City of Stars by Alexia

A bright hazy gleam
Both solemn and giddy
Trapped inside a dazzling dream
Is this magnificent city

Air so crisp, fragile almost
Black expanses reaching past the sea
Certainly not a coast
In this stretching city

Bring your pain and sorrow
Come close as you are
For all will be gold by the ‘morrow
In this city without scars

So crowded it’s burning
Each one touches the next
Each heart filled with yearning
Inside this city’s chest

Busy as can be when things streak by
Leaving trails of sparkling dust
Painted across the night sky
In city-like gusts

This shining city is not from near
This city lies very far.
No where near here
Is this city of stars

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Cristi McKee, winner of our #MicoPoetry Contest.

And so I am supposed to be kind to my enemy so now it is time to be kind to myself.

Also, we’d like to give a shout out to Mary-Kelly Reimel, and her runner up poem.
A cloudless sky
Worries distant
In the spring
Seeing nature thrive
And all that I can think
Is what a time to be alive.

Thanks to everyone who voted and submitted poems.

“Disguised Ignorance” by Mary-Kelly

Don’t let disguised ignorance change who you are
Really, honestly, you’ve made it this far
Your heart is pure, you don’t need this scar
Don’t lose that soul that shines like a star,
Don’t let them change who you were meant to be
They’re after your innocence, can’t you see?
It’s o’ so clear, or is it just me?
That they really mean them when they say “we,”
Believe me when I say that you’re better than them
You’re like a walking miracle but times ten
Don’t listen to the person they wish to condemn
They want to tear you apart and rip away your stem,
Several years down the line, you’ll see their true form
They’ll try to convince you that you’re far from the norm
Please don’t be fooled by the temptations of their storm
They will try to fool you by using lies to inform,
So please, I beg you
None of this is new
People like you are few
You’re everything times two

Chapter Two by Rosalind

It would be cliché to spend an entire work of writing referring to life as a story, however because of the truth to this clique, it would be frankly inappropriate to dedicate this piece to anything other than such. Life is in fact a story. It is a book in our lap as we sit on a Spring day combing through page after page eager to get to the next thing that we can never see coming. Like a good book of writing, life carries a future that is unexpected, a past we sometimes ache over and other times smile at the memories of, and a unique and complex structure that holds our attention and urges us on. Like good characters life introduces us to relatable and lovable strangers that become branded on our hearts, to evil and pained creatures that scar our souls, to passing glances and smiles on street corners.

Life inspires books and stories, that is where authors got the idea in the first place. Fiction is simply reflections and parodies of real life and things we sometimes wish were possible, or would like to see change. Fiction is life through another dimension, but let’s pay attention to the real life stories for a moment shall we?

I’ve been a CWC member for all my years of high school, even some before, and this essay that I write for you my fellow club goers will be my last. As I prepare my departure from the CWC, FLVS as a whole as well, and move onto my college journey that will shape the remainder of my life, I say goodbye to Chapter One of my existence. I say goodbye to the events that have occurred in my short eighteen years of living, and I turn the page to Chapter Two. A chapter that is sure to be full of it’s decent share of adventures and great achievements, as I also expect it to carry it’s equal if not heavier burden of challenges and battles to be won.

In no way am I long lived, nor as wise as my mother or her mother before her. By not a single chance do I bare the adult experience of those that have walked this earth as beings for decades in time, however I do bare preparation and expectance. Not to say I know what’s coming, only to assert I am set. As I ready for words on fresh pages, I harden my skin and armor my soul for the future. Dawning my horse, pointing my sword straight ahead into my fight. I have fought, and though I am young, Chapter One has been full of long lakes to jump, oceans to swim across. I’ve completed one of the four seas. Three left, and I will have lived.

I consider my activism to be just learning to walk. I see my strength as only beginning to speak it’s first words. My skills are merely about to be born. Chapter Two is frightening, but to not apply all it’s labels would be sin. Chapter Two is also exciting. Chapter Two is rousing, Chapter Two is challenging, Chapter Two is standing in my face with war paint streaked beneath her fiery eyes. I must only need to apply mine to be officially part of this quest.

