I remember discovering my love of writing when I was around thirteen. It’s galvanized in my memory, and when I think about it, I’m filled with the kind of warmth that can only accompany the discovery of something very special–like making a close life-long friend. And certainly something that has helped me write the stories of my life: from hand-written novels in my adolescence to essays and short stories to all the words in my blog since 2010 as an adult.
What started it all? Mostly just my love of television and my full-blown limitless imagination. Also, as a child, spending time alone creating or pretending or writing was one of my favorite things. (Still is. I’m doing it right now.) But a project that comes to mind was in Mrs. Bahler’s 8th grade English class. It was well known by everyone that when you started 8th grade, there would come time in the year when everyone in class would be tasked with writing a children’s book. And I couldn’t wait.
I’d conceived “Sammy the Robot” in the time leading up to the impending iconic writing assignment. I was super into all things science fiction and the story fell together easily. One challenge was there had to be so many illustrations in different mediums: drawings, images clipped from newspapers/magazines, etc. I think there had to be three different kinds, and I got around it drawing and coloring one, cutting out a magazine image and drawing one with a “color me” instruction. (I snagged that from a classmate who asked if that was allowable. Mrs. Bahler shooshed her immediately, but not before it was mine.)
I vividly remember working on this book while sitting at the dining room table in my childhood home asking one of my sisters if “sleepily” was a word. (It is not, but I felt strongly that it should be.) I worked on it consistently for a week and a weekend until it was done, bound and ready to present. The pride I took in it was palpable–to me, anyway.
The “copyright” at the front of the book is 1982. I don’t have many items that have traveled with me through years as old as this one. And when I run across it–as I did recently, triggering this blog–I’m not just flooded with the memories of my excitement at working on my book, I’m reminded of the joy I felt in creating something new and original, then sharing with others. And how I still derive pleasure from doing that.
Also published on Medium.