Students' Page

I am really impressed by the work that I have received from schools after my visits and also from readers who have E-mailed me their stories and poems. The talent of today's youth is remarkable and I would like to share some of the pieces with you. These are the poets and authors of tomorrow!

Richard Davis who is 13 years old writes beautiful poetry. This is just one of the many he has written.

Time ever flowing like a river.

Always in one direction never ceasing.

Pushes you along the path of life until you get off that path

and start over.

Jonathan Ward who is 11 years old and attends Wyatt Elementary in Plano sent me and exciting first chapter from his book "The Haunted Mansion."

Chapter 1 - The Horror

BOOM!! CRASH!! The intense lightning caught a tree on fire and burned it to the ground. Thunder roared loudly! The sky became dark when walking through the forest. Day was passing by quickly. It began to downpour. Then, he looked at his soaking wet map. It indicated the mansion was near. Winning a mansion was lucky – too lucky – and it bothered him. He wondered if it was a trick. Though, he was a cautious man, he still was very curious.

His name was Mark. He wasn’t the brightest bulb but was clever. He was tall and skinny. Not to mention he was a top real-estate seller on a number one business. Scary things like this had happened to him before, but not nearly this scary.

As he approached the mansion, a bat had swooped down closely, almost knocking Mark down. Screech! He crept up the wiggly floor boards on the porch. When he turned the door knob, it did not open. Hmmm…He wondered. Once more, he tried to turn the knob again. Just as he began to leave, the door creaked open. Now Mark was starting to get the creeps.

The first room was a large, opened area that seemed to be the foyer. It was a very nice tidy room with a few bookshelves here and there. The door slammed shut! “Ahhh!” he cried. Gulp! Slowly, he walked towards an entry way with two doors blocking it. He studied the python symbols painted clearly on the doors. “I’ve seen these symbols before,” he wondered aloud. “Though, I can’t quite remember where.”

Zttt! Zttt! The lights flickered. Then they went out. As he stepped back another bat swooped down at him. Mark had enough. He ran out of the mansion! Then he hiked down through the woods quickly, and came to his house.

Mark lives in the forest with a few neighbors. He loves nature and takes a walk through the woods almost ever day. He also specializes in geography. That concerns Mark that he’s never seen this mansion before.

Mark phoned the police about this mansion and about where he got it – from the SSID house company. Then, 10 to 20 minutes later, they arrived at his house. Mark brought them to the mansion’s location. “I don’t see any mansion,” said the chief. Neither did Mark! “But, I was sure there was a mansion. I have this map in my pocket,” he fished in all his pockets, but couldn’t find a map. The police checked out the area. They looked for traps but couldn’t find it.

“Maybe we should take you to the emergency room,” they suggested. Mark told them no. “You have a nice day and tell us if something mysterious comes,” they chuckled and left. After the police left, Mark heard a faint laughter. Though he could not be sure…

Danielle Walter from Walker Elementary in McKinney, TX sent me this very moving and thoughtful poem that she wrote after I visited her school.


By Danielle Walter.

There is a dream of mine,

a dream I long to

complete. It is like

a sponge soaking in my soul

It is my dream to be a

creator, a creator

of characters,

a creator of my own world

My world will be

published and will

feed hungry imaginations

It is not so much

like a dream,

but a goal that

I wish to reach

I will create

worlds of the


worlds of the past.

I will be known

all around the


This is my dream,

my goal


I lay waiting,

waiting for what?

The sun to rise,

the owl to hoot.

I do not know

what I wait for,

but something,

a sigh,

a fairy godmother

It no longer matters

what I wait for,

but it just

matters that

I wait for


The Fate of Cale is an impressive story written by Mason Walker age 12. Here is a short extract.


Chapter One The Attack

Ages ago, when the earth was but one continent, there was a small suburb called Vilhar. It was different from the rest of the world. There was not a single sword , bow, or axe in Vilhar. In the dark lord's reign of terror, they were untouched by the shadow of hate. The dark lords name was Neopol, but only the bravest men dared speak it. He had a huge army, called the Hordes, who weaved webs of death and pain. The people of Vilhar did not know other lands were falling to the dark lord. And that made them very vulnerable to the attackers.

Among the Vilharans was a wood elf named Cale. He was short, with curly brown hair and green eyes. He woke up the morning of the attack, and left his house( short, with a tall chimney, just like all the others) to get water for his family. He was 15, and had an older brother, Kip( age 25). There mother was dead, so they lived with their father, Toran. When he was at the river, he heard a foul screeching noise. It brought unbelievable pain to his ears. Then he saw a rustle in the bushes. It was Badol, an elf who lived next door. " WARIKS! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!" he shouted.

Jeff in Middle School sent me two beautiful poems. Both were too long to publish all of them and so I have given you a sample below of his writing.

I decide, one fine day,

That I should take a walk,

In the park.

So I put on my jacket.

I step out the door,

And I walk down the street,

And I am happy,

Because life was good to me.

And I walked into the park,

In this gay fashion, and,

All of a sudden,

I see a songbird.

Oh, it is a beautiful songbird,

Beautiful beyond comparison,

And it sings.

It sings.

And when it sings, my heart

Leaps in my chest.

My hands quiver, my ears

Ring with the bird's music.