Chapter Two is not the biggest challenge, but it is the next step, and the next step always seems so much larger than truth. You yourself may be turning the pages, and seeing you’re nearing the next part of your story, but perhaps you don’t know what it is you’re about to start reading. Truthfully, no one knows. I believe not even the highest of power’s could have a clue, and the reason for this is because you’re the author yourself. You have turned to blank pages, that at first may imply your life has come to an end. But in reality, you have been writing Chapter One since you left the womb. The moment your breath found you in this world, your first cries dripped beginning speckles of ink to your story and the words poured from you in waterfalls. You wrote this so far, you beautiful writer you, and now you have reached a point where you’re beginning to realize just how involved you have been. Your reason is THE reason that life has happened in the way it has, that you have made it this far. Through strength and wit and bravery you persisted, and now it is time to continue to rise.

Your heart is your blank page, your soul is your pen, your intentions are your ideas, so write, write, write my friend.

Chapter Two has come at last, and perhaps sooner than any of us could ever think. So now move forward passionately. Embrace all that comes with it, fear or pain or happiness or all. This is Chapter Two, this is the second ocean. It is time to swim. It is time.

“Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou

YOU will rise…

Poem by Celeste

I remember your fingernails,
Gripping onto the flaky yellow paint,
Rusty chips drifting slowly,
Through infinity and between dewy grass blades.

Your heart beat like a stopwatch,
On a lonely daylight saving’s night,
Lights flashing in lost daydream,
Through the residue of a lone raindrop.

Your irises gleam like cold lemonade in the sunshine,
Twisting a red-stained popsicle stick between your lips,
Making me pray I could keep ice from melting away,
And film a moment in my eyes.

Book Discussion This Week!

Harks and alarms! Greetings and Salutations, Scribblers!

Our next meeting is this Thursday, May 11, 7-8pm EST.
During this meeting we will have a book discussion about The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
Do you have thoughts about the book? Create a powerpoint slide to present! Your slide should be about a specific writing technique that Zusak utilizes that you’d like to highlight.
Slides due by Wednesday, May 10.

If you’re not able to join us this week, I will send out information about the assignment.

Open Mic – This is our last open mic opportunity of the year.
Want to read some of your writing at this week’s meeting or have someone else read it?
Open Mic Requirements:
-You must email your piece by Wednesday, May 10.
-You can submit fiction, poetry, or non-fiction.
-Your piece or excerpt should be 500 words or less.
-Pieces must be school appropriate. Pieces should not be explicitly political, religious, or intimate.
-Pieces will be read on a first come, first served basis as time allows.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you soon!

Writing Prompt!

From Rosalind: Your character wakes up to find they have turned green. What happens next?

Write for 10 minutes. Post your piece to comments.

The Close of a Chapter: Plugging into the Virtual Community by Olivia

As I near the end of my high school career, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful memories and lifelong friends that I have made through FLVS. As a writer, I have been able to thrive in clubs like Creative Writing Club, News in a Click and NEHS. I have participated in Poetry Read-Ins, Shakespeare Festivals and Celebrate Literacy Month. I have also had the invaluable opportunity to collaborate with immensely talented writers and highlight student work through Open Mics. These experiences have greatly enriched my writing and provided inspiration that I will carry with me when I go to college.

In my final blog post, I wanted to remind you of the power of plugging into our virtual community. By getting involved in FLVS clubs and activities, you are introduced to a world of inspiration. In our student-led newspaper, News in a Click, we spend weekly meetings collaborating and brainstorming articles. At National English Honor Society meetings, we host discussions about the power of literacy and highlight student pieces and book recommendations through monthly events. In Creative Writing Club, you have the wonderful opportunity to connect with other student writers and read student work, while receiving feedback and edits on your own pieces. Through FLVS, I have met some of the most talented writers that I have ever known, but more than that, friends that I will keep for life.

