I’ve been doing a lot of introspection over the last few weeks. Yeah, that’s what I do when I can’t sleep at night. I also don’t keep a journal, mostly because my mom told me once to never write down anything you didn’t want people to read. Good advice, and I’m pretty sure it explains why she’s surprised I write. She asked me once if what I plan on writing and publishing was going to be PG. When I stopped laughing, I explained that she probably wouldn’t like it but that there were plenty of people who would.
All this led to me asking myself why I write. Part of that answer is, well, because I can’t not write. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. I even started a (very short lived) publishing company in second grade; it closed when I got in a fight with somebody who said the stories we published should come with a free dictionary because we were poopyheads for using big words. I got pulled aside by my fourth grade teacher for turning in something that wasn’t ‘age appropriate’ to a county wide writing contest (I have to agree with her, it was definitely not something a 4th grader should be reading).
When I started writing my novel, it was because I had a story I wanted to tell and nobody to tell it to. So, I told it to my computer. I rewrote it because, hey, I could tell it so much better now! I don’t know that I ever intended it to see the light of day. The first story I meant to be seen by other people still makes me chuckle, and I may see if I can dig it up some day. It was for a contest for the Rocky Mountain News. They were doing a short story contest for stories set in Colorado.
|Yep, we have cowboys in Colorado.|
I decided to write a space western.
Now, I’d never read a western before but I loved Star Trek so that should be fun, right?
The plot: The Raviolis from the planet Fettuccini were abducting people from remote spots for their intergalactic pet store. They couldn’t figure out why humans refused to breed in captivity. They found some cowboys on a cattle drive and decided to take them but their equipment malfunctioned, giving the cowboys a chance to fight back.
Yep, that was it. I never sent it in. I was having so much fun writing it that I exceeded the word count by almost double and it wasn’t done yet. I decided to keep it, finish it and read it occasionally to amuse myself. Did I mention I was in 6th grade?
|Vicious looking, aren’t they?|
That story really solidified for me why I write. I wrote stories I wanted to read and it was unbelievable fun. I still do that. And yes, I still make the bad jokes, much to my own amusement and my family and friends groaning acceptance.