Young Writers Contest First Place Winner: Micayla Whitmer

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Micayla Whitmer. Micayla recently completed her freshman year at Foothill High School and is the first place winner in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine. The second and third place pieces were featured the last two Mondays. Micayla’s piece will also be featured in the July issue of Enjoy magazine.  The theme of the contest was “Summer Memories”. Congratulations to all of our young writers and welcome, Micayla!

Sounds I Hear This Summer Day

by Micayla Whitmer

094.WhitmerA splash, a shout, a scream, a laugh,

Water tickles my toes,

Laughter fills my heart.

A grunt and a tug on my arm,

A big smile greets me.

The little boy points to the deep end of the pool,

And I know what he says even though he can’t speak.

Autism has taken his voice away,

But I can hear it.

It’s beautiful.

Teacher come play says the child with no voice,

So I jump in

And laugh at the water that dances around me.

The child jumps in too,

But too fast–he’s scared.

His fists grab my hair,

And though it hurts I smile and laugh,

And he knows it’s all right.

His hands release my hair and wrap me in a hug,

And the sweetest smile appears on his face.

Although no words have been said,

We both smile,

At the sweetest of summer memories.

A splash, a shout, a scream, a laugh,

Water tickles my toes,

Laughter fills my heart.

A grunt and a tug on my arm,

A big smile greets me.

The little boy points to the deep end of the pool,

And I know what he says even though he can’t speak.

Autism has taken his voice away,

But I can hear it.

It’s beautiful.

Teacher come play says the child with no voice,

So I jump in

And laugh at the water that dances around me.

The child jumps in too,

But too fast–he’s scared.

His fists grab my hair,

And though it hurts I smile and laugh,

And he knows it’s all right.

His hands release my hair and wrap me in a hug,

And the sweetest smile appears on his face.

Although no words have been said,

We both smile,

At the sweetest of summer memories.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Young Writers Contest 2nd Place Winner: Madison Marie McCaffrey

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Madison Marie McCaffrey. Madison recently completed the second grade at Shasta Lake School and is the second place winner in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine. The third place pieces were featured last Monday and the first place piece will be featured next Monday. The winning piece will also be featured in the July issue of Enjoy magazine.  The theme of the contest was “Summer Memories”. Congratulations to all of our young writers and welcome, Madison!

My Summer Memory

by Madison Marie McCaffrey

Madison McCaffrey.pdfI had a lot of fun during last summer.  Here is what I did.  I remember when I helped my grandma make ice cream and my cousin Shelly rolled the ice cream in a can back and forth to me.  Afterwards we all ate the ice cream.  Then we went to bed.

After I spent a week with Shelly, I went to San Diego and spent three weeks with my cousins Marcus and Sean.  We went to the beach, Seaworld Park and a lot of other places.  When we got home we played video games and Hide-and-Seek.  Then we got comfortable on the couch and played more video games.  I fell asleep while playing the game.

The next morning we got up and went upstairs and wrestled.  It was fun.  I totally got hurt, but it was funny.  Then we went inside the guest room and jumped on the bed.  Then we put on our swimsuits and jumped into the pool.  I made a big splash!  Then we dried off and went inside and acted like we were having a party.  We all had so much fun singing and dancing along with the music.  My cousin Marcus used his phone to make a spotlight.  Then we went to take a nap.

Then it was time to go home.  I was sad, but my mom cheered me up by letting me have a friend over to swim in the pool.  Then we dried off and rode bikes.  We acted like it was Bike to School Day.  Then we played Dress Up.  We were looking really cute.  I wanted her to spend the night, but it was my first time having a friend over so we just had a small playdate.  She went home and my mom gave me a popsicle.  I felt happy and sad, but I just went in my room and watched T.V.

