I read incessantly as a youngster and couldn’t think of anything better to do than read (well, I can’t front, I watched a lot of movies too). I discovered words and played “Teacher” whenever I had the opportunity. I found interesting and familiar vocabulary words, wrote them down, and the definition next to it. What can I say, I loved words. But I never crafted my own stories.
By the time eighth grade rolled around, my home room and Social Studies teacher, Mr. Chianese, had us keep a journal for class. We even received extra credit for a certain amount of entries. He didn’t read them, just counted the entries when he checked them at the end of each week. Writing for extra credit? Too easy.
At the same time, my English teacher, Mr. Whitaker, had us learning the basics of storytelling, personification, similes, metaphors, and all that jazz. I remember one particular assignment was to write a story.
During junior high school, I was reading anything written by Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. But mostly Christopher Pike by then.
In one of his stories, the book was Remember Me 2: The Return or The Starlight Crystal, I never remember, there was a story about a muse who wanted recognition for helping a writer. I took this story and made it my own. I had it end sadly for the writer than in Christopher Pike’s story.
Even though the muse story wasn’t my idea, I expounded upon it and kept writing my own original stories. I wrote two stories about witchcraft, voodoo, and vampirism that were absolutely ridiculous. Chockfull of clichés, bad grammar, tense changes, and crazy plot twists, these stories were unintelligible. But they were my unintelligible stories. I was proud of them. I could never do anything with them now but I’m glad I created those tales.
If I never would have written those stories, I wonder, where would I be now?