019. on thinking outside the box: SPEAK OUT!

image from the net
image from the net

Are schools killing student creativity?  Yes, some schools and some teachers are, according to one student’s rant comparing elementary and high school. As the piece was read as a prompt, the older workshop participants nodded – some indignantly, while others in passive acceptance. One of the younger participants, barely out of elementary school, appeared uninterested in the discussion, but his written quickwrite response says otherwise. 


“I really love when I’m thinking outside the box. It makes me more expressive. But to know that fictions and imaginations will be massacred by reality is pain on the back. I just can’t imagine how cruel this is. The only way we could stop them is to speak-out, speak-out for the thoughts that are supposed to be free. I have problems about saying this — but maybe its just the way it is. But it doesn’t mean we should lose hope.”

While these young creatives recognize that maybe “the way it is” is a “pain in the back”, they definitely are not backing-out of trying to change it.

image from the net
image from the net
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GUEST POST: Kids come up with awesome story ideas!

Sharing raw creativity from very young story-tellers of the ACSS Summer 2013 Creative Writing Workshop.

wrkshp 2013

–> One created a story about a pig who didn’t want to sleep because he always had nightmares of being eaten. He was always tired and sleepy; he couldn’t do anything. He daydreams of being in the mud all day.

–> One wrote about the adventures and mis-adventures of a lion who did not want to live in the “forest” anymore because people are polluting and destroying it. He meets several characters along the way. Would he end up in a farm? Would he end up in a zoo?

–> One created a story of a monkey and her two friends looking for the carnival because they heard it was fun there; it took them days and nights to reach it, but not to worry — they traveled via tent-on-camel, whose humps turn into seats and tables by day, and beds by night.

–> One drew and told a story about a happy rabbit who had friends and no problem, except for one: her long ears are itchy and her short arms couldn’t reach it. Hmmm, what could she possibly do?

–> One cleverly weaved stories of a turtle who was afraid of the dark and who interestingly had the same name as a clown fish who tended to be a bully, and a gentle angler fish who did not have any friends because he had sharp teeth.

wrkshp 2013 2

Kids do come up with awesome story ideas! Don’t you think so, too?

013. What Is The Hardest Question?

(image from the net)
(image from the net)

What is the hardest question? Yes, that’s the question. You know, I really want to know the answer. Maybe this question: Who killed Mr. Mister’s cat which killed Mrs. Sunny’s pigeon that ate Mr. Geek’s favourite worm, if Mrs. Sunny and Mr. Geek were already dead that time?  

Actually, that question is very easy. Maybe Mr. Mister killed his cat. But it’s not a fact that he killed his own pet because there is always a possibility. Like, someone else killed his pet or his cat died naturally.

BUT what really annoys me, there are questions that I just do not know the answers to! Especially when it makes my brain feel like a walnut shell – small & empty.

We all know that all questions have answers, but are all questions answered? Probably not.

Questions are answered in different ways: specific or general, factual or opinionated or very imaginative. Questions are also answered shortly or widely, simply or WOWly.

There are many ways of answering questions. So, how will you answer this question? –

What is the hardest question? And one clarification, do you know the answer to the answer? And if you do, then what is the answer? What if you don’t? Is not knowing the answer a big problem? If it is, then why is it a big problem? Is having a big problem a problem or just something to be ignored?

You know, answering these flibbertigibbet questions made my brain explode. But what could be the answer?

It is very hard to get the answer.

That’s it! Now I get it. Answering the question is very hard and that’s the point of the question:

What is the hardest question?

Maybe the hardest question is:

What is the hardest question?

Now I’m done! But there’s another question:

What is the answer to the answer?

I am really going to freak out with these ???

Teacher gave us a prompt: “I am afraid of _____________________. “ I think, if teacher uses that as a prompt again, I’m going to put:

“I am afraid of question marks!!!”

– Daniela, 12

011. Croco and Leo

original artwork by the author
original artwork by the author

In a very hot safari, there was a crocodile named Croco. Croco is a juvenile. He lived in a river. His parents let him go, so he could train to be a real crocodile. His hobbies are hunting his prey, swimming, going to the dentist (or birds cleaning old food on his teeth), and eating stones.

