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|WM girls wins state writing award|
West Monroe's Payten Thurmon not only has managed juggling being an artist, musician, writer and fashion designer, but she still finds time to play with her older brother.
Not bad for an 8-year-old.
Payten will enter third grade next year at Kiroli Elementary School. She has received all A's during her school career.
She recently wrote a short story for the Young Authors contest at Kiroli Elementary. She won first place for second grade fiction. Her story also won first place at the Northeast Louisiana Reading Council's Regional Young Author's contest, and then second place at the state level. She was the only child from the Ouachita Parish School System to place in the state competition.
Payten's story is titled, "The Snow Globe."
"It's about this little girl who likes snow globes, and one Christmas night she shook up her snow globe and popped into it. She met some people singing Christmas carols so she started singing with them, but after that, she missed her parents. She wished she could go back home, and then she woke up and she was in her bed," Payten said.
Her story was published in a book along with all the other stories from children throughout the state.
"I'm proud of it. I like it, and I'm thinking I might do it again next year," she said.
While she enjoys writing, her main passion is art and fashion design. Several of her own paintings inspired by Picasso hang in her room.
"I do write a lot, but I like to draw a lot more than write," she said. "I really like to do different kinds of art work. When I come home from school, after I finish my homework, I'll sit down at my desk and draw different things. Sometimes I sculpt things in my art class, or we'll paint and draw. We do a lot of different stuff. I like doing abstract stuff, but I really like Picasso."
She's also an avid musician who writes her own music. Across from her bed is a keyboard where she often practices piano.
Yet, get her to talk about fashion design, and her eyes light up. She'll proudly show anyone some of the outfits she has already created.
She's all ready to pack up her things and move to New York to make a living as a fashion designer.
"I think when I get older I might move there and design some stuff," she said.
Her mother, Pattie, proudly exclaims, "We are all for it."
Her grandparents and 12-year-old brother, Case, plan to take a road trip to Washington, D.C. soon and she might get them to make a pit stop in New York.
Her brother also is an accomplished artist and scholar who makes A's every year. He's made up his mind that he's going to be a professional football player. He's all ready to make the transition to West Monroe High School and showcase his talents at Rebel Stadium.
"He wants to play football, but mom says after he gets his doctorate he can play professional football," Pattie Thurmon said.
"We're just proud parents. We're really blessed with some really good kids and we think they have a bright future," Thurmon said.
Father, Chris Thurmon, added, "We just try to expose them to as much stuff as we can and see what they take off with, whether its sports, arts or music."