Submit to the iWrite Youth Club Blog!

The Prompt of the Month: Take a big event that happened in your life, and twist it so that it happened to a character of your design. How would this character’s traits and personality affect the aftermath of the event? Say the event was the birth of a sibling. While you might have been excited, depending on the personality of your character, the reaction, and by extent the story, might be very different.

Feel free to keep it as long or short as you want! There are no constraints whatsoever. If you are interested in submitting your creative work to the iWrite Youth Club, click here!

The Problem on Maple Street

By Alyssa Reid

            The screaming has finally stopped. As I cautiously turn my music down, I curse Nancy Jones from next door for having a pool party for her birthday.

            Because some of us have summer reading.

            Then again, she’s, like, ten. She doesn’t know about the wonders of ninth grade.

            So far I’ve heard a hurricane’s worth of splashing, a horror-movie-scream version of Marco Polo, and—best of all—a gloriously off-key version of “Happy Birthday.”

            And, you know, you’d think the kids would be quiet when they were eating cake—some luxurious chocolate flavor, according to Mrs. Joes, from her three weeks’ worth of her bragging about (and my dreading) this party.

            Butno. Charlie pushed May into the pool and the screaming was back.

            I’m pulled out of my angry reminiscing by a blood-chilling: “The red popsicle’s mine!”

            I slam my head into my book and turn my music back up. I can analyze A Tale of Two Citieslater. I let out a groan, but I can still hear them screaming over those popsicles as if they don’t all taste the same.

            They must be really passionate about what color they want their tongues to be.

            After deciding some toddlers aren’t worth the hearing damage, I turn my music down again and check my room for things that could drown the noise out.

            Blankets? Not heavy enough. My closet’s too small to shut myself into as well, and anyway, I wouldn’t want Mom asking how I managed to get myself in there (probably after a firefighter had pulled me out).

            It’s 3:23. There’s got to be something I can do.

Growing Out of It

By Alyssa Reid

I didn’t know I loved the sunrise till I watched the sky wake up with a city that rarely sleeps.

I didn’t know I loved the snowfall till my boots became ice skates and the sleet melted down my coat.

I didn’t know I loved the rain till I heard thunder from inside a fort of assorted pillows.

I didn’t know I loved long elevator rides till I saw a metropolis from above and the clouds a little closer.

I didn’t know I loved the stage till I heard applause so loud it shook the floor.

I didn’t know I loved painting till I watched colors bloom from the tip of a smooth brush.

I didn’t know I loved driving till I felt the increased hum of the accelerator beneath my sneaker.

I didn’t know I loved nighttime till I watched the moon glow to a glimmer in the sky.

Writing Sucked

By Alex Zhang 
iWRITE Youth Club Member & Published Author

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​​There once was a boy called Alex,
Who thought writing was a chore.
It was tiring, frustrating, hopeless,
And most of all, it was a bore.
He hated it with a passion,
He thought it was a waste of time.
Why think of really good poems,
When you struggle even to rhyme?
But one day, everything changed.
His parents had had enough.
They said, “Fool, silly, enter this thing!”
So Alex wrote down a poem with a huff.
Alex entered that contest,
And forgot about it for a while,
But then one day he got an email,
And what was inside made him smile.
It said, “We’d love to feature you,
Alex, your poem is great!
If you ever want to join us,
Send an email; don’t hesitate.”
Of course, that’s not what it said,
But he had won himself a name.
Alex joined this wonderful group,
And he was never again the same.
He actually liked writing now,
As he wrote and he wrote with delight.
And so, my gracious audience,
Ends the magical tale of iWrite.

The Video Game Turned Reality: A Review of Tomb Raider

By Alyssa Reid

iWRITE Youth Club Secretary & Published Author

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​Director: Roar Uthaug
With: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost, Hannah John-Kamen, Antonio Aakeel, Alexandre Willaume, Tamer Burjaq, Adrian Collins, Kennan Arrison.
Release Date: Mar 16, 2018


This review contains spoilers.

