“Words” from Creative Writing Camp

Posted August 6, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

WITS Writer Lesa Boutin

From the first time Carson read his work for my teaching partner, Rosa Nam, and me, we knew we had a jewel. When he shared his writing, we would stare open mouthed at each other. This piece, “More Silence, Fewer Words,” was inspired by “The Quiet World” by Jeffrey McDaniel. I have no doubt that the day will come when I am standing in an autograph line, book in hand, hoping to have Carson sign it, and I’ll be able to say, “I knew him when.”

More Silence, Fewer Words

It is the year 2024. Everyone has a word counter, and can only say one hundred words. Everyday. The day starts off with a hug, a kiss, and five words. “I love you too, Mom!” My amount of words decreases, like a time bomb. Tick-Tock. Lunch at school is silent. This isn’t unusual, though. Instead of yelling our disgust for lunch, we make faces. Basketball after lunch has changed with the new law. Instead of whooping and hollering when we get points, we all clap. Loudly. The bully hears and silently punches us. The videogames I play after school have changed. They now sound like the old video games my dad played, silent, with the occasional beep or ping. After the word-consuming phone call from Gramma, Mom says, “Dad didn’t make it. I’m so, so sorry.” I feel empty suddenly, and feel like I’m dead, too. At the funeral, I break the silence. “I loved him so much. Now he’s gone.” I cry. I say no more words, since I am at my limit. I go to sleep thinking how I have to do this everyday. Forever.

by Carson, 5th grade

Submitted by WITS Writer Lisa Boutin

Lesa Boutin is a children’s author who discovered a love for every aspect of a book’s life, from concept to completion. With a background in education, Lesa started her own publishing company, Boot in the Door Publications, in 2006, followed by the release of her young adult novels, Amanda Noble, Zookeeper Extraordinaire in 2007, and Amanda Noble, Special Agent in 2008. Lesa enjoys sharing her imagination and passion for storytelling with her students. Lesa taught at the AOS campus in this summer’s Creative Writing Camp.

The Silent World

Posted April 3, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel)

The government has decided

to only allow us 167 words per day.

Nobody hears me.

The only one who hears me is my Grandma

because it’s silent, and she’s the one who sits with me.

And at school there is touching but not talking,

just making hand signals.

I feel like I’m not on the planet.

And when I get home nobody is talking.

I want to save my words for my Grandma

because she is so sweet.

I would like to tell her, “I love you.

You are my soul. You are my sky.”

By Natalia, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Marin Hart, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.