Session C: Joy Seekers with Marissa

Ms. Marissa’s Joy Seekers Workshop

What does it even mean to seek joy? These young writers and I spent a week of workshops answering this question, looking for joy and delight in a mix of typical and not-so-typical places. Most of us could agree on the joys of summer – cold treats, swimming pools, going on trips. But what about what objects bring us the most delight? Or what our imaginary worlds would be like? How about the best made-up animal? Those answers were as varied as the writers in this group and as the pieces they’ve chosen to share. Below you’ll find loving odes, magnificent metaphors, and tales of wondrous lands. We all hope you find joy in them, too. 

Ode to Coco

Coco is a little stuffed dog,

He is and is not alive;

He’s furry and squishy and black and white,

White that glows at night.

Coco is my really special buddy,

His back is a pillow;

Coco’s nose will never be runny,

Unless he bathes with a fellow.

Coco is a shooting jet,

Speeding faster than light;

The black mask around his eyes,

Helps him see at night.

Coco is a little stuffed dog,

He is and is not alive;

He’s furry and squishy and black and white,

White that glows at night.

Abby G.

An Ode to my Diary

My diary is wonderful

I can save all my memories in it

It’s a camera that records all the most important events in my life

Outside is a book jacket with a couple of stickers

Inside is my life

Represented by words swimming through the pages

Inside is my emotions and a couple of secrets

Things only I know and will only share with the diary

It’s a treasure of imagination

The diary is my book

Of life and its things

A timeline of me and only me

Words cannot describe it

The magic of a memoir

So I can only cherish it

Feeling grateful I have it

So my diary is more than just that

It IS my life and taking a huge part of it

So I will always keep it

To remind me of my past

Sumedh Malshe


Pencils are utensils 

Pencils are stencils

Pencils are bright

Pencils seem right 

Pencils are nice

Pencils look like dice

Some Pencils stink

While others are pink

Pencil might be slow 

But go with the flow

Pencils are utensils 

Pencils are stencils 

Aalap Paranjape

My smiley swimsuit

Dear smiley swimsuit I can’t

thank you enough

You keep me moving in swimming 

I even learn things with you that are new

Smiley swimsuit you always make me smile

I swim in the pool oh sooo cool,

I feel so free swimming in the waters of the little sea!

And friends swimming with me.

Dear smiley swimsuit you have a rainbow smile and little cute eyes.

I hope I fit in you for a while.

Anagha K.

Letter to a Hologram

Dear hologram,

I love how you remind me of the days I was in Florida. You make me think of the beautiful beaches, shells, and animals. I once saw whales on my trip, and thanks to you, I remember that like it was yesterday. The dolphins in the hologram remind me of a time I went to Mexico and swam with dolphins! Your accurate representation of the animal is astounding, and I adore you more than almost any object. You are stunning and magnificent! I love how you don’t just remind me of one vacation, but you remind me of many. The amazing food, people, and scenery of these places makes me love that you let me remember those places. You have made me grateful for the amount of vacations and trips I’ve gotten to go on. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me.

-From Siya

Siya Naik

Lost Lands

Once upon a time in a dark and gloomy forest, there was an elf kid. She was trapped in a tower with lots of other kids like herself. The tower she was trapped in belonged to a witch. The world that the elf, the kids, and the witch lived in was unlike any other.

         In this world there were witches, wizards, elves, humans, and lots of other races too. There were also different kingdoms with kings and queens. In the part of the world where the tower and the kids were, you just had to obey the king or queen and that’s it. There were basically no laws. That’s why everything was so crazy in this part of the world. The Spooky Forest was in the area of the world where the witches lived. The witches were a mad race and the Witch Queen was the worst of them all. The wizard’s part of the world was pretty weird and you would never know what to expect. There were melting books and lots of secret tunnels. The main part of the wizard’s area of the world was a mystic forest full of magic flying puppies and giant mushrooms. The wizards were quite tall and they always had a beard. The elves’ part of the world was pristine, clean, and white. Their national animal was a chicken and their land was made of ice cream . They had to eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. It was a law in the elfin kingdom. There were also rumors of Ice Cream Giants in the north. The elves were normal sized and had pale skin and straight hair. Also they had pointy ears. They called the sun The Great Ice Cream. The humans were normal beings but their part of the world got melted by Chul Luls which are small fire-breathing ants, so the humans had to retreat underground. Now their part of the world is a scorched wasteland.

        Now, back to the girl. Her name was Elvie. She was just about to get up from her position on the hard stone floor of the tower when the witch who kept her and the other kids in the tower came in. Elvie and the other kids who were trapped in the tower were there for days. All the time she was there she was allowed only one meal of fried octopus soup a day. It tasted horrible but she had to eat it. It was very different from her usual ice cream. Since she was positioned right next to a small window she at least got to look at something besides the tower. As the days went by she saw the usual sausage rain and snow cone blizzards that were expected. She watched as the moon became a full potato in the sky at night. As the Witch came in, Elvie saw her big orange curls of hair. Witches always had to have orange hair. That was one of the only laws here:  witches must have orange hair. All the hope she had before immediately vanished. “Come on and get up,” The Witch said. All the children got up hesitantly. The Witch led them downstairs to the yard of the tower. The Witch made all the children stand in a line. There were at least fifty of the children. Then the Witch took her wand and turned a boy into a pink sheep. “Oh no,” she said “I’ve gotten the wrong wand, the sheep spell will wear off soon!” The Witch clearly thought they couldn’t hear her but the children could.

         Just then, chaos started. The Witch said, “Oh well, I’ll just have to make do with this.” She cackled madly and pointed her wand in all directions. A bunch of pink sheep appeared. Someone managed to get a gate open and all the remaining children ran out that way. Just then a fleet of Porsches came up on the driveway. They got the children and Elvie into the Porsches. They then got carts for the pink sheep who were slowly turning back into whatever they were before and towed them away. Elvie then saw her dad driving one of the Porsches and said “thanks dad.” Her dad gave her a thumbs up with a grin. Then they all got home to the elfin kingdom just in time to see The Great Ice Cream set.

Aadya Munshi


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