Michael in Grade 5 wrote this delightful poems.




big goo globs





huge spelling errors


Bradley Bailey (age 9) wrote this very clever acrostic poem poem about Matt from my Keeper series.


Matt got stuck in his computer game

Always finding out new ways to trick the devil behind that level

Trying his hardest to beat that game

That's how Matt got his name!

Sajanee Chopra (age 12) wrote this stirring poem called Beautiful


The rain came down as she held her waist.

Her face wet and cold. She waited for him.

Why did it have to turn out this way?

She knew she was going to have to pay.

But not so soon. She started to cry,

No noise except the rain hitting the ground.

Her hair wet and her clothes soaking.

As she fell down. She was all alone.

No one cared. She felt teared.

This wonderful poem was written by a 6th grader named Jeff Yao.


Cold, piercing the heart,

Unyielding flames of ice,

Wintry flames, frigid conflagration,

An inferno from Hell,



Cruel, obliterating the body,

Deadly tides of brutality,

Corrupting the mind, defiling the soul,

A meaningless execution of precious lives,



Agonizing, decaying the core,

Fists of famine,

Constricting, confusing,

An aberrant torture,



Helpless, crushing the mind,

Waves of tension,

Obliterating, abandoning,

A constant apprehension,



Cold, piercing the heart,

Unyielding flames of...

This exciting story was written by a very imaginative fourth grader named Cameron Doyle.


“Better go on inside” Pa said cautiously. “The wind has really picked up”. On an island west of Vancouver, there rests a lighthouse called the “Bethany”. The lighthouse is home to five people. Mama, Papa, Carrie, baby Tiffany and me, Jim.

As the winds picked up we rushed inside the double doors of the lighthouse quickly. Quick as lightening we jolted upstairs till we finally reached our bedroom. Our soft cots were waiting to be used as everything stood still for the upcoming storm. As soon as everyone was settled there, I pleaded to my mother to go and see what was going on at the top of lighthouse and she finally said okay. Then I bolted up a few more steps to where the polished mirrors were reflecting their beaconing light across the dark sea. I looked through the mirrors overlooking the sea and spotted huge black clouds rolling over the sky. My eyes widened as the clouds made rapid progress covering the sky like a dark blanket. Ma was going to be trembling with worry when she hears that in a few short hours there is sure to be Tsunami waves and icy hail crashing against the stiff walls of the lighthouse.

Sure enough, when she heard the terrible news, she was as pale as snow! Soon we could hear the first golf ball sized raindrops tapping on the windows. All of a sudden Pa came rushing up the stairs with water jugs in his sweaty hands. “Everyone okay”, he questioned the family. “We’re fine”, Ma said reassuringly, looking at the solemn look on her husband’s face. Suddenly the wind seemed like a thousand miles an hour and the golf balls were now bowling balls making strikes against the sturdy walls. After what seemed like hours, Tiffany started to burst out crying, so Ma asked me to gently sing her to sleep. As I obeyed her instructions I found out that Carrie was having a headache due to dehydration. Pa popped open a jug of soothing water and poured it into Carrie’s dry mouth.

Soon Carrie’s headache cleared and everyone was back to good old worrying about the growing storm. Three days later the storm still raged on and Ma was the only one who hadn’t had anything to eat, or drink. The colossal waves crashed still on the lighthouse and icicles formed everywhere and anywhere. “J-J-J-Jim. Can you go to the top and see how it is?” asked Ma in a very shaky voice. “Sure”, I returned. Again, I climbed up the tattered staircase to where the mirrors reflected their light. I looked out onto the cold sea and my eyes traced to where the water ended. But, my eyes never stopped. The water came right up to the edge of the lighthouse. I tried the other windows and saw the same thing. “The island is flooded,” I thought. I rushed back to the bedroom to tell Mama and all eyes were on me. I looked at Mama and started to tremble. Her eyes were closed and she lay still. Instead of her chest inhaling and exhaling, going up and down, it was motionless. Carrie was whimpering and in Pa’s eye you could see a sparkle of water. Mama was gone.

“M-M-Mama? You’re g-g-one. Why?” I asked running over to Mama and slipping my hand in hers. “I hate this STORM!!!” I yelled as loud as I could. “I wish it never happened!” I cried again. “Me too, me too, son” said Pa. On the tenth day of the storm it was worst than ever. I woke up after an awful night sleep and stepped out of my cot. Instead of my feet touching the wood floor, it touched icy, cold water. The water had risen so much it flooded the house. Suddenly, the water rose to my knees. I splashed over to Pa and his eyes shot open as another wave hit. The water again flooded us. “Get Tiffany and Carrie now!” Pa yelled as I obeyed. As soon as they were awake, the water was at my neck and Tiffany’s and Carrie’s breathing bubbles underwater soon could be seen no more. Two more special lives were lost – thanks again to me. With another crash of a wave the water level went over my head as I strained to breath. I could see my vision blurring away. Then, I could see no more. My eyes closed and I started to float. That was the end.

“Jim!” I heard Carrie’s voice and smelled the aroma of frying eggs. “I must have had a nightmare,” I thought. For all I knew, it seemed so real! After that day I never forgot that nasty dream I had that night. It sure taught me what I should do in a time like that!!!

