My third grade creative writing teacher, Mrs. Krahn, was teased by many kids in school. She had graying hair. She didn't dress in the latest fashions; in fact, she wore huge glasses and had legs thicker my entire body and wore heavy polyester/wool skirts, but she had a heart of gold and I loved her. She read us James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and then had us start working on our own stories. Until then, I'd been an avid reader, but had never really thought writing books was a real job. I'd written plays to perform at home for my family, but that year in school I decided I wanted to be a writer and I've never looked back.
W.W. Jacobs's tale, The Monkey's Paw. This is my beloved childhood stuffed animal, uncreatively named, Dog. He lost his nose a number of years ago, the red lining on his ears is fading, and his fur is worn, dirty, and in some places nonexistent, but he is the catalyst that started it all for me. I wrote about Dog. Dog rescued my brother's childhood friend, Bunny, a blue blanket shaped like a rabbit. While I wasn't very creative in naming my trusty companions, I was very creative in my daring rescue of bunny by dog on a jet ski at the local marina. My story was chosen to be presented at one of the national teachers' conferences held yearly, complete with my original Crayola illustrations. I got to record my tale on tape. That tape has since disappeared, but I keep hoping to find it at my parent's house some day so I can listen to it.
That same year I also wrote and illustrated a mournful tale about my glasses left out in the rain on a garbage can. (Yes, I was a four-eyed geek in the third grade, which did not fare well for my social life at the time. However, I did get an A on my story and continued to create stories long after our creative writing segment was finished in class).
Mrs. Krahn has since passed away and I never got a chance to share my publications with her, but I am sure she would be proud of me and remember that little girl with the glasses and the stuffed dog.
Do you remember how you got started writing? If so, I'd love to hear from you.
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!