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!