Why I Write

Tell us the story of when you first realized that you needed to be a writer. (Did it happen when you were young? Was it after you read a particular book? Etc.)

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

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122 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. orion1991

    Why I write. I write because I can’t do anything else. I don’t sit around at a coffee shop and hammer out bullshit. I sit around and wait for my fucking muse to show up and grace me with her presence. When she does its painful and lonely and harsh. When she doesn’t it painful and lonely and harsh and all I want is that inspiration again. I look back and see what I can do, see how I think to show my words to people, and it blows my fucking mind. Like I got possessed for some frantic lunatic week and I hammer out some gold. I look back and see that i did it and i know i can do it again, but when i try IT JUST ISNT THERE. so i go to some cookie cutter web-sight. full of home-schooled kids and fucking over the hill desk job assholes pumping out more cookie cutter bullshit, looking for some insight. some sort of jump start. i write to chase the dragon. i want the high of creation. i need to know i can create something of worth and value. I want to impress and i want to be respected. I write to be read and loved. i want to get under your skin. I want you to think about me later when you’re washing dishes or folding laundry. I want your fucking attention. Divided, undivided, half-assed, unconscious. I DO NOT CARE. I write to be read.

  2. Jemma

    I read Harry Potter. I was obsessed with Sirius Black. He was the star in my fantasies and stories in my head started to form. Stories I wish someone would please write about. No one did so I took matters into my own hand- Viola, my first story!- and uhm, daydreams.I write tons of stories- none of them I have ever finished though. They all have a beginning, maybe a few chapters but after that I get bored, come up with a new story and abandon my recent project and begin a new one. It went on like that. I never seem to be able to finish ONE story. Except this short story in high school.

    It’s about this girl narrating about how she met her true love; he brought her home despite his mothers protest, he brings her everywhere, spoils her, takes care of her until a huge financial crisis struck home and the guy was force to let the girl go, not without heartache and litters or tears. Anyway, the ending went like this:

    I tried to shake my head of his memory. A big, burly man sitting outside the restaurant noticed me. He held up a fat hand holding a thigh bone and shook it to me.
    ‘Hey doggy! Want some bone?’

  3. Revolutionship

    I found my love, need, and desire for writing in 5th-6th grade, when life started to get more complicated. (I am now 13 years old, and in 8th grade).

    When I first started writing, I found that I favored fantasy, fiction, and adventure stories, but that has changed the past year or so.

    Back to the question: Why do I write?

    I didn’t fully understand until just a little while ago.

    Writing is a way to escape the real world, or truly embrace it. I’ve come to love more real-life stories, and I love reading and writing about real things that us humans go through. I also love to notice all the horror, and all the beauty in the world, while keeping the truth in mind.

    In 5th grade when life started to become real, I began to see all the battles we fight each day. I started feeling, and seeing all the struggles inside of us all. I don’t underestimate what we are, what’s going on, and what has happened.

    Truth is, my life has been truly difficult the past three years, and I write because I need too. Instead of throwing the words of hurt and anger I have at someone else, I write instead. I normally write about characters who go through similar situations as I do. It helps, because it helps me find what’s really going on inside my heart.

    On a totally different perspective:

    I LOVE WRITING. The possibilities are LITERALLY endless! Take the Hunger Games, or Divergent for example! You can create a whole new world with writing and I think that is very wonderful! I love coming up with characters, and making them just the way I want, with their skills and imperfections! Its kinda hard to explain, but it’s SO MUCH FUN putting your character in a difficult situation, and YOU decide what happens!!

    YES! :)

  4. Athena4896

    I have always loved writing stories. In school, I was always glad when my teacher had us write a story. However, writing a short story has always been hard for me because I can’t fit the whole plot into a few pages. For example, in seventh grade I had an assignment to write a story with 500-700 words, and my story ended up being too long. I had to cut it down to about a thousand words, and the story didn’t sound good anymore.

    The summer before seventh grade, I met a boy named Daniel at summer camp. I liked him very much, but I kept it to myself. I didn’t think he could like me back, but I soon learned that I was wrong. On the last day of camp, he told me that he liked me. I was so happy, and I hugged him and said that I liked him back. Then he got on the bus and left me forever, and I haven’t seen him since.

    In seventh grade, I decided to turn that time at summer camp into a book. When I finished the second draft, the book was over 32,000 words. (Yes, that is pretty short, but I was only twelve years old.)

    I realized that I loved writing that book, and it was perhaps the most enjoyable thing I had ever done before. I wanted to keep writing stories, and I have done so ever since.

    That is when I first realized that I needed to be a writer.

  5. wishart5

    In eighth grade I wrote a short story and I got an A; that’s been in the back of my mind for over thirty-five years. It was about my family, a large family with eight kids, a smallish raised ranch house that was remodeled to accommodate the number of necessary beds, typical Sunday afternoon dinners, family vacations, kids involved in so many activities and parents who tried their best to meet the needs of everyone. Then, I thought I was writing about my family which for the most part is true. It wasn’t until I was older, a teenager, that I knew our family was not like everyone else’s for a variety reasons.

    That’s when I realized not that I wanted to be a writer so much as I believed I had a story to tell. I always have enjoyed reading, fiction mostly, but as an adult stories about how someone’s life might have been impacted by an event, or another person, or something they’ve seen or heard. I’ve believed for some time that someone in this world might benefit from my story.

    But I think the reason I really want to write is because I’ve been encouraged by so many people to do it. When I tell a story to my sisters, my therapist, my husband or a someone at work, I am often told “you should write a book of this stuff, I’d buy it”. So, I’ve got some chapter headings identified and I’m hoping that by using the writing prompts and advice at this site, I just might find a way to tell the story I want to tell.

  6. JJY

    Why I write? Hmm…
    It began in third or second grade, when I started a love for comics. I began to draw and make comics myself in a notebook. When I was done, and flipping through the pages, I thought in my head, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I can create a story, but with only words?”
    And so it began.
    My first story was about a village of dragon-riders and another village of some other creature of my imagination-riders, and they were warring. It turned out “okay”, I guess. I still read that first story to this day and compare it with my newest work and smile because it reminded me of how I used to write.
    And the ideas! It comes to me in the strangest places; at a party, walking down a road at night, at a restaurant, at a amusement park. Many of my ideas were written down, but another idea urged me to ditch the old one and start fresh. Perhaps that’s why I have around twenty notebooks with only three pages written in them and around six books completed. (Not counting short stories, or school-related novels, of course)
    My passion for writing still tugs at me to this day.

  7. Danae

    I remember the first story I wrote, I think I still have it. It was in 5th grade and I wrote about how it was raining and this girl was in her room and she had a magic key or chest. I don’t remember everything about it, but oddly enough when I wrote this; it was raining outside in real life. After that first story, my love for writing flourished and I wrote all the time. I don’t think it happened after I read one book, I was just bored that day and decided to jot down a story. Some stories were dumb, while others were ones I have kept. I did copy other people’s stories and put them into my own little words and switch stuff around and added new people. But they were mine and I didn’t let anyone read them or look at them, I wrote a lot back then. I wrote a few times in high school and in college, but it slowly stopped because I was too busy with homework and work and I was too tired to even write down a sentence. I did take a creative writing class one semester, and I loved it. It got my love for writing back up and that was the only class that I actually looked forward to going and I never missed one. Now that I’m done with college and working full time, I don’t write as much like I use to. Either I’m too tired or lazy to write a story down, whatever it is; I kind of miss making up my own stories and writing about real events. It will take me awhile to get back into writing again, I just need some motivation and events happening around me to put it all together and write it down.

  8. Montanna9

    When I was young, I was a terrible student. In first grade they put me in a “special class,” to help me with my reading. In third grade it was math. In second grade I failed gym because I couldn’t learn to square dance. Every year it was something different. I got used to getting bad grades. My friends liked to give me a hard time. Most people expected me to do poorly– including myself.

    In sixth grade my English teacher gave us a writing prompt. From her prompt I created a story about the Zombie Apocalypse and the Second Coming. I had so much fun writing my story that I lost track of time. I was still writing when the bell rang, and had to end it with the always popular, “And then I woke up.” The next day when I got my assignment back she had given me an A-. She offered high praise and suggested I work a little harder on the ending next time. It gave me chills, holding that piece of paper in my hands.

    It was late August, the week before we started seventh grade. There were five of us sitting at a picnic table in Lafferty’s backyard. We couldn’t think of anything fun to do. So Lafferty suggested we each write a short story. Lafferty was one of those kids who played the French horn. He got straight A’s and complained when the teacher didn’t give us enough homework. I was only friends with him because he had a swimming pool.
    But I was pumped about his suggestion. I was determined to surprise my friends my mad literary skills. I already knew I was good at writing short stories because Mrs. Shishler had given me an A-.

