Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

on being a teen when your birthday says you’re not November 11, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:04 pm
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I was just reading a blog post by a writer who was pondering the complications of writing from the narrative perspective of a 16 year old girl.  Here are  my thoughts about writing as a teen, when one is actually years or even decades past the teen years.

It’s been a few decades since my own high school graduation, but I am lucky.  I write for teens, I am with teens all day long, and I never grew up (this means  that I actually gave birth to children who are older than I am).  I have a unique perspective on the life of the average teen, and access to them.  I watch, listen, and absorb what I can in the hallways of the high schools where I teach .  I hear about the latest vocabulary, music, games, movies, and books.  At the same time, I am no longer a teen, despite not having grown up, so I’m not really in the club.  Then again, I wasn’t in the club when I was actually a teen, either.  That’s not such an uncommon scenario.

Many things haven’t changed much.

There are the kids who party.  There are the jocks.   There are the kids who escape their troubles (real or imagined) with substance abuse, with music, art, writing, mechanics or with academic excellence.  There are the kids who are motivated and going far.  There are the kids who don’t have a lot going for them, and don’t have big dreams.  There are enthusiastic kids.  There are depressed kids.

Teens are a snap shot of society, though in a time of striving for identity, they are inclined to extremes now, just like they were then.

If you’re writing as a teen in the present, the biggest change in modern teen life compared to life as a teen  in the 60s, 70s or 80s is that the ubiquitous cell phone must be part of the action.  Cell phones are umbili for social survival for teens today.  They require constant connection like The Borg. It’s quite a fascinating thing to observe, especially when the paradox of feeling ‘different’ creates the fundamental paradox: connected and outside simultaneously.  That’s the nature of being a teen today.

The most important things remain the same.  They still want to change the world.  Many still believe, rightly, that they can.  That optimism is also an essential component of youth, and the one I like the best.

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Here I am at Hallowe’en with some of  the people who make me happy to get up and drive to work each day, my Acting class.   Can you find me?  🙂

NaNoWriMo Day 11: 1100 words   (Total 15,000)

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heat in the band room June 14, 2012

The latest snippet from Grace Awakening Myth

Things are heating up in the band room!  (Ben is narrating).

.

Ryan came in.  “Did you see Tanis?”   His eyes were wild.

“When?”

“Today.  She’s wearing something.”

“I should hope so.  Otherwise she’d be arrested.”

He shook his head, as if to shake out an image, “No, I mean, she’s wearing some…thing.  Ahhh.”  He shook harder, then hissed, “Look!”

Tanis sauntered in.  She was definitely wearing ‘something,’ all right.  Skin tight.  Mini-dress.  Black leather.

Ryan cast a frantic look over to Mr. J.  Mr. J glanced back and raised an eye brow.

Paul came in, grinning.

Tanis glanced over her shoulder and then bent over.

Paul sucked in his breath.

Ryan gulped.  Loudly.  Like he had swallowed his tongue.

“Tanis,” Mr. J called.  “I need to see you over here, please.”

She grinned at us, our jaws hovering somewhere around our navels, and gave a little shoulder wiggle as she passed us.

Mr. J spoke to her quietly.

She shrugged and left the room.

He came over to us.  “For whose benefit was that display, gentlemen?”

“I…uh…well…” Ryan stuttered.

Paul twitched, but didn’t seem to have the capacity of speech anymore.

I inhaled.  “It’s complicated, sir.”

 

light June 13, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:52 pm
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I had modified a round plastic lamp shade into a bowl by putting a couple pieces of tape across the hole at the bottom.  It was sitting out where it had just served as a draw bucket for a game of charades with my drama class.

We were waiting for the bell.  Rylee picked up the lamp shade and set it on his head.

Justin looked up and said, “Hey Rylee, feeling a little light headed?”

 

 
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