Sunday, February 20, 2011

When I Got Bit by the Writing Bug

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.

You're probably wondering who this Velveteen Rabbit poser stuffed animal is, right? My husband says his creepy factor ranks up there with 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!


Patricia Lynne said...

Ah, having glasses in elementary school. I was in second grade when I got them and my best friend and I thought it was really cool. It wasn't until middle school that the coolness faded away.

Anyways, my writing tale isn't quite as long but it is a bit odd. In high school I couldn't write my way out of a paper bag. The same with college. Then about two years ago I had a dream and started writing it down. I haven't stopped since and surprisingly from what I've been told by various people, it's pretty damn good writing.

I have no idea how it happened either!

Nora B. Peevy said...

The glasses never really bothered me. I was just happy to be able to see things. I had no idea what I was missing out on!