    Lafferty ran inside the house for pens and paper while I prepared a story about aliens that fed on babies’ brains and cranberry juice. And maybe just for good measure I’d throw in a nuclear holocaust. I was so confident that my story would be the best I said, “Whoever writes the best story gets to spy on Lumpy’s sister while she’s in the shower.”

    Lafferty came outside and began handing out pens, like a new father in the hospital waiting room handing out cigars. I didn’t get a pen. And then I didn’t get any paper.
    I said, “What gives? I didn’t get a pen.”
    Lafferty said, “What do you need a pen for?”
    I said, “I want to write my story.”
    “You can’t write a short story,” said Lafferty. “You have to be smart to be a writer.”
    I stood there like a dope. I didn’t know how to respond. The thought of punching him in the face never occurred to me. I wasn’t mad; I was ashamed. I wasn’t smart enough to be a writer. I left without saying goodbye, but I took the desire to write with me. And it’s been with me all my life.

  9. miryamdelirium

    When I was around 10 years old, I started a journal. Well, several journals. True to form, I could never keep one for long. I would either lose it, or find the covers and pages uninspiring. In order to cure my anti-productivity, I’d go out searching for a new journal; one that would fit my needs better, that would inspire me. It didn’t occur to me until many years later that my inspiration would have to come from within.

    By the time I was 12 years old, I was in the practice of writing in my journal every day. When I had fights with my friends or sister, I would write. When my mother screamed, I would write. Getting it all out onto paper, I would feel a relief that was so uncommon for me at this time in my life. During my sixth grade school year, my teachers started to notice my talent more and more. I was entered in a city wide writing competition that only one other person in my school was invited to attend. I ended up reading my essay to a panel of judges, and given 3rd place for essay writing in the entire city of Chicago.

    Hearing my name on loudspeaker, the praises from my teachers and classmates, I felt like I belonged. That’s when I knew that writing was just as essential to me as breathing, or eating. There’s just no other choice.

  10. heiditoad

    I write because I have no choice, it chooses me. It pours through me and out of me, the words I could never speak. They reach out when I pull within and send breath to my lungs when I haven’t the strength. Words spin through my head, dizziness, fighting their way to a piece of paper. Words like silent heros that save me day after day fall on to this screen like the only friend who listens with heart and not with ears.

  11. Beth-is-the-one

    I suppose my love for writing began in Elementary school. I remember in grades 3 through 5 i had to write a lot of essays and really enjoyed it. I had some vague idea that i had a talent for the craft around this time, but didn’t think about it as a career until 7th grade.

    In seventh grade i had just moved to a different city and everything was very new. It was at this new school that i came to know the most amazing English teacher. She was so inspiring and i remember wanting to be just like her. My love for writing really took off when she wrote a note at the bottom of a story that i had written for the class. It said that she really enjoyed my work, and i that i could use her as an editor and a critic for anything i wrote in my free time.

    From then, to the time i started high school, i wrote stories and had her make grammatical corrections and give suggestions.

    I became addicted. I’m not sure what i would have chosen to do with my life if it hadn’t been for such an inspirational role model.

  12. Explosionist

    Why do I write? Because I feel that the world may need my writing talent. At least, it may. I’m not arrogant. My writing skills may not be as finely tuned as Jim Butcher’s or George R. R. Martin’s. Hell, I could be as bad as Michael Bay. But that’s why I keep writing, because I want to improve. Because I feel that people may need me one day when it comes to writing the plot of a movie.

    On top of all that, I want to be better than all the hack writers out there like Stephanie Meyer and I feel like I am able to do a more decent job at writing a story than they can. There are times where I watch a movie or read a book and realize how easy it is to create junk. And yet, that’s another reason why I continue to write, because I feel like, maybe, I could be a good example of a good writer. That I could be that story-teller that everyone looks to after they watch the Star Wars prequel trilogy and say, “You know what? THAT guy could have done a better job at writing the story.”

    I also would rather spend my days in the writing business instead of working as a plumber or at Pizza Hut. I mean, I’m not antipathetic to those types of jobs but I feel like there are better stuff I could do with my life. Even if I never get around to writing a novel or script for a movie, exceptional writing skills could still come in handy later on. One thing is for sure: I’ll never be as bad as M. Night Shyamalan. At least, I hope.

  13. HandHeldWriter

    Why must I write? The best answer I could ever have for this is a quote by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, in the movie Anonymous. He answered the same question by saying:

    The voices… the voices, I can’t stop them. They come to me: when I sleep, when I wake, when I sup, when I walk down the hall. The sweet longings of a maiden, the surging ambitions of a courtier, the foul designs of a murderer, the wretched pleas of his victims… only when I put their words, their voices to parchment are they cast loose, freed. Only then is my mind quieted… at peace. I would go mad if I didn’t write down the voices.

    The first time I heard this, I was in complete awe because it was exactly how I felt.
    It still is.

  14. Cat Lady

    I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I don’t have all my writings, many were lost in moves, but I have some of my stories left. They’re in storage now, but I have not forgotten them. I pray I finish my novel and that it will be published. You and me both rshafer.

  15. rshafer

    I think I have wanted to be a writer for most of my life. I have always loved to read, and when I was a senior in high school, I discovered my love of reading literature critically and writing about it. I was aware from my teens that writing comes naturally to me, but I never thought I had unusual writing talent. Midway through college, I went against the advice of my family and friends and changed my major from Education to English because I felt comfortable and successful in my literature and composition classes.
    Not having any idea what I would do with a degree in English and with no clear path of interest to follow, I decided to teach college English. Teaching was the least painful way to make a living I could think of. I knew I enjoyed writing myself, but I had no zest for teaching others to do it. Infrequently, particularly motivated students challenged me and kindled enthusiasm in me, but generally, teaching was just a job.
    As luck would have it, I was good enough in the classroom that I found myself in academic administration—bad move. Being a college administrator turned out to be a particularly painful way to make a living. The thought of cloistering myself away in a peaceful, safe place and writing all day long became my fantasy while I slogged through the mire of student and faculty issues and a million bureaucratic details that brought me stress and anxiety rather than satisfaction. But I persevered for fifteen long years; I worked my way into higher levels of administration and further from where I knew I wanted to be in life. You see, I still didn’t think I had the talent to write for a living. In spite of sporadic encouragement offered by family members and close friends, I never saw professional writing as a road worth investigating.
    As the years hurtled by, burn out set in. Work became increasingly stressful, increasingly an ordeal and a waste of valuable time. I began to feel the need to escape into writing. I wrote about my dissatisfaction with my career and my frustration with my inability to make my life what I wanted it to be. I dabbled in short stories, narrative essays, and journal entries, anything to practice writing and to give me solace. Then I turned fifty. I began reading about writing and the writing life, and I came to the devastating realization that I had had many opportunities to launch myself into a writing career all along, that what I really needed was determination and a little confidence.
    I have to write. It keeps me sane. I want to be a writer, not only someone who needs to write to get through the day but someone who can publish things people want to read. I just hope it isn’t too late.

  16. smamyy

    I was plunged deep into a lasting love affair with words before I could tell you what a word was. My sweet grandfather faithfully started teaching me to read shortly after I turned three. You’re thinking Cat in the Hat or The Good Humor Man and we did read those but most of our reading involved The Press-Sentinel, Jesup, GA’s only daily periodical, and the Medical Dictionary. Grandaddy cultivated in me a love for communication, medicine, sports, and most of all, words. Sheer adoration kept me glued to his lap for hours on end as we vigilantly and hopefully watched Bobby Cox begin his double decade stretch as the manager of the Atlanta Braves. That year, David Justice earned Rookie of the Year and we saw every moment from that navy blue cracked leather chair. All while eating cool whip straight out of the tub and drinking Coke from the classic old fashioned green glass bottles, much to my grandmother’s dismay. My longing for connection runs deep and I learned early that words connect us to each other.

    After Grandaddy died, my world fell apart. I didn’t know who I was without him. I felt overwhelmed, unsafe, and insecure so I buried myself in novel after novel, desperate to be anyone but me. I went on dangerous adventures from my bedroom, wrestled bad guys, solved mysteries, met prince charming, and lived happily ever after.

    I discovered my love for writing the second I laid eyes on those giant pieces of blank-top story paper with lines at the bottom. I started writing about summer vacation and what I wanted to be when I grew up, which quickly blossomed into much more in-depth endeavors. I dabbled in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, attempting my first novel at age 11. My passionate need to write stems from those early days when I thought maybe I could create those worlds that rescued me so beautifully from my childhood despair. Maybe I could use words to make someone else feel understood, included, like they belonged. Maybe I can take the raw material of words and weave them together to make something beautiful that somehow pushes against some of the brokenness and despair that consume our days.

  17. LadyS

    As a kid I was like all others, quieter perhaps, but otherwise the same. Hated going to school, preferred chocolate milk as an afternoon snack, questioned the pursuit of the gleaming moon after my family’s SUV. But there was something that made me stand out, especially as a girl.

