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volume 1

Editor's Note

From Print Magazine

Working with this diverse team of seniors and juniors has been the greatest joy-ride. When we first started this journey, we weren't sure where to begin. We had so many questions like, “How do we make a magazine? Who do we talk to? Do you think the Times will answer us?” One of the few things we did know was our theme, Home. We recently moved into our new campus, which was the high-light of our semester. While we loved the feeling of the new campus combined with the fresh air and drinkable water, there were many aspects we missed from the old building. With this big move from our original home to our new home, we dug deeper into what home actually means to each of us. On the cover, you notice the planet Earth takes the form of a human heart, which symbolizes the prominent phrase “Home is where the heart is.” The world, the continent, the country, the state, the city, all correspond to our meaning of home; however, with-in each contains a different story that composes who we are as individuals. To me, home is where the aroma of freshly rolled flour tortillas and bean tacos in a brown paper bag fill the air. It's where I can hide away from anything and every-thing, and where the background noises are constantly filled with my siblings playing some kind of made-up game or my mom playing Tejano classics. While this is my version of home, The Storybook, is a representation of our members through viewpoints in art and literature. We hope you enjoy this inaugural edition!

My Jackson Home

Lee Ann Fincher

    What defines Jackson Tennessee? Is it a college town housing Lane, Lambuth, and Union; is it found in the rhythm of Rockabilly music, or in the faces of the 67,000 people who call Jackson TN home? For Sandy Fincher, Jackson has been home since 1981 when she first arrived in town to attend Union University. For her, Union, and soon the city of Jackson was a place to “thrive but wasn't too big to be lost.” Nestled between Nashville and Memphis TN, Jackson was the perfect place to have access to city life without the expense of city living and became a place where Mrs. Fincher felt safe. For 40 years she has watched the city grow into bigger and better things.

    “Over the years, I have seen many things change here. The town has grown in many ways; an industry explosion in the late 1980s and early 1990s brought people from all over the United States to Jackson.” Prior to this, Jackson had limited industry, but this change introduced companies that produced electric wires, paint guns, and air compressors. “The opportunities were endless” with industry from Procter and Gamble, Delta Faucet Company, Pinnacle Foods, and more. Healthcare and education in Jackson TN would be changing, and West Tennessee Healthcare would become the largest employer in the city. The growth of healthcare and education services helped Jackson to change from just a manufacturing-based economy into a community with a large service-centered economy.

    Another economic boom has been in locally owned businesses. “It is so great to see locals honored in their businesses where they use their intellect and knowledge to display what they produce along with their talents.” Mrs. Fincher expressed this when discussing such businesses as the Farmers' Market, Turntable Coffee, Dixie Castle, Light Trap Books, and the multiple local boutiques. Downtown Jackson has welcomed a wide range of locally owned eateries, boutiques, cafes, and salons. While Jackson had once been filled with locally owned stores downtown, the creation of the Old Hickory Mall shifted the business away from downtown. For many years, these buildings were empty. It is exciting to see such growth and the variety of stores putting down new roots in this area. The Jackson community preserves the feeling of being “local” through their love and admiration for these business owners.

    Education in Jackson has changed drastically in the last four decades. “Shortly before I came to Jackson, the county schools and city schools merged into one school district.” This made many smaller county schools close and forced the students to move into city schools, significantly changing the student body. The school system worked to maintain a balanced diverse student body by requiring each school to follow a 50/50 balance between majorities and minorities. “This caused a lot of stress on all parents in the school system because children were constantly being moved, or redistricting, to a different school.” Some families moved into surrounding counties.

    The Jackson-Madison County school system would grow into a place catering to wide interest. “We have high schools that are as diverse as the students who attend them.” South Side High School is known for its vocational classes and theater programs while Liberty High School has an incredible ROTC program along with agricultural classes. Early College High allows you to earn your associate degree at the same time you are earning your high school diploma. Madison Academic Magnet High School prepares students to face the challenges of the best colleges in the country with all honor classes. And the latest addition to the high school system is Jackson Central Merry which functions as a medical technology magnet high school allowing you to get a head start on a career in the medical field. The expansion of the TCAT programs allows many students to enter the workforce as soon as they graduate with a marketable skill. Each of these schools helps the students to pursue the educational direction that suits everyone.

