Write It! Activities

 

Write It!: Write a Fantasy

Is Alice in Wonderland one of your favorite stories?  Did you love the movie Frozen?  Are you a big fan of Harry Potter trivia?  If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you must like Fantasy.  Maybe you have even tried to write a Fantasy story of your own.  If you haven’t, now is a good time to try because writing Fantasy is really fun and also a big favorite of the Magic Dragon.

First, let’s l ask ourselves, “What is Fantasy?”     Fantasy is all about imagination or “make believe.”  It is the opposite of reality.  Fantasy stories include fairy tales, science fiction, magical worlds, talking animals and more.  Fantasy stories come from the creative part of our brains and can start from a dream, an unusual happening, a new idea, or even a silly thought.  Best of all Fantasy is very easy to write because there is no such thing as “wrong” imagination.

One of the best ways to begin a Fantasy story is to create a new world. Describe your world. What does your fantasy world look like?   Is it a new planet?  A city of the future?  Or perhaps an undiscovered island? Try to picture your world in as much detail as possible.  Imagine what kinds of creatures live there, what the weather might be like, the color of plants, etc.  Don’t forget to use all the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) in your description. You might even consider making a detailed map of your new world like Tolkien did for Lord of the Ring.  Decide where there are buildings, mountains, or oceans.

Next think about the timeframe for your story.  Does it take place in the future and have all kinds of robots and new technologies?  Or does it take place in a past where the only weapons were words and bows and arrows.  You should also think about the culture of your new world.  Where do the people (if you have people) in your world live, how do they get food, do they have wars, or do they live quiet peaceful lives?  Think about kinds of jobs they have, what sports they play, what kind of music they have.

Once you have decided on the all the rules of how, where, and when of your story, you can begin deciding on the kinds of magical or supernatural things that might occur in your new world.   Are there dragons that fly?  Are there people who can walk through walls and disappear?  Are your main characters talking rabbits?  Or is your world populated with wizards and witches?

Once you can picture your new Fantasy world in great detail, it is time for you to think about your story. It may even be useful to create an outline of your story.  Fantasy, like any story you write, will follow the rules of story telling.  You will need to think about a hero and a villain.  You will also need to have a problem or a conflict to make the story interesting.    You will find yourself using all the regular elements of any good story:  character, setting, plot, dialogue, tension, etc. What will make this story different and unique is that it will have been created by your imagination and your ideas.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write a story about a mermaid that wants to be a fairy
  • Write a story about  a baby alien that is found by neighborhood kids
  • Write a story about a talking mushroom
  • Write a story about a planet that has only water, no land
  • Write a story where ants are giant and people are tiny

 

If you do try building a new world and writing  a Fantasy story, please think about submitting it to the Magic Dragon.  We’ll be delighted to read it.

 

Write It!: Writing a Tyburn Poem

We all know the Magic Dragon loves poetry and we’re going to try to write a new and different poem.  We are going to try to write a Tyburn Poem. Tyburn poems were apparently created on the internet, so they are a very new and modern form of poetry.

A Tyburn is a six-line syllabic poem.  Some of us will remember learning about syllables in other issues.  Others may remember them from school.  But for those who may have forgotten, let’s refresh our memories.

A syllable is the part of a word that has one or more vowel sound. (Remember our vowels, are A,E,I,O,U, and sometimes Y.)

At some time you probably had a teacher who helped you to hear syllables, by having you clap and count the number of  vowel sounds in different words.  She would  say the word “Pencil” and you would clap out: pen (clap) and cil (clap). You would then learn that the word pencil has two syllables. If you clap out the sounds in the word arithmetic how many syllables  would you get?  If you said four, you are correct.

The Tyburn poem begins with four lines of 2 syllable words. These words must be descriptive.

Let’s write a poem about a rabbit. We might choose the following words for our first four lines.  The words all have two syllables and they all rhyme.
1.Hopping  hop(clap)ping (clap) one word – two syllables
2.Stopping  stop(clap)ping (clap) one word—two syllables
3.Flopping  flop(clap)ping (clap) one word-two syllables
4.Popping  pop(clap)ping (clap) one word—two syllables

The last two lines of the Tyburn must have nine syllables and the lines must rhyme. Here is where the poem becomes a little complicated because these lines also have to reuse the words in the first four lines as the 5th and 8th syllables.