    I liked action figures. I had a drawer flowing with them.

    Not many of my friends knew, just the ones that came over. It was the opposite at home where everyone saw me hold these action figures in my pudgy hands and open my mouth as if talking to myself. Maybe I was, but that was not how I saw it. When my mouth was moving it wasn’t me who was speaking, it was that plastic girl in braids and a pretty pink dress shying away from the slightly taller male toy in a green shirt and a broken arm. His arm was snapped off by my sister in one of her tantrums. In my head, it was because he was off in these battles against trolls and dwarfs, mighty kings and loyal knights in their glimmering suits of armor.

    Then one day things changed.

    I turned eight years old. Just as before I hated going to school, preferred chocolate milk as an afternoon snack, yet managed to figure out the moon was not trailing our car. And just as before I opened the drawer full of my action figures, ‘small toys’ I called them. I cusped my not-so pudgy hand around the plastic girl in braids and the boy with the broken arm. I opened my mouth, let the boy tell the girl about his new battle.

    Nothing came out. I was aware I was speaking to myself. What happened? Did my imagination fade? Did I stop being a kid?

    It wasn’t until in the midst o the year that it hit me: I want to write a story. I was a bookworm. At least my first grade teacher said that I was. Why not write something like one of those short stories I see in the library?

    Today when I opened my drawer, where my action figures used to lay cluster one on top of the other, lay notebook after notebook, full of my slanted writing about different people. It was the the new way to take out my imagination.

  18. cbulice

    I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. I have written many sermons and several research papers. My realization that I could be a writer came slowly. I remember one day Momma asked if I kept my sermons after I wrote and delivered them to a congregation in worship.
    “Sure, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read them,” I replied with a shrug.
    Now, as I reflect, that was a dumb statement. Momma would have read them; maybe Daddy would have, too.
    Later I remember pondering the benefit of reading some of the great sermons in history, such as the Sermon on the Mount. Then, I noticed that we have sermons, prayers, and journals of some of the most revered preachers in history. They have led us in the faith, taught us doctrine, and helped us pray because they wrote. So, I started keeping what I write as well.
    Some time or other, I decided that my opinion is as valid as any that gets published. So, I began writing in a blog, but haven’t been able to keep consistently regular about posting my thoughts. And, I began writing in my journal my opinion about daily news events, restaurant and movie reviews, and travel experiences. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. Then, I thought I should make the journal entries more interesting to read rather than a dull, matter-of-fact entry about what happened on this day.
    An acquaintance came to me at the church one day with an interesting proposal. He called it “Writing for the Soul Workshop.” The idea was to help youth and pre-teens to write about events in their lives. Then we would collect the short stories into a book, which the youth would sell. The goals of the process were to help youth cope with traumatic events, improve their writing skills, and make some money for themselves.
    Through helping with the Workshop, I realized that everyone had a story to tell or some traumatic event haunting them – even me. In a workshop for youth I realized that I need to write more than sermons and I realized that I needed help with style and stuff.
    To get pointers and advice I went to the library where I discovered Writer’s Digest Magazine. The articles inside not only gave me advice about style but helped me to believe I could be a writer.
    Nowadays I still write in my journal but I also am working on some short stories and I have ideas for a couple of book-length projects. Thanks to a youth-oriented workshop and Writer’s Digest Magazine, I am writing more than I did while in seminary.

  19. Curt

    About ten years ago, I’d just moved to Honduras to stay with my dad. I was just becoming a teenager, entering that phase of life where independent thought begins to override and question what you’ve assumed to be valid as a child. My father’s alcoholism only acted to fertilize my cynicism. Alone with my thoughts, with frustration driving my creative engines, I dabbled in drawing. Ever since my fantastic failure at sketch art, I’ve remained jealous of those who are adept at it. There’s an inherent advantage that comics hold over raw writing in that the reader invests very little for a lot of rapid gratification. You know almost immediately if you don’t like the art in a comic book, but you might have to invest two chapters worth of thought before you decide to stop reading a book- and you feel almost dirty after those two chapters, like you’ve been robbed. I think some of that jealousy shows through when I write. Because of that imagery, some of my first writing came to me as visions from just beyond my grasp, nagging at me to be real. Writing remains the best way I’ve found to deal with that.

  20. zeeko13

    My mom told me that it took forever to get me to talk for the first time, but once I did, the talking never stopped.

    I was a product of a sad childhood. I had no siblings, my parents hated each other, we had no money; the list is bigger than my patience for it. I felt like a bother to anyone who recognized my existence. I locked myself in my room at home, and I shoved my face in books at school. I had very little friends, because I was very, very quiet.

    At one point during high school, me and my father had the worst fight of my life. I ran away from home permanently. I ended up homeless after my father called the cops on my friend for withholding a child from his/her parent. I was completely lost, and completely mute.

    I was still going to school at this point, and a few teachers noticed something was different. One asked to speak with my father; I rejected him. Another told me to go to church, and I felt that God had abandoned me long ago. There was no way I was going to believe that the world was anything other than terrible.

    One day, in my first class of the morning, my English teacher announces our senior project: A journal or scrapbook dedicated to our lives up to graduation. I was not happy. My rules said that I do not talk about myself under any circumstances. The mention of my personal life was sure to make me embarrass myself in public.

    I was pulled aside a month later by the same teacher. She asked me why I haven’t submitted any chapters to the project. I was still mute, so I said nothing. She looked at me with a tired, pleading eye. She told me that my poetry was some of the best she’s read in a while. I wanted to belittle my work. I wanted to tell her that it was just a fluke, that I have no talent. The thing about being mute is, you’re forced to accept everything at face value. There’s no expression, no opinion.

    She said I have a unique perception. She said I must be a great listener. She said if I don’t submit the chapters by the end of the month, then she’s kicking me out of the college-credit class. She asked with her most desperate expression to please turn them in.

    My father called me that night, telling me to go fuck myself if I don’t return his house keys. I stared at the phone screen for no less than an hour. The blinding anger, the despondence, the cry for attention all compressed, turning into words. I brought out my dirty notebook and wrote. I wrote for hours. Nights. During other classes. After school. All night again. I reformatted, refined. At first, I wrote about my hatred of injustice. Then I wrote about my thoughts on God. I wrote about what people do when you don’t speak. I wrote about the love of my life. I wrote about the deaths that I’ve seen. I wrote about the abuse I’ve felt. I wrote about the beauty of nature. I wrote about the serenity filling a silent creek. I’ve always found beauty in silence.

    Before I knew it, I started responding to people’s words. At first it was just noncommittal noises, then “yeahs” and “okays”, then full sentences such as, ” x divided by y equals two”. Somewhere along the way I managed to say the Three Hardest Words to the one they were meant for, and I am still proud of that.

    My teacher asks to have a private talk after school. When she brought me over to her desk, she searched her desk with her eyes, not looking for anything tangible. She told me that my journal went far beyond what the project was originally intended for. She said she’s never had any student pour out their heart and true life story to this extent. She asked me about my living situation, about my friends, about my teachers; she was interested in my life.

    I’ve never experienced that before. I never knew what it was like to talk, to verbalize abstract thought, to communicate.

    She told me to be a writer, and that’s when I knew.

  21. Gianni Beau

    Int: So Gianni, when did you feel the need to be a writer?

    Gianni: It was very gradual.

    I: What do you mean?

    G: Well, I started out believing I could never write. I avoided it at every cost.

    I: At every cost?

    G: Yes. When I was in grammar school, I dreaded writing assignments especially those that required me telling what I did or had experienced. I always handed in the most terrible writing.

    I: Why was that do you think?

    G: Things were never happy at home, so writing about my experiences or what happened to me brought me terror.

    I: How did you get over it?

    G: I didn’t. I carried that fear throughout high school and college. Luckily, I was a physics major and didn’t have as many writing assignments as non-scientists.

    I: But how did you get through it all not knowing any grammar?

    G: Oh I knew grammar. My teachers were nuns and they drilled the rules of grammar into us and taught us how to diagram sentences. I was good at diagramming sentences. I knew enough to write about things other than myself or that would not reveal anything about myself.

    I: So when did all this change? When did you begin to write for yourself?

    G: When I was in my thirties, I was unhappy working as a computer programmer. I started looking for something else to do and the idea of writing came to me. I took a course and found I had an aptitude for non-fiction. The course freed me to write whatever I wanted or had to write.

    I: Is that when you began to feel the need to write?

    G: No. The need to write was to come later still. After the writing course, I just enjoyed the process of writing, but there was no feeling of need.

    I: Wasn’t the reason that you took the writing course, to find something else to do?

    G: Yes. Unfortunately, the writing course was a means to flee something that I was unhappy with at the time. It was not something I wanted to move to. I was running away, not moving to something I wanted.

    I: So when did you begin to feel writing was something you wanted?