    Jackson has long been known for its musical influence with the birth of Rockabilly music. This was a combination of the new Rock and Roll music coming from Memphis and the traditional country music coming from Nashville. Many famous musicians got their start here in Jackson and no one more famous than Carl Perkins. Carl had the respect of many rock and roll and country artists. Mrs. Fincher reminisced about artists visiting Carl to co-write songs. “Everyone would create rumors about who was here but usually it was not until the person had left town that a story would be featured in the local paper reporting who had been here.” People such as Dolly Parton and Paul McCarthy often visited Carl for several days at a time co-writing songs with him.

    For years, people have gone to the Hard Rock Café across the country, but few people know the first one in the United States started here in Jackson TN. in the mall. The restaurants were already famous in Europe when the two owners decided to compete to see who could open a café the quickest in the United States. Isaac Tigrett made a phone call to his mom who was developing Old Hickory Mall and within a matter of a few weeks, he had opened his café. Mrs. Fincher recalled when it first opened in the mall. “It was a small area near the main entrance. It started as a kiosk with a limited menu and has grown into a nationwide chain.” As the restaurants spread across the country, each developed a way to represent the unique history of its area. Jackson paints a place to grow for all desires and pursuits. With the expansion of the new arts district, Jackson is going to house many interests. This stretch will flood with color and expression from theatre to murals, and the music that fills the voices of Jackson. Jackson cultivates such art from the NED McWether Cultural arts Center, Lights Up! Theatre Co., the Carnegie documenting the rhythmic life of Jackson TN., the Ballet Arts, and the murals lining the walls of locally owned businesses. Lizzie Emmons with the Public Arts Commission calls this home for the arts a designated space “...within the City of Jackson that we are encouraging the continued creation of art making and art performing here,” said Lizzie Emmons, with the Public Arts Commission. “We are now sparking all of the creative ideas that are going to come from the artists and businesses that are already here,”. Jackson has taken leaps into recognizing the talents of neighbors, children, and family through their recognition of the arts. Jackson's blossom into a field of interest has opened the doors for people of all backgrounds. It has grown to become the home of artists, musicians, doctors, and many more. Diversity in Jackson has grown 11% since the 1980s. In response to cultural growth Jackson hosts an annual International Food and Arts festival. It allows people to come together, educate themselves, experience other cultures, and honor others. It features a parade, music, presentations, food, and dance to honor people's ethnicities. “The colors and the comradery are the most beautiful sights.” Mrs. Fincher commented. Since the beginning the festival has grown tremendously and in prep for the 7th annual IFAF it is exciting to experience the practices that unite us and take time to honor those around us.

    So, what defines Jackson? Is it a growing southern town parked in between two big cities, is it an education field that has adapted to the diverse minds of the students, or history in the arts? Jackson is a city that has changed much and only has room to grow. “I have watched Jackson change from a sleepy little southern town into a larger more diverse town” Mrs. Fincher ends. There are so many new projects expanding our community. Jackson is a place where you can find almost anything you are looking for- it's a place you can build a home.

