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.

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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 – 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

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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.

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Sometimes I Teach

A little over ten years ago I was employed in one of my favorite jobs to date- school library manager.

Through my position, I was able to encourage more young readers, and on occasion, worked on collaborative story creation with them.  We created shared worlds inspired by what they were learning in class, and after school, I led a small shared world writing workshop (as well as a kids’ NaNoWriMo and other book-connected events, but that’s a story for another time).

It’s the collaborative and shared writing times that I enjoy most.  Working with the group on a shared theme, or simply writing at the same time, modelling the practice of writing- including stumbling blocks and changing my mind (or is it the story leading me elsewhere?) gives me great joy, and sometimes leads to stronger writing.

In the last few years, I have been able to bring that love of writing to a new group of kids through after school workshops at our local school (my own pay-it-forward project, I never charge a fee for this group).  I dubbed the most recent incarnation “Stone Soup Storytellers”, and we created an All-School play with adapted folktales, including Stone Soup, of course.

Most recently, I brought back the theme of Stone Soup and adaptation for a POV workshop with our Uppers students (grade 4-6, some of whom happened to have originally worked on the Stone Soup adaptation), and with our school adaptation of Into the Woods coming up, we’ve been focusing on fairy tales as our inspiration.  With our Middles (grade 2-3) I simply chose randomizers- but since this is me, my writing took a bit of a folktale path.

I present below *my* stories- may they entertain and inspire your own words.

(Feel free to use the images and links in this post as inspiration and share your own tales in the comments!)

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There is a beautiful tradition at my son’s school involving the gift of a stone that everyone has held and put their loving thoughts into. This is my Stone, gifted to me after our production of Stone Soup Stranger. I carry it with me always, and I always shall.

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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.)

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