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Showing posts from February, 2011


Check out Hannah Millikin's wonderful new blog Center for Creativity.

This is a place where students can share what they create or design. Hannah is seeking poems, art work, photos of Lego creations, robots, or crafts executed by young people. She hopes that her new blog will be a place where others can show off their God-given talents.

Here are Hannah's poems at Students Publish Here:

Song of the Birds
A Star in the Lion Sky

John Nichols - The Silent Cold

The silent cold seeps through the seams

Of my taught, pale jacket,
The covering which holds my flame;
Yet the chill refuses to absolve its hold.
Its life-drinking kiss steals the breath;
Its wretched tendrils embrace the beating heart:
It draws us toward anger, hate, death, dying.
It tells us to cry, curse, rage, fear, cower, cringe.
And nothing can be done.

Who would stand against this cold? This chill?
This cold seeps through the senses.
It is black, unseen, yet all pervading.
Who could stand against this absolute?
This vast, vacant emptiness where nothing lives?
Can any fight it? Can any know when it strikes?
It tells us to shriek, to shirk, to sink, to sleep;
It wants us to shiver, to chatter, to huddle, to scream,
To sleep. To sleep. To sleep.

But we dare not dream.

Should we flee? Could we flee? Would we flee?
Will we consummate this unholy matrimony?
Will we consent to slip away into dreamless unrest
And submit to the frigid, killing bite of renunciation?
The hoarfrost wraps i…

A Poem About Winning

The following poem was written by my MMI creative writing student, Curtis Surovy (grade 11). In this poem Curtis expresses different emotional dimensions to winning and how the most precious victories often are not won in public.


Anger red pulses in his neck
as he channels into a single
glorious moment of recovery
all his losses.
Hoisting triumph,
he indulges success before
his enemy's gaping mind.
From anger to victory,
from glory to locker room
where coach rubs liniment
into his aching calves.
He hangs his head
not wanting the others to see
the tear.

Related reading: Curtis Surovy's letter to Wendell Berry; Finest Companions (poem about dog sledding)

Key Considerations in Fiction Writing

Point of view:  From whose perspective is the story being told? The main charcter?  The unseen all-knowing narrator (the author)? Will there be more than one point of view and if so, how willyou handle these?

Characterization:  Min characters are always better drawn when they have a foil – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, etc.

Plotting: Know where you are going and how the story will end. What is the conflict and how will the character handle it? How will things get worse for him? How will you "thicken" the plot?

Dialog:  Use the correct format. Each conversational thread should be set in a new paragraph. Is the conversation natural?  Don't put sophisticated language in the mouths of simple country folk.

Symbol and Metaphor: Used to imply a deeper meaning to the story. Use lightly but effectively. A pair of gold earrings could symbolism the feminine principle, for example.

Word Economy: The best fiction writers edit their work after they have fini…