The Songbird Group

Chatterbox: In This Month's Issue

The Songbird Group

The Songbird Group

Hi Amethyst! 

*looks at forms*

Oh, we're both scared of spiders apparently! The big ones frighten me the most. There's just something about them that is really creepy crawly...for some reason I like other insects but not spiders.

And we both like the Chronicles of Narnia and Wonder! Those are all very, very good books. Which is your favorite book in the Narnia series? Mine is the Horse and His Boy. The interesting thing is when I first read Wonder, I didn't like it, but when I read it the second time, I loved it.

What kind of poetry do you like to write? I like to write rhyming poems with rhyme scheme, meter, and consistent syllable length.

submitted by Lyric, age Excluded, nowhere in particular
(May 10, 2023 - 7:19 pm)

Hi! So sorry I took a while to respond, but I haven't posted on the CB for a couple of days :/

Aah, I hate spiders, quite without exaggeration. They have too many legs and too little cuteness... I agree, tiny ones aren't so bad, but the big ones are just too awful. I don't mind harmless insects or bees, but I'll never like spiders. I'm very glad I live in a place where there aren't any really big ones, like tarantulas... Just one reason why I many never go to a jungle.

You've read Wonder too? I just barely read it, for school, and I loved it :) Especially the part where they're all in the nature reserve. Have you read The Julian Chapter? It was written later, but it still ties in to the main plot of Wonder. And have you watched the movie of Wonder? I haven't yet, but I watched the trailer, and honestly, having Mr. Browne be African-American?!? I mean, it's fine to have some of the characters be African-American, but I simply don't imagine Mr. Browne to be... Anyhow, who's your favorite character/part?

Ah yes, the Chronicles of Narnia!!! They're certainly some of my favorite books ever. I love The Horse and His Boy - Tashbaan is such a fascinating world to read about - but I would probably say my absolute favorite is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Reepicheep is sooo cute, and the whole way it's written is so nice :)

Reading and writing, my favorite topics. For poetry, I tend to try and get everything to rhyme (and succeed about three quarters of the time) and make the lines have a consistent syllable length, but lately I've made a couple of attempts at writing blank verse. I'm not sure how good I am at it... It takes a particular style. I also love reading poetry - do you have any particular favorite poetry?

submitted by Amethyst, Tashbaan
(May 12, 2023 - 8:49 pm)

Hello! :)

It's fine if you didn't respond quickly. (I'm guilty of being late to respond too...but I happen to have more time to respond today)

Yes, spiders are the WORST. I'm also glad I don't live where there are any tarantulas. *shudders* Their eyes are so buggy and their legs just creep me out. The close up pictures of them are absolutely terrifying. *shudders again* I'm trying to conquer my arachnophobia (term for fear of spiders) by persuading myself that they're harmless (they are) and exposing myself to them little by little. It's working. The trick is to teach your brain that there is no threat, so that you don't panic. I'm becoming less scared of spiders as a result.

Wonder is a wonderful book (lol, I did not do that on purpose). I have not read the Julian chapter yet. I haven't been reading as much because I'm trying to write a novel (so far I've written 33 pages plus an outline and some character development activites). I have watched the Wonder movie. It was actually pretty good for a book turned into a movie (usually there's something added into the movie that wasn't in the book at all and it ruins it). I didn't really imagine what ethnicity Mr. Browne was. My favorite character is Summer because she's sensible and kind. She doesn't do what's popular and she's fine with that. The sad thing is that they barely put her in the movie :(

Tashbaan is extremely interesting to read about! I haven't read the book in a while but I remember that there is a lot of detail that builds the world, and a lot of imagery. I totally agree--Reepicheep is really cute (he's also really funny in the Prince Caspian movie, if you've watched it). Now that I'm thinking about it more, ALL the books in the series are probably my favorite. There's something about the writing style that's charming and old fashioned.

Hmm, have you tried having a rhyme scheme when writing poetry? It's basically a pattern made of letters for what lines to rhyme. The letters switch every time a new rhyme is introduced. For example, AAAA would mean all the lines rhyme, but ABAB mean that the lines rhyme every two lines. I like to use ABCB because only 2 lines have to rhyme with each other. It saves a lot of work trying to think of words that rhyme. Oh yes, and it also helps to use a thesaurus when a word doesn't have the right syllables or rhyme to fit into the poem. That way you can find words that mean the same thing but sound better in the poem. By blank verse do you mean free verse? I've tried that before as well, but I struggled because without a rhyming structure I didn't know what to write.

