The Writing History Of Isay Nochebuena


It was near—the party could easily tell that it was a matter of time before the wraith found its way into the gym. Lucious and Omen, had their wands at the ready, waiting with bated breath as the seconds ticked by like sand falling through a sift. Jake, Violet, Finn and Vesta were in the back of the gym, trying to protect the injured so that the beast did not have a chance to catch an easy meal. Suddenly, the wall that the young wizards faced became a deep rich black, as a hooded figure flew its way through the wall, a mouthful of grinning, rotten teeth facing the party as it unleashed a disgusting wet screech and…”

Writing is often how I choose to spend my free time, whether it’s after school or the weekend. Now, that’s not to say I’m a wizard; I’m just a huge nerd (and proud of it, too). My friends and I like to get together as a group and play a game called Dungeons and Dragons. The point of the game is that one person, called the game master, is in charge of making an entire story for the rest of the people( the party) and the party must try their best to beat it.

For a lot of people, the appeal in playing Dungeons and Dragons, or DnD for short, is getting to make unique characters with special skills and awesome personalities. I, too, enjoy this aspect, but my preference is to be the game master—the person on the outside who pulls the strings of the story. I love going from humble merchant to evil king or destructive dragon. Being able to play any part I want makes it much more fun.

Looking back, I think that I’ve been writing my whole life, in one capacity or another. It started with me writing completely new stories, using my toy action figures to create new characters. When I didn’t have access to my toys, I would imagine sequels to my favorite shows, video games, movies, etc. I’ve always enjoyed taking things I loved and either making more of it in my head or taking it in a new direction.

It wasn’t until the 4th grade, however, that I actually started turning these little stories into games. I was homeschooled until the 4th grade, and because of this, I didn’t have many friends my own age. During the 4th grade, however, I met some of the people who would become my best friends.

We were still young enough that playing pretend was fun, and I was lucky enough to have friends who found using our imaginations easy. We would pretend to be superheroes running around at recess, fighting invisible monsters, and one of us would pretend to be the super-villain controlling the monsters.

From then on, we continued to play DnD in one form or another, using our imaginations to create new storylines. We tried the classic dice-rolling DnD game at first, but I quickly found it too restrictive for what I wanted to achieve. The game itself was fun, sure; however, I was always more interested in the characters and the story, so I cut out any excess that wasn’t necessary.

This hobby of mine continued into my freshman year. By that point, I had already set my heart on being a writer someday. While choosing what classes I would take my freshman year, I noticed that Journalism was being offered. On a whim, I decided to take the class just to bolster my writing skills. Little did I know, choosing Journalism would be one of the best decisions in my life.

I have always been a bit awkward around new people, especially when I was younger. The thought of having to sit with complete strangers and talk for extended periods of time terrified me. But, interviewing was an unavoidable part of the job as a writer for TSP, especially since I couldn’t lay out a page or take an interesting picture to save my life.

As I started interviewing people more and more often for the class, it got less and less scary. I started to use these interviews and these stories as a way to connect with the real world around me, and suddenly, my writing became an anchor to keep me grounded rather than an escape.

I also met some of the best people in the world through this class. I got to know one of the funniest, weirdest and coolest people in the world. I didn’t know it during my freshman year, but he quickly became one of my best friends. I also got lucky enough to have amazing seniors around who were extremely helpful and just overall cool people. Not to mention one of, if not the, best teachers I have ever had.

Journalism turned into something much more than just “a way to bolster my writing skills.” It became my happy place because no matter how stressful things got, no matter how crappy my day had been, sitting down in that class was never a bad experience.

Dungeons and Dragons has always been an amazing, creative outlet for me, where I can share stories with my friends, and they can participate in them and have a lot of fun. It’s what woke up my love for writing, and without it, I’m not sure I would be in this class. Creative writing has always been my way of making a better reality, but Journalism is my way of connecting to reality. The two fuel each other in a way that keeps me well balanced.

So, as I am getting ready to graduate, I want to say thank you. Thank you to Owen, who read every first draft and made me laugh like no one else could. Thank you to Rachel and Katy, who inspired me as a freshman to always try to be better. Thank you to Ms. Phillips for being such a great teacher and for pushing me to new heights. And thank you to you, the reader. Whether this is my first story you’re reading, or you’ve kept up with me since freshman year, it genuinely means a lot to me that you decided to spend your time reading this.