Madeline Dean

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…
Escaping
(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
world
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

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Atari Game

By Madeline Dean

Atari2600aAtari video games were once very popular—that’s for sure. But what will they be fifty, sixty years from now? Just a little black box, sitting in a junkyard. Assuming junkyards still exist fifty, sixty years from now. Maybe the world will become some kind of environmental utopia where everything is recycled, and the Atari game will broken into little tiny pieces, a part of everything but nothing itself.

 That can’t happen to writing. It can’t get broken up into little bits. Because, without choice or order, all writing becomes just words. A novel or a Shakespearean play becomes nothing but a dictionary.

So, that’s not to say dictionaries are nothing, but they are just a means to an end. And the end is the collection of all of those bits and pieces–English is a language of miscellany. Here’s a Latin word, and over there’s a Germanic one, and, together, they’re a symphony of emotion.

[One Year]

By Madeline Dean

November is national novel-writing month.
December is national novel-editing month.
January is national submitting-your-novel-to-publishers month.
February is national getting-rejection-emails month.
March is national I’ll-just-edit-this-more month.
April is national giving-up month.
May is national not-writing month.
June is national realizing-this-whole-“not-writing”-thing-is-not-working month.
July is national getting-back-into-writing-month.
August is national writing-shorter-smaller-pieces month.
September is national realizing-you-want-to-write-a-novel month.
October is national novel-planning month.
November is national novel-writing month.

[Attic Ballroom]

By Madeline S. Dean

Somewhere, far below, a car speeds down Colfax, looking at the Noodles or the T-Mobile or CVS. But this room isn’t part of that world. It’s divided off by solid white walls. They curve up where they met the ceiling, like a cave, but without the dampness or the unpleasantness. Just the isolation.

And, is it so impossible, for a room so divided from space, to also be divided from time?

Imagine what this place looked like one hundred years ago. Take the green carpet from the floor, the tables and desks and bookshelves, the conference table in the middle, the fixings of a house for writers.Lighthouse ghost stories photo Madeline Dean

This room was a ballroom, once. A ballroom on the top floor, overlooking the city. Picture the men and women, all dressed in nineteenth century finery, trudging up two flights of stairs, no doubt sweating and huffing and puffing the whole way up. And picture the scene that greeted them—people dancing, drinking, tables set up around the periphery.

In some ways, it’s not so hard. That little alcove might have been a bandstand, with a cello and a violin.

A top floor ballroom must have meant a lot of things. For one, isolation. It must have been just as much of a thing then as it is now. Or even more so, before the house was surrounded by skyscrapers and peeping neighbors. This wasn’t the kind of party you could just come in off the street. You had to be invited, to know people. And, in such an isolated space, the parties must have gone on all night. What was stopping them?

For another, guests had to walk through almost the entire house to get up there. The fancy staircase is in the front of the house, but only the back one goes all the way up. Did they walk through the first floor, with the formal and informal living rooms? The dining room wallpapered with gold? Or did they walk up the nice staircase and cross to the back on the second floor? Walk past the bedrooms?

And, for a third, the party must have dominated the entire house. The music must have been audible on the first floor, and people dancing must have shaken the rafters and the walls. It must have been possible to eavesdrop on the gossip from the second story bathroom or the first story kitchen.

The house is still like that, sometimes. Even with the carpet, the desks and the bookshelves. All of those parties, all of those years ago, have left their mark on the space. The rafters know what it’s like to feel people dancing, the claw-foot tub knows what gossip sounds like, and the back stairs would like your invitation, please.

After all, if the parties didn’t know when to stop then, why would they now?

[Love Letter]

Dear consistent voice,
You might have not helped me get into the summer writing program at Kenyon*, but, you know what, that’s okay. It’s OK because I’m stuck with you. I know that I will never be without you, and that, no matter how hard I try, you’ll be there. We’re trapped together although we may go everywhere. But it’s always everywhere together. What can I say. You’re my thoughts, my feelings (and) my dreams. I may have ideas separate from you, but that doesn’t matter because my ideas are always thought through you. Like a language. 

Pero, las otras lenguas no son escapas desde ti. Cuando escribo en español, estás aquí también. Tú tienes una voz distintiva, mi maestra de español me dice. Ella no sabe que muchas personas me dicen esta oración. 

You see? It all sounds the same, even in Spanish. I suppose it’s a good thing, though, really. Even if I didn’t get into Kenyon. If I ever write anything and anyone else reads it, it’ll have a watermark. Your watermark. Our watermark. © Madeline Dean. I don’t even need to say it because it’s already there. 

Besides, they say everyone sounds like themselves. Then, they say that I sound especially like myself. Although, I’m not sure that’s true. My stories aren’t (usually) full of. Sentence. Fragments. One. Word. Per. Sentence.

Nor are they full of crazy gimmicks, or exasperatingly sesquipedalian prose. I’m not sure if that second one would help me, but I know the first one would.

No matter. I’m stuck with you. Cool. No matter what I wrote, it sounds like I wrote it. I guess no one’ll accuse me of plagiarism. Except they do. Sigh.

Anyway.

*Editor’s note: Two days after writing this, Madeline learned she was accepted into the summer 2017 Iowa Young Writer’s Studio program. Congratulations, Madeline!

[The Apocalypse or My Life So Far]

by Madeline S. Dean

  • I was born eight days after Y2K caused all of the planes to fall out of the sky, all computer programs to spontaneously crash and time itself to stop.
  • I was eight during the Great Recession. I remember all of the graphs of stock falling down, down, down, into a deep hole of an economy that the country would never return from.
  • I remember the time the United States went to war with Russia over a crashed helicopter in Syria.

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

  • I was twelve in two-thousand-and-twelve, and I remember when the super volcano at Yellowstone erupted, causing all kinds of natural disasters.
  • I remember when Russia took over Crimea and Ukraine and then kept spreading, all over Europe until the United States had to step in. With nukes.
  • I remember when Iran got a nuclear weapon.
  • I remember when the Ebola epidemic devastated the United States, and everyone was afraid to get within a foot of each other.
  • I remember the Zika epidemic that followed, and how it made everyone lock their doors and windows and not leave the house.
  • I remember the apocalypse, the world ending so many times and in so many different ways.
  • And so, looking at all of this, I can’t help but feel that the future is bleak. All I’ve ever known is one end of the world after the other, so how could the future be any different?

[Madeline S. Dean, 2016-17]

Madeline S. Dean, YAC 2016-17

Madeline S. Dean, YAC 2016-17

Madeline S. Dean is a sixteen-year-old junior who goes to the Stapleton Campus of the Denver School of Science and Technology and, yes, she partially likes to write that out because it seems absurdly long on paper. She likes to write a lot of plot and suspense with an occasional dash of humor.

True to the form of her school she also likes to write a lot of science fiction, especially dystopia, which is more to-school-true than it sounds. She mostly writes short stories, thought she had a poem published once and is not sure how, and also tied for first place in a school essay contest and has not, much to her dismay, read the other writer’s essay. She would mostly like to keep writing, no matter what her future career is, and want to finish all of the stories she is currently writing. This is a lot harder than it sounds because she has a habit of not knowing how long her stories are going to be. Outside of this, Madeline enjoys traveling and has traveled extensively around the globe.

“I write because I think it’s profound that I can take what’s in my head and share it with others.” ~ Madeline