Archive for writing

Tales of Warcraft – Chapter 5

Here is the fifth installment in Meghan's original story set in the Warcraft world. If you haven't read or don't remember the story so far, be sure to check out Chapter 1, Chapter 2,  Chapter 3. and Chapter 4. The story is told from the point of view of Salith, a female half-elf, half-troll rogue.   Meghan as Jay Warren in Clearwater's current steampunk LARP Chapter 5 Deja Vu

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Tales of Warcraft – Chapter 4

Meghan Here is the fourth installment in Meghan's original story set in the Warcraft world. If you haven't read or don't remember the story so far, be sure to check out Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. The story is told from the point of view of Salith, a female half-elf, half-troll rogue.  Chapter 4 Traveling They were back on the road. Varawien had decided to join them on

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Tales of Warcraft – Chapter 3

Those of you who have been following Meghan's original story set in the Warcraft world are long overdue for the third installment. If you haven't read or don't remember the story so far, be sure to check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  If you'd like to re-read the first chapter, click on the link above, then enjoy Chapter 3, below. The story is told from the point of view of Salith, a female

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Aidan’s New Blog

Aidan, who is 12 and has attended Clearwater for 6 years, recently started a blog called The Rest of the Iceberg. He describes the focus of the blog this way: "Whatever happened to the rest of the iceberg? Underneath the tip of it you'll find bite-sized short stories, rambling rants, inner thoughts and strange musings." He'd thought about starting a blog for a little while. One night

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Cosmos: The Graphic Novel

Samadhi has been a student at Clearwater for 9 years--he enrolled when he was four and is now almost 14 years old. He has been drawing since he was six and began making comics two or three years ago.


This year he started writing and illustrating a science fiction graphic novel series titled Cosmos. He has completed 16 pages in the first of seven planned books in the series. Book one is subtitled "Sol System", and will be around 200 pages long. He is using Adobe Photoshop to color the comic.

Samadhi has another comic series in mind, also science fiction. He maintains he cannot make a comic series without outer space in it. He explained that the humor in his comic is inspired by Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which combined sci-fi and comedy so well.

Many graphic novels fill Samadhi's shelves at home. Some of his favorites are Bone, Usagi Yojimbo, Amulet, Missile Mouse and Lackadaisy. He admires the last one because it is well drawn and combines comedy and drama.
Without further ado, here is Cosmos. Many pages are followed by Samadhi's comments. Click on each image to enlarge for reading.


Comic Prologue page 001


Comic Prologue page 002


Page 003 Shipslicer!
(click to embiggen)


Page 004 The Vanishing...
(click to embiggen)
And, now The Title Page!


(Click to embiggen and discover the name of this Opus)
And The first page of the actual comic!





(Click to check out those awesome night time effects close up)


Page 007 (Sodalicious!)


Page 008 (Suddenly, better shading! Wow!)


Page 009 (Lamps with eyes are the best kind of lamps. I’d totally buy that lamp.) 


Page 010 (Oh wait no that’s no lamp. Shocking twist. What is even this guy’s deal with these lamps.)


Page 011 (PLOT!! That’s a sound effect that needs to be used in comics more often.)


Page 012 (Shocking twist #2. Man Lekku what is even up with your mane in that last panel. Brush strokes eternal.)


Page 013 (Motion blur always. I have to draw those couches so many times i will just drop a spaceship on one, which just actually happened. Oh wait now it’s harder to draw. Dang)


Page 014 (See, when you cut something with a sword that looks like a peeled banana it clearly can’t be fixed. This is what happens in my world.)
How many couches CAN I destroy???????? Next on Cosmos!

Samadhi's comic was first published on his mother Roseanne's blog, Breaking Sod, in three installments: one, two and three. 

End of post.

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Tales of Warcraft, Chapter 2

Last month the first chapter of Meghan's original story set in the Warcraft world appeared on this blog. She has written five chapters so far. If you'd like to re-read the first chapter, click on the link above, then enjoy Chapter 2, below. The story is told from the point of view of Salith, a female half-elf, half-troll rogue.