This is the beginning of a very descriptive story written by Peter John Augustinos

Long ago, two dominant warriors met face-to-face on a lonely battlefield in the Valley of Doom between the identical Wizard Peaks. The mountains were lush and green, yet there were no signs of animal life on them. There were various species of undiscovered plants, though. Some people claimed that they were cursed. The vast space between these wondrous mountains, peculiarly, was desolate and waterless. The two soldiers missions were to defeat the enemy. The guardian of justice was named Vincent and his opposition was called Dawn. Vincent was a six foot, five inch tall human with black, spiky hair. He wore a powerful coat of a scarlet hue that was almost bulletproof, and black leather knee-high boots. All of his garments were weighted, so he was tremendously strong. He also carried a diamond-encrusted, steel shield with a lion imprinted onto it. All of these items served impenetrable defense for the overwhelmingly courageous warrior. He used a beautifully crafted, double-bladed sword for offence. It was a gold-iron alloy with a dragon with ruby eyes and pearl claws engraved on both sides of it, the hilt was cased in leather, and the entire sword was three inches short of Vincent's chest. Dawn was the most powerful sorceress in the universe at the time. She was five-foot-seven, clothed in a frilly, crimson and black cloth robe encrusted with garnets near the neck and foot. She had black hair that flowed down her back, and almost reached her waist, that was usually left straight. Her wand was used for offence and defense, and held some of the most powerful magic ever created. It was capable of destruction and chaos, as well as healing and protection. Prior to the official start of the battle, the two warriors glared menacingly at one another. Dawn made an imaginary cut with her finger across her throat. Vincent gripped his sword tightly, and then pulled it out of the rawhide sheath that bound it to his belt.

This is a wonderful poem written by Andrew Molina

Here drink

my kind loyal


Take the cup

of love and

fill your heart

to its fullest



a word of great caution

stop then and not

a moment after your

desire is filled,

for the love

will poison

you with feelings

that will over whelm

even the

owner with the

biggest heart.

Congratulations to Charles Scudder on getting published!

Hi. It's Charles Scudder from the Grapevine Barnes & Noble workshop. I am being published by Majestic Books. That's the publisher that publishes the compilations of kids' stories. They accepted my story about the owl, Howl's Shopping Adventure. I am really excited. Thank you for giving me the information about the publisher. Your fellow AUTHOR! Charles Scudder

An exerpt from an exciting story, The Wonder Inside, by Emily Roy who is 11 years old.

"Tell me about it." "Uh, ok," I mumbled. "It was in the mountains, the Zortik Mountains. It was white, or maybe silver, in a forest." "Do you know the name of the forest?" Professor Blake questioned me. "No, I'm not sure. Maybe I'll know next session." "Okay then. I think our session is about over. Thank you for coming," he replied as we shook hands. Geez, I thought that session would never end. I had been having that dream for about a month and a half, over and over again each night. Finally, I had come to a psychological therapist. He had helped me somewhat today, even though this was only my first session. It just helped being able to express my dreams and feelings to someone, without having them think I was crazy or psycho. I walked out of the hospital and walked to my car. The fresh air smelled much better than the disinfectant odor the hospitals always have. It was 1:30 p.m., and I was starving, since I skipped breakfast and I didn't have enough time to eat lunch. I stepped in my car and drove to McDonalds. I pulled in the Drive-Through and ordered my Big Mac, medium Coke, and a large fry. I waited 5 minutes then started off towards my apartment. "Oh my gosh…" I moaned. Suddenly, I shot forward, finding myself awake, sitting up in bed. "What was that all about?" I questioned myself, rubbing the back of my head. I think it was about that creature again, although this time it was more…detailed. I found out it was a pure silver color, and had more than two legs, and was a beautiful animal. I had also heard the name of the forest, Gerudo, pumping again and again inside my head, like the drum of horses' steps; short but powerful. I squinted through my sleepy eyes to my alarm clock. It was Saturday, 2:11 a.m. I shuffled to my bathroom and washed all the sweat off my face. I walked back to my bed and turned on NBC News Channel 8. I sat up in bed for about twenty minutes. I dozed off for a while. Gerudo, Gerudo, Gerudoo, Gerudoo, Gerudooo, Gerudooo, Gerudooo Foressssst. The ss's trailed behind forest like a snake's flickering tongue. I rolled over in bed, my arm swinging over the side, my sheets getting bundled up between my feet. Silverrrr, hitting the bedside table, silverrrr, silverrrrr…silverrrr… I felt my whole body thump against something hard…something flat.

An exerpt from the wonderful story, "The Protection of Pythatri" by David Gao Liu, Age 12.