When his prey pass, bathe, drink, swim and walk on his river, he will go underwater like a submarine. Getting closer and closer to his prey, then…snap!!! Crocodiles have the strongest bite of all animals. Croco’s prey are birds, deers, zebras, wild beasts, mosses, fish, crabs, buffalos, hippos, antelopes, monkeys, and jackals. He always wanted to eat.

Crocodiles are territorial creatures. One day, a lion named Leo was on the river. He is a male lion and male lions are strong, in their opinion.

Croco saw the lion. He was scared. But he was a double-minded crocodile at that time. He’s thinking if he will eat Leo or not. So he decided to go near Leo.

He showed his mouth to Leo. Leo roared to Croco, and Croco was shocked.

“Get out of my way. I’m bigger and stronger than you, dumby youngster! I’m the king here!” Leo roared loudly in a very scary voice.

In Croco’s mind, he will show that he’s not scared. But he was frightened of Leo. He will try his best to make Leo step back.

Croco said in a pretending angry voice, “Excuse me king of the airheaded, this is my territory. You can’t just wash your pits in my river.”

“Get out or I’ll eat you!” Leo roared.

Croco began to run fast to escape Leo. He just let him cross his river. He was thinking that he should be stronger and bigger. After a couple of months, he will plan to eat Leo.

So he ate more animals than before. Now, he’s a grown-up crocodile. He’s ready to eat Leo. His goal is to eat a big lion that bullied him, passing his river like a breeze. And now, Croco wanted to eat the king of the airheaded – and that’s the proud Leo.

One day, Leo finally came back to his river. Leo remembered Croco, but in his mind, the crocodile was still a weakling like before. He is so confident that he can pass again.

Now it’s the time for revenge for bullying a kid and crossing his river. When Leo was on the water, Croco zoomed heading to Leo. Suddenly he showed his giant jaws to that lion.

Leo was very shocked at Croco’s jaws. Croco snapped his head and ate all of Leo’s flesh. Blood spread on his river.

For the first time, Croco ate an airheaded lion. He was so happy and he wins victory. He was successful and he lived happily on his river.

– Migo, 12

010. (some thoughts on life and writing)

(image from the net)
(image from the net)

Being a writer is being boisterous. It’s more fun than you can imagine. You can have a whole new adventure. Many people may say that being a writer is boring. They may be right, or maybe they’re wrong.

A writer’s adventure can be dangerous yet fun. But as children, we are taught with rules — like not to talk to strangers, not to run in streets, and not to play with fire. But as we get older, always staying safe may prevent us from all what life has to offer. If you never take risks, you never get a chance to have it all. And what’s the fun in that?

While you want to feel safe, you should feel safe; but as a writer, you should run into the Danger instead of away from it. Always staying safe may not be so good, for a writer.

Life can be hard. But for other people, children really, the world is a fairy tale. Where there are big shops for fairy costumes and cowboy hats in the mall. But when we get older, always waking up to reality can be hurtful. In a way that you will know that your inspiration isn’t true. It can harm you and that can turn out as depression.

But it doesn’t mean that believing in fairy tales is a bad influence for children. Fairy tales can be inspiration or the joy of young boys and girls. The whole world has its own way of changing you. It doesn’t tarnish you, or bring out the wicked or the beast in you. It changes you naturally as a person or a child. But what’s important in the real world is seeing the truth or waking up to reality.

– Tim, 13

009. (a reverse poem on love and money)

loveormoney
(image from the net)

In our generation now
Love does not exist
I would never admit that
Love
Is more important than
Money
How could anyone think that
Your life won’t be complete
Without love
And always believe that
Love is just a weakness
Don’t ever think
Love is a relief to all your problems
And for the future generations
Wealth is what you need
I won’t consider that
Just wealth and power
Will destroy our lives
Because I don’t think that
Love does exist

Love does exist
Because I don’t think that
Will destroy our lives
Just wealth and power
I won’t consider that
Wealth is what you need
And for the future generations
Love is a relief to all your problems
Don’t ever think
Love is just a weakness
And always believe that
Without love
Your life won’t be complete
How could anyone think that
Money
Is more important than
Love
I would never admit that
Love does not exist
In our generation now

– Kyra, 13