mi casa, mi pais, mi mexico hermoso

mi casa, mi pais, mi mexico hermoso

Johanna Navarrete

Goache on Paper
18 in x 24 in

Yearning for a Patch of Sunlight

K. Night

I find it in subtle glimpses
Like sun-rings surrounding eclipses
In the golden moments, it sparks
But far too quickly I am left in the dark
An eternal winter lasts forever, they said
When shines the sun, the grass is all dead
But they never speak of evergreens,
Hardy in long winters, hoping for spring
The Queen of snow, solitary and alone
With no love and no place to call home
But the cloak of snow and ice will retreat
A suffocated soul ready to be free
She needs not spring, she’s been resigned
To never hoping for too much time
But in warm moments when sun shines clear
Frosty eyes turn to blue skies and hope nears
She needs not spring, only a moment in light
That her frozen-stuck heart may take flight
Just to feel the fleeting heat of a passing star
Melting a frozen patch, soil scarred
The ground is not pretty beneath my snow
But with tender light perhaps I’ll grow
A gentle spotlight, carefully thawing eyes
Just to see my heart is not all ice
I need no patch of sun, however
Just extend your hand and promise forever
I’d forgo light for winter’s eternity
If only your warm soul stayed with me
I need no spotlight, no claim to fame
If you’ll alight me with gentle gaze’s flame
And in blue-gray moments I could find
A golden happiness I’ve since lost to time
I need not eyes if voice alone could speak,
And set a roaring blaze to my cheeks
I need no home, not one to find
If I could only pay you back in kind
Your patient heart housed me in darkest days
And in brightest nights, I praised
Your admiration’s haze as it conspired
And I had no clue what might transpire
That love might blossom into short eternity
And you might find a shelter in me
In doing so, guiding me home to your heart
To the fleeting light your love sparks
Your weak light that you said you so hated
Is the only love I’ve been demonstrated
That didn’t come with pain, though it burned
And now that it’s gone, how sadly I yearn

Soften and Thaw

Soften and Thaw

Jessica Uko-Abasi

1600 px x 1200 px
March 18, 2022

it has always been you

Mason Henson

whenever i daydream of home,
and lately i often do,
when i close my eyes, it’s not a place
it has always been you.

whenever it’s early sunrise,
i wait until stars break through,
when i stop to gaze, it’s not a sun,
it has always been you.
hose soft hues, of red and blue
that fall ever so gently on your thigh,
the clouds that resemble silk on you,
pair with the breeze of your passing by,
no matter where home is, you’re near me
and you’d assume this to be untrue,
funny, each time i’ve fallen in love
it has always been you

I’m Not Running Away

Daisy Carter

I am not running away from home.
I’m certainly moving away.
I’m racing in the opposite direction,
Feeling the wind against my face and the
    pavement against my feet.

My haste is compelled by the shallow building
    that lies behind me.
In my wake I leave confusion,
Instability and decay.
If I were to glance backwards,
I’d be whisked to short tempers and messiness,
Thrown into memories of mole-hill mountains
And complacency when confrontation is
I leave a false sense of control,
A push to be perfect that leaves mental
    scarring for decades to come.
I leave a refusal to seek help,
Even when independence becomes
    problematic for others.

But I am not running away from home.
I’m running towards it.
I’m sprinting in the direction of hope and
Praying that I may finally achieve the rest of
    which I dream nightly.
I lunge towards health,
Towards serenity,
Towards freedom to exist in my most
    authentic self.
It’ll be calm, collected,
With my ducks in a row and no dogs to
    speak of.
No more boisterousness or overstimulation,
Solely peace, quiet, and, above all, comfort.

Judgement of days past will chase me,
Track my footsteps,
Run me down like a natural predator.

It won’t matter.
I’ll be safe in my home-to-be.
All I have to do is arrive.

It is for this reason-

That I run.

Emotion is a Place

Lily K. Lewis

   The house was embedded with bad memories, and it behaved as such. It was almost as if the house wanted its inhabitants to know it was unhappy. There was an echo of fights and accusations. There were pipes full of frustrated tears and pillowcases stuffed with sleep-less nights. There were hopes and there were dreams, in that house, but they were hard to see when the blinds were always drawn, the lights were always off, the TV was always droning on. It was too quiet, and too loud all at once. With every step the floor would creak and shadows seemed deep and many. There was a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom, like any other house. There were a couple bedrooms, a few closets, and one attic. There was a front yard; there was a backyard. There was a porch. But all of it, even in the light of day, shone dim.

