Friday, November 20, 2009

What do a princess, a ballerina, and Judy Blume have in common?

In 5th grade we used to get very general writing assignments such as "use your powers of persuasion to try to bring someone over to your side of an issue", or "tell us about your best friend", or "where did you go on summer vacation?".  It was always fun to write a short story on a specific topic.  

For today's Flashback Friday I've dug out one of my favorite stories from these assignments. Not because of its literary genius, by any means, but because it shows that I had aspirations of wanting to be a writer early on.  I've always enjoyed writing and its come easily to me but it's great to see that even before I consciously knew it, these skills and this love were being honed, developed, and molded.  It's funny because I wasn't able to actually identify this with any assurance until my early 20s.  Read on and I hope you enjoy at some level.

If I had the power to be someone else for a day, I would be Judy Blume.  Here is a story of the day I would have if I were her.

One beautiful Monday morning I woke up early.  The sun was brightly shining.  After I ate my english muffin for breakfast, I went for my daily morning jog.  Jogging helps me get ideas for the stories that I write.  While I was jogging down Main Street, I saw how beautiful it was outside.  The birds were singing, the flowers were blooming, and most of the children were outside playing.  That gave me an idea for the perfect children's story.

I ran home and went straight to my writing desk.  I sat down and began jotting down ideas.  I thought it out first and crossed out the ideas I wasn't going to use.  Then I knew what came next, the part I dreaded most, the rough draft.

I wrote it down, but it seemed like I used a ton of paper.  Paper wads were flooding the floor.  After a long while, that felt like an eternity, I got the rough draft done.  My story was called "Spring".  I ran the story over to my editor's office.  He revised it and we talked over a cup of coffee about the things I had to improve.  I took it home, did what he asked, and I took it back to his office.  He revised it and said it was absolutely magnificent.

{The End}

Riveting, stuff, I know.

I have a few comments to make.  First, let me remind you that I was in 5th grade when I wrote this.  That (I believe) would have made me10 years old, people.  (I'm secretly hoping that helps build some sympathy amongst my readers!).  Secondly, I enjoy how I seemed to have a good grasp for the English language, specifically in the appropriate use of the word "wad".  That's impressive stuff.  Also, the detailed description of the writing process is helpful for those who have never, say, done any writing themselves.  I also like that in the end I was able to compliment myself by how magnificent my story was with only a few small edits.  I must be good!  I am, however, quite disappointed in my non-green-friendly practices in this story (referring again to the wads of paper flooding the floor!).  Either way it's fun to look back on this stuff and see where my pre-teen mind was.


Lara said...

How fun! I still have a lot of my own writing journals and such from elementary school. It is very interesting to go back and read them.

I loved your Judy Blume story...if only you could get an entire rough draft done in a day! :)

Sarah said...

There is no one like Judy Blume! I was thrilled the day my son was actually interested in the JB books I had bought months earlier. And now? He's so damn gifted he's blown past Blume and is reading Harry Potter. On His Own! At 7! Gah.