    G: I read a book by Martha Grimes. It was a Richard Jury mystery. I enjoyed it so much that I read all of the series. What I discovered for the first time was the ability for the writing to flow, to carry me along. I wanted to write like that.

    I: So that is when the need to write began?

    G: Sadly, no. I still was not able to carry through on what had become a dream, maybe more a fantasy. It is only now, many years later, that I feel the need to write. It is what makes me find reasons to write, such as this assignment.

    I: I see that we are around 500 words. Thank you Gianni.

    G: You’re welcome.

  22. Silence

    It was last year, in the tenth grade, a new semester commenced, new people, new classes, new teachers, and a new life. I was lost in thoughts, pondering about role-playing (fan fiction) and what to make of my own character on a certain website. The announcements were playing and one of my favourite teachers announced a creative writing competition in which gave the option to write a short story, poem, children’s book, etc. I was inspired to write a short story about two kids living a normal life in the country of Palestine. It was a normal story, and when I personally handed it to the teacher proudly, hoping to get the top prize of the competition. That was the last I heard from my teacher. There was no mention in the announcements about my short story, or even the competition. Nobody got anything. So, I ignored and went on with my life holding the inspiration to write right by my side.

  23. LeslieStamm

    I had no clue that i wanted to be a writer until my junior year of high school. I use to hate writing and would always put it off until last minute. I know that I am still guilty today but it is not because I dread to do it. It is simply because I am always in a rush. I do not like to feel rushed when I write I like to have time so I can go back and reread what I do write and make changes where I deem necessary.
    I discovered that I actually liked it when my Junior English teacher made me keep a journal and turn it in. It was a free write about whatever life through at me. I loved it, it was a way for me to express myself and avoid actually speaking words that my hurt someone’s feelings. I could describe anything and make it feel all so real to me. It was an outlet and now it is what i turn to on a regularly basis to express myself openly and freely. A blog would be the perfect outlet for anyone if they would simply allow themselves to free write.
    I have actually called up that teacher to tell her “thank you” and explain how much it has helped me throughout college and daily life.
    What kind of writer I want to me I have no idea. I like free writing but short stories are not my strongest. I think I would enjoy a gossip column or something about kids. I love kids and I love researching and writing about them. Right now I am just writing to writing and taking different classes through college to see what sparks my interest the most. As of now all my writing classes have been fun and challenging. they make me think outside the box and actually put time and effort into it. I am thankful for that and it has made me a better writing.

  24. LalaP

    If I told you a story of when I realized I needed to be a writer; it would be a story indeed. I do not have a sensational desire to be a writer; I simply enjoy the art of it. However, I was first drawn into this art my senior year in high school, by a teacher I will refer to as Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones had a contagious love for short stories, poems and reading between the lines.

    Originally, I had no interest in writing stories or poems nor could I sit long enough to read a story or poem. To be completely honest, there was a fear in me that discouraged me to write. I didn’t want to be judged by whatever it would be that I was writing. I definitely didn’t want anyone to know my dark secrets or see my growing pains.

    Mrs. Jones was a rare teacher, at least in my school. She cared if her students showed up for class, if they liked the material and if they were grasping her lessons. I’ll admit I was a slow learner, having to force myself to sit and read something for any amount of time. That’s very difficult to do for a person such as myself. I’m pretty sure my two year old niece has a longer attention span than me.

    As the semester dragged by, I found it to be easier to enjoy the class and join in on the activities. I was starting to write poems on my own time. I discovered it was a healthy and new emotional release for a teenager going through life changes.

    I know my poems and short stories were horribly written, but Mrs. Jones encouraged me anyway. She was fantastic at giving constructive feedback without scaring an intimidated student. Years of practice on her part, I’m sure.

    After I graduated high school I continued to write poems, not so much for short stories. Again, pretty sure that goes back to my attention span. I started to keep a journal that I would periodically write in. Not every day, but every couple of days. It was the best way to express my frustrations, fears and confusion. Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, I didn’t seem to write in the journal when life was going good. Maybe it was the lack of time or that I was having such a good time I just didn’t think about it.

    Now that I’m back in school, I couldn’t think of a better place to start than a creative writing course. I’m reminded of how much fun I had when I was writing and the silly things I could secretly write and hide from people.

    I’m still self conscious about people reading anything I write, but, that’s why I’m taking Creative Writing on-line. It’s my “two year old mentality”; if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me.

  25. mschons

    I began writing when I was very young. I always tried to keep a journal or diary when I was a little girl. I had to find some outlet to get my thoughts out. Thoughts were always bouncing around in my head, and writing them down was the best and easiest way to make sense of my young, middle school life.

    I will admit that I did not really feel like a true writer until I was in high school. I finally broke out of my journaling days and decided to try my hand at taking writing classes. The next thing I knew I was an editor for my high school newspaper. That’s when I truly felt like a writer. I was editing, publishing, and all-in-all I felt happy with writing and being published.

    Something I was surprised to realize was that there was much more stress and pressure when being a published writer or actually publishing something myself. Although it was just a small high school newspaper, it was a lot of pressure to be published. Word minimums and maximums, specific topics, interviews, and so much more. It was the hardest, yet most rewarding work I’ve experienced. Even though now I am really only a writer of hobby, being published at all was something so special and meaningful.

    Not only was being published something special and meaningful, the hard work I had to put into every word really pushed me to be the best me I could. I wanted nothing more than to show everyone, including myself, that I could do anything I set my mind to. Being published and working that hard really showed me that I can do anything that I truly want to do, and that meant more to me than having my name on any publication.

  26. kospina

    Although I began writing in middle school, I didn’t consciously form the thought “I want to be a writer” until somewhere around high school. I credit my creative writing teacher, Lissa Richardson, with being the one to inspire me to actually want to write as more than just a hobby. But I think, really, I’ve been a writer much longer than that.

    I remember being three, riding a tricycle around the playground in pre-school, narrating my own progress in my head as if it were an epic adventure. At three years old I supposed that is about as epic as it gets, come to think of it. Around that same age I recall sitting on the stairs in our house, wondering to myself why I was me and not some other person.

    Just as some people have a soundtrack that runs through their heads, I’ve always had a storyline, a running narration. Figuring out I was a writer was really just putting a name to something I’d been doing for most of my life.

  27. neserita

    I only thought about writing after I finished college my undergraduate degree. I have been an avid reader pretty much from the time I learned to read. The early years were filled mostly with my reading textbook. Not all of the stories were assigned, but I always read the book cover-to-cover. At about the age of ten I began reading other books, mostly science fiction, including ghost stories. Once I had my driver’s license I made trips to the bookstore on a monthly basis and left with a healthy stack of books including science fiction and fantasy, murder mysteries, and books that were related to popular television shows. My experience with writing in school was not a very positive experience. We often had to read our stories out loud which was a problem for me. I didn’t think my story was ever good enough. This stifled my creativity. My senior year I took a course in “advanced composition.” The assignments rigorous, but I didn’t have to share anything with my classmates. Only one person would read my story and only one person would make comments. Her criticisms of my writing were minimal. I quickly gained confidence in my writing and wrote a few pieces, including poetry, that I was very proud of.
    Today I consider my writing ability one of my strong suits. I can write technical articles that possess great style and vocabulary. I do have much difficulty writing creatively. I can come up with major ideas, but then find creating characters and plots not so easy. I’m hoping that working with the writer’s prompts will help. I remember reading somewhere once that if you want to be a writer then all you have to do is write.

  28. cleansingbreaths

    I was eight years old the day Mrs. Schmidt passed out the books, one book for each child. Aside from the penned sketches of monsters on the cover, each thin book bore no markings. Each and every page was white: clean, fresh, and full of potential. It was up to each of us to breathe life into those pages, and I found myself more than up to the task. Crayon in hand, I plotted and schemed my way through a whimsical Halloween story with the reckless abandon of a child. I’d written many many stories previously, but this story was special. Not because it was better than any of the other stories, but because it had become a book. And it was mine. And anyone could see it was mine because my name was on the front cover: Illustrator. Author.

    Unfortunately, the writer’s high was temporary and fleeting. The same thing that made that story special – seeing my own name on the cover of a book – awakened a paralyzing fear within me. Fear told me that if I wanted to write, my writings would be permanent and if I messed up, everyone would know it was me. I couldn’t bear it. The thought of looking foolish sucked the life from my stories. In agony, I’ve continued to write, but I pick apart my work with more energy than I put into creating it, ever critical of my mistakes and worried what other people will think.

    I still own my first and only book: “That Terrible Halloween Night” and, twenty-three years later, I am haunted by it’s solitary place on my bookshelf.

    Did I just turn my first response to a writing prompt into a tragedy?
    Why I Write – or Why I Don’t Write.
    That was unexpected. Perhaps honesty is a step in the right direction. Here’s to many more (hopefully less melodramatic) posts to come!