"Stop him!” urgently shouted Roban Berl, Chief of the PAF (Pythatri Armed Forces). The spy whizzed by, agilely dodging the bright gold beams of destruction. Plaster and dust rained down from the ceiling as the laser beams went astray of their elusive target. “Seal off all the exits, he must not be allowed to escape,” ordered Roban with the desperation of a hunted animal. “If he escapes, the safety of Pythatri is at stake,” choked Roban as he accidentally inhaled some dust. The spy continued, dodging three more Defender robots and slamming another with a sickening crunch against the wall. The air became polluted with the dirt coming from the heavily damaged ceiling. Around the corner and up two flights of stairs he went and down another three ran the spy as the air around him filled with blinding golden laser light. His agility was as swift as a cat but his stamina was gradually decreasing into nothing. A quick burst of light from the various wall-mounted laser armaments finally eradicated the spy from the face of Pythatri as he momentarily stopped to catch his breath. Commander-In-Chief Berl warily picked his way through the piles of wreckage in the hallways closely followed by the Defenders in case of any obnoxious surprises. Roban bent down and straightened up as he picked up the Computer Information Disks that were lying beside the body. “That was too close,” commented Roban with relief. “Commander Michael, take these disks and transport them to Classified Safety Vault 1, please,” as he handed the disks to him. “At once, sir,” shouted Commander Michael as he tore down the hallway, carrying the valuable disks. He activated his Instant Command Transmitter and ordered that three crews of workmen spent the rest of the afternoon directing the masses of repairmen to make the ruined hallways into pristine condition. “Get some plaster to repair those walls. Not there, here. Finally, the plaster has arrived, fill in that hole,” were a few of his countless orders. After the hallways had emptied of repairmen Commander-in-Chief Berl wandered down to his office. It had been an amazingly long day. He was so exhausted and before he knew it he had drifted into sleep. Suddenly a great explosion was heard outside that woke Commander-In-Chief Roban with a jolt. BBBBOOOOOOOOMMMM!!! Command Citadel 1 was under attack!

Chapter 1 The Shadow - An excerpt from "The Dark Summer" - A Story by Jake Kooker (Copyright 2002)

On one hot night, a dark shadow passed over the world. It happened a very long time ago, before the memory of any living person or book. This is what happened. The night was young, the world was wild, and evil lurked in very few places. A dark shadow crept over the land, and over the hearts of some that were cruel to people and animals. It crept over creatures that were cruel and hated other creatures. The next morning, which would have been like any other day, anyone who was corrupted by the shadow started to meet with one another. They devised a horrible plan to conquer the world. They soon sought out the creatures that had been corrupted by the shadow and used them as minions or slaves. They managed to keep their plans a secret from everyone, but the concealment was difficult. There were men, dwarves, and elves. Men were very fierce warriors, while elves were good at shooting with bows and arrows, and the dwarves were very good at ambushing. The corrupted men, dwarves, and elves planed to attack a town that housed elves, men, and dwarves. This town was called Talventara. Three unlucky citizens of that town got caught in a horrible mess. 1 Month after the shadow had passed, the three leaders of the dark group, Sinra, Blackith, and Darketh, were planning to attack Talventara. They were going to send a small fleet of wild beasts to attack the front wall. They knew that the wild beasts wouldn’t be able to do much, but this would just be to scare the people. The next day, on the 10th day of June, an elf named Solta, a man named Jath, and a dwarf named Talva were walking along talking to each other when the heard a strange noise. Suddenly, they heard a large rumble from outside the wall. They ran up on to the block walkway up at the top of the wall and looked down. . . .

Sunset - A Poem by Sara Garcia

The sunset is all the colors of the rainbow in one big open space.

The sunset is when the sun goes down, and all the colors signal that the moon is coming.

The sunset stands for everyone, different colors and religion.

The sunset stands for our peace and Freedom.

The sunset reminds us that United We Stand As One!

By: Sara Garcia

"Part One- Shadow" - An excerpt from a story called "Violence Spoiling Mardi" by a great young writer -Jeremy Leigh

Mardi's dad had just said that he was going to war again to fight off the invading aliens known as the Zzion. It was the year 2502 AD and the upgrades in technology were tremendous from the way they were in 2001 AD. Spacecraft transportation was the most common way to travel, but no one had traveled for two years now because of the war with the Zzion. They used something called a Beamer or Teleportion room. It was a little attachment to your front entrance of your house where it would beam you in. Only hospital workers could beam anywhere in the house. Mardi was a young boy of sixteen living on Xenex now that the Zzion had taken over Earth. Mardi had blond hair, blue eyes and loved warfare. He was underage to be drafted into the Xenex army though. " Dad c' mon I just want to go to one battle" Mardi complained as his father, Malkov, started packing for his trip. " Trust me, you won't like it up in the drafty battleships. Especially when the Zzion are close by." Replied Malkov. " I just want to fight one battle Dad. C' mon!" Mardi whined. " How many times must I tell you: it's too dangerous. Son, look I don't even know if I'll make it back alive this time. I don't want to lose you!" Mardi moaned at this. He'd heard it 50 billion times it seemed like. He didn't take it seriously. He thought blasting aliens would be fun. Then the doorbell rang. " I'll get it. It's probably Kit." Said Mardi. Kit was Mardi's best friend. It was Kit and his older brother Zelt. They stepped out of the Teleportion room. " Hey. Wasup?" said Kit. As he came through the door. " Nothing really. My dad won't let me go to fight. I wish he would." Mardi and Kit sat down on the couch and Zelt went into the kitchen where Mardi's dad was. He was a fighter pilot and was also leaving. Zelt took the war seriously and thought that it was a big deal to get drafted. But to Mardi and Kit it was a game. Because they were both sixteen they didn't have the experiences to know what war was like so they loved to imagine. Mardi and Kit were camped out on the couch watching TV talking about girls and other things including war and weapons. They were especially deep in conversation on the new laser gun, the FS196B, when the voice of Commander Faulk on the intercom boomed in. "Captain Malkov, we have just been informed that a large number of Zzion have been spotted heading toward your Sector. Please get to your station to defend the Sector. We…." And he was cut off by static.