   The little boy who grew up here never saw his parents very much. They were always busy doing something else. The house treated them coldly, and for some reason, they seemed to fear it almost. However, the house, so bristly and cold, seemed warm and welcoming to the boy who had never known kindness. So, he sat alone and made friends with this dark creature, and he soon made a habit of hiding in dusty corners to talk to the house about his day. The house, to the boy, seemed to respond in kind, and although it never really answered, he spoke all the same. Many years passed, and nothing changed.

   And then one day, the boy turned eighteen. His parents, who hadn’t spoken much to him before, called from downstairs that it was time to leave. The boy (for he was not yet a man), begged and pleaded to remain with the house, the house that had been his only friend. But he was denied and kicked out. Heartbroken and sorrowful the boy walked onward, having no where to go. Every thought was of the house: it was almost unbearable to leave it. He had never known anything but sorrow and fear and loneliness, and he definitely didn’t know how to leave. This house, which he had learned to befriend, represented the loneliness and fear he had lived in for so long. When he left that place, he finally realized that there was so much more out there than the cold little world he had known. And so, he decided to make his own house, one no one could take away from him, one where he could be happy.

   In his mind, he made a house of love and care, something he had never experienced. It wasn’t a castle, it wasn’t a mansion, it was just a shack. But it was his and it was beautiful and that was more than enough for him.

   This shack was lovely in every way. The sun shone through open blinds every morning, and there was a chair in the backyard just meant for looking at the stars. Everything was a perfect little mess, not too neat, not too disorganized. A marvelous, controlled chaos. The door was always open to anyone who needed a place to rest and grow and love. There were no shadowy corners; there were no creaky floors. There was a soothing, peaceful quiet—the kind of silence where people heal--but there was so much laughter, too. There wasn’t a screeching TV, just an open door. And although his old, cold house sat across the way like an early memory, it didn’t taint the joy of his sunny shack because he chose not to let it.

   The old house became farther and farther from his thoughts. He learned how to love others and how to make real friends and to be joyful. All that came from a choice. And although he once believed home was a place, he now knew it was a feeling, and he finally understood. Home is where you choose to be, in your heart and soul, and what emotions you spend the most time cultivating in your mind. He smiled and knew everything would be okay. Love and joy was exactly where he wanted to be. And no one, no one could ever take that away.

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

K. Night

Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 in x 11 in


Jessica Uko-Abasi

To most, home is a singular and physical place.
It is a house with a roof and windows and doors and rooms,
but the people who reside in it matter more.
To them, home is a solid concept,
a community full of comfort, reassurance, and joy.
But I have many different homes
With different moods and memories.
My collective home is an amalgamation
Of different places, stories, and memories,
each with their own feelings and perspectives.
I enter these homes of mine through sudden sensory.
A taste of red velvet cake can take me to a home
Full of cheer and laughter on my birthday,
And yet the sound of breaking glass brings me to a home
Full of discord in just a few seconds.
This concept is fluid and everchanging
To me, home is almost everywhere.

Home is a Homonym

Tanna Ballard

    Once upon a time, there lived a happy little family on a happy little hill. They were per-
fect. Perfect car, perfect house. Perfect people. They lived happily ever after. The End.
    That’s how most stories go, right? I must be an outlier. My home is lack thereof. My
home is barely a home. Home is a four-letter word with millions of meanings and yet I still
cannot find one for mine. I have searched for eighteen years, and I have to say, my eyes need
to be checked.
    In the dark hours of midnight, my twisting and turning is a result of the overwhelming
steam engine of thoughts chugging through my head. 3 a. m. has a way of bringing out the
anxieties buried during the day. My brain is a home for nestled thoughts. As I pull out my
laptop and open YouTube, I mindlessly scroll, searching for a video to flood the racing brain.
“New House Tour” flies up the page and my scrolling ceases. While I watch the pretty wife
pan the camera around the elegant marble walls, the anxiety surfaces. Why can’t my home be
like this? What did I do in my past life to deserve less than nothing?