  29. ninjapanthercat02

    The reason why I write is because I was inspired by the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. When I think of ideas and story lines, they usually take place in a fantasy world with mythical and magical peoples and creatures. But the only problem right now is trying to get these ideas on paper.

    Currently, I have been looking for someone to write a good fantasy/action/adventure story. I have had no luck so far, but I am still trying to find one.

  30. lj0466857

    In school, the language arts were always special to me. It seemed effortless for me to excel in these areas and I developed a real passion for it. I would find myself reading and writing just for fun. I would also correct the grammar and sentence structure of others. Because of this annoying personality defect, my peers would bring me their papers to edit and revise. It was a little nerdy how much I enjoyed doing this. One day I found myself in a hysterical fit over a pun that I had read. It began to occur to me that I had a deep passion for words. I exercised this passion by becoming an editor for my high school’s yearbook and newspaper. Writing, along with reading the writings of others, was my life and, you know what, I loved my life. It was then that I realized that I truly wanted to be a writer. As I practiced writing more and more, I found a sense of glowing pride when I could have someone read a piece of writing and say “Wow, Lyndzie” when they are finished. It was also rewarding to evoke emotional responses, including anger, sympathy, and pleasure from my writings.
    Since I was so involved in everything in high school, it did take me a while to realize that it was the actual writing that I was enjoying and not just the hustle and chaos of meeting deadlines and working to gain the approval of the student body and staff. However, I found myself missing all of that after graduation. Reflecting now, I haven’t writing anything that has been terribly memorable in a long time. In my current Creative Writing class, I have sort of let myself down. It has been three years since I graduated high school and I notice myself being a little out of practice and that saddens me. I think that this response is a good indication that I truly want to be a writer.

  31. lbh100

    “Your writing shows promise,” he said, exhaling. His words encouraged me, elevated me as he handed over the almost finished joint.
    “Thank you, Mr. Cranson,” I replied.

    – 10th Grade

  32. candormonkey

    I often wonder if the first thing I reached for as a baby was a pen. Before I could read properly I was trying to put those wonderful symbols together to form the words to describe the scenes that were playing in my head. My mother read to me since I popped out of her. She filled my mind with fantastic possibilities before any doubt could ever manifest. I lived and romped in the worlds of talking dinosaurs, lion cub princes and crustacean sidekicks. Animals were magic and magic was very much possible! When I was almost four I wrote my “first book”. It was a little six or seven page, self-illustrated, knock-off of a Lion King kids’ book I owned, starring two cheetah cubs in place of lion cubs. It was my first experience feeling the pure majesty of holding your finished written work in your hands. I carried it around for weeks.

    During the next few months my life would change, drastically. The pure innocence of being a child would be stripped from me and I would become alienated from those around me. I would get stuck with a secret that I could not tell anyone: the secret shame of molestation by a family member. I would live with this torment for ten years and in those ten years I would walk in the most amazing worlds crafted by my own tortured mind. Writing had become more than just a fun hobby, now it was an escape from the horrors of reality. My characters took on a similar agony. They became the result of society’s apathy. Ignored, forgotten, or used and then brushed off to the side. Withered souls that rose up to smite their oppressors because I could not slay my own demons. They saved me, when I otherwise would have given up or in. They always found a way, I made sure of it, and that gave me faith that someday I could break away too.

    Eventually, I did, but throwing off the chains left me with little freedom. I was still lost in my own head. I had survived but now I had to learn to cope. I was starting over at 13 but this wouldn’t be the last time. Throughout my life I have struggled with the pain of the open wounds left behind by those years. I have been to counselors, been on anti-depressants, I’ve taken illegal drugs and swam in pools of booze. I’ve slashed at my wrists praying for the strength to push all the way through, but never managed. I have cried to a dozen gods and cursed them all the same when those prayers went seemingly unanswered. People have left me, Higher Powers have “forsaken me” but, through it all, my talent remained. A gleaming flame keeping my heart warm. My one true love that never strayed. Writing is more to me than fun or a career. It is my savior; the one thing that has kept me sane by allowing me to spew out all my insanity onto paper.

  33. cjw12

    Growing up books were a HUGE part of my life, I was shy when I was younger and reading was just an escape, from reality. It made me feel smart, happy, sad, curious, joyful, all because I could relate with most of the characters. My reading styles changed a few times, at first I read animal books because I wanted to be a veterinarian. As I got older I got into more mystery/murder type of plots, Catherine Coulter was one of my favorite authors for years.
    Now that I am in college, I never really thought about taking a writing class, because I have always just been a “reader” not a writer. But, I needed some elective hours and I noticed a Creative Writing Class fit my schedule perfectly, so I dove in. I mean why not? I need the college credit, and maybe I can learn something. So far, I have learned tons and I also realized that the types of stories and books I like to read, are also the types of stories and plots I enjoy writing about. Reading when I was younger has helped me so much! Not just with proper English, but with thinking of themes, plots, characters, pretty much everything! If I ever get stuck I try to think about some of the authors and books I have read about and everything always comes together easily.
    Lately, I have been more of a writer than a reader, mostly because I have to read so much for my college classes already; I usually don’t feel the motivation to read extra. My next goal is to write some sort of mystery/comedy like Janet Evanovich. I can easily write horror tales with no problems, but I am wanting to challenge myself and try to get in some different styles. I think the best thing a parent can do for their child is read to them and show them the value in books, and learning for themselves. There are so many things (outside of writing) that reading has helped me with. Even when it comes down to understanding word math problems, I think that reading has had a role in that. Not to mention, writing has proved to be such a successful way to vent, throw out new ideas, and just do what you want. When you write you have no boundaries, nobody can tell you what you are writing is “wrong” because it is all a figment of your imagination (well if you are writing fiction anyway). That is my favorite part of being a new writer; I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I am in control of the story, the ending, the characters, all of it. It has made my imagination run wild! The more I write the easier it is for me to come up with story lines and more realistic characters. Writing is an art, and I think everyone should give it a try at least once, most would be surprised.

  34. bpen4

    So Mrs. H steps to the front of the class. Most classes bored me, the monotone voices at the front of every boxed in room held me hostage, daily. But the click clack of her heels drew my attention for the first time in a long time, curious as she drew a large white chalk bubble in the center of the green rectangle chalk board. And then she wrote one word, filling the void like an egg producing life. And from that center word bubble came the melody of tapping chalk drawing sparks in every direction birthing new bubbles, new words, new life springing and something happened in that moment when I never thought I’d be anything but ordinary. The cosmos expanded that day when I was fourteen and attending my first year of high school. For once life had meaning. Like the stars in heaven there were countless beginnings and middles and ends, just to begin again and the best thing was that I was suddenly empowered to be creative and there was no…wrong?

    First year in college, first semester, first paper, my professor printed in red ink across the top of my pride: No one but Dr. Seuss could benefit from this type of writing.

    I wrote secretly for years, poems…

    I got my degree in Human Development, had a beautiful family, routines, but something about my spirit had turned gray. Then came Twilight. Stephenie Meyers biography was a new breath, I could relate. I’d had a dream, I’d written it down but could I? Me? Write? I did! And now several years later my four hundred page novel sits on the desk of an agent holding a red ink pen. Only this time, I realize that even if it doesn’t meet someone else’s standards, it’s my own insignia on the universe, my own little word bubble that’s inspired me to find meaning, new beginnings, middles and ends just to begin again. And this time I will, regardless.

  35. Shawna Nicole

    I’ve never had any short stories published and I don’t have a single award to my name. My biggest accomplishment as a writer was being unanimously named the Editor and Chief of my high school newspaper. That’s me, not much recognition but all of the passion in the world.

    As I was growing up, books were my one and only hobby. I’d beg my father to take me to the public library on a weekly basis. We would roam the building for hours and I would end up borrowing at least fifteen different things at one time. I took pride in my ability to read and comprehend quickly at a young age. My first real writing experience occurred when I was in the fourth grade. It was my first written report and the topic was John F. Kennedy, but my desire didn’t develop for another three years. As a seventh grade student, it was required that I write ten sentences that emphasized vocabulary words every week. I would spend hours writing multiple different versions and thinking about ways I could intrigue the only audience I had, my teacher. I then became involved with the junior high newspaper and it became obvious to me that the only thing I really cared about was writing.

    I spent my spare time crafting short stories for my own entertainment; I would never dare to share the words in my writing journals. I went through high school in the most advanced English courses my school offered regularly earning praise from teachers thanks to my natural writing skill. At the time, I never considered writing contests or even trying to get my work into the public’s hands. I didn’t even think I had any talent.

    Aside from my interest in journalism, I guess the real reason I began to write was because I was unsatisfied with the books that were aimed at my age group. You know, the Twilight’s of the world. I felt I was capable of more entertaining and well-crafted ideas.

