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Friday, I used Talis Kimberly's song, "Still Catch the Tide" and Emily Holbert-Kellam's song sung by
Heather Dale, "The Maiden and the Selkie" as writing prompts for a few of my classes.

We had already read Jane Yolen's "Greyling," a story about a selkie boy raised by fisherfolk, who went back to sea.  I showed "Still Catch the Tide" as posted on YouTube, with Seanan and vixy singing, with Tony, SooJ, and Betsy playing.  Hard to get better than that.  I also played Heather Dale singing about on the selkies.

The writing prompt:  Write me a story.  No particular length requirement; note that neither song is long.  It DOES need to have a love story.  ONE of the protagonists must be magical in nature, the other, human.  There needs to be a CHOICE as part of the story.

I have siren stories, many vampire stories (unsurprising, given the Twilight series recent movie release), angel stories, werewolf stories, fairies and some of the best writing I've gotten out of my students so far this year.

My favorites include a story one of my boys wrote, in which a boy meets a goth girl, who identifies herself as a vampire.  She says she's hungry, and asks to drink his blood, which the boy allows her to do, thinking she's just kidding.  "I couldn't help but yell as her fangs actually pierced my skin."

Another was a boy being saved by his beautiful guardian angel.  Wanting to see her again, he keeps putting his life at risk to catch glimpses of her.  One stunt actually causes his death, and he awakes in Hell for suicide, separated forever from his angel.  WOW!

One that hit hard was one from an African American girl, whose fairy magically invites a man to change to tiny size to live with her.  After a few weeks of bliss, he asks to be changed back to be with his wife and family, leaving the fairy infuriated at his broken promises.  It ends there, but I am going to encourage her to continue on with the narrative, because it has places to GO!

One boy had a great battle between an emperor, and an evil sorcerer.  I pointed out the love interest and choice need.  With the erasure and replacement of three sentences within the narrative, there was added the sorcerer's daughter, which gave the fight a reason to happen (no magical daughter of HIS would marry a mere mortal, even a ruler) and the choice, as the daughter discerns magically how her father is to be defeated, and gives her lover the clue to defeat him.  Made.  Of.  Win.

Interestingly, I didn't get ANY selkie stories, nor little mermaideque tales, either.

My students kept asking me vixy was me.  (I said thank you each time, but no.)  I did reveal that I knew the performers, and had signed concerts they had performed, and that this was my kind of music.  I got to explain, repeatedly, that Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant was not filthy rich because she wrote.  The youth leaders laughed each class as I had a spiel about the Campbell-Award winning, Hugo-nominated author, and reeled off a list of her books, ending with One Salt Sea, which had mermaids and selkies in it.

One student recognized SooJ as Skinny White Chick.  She was duly impressed when I said I knew SooJ, and SooJ knew me well enough to say "Hi, Judi!  Good to see you again!" without having to be prompted as to who I was.  (And explained the difference between best friends, close friends, circle of friends, and acquaintances.)  

Another boy said, "You wear clothes like that in your real life, not just on stage."  I got to quote Shakespeare back at him, ha ha!

edited to reflect proper authorship of "The Maiden and the Selkie."
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