Using our rabbit poem, here is an example of how our last two lines might look.

1  2    3   4    5     6      7    8      9.    — syllables
Baby bunny hopping, stopping play
1   2     3   4     5   6       7   8       9  — syllables
Happy, rodent flopping, popping gay

Now let’s look at the whole poem

A Back Yard Visit
Hopping
Stopping
Flopping
Popping
Baby bunny hopping, stopping play.
Happy rodent flopping, popping, gay.

Now it is your turn to try writing a Tyburn, and don’t forget to send it in to the Magic Dragon!

 

Write It!: Redactive Poetry – Using Erasers to Write a New Poems

What tool do you use to write a poem? Some people use a pencil, others use a pen, still others might use a paint brush, chalk, charcoal, or even magnets to create a new poem.  But did you know that there are some poets who actually use erasers to write their poems?  Yes, they do and these poets are called redactive poets, which means  poets who edit, cross-out, or erase words from existing poems, or stories so that they can make new poems. The new redacted poems should be very different from the original writing.

Let’s look at some examples of how one might create a redacted poem.

Let’s use the well-known Nursery Rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, which reads as follows:

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Next we will look for words to cross out or erase —

(The cat and the) fiddle,
(The cow jumped over) the moon,
(The little dog) laugh (ed to see such sport,)
(And the dish) ran away (with the spoon.)

And we create a new redacted poem

Fiddle,
the moon,
laugh
ran away

If you want you might add your own words to this redacted poem to make it even better.

We fiddle
the moon
and
laugh away!

Isn’t that easy and fun? And by adding a title you may make your new poem even better.

Happy Summer Evening

We fiddle
the moon
and
laugh away!

Now it is your turn to try to write your own poem by erasing or crossing out words.  Try using a paragraph or two from the newspaper, a magazine, or even an advertising flyer.  If you come up with a poem you like, please share it with the Magic Dragon.

 

Write It!: Perking Up Our Poetry with Alliteration

Magic Dragon has been reading a lot of poetry lately.  Reading out loud gives us the chance to  hear the sounds and the music of the words.

I think we all know that the sound is important in poetry, and that some poems are written to be the lyrics for a song.  Although poems may have many different kinds of sounds, the first thing most of us think of are rhymes.

Rhymes are a big part of writing poetry.  A rhyme is when two or more words end with the same sound, like blue and glue or door and floor.  The two words do not need to have similar spellings, just similar sounds, For example, the words sport and quart are rhyme words since both have the same ending sound even though they are spelled quite differently.

Some rhymes in poetry don’t always have the exact same ending sound.  Sometimes, we use what are called slant rhymes—two words that end in almost the same sound.  For example, the words hit and get do not have the exact same end sound, but the sounds are similar enough that poets will use them as a slant rhyme.

But some poems do not have any rhymes at all!  How can those poems have interesting sounds and make music?  Actually, poetry uses words interestingly in many different ways with something called poetic devices. Poetic devices are tools that a poet can use to create rhythm, make special sounds, add to a poem’s meaning, or help set a mood or feeling. The word alliteration is the name of a poetic device that creates special sounds much like rhyming does.

Alliteration is the mirror image of rhyme. It is when two or more words start with the same sounds.  For example cat, cookies, and cut are alliterative words because they all start with the same sound. However, just like rhymes, alliterative words do not have to be spelled the same. They just need the same sound.  Cat, cookies, kiss, and kitten all have the same beginning sound even though they are spelled very differently; they are alliterative. However, even though child, cat, and clam start with the same letter, they do are not alliterative words, because their beginning sounds are all different.

Tongue twisters are a fun form of word play that use alliteration a lot, and are a wonderful way to begin practicing alliteration in poetry.   Most of you have heard the tongue twister,  “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Notice how almost every word in the sentence begins with the consonant “P” making an alliterative sentence. (The secret that helps make us twist our tongue is that each “P” sound is followed by a different vowel sound.)