Tales of Warcraft
Chapter 2
A Terrible Reunion

Salith’s consciousness returned only when she was shoved roughly up against a stone wall and was surprised to find her hood intact and upon her head. “And so we meet again, my slippery little friend!” said a cold voice from above her. Salith opened her eyes. Before her were the shin-high boots of a human she had met only once before and she did not plan on repeating the encounter, though she felt this would be entirely different.

Salith discovered there were at least two more armored humans behind her; one of them took hold of her tattered hood and ripped it off her cloak entirely, revealing red-orange dreadlocks that fell just past her shoulders and a face much less like what the human’s thought she was. Her face was bluish with a tint of lavender and her eyes were glowing orbs, a ghostly ivory.


The human before her reached out a gloved hand and took hold of her dreadlocks. Not wishing to have her hair pulled out, Salith was forced to look up into the face of the human she had dreaded ever meeting again.
“Where be dah true king!?” she demanded, and the man tightened his grip on her dreadlocks.
“I am the king, Half-breed!”
Salith bared her yellowish teeth. “You are no king!”

Before she knew what was happening, the man had let go of her dreadlocks and waved his hand to the man to her left, who took hold of her arm and wrenched. Salith screamed and fell to the floor; she lay face down, her arm sticking out at a weird angle. She bit her lip so hard to keep from whimpering it bled.

The man who claimed to be king knelt down and took hold of her dreadlocks once more, pulling her head up so that she had to look him in the face. “I am the rightful king. Question my rule again and the pain will be much, much worse” he whispered. His voice was cold as ice and his eyes burned with blue flame. Salith bared her teeth, but didn’t have the strength to retaliate, nor did she want more pain; she was almost overwhelmed by it already. “Remember Cerader*,” was the last thing Salith heard.

Thump thump thump. What was that sound? She didn’t care. Why was the ground swaying? She didn’t know. Salith opened her eyes to find a metal roof above her head and bars all around and discovered the sound was her heartbeat. Sitting up slowly she looked around. She was in a hanging cage attached to the side of the main castle of the city of Dunatar. Below was a large courtyard filled with bustling villagers. A fountain sat in the middle of the busy courtyard, the water sparkling with coins that had been tossed in.

A group of young villagers stood beneath her cage, glaring up at her and occasionally throwing small rocks up at her.
“Demonspawn!” one of them called, a tall man clad in leather garments.
“Half-breed!” called another, a shorter man in violet robes.
“Lay off guys!” cried a young women wearing a dress with a white top and blue bottom. reaching out to put a hand on the leather-clad man’s shoulder.
He turned and pushed her roughly aside. “C’mon, let’s leave it to rot.”

Salith wasn’t stung at all by any of the insults, for all of them she had heard many a time before. Instead she turned her attention to the rising sun which turned the clouds pink and showered the surrounding forest with golden rays of light. Salith sighed, rubbing her broken arm gingerly. "What does Cerader want with me?" she wondered, shuddering at his name. It seemed as if it had been burned into her memory. Her mind whirled and her arm throbbed. "If I survive this, it’ll be a miracle," Salith thought miserably. She lay on her back and stared up at the roof of her prison and soon blackness consumed her.

*Pronunciation guide: Cerader (Seer-a-dar)

End of post.

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Tales of Warcraft


Meghan, who is 12 years old, started attending Clearwater seven years ago. In a recent interview, Meghan said, “My favorite, favorite thing about Clearwater is doing whatever you want, whenever you want.” This year, she is learning to play the guitar with the expert assitance of staff member and musician, Matt Garrity. She loves the grounds and the creek, because there are places to mull things over. She is also in love with fantasy and made-up worlds and at Clearwater is able to explore the never-ending facets of that passion, including creating unique experiences and stories based on it. In recent years she has read Warriors, a children's book series that focuses on four clans of wild cats in their forest homes and the Harry Potter book series, among others.

She and her friends have spent a lot of time at school role playing in worlds they create based on fantasy books and World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). (Commonly referred to as WoW, the game has over 12 million subscribers around the globe making it the world's most-subscribed online game. The fantasy world of WoW is vast and owes much of its inspiration to the fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkein.)