I love reading poetry! I can't name any favorites because I have far too many, but I like a variety of poems like humorous poetry (ex. Roald Dahl), lyric poetry (ex. Emily Dickinson), and various other poetry that I don't think fits in a genre. Sometimes I read free verse, but it tends to be disorienting and not as readable as rhyming poetry is, because it's all over the place rather than in nice, neat rows.

Ooh, I like your location :) I think I'll theme mine to Narnia locations on this thread too, if you don't mind.

submitted by Lyric, age excluded, Cair Paravel
(May 13, 2023 - 6:07 pm)

Eek I didn't think I wrote that long of a response. I must have gotten carried away... 

submitted by Lyric, age excluded, The wardrobe
(May 14, 2023 - 3:26 pm)

Don't worry that your comment was long :) My comments on MaF threads have an uncanny tendency to get very very long too, so it's fine.

I'm glad you're getting less scared of spiders! It does help to tell yourself that they're harmless. In general, I don't mind bees or harmless insects such as flies, though I must say insects are just not my favorite kind of animal at all. My favorite kinds of animals are probably horses and wolves? and, for cuteness, guinea pigs. Do you have/have had any pets?

33 pages of a novel! Gosh, that's impressive. My longest novels have only been about 40 pages (in a notebook, which means less on a computer) and they're usually in the 23-27 page zone. At least, lately they've been being a bit longer (when I finish them, that is...) Do you tend to write novels in notebooks or on a computer?

Oh yes, I love Summer's character. She's so sweet and caring :) Just for how the parts are written, I love Justin's part, because somehow it manages to show you the world completely through the way he sees it and his own thoughts. For a favorite character in Wonder, though, I really don't think I could choose one ;) They're all so well-portrayed and nice.

Narnia-themed locations sounds wonderful! (I only hope we don't run out of them lol) Reepicheep is definitely the cutest thing there ever was. I have watched the movie, and yes, he's utterly adorable there too, though in it he has light fur and I tend to imagine him with dark fur. The movie in general was fairly good, although the romance with Susan and Caspian was utterly unprecedented and unjustified. I mean, I suppose they could put in some sort of a romance there, but it's completely changing the book. There are also movies for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the V of the DT; have you watched them? They're both fairly good too, although in the L the W and the W (forgive my abbreviations) they go rather overboard in parts with horrible monsters. I wish someone would make a movie of The Horse and his Boy - it would go so perfectly as a movie, with all the palaces and the cities.

In general, my rhyming poetry is ABAC or ABCB, with only occasional ABAB when I'm feeling particularly inspired. It's just rather tricky sometimes to get everything to rhyme, which is why I venture sometimes into free verse (or blank verse or whatever - and yes, I probably do mean free verse) Oh, I love Emily Dickinson's poetry! as well as good humorous poetry. I don't tend to confine myself to one genre of poetry either - I just read collections of poetry until I hit on ones that I like. I agree, rhyming poetry is often nicer to read - free verse has to be written in a certain way, and usually it's more like a piece of descriptive writing.

I told you my comments run away with me :/ I should really stop here, I suppose. I hope you don't mind reading loooooooooong comments :|

submitted by Amethyst, Telmar
(May 15, 2023 - 7:30 pm)


Insects generally aren't my favorite animals as well--exception of my 5th grade year when I had a teacher who got me overenthusiastic about them, which made me use scientific names for them. Insects look a little bit like spiders because they have a lot of legs too, but for some reason I'm not afraid of millipedes which have...a lot of legs.

I don't have a favorite animal. I like ALL of them except spiders...even anglerfish for some reason, although they aren't very pretty and are very monstrous looking. I have had a few pets, though most of them aren't typical. My family has had a stick bug, ants, ladybugs, butterflies, a citrus mealy worm that I think was really cute because it moved a bit like a baby panda, and a robo dwarf hamster called Kimchi (and no, I'm not Korean in case you were wondering). Do you have any pets? Or had?

Thank you! I'm very proud of how far I've gotten. It's incredibly hard to write stories, because eventually I lose inspiration and from there it's all uphill, while fighting writer's block, self-criticism, etc. I've started more stories than I've finished...My longest novel was 104 pages, but that's only the fourth draft and chances are there are several more drafts to go through (the fifth draft might not be finished for several years, since I'm a little frustrated with the character develelopment, the time period, and the moral of the story and I have writers block on it...) I used to write almost completely on the computer, but I'm discovering that writing in a notebook helps me think better for some reason. I'm actually writing this on a piece of paper right now, then typing it into CB.

