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 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
Chewing the shadows
Cutting open words
As building blocks
For your soul
by Abigail Munson
YAC 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
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
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
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
By Madison Hart
You’ve asked what my summer looks like. My summer will be an ordinary summer. But don’t think of the word ordinary and frown. Because I intend to make the ordinary extraordinary. I will turn rolling out of bed in the morning a party–for I have another day. I will turn brewing the coffee into a time of thanksgiving–for I have coffee to brew. I will take making an omelet and flip it into a competition against myself–just to see how perfect I can make it. A shower will become a luxurious cleansing underneath a waterfall. Getting in my car will become like boarding a space craft–for I am off to live adventures and meet new people. I will take my errands and treat them as if I’m on a countdown–for errands always need a little pizazz. I will take washing the dishes and turn it into a karaoke night–for music makes any task grander. I will take climbing into my sheets at night and turn it into a time to ponder my extraordinary day and my extraordinary tomorrow. So, you see, my summer will be extraordinary. Not because of what I do, but because of how I do it. What will your summer look like?
By Madison Hart
She ambled past the row of headstones, some sunk into the plush grass, so old no one visited them. At the end, was one chiseled from marble, still new and glimmering in the afternoon sun. Margaret Leland, born May 2nd 1850, died June 21st 1902. She sighed, sinking to her knees and caressing the opulent marker. Ten years to the day, she thought. Checking her small chain watch she decided to head back home. It was nearing time for her husband to return from work. Dozens of faces flooded past her on the walkway, she smiled at each one, but no one noticed her. She arrived back at her house, entering through the kitchen door. Their few maids bustled about, preparing the meal for the master. They too brushed right past her without a simple hello. She glided through the doorway, tracing the details along the frame and fingering the cool gold of the hinges. The formal receiving room sat empty, one of her grandchild’s dolls carelessly strewn on the wicker furniture. Small giggles rang from the adjacent room. She parted the sliding doors. Two rosy cheeked faces turned to her, eyes wide and mouths ajar. The toys fell from their hands as the children ran screaming up the stairs crying “Mother, mother!” Her head hung low. She wasn’t sure she could take this misery much longer. Mounting the stairs, she climbed five before ducking into the little alcove and seating herself on the short seat. The light waned from the front of the house, so she turned on the dancing lady with flower-shaped bulb holders for hands. Her shadowy hand parted the lace curtain from the geometric crystal window. Here, she would wait for her husband to return so that she might be the first to greet him. She used to have several passersby wave to her from the street, but now, she was invisible. Ah, yes! Here was her husband. His tall, willowy figure ascended the steps and entered the house. She jumped from her seat, floating down the stairs, only to have her embrace interrupted by her two grandchildren and daughter. “Hello Papa, we missed you today!” She shrunk back into the alcove. Here she had sat for the past ten years–unnoticed. And for the next ten years I shall remain. Their marriage vows ran through her mind, “Till death do you part.” Yet not even death could separate true loyalty and love.
By Madison Hart
“The road before and behind you matters little if you can push to follow the path that calls from within.”
This quote stayed with me throughout the entire book The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Sackier, and continues to bounce around in my brain even after completing it. What a great reminder that dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future, doesn’t matter when I follow the purpose of my life. In fact, dwelling on these things will only hinder my progress.
Throughout the entirety of the book, Sackier dropped multiple little nuggets of wisdom such as this in the most opportune of places. What I loved, was that she wasn’t preaching them, but truly applied them and portrayed them in love through her characters.
Sackier’s characters are another thing I truly admired about The Freemason’s Daughter. The main character, Jenna, would appear at first impression to be a stereotypical stubborn, fiery, Scottish woman. At first, I was a little worried she would be plain. I was completely wrong! Jenna made me laugh and cry and grip each side of the book until my knuckles were white! There was never a dull moment with her and her reactions always surprised me.
As for the eight Scottish men she lives with, one being her father and the rest her adopted family, well, I wish I was Jenna. They so obviously loved her and cared for her that I continuously choked back tears. Maybe I’m a little sensitive…or maybe, Shelley Sackier did a fantastic job with her character development. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter! (more…)
By Madison Hart
I regret to inform you…no…that sounds too business like, doesn’t it? Okay, well, Story 559, the truth is, I just don’t have time for you right now. I don’t have time or energy to deal with your indecisiveness, I mean for heaven’s sake pick a plot and go with it already! And, besides, your characters keep yelling at me. Come on! This is just getting ridiculous. You are too unpredictable and disloyal. Yeah, that’s right, I saw you looking at damsel number 207 the other day. Um, not ok, keep your eyes on me, not the words next to you. So, if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m breaking up with you. You see this cursor right here…ya that one. It’s going to drag your pitifullness into the trash folder. Uh huh! I said it. You are going in the trash. And when I have time to address all your little plot holes and put all your characters into time out for five minutes, I will. Wel,l maybe. It all depends on whether I fall in love with story idea number 480 before then. Ok, yes, I’ve been eyeing that rugged archer for months, but what do you care, you have damsels 207-220 eyeballing you all the time and vice versa. So, goodbye, adios, au revoir, sayonara! I will see you when I see you. Have a nice life in the writer dump pile. Maybe you’ll run into the rugged archer’s younger sister while you’re there cause I threw her out too! You deserve each other!