Another of Meghan's favorite activities is writing. She keeps a running file of ideas to develop into stories, and has written five chapters of a story based on WoW. The idea came to her when she was between waking and sleeping. She made up an area in the Warcraft world called Emerald Forest.


Her story starts with a character that is half elf, half troll--a rogue.

She is excited to publish her story, as it exists so far, in installments on this blog. The first chapter and installment begins below.

[One of the challenges for a new writer is learning how to use punctuation to make a story more clear to the reader. Meghan and I worked on punctuation edits to the story. She wrote the entire text with no editing from anyone but herself. Meghan requested that the version of her story with her original punctuation be included for those who want to experience it as she did, flowing out unedited. You will find that version below the punctuation-edited version.]

Tales of Warcraft
Chapter 1
Assassination and Capture


It was dusk. Clouds floated lazily across the red-orange sky and the Horde encampment Ren'kal stood menacing, framed by the flaming sunset. A hunched figure, draped in a dusty brown cloak, stood at the entrance to the encampment and watched as a guard paced up and down in front of the gates. Long bluish-green ears poked out of the top of the creature's hood and tusks the color of sand protruded from under it. It took a moment, but the guard paused in his pacing and looked up, noticing the strange figure watching him. The guard tramped up to the strange figure. The guard was a large, slightly hunch-backed creature with emerald skin and glaring hazel eyes. His ears were pointed; he also had tusks, though not even half the size of the ones of the strange trespasser.


"What is your business here?" the guard demanded, pointing his spear at the throat of the stranger.
"I be here tah speak tah Kesh," said the stranger.
The guard grunted. "And what makes you think you can just waltz right into Ren'kal and talk to Kesh, eh?"

Swift as the wind, the stranger had straightened up and put a dagger to the guard's throat.
"Take me tah Kesh, now," the stranger growled.
The guard froze. "You wouldn't!"
The trespasser laughed. "Oh, trust meh, I would."
The guard's breathing quickened. "O-okay....this way."


The stranger withdrew the dagger from the guard's throat and melted back into the shadows. The guard ventured forward into the camp, made his way towards the largest building in the encampment and went inside. He climbed a flight of stairs before coming to a door.

"Open it," hissed the trespasser from the shadows, surprising the guard, who knocked. Hearing a voice call, "Come," the trespasser entered. It was a high-ceilinged room with a large tapestry along one wall showing The Sundering of the World. As the door shut with a thud, a voice greeted the stranger.

"Lok'tar, Salith*."
Salith let her cloak fall from her shoulders as she drew out her daggers. She walked up to the chair where Kesh sat with his back to her.
"Goodbye, Kesh."

Crash! The walls of the building shook as another Alliance catapult launched a boulder into Ren'kal. . As soon as word of Kesh's death had reached the Alliance--how it had, no one knew--it had immediately ordered an attack on the now leaderless encampment. "Gryphons!" someone screeched as Kesh's assassin fled the now-collapsing building. "Stop right there, Assassin!" It was the guard who had escorted her. Salith laughed, grinning beneath her hood. "What are yeh goin' ter do, orc? Sit on meh?"

The guard charged, spear outstretched. Just as she had done before, Salith swiftly pulled out her daggers, but this time she didn't hesitate. The blades cut into the guard's neck and he fell to the ground. Salith whipped around and raced towards the ruined gates as flaming arrows rained down. She held on tightly to her hood as she raced away from the burning ruins of what once was Ren’kal.

Deep in the Emerald Forest, Salith ran. She ran as fast as her long legs would allow. She could hear the thundering of hooves and knew she was being followed--by who, she didn’t know, nor did she care at the moment. All she wanted to do was get as far away from Ren’kal as possible. The hoof beats got louder and Salith’s heart quickened.


“HALT!”
Salith fell back onto the ground as a great black steed pulled up and reared. Its hooves landed at her feet and the human astride the steed looked down at her, almost mockingly.