Justin's part in Wonder was a little hard to read for me because there was no capitalization or quotation marks. I wonder why R.J. Palacio chose to write that part in that style. My favorite part is Summer's, because of similar reasons I explained in my previous post.

If we run out of general Narnia locations I guess we'll have to flip through the books and find very obscure ones. Or we could be in a patch of grass in Narnia. That works lol :)

Yes, that was exactly what I was talking about when I said that movies always add something that spoils the book! I thought that the romance between Susan and Caspian was very sudden and unneccessary, and I'm not sure why they added it at all. I also that the the movie was slightly more violent and less lighthearted than the book, which disappointed me because I'm not a fan of battles or fighting. Yes, I've watched the other movies! I don't recall seeing any horrible monsters though. I haven't watched it in several years.

Somebody should definitely make a HAHB movie! (I don't mind your abbreviations lol) I think there's a play or musical (I saw an ad) but a movie would be amazing.

Rhymes are very, VERY hard. I don't blame you for wanting to write free verse. Do you have a favorite poem by Emily Dickinson? Mine is "I'm Nobody! Who are you?" It's very simple at first glance, but really not. I also like to read collections of poetry! One collection that I really like is called Favorite Poems Old and New Selected by Helen Ferris.


It's totally fine if your comments are long. Mine are actually longer than yours: 606, whereas yours is 522 (I used word count) *giggles nervously* Oh dear, both of those are extremely long…apparently I’m terrible at writing short, concise paragraphs.

submitted by Lyric, age Excluded, The Beavers' House
(May 17, 2023 - 5:49 pm)

I've probably taken way too long to reply :/ Sorry

Technically I'm not afraid of millipedes, but I must say I don't like them at all either. I'm glad you don't mind them :| Gosh, your family's had a lot of insect pets! It's amazing that you've had a stick insect - I've always wanted to see one, because they sound fascinating, but I never have. And aww, a dwarf hamster :) That must have been so cute. I saw a hamster once by the name of Dart - he was very large (for a hamster) and very dark and very cute. He wasn't mine, though. At the present I don't have any pets (unless you count a multitude of wild rabbits, babies and otherwise, who pass through our garden every now and then), but I used to have a guinea pig. She was darling, but very opinionated ;)

104 pages! That's amazing. I know what you mean about losing inspiration, though. I always get very inspired in the middle of writing some other story, and rush off and start a new one, and run out of inspiration about six pages in :/ I send you luck with your fourth draft *sends virtual inspiration (though I'm sure that isn't a thing XD)* Sometimes I write stories on the computer, but I almost always write in notebooks. Some notebooks... I tend to be very exacting in choosing notebooks. Who knows why, but it's almost impossible for me to write in certain kinds of notebooks. In general, it depends on the color and thickness of the lines and the way the margins are. Not too practical, I know, but there you are.

Lack of proper punctuation does make Justin's part difficult to read, but to me it does seem to sort of mesh with his slightly nerdy, quiet character. It's also amazingly realistic, as some of the CBers don't always use capital letters either. I do understand your objections, though...

Speaking of which, I watched the movie of Wonder yesterday. It's wonderful :D Although I disagree with the way most of the characters look, they seem to have captured the main feeling of Wonder quite well. Which is something you don't find often in movies, really... the romance between Susan and Caspian honestly, why did they put it in...????? And yes, the movie of Prince Caspian wasn't as happy and *fun* as the book.

I've read the poem of "I'm Nobody"! It's lovely, I agree :) I also love "There Is No Frigate Like a Book", and basically any of her poems. Have you read Christina Rossetti's poems? They're also wonderful, and more or less in the style of Emily Dickinson's.

606 and 522?! Great is the power of word count (I mean, imagine trying to count up all those words by yourself) Goodbye to short, concise paragraphs...

submitted by Amethyst, Hill of the Stone Table
(May 20, 2023 - 7:33 pm)

It's absolutely fine if you took a long time to reply. I also take a long time...