While tongue twisters are fun to play with, we usually do not use them in our poems.  Instead we use alliteration to make sounds that make our images stronger and that make a kind of music of our words.  An example of an alliterative poem might be:

 

Day at the Beach

Children swim in the swift salt sea

Then search for seashells on the shore

They fish for flounder then set them free

Waiting, watching, wishing more.

 

In this little poem, alliteration is used in every line, along with rhyme.   And the “s” sounds made by the alliterative words swim, swift, search, seashells, and shore make a kind of whooshing sound that reminds us of the wind blowing and the waves splashing at the beach.  Not only are we showing our readers a picture of the beach on a hot summer day, but we’re also reminding them of the sounds at the beach We’ve perked up our poem with alliteration!

Now it is your turn to write something for the Magic Dragon.  Try writing a tongue twister or an alliterative poem and send it into us.  The Magic Dragon will be very delighted.

 

Write It!: The Magic of Making Your Characters Real

In J.K Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we meet Harry’s friend Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid is a half-giant and half-human who is the gamekeeper and Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts.

Hagrid is a fictional character made up of nothing more than a bunch of letters printed on a piece of white paper.  So how are we able to think and talk about him as if he is a real living human being?

It’s all about magic—Rowling is an honorary wizard and her pencil a kind of wand. She describes Hagrid in great detail so we all know that he is eleven feet six inches tall, about twice that of the ordinary man and is very strong.    We also know he has long shaggy black hair  and a beard that covers most of his face.  We’ve also been told that his hands are as big as dustbin lids and his feet in their boots are like baby dolphins. We also know that he  often wore an exceptionally large moleskin overcoat with several pockets that held many different things, but Hagrid often seemed confused about which pocket held which thing.

So we know what Hagrid looks like, but that’s not the only thing we know about  him, and that’s because Rowling has also used her magic pencil to tell us that Hagrid is loyal, friendly, softhearted and easily driven to tears. But,  she also shows us Hagrid isn’t perfect and that he can become very angry whenever anyone insults a friend.

If you want the characters in your stories to become as real as Hagrid, you too must become a writing wizard.  There are several ways for you to bring your characters to life and the more you use the more they will become real in your eyes and your readers.

 

Physical Descriptions

First of all, you will need to be able describe your character just as Rowling did.  A good way to begin is to make a list of things that make your character interesting and unique. Think about things like body type, clothes, posture, the color of the hair, eyes.  Does your character have braces, freckles, glasses, or a NY Yankee baseball cap?  Does he trip over his shoe laces, or bite his nails?  Does he have catsup on his shirt?   Think about specific features rather than general ones. To say your character is tall and skinny will not draw a very clear picture for your reader.  Saying that he has to duck every time he walks into your house  is a better way to describe “tall.” Saying “when he turns sideways he is almost invisible” certainly indicates that your character is very thin. Also remember the list you have made is for you to use.  Do not describe your characters by starting with a long list of things like hair color, eye color, etc.  Lists are boring. Instead, insert your descriptions into your story in small amounts where they fit.  Look at the following samples:

 

Sarah’s eyes sparkled with the same blue as the sky.

Robert bent down to tie his shoe lace for the fourth time since they’d left school.

 

Personality Descriptions

Again, you might want to make a list of things that make up your character’s personality.  Is she always happy?  Is she a bully?   Does she have a nervous laugh? It is often best to show personality traits rather than just telling the reader. Remember the first rule of good writing is “Show Don’t Tell!”  See the following examples:

Rebecca’s face reddened, and then she crumpled the piece of paper and threw it back at Jim. “That’s a mean thing to say!” she said, storming off to her next class. We all understand that Rebecca is pretty angry without your telling us that.

 

Names

Be careful about naming different characters with similar names.  Try not to have names that begin with the same letter.  Having both a Marvin and a Martin in your story can become confusing for your reader. You also should be careful with very strange or unusual names that your reader may not know how to pronounce, like Tsinamdzghvrishvili.  Picking names at random is fine, but you may want names that tell something about each character, such as ancestry, the country or neighborhood in which they grew up (Sean, Carlos, and Aki) or what their personality is. The author, Charles Dickens, named his character Scrooge to let his readers know that this was a stingy, selfish, cheap old man.