These are a bunch of fun things I did over the summer.  I might do similar things this summer, maybe, just maybe.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Writers Forum Scholarship Winner: Anthony Carrasco

Happy Saturday!  Perhaps you, too, were one of those kids who faithfully traipsed into the living room in your pajamas every Saturday morning to watch your comic book superheroes come to life in the form of Saturday morning cartoons.  Today we feature 2014 high school graduate Anthony Carrasco’s winning essay looking at superheroes through the lens of mythology.  Congratulations, Anthony!

Avenging Mythology

by Anthony Carrasco

The silver screen is red with blood. The human soul is splattered on the cinematic canvas; desires, feelings, and ideas are placed vulnerably in front of the viewer, with hands open for judgment. Within our society, one of the most craved film genres are superhero films. Why do the multitudes, from many age ranges, flock to the midnight premiers of these blockbuster behemoths? Perhaps it is more than just the cool special effects that hook us; perhaps the line that has us snagged is an eternal craving for mythology.

My hankering for a better understanding of why heroes are so popular occurred when I caught some scenes from The Incredible Hulk, 2008. The main antagonist in the film was named Abomination, which struck my interest. The word abomination is very connotative and fit the character’s outer and inner qualities. Perhaps this title was not given to him solely on account of his grotesque nature but also on account of being symbolic of a greater force. In comic books, ambiguous and provocative names are often given to super heroes and super villains alike. Heavily loaded names, such as Doctor Doom, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Nightcrawler, and Darkside, feed the case that these heroes are themselves symbolic of larger ideas, institutions, and myths.

Mythology might be the deep attractive force that pulls so many in to Marvel megahits. When watching The Incredible Hulk, I couldn’t help but draw connections between Bruce Banner and Hercules. Still, there are many differences between comic book heroes and the heroes of ancient myths. One of the richest is the origin of their powers. The Greek heroes, such as Hercules gained their powers from the gods, but our modem-day heroes gain their powers from science.

Perhaps this in itself says something. In the past divinity bestowed power, but now in a society that has replaced god with science, technology bestows power. A radioactive spider bite makes Spider-Man, the Iron Man suit technology creates Iron Man, gamma rays produce the Hulk, and the super solider serum gives rise to Captain America. Thor, previously the Norse god of thunder, is now portrayed as a dimensional traveler. The only outlier is Superman; however, the whole concept of coming from space feeds the space-technology genre.

Superheroes have a lot of similarities to Greek myths. Iron Man, a flying metallic force that hurls bolt-like beams, resembles Zeus; Aqua Man has a semblance to Poseidon; the human torch and Hawkeye have many similarities to Apollo. Just like the Greeks admired the heroes and wanted to emulate their character traits, we admire our heroes and wish to emulate their character traits. In Hindu religion the heroes were the gods in human form and the paragons of ideal citizens. Today we wish to share in the superheroes’ traits of honor, bravery, and altruism. Perhaps superheroes are symbolic of ideal citizens and the manifestation of the classic good versus evil dichotomy within the world and our own hearts.

What if our superhero film fascination is an eternal craving for the mythic-hero epic modernized? Perhaps the big craze says more about our time and culture than we think. Perhaps we are approaching an age of science that will change what is to be human and transcend to superhuman. As the actor Tom Hiddleston, the actor who played Loki in The Avengers, said, “In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams, and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out.”

 

Young Writers Contest 3rd Place Winners: Mia Arambul and Stevie Lott

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a pair of pieces by local young writers, Mia Arambul and Stevie Lott. Mia and Stevie recently completed the second grade at Shasta Lake School and they tied for third place in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine. The second place piece and the first place piece will be featured the next two Mondays. The winning piece will also be featured in the July issue of Enjoy magazine.  The theme of the contest was “Summer Memories”. Congratulations to all of our young writers and welcome, Mia and Stevie!

