From our first workshop together, Ms. Vega’s students approached writing with creative excitement and a willingness to bend the rules of reality. During our six weeks together, we swapped heroes and villains, rewrote beloved books and movies, explored poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing, sometimes all mashed into one! It was a pleasure watching the students imaginations run wild as they explored our world and created new universes of their own.
Badgerdog Teaching Artist
There was a girl named Brooklyn who was a spy. She was cool. Her favorite food was tamales. She liked going on missions. Sports made Brooklyn happy. She was afraid of snakes and Dayana. Her best friend was Arelis. Chimpanzees made her angry. Her favorite memory was when she was a spy. Her greatest secret is that she didn’t have a family. A typical day in her life is a night out with the girls.
Her secret mission is explosive. Bam! She has to make sure to deactivate the bomb. She cut the wrong wire. She blew up the world and herself and became a ghost!
But she still looked like an ordinary girl. She had turquoise hair and smelled like Ariana Grande perfume. She sounded happy and angry, and her hair was long and curly. She wore black clothes because she was a spy. She was skinny. She liked to eat tamales and pizza, and she tasted like tamales. Her room looked like trash and a mess, and in her room she had a lot of posters of Justin Bieber. Then she met a girl named Nicky. She was her new BFF. Then one day, they had a discussion because Brooklyn was going to save the president, but Nicky wanted to, so they had a big discussion and Nicky said, “I’m not your friend any more!” and Brooklyn said, “Good. Good thing I did not want to be your friend!” And in the night, they started to cry. The didn’t talk for a year.
Then one day, they got a mission alert. They needed to save the president from Mickey and Minnie because they wanted to take over the world and kidnap the president. Brooklyn and Nicky worked together to save the president, and they killed Mickey and Minnie. The president thought they were bad news, so they got arrested and were rotting in prison. But when they were old, they escaped, and they drank a potion and then they were young again and Brooklyn and Nicky got away.
The Silly Granny
Once, there was a granny who was one hundred years old, and she wanted to get married to a fifteen-year-old boy. The boy was like, “No, I hate you granny!” The granny thought she was fifteen years old, which she wanted to be because she was tired of being old, so she wore fifteen-year-old clothes. But the boy still said, “No, I don’t want you here!” And the granny said, “You don’t have a choice!” So the fifteen-year-old boy went to the store and bought a water gun and squirted the granny. He found out she was actually a fifteen-year-old girl in disguise!
Natalie M. Zamarripa
The Big Green Cat Monster
A big green cat monster destroyed the town. He killed people. He ate food, and had a lazer eye and a jump boost. He destroyed the city. A soldier shot at the big green cat monster with a gun. He got angry, and he destroyed the city. Then he was angry that he destroyed the city, and he got angry and evil and ate people. The big green cat monster loved food, but the wolf wanted to eat all his meat. The big green cat monster tried to fight the wolf, but the wolf won, so the town was saved in the end.
My character is Poppy. She has brown hair, white clothes, and pimples on her face. She wants a doll that costs one hundred dollars, but she doesn’t have enough money to get her. She smells like flowers, and she touches everybody. She tastes like perfume and smells like famous people. She likes to eat like everybody, and her room is clean and organized.
One day, Poppy said hello to the doll. Poppy traveled the world. She said, “Hello world, how great is the sun, so light, so beautiful. I wish it could be like this.” She wanted to explore the world, but the doll stopped her. Because the doll was lifeless. Her friend, Olive, came with her because she was a person; the doll wasn’t a person.
America Jasmin Gonzales
Fionna and Cake
Fionna and Cake live in a tree. Fionna has blonde hair, and Cake is a cat. Their favorite food is pizza. They like saving people. They’re happy when they’re eating pizza, and they’re afraid of fire. They like cute bunnies, but when they see a cute bunny, he is being evil. They’re good at fighting the ice king. When they found the fish people, Fiona had long hair, and Cake smelled like pizza. Cake looks little and fat, and FIona is a little bit fat too. Fionna and Cake want to fight the evil, cute bunny. Fionna says yes. But Prince Fire is training to find an antidote to stop Fionna and Cake from being evil and change them to be nice. And he finds some bracelets for Fionna and Cake. When they put them on they become nice. Fionna and Cake say thank you.
