Katy McDonald

[PORPHYROBIA, a YAC Group Novel]

To read the novel PORPHYROPHOBIA by the 2016-17 class of Young Authors Collective, click here. (You can download it as a PDF.)


[YAC is…]

YAC is a group of slightly crazy teenagers, and I use that word fondly.

Laughter colors the walls of the room that we meet in, and I doubt that color will ever fully go away.

Every person brings their own skillsets, and somehow those skills create a conglomeration of incredible stories.

We are crazy, and nerdy and if you were a fly on the wall it might scare you a little bit, but we are YAC, and laughter fills our lungs. by Aiyana Spear


YAC is..
Blooming humanity
Refractured through
Rose-tinted prisms

YAC is…
(the cave)
Chewing the shadows
Cutting open words
And seeing
(the sun)

YAC is…
Cubed laughter
As building blocks
For your soul

YAC is…
Creating. the
From scratch.
by Abigail Munson 


YAC Young Authors Collective Spring 2017YAC is low-key a bunch of crazy high school students that get together on Wednesdays and talk about a lot of stuff, mostly writing, but sometimes weird stuff, like Adam’s irrational fear of a pea, or Lucy’s hue of purple or how Katy can’t spell, but none of us can spell, really, or form a complete sentence (like this one – it’s gone on way too long) but we still call ourselves writers, and that’s good and all because we’re all really good writers, but we all write different stuff, like Abigail who writes like a ton of poetry with all those really clever biblical allusions, and Madison who writes all this fantasy stuff that’s really cool, and always gets confused with Madeline, for some reason who always writes like way too much and can’t even finish this damn sentence, and Cassidy, who has like, a pretty weird sense of humor , but that’s cool and all, and Ellen usually writes about herself, but sometimes it’s about Hello Kitty instead  (and maybe Hello Kitty should be considered a member of YAC) and Aiyana writes descriptive essays, and Sierra writes a little bit of everything, and Thalia dresses like all darkly, which is weird because her writing is so bright, and I think that’s everyone, except for Jesaka, who has to be included, of course, and I’m not sure what she writes, but I’m sure it’s as good as the prompts she gives us, and that’s YAC,  🙂  by Madeline Dean


YAC is…
A place where I thought new things and mastered new thought. A room where lives were created. A group of great people I will carry with me forever. A space where anything is possible and magic can happen. A mindset where kindness and friendship are born. A home where new worlds are traveled and explored together. by Katy C McDonald


YAC is somewhere I’m understood 
YAC is splendiferous
YAC is where writers can be themselves
YAC is where friendships begin and creativity never has to end
YAC is like a convening of Powerful sorcerers
YAC is home
by Madison Hart


YAC is…
Land of misfit toys. But hey, we’re writers, what do you expect. Oddly enough, there’s very little writing involved, just a lot of inside jokes about writing. Or about the snack table. Or about each other. Mostly about each other.  by Thalia Medrano

There are two types of people in YAC… those who like linked stories and Cassidy. by Cassidy Nicks

YAC is…
A concept, a feeling.
It is not merely our group name,
It is green carpets, plush chairs.
It is laughter about nothing,
Laughter about everything.
It is Wednesdays and plot
holes and inside jokes.

We are YAC; YAC is within us
I know that sounds kinda
sappy, but the thing that
YAC is most, is the people.
Each year it changes,
because this people change.

At heart it is an
idea – and an idea
can go anywhere.
by Sierra Karas

[Old House, New Lives]

By Katy McDonald

Marline and John threw open all the windows of the house.  Pro of living in an old house: big windows.  Con of living in an old house: no AC.  But they had made the decision to live there, and now they had to live with it.

Not a bad decision, Marline thought to herself as she looked out over the green and blues from her attic window as the breeze began to cold the room.  Still, John had been strategic about getting them to move in when it was still bearable.   

Six months.  It had been six months, and Marlin still felt she couldn’t move in her own home.  The walls held so many memories; they had seen the lives of so many men and women. A few deaths, too, no doubt.  She shook herself, if she started to tell herself ghost stories now she would never get to bed.

She stepped carefully back down the steep steps.  John’s family had lived in the house for generations.  When his cousin moved out in the early fall, John had jumped at the chance to move in.  Marline was still unsure about her husband’s hasty decisions, but he was happy and promised their kids would be too.  Kids.  She smiled at the thought.  John still didn’t know how soon he would have to come through on that promise.

Katy Old House photo“Happy, Love?”  He asked from his place on the couch.  It had to be from the twenties.  It was hideous.

Marline turned her smile on him and dropped her hand.  “Couldn’t be happier.”  She grabbed her bag.  “I’ll see you after work, don’t get up to too much trouble.”


