By Karen Brainard
The adult leaders of a teen creative writing workshop are impressed with the young talent in Ramona.
Peter “Coach Pete” Zindler, who has authored several books, has been leading the writing group in the Ramona Library on Thursday afternoons. Kathy Smith of Vision Publishing in Ramona has been assisting and will take over the group at the end of this month, when Zindler is scheduled to move to Bahrain.
“Both Kathy and I think you guys are brilliant,” Zindler told the students at a recent class.
To illustrate that, he read 13-year-old Georgia Phipps’ poem, “City of Mirrors” (see poem with this article). The Ramona eighth-grader, who is homeschooled, has attended the writing class since March 2011.
“I never imagined myself actually writing,” she said. “I’m more of a musician.”
She said she plays the piano and sometimes writes lyrics. A couple of months ago, she found herself irritated about something, she said, and wrote “City of Mirrors.”
“There was no other way to get my emotions out,” she said.
She also wrote “New Life,” which Smith plans to include in a book she is co-authoring about overcoming extraordinary circumstances. Her poem is suited to the book, which will talk about leaving the past behind and moving on to a better future, said Smith.
The eighth-grader is planning to write a book of short stories and poetry with James Laky, a 10th-grader who also attends the writing group.
While other students also write poetry and short stories, many are working on novels.
“I was impressed with the number of novelists here today,” Zindler said after the class. “We think these are genius kids.”
Approximately 10 of the 12 students attending that day raised their hands when he asked who was working on a novel. Zindler followed up by asking the themes of their novels, and one by one they answered.
Some of the themes were: holding a grudge doesn’t accomplish anything; when everything is going against you, you don’t break, you don’t back down; do what’s right; and friends can become like your family.
Zindler and Smith talked about the power of words and how they can affect people’s lives. They encouraged the students to keep writing.
“If you want to get your novel done, you must be disciplined in writing,” Zindler told the teens.
If they are feeling uninspired, they have to continue to work through those times, he said.
“Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on your books,” said Zindler.
The Teen Creative Writing Workshop is free and meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Ramona Library, 1275 Main St.
Poems by Georgia Phipps
City of Mirrors
They look in the mirror
to see their reflection
Knowing it was themselves
But felt like a different person
Irrelevant, invisible to everyone
Lost in a city of mirrors.
A city full of isolated people
Lost, confused no one to turn to
Knowing it’s not them
As they look in the mirror.
Empty, no hope
Mirrors all around them
Confusion, collusion, confrontation
Losing their way
In the city of mirrors.
Walking around them were multi personalities,
Clones, but different, not themselves
They put on a show
So no one would know
That they are lost in a city of mirrors.
It eats up everything good inside
It causes death
The raging plague that kills
Cancerous like eating up your white blood cells
Everything good inside you is gone
You become sick with guilt
Because you don’t want to hear the truth
Pain is there
The violation of humanity that kills.
Pain can kill you, not physical pain
But the pain left inside you
By someone who killed your hope
You must overcome this
New life is here
Leave behind the past and look to the future
And stop reminiscing, welcome the future with open arms
Nothing is set in stone, the future is yours to control.