    I forgot about writing for about a year and I didn’t pick up a single book. I assumed it was pointless. It wasn’t until I quit college to take a six-month hiatus that I realized how much I missed writing. I became interested in multiple journalism internships and scriptwriting. Then, after receiving a compliment on what I viewed as a boring little blog for a college course, I decided that writing was something I really needed and wanted to pursue.

    Being only nineteen, I don’t have as much writing experience as I would like and I have no idea how to start getting feedback on what I do compose. This is the first time I’ve ever written anything “publicly.” It’s all a challenge I’m willing to take. The written word is my happiness. It doesn’t matter what the topic is or whether anyone else is reading.

  36. JustDee

    Ironically, I’m still not sure I _am_ a writer in the conventional sense. I talk a lot about writing, I buy a lot of books about writing and I even write a lot when I’m not calling it “writing” – but I don’t think I actually consider myself a writer. I’ve always loved telling stories and in my misspent youth, was a terribly resourceful liar as well. I have a deeply rooted resistance to actually labeling myself a writer. I think its because, for me, Writers (and Scholars) are like most other people’s rock and television stars – and to consider myself something along the lines of a Tolkien, a Tolstoy or an Ursula Le Guin for example, seems almost sacrosanct somehow.

    I do know one thing with some certainty however, and that is that I have ALWAYS loved to read. In my experience, most writers, the really good ones, spend as much time reading (or more) as they do writing. At least I am in good company in that way. So if I had to pick a moment when I first began to think about telling stories of my own, my muse was probably born the day I picked up “The Hobbit” for the first time and I’ve been “almost writing” ever since.

  37. roostershamblin

    Living In The Heart Of Bigfoot Country
    By Dennis Daryl Shamblin

    It was in the summer of 64 that my life would make an abrupt change forever. I would forever leave my childhood behind at six years old and meet strange new people and creatures that would touch my life. That summer I was six years old being born March 5th 1958 in Fairview Oklahoma. Fairview was a small southern town made up of russian immigrants and ex german prisoners of war. It was a safe place where a kid could play and be friends with the whole town. My dad had another life that he kept hidden from everyone including my mother. He was the average type of father and husband until Fridays came around. Then he would be gone until Monday, and pretending to have been on a fishing or hunting trip. From the airline tags attached to his suitcases, we all knew it wasn’t the truth. My dad was Malvin Leroy Shamblin and my mothers maiden name Was Wanda Mae Simpson.

    One day while me and my brother Merle were playing with our next door neighbor Pamela Koehn in the backyard, two men in hats and dark sunglasses walked up and carried me and my brother away. They locked us up in a cellar in the country. When my dad paid the ransom to the mobsters, they gave directions to where me and Merle were stashed. Instead of letting the mobsters go, they received a little vigilante justice. Dad and the local business men from around Fairview decided the mobsters fate. They put them in an old electric chair that was on display at a insurance agency and fried them. My uncle John Warren Shamblin had taken me and Merle to the car, so we wouldn’t see the execution. Some of these men had been Nazi war prisoners, and the Nazi’s were tough on crime.

    In a few weeks dad moved us to a farm five miles northeast of Colony Oklahoma. My great grandpa James Shamblin had built it many years earlier, when he was in the brick business, hiring the local Indians. At first I hated it, until dad explained ,that living here would keep us safe from his business enemies. The house didn’t have running water, telephone service, or electricity. Mother and my big sisters would cry almost every day we lived here. It was hard work pumping water for bathes, washing, and the garden. That summer the wind seldom blowed, so we spent hours pumping water, because the windmill didnt turn very often. In July a small tornado carried me and the out house into the sky and deposited me into the road. Thank heaven the out house had a wooden floor, and a strong latch. I was unharmed. This is when I first began roaming the countryside and exploring. We had many relatives in the Colony area, and Tarzan was the television show, that I loved the most. At the time, we couldn’t watch television at our house, because of the lack of electricity. I started school here and had a great teacher named Mrs Risinger. She taught the first and second grades in the same classroom. Later when I was in the 5th grade Colony and Corn schools consolidated and became Washita Heights. Our school was leased from the indian tribe. It was part of Seger’s Indian School. Here was the ideal educational and industrial school where children of the forest and the plains, who were strangers to civilized life, whose parents knew nothing but the chase and the warpath, and who had no conception of farming and industry, were taught to be useful, self supporting members of society. The work was done by the students who were given a share in all crops grown. The farming was planned and all work was done under the supervision of John H. Seger.

    Riding the school bus was terrible because the high school boys, would fist the little kids in the back and twist our arms. So each day I dreaded going to school. But just as soon as the school bus dumped me off, I would run across the peanut field while stripping off my clothes, so I could become Tarzan Lord of the jungle. I would pretend the fields and pastures were Africa. Gradually our bikes and toys become missing. Mother blamed it on, the retarded Ewy brother named Edmund who lived between us and Ghost Mound. His brother Alfred was his guardian and worked for the city of Weatherford. Neither one ever married, yet always managed to be happy. One day I went walking down the road looking for my bike and Army toys, and something big and hairy ran across the road, I didn’t know what it was, yet it scared me lots at the time. So I quit wandering around after dark. A few weeks later something began pulling parts from our chickens. Dad thought it might be an enemy sending us threats so he moved us a year later to a house, that was a mile and a half north of Colony. Dad taught us to always be aware of what was around us. Never walk any place looking at the street or road.

    I was sure happy to live once again in a house filled with modern conveniences. Now that I was seven years old dad began dumping ever more responsibilities on me. Each morning I had to feed the livestock, and work in the fields for eight hours along with my sisters Malva Fay and LaDonna Gail. When I was eight I was expected to move irrigation pipe, along with my sisters, and then work ten hours in the fields. At the end of a hard day, there were always the heavy irrigation pipes to move across the peanuts and cotton. Me and my brother got to sleep in the upstairs part of the house. There were some of a famous Nazi’s old uniforms hanging in the closet, two pairs of his boots, his engraved rifles and swords, and a chest full of his personal effects. Mother wasn’t sure if they belonged to dad or Buell Lasley, the houses former resident. One of the two mom said probably brought them back from Germany as war souvenirs. My dads military records showed he got to watch as the first atom bomb was exploded in New Mexico July 1945, while he watched in the distance. He was one of the few survivors. I took the papers to school for show and tell, and the principal alerted the Army. They came to school and took the classified papers. Said they had sent them to dad by mistake. Now all his records have been sealed permanently. So as a kid I wondered if this famous Nazi had maybe survived and was living in America. Mom cleared the Nazi’s stuff from our room, after about two weeks. When I was eleven me and my brother found 47 sheets of gold coins, under each was a description in a language we could not read. There were about 20 coins on each sheet. Whoever brought the Nazi stuff probably stole these coins from a museum or a millionaires collection in europe. When we showed dad the coins, he zipped out the door with them, and said he was returning them to Buell Lasley the rightful owner. Me and my brother kept one sheet for ourselves and buried them in the backyard, after making a treasure map. When we moved from there in 69, me and my brother couldn’t find the coins. Of course we didn’t have a metal detector because I was only eleven years old. My great grandpa was the first white man, to settle in western Oklahoma among the indians.

    I was seven years old when I joined Cub Scouts in Colony Oklahoma. Our den masters were Herschel and Glen Rhoads plus Clifford Payne. They took turns having the meetings in their homes. Jack McLemore was in charge of the much older Boy Scouts. A year later the Cub and Boy Scouts had a joint camping trip to Paynes Lake. We all had a great time, until bedtime rolled around. Since there were twice as many Boy Scouts as Cub Scouts, they decided to put each Cub Scout in a tent with two Boy Scouts. I was having none of this because big boys beat me up on the school bus every day. So as the rest of the Scouts went to sleep, I wandered around the lake. Clifford Payne stayed up and fed the campfire. He kept a watchful eye on me and my flashlight. Every hour or so he yelled at me to go to bed. Before long he jumped in his pickup and went for my dad. So angry his wheels were spinning in the deep sand. Clifford died in his forties because acting as a deputy sheriff, he entered a drug dealers house in the middle of the night, and got shot. He should have identified himself as law enforcement.

