I Wrote my First Book in the Third Grade.
The nature of writing and the process of writing is such that you are forced to spend a lot of time in your head. A lot of time reflecting. Dwelling. Stewing. Imagining….etc.
This is probably why so many great writers had serious chemical dependency issues and more than a few have punched their own ticket. You’re up in your head, with no one to share the madness. And writing is such an isolated process…unless you enjoy taking your notebook to a coffee shop and taking that end stool so everyone can see what a deep, interesting person you are. To hell with that.
Putting this blog together has given me the opportunity to crack open the vault and dig through the piles of scrawlings stored within. There have been some surprises, and material that is downright embarrassing. Last night, as I was mining my genius, I came across my first true effort as an author…and illustrator.
In 1979, I was in the third grade. I had a mean old bag for a teacher, and all the kids secretly hoped for her demise. The power of the group mind is powerful, and for some reason she got sick and left for the remainder of the year. I have no idea what it was, but it was bad enough. This cleared the way for a seriously cool teacher, whose name was Ms. I Have No Friggin’ Clue.
My school hosted “Young Author’s Day,” and I am pretty sure that it is still going on, but maybe not as my school handled it. For a few weeks in the spring, every student in the school (k-6) dropped everything and made a book. Then, they were proudly displayed at reading tables in the gym. It completely rocked, and it was my favorite thing.
And that was the spark, clearly. A lot of kids wrote dumb shit about their pets or their family. NOT ME. I wrote a SCIENCE FICTION EPIC that featured foreshadowing, humor, glitzy high tech, classic space opera, full color illustrations, and a healthy amount of copyright violations. I even had the balls to use cursive script throughout. Looking at it, there’s still quite a bit of that kid hiding in my adult armor, battle-scarred and all.
And now…”THE WAR OF THE WORLDS.”
Is that title public domain now? It is pretty old.