The Story of How I Became a Writer
PART 1: My earliest memory of actually putting a story down on paper was in 2nd grade, and I really wish I could remember the name of my teacher from way back then. She was amazing. When she asked us to make up a story, and I complained that I didn’t know what to write, she encouraged me to just let my imagination do the work. So I did: Something was wrong with the moon, so I and my dog, Archie, flew up in a rocket ship to investigate. It was robots! They were trying to steal the moon. I didn’t have any lasers to stop them, but since they were made of metal, and Archie and I had to pee, we could make them rust in place. My teacher loved the story, and didn’t even criticize the potty humor.
Throughout elementary school, I was the typical reluctant reader. I worked my way through the Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators, but I didn’t like reading (at least I hadn’t found anything that I truly enjoyed). I did it only because I was supposed to, so I got shoved into below-grade-level reading classes. Then in 5th grade, the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) truck came to Emerson Elementary. Every student got to select and keep(!) one book. While I was excited to pick out a book of my very own, I was also at a loss. There were stacks and stacks of books, and I wasn’t familiar with any of them. As I hovered near an orange-covered book, a friend suggested, “Get that one; I liked it.” It had a dragon on the cover, so I knew it at least had potential.
The Hobbit was the first real novel that I muscled my way through—I couldn’t read it fast enough (and I have read it several times since). I was so excited about it that I bugged my step dad to read it until he caved and cracked the book open. Not only did it hook me on reading (and my dad), but I give JRR Tolkein credit for inspiring the storyteller in me. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a writer.
MORE TO COME