Saturday, May 22, 2004

to write

Today has been somewhat interesting--to me, atleast. Okay, so I didn't go to bed until nearly 7:00 this morning, and somehow in those few moments before I decided to call it a night, I came across the Spring 1995 Kentucky English Bulletin. I immediately knew why we had a copy laying around the house. They had us do these on-demand writings in my fifth grade class to submit to this competition, and I placed second. After I read my story, I flipped through and found that ol' Holly placed first. Indeed, her story was better than mine.

Anyway, when I woke up this afternoon and remembered the stories, I was inspired to do a little search for my fiction writings. I could recall five pieces of fiction that I've written. The first would be this little story in that bulletin thing. It was the shortest, cheesiest story called "The Merriest Christmas."

"Wow!" mumbled Jeana as she stood at Mr. Smith's Toy Store. She was admiring the choo-choo train in the store window. The train was following the track in a circle.

Jeana was homeless. It was the saddest time of the year for her. It was Christmas time, and today was Christmas Eve. It was her saddest time because she had no gifts. Only the gift of a warm home was what she had in mind.

"Oooh!" exclaimed a little girl, "She's dirty and stinks!" as she walked on. She was talking about Jeana. That little girl and her mother were wearing fancy clothes. When they walked by, they turned up their noses.

Then an elderly woman stopped and put on a frown when she saw Jeana. The woman came closer and said, "Oh, you need to come home with me. I'll give you a bath and new clothes. You can stay with me. My name is Ellen." Jeana's face gleamed with surprise.

It was late at night when Ellen walked her home. When they walked in, in a far corner stood a beautiful Christmas tree.

Jeana had a bath. Ellen gave her some pajamas to sleep in. They had a big dinner. Afterwards, they had hot cocoa. Ellen's house was warm and cozy. Then she went to bed. She had never slept in a real bed before. She loved it. She fell asleep.

The morning sun shone through the curtains. She went downstairs. Ellen was waiting for her. She saw a huge gift under the tree. "It's yours. Open it," Ellen said. So Jeana opened it. It was the train she saw in the toy store window. It was the merriest Christmas ever!

Yeah, so that story was all about reality. So people can just snatch kids off the street to take home and raise? And when did Ellen have the chance to go buy that train set? Stupid fifth-grader...

I wrote another story in either seventh or eighth grade called "The Dream" that made it to publication in the illustrious Beta Beat/Bomb/Watch, whatever we called the newspaper that we Junior Beta Club members sporadically "published." Then, I guess it was sophomore year of high school when I wrote "When the Dust Settles" in Mr. Roy's class. It kinda sucked, but it was better than the last two. While I was digging around on our old desktop looking for old stories, I came across one I forgot. My "tale of good moral value" that Cat-Dawg made us write to mimic Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It was another piece of cheese, and again, it had a homeless person dragged in off the street in it. I don't know what my deal is with that. Anyway, legend has it that while I read my tale aloud in class, Cat-Dawg teared up. Interesting stuff, right there. The only other story I know of is the one I wrote for my creative writing class this past fall called "Gravel." I posted a draft of it here. That's not the final draft I turned into Hovie. I submitted a revision for publication in Notations, but I never heard anything from them. Oh, well.

I don't claim to be a good fiction writer, but I think if I really worked at it, I could do it. I've tried to do a lot of things in my lifetime. As a kid, of course, I wanted to be a singer. We all know that didn't happen. I also wanted to be an artist. I've tried my hand at that, and still do from time to time, but it will never be more than a little hobby. I tried acting a little, too. Fun, indeed, but not something I could aspire toward. With a little coercion, I've done a some guitar playing. ;-) If only I would practice... Recently, with the purchase of my digital camera, I've come to enjoy photography.

But I think my real passion lies in writing. It is something I do nearly every day. It is almost like breathing. Maybe I don't craft my words in a fashion that deems me great. I surely do not paint brilliant masterpieces with black and white print. But I'd love to. I am intrigued by writers who capture the flavor of life in a such a way that I feel like I know exactly what they are talking about. It is a gift that I'm not sure I possess, but something in the last couple days has urged me to look for it within myself.

I am a person of few dreams. I do not dream about my wedding day. I do not know what my colors will be, what my dress or my ring will look like. I do not know what I want to name my children. I do not know where I want to live. I suppose that somehow makes me a disgrace to the female race. But I do know that I'd like to make something of my writing one day. I'm not sure what that means. It could come in a form of a book or who knows what else. I know that what I write is not extraordinary, but that's just what makes me love words.

Writing is a medium that allows ordinary everyday life to be beautifully communicated. And words are not just groups of letters with a dictionary meaning. A story or a poem is not just what you see on the page. Writing might just be the most subjective art. Each work is guaranteed to mean something different to everyone who reads it. It requires readers to draw on their own experiences and knowledge to create an idea or story in their minds. Maybe it's just me, but this stuff is fascinating.

Well. Now that I've given you my dissertation on words and writing... Those are just some of the things I've thought about today, and I figured I better write them down.

I'm hardly tired because right now 2:30am is relative to a normal sleeper's late afternoon. Maybe I can take an "afternoon" nap and try to make it double as a night's sleep.

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