KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Continuing the Story- The Dispersal

 

Boilerplate Preface: As we practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING, I have decided to offer some of my after school creative writing workshop notes, tools, and exercises here for children of all ages.  If you would like to share your stories, you may do so in the comments- or if you have your own blog, you may post it there, but please link back to the post that inspired it, and then share the link to your post in the comments.

This is Part IX in this series.  For parts I – VIII, please see the following:

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Introduction

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – The KeyWords Method

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Character Creation and Backstory

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Clan Visitors- Choices to Make

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Flights of Fancy- Myths and Legends

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Challenges- Missions to Accept

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Leveling Up- New Skills and Talents

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

 

Catling Clans:  Chronicles of Phoenix Clan

The Dispersal…

 

Nearly a year has passed…

Phoenix Clan has grown with new friends, even as some have left, returning to their former Clans, exploring, or generally moving on.

Eagerly anticipating the arrival of new leaves and buds, the cats and kittens of Phoenix Clan huddle for warmth, sharing old stories, telling new ones.

Everyone is waiting.

Continue reading

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

 

Boilerplate Preface: As we practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING, I have decided to offer some of my after school creative writing workshop notes, tools, and exercises here for children of all ages.  If you would like to share your stories, you may do so in the comments- or if you have your own blog, you may post it there, but please link back to the post that inspired it, and then share the link to your post in the comments.

This is Part VIII in this series.  For parts I – VII, IX, please see the following:

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Introduction

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – The KeyWords Method

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Character Creation and Backstory

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Clan Visitors- Choices to Make

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Flights of Fancy- Myths and Legends

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Challenges- Missions to Accept

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Leveling Up- New Skills and Talents

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Continuing the Story- The Dispersal

 

  • Character Creation and Backstory– Character Sheets, Dice, & Cat Imagery
  • Clan Visitors– Choices to Make
  • Flights of Fancy– Myths and Legends
  • Challenges– Missions to Accept
  • Leveling Up– New Skills and Talents
  • Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

Catling Clans: Chronicles of Phoenix Clan

Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

The longest day of the year has arrived.

And with it, the first summer storm.

It arrives suddenly.  First with silent lightning.  Then with brilliant flashes.  It never reaches the camp of Phoenix Clan, but is an astounding show of light and dark, colors and shadows, individual clouds in a brilliant indigo sky.

Just as suddenly, the sky clears.  A brilliant sun shines in the distance as it begins to set.

In the middle of a clearing, where there had been a fire from the Great Storm, something sparkles.

Everyone heads towards it, some cautiously, some racing.

Persephone tells everyone, “These are Firestones.”

She passes one to each member of Phoenix Clan.

“When you take out your Firestone, no matter where you are, always remember- you have a home with Phoenix Clan.  Always.”

Everyone cheers and begins to celebrate as the sun blazes on the horizon.

What do you bring to the celebration- from your old clan, from yourself, from what you wish to see?

Writing My Own Myth(ic Life) – A Guest Post on Parchment and Quill

I find it interesting that this came to me, the words flowed, at least on this theme (hopefully more!) on this day that many (not all, I know) celebrate Mothers.  I personally celebrate the day before my son’s birthday.  I call it Mahmah’s Day, and I (try to) take it as a day for me, visiting a local botanical garden and a museum of natural history, as I did the day before he was born.  He was “late” and I did not want to be induced, so I tried to relax.  It had been raining for about a month.  It is raining (and snowing) today.  I don’t really celebrate today for myself as it is often around, if not on, my own birth-day.

But today words were born.

And maybe a new part of me and my life is too.

And that is something to celebrate.

Kerrie McNay, May 12, 2019

 

Last year I was asked to write a guest post for my friend H.E. Curtis’s blog, Parchment and Quill, about my experience as a parent and my involvement in the arts with my child.  It took me a few months to find the words, but I began as I do… with a list of KeyWords.  (See below.)

I found myself jotting down the names of mothers and daughters from stories, especially from the pantheon of Greek goddesses and my favorite fairy tales.  I thought of the fun little speech I made at our school’s open house, where I used some of my new circus skills (learned after my own child went to circus camp) to invite parents to join the Parent-Teacher Partnership, especially the importance of balance, and how it’s okay to “drop the ball” when juggling our lives.

In the end, I just let the words flow, writing them down as they came.

I hope you enjoy them, and definitely explore the rest of Parchment and Quill for more inspiring writing!

Guest Blog: Kerrie McNay- Writing My Own Myth(ic Life)

 

 

Parchment and Quill KeyWords

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – The KeyWords Method

 

Boilerplate Preface: As we practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING, I have decided to offer some of my after school creative writing workshop notes, tools, and exercises here for children of all ages.  If you would like to share your stories, you may do so in the comments- or if you have your own blog, you may post it there, but please link back to the post that inspired it, and then share the link to your post in the comments.

This is Part II in this series.  For parts I, III – IX, please see the following:

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Introduction

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Character Creation and Backstory

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Clan Visitors- Choices to Make

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Flights of Fancy- Myths and Legends

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Challenges- Missions to Accept

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Leveling Up- New Skills and Talents

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Continuing the Story- The Dispersal

KeyWords:

How to use KeyWords: There are three ways to use the KeyWords Randomizers method.