My Summer Memory

by Mia Arambul

Mia Arambul.pdfThe first time I went on the Dragon Slide it felt pretty scary.  I had fun at Waterworks Park.  The Avalanche is scarier than the Dragon Slide!  When my mom and dad were holding me under the mushroom in the kiddy pool, we took a photo.  We had fun.  My cousin and I went to get a snow cone.  It was cold and good.  At the end of Waterworks we got to do whatever we wanted.  This is my summer memory.

 

Summer Memories

by Stevie Lott

Stevie Lott.pdfHere are my summer memories.  I remember when my friend Katelyn played Mom and Daughter.  The next thing we did was go swimming.  Me and my mom went to the lake.  I get scared because I might get hurt.  But you can wear a life vest.  The next thing I did was go to Waterworks.  I went on the Raging River and the Toilet Bowl.

 

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Member Monday: Katy’s Spirits by Deborah Gilson

Welcome back to Member Monday!  Today we feature a piece by Writers Forum member Deborah Gilson.

Katy’s Spirits

by Deborah Gilson

I’d been busting ghosts since I was a young girl, knowing they meant no harm. They were either unaware they’d died or felt they still belonged on planet Earth. Often when someone dies suddenly as in an accident, their spirit guides aren’t there to take them home because the death happened too suddenly for the guides to be alerted or called upon. In other instances, deceased beings feel they have a right to the home they once occupied and return. Others long for the life they once had and return for that familiarity.

Katy, my girlfriend on Kings Mountain, called saying there were ghosts in her home, causing upset since her kindergartner wasn’t sleeping well. She was desperate for my help and asked me to come over. I let her know her home needed to be quiet for me to effectively learn why the ghosts were there.

I went over the next day while her husband was at work and her two children were at school. I’d been sitting on the fireplace and Katy walked in to ask what kind of tea I wanted.  The back door was moving open by itself and she asked why that was happening. I

I said, “Well, I asked them to leave.” We believed the men to be Purdy Pharis, the man who was murdered there in 1884, and Hiriam Haskins, his suspected murderer. I encountered two men quarreling and a boy. I sent them all up in a bubble to fight it out up on top of our house, however, learned they no longer needed to fight. They needed to be heard and understood. The energy inside Katy’s house changed immediately and finally became their own.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

A Message from the President: June, 2014

June is a time when most thoughts are about Graduation, or Fathers Day, or finalizing plans for summer. As for me, myself, and I?

Bugs! More specifically June Bugs! Or as they truly are, June Beetles!

Having lived in more places than normal (thanks to my 20-year Navy stint that initially was to avoid the draft, but I hung around because it was fun), I became familiar with many regional variations of what THEY thought were June Bugs. The green scarab beetle that Southerners claimed was far different than the brown Mid-West version, and while it may be green, desert dwellers have a vastly different bug.

A question on the internet asks, “What is the purpose of June Bugs?” Dunno, but reminds me of this old story of an old man whose son, Junebug, would till the family garden, but couldn’t one year because he was in jail. In his monthly letter, the old man lamented that he missed his son, and that he was too old to be digging up the plot, but he was thinking about hiring some lads. A few days later the son replied, advising him to not dig up the garden ‘cuz that is where he buried the loot. That next morning agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding anything; they apologized and left. In the next mail, his son wrote that it was ok to plant, since that was the best he could do under present circumstances.

True??? Dunno, but at the next Writers Forum General Meeting, you may hear something similar. While most thoughts will be on “What to read? What to read? What to read?” there will be polished stories. One only has five minutes to read; that time includes any introductions, scene-building, or explanations of the what, why, who or where factor of your reading. Certainly published or completed-but-not-yet-published works are welcome, but I look at the readings as a test-bed for works-in-progress, or even the idea of “Will this fly?” Remember this tho’ — it is not a Speed Reading contest; read with emphasis. After all, it is YOUR story, and you know the emotions that you’re trying to reach. It is not necessary to get all of it read since the editor and webmaster want to print or post your reading in its entirety (and more).

Until then, keep your ears tuned to the bugs, and pencils sharpened.

Larry Watters,

Writers Forum President