Participating in clubs like these is a great way to combat writer’s block and get inspiration, feedback and encouragement from other students. It is also an opportunity to make new friends and step outside of your comfort zone. Writing exercises and prompts provided by Creative Writing Club are great resources to remain inspired and NEHS-sponsored tutoring is an awesome way to share your love of reading and writing with younger students. Writing articles for News in a Click is helpful practice for academic writing. These clubs are also great ways to get honest and constructive feedback on your writing. In our monthly Open Mics at National English Honor Society meetings, I am always incredibly inspired by the amount of positive feedback that our members provide writers and oftentimes this encouragement is what causes writers to continue submitting pieces. Over the past two years, I have had the priceless opportunity to watch writers grow and learn from the feedback and encouragement of fellow club members.

At the close of my senior year, I can say that my time with Florida Virtual clubs has truly made my high school experience. The inspiration, encouragement and collaboration that comes from working with other students that are similarly passionate about literacy is something that I will truly miss. I deeply encourage all of you to get plugged in to the FLVS community through clubs that align with your interests, as my experiences as a member of these clubs has greatly contributed to my growth as a writer, a learner, a student and a human being. Has an FLVS club influenced your writing? Let me know in the comments below!

Writing Prompt!

From Natalie: Your character wakes up in an unfamiliar house, but is greeted by a familiar face. What happens?

Write for 10 minutes. Post your piece to comments.