My family has had a lot of insects, come to think of it. I desperately want some larger pets or a fish, but not everyone in my family (not including me) wants pets that take a lot of work to care for. And we're allergic to cats and one of us is afraid of dogs, as well as amphibians, reptiles, and possibly fish. Kimchi was very very cute although I think she was afraid of us (She was about half the size of my palm and simply wouldn't be petted). Oh my goodness, you have wild rabbits?!! I've only seen wild rabbits a few times. In my garden, we have peacocks that ambled over from a public garden nearby. They are very fond of sitting on the chair in front of our window and looking at their reflection for hours, as well as preening themselves and, to say the least, making an awful mess. They're very conceited and noisy. What are rabbits and guinea pigs like?

Lol, I have a Google document that's 7 pages long filled with all the stories I started from inspiration and didn't get very far with...actually, I've found that it helps to only write enough of the story idea that you can get if off of your mind (like a summary) and then keep working on your current stories (I got this trick from another writer, btw). Then, you have a treasure trove of story ideas to use when you're looking for a story to write and you don't have to worry about your ideas going to waste. I call my trove my "Ultimate Idea Mine," and I also have two different "vaults" of little story morsels that are only a few pages long. *sends virtual inspiration, as well, intended to ward off the horrors of writer's block, brainstorming droughts, plot difficulties, chapter content indecision, etc.* Hmmm, I'm not very particular about what I write on. Sometimes I write on pieces of paper that are covered with Math problems, sometimes upside down on a piece of notebook paper that was recently used as material for a paper craft, sometimes on neat notebooks or blank white paper, and sometimes on the margins of print outs from the CB... (I know, it's a better idea to keep everything in notebooks and avoid losing things. I should break this habit eventually, especially because it makes it tedious to find a blank piece of paper amidst all the scratch paper.)

You're right. Excluding the punctuation does mesh with Justin's personality. I didn't really think about that before, especially since about a year ago I was very picky about proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, the flow of sentences, etc. Now...not so much.

Ha ha the movie Wonder is wonderful! I agree that movies of books can't compare with the actual books and don't have the main feeling most of the time. The only movie inspired by a book that was better than the book and had roughly the same feeling, in my opinion, is Tuck Everlasting (not sure if that should be italicized, bolded, underlined, or quotation marked, and quotation marked is probably not a word. *searches it up* Yep, not a word). The book is a teeny bit boring to be honest, and in the movie there was more action. And I don't remember any unneccessary additions that the movie made to the book. IKR WHY did they have to put the romance in the Prince Caspian movie in??? It doesn't contribute to the plot, never happened in the book as far as I'm aware, and wouldn't take anything away from the movie if it had been removed. I don't understand why some books and movies have to insert unmeaningful and unncessary romance that barely has any effect or purpose in the story. Do you?

Yes, I have read Christina Rosetti's poems! My two favorites are "The Caterpillar" (I memorized it when I was little) and "Who has seen the wind" (I think it's called that?). The only problem is I can never remember which comes first in WHSTW (an abbreviation)--"I nor you" or "you nor I". 

Ah, the power of word count! (It's frightfully annoying just counting every 10 words to a hundred; imagine multiplying that by 5 and 6...) Farewell, very short paragraphs *waves sorrowfully* I believe I'm a bit of a chatterbox (not as in the CB, lol)

Sorry @Admins, for this very long post! (769 words, to be exact. I hope that isn't too long.)

submitted by Lyric, age 14, The Lampost
(May 23, 2023 - 5:13 pm)

Yes, we have wild rabbits :) At the moment we actually have several baby rabbits, and they really are the most ADORABLE DARLING LITTLE SWEETY DARLINGS that you've ever seen... Our rabbits are fairly trusting, even though they're wild; they come up to us sometimes, though we've never actually patted them or anything. I can elaborate much more on guinea pigs, since I knew one for about six or seven years. Ours was very affectionate - she let us cuddle her and everything - and also had the most adorable habits (when she was very young, she would climb into her food bowl :} ) She was sometimes cross, especially when she was old, but she was usually friendly, and quite often she would purr when we patted her. She was so sweet :)

Kimchi sounds so cute! And wow, you have peacocks in your garden?! They sound like very conceited birds, but then I've seen peacocks a few times and they do have some right to be conceited. They must be noisy, though - once I heard a peacock protesting Very Loudly about something, and it really sounded awful. It's also like blue jays - they're gorgeous, but they don't have nice voices.