“Well well well, what do we have here?”
Another human rode up beside the first, astride a beautiful white mare.
“I believe it’s a Troll, sir,” said the rider, who appeared to be female.
“I know that!” spat the first rider, who Salith guessed was the leader.
More troops surrounded her, this time on foot, and the leader jumped off his horse.
“Wh-“ Salith began, but the human silenced her with a sharp kick in the side.
“Quiet, Troll!” the man spat.

Salith looked up at the human; blood dripped from the corner of her mouth as she grinned up at the human.
“What are you grinning about, beast!?”
Salith spat blood into his face.“I be wonderin’ where yeh got such an ugly face.”
One of the footman spoke. “Umm, Ronik, Sir, the King asked we bring the Half-breed back… alive, Sir.”
The man called Ronik straightened up and glared at the footman.
“I am aware of the King's orders, Skinth! Now you are going to shut your trap and lis-“
Ronik whipped around and stared down at Salith.
“It's laughing!” Skinth cried.

Ronik leapt down and bound the cackling Salith’s hands and legs. Finally he stuffed a cloth into her mouth and tied her to his saddle. Mounting his steed he called three sharp commands to his men and began to ride off. Salith’s head hit the ground and she blacked out.

*Pronunciation note: Sal'-ith


[Meghan's original version without editing]

Chapter 1
Assassination and Capture:

It was dusk. Clouds floated lazily across the red-orange sky and the Horde encampment Ren'kal stood menacing, framed by the flaming sunset. A hunched figure stood at the entrance to the encampment, Draped in a dusty brown cloak, Watching as a guard paced up and down in front of the gates, long bluish-green ears poked out of the top of the creature's hood and tusks the color of sand protruded from under it, it took a moment but the guard paused in his pacing and looked up, noticing the strange figure watching him, the guard tramped up to the strange figure. He was a large, slightly hunch-backed creature with emerald skin and glaring hazel eyes, his ears were pointed, he also had tusks, though not even half the size of the one's of the strange trespasser "What is your business here?" The guard demanded, pointing his spear at the throat of the stranger "I be here tah speak tah Kesh" Said the stranger, the guard grunted "And what makes you think you can just waltz right into Ren'kal and talk to Kesh, Eh?" swift as the wind, the stranger had straightened up and put a dagger to the guards throat "Take me tah Kesh, Now" the stranger growled, The guard froze "You wouldn't!" the trespasser laughed "oh, trust meh, I would" the guard's breathing quickened "o-okay....this way" The stranger withdrew the dagger from the guards throat and melted back into the shadows, the guard ventured forward into the camp, he made his way towards the largest building in the encampment and went inside, he climbed a flight of stairs before coming to a door "Open it" hissed the trespasser from the shadows, surprising the guard, who knocked, hearing a voice call "Come" the trespasser entered. It was a high-ceilinged room with a large tapestry along one wall, showing The Sundering of the World. As the door shut with a thud, a voice greeted the stranger "Lok'tar, Salith" Salith let her cloak fall from her shoulders as she drew out her daggers, She walked up to the chair where Kesh sat with his back to her "Goodbye, Kesh"

Crash! The walls of the building shook as another Alliance catapult launched a boulder into Ren'kal. The Alliance, As soon as word of Kesh's death had reached them- How it had, no one knew -had immediately ordered an attack on the now leaderless encampment "Gryphons!" Someone screeched as Kesh's assassin fled the now-collapsing building "Stop right there, Assassin!" It was the guard who had escorted her, Salith laughed, grinning beneath her hood "What are yeh goin' ter do, orc? Sit on meh?" The guard charged, Spear outstretched, and just as she had done before, Salith swiftly pulled out her daggers, but this time she didn't hesitate, the blades cut into the guards neck and he fell to the ground, Salith whipped around and raced towards the ruined gates as flaming arrows rained down, She held on tightly to her hood as she raced away from the burning ruins of what once was Ren’kal

Deep in the Emerald Forest, Salith ran, She ran as fast as her long legs would allow, She could hear the thundering of hooves and knew she was being followed- by who, she didn’t know, nor did she care at the moment, all she wanted to do was get as far away from Ren’kal as possible, the hoof beats got louder and Salith’s heart quickened “HALT!” Salith fell back onto the ground as a great black steed pulled up and reared, its hooves landed at her feet and the human astride the steed looked down at her, almost mockingly “Well well well, What do we have here?” another human rode up beside the first, astride a beautiful white mare “I believe it’s a Troll, sir” Said the rider, who appeared to be female “I know that!” Spat the first rider, who Salith guessed was the leader, more troops surrounded her, this time on foot and the leader jumped off his horse “Wh-“ Salith began, but the human silenced her with a sharp kick in the side “Quiet, Troll!” the man spat, Salith looked up at the human, blood dripped from the corner of her mouth as she grinned up at the human “What are you grinning about, beast!?” Salith spat blood into his face “I be wonderin’ Where yeh got such an ugly face” one of the footman spoke “umm, Ronik, Sir, The King asked we bring the Half-breed back… alive, Sir” The man called Ronik straightened up and glared at the footman “I am aware of the kings orders, Skinth! Now you are going to shut your trap and lis-“ Ronik whipped around and stared down at Salith “its laughing!” Skinth cried. Ronik leapt down and bound the cackling Salith’s hands and legs, Finally he stuffed a cloth into her mouth and tied her to his saddle. Mounting his steed he called three sharp commands to his men and began to ride off, Salith’s head hit the ground and she blacked out.


End of post.

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A Poet Strikes Again

Just a few days ago, this blog published some song lyrics written by Mara. As I copied down the lyrics on the bus ride home from school, several students on the bus were curious about Mara's song and asked to hear the lyrics. I always enjoy how tuned in students are to each other's creativity.

One of those students was reminded of some poetry he composed recently, and asked me to copy it down and reproduce it here for your reading pleasure. You may remember that in November, this blog
also published a poem by Arlo about Clearwater's new rain garden.


Herewith are three more poetry compositions by Arlo.

Goodbye

"Goodbye," she said, as she passed away
I did not hear what she did not say
But the rhythm definitely gave it away
She obviously sent a bidding.

Stupid Forest

The stupid forest is an awesome place.
You'll go through it once and you'll leave no trace.
You'll come back through again and you'll say,
"Hooray for today, 'cause I am smart again."

Hollywood Man

He's a Hollywood man
He puts signs on his door step
He's a jolly good man
He makes friends on every corner
He's a jolly good man so everyone's a fan
He's a jolly good, Hollywood man that's tan

End of post.

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Ya Gotta Follow Your Dreams

Since Clearwater's beginnings in 1996, we've always had a substantial number of word connoisseurs--people who love playing with words by writing stories, music lyrics, plays on words and studying the origins, nuances and cadence of words. Eight-year-old Mara is a prolific rhymer and song writer. She loves putting together rhythms and unusual rhymes on the fly and comes up with some lovely and fascinating combinations. As she spins delightful phrases, she analyzes which ones make logical sense and relishes the ones that are simply fun to listen to and say.


Here's a song she wrote recently and brought to school, although it is not one of her rhyming compositions. The tune exists in her head and is not yet available in musical notation.

Ya gotta follow your dreams.
Ya gotta do it no matter what.
Even if it's a long shot there.
Ya truly gotta follow it to your dreams.

And This is how you do it.
You can wish upon a shooting star.
But no matter what, you gotta
Work for it.

And this is how I know.
I once wished upon a shooting star.
But I had to work the rest of
the way there.

End of post.

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Rain Garden Poetry

Last week, a ten-year-old Clearwater student composed a poem about Clearwater's new rain garden.

Without further ado, here's his poem.

The Swale
by Arlo

We have a swale on the side of our school.
Water runs in it and people run on it.
I think it’s cool and so do my friends
So we’ve managed to not hurt it—-not a dent.
Not a hit
Not a smack
Not a slap
Not a bang.
So I think it’s cool and so do my friends
So this is where my poem ends.



Arlo and the rain garden


End of post.

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