The thing about video games, I’ve learned, is that it’s always about making sure everything that can go wrong will go wrong. And it is with this mentality that the screenwriters composed the 2018 action film entitled Tomb Raider.
It’s a rather enticing name, if I do say so myself—even if, by the time the credits roll, little has been stolen except a few lives. And, to be fair, that was stolen by the tomb itself.

Alicia Vikander is the woman behind a strong, female lead; she’s exactly what audiences came to see. Of course, as Laura, she is more agile and clever than those above her, as protagonists are; however, amid her stubbornness and bravery, she refrains from any choice quips about her gender. She allows Laura Croft to be defined by her own actions, and some lead to her finding herself trapped inside a coffin-enclosed mystery that her father once tried to lock shut.

On a more technical note, the cinematography was beautiful. Sweeping shots follow Laura as she dashes across Hong Kong docs; a shaky camera dashes through a sinking ship with her; and a steady hand walks across the tomb room with the characters. In a world where so many aspects of life are captured by screens, the storytelling through a film must be immersive; and immersive this is.

The CGI is coupled expertly with this; terrifying waves crash over the Endurance, the ship. Although the shots from guns can arguably look cartoonish and fake, it’s not something that has a high level of complaint for me.

There is also the element of coloring: Laura and her father’s memories all consist of similar hues: normally grayish tones with highlights of pink and green. It creates a faded look, but one that is reminiscent nonetheless.

The film was written expertly. Croft, a broke orphan and enthusiastic boxer, seems to have a way of getting in trouble—as seen when she joins a “fox-and-hound” bike race (where herself, as the fox, has to outbike many other competitors as green paint attached to her bike marks her trail) and ends up running into a police car.
And so begins the story of how Laura Croft ends up thrust into a world far more ancient than anything she believes exists and more mysterious than her father’s unfortunate disappearance.

“I’ll be back before you know I’m gone,” her father can be heard saying in Laura’s memories. They have a universal symbol; the kissing of two fingers before outstretching them to the other.

The film blends both faith and fantasy; blends religion and reality. Mathias Vogel, the “bad guy” ready to leave a myth-torn island, just wants to get the tomb of the privately infamous Queen Himiko so he can leave it, and Laura is with him; they both know there is no supernatural substance when regarding the myth of the Queen who was so demonic she killed people by touching them, who was so cruel that every story of her rein “ended in rivers of blood.” Her tomb is real, and that is it.

And even the finding of her father, the great Richard Croft, who firmly believes the Queen is alive and trapped in her coffin, does not sway Laura.

“Ladies first,” Vogel tells her when the tomb entrance is opened. And so Laura goes down into a cave that legend says she should never come back out of.

They make their way through various challenges where various crew members are lost along the way.

And they wait. The tomb is opened. Nothing happens, until it does.

The means for the end of the world lies in a cavern designed to keep people in, but Vogel, holding the key to all of that destruction, has other plans. Laura chases after him, the man who now walks towards leading the demise of the world. She’ll fight for this.

Perhaps, in the end, it is no mystery that the girl who was an expert with the bow would grow up to save hundreds from an imprisonment camp with that same weapon; that she would fight to the death for the man she thought was probably dead; that she would end up saving the world with little more than her own hands.
Despite her dislike of the supernatural and, for her, unbelievable, her story slots in nicely with other hero-like tales. She was a nobody, thrust into a world far different than the one she once knew, and now, she has to fight to know what she never could have imagined.

This is why, I believe, we enter theatres of all kinds: to learn something. Perhaps we learn the importance of family, or strength, or bravery; perhaps we learn that, no matter our pasts, we all have a greater responsibility to those who may never appreciate us or may never care. Perhaps some of us go to reaffirm the belief that myths are myths; but some of us learn that myths, no matter the amount of truth in them, affect us in ways we never could have believed, either: in fights, in bike rides, in adventures far beyond our wildest imaginations.

And perhaps, in the end of it all, Laura Croft becomes something of a myth herself.