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?

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

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 VII in this series.  For parts I – VI, VIII-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 – Summer Celebration- Festivals and New Traditions

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

Leveling Up– New Skills and Talents

An older, ragged Elder she-cat appears to you.

Only you.

She asks for your assistance.

There may be an obstacle she needs moved or overcome.

There may be someone who needs help and she cannot.

There may be an errand she needs run for her.

A quest.

A challenge.

She may need herb medicine but she forgets which ones or where to find them.

She may be having dreams that she doesn’t understand.

Can you help her?

What have you learned that could help her?

How have you grown?

What new skills or knacks do you have?

Which do you still need to work on?

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

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 VI in this series.  For parts I – V, 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 – 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

 

Catling Clans: Chronicles of Phoenix Clan

  • 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

A wind storm rises.

Members of Phoenix Clan who were out visiting their old clans have been separated on their return trip.

Those who remained at camp took shelter deep in the caverns of the tree, but got lost.

What happened to your cat?

Where did they go?

How did they find their way back?

What did they discover along the way?

What did they find?

What can they bring back?

What can they share?

What did they learn?

 

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

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 V in this series.  For parts I – IV, VI-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 – 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

 

Catling Clans: Chronicles of Phoenix Clan

  • 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

You have heard a story about cats that have wings like birds.

Do you believe they exist?

Do you think they are cats who are friends with birds?

Do you go in search of one?

Do you dream about them?

What would you do if you met one?

Do you have wings?

Do you hide them?

Do others know?

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

“Someone, Please Send Me…”

It has been a while since I have shared any of my writing- either old or new.

My voice… my writing voice, that is… has been quiet.

I *have* been writing, but none of it feels ready for sharing.

Not yet.

For now, I shall share a bit that I found while exploring old files from my young adult years.  Perhaps some time soon I’ll go back even further and type up some of my earliest poems from my adolescence.

If I could ask “Someone, please send me…” now, I would ask for my Voice.

But I am the Someone.

And only I can set it free.

 

Continue reading

Rings…

11 Years…

…that’s how long it’s been since a ring was placed on the finger of this dryad, binding her with metal,  her fate sealed with symbols, capturing her in her form with a name…

…but not to be lost in the shapes that were to come, to grow, to branch-out, to evolve…

…ever-more…

The woodcutter needs his trees, the dryad needs her tree, bits are cut away, new seeds are planted, growth and decay must occur…

…both…

…together…

…ever-after…

…to be continued…

********

Today is the eleventh anniversary of the day my husband and I were married- same day, even!- surrounded by willow branches & ferns, by family and friends.  Some have gone, some have been born, some have been lost, some have been found.  New names have been given, new shapes have been slipped into… and old ones left behind.  I still don’t know “who I may some day be.”  We are still together- eleven years married, almost eighteen years since we first met.  A bit worn, a bit tired, a bit bent, and a bit overwhelmed with Life’s Challenges.  But together.

We’ve come this far…

…and there’s still far to go…

In Love and Life, my Deer-Hart…

…I’ll meet you in the Dark Woods…

…let’s count some rings…

********

My dearest love, my gull, my bard,

Today I am declaring to the world my true devotion to you.  As a personal sign of this, I am taking your surname, McNay.  I know that you have felt uneasy about this, about taking away a name that I have had my whole life, a name that others know me by; in a way, my identity thus far.

In some cultures, a person takes many names in his or her life, as a sign that they have left a part of their life behind them, and are moving on to the next part of their life.

In Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife, Maggie Black and Crow, a Trickster spirit from the Rincons of Arizona, have the following discourse:

“Then tell me who you are,” Crow said, “and why you have come to this land of mine.”

“That’s two questions,” Maggie pointed out. 

He ignored this.  “Quick now.  Who are you?”

Maggie shrugged.  “I’m many different people,” she said.  “So I guess I’m a bit of a shape-shifter too.  In West Virginia, I’m Emil Black’s granddaughter.  In L.A., I’m Nigel Vanderlin’s ex-wife; in London, I’m Tatiana Ludvik’s crazy friend.  I’m a vagabond writer to my friends in Holland; a sweet summer affair to a sculptor in Florence; a hopeless klutz to every gym teacher I’ve ever had-do you want me to go on?”

“Those are just the shapes.  What’s underneath?  The essence, that doesn’t change from shape to shape.  That’s what a shape-shifter has to know or you lose yourself.  You can’t get back.  You’re trapped in one shape, and you can’t get out.”

She frowned, thinking about this.

“What are you at the core, Black Maggie?”  He smiled viciously.  “I don’t believe you know.”

To many of the people in this room, and to others who could not be here today, I too am many different people, with many different names:  I was Chicken to my grandfather, Leo; Kerrie-Anna-Banana and Kerrie-the-Strawberry to my aunts Joan and Jane, respectively; Marie to the Roman Catholic Church; Diana to my Anne-girl, Sheila; Angel, Doc, and KC to my family from Wheelock; Perrina to the virtual world; Fairy-girl to the musical spirits of Arizona; and kerriefairy and Princess Kerrie to you, my Deer Hart, my Little Prince.  I am all of these people, and none of them.  I am myself, though, not a name or a title.

When I went to Arizona last year, I did not yet know the steps to the dance I was to perform.  I found my dance on the paths of Thumb Butte, alone with Nature and Time to guide my arms and feet.  When I met you, I did not yet know who I was, or what role I was to perform in your life.  Since then, I have found my words, I have found my self, I have found my role.  I was a bit afraid of becoming “wife” and how that word, the simple change of my name, would affect my life.   I am still curious, though no longer afraid.

I may know who I am, but not who I may some day be.  But I know that with you by my side, we may discover these, and many other things, together.  May that journey last forever and a day, longer if possible.

 

 

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May 31, 2003 – May 31, 2014

 

“You are dancing for us…”

Rustling what remains of their skirts, veils,
Juniper and pinion/sycamore show me how
to finish my dance.
Raising my arms, the wind molds me
as it does the trees,
Just so.
You are dancing for us, not them.
Follow us, this way.
If you travel down this path,
we’ll show you how you appear to others,
what you really are,
inside,
to us.
Come back tomorrow, once you’ve passed
through (the mirror of) Tonight,
shimmering twilight lifting the veil
for you to pass,
a little of its magic coming to rest upon
your shoulders.
You can never return home,
but you will find it,
changed,
on the other side.

(c) March 2002