Crafting Creative Writing - Unit 7: Inventive Writing
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March 2015 Newsletter

Crafting Creative Writing

Unit 7: Inventive Writing
Dear Readers,

According to The Merriam-Webster dictionary, creativity is defined as “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.” Children are naturally creative, and this is a perfect opportunity to unleash their creativity! Formerly known as Creative Writing with Structure, our Unit 7 Inventive Writing is an exciting unit to tackle. This unit allows students to practice skills they have learned, while retrieving information and experiences that are stored in their brains to be “inventive” with their writing. The main goals, which are thoroughly explained in Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, are
  1. To give students structure while writing anything, from an essay to a personal experience
  2. To teach writing an introduction and conclusion in a composition with five paragraphs
  3. To reinforce and practice the concept of “think three topics”
Encourage your students to have fun and be creative as they approach Unit 7. There are endless possibilities for what they can write. Be inventive and create a masterpiece!
Congratulations to our student writers who are published in this newsletter:
  • Gabrielle Fu
  • Kayla Nguyen
  • Katherine Page
  • Andrew Yeaman
  • Ashton Yeaman

Thank you to all who submitted work. Keep writing and submit again!
Upcoming deadlines for homeschooled students:
  • Unit 8 essays – March 16, 2015 (Extended deadline)
  • Unit 9 critiques – April 13, 2015
  • Fiction – May 11, 2015
  • Journalism – June 15, 2015  

New Submission Guidelines
As we have recently re-vamped our writer’s guidelines, we encourage you to take a minute and visit our website to view our new guidelines. All submissions must now be accompanied by a Parent Consent Form to be considered for publication. Additionally, since we are receiving a large amount of submissions each month, it is important that all submissions follow the correct format, which is also posted on our website. Submissions must follow the guidelines and should be emailed to Visit our website for our complete writer’s guidelines and additional information:, and find us on Facebook for contests and sneak peeks.

Happy writing,

Megan L. House
Magnum Opus Magazine Managing Editor
800.856.5815 x5101
Lights Out
by Andrew Yeaman, age 9
Boom! Zzzzt! Crackle! Meteorologists have predicted the storm of the century, and a bolt of lightning has struck a transformer, knocking power out for four hundred customers. Dozens of children are wondering what to do while the lights are out. There are advantages and disadvantages to the outage.

When darkness falls inside the house, its occupants must get creative. My personal favorite pastime in the dark involves breaking out the flashlights and playing laser tag. Once the excitement of laser tag is over, we gather pillows, blankets, and any furniture we can muster and build forts. Just because the lights are out, it does not mean we have to be bored.

Although there is fun to be had, there are also disadvantages to no power. For instance, Link from The Legend of Zelda (1) cannot defeat King Dodongo if the power is out. Light switches are useless, and it is impossible to draw by candlelight. Life is not easy when the lights are off.

Activities come to a screeching halt when the electricity fails. Families are forced to spend time together, which is the best part of the power outage. Around the table, family bonds grow while we play games. Life slows down, and relationships grow when electronic distractions disappear. Neighborhood children occupy themselves with games and learn that there are advantages and disadvantages to being without electricity. The best thing about having no power is getting closer to your friends and family.

1. The Legend of Zelda is a trademark of Nintendo.
A Family Trip to Hawaii
by Gabrielle Fu, age 11
What group of islands has thirteen active volcanoes, offers one of the best vacations worldwide, and has six categorized stretches of beaches? The Hawaiian Islands, of course. Sunny, breathtaking, and relaxing, Hawaii’s Big Island is a wonderful place to take a trip to. It is the perfect paradise, although most of the island is composed of lava rock. Magnificent resorts welcomed us vacationers. Calm lagoons were filled with dozens of people. Additionally, the fishing that we did was an enjoyable sport.

My family stayed at a magnificent resort when we went to Hawaii. It had three towers and one main lobby. In the main lobby we spied parrots and cockatoos, which usually squawked at quiet moments. We lodged comfortably at the Ocean Tower, which was shaped like an eight with an extra loop. Looking at the other towers, I felt that our tower was the finest and coziest because it offered panoramic views of the ocean. Since there was so much distance between the buildings, a monorail or train was used as well as a boat for transportation. A covered walkway was optional. Easily this beautiful Hilton Waikoloa Beach Resort was loved by all of us.

The lagoon adjacent to the resort was amazing! It was connected with the ocean. As I swam, fish, coral, and turtles burst into color. A waterfall graced the coast. Renting a canoe, I could not wait to launch it into the water. I noticed scuba divers in training with torpedo rockets swimming around in the depths while I snorkeled. After swimming I gratefully relaxed in a hammock, which was difficult to lie in because it kept tipping over. Unexpectedly, the water at high tide was rather flood-like as it rose upon the beach. We had a lot of fun at the resort because of the wonderful lagoon.