They were laying in bed.  Wind blow through their room.  The days were too hot and the nights were too cold.  Marline tried to sleep, but it was so hard.  She tossed and turned.  John always slept hot not matter what.

Finally, she gave up on the idea of sleep.  She grabbed her sleeping gown and walked down the kitchen.  The wind was blowing throw the whole house, that seemed about right.  Without turning on the light, she started making tea.  At least someone had thought about indoor plumbing and electricity.  

The street light shown into the window giving the whole room a light caramel feel.  The street was still.  Carm.  Good neighborhood.

Marline stopped.  The wind was blowing through the room.  It was blowing in her hair.  The pages of John’s book on the table were rolling over slowly.  The trees outside were still.  Like a picture.  Dead still.  She shook her head.   No thoughts like that were bad.  Bad thoughts.

The kettle started whistling, and she jumped.  She hadn’t been paying attention for it to get that loud….that fast.  

[Love-Breakup: To my Imagination]

By Katy McDonald

To my imagination,

Although the times have not alway been easy for us, I can say with every part of me: without you I would be nothing. You coax the words from my mind to flow from my fingertips onto my computer screen. I will never forget the long, late nights you have kept me company, fighting way my fears and worries because, with you at my side, nothing can touch me. You make the world something new and beautiful. The bare walls of my mind are suddenly filled with life and power. I know that you will not always be with me but that does not mean that you will ever leave me for good. You know when to come home and when to stay away, most of the time. But even when you come to me unbidden I know it is for the best. The history homework can be pushed aside as you take me down another winding road. You have made my life an adventure. You take me to neverland, down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, to Oz and so many other places. Most of our places will be just that, ours forever hidden from the world, but not all of them and that’s what I really love you for. Not only do you make the world a better place for me but also for those around me. You make the light shine on the dark. You give me hope. Without you, I would be truly lost and that is how I know you aren’t really far away. You stay close enough to keep me safe on the nights when there is no one else. I love you with all my heart. Without you, I am only a fraction of myself.  

Yours forever,


To my imagination,

I know that times haven’t always been that easy for us, so I think it is time for me to finally say: without you I would be so much better. You stop my fingers from writing with paralyzing fears of imagining someone one day reading the atrocity I have had the gall to write down. It would be hard to forget the images you conjure of giant spiders and the world being torn apart by any number of disasters. You make the world seem frightening and empty. The empty chambers of my mind are ripped open with death and decay. We both know that you will not be with me forever and that there are times when you leave and it is better for everyone. You go and come back at the most inopportune times. You will distract me from important work pertaining to school when I simply do not have time for you. I’m sorry, I know that this seems harsh, but I think it’s for the best that I finally say this. You will pull me away and into Hades, the dragon’s lair and any number of torture chambers. The worst part is that this doesn’t always affect me, but those around me because some of the places we go can stay between us, but some of them leak out into the world. You scare me, and that’s how I know you are never really gone: my fear is always with me. You will come upon me in the dead of night like some kind of ghoush. Please, I think it would be best for you to leave and return me to myself.

I’m sorry,

[YAC Responds: Adam & Katy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Adam Dorsheimer]

The fight for hope can be a painful one, especially when you’re fighting against large men armed with cleavers and your hope is a Picasso in the rain. This is not a metaphor, we were terrified.

[Katy McDonald]

My heart often hurts when I look at color. The brininess of the world can often be painful when you wish it to be dim.  The pulsating purity of the sky it what reminds us that we are in fact alive.

The walls and structures that we have build to hold on to what we believe in crumble and fade, by that bright sky reminds us that the rest of the world is still there. I think that’s how I find myself here time and time again.

Surrounded but by the remnants of torched souls. Without the bright colors of the outside world, the faded colors of the past comfort me. There was once a time when every creator looked upon the world with a heavy heart, of that I am sure. They look at the hand dealt them by fate and decide that it was enough.

Maybe the sat down maybe the thought, but they all created. No matter the poverty, corruption or despaired they thought they could may the hard world seem a little more beautiful.

I like to think that there are people who would look at the bright sky the told him to live and there began to compose. That is just simply a theory. (more…)

[End of the Year Road Trip]

by Katy McDonald

We were driving in the car, well I was driving, they were yelling at each they way they always do.  Screaming every brilliant topic into submission.  The back seat fell into a compatible quite.  Jamie and Sasha must have run out things to say, for the time being.  My shotgun rider, Margaret had miraculously drifted off half an hour ago.

The car passed a sigh, Marfa ½ mile.  Marfa that was a weird name for a town.  

My thoughts were echoed from the I assumed was asleep girl next to me.  “This seem a great place to spend the worst year in the history of… the history of what.”  She yawned.

“Time.”  Jamie.  “It was the worst year in the history of time!”