Gladiator & Cat Versus Wolf
The gladiator wanted to fight the wolf because the wolf wanted to cook him, but the cat wanted to save the gladiator. The gladiator did not want help. Then he got trapped in a trap because he was chasing the wolf. The cat saved the gladiator, and they took the wolf away together.
The gladiator said, “Thanks for saving me.”
“You’re welcome,” said the cat, and the wolf said, “It’s not over. I will come back for you!”
Since then the wolf still hasn’t found the cat and gladiator, who have been friends ever since.
Paul the Alien
There’s this alien named Paul, and he likes pistachios and being awesome and telling awesome jokes. He’s afraid of humans. People make him angry. He’s gray and awesome. He has a secret: the humans don’t know he’s coming to earth in his spaceship.
The Robber and His Dog
The Robber told the dog, “Go attack the police, and when you attack them make sure you get the keys too so you can get me out of the cage of jail.”
And then the dog goes and attacks the police and gets the keys and frees the robber. Then the robber and the dog escape, and there are three police officers after them. Then the cop comes and catches the dog and the robber. Then they go back to the cage and they get punished, but the dog was punished by being lonely in his cage. They are not getting out of jail ever.
Amelia is a kid with long brown hair. She likes to write and do homework. She is afraid of the mean girls. Amelia loves to draw. When she is mad, it is because the teacher doesn’t give her any homework. She is tiny and a little cute, and her favorite memory is when she found a private journal. Her secrets are in the journal she found when she was hanging out with her friends.
Scorpion and Subzero
Scorpion was doing parkour. He ran into a skeleton and ate it. Subzero got mad and tried to freeze Scorpion, but Scorpion melted Subzero and won.
Scorpion sounds like fire. He looks like fire and iron. He feels like hot potatoes when you touch him and he smells like chicken. He tastes like hot Cheetos.
Subzero looks like ice and smells like popsicles. He sounds like ice cracking. He tastes like ice and feels like cold water.
They always fight because they are enemies. Then Scorpion started doing parkour again. He saw another skeleton, and was about to eat it, but Subzero said, “That’s my skeleton!” Then it was Subzero versus Scorpion. Forty minutes later, Scorpion won with his hook and fair hands, and Scorpion was eating the skeleton. The skeleton was made of candy, and that’s why they wanted to eat it!
The Cat Saves The Day
A cat was saving the day. He wanted to do it, but the problem was that he couldn’t do it without drinking milk, and he didn’t have milk to save the day. He stole some from the people. Then he had a big problem, and the people were mad at the cat because he drank all the milk.
Super Giant Dog and Germ
Super Giant Dog was little, and Mr. Snake was little too, so they met when they were little and they were in daycare. They met when they were supposed to be partners. There was a new kid, and the name of this new animal was Germ. Super Giant Dog became friends with Germ. But Mr. Snake was looking at Germ, and he was looking to Super Giant Dog and he felt jealous that they were friends, so Mr. Snake decided to put a bomb in the store. Ten weeks later, he put in the bomb and cameras and all that stuff. The bomb took a long time to go off because it was the super-duper bomb then… then… then… Oh no! Mr. Snake put the bomb down, and Mr. Giant Dog saw him. The next day, they were ready to go to the store, but they disarmed the bomb. Because Super Giant Dog and Germ had a secret. They were secret agents!
A Story Inspired by Judy Moody
Judy Moody has short hair. Her favorite food is ice cream. She likes to dress up and wants to be famous. She is afraid she won’t get money. She likes to do a lot of things. She doesn’t like the food her mom cooks. She’s sad because she and her brother had a conversation, and they were saying mean words, so her mom got mad. Judy went outside and found a dog named Carlita. Judy grabbed her and took her home, and her mom said, “Take this dog out!” The dog was funny, but if she didn’t get food, she would be sad.
