Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Naihal Wajid
Isabel Riordan is anything but your ordinary thinker.
She classifies herself as a “science geek,” attending Herscher High School and living in two worlds: real and unreal.
Beginning in her real world, Isabel heavily involves herself in numerous extracurricular activities including Scholastic Bowl, Mathletes, and a program called Best Buddies. In the latter, she makes friends with a student in the special education program to hang out with in an after school setting. She plans to further her involvement in the program next school year by making an effort to be friends outside of the school environment.
As stated, Isabel has a love for science. She attended the “Science Careers in Search of Women” in April 2014 and loved the idea of a possible career in neurology.
At the same time, she loves to write and combines both loves. She even has begun to write two sci-fi novels. The first novel combines the two famous sagas of Harry Potter and “Twilight.” The second one, however, was inspired by Michael Jackson’s music video “Thriller.” She asked herself, “What if the music video kept going?” With this thought she writes about the zombie apocalypse and how her friends fight to survive.
Sci-fi writing is what causes her to enter into an unreal and alternate universe. Isabel likes the idea of creating things that couldn’t really happen in real life. She spends much of her time daydreaming about an alternate life other than her own.
“Sci-fi is kind of an escape for me” she says. She claims reality bores her and this alternate state of mind spices things up. She dreams of a world where magic and mythical creatures can coincide with human beings.
Isabel is inspired by everyday life and integrates it into her fantasies. She loves to go outside and just see how the wind blows. It takes her breath away that something this beautiful can occur. It inspired her to start a fan fiction piece about how she can control the weather. Her ideas for new fantasies never stop.
“The story is already there,” she begins to say, “I just need to work out the details.”