. During the winter break, he read two of her books after being introduced to her famous novel, “The Hate You Give”, last semester. 

Angie Thomas is an African-American author that writes about the harsh realities of growing up Black in poverty-stricken areas of America.

“I’m interested in the small world that Angie Thomas creates,” said Lopez. “Her world is fiction, but is based on real events and is rooted in reality.”

Being in tune with your imagination is the key for many writers that have creative success, and that comes natural to Lopez. He uses his imagination and drawing skills to help create the characters and settings of his romance novel.

Drawing helps Lopez with the visualization of literature and keeps his creative juices flowing. He actually learned to draw just to create a visual representation of the world he creates and characters he wants to write about.

Music is another tool Lopez uses to stay in his creative state. The world he creates is accompanied by a soundtrack consisting of artists such as Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. 

The music creates a romantic backdrop for his novel and inspires potential emotions and relationships that will be on full display throughout the pages.

For Lopez, finding time to write is more difficult than the act of writing itself. 

He does most of his writing in the CSI library, when he is not bombarded with schoolwork. The library is quiet, peaceful and conducive to writers that want to work with minimal distractions. 

Mr. Lopez is motivated by the courses that he is currently enrolled in. These courses, such as Intro to Journalism, provide a writing structure with deadlines that can help him complete more work in a timely manner.

“Classes at CSI can be motivating, as I like to challenge myself with writing,” said Lopez. “And English Writing courses at CSI help do exactly that.”

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