"Jeremy Bolder the Paper Folder" - An excerpt from a story by another great young writer - Charles Scudder Age 11.

... At 12:00 a loud speaker said, "attention please, bronze medal goes to Maggie Sodshrew with her oil paint on canvas scenes. Silver goes to Charlie Scooter and his nativity scene made from soap. And gold goes to Jeremy Bolder with his Origami! Please come to the gym to get your medals." Then Jeremy said to the nearest person ... "What's my name?" "Jeremy Bolder." said Mr. Witner. "Don¹t kid me!" "I'm not! You just won 1st prize!" ... After he ran home he had an idea, he could teach others this Japanese art! So he asked his mom if they could ravel around the U.S.A. teaching kids in hospitals origami. Surprisingly she said "Sure, I need to travel anyway."...His first student was Tommy Fontana who had leukemia. Jeremy told him the story that if a sick person folded 1,000 cranes, the would get well. Two days later Jeremy received an invitation to Tommy's graduation.

COMPETITION WINNERS FROM LITTLE PROFESSOR BOOKSTORE (McKinney, TX) SUMMER 2001 CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP. First Place Prizes were awarded in two age groups. Congratulations to all those who entered. It was very difficult to choose a winner! Special Congratulations to Sondra Hardie (10 and under) and Matt Weaver (11 and over).

Beyond the Mind

By Matt Weaver- Age 13

“ General, after months of work it is finally complete. The most technically advanced computer system in the world and in the hands of the united states government, no doubt,” one of the scientists replied as General Blaine, the leader of the base asked how it was going. “ This is it? What! This is just a big blob of stuff thrown together and stuffed into a glass case! And just what would happen if the glass broke, and it got out?” John yelled out incoherently just as General Blaine was walking past. “ Shut up, you’re in no position to talk about the bio-computer in that way. You are just an insignificant little soldier. No wonder you don’t understand the importance of it,” yelled the General at John’s remark. “ We are now preparing to proceed with the first test General,” one of the scientists called out as he slipped a floppy disk into one of the many computer systems in the room. Suddenly, all the monitors in the room went black and then the words - MISSION ACEPTED- flashed up on all of them. Alarms were going off all over the area; and as soon as they came, they went quiet again. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the glass case that housed the computer. There was a long, jagged crack going upwards along the tube. At the bottom of it, the bio-computer was oozing out like a bunch of Jell-O. Many of the scientists gasped and ran to the computer to see if it was damaged. When the first scientist placed his hand on the case, it shattered into a million pieces and the computer splattered all over the floor! Then, to everyone’s surprise, the heap rolled itself into a ball and then split into four perfectly equal pieces. As one of the scientists bent down to examine the part, it jumped up onto the scientists face and wrapped around it, suffocating him. The other parts attacked the other three scientists in the same way. The pieces then fell off the scientists’ faces, and they fell down to the floor. Instantly, the soldiers that were in the room opened fire on the creatures. The shells went right though them! Some of the soldiers ran out of the room. Some of the soldiers were attacked by it, and the ones that were left ran out of ammo and exited the room. John was the last to escape. He got out, slammed the door shut, and then he spirited down the hallway throwing his empty weapon on the floor. He turned around the corner just as the bio- computer crashed through the doorway. It was very fast for its size, it could even catch up to John if it really tried! The computer mass stopped and flattened out against the floor then it started to change colors, then it quickly transformed into the first scientist it attacked! It then ran twice as fast as it did before! The computer ran down the hallway around the corner just seconds after John did. The computer scientist stopped dead in its tracks to see soldier after soldier ready to fire on it! The computer called, "It's coming, quick, run while you still can! It got the rest of them, but it is not going to get me. Move over so I get out of here!" The computer ran in mock terror for the nearest doorway and slammed the door behind itself. It looked around and saw a man standing in the corner of the room. The man walked up, closer to the computer. It was General Blaine! "Hello and Goodbye, General Blaine," the computer said with an evil grin across its borrowed face. The General looked puzzled. He gasped in terror as the scientist transformed back into the computer and lunged up on his face. A minute later, General Blaine was motionless on the floor, dead. “Now I have your voice, body, memory, and anything else that I will need,” the computer whispered coldly. “Hmm, an air vent. This ought to get a little interesting,” the computer thought. It then flattened like dough under a rolling pin and slithered up the walls like a snail into an air vent. “Sir, you should get out of here while there is still time left. The bio-computer is coming this way,” said one of the soldiers when he saw Blaine behind him. “Yes, um, right, I’ll leave now,” General Blaine replied. “Which way do you think I should go?” “I haven’t a clue. It could be anywhere if it got up into one of the air ducts. Heck, we don’t even know what the thing can do!” Remarked another soldier in the front row of guards. As the General turned around with his back toward his troops, his hand stretched out and fell to the hard floor with a thud. Unfortunately, no one heard it because they were far too nervous. The cold, black barrel of a gun replaced the hand! The General spun around quickly and opened fire with his new hand at his own men that he recruited! A row of troops fell to the ground, dead. It wasn’t the General at all! It was the bio-computer! It climbed back into the air vent before any of the living soldiers could return its fire. The computer came out of the air vents and into the missile control center. Nobody could enter the room except for Blaine. The computer, now disguised as General Blaine, quickly typed in the launch codes (compliments of Blaine’s memory) and the trajectory for all twenty missiles in the fortress. They were being directed towards the United States capitol building! Then, the door was blasted open and John, with two others, stormed inside and tossed frag grenades at the “General . The three exited just as the grenades went off and exploded, starting a large fire inside the center. The fire spread onto the bio-computer, and it fell to the floor in a steaming, bubbly mass. The showerheads in the ceiling sprayed water on the blaze and put it out. When john cautiously entered, the computer lunged in the air towards him! He fired blindly with his M-16 in the direction of the computer. One of the bullets sliced through a roll of wiring and it fell on top of the computer and pinned it to the floor. John fired the remaining bullets in the clip at the wires. There was a bright flash and then silence. The computer had been electrocuted to death! “We did it! We did it!” john and the other two troops cried, “We killed the bio-computer!” “Strange, it seems the electrical current has no effect whatsoever on the bio-computer,” a man said as he was stabbing at a piece of what was left of the bio-computer with an electric prong. “ But didn’t those three soldiers say that they killed it by electrocuting it, didn’t they,” another one remarked “Yes, that is what they said,” a third man agreed. After waiting for a response from either one of them for an unusually long time, he looked up. He gasped when he saw the other two on the floor, dead. No trace of the bio-computer was in sight. The survivor walked toward one of the long, wide tables, where he heard a faint gurgling sound. He peered over to see the bio-computer tensed up like a rattlesnake. It jumped up at the scientist, just missing his head by a few inches. The scientist ran as fast as his stubby legs could carry him. He ended up in the security control room. Using a wild hunch from reading far too many comic books, he came up a plan. He placed videotapes containing pictures f the General, his troops, and the scientists that the bio-computer had absorbed inside the five VCRs in the room. He pressed the play button just seconds before the bio-computer entered. It looked up at one of the screens that had a picture of General Blaine. Instantly, the computer transformed into the General! It looked at another screen. It had a soldier. The computer transformed into him! The screens flashed up picture after picture as the scientist pressed the fast-forward button, and as the bio-computer caught sight of them, it changed into them! It ended up having the head of General Blaine, legs of a scientist, a gun for an arm, and the head of a troop for the other arm! Then, an arm shot out of the creature’s back and it rapidly started spinning around circles. Then it stopped suddenly and slowly started melting. About two minutes later, it was a puddle of a genetic experiment gone bad. It had lost all of its power as quickly as it had gained it. Five minutes later, a janitor mopped up the mess and emptied in the bucket in the sink. The computer was gone for good.