 

Other Things to Think About

The more complex your character is, the more he or she becomes “real.”  Heroes can make mistakes or have problems (remember Hagrid can get really angry) and villains can sometimes do good things.  So as your magic begins to create more and more fictional characters, you might want to make more lists of things like your character’s likes vs. dislikes, strengths vs. weaknesses, goals vs. problems, etc.

Try some of these ideas in your next story and send it into Magic Dragon who loves reading stories with interesting characters.

 

Write It!: Syllabic Poetry

We’ve talked before about syllables in writing poetry. As a quick review, we know that every word in the English language must have at least one vowel (a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y) and so must every syllable. We learned to clap out the number of vowel sounds in different words in order to count the syllables. For example, we clapped out two syllables in homework — home (clap), work (clap), and four syllables in arithmetic — a (clap), rith (clap), me (clap), tic (clap).
We know that poetry often uses syllables to make its words have rhythm or music, and that such poetry is called syllabic poetry. Syllabic poetry has a certain number of syllables in each line. Sometimes each line has the same number of syllables and other times each line has a different but regular pattern of syllables per line. We have actually practiced writing some of these syllabic forms such as Haiku, Tanka, Cinquains, and Etheree. Some of you even sent in the syllabic poems you wrote to the Magic Dragon, who enjoyed them enough to ask that I introduce you to some new syllabic forms. Here are some new syllabic forms to keep you writing:
The Pensée poem: The word “pensée” is French for “thought” and the pensée poem expresses a thought in five syllabic lines as follows”

• Line one names the subject of the thought in 2 syllables
• Line two describes the thought in 4 syllables
• Line three is an action in 7 syllables
• Line four shows a setting in 8 syllables
• Line five is the final thought in 6 syllables

Example:

Snow Man,
built by small hands,
smiles wide with black charcoal teeth
filling our yard with bright laughter
making the day warmer.

The Tetractys Poem: The tetractys was made famous by Pythagoras, an ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician. In his time, the number ten was thought to be a magical number representing power. This poem has syllables in its lines leading up to the last line that is equal to the same 10 syllables in the last line itself. In modern times, the Tetractys Poem has become quite popular.

• Line one – 1 syllable Note how the syllables 1
• Line two – 2 syllables + 2
• Line three – 3 syllables + 3
• Line four – 4 syllables + 4
• Line five – 10 syllables 10 syllables

Example:

I
am cold
as winter,
while we snowshoe.
It must be time for cookies and hot milk.

The Tyburn Poem: The Tyburn Poem is a bit more complicated than the simple syllabic poems above, because it has rules for rhyme and repetition as well as for the syllables. It is a six line poem consisting of 2, 2, 2, 2, 9, 9 syllables. The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last two lines rhyme and must include the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines as the 5th to 8th syllables.

• Line one – 2 syllables
• Line two – 2 syllables
• Line three – 2 syllables
• Line four – 2 syllables
• Line five – 9 syllables 5th syllable through 8th syllable must be words from lines 1 & 2
• Line six – 9 syllables 5th syllable through 8th syllable must be words from lines 3 & 4

Example:

Blowing
Snowing
Flowing
Growing
Winter winds now blowing, snowing chill.
Slushy lakes stop flowing, growing still.

Winter is a great time to snuggle up in front of a crackling fire and practice writing poetry. Play around with these new forms of syllabic poetry and send some of your best ones to the Magic Dragon.

 

Write It!: Making Up Words for Your Poetry

If you ask your friends to define poetry, one may say something like: “ Poetry is a collection of words that express an emotion or idea.” Another friend may say “Poetry is a fancy kind of writing that uses rhythm, rhyme, metaphor, simile, personification, and other such language tools,” while still another might say “Poetry is when someone writes in lines and stanzas instead of sentences and paragraphs.”

All of your friends would be right. Poetry does all of these things. But did you also know that poetry
doesn’t always have to be serious? Or that it doesn’t even have to make sense? Poetry can also be a form of writing where you just have some fun by playing with words. Poets are people who love words for their sounds, for their different meanings, and for their histories, but they also like to make up new words with new sounds and new meanings.

