Writing has been a life-long love affair for me. I remember being a toddler and begging my parents to read to me for hours on end. I loved being absorbed in the realms of Harold and his purple crayon, and Charlotte, her web, and her magical anthropomorphic barnyard friends. The first story I can remember writing was in kindergarten, when “The Dragon of the Leafy Trees” made its debut. It contained a plot as rickety as a bridge across the Andes but I remember being extremely proud of including the word unison in it. Since then I have dabbled in (well, actually, more like cannonballed into) poetry and won several contests (even having a poem published in Read magazine [published by Scholastic]! Yippee!). I started writing two novels in fourth grade–Riding Shadow and The Gateway to Sunshine. I massacred the former, as I tried to enter it in a contest but had to slash about half of it and turn the rest into contractions in order to squeak in under the 4,000 word limit. And I failed to save a non-massacred draft. Such was my first epic failure in the technological aspect of writing. Can you imagine a 4,000 word novel? Like, a good one? Yeah…it was just a sad experience.
The latter novel had me entertaining wild fantasies of getting published (“Think of it–published author, at age nine!” I wrote in my journal), but two summers later I realized that I had subconsciously COPIED the plot of one of my favorite children’s books, even going so far as to have my character’s last names correspond with those in the book. I cried, banged my head on my keyboard, and felt all tingly and depressed for days. I shoved it into a virtual folder and zipped it shut, and never looked back. Let us not speak of it.
At the moment, though, I am in the midst of a novel that has gotten farther than any of my past attempts (130,000 words now–see this post for my thoughts on my insane word count). It has even earned the parental seal of approval–albeit that seal was based on reading only the first six chapters. It’s science fiction. I don’t really know how much more I want to tell you about it…more in time, when it’s wrapping up, I promise you. I’ll probably occasionally blog about it as well.
Additionally, over the course of last year I was introduced to spoken word poetry (a.k.a. performance poetry) and students at my school were given the opportunity to perform their poetry at a local library. That was actually one of the highlights of my year and I hope more like it will come along in the future.