    As the hours tick by, the sun peaks its head out of the horizon. I sit on the porch with a
cup of coffee, hot steam blending with the morning dew. The chirp of the blackbirds snaps me
into reality. The structural layout of the world around me is something only a God could con-
struct. Maybe home is not so dreadful as the demons of midnight make me believe. Finishing
off my last sips of coffee, my mother comes out of the door and sits on the porch with me.

    “You’re up early.”

    I jostled in my seat.

    “Never went to sleep.”

    This conversation repeats itself often. My insomnia enjoys playing games.

    With the sun settled in its place in the heavenly sky, my thoughts settled, too. My home
is not my home. My home is the stars in the sky and the grass on the ground. My home is the
teacher that greets me every morning with a smile and knows the instant that something is
wrong. My home is the parents of my friend that make me feel like their own. My home is the
beaten-up stop sign that resides on the end of my street. My home is my crazy family that hoot
and holler at any given event. My home is around my home. And yeah, I don’t have a perfect
house and a perfect family, but that definition simply does not fit in my meaning of of home.
And that’s OK.

Home is Where the Heart is

Home is Where the Heart is

Callie Hallowell

March 14, 2022


Breanna Datuin

The familiar panes now let in light
As I see inside that place
Where triumphs and defeats occurred
And forever left their trace.
The threshold sparks vivid memories
Which fill the absent mind
With hope and love and maturity
That come and go with time.
Along the cracks and crevices,
The walls speak clear, true words
Of promises that go unbroken
And secrets left unheard.
The notches on the door grow higher
Until they reach their peak
Like branches of the great oak tree
That touch the sky they seek.
A settlement of dust protects
The surface of the past
Where remnants of that long gone time
Stay where we left them last.
The warmth that radiates within
All these small, tender things
Connects me to that sense of safety
That only home can bring.
A pleasant space that still is filled
With so much love and life
Is where I’ll go in search of comfort
From loneliness and strife.

Will you turn the lamp on?

Will you turn the lamp on?

Sarah Lancaster

Oil on Canvas
16 in x 16 in
March 22, 2022

Macy invited us here. She doesn’t speak.

Macy invited us here. She doesn’t speak.

Hadley Roten

Colored Pencil on Paper
18 in x 24 in
March 22, 2022

Home is Where the Books Are

Ashlyn Jones

    Home is not a place. It’s not a person or a physical object. Home is a feeling. It’s the
validation you receive after getting a good grade on the paper you poured your heart and soul
into. It’s the comfort yet disgust you feel when you see the crockpot sitting on the counter. It’s
the butterflies you get before pressing play on the new season of your favorite show. Home is
the good, the bad, the sweet, and the sour. Home is where you feel complete and fragmented
at the same time. It’s where you find solace in your imperfection.
    For me, literature provides the feeling of home. There’s something special about shar-
ing intensely personal experiences and finding a vast amount of people who relate. When
you can’t find the words to express how you feel, it’s comforting knowing someone else has
probably already found them for you. Pick up It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini and
you’ll find you’re not the only one who’s mental health suffers once they join an academically
prestigious high school. You could check out Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and discover
you’re not unaccompanied in your insecurity with body image. However you may feel, there
is certainly a book that helps express those feelings. If there isn’t, you could be the one to write it.
    Home does not have to be the house you come back to at the end of the day. Home in-
cludes relief and relaxation, and for most people, those are not found in the place you go to af-
ter school. Literature provides a form of escapism that allows individuals to teleport to another
place. If one is feeling alone or misunderstood, venture to Northern Italy in Call Me By Your
by André Aciman. Or, if you’re feeling held back by your anxiety, vacation to Australia
in A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan.
    One shouldn’t let the intimidation of pre-existing art stop them from creating some-
thing beautiful themselves. Writing creates home. Some individuals favor buying a house, but
some crave building it. I love creating a written piece where I feel I’ve used my creativity to
make an impact or stir up an emotion. When someone writes— whether it be a story, poem, ar-
ticle, etc.— it presents an opportunity to give a voice to the voiceless, to welcome them home.
    Literature offers not only an outlet, but an expression of self. It allows people to com-
municate as well as listen. It provides representation, comfort, and a way to clear your mind.
Reading and writing provide a feeling of home to me. When things get difficult, I can always
pick up a John Green novel and feel listened to. I know when I end up buying my own house,
it won’t be complete without a library. Home is where the books are.