I am sure you have read some poetry by Dr. Seuss, a writer who made up lots of new words like: ooblick, grinch, wocket, sneetches, lorax, and zlock. Usually these words describe imaginary creatures or things and were made up to rhyme with real things: like a zlock behind the clock. By making up new words with new sounds, Dr. Seuss is able to entertain us all with his poetry and often makes us giggle.

Shel Silverstein (author of the child-ren’s book Where the Sidewalk Ends) is another poet who played with and made up new words (like bloath and yipiyuk). Sometime he did this by combining real words (whatif, mustn’ts) by abbreviating them (vert, horiz) or by changing their meanings (the Flying Festoon).

And if you have ever read Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, you probably know that he wrote a very famous nonsense poem that has lots of made-up words. It is called Jabberwocky and begins with these lines:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

It would be really fun to see what kinds of made-up words you can make up in a poem.
Here are some ideas for ways to start.

  1. Write a regular rhyming poem but rhyme all or some of your real words with made-up words.
    Example: I have a computer that’s called an aptooter.
  2. Write a poem that doesn’t rhyme and combine words to make new images.
    Example: He skiphopped down the road (combines skip and hop).
  3. Write a non-rhyming poem using some flipped combined words.
    Example: Brainbird instead of birdbrain/bowrain instead of rainbow.
  4. Write a nonsense poem with made-up words.
    Example: From above below the grimly waves, an orcan willopcan slept still.

Have some fun playing with words, sounds and meaning. Experiment. If you come up with something you like, send it to the Magic Dragon, who loves to read new ideas.

 

Write It!: A New Point of View

When you write a story or a poem, who is your narrator? The narrator is the person who tells the story. It is the voice inside our heads when we read. It describes characters, explains actions and keeps us interested in what we’re reading.

 
I’m guessing that most of the time you think of yourself as the narrator and tell the story as if it really happened to you. You may even pretend you are one of the characters in the story or poem. If that’s so, you mostly write from a first person point of view , which means you use pronouns like I, me, mine, mywe, and ours.

 
You may have learned about points of view in school and already know there is also a third person point of view which uses pronouns like he, she, it, his, hers, they, them, theirs, etc. It is the point of view we most often read in books. It is the point of view of someone outside the story (some say it’s the author), usually someone who sees and knows about everything, including what all the characters are thinking. This point of view is often great to use to increase the suspense. For example, the narrator may tell the reader that there is a bomb behind the door that will go off if anyone opens it. However, the hero doesn’t know this and he reaches for the doorknob and begins to turn it. If you read that, wouldn’t you be anxious to find out what happens?

 
The other point of view you may know about is the second person point of view, which is when your narrator talks directly to the readers using the pronouns you, your and yours. While this point of view is rarely used by writers, when it is used well it can make your story very exciting because It grabs and holds the reader’s attention, basically telling him that he’s now a character inside the story, experiencing the action himself. A good example of using second person in a scary story might be:

You are walking down a dark alley. You hear a footsteps behind you .
You turn around and see that someone is following you. You start running .
but you trip over something. AAAAAAAAAhhhhhh.

Isn’t that it much more exciting when the narrator says you are the one being followed instead of I or he?

Point of view is an important tool for writers and we should experiment using it to make our work more interesting. Have fun and experiment with point of view and if you come up with a good story or poem, send it to the Magic Dragon who loves reading the things you write.

 

 

Write It!: Anaphora Makes Poems Sing!

A good poem not only tells a story or describes a feeling, it also has to touch our hearts through a kind of music. And like good music, it must have rhythm.
Do you remember playing jump rope and chanting special rhymes to help you jump in time with the slap of the rope? Here’s one of my favorites:

Jump rope, jump rope, will I miss?
Jump rope, jump rope, just watch this!

Jump rope songs are made up to follow the same rhythm as the turning rope and this little song does it beautifully. Can’t you picture the rope turning? Do you hear it slap the ground? The rhythm of the poem is caused by the repetition of the words jump rope. This technique of repeating the beginnings of lines is an important poetic tool called Anaphora. Anaphoric lines can be one of the least difficult ways of making a poem have “rhythm” or music.

Here’s another example of anaphoric lines from a traditional jump rope rhyme. Notice how easy it is to picture the turning rhythm of the rope as you say the lines out-loud:

My boyfriend gave me peaches,
My boyfriend gave me pears,
My boyfriend gave me fifty cents
And kissed me on the stairs.