Seven pages of a Google document! I can sympathize, though. There are several unfinished stories in each of my notebooks, as well as *a very few* finished ones. Actually, I do sometimes write down the main ideas of a story so that I at least have it down and can write it down later (realistically speaking, I'll never get around to writing all those stories I have ideas for...) I love the name of "Ultimate Idea Mine" :D Although I write my stories in notebooks, my poems can be a different story... I do write some of my poems in a notebook, but I also have countless scraps of paper floating around my room on which bits of poems are written.

Oh, Tuck Everlasting! I've heard of the book, but never read it (I really ought to one of these days). I didn't know there was a movie of it! It sounds quite good. THE ROMANCE IN THE PC MOVIE WHY???????? I've already said everything I think about it and I should really stop going on about it, but it really was so irksome ;/ And then in the movie of The V of the DT, they hinted at something between Lucy and Caspian and didn't even put in the romance between Caspian and Ramandu's daughter!!! Sometimes I can't understand the people who make movies :/ And no, I don't understand why anyone would put in unmeaningful romance. I mean, in some cases it might make the movie more entertaining, but in some cases it really could make the movie better if it were left out.

I've read "Who Has Seen the Wind", and loved it ofc, but I've never heard of "The Caterpillar" - I'll have to look for it :) And I have the exact same problem as you with WHSTW - I can never remember which comes first. I think it's "Neither I nor you"? *looks it up* hey, I was actually right!! I'm never sure, though.

Ha, I'm a chatterbox too... I suppose there is a very good reason why the CB is called the CB, and not "The Place For Kids To Not Really Talk At All" (which would have to be abbreviated to TPFKTNRTAA, oh dear)... We should really start a new comment, too, so that the posts don't get too thin...

submitted by Amethyst, Cair Paravel
(May 26, 2023 - 9:06 pm)

<iican> Oh, I'm sure you can, Origami.

submitted by Amethyst, toppity
(May 13, 2023 - 8:34 am)

AWW the rabbits sound so cute!!! I've never even seen baby rabbits, but they sound twice the amount of cuteness (baby animals are often cuter than the adult animals; I wonder why?) I think there are too many coyotes and other predators in our neighborhood for rabbits...Come to think of it, rodents in general are inconceivably adorable.

Kimchi would also climb in her food bowl because it was about twice the size of her. She would also climb up the walls of her cage even though she had a convenient tunnel to use. Did your guinea pig ever do that, or is that maybe just a hamster thing? Oh and she also didn't know how to drink water from the hamster water bottle that was provided, so I had to fill a little bottlecap with water for her. Guinea pigs purr?? I did not know that!

Hm, I suppose peacocks do have a right to be conceited (except the peahens, which are brown with no plumage). But they are AWFULLY loud and you're right that they don't have nice voices. The peacocks in particular can also get territorial and aggressive when you shoo them away for making a mess. The more we shoo them away the more they come back, so now we mostly ignore them (we can't ignore them when they're talking or when they're perched on a chair in the garden for hours doing almost nothing), instead of accidently declaring war by the hose (it doesn't hurt them, they just don't like getting wet and leave momentarily). What kind of wildlife do you see in your neighborhood, besides the rabbits? We have black bears, coyotes, deer, raccoons, (which are detrimental to gardens), small birds, peacocks, and squirrels.

I'll probably also never write a lot of the stories in my "Ultimate Idea Mine," especially the terrifyingly incoherent, random, and underdeveloped stories that I may have given up on...Oh dear, my poems are also everywhere. I try to write them in a notebook but right now I'm using my main writing notebook to write my novel in. I should designate a notebook to poems.

What size of notebook do you like to use? I've been using a small notebook that fits in my pocket because it's convenient and I can bring it almost anywhere (and yes, I have been bringing it almost everywhere). 

Tuck Everlasting is a good book, although if you happen to have been reading very fast-paced books prior to reading it, it can take some patience to read it. Wait, what??? There was romance in the VotDT that I completely didn't catch?? (I'm terrible at catching romance cues). Unmeaningful romance just drives me nuts.

Good idea! *clicks "Add new Comment" instead of "reply."* I think I'm going to start giving myself a challenge to keep my posts under 600 words, or else I'll just keep on increasing the amount of words each post. *enters post into word count* Yayyyyy it worked, this is only 503 words long! 


submitted by Lyric, age 14, the Fords of Beruna
(May 29, 2023 - 7:31 pm)