The first is to write as many words as you choose on small slips of paper, put them into some kind of container like an envelope, bag, or box.  Shake them up, then select as many as you like- 3-5 is a good start.  Use the words you have selected to inspire your writing.

Continue reading

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Introduction

Boilerplate Preface: As we practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING, I have decided to offer some of my after school creative writing workshop notes, tools, and exercises here for children of all ages.  If you would like to share your stories, you may do so in the comments- or if you have your own blog, you may post it there, but please link back to the post that inspired it, and then share the link to your post in the comments.

This is Part I in this series.  For parts II – IX, please see the following:

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – The KeyWords Method

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Character Creation and Backstory

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Clan Visitors- Choices to Make

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Flights of Fancy- Myths and Legends

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Challenges- Missions to Accept

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Leveling Up- New Skills and Talents

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

KeyWords Creative Writing: Catling Clans – Continuing the Story- The Dispersal

********

Finding a connection with a favorite Story is a great way to jump into creative writing.

As the parent of a reluctant writer (and reader), I am always searching for new ideas of how to engage my own child in the pleasure of writing.  After all, if I cannot help my own child find that spark, how can I hope to inspire other children?

I have myriad tools and tricks I have collected or designed over the past 15 years or so.  Some have been quick and easy to inspire an improvised oral tale from my child.  Many of these stories have ended with, “…and then…they died.”  I do not know if this was simply evidence of typical developmental behaviors or an early sign of a tendency toward the morbid.  I can report that most if not all characters now live beyond the end of the stories.

Continue reading

All Souls…

“A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.”

Soul Cake

Today is the feast day known as All Souls’ Day.

A while back I shared a poem I had written for my grandfather (for all grandfathers, of course, but especially for him).

Today I’d like to share a letter I wrote to a man I never actually met….and never will.

Encouraged by Angi Sullins– the magnificent Muse of Duirwaigh Studios– in her Once Upon a Time online workshop, I wrote this letter to my Benefactor, Douglass S. Parker.

Why would I write a letter to someone I had never met and never will?

I think the letter explains it all.

Dear Doug,

I never got to meet you.

We only “met” in email correspondence, and one dream, though brief and suddenly gone. I meant to visit, for your retirement celebration. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I should have. Because now you are gone. You died. And I didn’t know. I tried to get in touch with you again, to share news, but never heard from you after some time in 2007. So I’d like to try this- writing to you. Thanking you. Learning from and with you. Exploring together worlds others plop down cash or credit card or library card and cast away or return or pass on. But we- you and I and others, I think- we go there. We understand the local language, customs, rituals, and more. I want to expand and delve and share what I’ve learned. From them. From you. From myself. You seemed interested, intrigued, by my enthusiasm. I think I got you excited, too, new angles to approach, new worlds to find. I hope in all of my energetic, “look at this!” messages another message came through. “Thank you!” Thank you for showing me the first map to a world I had visited but didn’t realize I could explore, or even stay a while. A map. A key, unlocking new doors, in learning, in creating. I made so, so many more connections, however brief. I stepped out the door, key in hand, and headed down an unknown path, Bilbo and Frodo and Dorothy and Lyra and you by my side- your footprints in the dust, the dirt, the path, next to mine. You’d already set out, and left a lampost to guide me, to show me the path, There, and Back Again. You left me Lookfar, for the watery route, for finding, alone, my shaddowy self, my gebbeth. You left me a mirror, a couple of Oracles, to question, to pass through the gates, to seek the answers in my soul. To show my self my soul. To show- not tell- me, all I needed, all I need, is my self. To open that door, to return home, to draw my own maps, write my own adventures, and share them. With them. With you. For you. For me.

Thank you, Doug. Thank you.

Much love and gratitude to you, sir.

Love,

>Kerrie

Between Earth and Aerie: A Night in the Land of Faerie

I wrote this after my trip to Prescott, Arizona in March 2002.  I had been asked by Kelly Miller-Lopez of the musical group Woodland to dance at the first Faerieworlds Festival.  I don’t know if there is any archive footage of the performance, but I will always remember every detail in my heart.  I can see Thumb Butte where I finished my choreography the day of the performance.  I can hear the laughter of the children of all ages.  I can feel the smooth stage under my bare feet.  I can taste the salt as I perspired in the heat of the day & stage lights at night, trying hard to convey Grace.  I smell the damp earth when I returned to Thumb Butte, to give thanks for the Dance.  Another journey, another time, all part of the path.

Continue reading

What Are Little Girls Made Of? Or Arts and Sciences Make the Muse

(This was an article I wrote as part of a series of con-reports for 201mass.com after attending Boskone 40.  I wrote it mostly in response to Jim Patrick Kelly’s article “Kid Stuff”.  I wrote about how I found my way to sci-fi-fantasy, and I’d like to both update & revisit my views- updating with where my sci-fi/fantasy interests have led since I wrote this, and then revisit with my latest blending/adaptation of fairy tales & folklore with regards to homesteading and sustainability.  Some of the links may still work- I’ll update what I can- but this is more to give you an idea of where I was back in 2003.   Sadly, I did not get to work on youth programming with Boskone, but did go on to work in a school library where I used some of my ideas.)

What Are Little Girls Made Of? Or Arts and Sciences Make the Muse
By Kerrie A. Colantonio

(Please note: some names have been withheld to protect… me.)

Continue reading