    After he left, I felt it safe to climb twin mound, which is located beside the lake. It was easy because there was a full moon. As I was scanning the lake and pastures around me, I noticed movement near the lakes drain below the dam. It looked as if two tall bears were noodling catfish from under the streams banks. After a while I hurried to the road as dads pickup pulled up. He scolded me and said I could sleep in the truck that night. When I got back to camp, Clifford insisted that dad use his belt on me for being a spoiled baby. Dad got shamed and beat me so bad, I had welts on me for a week. Said no Shamblin in history ever showed any fear and I was a miserable little coward. From that day forward I fought vigorously anyone who hurt me, no matter how big or old they were. Never wanting my dad to feel ashamed of them. That’s how I got my nickname Rooster, ready to swing my fist at a moments notice. And to fight long and hard until there was nothing left in me. Riley was so furious because he thought I made the bear story up, to cover up for not minding him. The next week I went to the encyclopedia and found our bears only live in forests. Trees are in short supply in western Oklahoma. Windbreaks or shelterbelts were planted in a variety of settings, such as on cropland, pasture, and rangeland, along roads, farmsteads, feedlots, and in urban areas. They were established to protect or shelter nearby areas from troublesome winds. They were put in after the Dust Bowl and trees growing around lakes creeks and rivers, and that’s about all. This was my first Bigfoot sighting, unknown to me at the time. Between 8-14 I called them bears, like the ones I had seen at the Oklahoma City zoo. The hairy animal that crossed the road when I was six, most likely was a Bigfoot. It also probably stole our toys and hurt our chickens.

    The next year when I was nine years old my mother hosted a family reunion. After just about everyone had done gone home, me and my cousin Cheryl Renee Goss continued to play under the huge native elm tree, which was about a quarter mile north of the house. I was the first one to notice the bear looking animals running towards us from the west. They probably had been dining on prairie dogs, just over the hill I figured, because there was a bunch of them. I didn’t scream bears or my cousin would not have moved, just begin arguing with me, since she knew bears weren’t in these parts. So I yelled pack of wild dogs at the top of my lungs. This sent Renee racing up the tree, and me following behind, just to make certain she climbed high enough and out of reach. As the bears came running at high speed under the tree I covered Renee’s mouth and eyes to shut her up, or else they would know our location in the heavily leafed tree. Because of the tree branches I couldn’t get a good look at the bears who ran on two legs beneath us. After they crossed the road, they began eating on Richard Humbarger’s peanut vines, and later went into his creek. Renee was crying hysterical as we walked back to the house, and soon both my big sisters came running, to see what was the matter. When I was nine dads mobster friends began hanging around, trying to catch a few words with him. My dad was really rude and seldom said a word to the mobsters, mom ignored them entirely. It was awkward watching television in silence with people who had come so far to do business, knowing they were going to be disappointed. So I decided to entertain them, when they came knocking. I took them fishing at Worth Richmond’s lake about a half mile north of us, and a quarter mile east. The men seemed to enjoy our fishing, and I enjoyed hearing about far away places like Chicago, New York City, Boston, Houston, Moscow, London, Paris, and Berlin. They were ever so anxious to take part in my dads business enterprises. However dad didn’t want any more business partners he said. Dad made contracts with companies to deliver goods, the goods never got delivered and he would split the money with top management. I figured this out from reading dads mail. He also forced people to sell him their mineral rights, refineries to buy stolen crude oil, and ranchers to sell him their cattle and tractors for cents on the dollar. At one point dad had over two hundred oil wells. Some of the locals got to calling him JR Ewing, like the tv show Dallas.

    Ever since I was small I raised many breeds of chickens and sold hatching eggs. My goal has always been to save the rare breeds from extinction. Dad only cared about his fighting chickens which he fought in countries throughout the world. I was in charge of the breeding program for all of the chickens. It was a huge responsibility because dad wagered a huge amount of money on them. He sold his brood cocks for $10,000 -$25,000. And the battle stags sold for $2,500-$4,000. Over the years I got better at selecting breeding stock and our roosters almost never lost in the gaff. In the long knife luck plays a large role, so the better rooster can lose, because the weapons are so lethal. Dad fought lots of mains for between one and five million dollars. I never attended the fights because dad didn’t want me taking up gambling. We moved to the Ghost Mound area when I started the 6th grade. Men who became business partners with my dad soon became broke. So they began mailing threatening letters to the house. Mom and dad felt the move was the safest thing to do. Besides my family had plans to take over horse racing and pro sports, both of which would have a big impact on gambling, if you knew who was going to win. My mothers parents Melvin and Alta Simpson were mostly into importing cocaine from Columbia and heroin from Karachi Pakistan by the tons. Alta sponsored these poor kids through church organizations. When they became old enough she turned them into mules around the world. Both sides of my family were heavily into organized crime. I think on the Herrian side of the family in Corsica, they have been crooks for generations.

    Me and my siblings could all read and write by the time we were five years old. We all represented our schools in competitions. Starting school at Hydro in the 6th grade was okay. None of the high school boys on the school bus wanted to fight the younger boys. Had a great teacher Mrs Opal Hargrave. Besides school work, she had us growing plants and making ceramics. My dad tried his best so that we kept a low profile, so nobody would report him to the feds. In the seventh grade he quit letting mobster associates visit. We were required to attend church every Sunday and Wednesday, so we wouldn’t turn out like my dad. However many people in the area still knew about my dads wicked ways. Many Sundays we had to hear the sermons about my dads sinful ways. It was in 1970 that I learned about my dads other marriages, from a friend at school. Seems he had five wives prior to my mother, and never messed with divorcing any of them. He was 30 and mother 19 when they married. I kept the information secret from mother until dad died in 1999 from lung cancer. Living one half mile east, and a half mile north from Ghost Mound was a blast. Each day nearly me and my brother would climb it, and look over the countryside. Sometimes we would see the bears walking upright across the cotton and peanut fields. This didn’t keep me from playing tarzan and running nude along the creeks fields and pastures. Animals got to know me from my roaming and leaving food for them. Each day I chopped up five gallons of fruits, vegetables and meat, and scattered them along my paths. Soon some of the animals began following me, and I felt just like Tarzan. I carried a long spear as I ran, just in case any mean cow or bull, wanted to chase me. Near Thanksgiving of 1970 when I was twelve years old, me and my brother just go off the Hydro school bus, and was putting our school books away. When through the front door a man walked in carrying a pistol. He told me and my brother to get into the deep freeze. It was a new one, mother had just began to use. So there was plenty of room in the chest freezer. The keys were still in the lock. Guess he wanted to have my parents discover two frozen sons. We tried very hard to break the lock using our legs and back. When we ran out of oxygen, we took breaths through the drainage hole, which I cleared by pushing the pencil I found in my pocket through. Eventually the lock broke, and we escaped. That was the second time we had almost been killed by dads enemies. I prayed he would quit cheating people. Rex Bottom told my mother, that I had been running the creeks like a wild boy, not even wearing any clothes. I thought I was careful not to be seen by the neighbors. So August 1970 my days of pretending to be tarzan ended with shame. Dad made me any my sisters practice using the guns every tuesday night. He was always afraid somebody would harm us, while he was away on weekends.

    Johnny Mays had a farm pond a quarter mile up the canyon from ours. We enjoyed fishing there and catching frogs and camping. Often we would see bears east off at a distance with their young cubs. Now I believe they were actually Bigfoot families. We would be scared and climb the trees, figuring the tree branches couldn’t support their weight, and home was too far to run to without getting caught. My brother was two and a half months younger than me, born December 8th 1960. When my brother Merle was in the 5th grade he invited Dennis Dick to come spend the night at our house from school. Merle had already been to his house several times. I recall this day very well. After getting off the school bus, Merle and I took Dennis Dick to climb Ghost Mound. At the top of the peak the height and high wind terrified my brother’s friend. Fearing he would be blown off, he clung to a large boulder on the top. I had to drag him down several hundred feet, as he kept grabbing the boulders on the way down, and I had to pry his fingers loose. We spent the next few hours fishing at the pond behind the house. I didn’t want to share our room with my brothers friend, so I suggested he and Merle have a campout. Telling them it should be loads of fun. We had a Rambler station wagon parked under a huge cottonwood tree, that we didn’t use any longer. Dennis refused to sleep in a tent, because he heard the coyotes off in the distance. But I convinced him sleeping in the station wagon would be safe, he could even roll up the windows and lock the doors, if he got scared. I made a bed for them in the station wagon, then retired to my bedroom. At about 3:00am I heard muffled voices coming through my open bedroom window. I climbed through the window, so I would not awaken my cranky dad. As I walked up in the bright moonlight, I could see the station wagons windows were rolled up, and it wasn’t even raining. The car was rocking back and forth, so the boys must be playing inside. All the sudden I saw some tall dark shadow flee from jerking the door handle. So I ran across the yard for a baseball bat. The boys were badly shaken up and didn’t want to leave the safety of the car. So I decided to sleep in the front car seat for the rest of the night to protect them, from whoever it was. About an hour later, while I was fast asleep. Someone began jerking on the doors, and hitting the windows hard with their fists. The car was under the tree, so its shadow kept the moonlight away. The flashlight my brother and his friend were using lost its charge, and the car wouldn’t start, so I couldnt drive away. Because the battery was low. The light from the inside car lights didn’t help me identify the attacker. And I was only thirteen years old, no match for a big criminal. Finally I thought to honk the horn, and out came my dad with a 45 Colt automatic pistol in both hands. We yelled it was only us, then he cussed and sent us to bed. The next day we looked over the station wagon and it was covered in scratches and the entire top of the car was caved in. Dad then sold it for junk to the Hydro Salvage Yard.