I gave him back his peaches,
I gave him back his pears,
I gave him back his fifty cents
And kicked….him….down…..the…..stairs!

Clapping games, like jump rope, also use songs with anaphoric lines to create rhythm. Some of you may know this game, which uses the anaphoric phrases “pease porridge’’ and “some like it.” The phrases are each said three times, setting up a rhythm that allows each player to clap in rhythmic patterns.

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

Because the use of anaphora repeats the same words, it automatically sets up a regular rhythm for the song or poem. The poet doesn’t need to do anything more to create rhythm. Anaphora alone sets up its own beat or pulse. Notice how in this piece of Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, by the poet Walt Whitman, the anaphoric phrase “out of the” sets up a rhythm that is like that of a rocking cradle.

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where
the child, leaving his bed, wander’d alone bare-
headed, barefoot.

Anaphora is pretty easy-peasy, right? Just pick a word or phrase to begin each line of your poem and then repeat! So, now that we all know what anaphora is, it is time to practice writing an anaphoric poem. One such poem that is fun to try is called “A Mistake Poem” It is a poem in written in couplets that uses the repeating phrases of “I went to the” and “I made a mistake.” Here is an example:

My Mixed Up Monday

I went to the kitchen to get a drink
I made a mistake and broke the sink.

I went to the park to play some ball
I made a mistake that made me fall.

I went to the sub shop to get something to eat
I made a mistake and spilled food on my feet.

I went to my bedroom to go to bed
I made a mistake and banged my poor head.

As always, Magic Dragon loves to read the poems you write. So, send in your best anaphoric poems and we might even publish them.

 

Write It!: Learning the Magic of Imagery

Both fiction writers and poets must to be able to write good descriptions.   It is important for us to show our readers what our characters look like or how beautiful a walk in the woods can be.  And the only tools we have to do this are 26 little letters and a handful of punctuation marks.   And, like all good sorcerers, we need to learn the magic spells that will change all those squiggly lines and dots into real people and real places.

We need to learn the art of imagery.  If I ask you what imagery means, some of you will immediately answer, “a picture.”   In some senses this is true.  After all, we call photographs, paintings and movies “images,” don’t we?   And in writing, we often try to create imaginary pictures with our words.   We write in ways for our readers to see things in their mind.

However, when writers talk about imagery we mean something a bit more than a simple picture. We not only want our readers to see pictures, we also want them to feel emotions.   We don’t just want them to have an imaginary picture of the evil vampire about to bite the beautiful princess. We want them to be scared to death, sitting on the edge of a chair, and eager to turn the next page to find out if the princess will be okay.

So how do we help our readers to feel as well as see what we’re writing about?   We’ve talked before about one way to do that:  by using specific details.    I could say “There is an apple on the table” and you might imagine a picture of that apple and that table.  But since we don’t have any details about this apple or the table, that red apple you see sitting on the kitchen table, might not be the same yellow apple on the coffee table that I’m writing about.

Detailed descriptions always create stronger images than general or vague ones.

Another way to help our readers feel and experience the things we write about, is to use all five senses when we describe things.  We not only see the world around us, we smell it, hear it, touch it, and taste it, too. This is called sensory observation.    Suppose we said:  “I reach for the yellow apple on the coffee table, bringing the smooth edges of its skin to my mouth.  The apple snaps in two as it meets my teeth, the slightly sour taste sending goose bumps up my neck. I shiver, then wipe the sticky juice from my chin.”

What has happened here?  Suddenly that very general apple has become very real.  We can hear it snap apart, smell and taste its sour sweetness, and even feel its stickiness.   By using specific details and sensory observations,  we have magically (Abra-Ka-Dabra ) used our words to change a squiggle into a picture, and  that picture into an experience.

Exercise:  Write a story or a poem about one of the topics below, using both specific details and sensory observation:  A visit to an amusement park;  a raccoon tipping over your garbage can; walking down a city street after a rainstorm; visiting a farm with chickens, pigs, and horses;  or vacationing at the beach.

If you like your story or poem, send it to the Magic Dragon.  As always we’d love to see your work and might even publish some of the best.