Ma lune

Ma lune

Ellie Pugh

March 22, 2022

Earliest Memory: Chicago

Ellie Pugh

    Forward Infront of me, the greyish slab of earth seemed to stretch on forever as the seat
I had been placed in proceeded forward until it reached a break, light in front of me blink-
ing red. Cars of many different colors turned in-between the break in the slab trail, produc-
ing quick loud whooshing sounds as they proceeded. It seemed like forever that I had been
stopped there motionless as the colorful vehicles passed and I had begun to close my eyes
tiredly when the light’s color again changed to green, and I was once again strolling down the
greyish path ahead of me.
    The buildings surrounding me were tall and wide. Windows – which I had enjoyed
looking out to the flowers from in my bedroom at home – filled nearly every inch of the struc-
ture and I wondered if they too were looking at the flowers that filled the grass that was con-
tained in the gray slab in the center of the quickly passing by vehicles. I was sure they were.
The path in front of me was certainly not something I’d look at from a window. It was boring
and colorless. It must be the flowers.
    A loud squall filled my ears but the people who walked along alongside me and my
parents did not seem alarmed by this peculiar sound as it echoed through the tall structures
around us. It was a sound I mostly heard on nights when wind shook the trees and loud cracks
of light filled the sky. It was a scary sound.
    The people around me were as peculiar as the sounds themselves. Some walked past
quickly, holding a square suitcase in their hand before walking to a stairwell that went un-
derground. I had no idea where the underground staircase went but I imagined it must go
to another part of the place. Maybe that place too had tall, windowed structures overlooking
flowers. I thought it must, though I could not stretch my neck far enough to see any of it. Other
people stood on the sides of the tall structures with shiny instruments in their hands, music
filling the air around them. It was strange to think that my dad had grown up in such an odd
place with such unusual places and people. It was vastly different from the quiet of home.
    As we continued the path over the large flag covered bridge, our pace slowed, and my
parents began to talk about the color of the river.
    “They dye the river green for St. Patrick’s Day,” said my dad as he looked down to me,
“Might be able to come back and see it sometime.”
    But the water was already green. Its color was unlike any other water I’d seen which was
typically a blueish grey. Its color was just lighter than the trees that crowded around its sides
below the bridge. I told my dad this and he laughed. The water could get greener.
    After my mother took a few pictures of the very green water, we moved forward and
were once again sandwiched between the big, windowed buildings. What they could possibly
need all of the large buildings for I did not know, but they stretched on for seemingly forever.
We stopped at some of them as we went but even when we did there seemed to be no explana-
tion for the height as most of the stores my mother wanted to stop in to look in did not tower to
the sky as the buildings they were in did.
    The buildings stopped once again on the left side of the street for the park which was ac-
companied by a giant peanut. We did not stop at the giant peanut but continued past it and the
green lions ahead of us – which I made an attempt to pet from my stroller – and turned down
the street ahead of with trees, shrubs, and flowers completely replacing the large, towering
buildings that had towered above me moments before. Ahead, water shot up in the air, creating
a loud thundering sound as the airborne water fell back to the pool at its surface.
    The pool of water looked good for swimming but there was no one swimming or
splashing in it and as we got closer, I saw that there had been a fence placed around it to pre-
vent this. Quietly, I wondered if anyone had ever gotten past the fence and sat alongside the
light blue-green horses that lay in the fountain’s water.

In the Dark, Hold on

In the Dark, Hold on

Amanda Smith

Acrylic on Canvas
14 in x 11 in
March 25, 2022