On our second-to-last day in Hawaii, we fished in a well-equipped Camelot fishing boat near the Kohala coast. As I curiously glanced around the spacious interior of the boat, I discovered a large bench with cushions that I could rest on. Climbing up a ladder, I peeked into the captain’s nest, which had benches as well. Downstairs, there was fake bait. Outside the deck, holes lined the sides of the boat because they were needed to hold the fishing poles. Intriguingly, there were two types of poles: the small, thin poles used for children and the large poles used for adults. The boat that we fished in at the Kohala coast was well equipped for fishing expeditions.

The resorts offered a relaxing vacation. Many people at our resort cooled off at lagoons. Even though people now do not fish in the traditional way, which is throwing a net over the water, fishing was and is a delightful and engaging activity. It was rejuvenating for my family to relax in the cool sand at the beach. Most significantly, we had something important together—family time. A family vacation at Hawaii is one of the best times for fun but also for fellowship and happiness.
The Invaluable Device
by Ashton Yeaman, age 13
They are the workhorses of the classroom. Writers would be lost without them. Comic books and cartoons would not exist. How could something so small, a pencil, wield so much power? Pencils have a unique beginning and also have many uses. Having been used for generations, tiny improvements have been made along the way, greatly impacting the pencil’s usefulness.

Three thousand B.C. – During the height of the old kingdom of Egypt, the Egyptians developed a writing style using pictures, papyrus scrolls, and reed pens. In 1300 B.C. the Romans patiently scribed into thin wax sheets using a metal stylus. In A.D. 1663 Germany conceived the first mass produced pencil, which had a wood casing and graphite in the middle. From Egypt to Germany, writing implements have clearly revolutionized written communication.

Although there are many uses for pencils, writing and drawing are the two most common. Did you know that pencils can even help construct buildings? Carpenters use special flat pencils designed to not roll away, in order to mark wood. Artists employ pencils with varying types of graphite and charcoal to sketch and shade drawings to give them depth. With pencils, authors shape rough drafts. Naturally, pencils serve different roles in the hands of carpenters, artists, and writers.

Pencils are the go-to writing tool for scrawling rough drafts and depicting sketches because of a small piece of rubber at the tip. Erasers allow for creativity and confidence by rubbing out graphite on the paper’s surface. Erasers, which were introduced in 1858, enhance the quality of pencils. Clearly, out of all the writing utensils, pencils are favored because of the eraser at the end.

Undoubtedly, the pencil has changed the course of written history. Without pencils, carpenters’ cuts would be off, artists’ images would be flat, and authors would be forced to write in pen. Since its inception, the pencil has become an invaluable device that we use every day.
“If Only I May Finish My Course”
by Kayla Nguyen, age 13
He was respected. He was reviled. He was welcomed. He was imprisoned. He was called for a purpose, and against the crowds, the people, and the persecutors, he entirely surrendered everything to fulfill that purpose. Who was he? His name was Paul. Paul, an apostle of Jesus, was born in Tarsus into a Jewish home. Growing up, he learned from a teacher of the law, Gamaliel. Paul was a zealous missionary who offered his heart, his life, and his all to the will of God.

Before any of his ministry, Paul led a very different life, but God eventually transformed him. When Paul was a young man, he was an avid enemy of the Christians. To demonstrate, Paul approved of the death of Stephen. Additionally, this was not the only enterprise in which Paul participated. Act 8:3 states that he was “ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Very ironically, he soon became one of those whom he was brutally persecuting. It occurred that Jesus appeared to Paul while he was travelling on a road to Damascus. A light from heaven flashed around him, and he fell to the ground. A voice called out, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Paul was also called “Saul.”) When Paul asked who was speaking, the voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” After this bewildering event, Paul lost his sight. He then rested in Damascus. Days and nights passed by, and then a man named Ananias was called by God to visit Paul. During this visit, Paul was healed. Acts describes that “something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight.”  Evidently God renewed Paul’s life, and God would use Paul to bring many new citizens into the kingdom.

Paul loved God deeply, and he showed this through his ministry. He traveled through many provinces of the Roman Empire. Hence, Paul preached to many different people, which included both Jews and Gentiles. In his letters, Paul stresses that salvation is for all people. For instance, Romans 10:12 explains: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all.” Throughout his ministry, Paul faced different countries, different people, and especially different situations. Sometimes he was received well. Other times he was not. Paul had many hardships. In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul sums this up in his own words, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned.” Paul also was imprisoned. Imagine sitting in a crowded cell with frail, stringy cobwebs hanging along the cold, grey, bare walls. Imagine breathing in old, damp air that seems to have been used too many times. Imagine rats with beady eyes and greedy, filthy paws. However, it was in a prison that Paul once sang hymns to God. Constantly, Paul was sharing the gospel, and at times he risked his life doing so. Nevertheless, Paul always persisted through his ministry, and God used his willing heart and character.

