And Yet More Beginnings

Now that I think of it, even the stories started when I was thirteen.

“This is going to be the last piece of fiction you’re going to write in your school career,” our teacher said. It was Grade 7; creative writing classes did not exist in the academic type of school that I attended where we were trained for university. So this one last piece of narrative writing we got to do was an assignment to first create a “narrative core” – a fake newspaper account – and then turn it into a 2-page story.

I wrote a tale of a raccoon stolen from a circus who escapes his captors by sheer raccoonish cleverness (he chews his way out of the cage). That piece, too, I still have, in an extremely tattered blue binder. My teacher’s comment on the bottom of the second page says that it “flawlessly fulfils the requirements”. Not a single red mark on the whole two pages other than that comment.

The binder holds a number of other stories, some handwritten in my schoolgirl’s script and some typed on my mother’s typewriter, more or less hunt-and-peck style. On my own time, of course; the “writing for grades in school” train had, as mentioned, left the station.

I quit writing partway into a tale about a fifteen-year-old cowboy in the American West whose horse steps into a prairie dog hole and throws him; he gets picked up by a young man of twenty (which seemed quite old and grown-up at the time) whose fifteen-year-old sister nurses our hero back to health. The story fizzles out after some ten pages on account of lack of direction; I only had a vague idea of where I was going with it and nobody to tell me how to take that idea and turn it into a novel.

Life, the Universe, and the Beginnings of the Stories.

3 thoughts on “And Yet More Beginnings”

  1. I’m enjoying your beginnings, Amo, in both clay and writing. Our studies were much the same here – academic – though creative writing was part of the curriculum in high school university programs in BC back in the ’60s. There, and in Hawaii for grade 12. Great memories – and it’s your stories that are bringing them back. Love that you’ve kept your original pages and that beautiful bowl so filled with life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *