I thought I’d share something different with you today: Part one of my writing journey.
Someone asked the other day if I had always wanted to a be a writer and the truth was, I didn’t really think of it as a possibility until the fifth grade when my English teacher, Miss Kreschenko, advised our class that in order to pass we had to write a 20 page typed book. The book could be about anything and it would not be graded. It just had to get done which brought a sigh of relief to many, I’m sure.
Once the books were turned in, they would be placed in a class lending library so students could check them out to read them during the last month of class.
I can’t really remember what I thought back then. Like most kids that age, my mind was filled with more important things, like whether Danny Keller liked me or not or whether we’d play saloogie at lunch hour or whether I would pass whatever test was headed my way in the near future.
All I do remember is that I went home and at some point early on, started writing. I had just read LORD OF THE FLIES over the summer (for fun) and WUTHERING HEIGHTS. I was all caught up in the drama of Catherine and Heathcliff and why they could not have a happily-ever-after. I think I must have thought that if they had been born into another time and another place, it might have happened.
Maybe on a tropical island somewhere. With no kind of class structure. They might possibly be younger, like high school age. Maybe even in some danger where they would be thrown together and love would blossom.
The idea for that book quickly took shape and by the end of the school year, my mom had to help me type up the book. 120 pages of a book!
It was quite an action-packed romance-filled work. First there was the plane crash onto the tropical island where the high schoolers had to find a way to survive. Then there was a threat from “others” who were already on the island and the star-crossed romance between one of those “others” and one of the high schoolers.
And a kiss. . . Boy, was that hot for the fifth grade, not that I knew all that much about kissing at that age! LOL!
In any case, if how often it came off the lending library shelf was evidence of a hit, then I guess it was a hit.
And I guess I knew then what I wanted to do. I had always been an avid reader and had always had stories in my head. I had just not known that it was possible to take those stories and put them down on paper for others to read.
Thank you, Miss Kreschenko and Gardiners Avenue Elementary School.
This is a picture of my family right around that time. Check out the bugles. My sister and I joined a drum and bugle corps that met at a nearby church. Lots of fun. We did it for several years, participating in a number of local parades, but also the Van Stuben Day Parade down Fifth Avenue. Very exciting for a group of young kids! I’m the one in the green culottes with the pink flowers.