by Madison Hart
I once said I swallowed the sun. But as I sit on my porch I can clearly see it stands in the sky. However, at that time, I wouldn’t have bothered with reality and the fact that I really hadn’t swallowed the sun. Although I knew it in my brain, my heart was filled with its warm rays. You may notice I’m using past tense. You see, since that little girl was running around barefoot in her front yard, she grew up. Growing up is a terrible thing. Everyone argues it’s not. Just take a glance at me and observe my pale cheeks and lifeless eyes and you’ll start to understand. Who I once was, who I long to still be, has been robbed. My story thus ends in woe, but take note of this: Seal the cracks where lies can leak in, or before you know it, your whole life with be flooded. I once said I swallowed the sun. Now the moon is dark.
Is our world in crisis? I won’t lie, it seems to be, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. There’s no particular novelty to this crisis. We’re still dealing with the same old issues we’ve always dealt with, and finding more so called solutions the continue not to solve anything. And in 50 years I can’t help but imagine we’ll be right back here again.
I read somewhere that meaning comes from repetition; if something only happens once, it might as well have never happened at all. This is seen all the time in the context of religion. How many times have you heard someone say, “If there’s no life after death, what’s the point of living?”
But I say that meaning isn’t rooted in repetition or continuation, and is instead found in change and rarity. And in a time when we are facing the same old issues we always have, we have to seek out something new. Hope comes from possibility, from creation. There’s no value to a world that can’t change.
So remember that we aren’t stuck, there is possibility in everything. History isn’t doomed to repeat itself so long as we keep creating. And there’s no wealth of creation and possibility like art.
When walls are built and curtains drawn. When the human soul masks its pain. When all the world seems enraged. When the only hues are black and gray. It is then that hearts long for and even needs a splash of color breaking through the rain. The art of hurt is so easily displayed on canvas, paper and a window pane. It is here where mortal enemies bond together as they share one thing in common, despair. When we realize that we’re not all that different, we fall to our knees and humbly exclaim, “we are brothers, we are sisters, let us stand.” This revelation explodes. A country landscape, a colorful myriad of tiles, a poem for the soul, a bench to sit and observe. So, that when the walls crash down and the curtain is torn. When a soul is released from unthinkable pain. When all the world seems peacefully sane. It is then that we see the black hues turn to cherry blossoms and gray’s turn to rainbow sunsets. Then we sit on the bench, the bench with the placard that says, “to my brothers and sisters with whom I stood tall, we made the walls fall.”
by Madison Hart
Meet Lisa. Lisa is your average woman. Except she makes a ton of lists…on sticky notes…everywhere. But this time, she put her 2016 goals on a nice sheet of crisp notebook paper. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. After a long, tiring day as a barista, she retires to her home office in anticipation of crossing off all her goals…
Let’s see… (rummaging through desk drawer), I know my nice neat list of goals is in here…somewhere (chucks stapler over shoulder, barely missing her cat) Ah ha! Here it is Mr. Fluffy (cat purrs) Now, I’ll just snuggle up in the big armchair by the fire and mark off everythi
ng I have accomplished (sits with nose in air).
ONE. Baked cookies every Saturday
Oh ya! That was an easy one-CHECK!
TWO. Never missed an episode of my favorite shows
Barely (wipes brow), college almost got in the
way (perks up) CHECK!
THREE. Found Mr. Fluffy a friend
Um…well…Mr. Fluffy, you really should work on your first impressions (Mr. Fluffy hisses). Just saying…NOT CHECK!
FOUR. Remembered to floss at least once a week
They really should stock that near the gummy bears so I remember to buy more…NOT CHECK!
FIVE. Went to the Gym with BFF once per week
Whoops, ya, I ditched her after the first one…(lightbulb moment) That’s why she hasn’t called me…NOT CHECK! (Mr. Fluffy glares) Ya, ya, I know…bad friend
SIX. (Tries to smile and shake off impending gloom) Successfully completed first semester of Acting School. Well, I did successfully land the prominent role of background dancer #1. Oh ya! ( Pencil checks and Mr. fluffy meows) But, but—(hangs head and sighs) UNCHECK.
(Stares into fire for unknown length of time)
Goodnight Mr. Fluffy, I’m too downtrodden to stay up for 2017. (Throws list into fire) I think I’ll resort back to sticky notes. (leaves room)
(White cat with pink bow rubs against Mr. Fluffy) CHECK!
As a nine-year-old little girl, Madison Hart never imagined how far her imagination could take her. The feeling of achievement and pride when her and her friends acted out her Thanksgiving play was one she clung to.
Now a junior in high school, sixteen-and-a-half-year-old Madison has larger aspirations. One day she hopes to receive a Newbery Medal for one of her books. But, for now, she enjoys writing meaningful fiction and poetry. Whenever she writes a story, one of the first things she does is pick out names, looking up meanings and creating personalities from there. Despite her passion for writing, she would also like to major in Ecology or Wildlife Conservation in college. She looks forward to what’s over the next hill, waiting to see where imagination meets destiny.
“I love to write because I’m a lover of words. I write to meet new people and travel new places. I write because I know the Lord has called me to do so, and I seek to bring Him glory–not myself.” ~ Madison