Mountain Man

By Sondra Hardie- Age 8

Once upon a time, there was a mountain man named Johnny Chism. Johnny lived with his wife and kids. One day, Johnny decided he would go climb the mountain near his house and camp at the top for a couple of days. He got his things and started up the mountain. When he finally made it to the top, he set up his camp. Five minutes later, he saw a ghost. The ghost said, “If you don’t leave here by midnight I will make you grow horns on your head!” Johnny didn’t believe in ghosts, so he crawled into his sleeping bag and went to sleep. In the morning when he woke up he remembered what the ghost had said. He looked around and found a little pond. He went to the pond and looked into the water until he saw his reflection. Sure enough, Johnny had horns growing out of his head. He was a little worried about the horns, but he was very hungry. He decided to worry about the horns after breakfast. He went back to camp, picked up his fishing pole and bate, and headed back to the pond. When he got back to the pond, there was a huge hole, full of dead fish, where the pond had just stood. Johnny decided to take a closer look, so he walked into the hole. Immediately the water came back into the hole. He had to swim back to the shore. He thought his mind must be playing tricks on him, after all, he was really hungry. Johnny sat down and bated his hook, and began fishing. He quickly caught enough fish. He went back to camp and made his breakfast. Johnny forgot about the horns, and enjoyed his day on the mountain. Just after dark, the ghost appeared again and said, “If you don’t leave my mountain by midnight, I will make you grow a tail to match your horns!” Johnny was very tired from his adventures on the mountain that day. He knew he was just imagining the ghost, after all he didn’t believe in ghosts. He crawled into his sleeping bag and fell fast asleep. The next morning when he woke up, Johnny found he had grown a tail. The ghost came to him again, this time in full daylight. “I told you to leave my mountain. Since you are still here I am going to turn you into a mountain goat!” Suddenly, Johnny began changing into a mountain goat. He ran down the mountain to find his wife and children. When he found them, they could not understand what had happened. Johnny turned and went back up the mountain. His wife and children followed close behind. When they all got back to the place where Johnny had been camped, there sat the ghost. He was very angry that Johnny had come back and brought his family with him. The ghost said, “Because you would not leave my mountain when I told you, I turned you into a mountain goat. Now that you have returned with your family, I am going to turn them into mountain goats as well!” Instantly his wife and children turned into mountain goats. They didn’t think it was too bad being a mountain goat after all. They spent the rest of their days living on the mountain, grazing grass, and playing in the sunshine. And they all lived happily ever after.