The Prince by Alexia

It has been three suns since I last saw my parents. I have been slinking around the palace avoiding all council members. I really don’t have the patience to deal with their misgivings. The monstrosity, Zli, has spoken. He officially declared war on the city and challenged the ‘prince’ to come out of hiding and face him. We are doomed. The council would never let me risk my life when my parents are in such a state, but the numbers have risen to a terrifying 7% away from what would be required to upset the balance. I tried to warn them, but what did they say? Oh right, ‘let the adults handle this, don’t worry Prince Elejan’. I am sick of this, my parents will perish with the rest of the city if I don’t do something. Stretching my wings away from my back I move out of the attic corner I’ve been in for some time now and walk down to the clinic to see my parents, maybe for the last time. I open their door and first walk over to my mother.
” I’m sorry mother. I know this will upset you.” I take her chilled, bony hand as I continue talking, “I need to save the city. I am the only one who can now. ”
A tear forms in her unconscious eye and I let her hand slide onto the crisp mattress. With a beat of my wings I travel to the other side of the room to talk to my father. I bend down to whisper in his ear.
“Father, I will make you proud. I won’t let you down, or the city. I’ll do what needs to be done. I will use my gift. Thank you my Father, my King.”
I bow to both of them and take off out of the window. My pale feathered wings beat at the air as I fly. The palace seems so alive from the heights. I soar over the crystal and watch as water pulses through it keeping it alive. I look out over the horizon and see the red rings around our planet. It seems so glorious, majestic, peaceful even. My feet hit the crystal ground and I take one step after another closer to the room my father made only for me. The room contains armor made of the most impenetrable metals our planet creates. It was custom made for me because wings are not common in my race. Only the royal family bloodline has specialties. My father can defy our gravity and my mother can shift her transparency. I got a little bit of both. I am very good at going unnoticed and I got wings. Both made for an interesting childhood.
The armor clicks into place around my body perfectly. Once I have on the chest piece, and leg guards, there are only two things left. I reach towards the shiny helmet that rests upon the crystal pedestal. That helmet was my father’s when he was a warrior for our people. It is legendary. The helmet is called ‘qui non occaecati’ which means ‘he who will not be blinded’. The blue-green feather still protrudes from the top in a perfect aero-dynamic arch. I slide it over my shaggy white hair and the world changes. The view from inside the helmet is enhanced. It allowed my father to see even when his sight was blocked. All of the colors are vibrant and alive, each detail comes into perfect focus. It fits.
I fly towards the west part of the city where Zli and his dark forces were already battling our royal fleet. From what I heard from the advisors, we had already lost 4 major battles and those 4 parts of the city had been overcome. They were getting closer and closer to the palace at the heart of the city. It didn’t take long for the fight to come into view. Our forces were struggling. The sound of my wings fighting the air attracted the attention of their leader, Zli.
He was in the air! He was royalty! How could this be? I get a bit closer and the helmet brings his face into focus. My father? No. Not possible. But it looks just like him. Could my father have a twin that I didn’t know about? He has the same powers as the King. All of these thoughts run through my head and the battle below is brought to a stop. Everyone froze to look up at the two of us. Boldly he glides through the air in my direction. My wings steadily beat in place to keep me level with him.
My father’s voice booms from his despicable mouth, “So the boy has come to face me? Ha! He looks so confident! My sick brother would be proud.”
He studies what he can see of my face through the helmet, waiting for a reaction. It comes. A look of surprise crosses my face. He is my father’s twin! He is almost close enough. I move slightly forward. I curl back then spit in his miserable face. The look of both surprise and disgust on his face are priceless.
“Betrayer! You are hurting them! You betrayed your kingdom!” I am now shaking with rage, but I remember my father telling me that rage is as good as a left toe. I look away from Zli and take a few deep breaths to calm myself. He is still there, more composed than before and he has wiped my spit off of his cheek. He is waiting for me to speak again and I do.
“I challenge you to a duel.” I say loud enough for both troops to hear me. An audible gasp emits from below. “If I win, you are banished to the outer rings of this planet and you may not return. If I lose, well, you know what happens. ” I ponder my chances of winning against someone who is twice the size of me, and has the powers of the King. Not so good.
“The young Prince is brave. What is your name boy?”
“Prince Elejan, Son of King Hrabri and Queen Amora.”
“Well Prince,” he says mockingly, “I accept your challenge.”
A sly smile emerges from his face and he makes his first move. He draws a three foot long sword and it slices a gash into my left arm, which is cheating. You are supposed to start the duel with both swords against each other, but I can’t expect this scum to follow the rules of a respectable duel. Painfully I flex my left arm to test it. Then, I draw my father’s sword from my left hip. It is long and light, but strong. My hand grips the leather handle and I hold it out against his to start.
It has started. I immediately draw back and scan his armor for any sign of weakness. Here the helmet come in handy. His armor is made of many small pieces woven together. It gives him flexibility, but it also leaves holes for a sword tip to go through. I bring my wings in tight around my body. My body streamlines downward a few feet before I spread my wings and the air catches them. Before he has time to react, I am behind him and I have my sword digging into his armor. He spins around and I bat my wings once so I am out of the reach of his sword. He slashes it at my face and it misses by inches. I bring my sword up to meet his. They clash with a thunderous force and the sound echoes inside my helmet. We exchange blows. I twist my sword. It loosens his grip. Using that moment of distraction I turn. My right wing slams the side of his body and he is knocked off balance. Zli is quicker than I expected. My pale white feathers are dyed red and I start to fall. I curl my wings in as I plummet and look up too see he is gliding after me. Of course he won’t respect the most important rule of dueling. The rule is that once your enemy hits the ground the duel is over and no one is supposed to die. He is coming for the death blow. I can’t let my people down. Against all of my inner will I spread my wings. The cold air rushes through the wound and the sharp pain is blinding. Zli keeps zipping downward, but the air catching in my wings gave me just enough lift to stop falling for one second. One second was all I needed to pull out my sword and point. He screamed as my father’s sword pierced his abdomen. I yanked out the sword and he fell. His dead weight fell to the ground. When he hit the ground the crystal absorbed his broken body and the balance was restored. All of his troops shuddered and were freed from a trance that he, without a doubt, put them in. I glide to the ground and my feet land softly on the crystal. We won. The fatigue hits me and I crumble to the ground in a ball with my bleeding wing draped over my body. There I laid until my parents came to bring me home.