Without a doubt, Paul was an admirable character. For example, every Christian must have diligent discipline in their walk with God. Paul certainly had this. In 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, Paul declares, “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” In short, Paul is one example of a follower of Christ who loved God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind. Consequently, this love fueled Paul for the hardships he had to endure. Waiting to assail him, trials like ravenous wolves were crouching in every place he arrived. In Acts 20:22-23, Paul explains, “The Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.” Nevertheless, Paul always obeyed the Holy Spirit’s calling with submission. Paul’s love for Christ is an example for all Christians.

Throughout his life, Paul strived to please God through sharing the gospel with all people. Drawing him out of his sin, God forgave Paul, chose him, and renewed him. As explained in Acts 9:15, Paul was “God’s chosen instrument to carry God’s name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” Paul’s willing spirit acted as an example for believers of the modern day. Most significantly, Paul set an example of living a life completely devoted to Christ and not to wealth, to fame, or to anything this world hungers for. Paul describes this love in his very own words. Acts 20:24 states, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
The Pathway to Progress
by Katherine Page, age 15
“When I woke up this morning, I was not expecting this.” This is what my 20-year-old autistic brother, John, declares often. Autism is a puzzling neurological disorder, the perplexing cause of which remains undiscovered. In past times, this condition was less prevalent and therefore was often misdiagnosed. Because cases of autism have increased in incidence over the years, the disorder has become more widely recognized and diagnosed by specialists. People face autism more frequently. Unfortunately, most individuals are clueless regarding their interactions with those who are autistic. They treat people with autism like delicate china that is unable to be used lest it shatter into sharp pieces. However, autistic people’s potential reaches far beyond this. Finding the cure for autism is a long-term goal, but how does this affect current matters? People must understand the steely autistic mindset in order to aid their independent integration into society. If I were able to be any person for a day, I would be my autistic brother, John, because I would fully understand the autistic perspective and share this information with others so that autistic individuals might live up to their full potential.

If I could be my brother, I would see the world through his eyes. How does he view the world? Initially, on a physical level, how different are his senses from ours? Does the brilliant sun gleam brighter? Are colorless clouds gloomier? Stepping into his place, I would have this knowledge. Also, if I lived as John for a day, I would better understand the motives for his puzzling behavior, which is often a mystery. The reasons behind his deep necessity for his rigid daily routines and unwillingness to stray from such would be apparent. In addition, I would comprehend his thought processes and why he arrives at certain conclusions. I would better understand why black-and-white thinking securely and consistently constricts him. With this knowledge, I would be able to shed light upon the mysterious motives behind autistic behavior.

After stepping into my brother’s world, I could breach the firm and impervious barrier between the autistic and the average person, by spreading the information I learned in his isolated and secret world. One of the greatest impediments for people with autism is misunderstanding, which leads to inappropriate treatment. The communication barricade is a sharp, jutting barbed wire fence that few dare to cross. I would eradicate this boundary. Becoming John for a day, I could teach others how to communicate effectively with autistic individuals, because I myself would better understand the enigma of their thinking. If the communication barrier were removed, the capabilities of autistic individuals could be drawn out and fully developed. Ultimately, with a better understanding of the autistic perception, rigidity, and thought process, I could lend the tools to help break down the barriers between the average and the autistic person.

As soon as the minds of individuals with autism are better understood, the vast potential of so many autistic people could be unlocked. Autistic individuals are truly gifted. They are often misunderstood. Their potential is not reinforced. Surely autism would not necessarily be looked at as a drawback or imperfection, but as a gift. Who knows what latent and inaudible talents might be exposed which could benefit all if they were better understood? In addition to this, people with autism would better contribute to and integrate into society if their subdued natural capabilities were not only recognized, but also exercised. Grasping the autistic perspective, we would know how to treat them, live with them, and aid them in living up to their full potential until the missing piece to the autism puzzle is uncovered.

Although neither the cure for nor the causes of autism have been unveiled, autism is on the rise. Correspondingly, uninformed people are increasingly exposed to this distant and puzzling disorder, which requires education. They lack sure understanding. Choosing to become anyone for a day, I would be my autistic brother, John, because I would fully understand the autistic viewpoint and share this information with others so that autistic individuals might live up to their solid potential. In addition, if I could be John for a day, I could, most importantly, learn enough about his hushed world to shed a glimmering light on the hidden secrets of the world of autism. This brilliance could illuminate the potential pathway to progress.
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