PISD Summer School wrote stories after my visit using the Creativity Box idea. Here are some extracts.

Winner is Able to Survive

By Jillyn - Age 10

"I'll get you this time Martial Blackstone," said Kevin Rant in a rude and disgusted voice. There is Kevin Rant and Martial Blackstone fighting until death. In their hands are a sword and a shield trying to push the other off their horse into the ice-cold water snow. There are trees all around them. The trees and snow seem as though they are moving toward them in a rush. The two arched enemies are fighting against each other in war. Their families sit and cheer for their family while the children cry, because of the cold. Then suddenly Rant is on the ground. Blackstone has pinned him yet it seems as though he is afraid to stick his sword though him. . .

Prince of Peace Catholic School, 8th Grade Journalism Class, wrote these fantastic newspaper articles. I wish that I had the room to print them in full.

The Reader

By Rebecca Stowe

Ms. H.J. Ralles, author of Keeper of the Kingdom, is reaching out to her community and potential authors. She is touring the country speaking in different schools about her book and helping those that see writing as part of their future. Ralles recently visited Prince of Peace Catholic School. She begins her sessions by telling a little about herself and her new book. She tells children not to be discouraged if they are not good with grammar or spelling; that's what editors are for.

She gives eager minds tips for getting started. . . She also gives away one of her tricks to keep a book logically straight: character cards. . . Ralles also tells the students about the correct format of manuscripts: another trick of the trade. As she is speaking, a well-put together slide show helps the students follow along. She goes step-by-step through the process of making a book, and she is a more effective speaker because she has been there.

Her new book Keeper of the Kingdom has been published, and her fans await her newest book. She informs the intent listeners about the trials and tribulations of an author, and encourages them to learn to become an effective writer no matter what profession he or she may choose. Ralles is helping her fans follow in her footsteps.


Hilary Ralles Visits Prince of Peace

By Robert Wright

PLANO--On March 28, 2001, an author named Hilary Ralles visited Prince of Peace Catholic School. Ralles met with the eighth grade students in the library to discuss her newest book, Keeper of the Kingdom, as well as several aspects of writing novels. . .

Ralles began by going into depth about the process involved in writing a book. She started first on the importance of research in novels. "I like to think my stories have an element of truth," said Ralles. "Research is important, even for a writer of fantasy or science fiction." She informed the class that she spends hours researching things that she intends to put in her book. She continued by discussing other topics, which included the following: writing the novel, getting it published, revising the book, and the harsh subject of the book being rejected by publishers.

To finish, she ended on a personal note by discussing how much she loved writing. "Even if one kid in a hundred likes my book, then it's been worth it," said Ralles.


Keeper of the Kingdom

By Samantha Junker

H.J. Ralles is an excellent science-fiction author. Ralles first book, Keeper of the Kingdom, is a huge success; although it took a while. Her book came out in February 2001. The writing process and publishing took much longer. She started at the age of ten, when she wrote her first book, and was published in the newspaper by age thirteen. . .

Ralles goes to schools around the nation explaining how she wrote her first book and why she did it. Prince of peace Catholic School was one of the lucky schools to have her appear. As one student said, "She explained and expanded our minds beyond belief." Ralles is doing this for the excitement of the children reading her books. She is an amazing author and a brilliant woman.



A 'Keeper" of an Author: Hilary Ralles

By Mallory Goetz

As author of the new young adult science fiction book, Keeper of the Kingdom, Hilary Ralles has her work cut out for her. Ralles is a newly acclaimed author who has just had her first story published. Ralles lives in Plano, Texas with her husband and two children. Before deciding to become an author of young adult stories, she was a teacher.

Ralles is making visits to numerous schools around the southwest endorsing her new book and talking about the difficult journey it took to get her book, Keeper of the Kingdom, on the shelves. She visited Prince of Peace Catholic School in her hometown of Plano on Tuesday, March 27, and Wednesday, March 28. After that she is traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona and Tulsa, Oklahoma during the months of March, April and May.

During her visit, she explained the different struggles it took to get her story published. Ralles explained the need for an agent, publisher, graphic designer and an artist. She was also promoting her new book and talking about the sequels that should be coming out soon. The literary industry is looking forwars to some new thrilling stories from Hilary Ralles.



The Amazing Ralles

Christopher Nicholls

This past Wednesday, Prince of Peace Catholic School was visited by up and coming author, Hilary Ralles, during journalism. The reason for this special visit was to explain the process necessary to get your story published as a book. During the visit, Mrs. Ralles went into detail about the specific steps it takes to get a book on the shelves. The visit lasted about forty-five minutes; but would have lasted longer, if not for conflicting prescheduled activities.

During the visit however, Mrs. Ralles was able to cover how much work it takes. The students were very surprised to hear how much time and effort is needed to publish a book. The students were very impressed with Mrs. Ralles presentation and said they gained much knowledge not known prior to her visit. Mrs. Ralles gave her thanks for the student's attention, and the students gave their thanks for her visit.



