Check out the 2017-18 YAC Zine by clicking the image above. It will take you to a PDF download link. Happy summer reading from the YACs.
To read the novel PORPHYROPHOBIA by the 2016-17 class of Young Authors Collective, click here. (You can download it as a PDF.)
Halfway between rain on the car roof and the steel drums of the thirty piece jazz band is the sound rolling in your ribs, your wrists, your everywhere. Your gut thrums to the rhythm and blues, to the swing, to the ragtime tune, to the rain on the car roof, as it comes down in a thick blanket of sound all around you. Bold, calamitous sound rumbling like blood and thunder in the rainstorm to fill up gutters, flood rivers, flood the streets up to your knees ’til you no longer hear anything but the downpour, the deafening roar of the heavy air, so thick you could stick your fingers through it like cotton candy. And slow but sure, the storms sounds are filling you, like they fill the rivers, like the jazz band fills the room. They tingle in your fingers, buzzing to the static in the heavy, heady, cotton candy air. Sound is quaking in your body, shaking through your bones, rattling them together to the tempo of metronome. It’ll shake you ‘til you splinter; just push the pieces back together. It’s your jazz, your storm, your sound, so tap your toes under table and let your rhythms all roll out.
Thalia shared this with Jonas
Thalia likes to write Surrealism and Short Fiction and has been a YAC member for 2 years. If writing were not an option, then tree hopping would be the most logical creative outlet for her.
Thalia Answers the YAC Peculiar Questionnaire
- Describe the most embarrassing picture of you as a baby that your parents use to blackmail you. It is genuinely so terrible I can’t describe it for your sake.
- What is your third least favorite color and what number do you associate with it Eggshell White. -3
- What’s your favorite mythical creature? Banshee
- What is the current bane of your existence? Adam
- What’s the most extreme action literature has ever provoked you to do? Self Haircut
- What game show would you want to be on? Why? Is Ellen a gameshow? Can it be?
- If you were a parrot, which Eastern European country would you travel to and why? Lituania
- Who is your B-list celebrity crush? (Famous but not that famous.) Jeff Goldbloom
- F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues.” What’s yours? Justice
- What is your favorite Cards Against Humanity card? Okay, if you’re not familiar with Cards Against Humanity, answer this. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you hate whales? A homoerotic volleyball montage
- If you were indicted tomorrow, what would the charges be? Loitering
- Please provide a weird stock photo that describes you personally.
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
I never saw Colorado skies until I walked out from the grotto of a beautiful old Denver Square house as the sun set orange and pink over the dingy low city skyline, where the frayed telephone wires cut dark black silhouettes just above the horizon. I had seen it before in a picture, taken somewhere else maybe, but the same view, and had always wished that the real world could look that way. And yet here I am, finding that picture come to life in the place I’d lived in long enough to grow bored of.
I never wanted to stay in Colorado. I still don’t want to stay in Colorado. But I’ll miss the sky. Maybe I’ll find skies somewhere else. Maybe I’ll find an ocean, a grey one in a drizzly little town somewhere where the sky isn’t as brilliant but it won’t matter because I’ll have the water for a sky. Maybe I’ll have a misty forest like the ones I found in Vermont.
I’ll miss the sky, but I’ll still leave, because I want a different ordinary. Someday, my ordinary will consist of:
- Fire escapes
- Acrylic paint
- Lace curtains
- A park with a good tree to climb
- Open documents full of words that mean something
- Worn in boots
- Potted plants growing on the window sill
- A room far off the ground
- My new sky, be it a forest or ocean
But for the time being, a can appreciate my ordinary for the red walls, the dried flowers hanging from a string above the closet, the strange art from every corner of the world in every corner of our home, the blue, purple, and green trim, the creek behind my old elementary school, the bus on a rainy day, the large chair in the coffee shop, the parlor and the Denver Square house.
I think there’s someone in the walls. At first I considered the possibility that this was just an old house, and that the noises it made didn’t indicate anything remotely special. But the thing is, eventually I realized the house wasn’t actually making noise. Why I believed it was, I couldn’t tell you, I think my mind was scrambling for the best possible explanation for the sensation I was feeling, so it created whispers and creaks emanating from behind the plaster. But when you really pay attention, there’s nothing there at all.
One could blame it all on paranoia, I suppose, and yes, I considered that possibility, too. How else would you explain this? I believe someone’s here with me, though I can’t see or hear them. But they’re tangible. You can feel the air moving around them. At one point I even considered it might be a ghost.
I gouged a hole in the kitchen wall with a crowbar when I was finally too curious to put up with it anymore. And what did I find but a very angry and malnourished raccoon, who had nested behind the cabinets. Upon calling animal control, I decided that was that.
But the feeling persisted. I punched holes in every room of the house, hiding them all behind posters after the fact in case anyone ever cared to visit. Wouldn’t want to worry them.
I ended up sitting inside the walls quite a lot after a while. By that point I’d given up looking for anything in particular, but the walls were cool and pleasantly dim and it was nice to know that there was a place no one else could find.
And of course I absolutely jinxed it by thinking that. On an afternoon on a Saturday I sat inside the wall for a while and eventually looked up to notice a girl, who, I should add, I had never met before, sitting next to me with a book in hand and a can of soda. Not a ghost, mind you, a real, physical girl, who apparently just enjoyed spending her time reading inside the walls of my house.
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.”
Thalia Medrano is a 9th grader attending Littleton High School. Among other things, she enjoys writing psychological, character-driven pieces centered on the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of those in her stories.
At the moment, she only wants to start writing more regularly and consistently, but her long-term goal is to publish a novel. She tends to write snippets of her bigger story and then has to go back and connect them later.
She struggles to write without a distinct burst of inspiration, but she’s hoping with practice that will get better. Thalia has spent a short amount of time in Greece volunteering with refugees. When she’s at home, she likes to relax, spend time by herself, and has a bad habit of cracking her knuckles too much.
Thalia has written for a variety of reasons over the years, but right now she’s simply writing to improve so she can one day be the writer she hopes to be.