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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Writer's Christmas

I think I was around 13 when I decided that I was going to write a book. I liked to doodle and draw strange monsters a lot, I enjoyed sports, I really liked music (especially West Coast rap), but I never developed a skill or work ethic to aspire to any of those things on an elite level. I was also quite pre-occupied with winning one of the many reputed scholarships that would pay an entire ride to college's expenses for one good poem, essay or short story. So, I decided I was going to write a good poem, essay AND short story. Only one problem; hand-written pieces were not accepted. So, I decided that I absolutely must have a computer to type out and print all my masterpieces. Christmas time was approaching and I was on a mission.

The reality of the situation was that 12 years ago, computers were still huge pieces of machinery that cost thousands of dollars and I only knew one person who had one in their home. It definitely wasn't in the budget of a single mother to buy her aspiring author any sort of professional machinery to type out his thoughts. So, instead she bought me an electric typewriter, much like the one Raoul Duke uses in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It was amazing! Although the backspace button only worked for a few weeks and the ink ribbon was always getting twisted and smudging and... it doesn't matter! I had pages of my own writing that I could send in for the scholarship contest!

I didn't get that scholarship, or any scholarships for that matter, but it made me feel like a legitimate writer anyhow. This was the definitive moment in my life when I knew I was a writer. Starting on pages, scrapping countless drafts and gnashing my teeth trying to figure out what I wanted to write next; these are some of my fondest childhood memories that slipped my recollection for a long time. It sort of just popped into my head this morning and gave me a really warm feeling. I wanted to share that memory with you.

Do you have any lost or faded childhood memories that suddenly come to you? I'm hoping these start coming back clearer and more often. It feels good!

4 comments:

Saffy said...

Your post sparked memories of me stealing my brother's typewriter to write stories and such... I'm sure the words came easier then though. Maybe not. Speaking of which, it's strange reading the things I wrote back then... but then again, it's also sometimes strange reading things I wrote last week!

JR Moreau said...

I've been able to keep a lot of my old writing. I get a little sad when I realize how strange I was back then. Not for being strange, but because I have a hard time conjuring up good, unique stuff like that nowadays. Adulthood is so straightforward that it's hard to get crazy and then put it on paper without losing total grip.

But I guess crazy is as crazy does and I can still do crazy pretty well when I want to :-)

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson

Stiletto Sports Jen said...

my dream was for a laser printer. My dad works with comps so I feel like we always had on in the house (at least that I can remember) but we had those super super old dot matrix printers that would print like one line an hour. He told me when I got me first piece published he would buy me a printer.
Well, in 9th grade, our class put out a special paper of stories & poems to honor our small town celebrating their millinium or somthing like that. And since technically it was a published piece, I got to get a printer :)

JR Moreau said...

Go Jen for getting that byline and then getting your printer!