“Yeah.”  Sasha giggled.  “Twenty sixteen was one hundred percent the worst year of all time.”

I didn’t say anything.  Personally, I thought that was a hard statement to make, I mean we had only been around for twenty-two years out of history and we didn’t know about the years we had no written record of.  I had a feeling that some of the years from 1914-1945 were pretty rough.  But I was tired.

Marfa, Texas by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

Photo by by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

“Okay just hear me out,” Margaret said.  She must have seen the look on my face or something.  “So Britain left the EU!  Alan Rickman, David Bowel, Prince, and a bunch of other people who we all loved died.  Hurricane Matthew happened.  There was no snow like anywhere.  There were the attacks in France and Belgium.  Organ had an army control presence there for a bit.  There were wildfires everywhere, did I mention the snow! Oh, and America failed at the whole democratic thing we have pumpkin for president.”  (more…)

[Katy McDonald, 2016-17]

Katy McDonald, YAC 2016-17

Katy McDonald, YAC 2016-17

Katy McDonald hates to write bios. No matter what it’s for, theater or this thing right here, they make her very nervous. It’s okay, though, because she knows that this path will soon be over and she can get to writing about other worlds.

She can rejoin the magical power her pen holds and visit other worlds. She writes to make the world a better place by creating somewhere for kids like her to go when things get too hard. She might sit for hours staring at her computer screen or the blank paper in front her, but these hours are worth it to allow for some light and joy to enter into the world.

Even if one sentence or word makes a difference, it’ll all be worth it. But, you might ask, what does Katy do when she is not thinking too much of her writing. Well, she might answer, tries to stop people from drowning or stress about being a senior, gosh, give her a break, man, she’s just trying to have a bright spot in her life, other than being center stage in the spotlight. She’s just a kid, cut her some slack, some self-confidence is why the girl is passionate about something is good.

[Where Do You Want Me to Take Your Picture?]

by Katy Mc Donald

About Aiyana Spear

While sitting in the worst class in the world and “listening” to the world’s worst teacher Aiyana lets herself dream. Through her dreams, the world around her vanishes and a new one takes its place. She thinks of Captain American, Ironman, Ironfist, Spiderman and Nova. None of that DC nonsense mind you. They are heroes, real heroes. They have powers and can do amazing things.

Her world changes again. Now she too has a power. She can change the probability. It’s an odd power but anyone who understands numbers as Aiyana does will understand how incredible it truly is. With this power she can do anything, fly, breathe underwater, win the lottery. People would ask her “what are the chances?” and she would shrug it off with a smile.

The world changes one last time. She is now in New York City making final preparations for model UN. This is something that she does every year. Of course helping middle schoolers figure out how to make their arguments didn’t used to be the deal. But that’s okay. It gives her the opportunity to study foreign policy and that’s a real passion of hers.

Then class ends and she is jarred out of her day dreaming by the hustle and bustle of people preparing for what comes next in the day. She too packs up. Shaking her head to clear it of any remnants of her dreams. But they will be there later for her to revisit.

The Start

By Katy McDonald


She slid over the rooftops, as stealthy as her nickname made her sound.  Ducked under old pipes and aged vents.  In the falling darkness she shape was nothing more than an outline.  To the average person she could have been a cat or bird.  But I am not the average person and I had my orders.  I watched her slink to the glass roof top of the museum though the red sight of my riffle.

A number of things were recovered over her bag and laid them down, moved quickly and without much hesitation.  Every move had a purpose.  She gracefully slipped into the gallery. She avoided every obstacle and dogged every trap.  She was known for being the best at what she did.   (more…)

Meet Katy McDonald

katy (c)zoeknightKaty McDonald has identified as a writer for so long, she’s not sure when it began, but she knows she loves writing fantasy—and sometimes can’t resist injecting a little humor into it.

What’s your favorite genre to write? Fantasy.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Curled up next to a window on a cold rainy day with a cup of hot tea and a book.

What trait do you most value in yourself? Seeing the good in people when others don’t.

What trait do you most value in other writers? The ability to make others feel good and willingness to share.

What do you do when you’re not putting words on the page? Perform on stage, make costumes (sort of), swimming, playing with friends’ younger siblings.

Which author(s) do you most admire? J.K. Rowling.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Thing, magic, maybe.

Favorite word? Pnumonoultramicrscopicsilicovilcanoconosis (joke!) Twisted. Anything with a lot of Ss.

Least favorite word? Like any word that starts with a “silent P.”

When did you first identify yourself as a writer? I think when I was in first grade, but I don’t know.

Why are you actively involved in Lighthouse Writers Workshop? I love spending time with other people who understand this part of me.

What is your motto? I listen to other people, not myself.