Now I Water Fake Flowers

By Alyssa Reid

Everybody had forks in their fists

A dinner party wind-thrown list

A nonchalant

“Don’t worry about the water rushing in”

Guess if you talk pretty, they listen

They might even respect you for playing them

As for me

I play nice because assets don’t forget

Back then was a hundred

Reasons to run

When I couldn’t remember

Any of them

You said this is where life leads you

You said

“Keep your head up,” and I believed you

Now I water fake flowers to please you

Taken me time to see

You’re nothing but formality

Guess I’ve seen too many

Glass lies washed in gasoline

In your game, queens bow to you

But checkmate, you lose

Plastic? You bet

I’ve got reasons to run

I want to believe in something—

This is nothing but a team of

Yes men,

Yes ma’am.

“I” The Guy Creative Writing Camp

My Experience as a Summer Camp Counselor

By Eshaan Mani

Writing helps build bonds and make new friendships, while broadening our horizons and getting the creative juices flowing. iWrite’s “i” The Guy Creative Writing Summer Camp allows students in the 3rd and 4th grades to experience the magic of writing a story.

I had the chance to be a camp counselor and help take the students on a journey—one of self-growth and lots of fun for both myself and the students. From mapping out their characters on the first two days of camp (which ranged from footballs to dragons to mice) all the way to the last few days of camp (which focused more on the composition of their stories), I can say I had a blast with all the students and made many new friends.

The campers were ever so eager to dive into the creative process of writing and their zealous attitudes were contagious. I couldn’t help but smile as I saw their faces brighten: a spark lighting in their mind, and the pencil in their hands began moving at breakneck speeds. There were times that I had to help lift them up and over the obstacles they faced—times when I learned how to improvise. In order to help them, I was forced to reflect back on how I dealt with the issues they faced, such as writer’s block. 

As the week progressed, I found that being a camp counselor and interacting with the campers was mutually enriching. As the students learned the techniques of being a writer, I grew with them. I learned tons about wildlife, specifically cheetahs, from one camper, while he adopted cursive after seeing me write on a worksheet. I learned different techniques of writing from another student, who played with perspectives in his story, and grew in my descriptive abilities when a student gave a personality to an inanimate object.

At the end of the week, all the campers and camp counselors, including myself, had left the camp with not only a strong drive to write but many priceless experiences.

Spark by Alex Zhang: A Review by Eshaan Mani

Ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over… iWrite Youth Club member Alex Zhang’s book Spark is finally out! Spark is a young-adult science fiction novel which traces the journey of Jackson and his friends Wesley, Subulo, and Ruby. Spark is the first book in a triad under the label Ember. 

Jackson and Wesley are just two normal teens who are sucked into a parallel universe after their dealings with mysterious Subulo, an otherworldly creature. On their journeys, they meet Ruby and other characters who are best described as… well, unique. There’s Ibeti, with his lolling purple tongue, Icelandic zombie Russell, and Subulo’s murderous alter ego Croweley, who has some questionable intents. And at the end of their journeys together, Jackson’s life is wrenched from his hands… in more ways than one. 

You can tell that Spark was written with lots of love, thought, and passion. One big thing I loved about this book was the comic timing and sharp wit throughout. If you know Alex, you know about his killer sense of humor, and that humor comes across in his writing as well. Even the most morbid of scenes are lightened by Subulo’s sarcasm and Wesley’s millennial sayings. I’m not really an avid sci-fi reader, but I was hooked on Spark and wished it was longer than 158 pages. 

The unpredictability of what is going to happen on the next page is also something to admire. There’s no set path for the characters, and some of the turns border on the ridiculous side of the spectrum. But it’s all well and good in a sci-fi novel, isn’t it? 

Overall, Spark is a must-read to add to your library checkout lists, and I rate the book 10/10 – it’s captivating, humorous, and a perfect read for a cozy evening. Congrats to Alex on his first book and I hope that you, reading this blog post now, enjoy it!

For more information please visit: longtalepublishing.com/product/spark