Hilary J. Ralles Visits Prince of Peace

Tina Rau

On March 28 Hilary Ralles, author of Keeper of the Kingdom, visited Prince of Peace catholic School. Ralles distributed signed copies of her newly published book, Keeper of the Kingdom, to students who wished to purchase them. Grades 5 - 8 got an opportunity to talk with Ralles about publishing a book. Ralles had a slide show prepared and discussed topics such as ideas for book titles and characters, rough drafts and editing, difficulty in finding a publisher and the joy of finally getting a copy. The students loved the experience and learned much from it, as expected.


Readers send in their stories and poems 2001.

"Shadow" - An excerpt from a great story by a young writer.

by Charlote Crosmer- Age 10

“Please?” Carole Riley begged her mother. “Just talk to Dad?” “Alright, I’ll talk to him about it,” Mom consented. “Thanks, Mom!” Carole said joyfully. She knew Dad would say something in her favor, since he liked dogs, too. She was very glad Mom had agreed to talk to Dad about getting a dog. “Now, let’s go.” Mom grabbed her car keys off the table and headed out to the garage, followed by Carole. “How long will you be at the store?” Carole asked. “And when are you going to talk to Dad?” “I’ll be there about 45 minutes, I’ll pick you up on my way home.” Mom was going to the grocery store while Carole played at her friend Amy Parks’ house. “When will you talk to Dad?” Carole asked again. “Tonight.” Mom answered. “Here we are, remember your manners.” “I will.” Carole was always reminded to have good manners whenever she went anywhere. She was getting a bit tired of it, but never said anything. “Bye!” She opened the car door and stepped out. After she closed the door, she walked up the three steps to Amy’s front porch and rang the doorbell. She had so much to tell Amy! “Hi!” Amy said opening the door, “What’s up?” “Oh, lot’s of things! I can’t wait to tell you!” Carole said excitedly. “Like what?” Amy closed the door as Carole went inside. “Well, first, I plan to enter this Art Contest I saw in the newspaper.” Carole was almost 12, and you had to be 10-13 to enter. Amy was already 12. “Cool, you’ll probably win.” Amy replied. “I hope so. Anyway, I asked Mom about getting a dog, and she is going to talk to Dad about it! Isn’t that great?” Carole followed Amy into her room. “Awesome. What do you think he’ll say?” Amy wondered. “I don’t know, but I’ll find out tonight, and call you.” Carole answered. “Do you know when the contest is?” “Yes, of course!” Carole laughed. “June 17.” “Wow, that’s only 5 days away!” Amy exclaimed. “How can you ever finish it by then?” “Oh, I already started drawing it. It’s a picture of a black horse. I’m going to draw the background when I get home,” said Carole.

"The Storyteller" - An excerpt from a story for a younger child.

by Christina Featherston - Age 12

It was Monday morning, and the students in Mrs. Webb's third grade class were so excited. Mrs. Webb had just announced that everyday this week a storyteller would be coming to their classroom.

When the storyteller entered the classroom, the children thought she looked a bit scary. She was dressed all in black, and she had long straight black hair. She looked like a WITCH!!!.

The children listened with enthusiasm. her story was terrific, but as she was leaving for the day, she stopped and whispered something to Allyssa, who then, got up out of her seat and followed the storyteller out of the room.

The next day Allyssa wasn't at school. When the storyteller walked into the classroom, still dressed all in black, the children sat up straight in their seats! All they could think of was, "What did she do with Alyssa?"

After her story on Tuesday, she walked over to Christina and whispered something to her. Christina then got up and left the room.

On Wednesday, neither Alyssa nor Christina were at school. The class was really spooked. Again, the storyteller arrived dressed all in black . . .


"Enticed in the Game"

by Adelia Gunderson


Gunfire rang out though the star-studded sky narrowly missing my spaceship. I ripped on the controls and my craft jutted forward, away from my pursuer. I had many enemies, but there is one that is vital to escape, the police. You see I am a space pirate or smuggler what ever you want to call me.

I fired behind me to make sure no one was playing Follow-The-Leader. I checked my ship's status. She had received serious damage but was repairable. I had to land somewhere soon because my ship was running out of power. Only according to my navigational system the closest place was the large planet Neoga. I wouldn't have been so worried if the plant wasn't known to be the most crowded in the universe. I guess I will have to take my chances.

I stepped of the ship and found myself immersed in a large crowd of shoppers. Surrounding me were nothing more than gigantic buildings and transportation units. Millions of people swarmed like bees to a hive around markets and food stands. No human, or alien, noticed a most wanted criminal come striding into their territory. In fact, nobody seemed to care. That was what surprised me. I wandered the grounds to get my bearings and tried to find a place to eat, which was pretty hard considering that everyone that lived on this planet was pretty tall. I could barely see over their broad, strong shoulders standing on tiptoe.

After a while, I finally found what seemed like a quiet little casino. There I took a seat at the bar and took time to relax, since I barely ever had time to do so. I thought back on those recent adventures when my partner, Kaoko, and I had a ball doing rotten things like hold-ups at the bank and other concocted schemes that we made up. But we haven't done that together in what seems like a million years. The thing I had done most recently was be chased by a bounty hunter. I'll tell you what that lady never gives up.

"Hey, lady! Are you awake! What is your order?" a man shouted at me snapping me out of my illusion. He had a stern face and his eyes did nothing but glare. "Well! What do you want?"


A Poem

By Clare Rushing