Daisy has blue eyes and black hair. She eats a lot of pizza every day. She likes going swimming and gets so happy when she goes to the park. One day, when goes to the park, she sees a snake. She screams and goes home, but there she sees some scary movies, so instead she goes shopping. There, a boy kicks her, and she gets really mad and kicks him back.
Every day when Daisy gets home from school, she reads and does her homework. She thinks about her best memory of when she went to the carnival with her grandma and grandfather and met her friends from another world. She wants to visit them, but her mom doesn’t let her, so she says that when she grows up she will visit the other world.
Now that Daisy is grown up, she has a laser eye. Her voice sounds like a squirrel and her hair is long, straight, and black. She has blue eyes, and she smells like perfume. She is talking to her friend from another world and the friend says, “Come to my world! We have marshmallow houses, flying houses, talking dogs.” Daisy says, “My world is the best because we have big houses, big candy, and nice dogs.” But she agrees to go to the other world and visit her friends.
When she gets there, she sees people flying and there are trees and flowers. She tries to find her friends, but they don’t remember her. She wants to see more of the world. She sees planes and birds and flying animals. She feels sad, and she is trying and trying to make her friends remember her, but nothing works since they all got hit in the head. She takes them to the doctor, who gave them a shot, and they remember everything. Daisy is so happy! She wants to have a party, and she decides to stay with her friends for five more weeks. They have a lot of parties, and make a lot of food—hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, and corndogs. Daisy made lemonade for all the people who wanted it.
Mojojojo crossed through the sidewalk. He saw that a dog wanted to play with a cat, but Mr. Shoe stopped the cute puppy and the cute puppy was crying. Then the dog attacked Mr. Shoe, and the cat and the dog were following him and Mojojojo was laughing really hard. Then the cat attacked him!
The Story of Layla
Once, there was a girl named Layla. She liked to sing and dance and surf. One day, she was surfing with her friend and they were talking about their secrets. Layla had a secret crush. A crush on a boy. And she needed to tell her friend because maybe her friend liked him too, and maybe they could go on a date. But maybe not with Layla, maybe just with her friend. Or if they boy went on a date with her friend or if they boy went on a date with Layla, they would be mad at each other. Her friend and the boy were in love a long time ago and they hadn’t separated. So they decided to just hang out.
A Story Inspired by Judy Moody
Judy Moody doesn’t want summer to be over. She doesn’t want to sit with Frank because she said that Frank was dumb, and they fought. One day, Judy Moody saw a cat, and the cat could talk! She loved the cat and they became BFFs and they talked a lot together each day.
The Adventures of Super Baby
Once, there was a normal baby. He climbed a mountain, saw a cave, went in, and saw a dragon. The dragon got the baby and threw him in the water until he came out over the water flying. The water had given him super powers, and the dragon was so mad he slipped and fell in the water. The dragon got powers too, and he tried to catch the baby, but the baby’s dog came and avenged him. The baby and the dog joined together to fight villains.
It was an ordinary day, but like no other. The baby saw a cat, and he gave the cat powers to fight crime with him. A few days later, the baby took the cat to meet the dog. The dog was jealous. He gave everything to the cat that he gave to the dog. The dog had to get used to the cat, and when he did they were best friends.
The baby was talking to his dog. He said, “This job is too easy.” But he didn’t know that a rock monster was destroying the city. The dog told the baby, “Your job isn’t that easy after all.” The baby and the dog were in trouble. There was no one to save them but the cat. The cat grabbed them and said, “Really?” He threw a bomb at the monster and killed it. The dog threw water on the cat, and the cat put his fur up and attacked the dog. The dog was hurt.
That night, Super Baby was sleeping until someone evil kidnapped him. When Super Baby woke up, his cat and his dog were in a cage. They were trapped because the witch didn’t let them use their powers. Super Baby was tied to a tree and they were going to throw him into a volcano with his dog and cat. But nobody knew that he had a pet dinosaur that came and saved them. Then he was so thirsty he drank up all the lava!