By Kaitlyn Yang
“Raspberry Heart” reflects the importance of being in touch with our emotions and remaining humans in a time when technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives. My piece questions this impact on human interaction in the near and distant future.
My heart hurts like it’s being squeezed, I tell Lily. Like heartbreak? Symptoms of heartbreak are exhaustion and body pains. No, like something’s grabbed it and pushed all the air out. Like loneliness? Symptoms of loneliness are sadness and feelings of isolation. No, like my heart’s being strangled. Lily doesn’t understand. Like most others, she doesn’t have a heart. She has a central control system, wired to handle her inputs and outputs. A central control system is cube-shaped and silver—I saw a few when I went to the hospital earlier today. They were laid out on a tray, all shiny and gleaming. One of those is going to be implanted into your brother today, the doctor said when he caught me staring. It’s going to save him from relying on his heart. What do hearts look like? Nothing like these. They’re bumpy and red — Like a raspberry? I suppose. Horrid, aren’t they? All sour and staining my fingers — Have you ever implanted a heart before? Oh no, child. Hearts are for removing. It’s much too risky to rely on a heart. I turn to Lily. Have you ever seen a heart? There was a picture of one on record in the laboratory. And I have seen models. Can you show me some time? Certainly. Observation is crucial for understanding. But you are going to get your heart removed soon, aren’t you? I guess. Would you like it if I booked you an appointment? That’s okay. I’ll do it later. But why keep something that causes you so much pain? Skip a beat. Have you ever had a raspberry? No. They’re sweet and tart — They are not a very efficient source of energy. And juice runs out when you squeeze them between your fingers — They are not a very reliable source of fuel. And you eat so many at a time that your fingers are still red even after you wash your hands. Skip a beat. Have you ever had a heart? I must have. Some time ago. I guess I’m the only one left, then. I am right here. The only one left with a heart. Most choose not to rely on a raspberry. I know. But I’m scared to live without one. It’s much too risky to rely on a heart. But what if it’s worth it? Skip a beat.
I recorded a voiceover and made a series of Canva images to create a video to accompany my Print Anthology piece, also titled “Raspberry Heart.” I selected specific colors and images to convey the tone of the piece and highlight the contrast between the narrator and the people around her.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE KAITLYN YANG & MENTOR MEGHANN FOYE
Kaitlyn’s Anecdote: Meg and I always have fun brainstorming future stories together. After our weekly free-writes, we build on each other’s ideas and create new worlds and obstacles to challenge our characters and push them to overcome. I can always count on Meg to help me work through any roadblocks I face in my writing and introduce me to new exercises to jump-start my creativity.
Meghann’s Anecdote: I have no doubt in my mind that my mentee, Kaitlyn, will be taking her place in history soon with her many writing accomplishments, including a fantasy YA novel she’s been working on throughout our time at Girls Write Now, as well as a series of essays in the magical realism genre that speak to the themes of family, loss, and memories. In our work together, Kaitlyn always comes prepared with a new piece she’s been working on. Our favorite thing to do is build on each other’s ideas to get it to an even more impactful place. Her work is far beyond her years already and her particular skill is connecting the history of the character to the present conflict in incredibly imaginative ways.
Kaitlyn Yang is a senior in high school, and a fourth-year mentee at Girls Write Now. A lifelong city girl, Kaitlyn enjoys competitive fencing, editing her school newspaper and baking double-chocolate brownies. She loves to write poetry and short stories, and hopes to one day become a published author.