    It was on a windy hot scorching day in mid July 1972, that I finally laid eyes on Bigfoot. Dad had requested that we help Richard Waters out with chopping weeds from his cotton. The day earlier we had chopped the weeds from the farm, in which he lived on. He had a hippie couple working for him from California. They were middle aged and used drugs while they worked. They were suppose to meet us the next day, at Richard Waters cotton field north of Hydro on the South Canadian River. His son Rodney Waters has later since built a home there. When we arrived at 1:00pm the small foreign car was parked next to the field and a small table was set up with sandwiches and potato salad. Only a bite or two was taken from the sandwich and salad. We looked around for the couple but couldn’t find them, in this remote area. Mother said they probably got too hot and walked down to the river for a swim. There was an old farm house on the property, that nobody had lived in for decades. Next to the house was a big peach tree, full of big ripe peaches. Me, my oldest sister LaDonna, and little brother Merle headed up our rows, in the baking heat. My mother Wanda and sister Malva went over to the tree, to get a peach. We just had lunch so the rest of us, were not hungry. After me Merle and LaDonna were about four city blocks down our rows, we began wondering what was taking mother and Malva, so long to start up their rows. Suddenly mother came rushing from behind the old house and was waving her arms frantically. We all figured they got into a nest of yellow jacket wasps, and was trying to fend them off. A few minutes later Malva went running for the car. We thought she got stung several times, and was wanting to go home. All the sudden one of the bears, like what I have seen while growing up, was walking along the barbed wire fence north in our direction. Mother went dashing to the car, and was trying to get Malva to unlock the doors, so she could drive the car to us. The bear moved forward until it was across from us. The car was too far away to make a run for it. I was 14, but my little brother was just 11 at the time, and couldn’t run very fast. I tried to talk my brother and sister into making a run for it, while I kept it busy chasing me, by running close to it. LaDonna decided our best chance was to stick together. So I came up with the idea to charge the bear, and yell while swinging our heavy steel hoes. As it crossed the fence and got closer, it became quite obvious that it wasn’t a bear. It looked like a big hairy human with huge jaws and bright golden eyes like a lemur. If you look up Homo Erectus, it will give you a good idea what the Bigfoot looked like. It looked very angry and I figured we were all dead. However we charged the beast and it stopped dead in its tracks. We began shouting and charging once again and the Bigfoot turned and walked over to the fence and crossed it. It stood and looked at us for about three or four minutes, doing what appeared to be sign language with its hands. Then it turned and ran, like nothing I had ever seen. Its running stride must have covered 30 feet. And it ran as fast as a cheetah. It kept its body perfectly 90 degrees as it ran, Its head could turn and watch us ,as it ran away without stopping. Several minutes later some Army helicopters flew over, probably from Fort Sill Oklahoma. They were flying low and in the same direction that Bigfoot went. I thought maybe this beast was something that belonged to the Army. Some type of remote controlled robot. So my fear went away. I just couldnt get a grip on what we just saw, because it made no sense to me. The couple never came after their belongings from Richard Waters house, and he eventually had the car towed away. I guess the Bigfoot must have killed them before we arrived. I dont believe Richard ever reported the couple as missing.

    Dad was farming partners with forty or more farmers. He provided the tractor machinery and seed, and they provided the land labor and irrigation if needed. We were not allowed to report the Bigfoot sighting because dad didn’t want the extra attention. In fact he never allowed us to call the law. He always preferred taking care of problems himself. When I was sixteen we moved from Hydro to Weatherford, which was okay by me. Just about every man and boy in Hydro is bisexual, so I never wanted them as friends. The coaches liked to kick me and walk on my hands while I was doing push ups. Some of the other teachers beat me with the paddle for no reason. It made them feel really big beating up on Bud Shamblin’s son. They didn’t have the courage to stand up to him, so they took out their frustration on me. I never told dad about it because I knew they would end up hospitalized or in an accident. Many of the local farmers had lost farms to dad in poker games. From the first day we moved to south airport road the trouble began. In 1974 we moved in a house from Colony, to a location a mile and a half south on Airport Road and a quarter east. Our address was Rt 5 Box 164 Weatherford Oklahoma 73096. The first day the house was moved in somebody knocked out the windows. A week later somebody stole all the power tools. So we built a shop which had a strong lock. After a few months of remodeling we moved in. However the bad stuff kept happening such as moms veggie garden would get raided, and the fruit trees would get pulled out of the ground. Eventually we got everything established in the garden and in the orchard. We built a barn and chicken coops to house my 50 breeds of chickens and jungle fowl. It was a constant battle stopping the thieves and vandals from stealing our things and destroying our automobiles. Even though I stayed up all night long sometimes, I never caught the vandals and thieves. We kept a big chest freezer in the shop full of steak to eat. One night somebody ripped off the entire lid and stole all the meat. We then had dads best friend Floyd Goss install lighting all around the property. I loved watching wildlife so I always spread peanut butter and honey on our back fence posts. So I could watch the deer raccoons and opossums. This may have been what first attracted our unwanted guests. Vandals would drive steel fence posts through our car tires, drive wooden spears through our car and truck radiators, hurl bricks from the canyon near to us, send waves of homemade arrows at us. And many more wacky things. We had no idea who the crazy people were. Why didn’t they just puncture our tires with a cordless drill, or shoot store bought arrows at us.

    A few years later when I was 22 years old the puzzle began coming together. Ripe strawberries, currants, and blackberries began disappearing, before mother had the opportunity to pick them. The sheets that she put on the clothes line would be ripped to pieces, while she was indoors cooking meals. One Friday morning when dad was on his way, out of town for the weekend as always, he found a pickup that was totally destroyed, and the seat had been torn out and was missing. This sent my dad into a rage, and he went door to door in the neighborhood, trying to find the guilty person. While he was gone, I threw all of his guns into the pond behind our hous. Dad never really forgave me for that, although I knew it was the right thing to do. I had a pen of really huge Poland China sows, where the vegetable garden use to be. Mother finally gave up having a garden because seventy percent of it would end up get stolen. These 800 pound sows were really mean from being tormented by the vandals. I was selling show pigs to kids in 4H and FFA club. Most of the sows had already farrowed and were suckling pigs in the garden. Mother went to check on the last sow to farrow one morning and came running back to the house yelling one of the sows is eating a gorilla leg. As I began to dress, I thought what she was seeing was probably a large dog or coyote being eaten. I did know pigs love the taste of meat. Once there was a car wreck by Carnegie, where the car landed in a pig pen. By the time help came the people were already eaten. If a chicken ever got caught in the pig pen, it was quickly devoured. As I rushed upon the scene I found a sow with a large leg in its mouth. The leg was covered in short brown fur. The calf of the leg was just as large as the thigh. The sows kept trying to bite me because of the baby pigs, so I had to keep kicking they away with my cowboy boots. The sow wouldn’t release the leg, so I could take it to my college for inspection. I was a senior at SWOSU. I went into the house and got the pistol mother kept in her purse, to shoot the sow, so I could retrieve the leg. When I returned two sows had began eating on the thigh portion of the leg. It looked like I was going to have to shoot three sows to get at the mysterious leg. Mother came up behind me with a stick of firewood, and it was lights out. By the time I came to, the leg had long since been devoured. So now I began to figure it was the Bigfoots that had been tormenting us. Like the one we saw in the cotton field eight years earlier. We must live near their village I thought, or a place special to them. Why else would they spend six years trying to run us off. I told mother it was just a cows leg the dogs had drug up. The truth would have made her too scared to sleep at night or leave the safety of the house. Mother apologized for hitting me over the head, with a stick of firewood. She said the neighbors would have called the law, if I began killing all three sows.

    I bought three male Old English Mastiffs to protect us from Bigfoots and thieves. Each of them weighed over 200 pounds and were lean and strong. Lots of chickens were getting stolen, and I wasn’t certain Bigfoot was the blame for all of it. Because our gamefowl was very expensive, so cockers who couldn’t afford them, might be inclined to steal them. Many of my rare breed chickens were European and Asian imports and I had a small fortune invested in them. The dogs did a great job protecting the acre of land ,we were living on. Rottweilers and German Shepherds we had died from a broken neck or broken ribs. So finally we were having no problems here. Some of my friends brought over their trail hounds and we scoured the local sections for signs of Bigfoot. They lost several dogs to wooden spears and primitive arrows, so they called off the hunts. They figured some psycho must be livng on the local creeks. I don’t think I ever convinced them there were Bigfoots. My friends tend to believe only what they see, with their own two eyes. It wasn’t long before cattle and horses near to us, began getting mutilated. Their legs being bound with heavy gauge barbed wire, and meat cut from their body, with them still alive and writhing in agony. Knives were always getting stolen from our tackle boxes, in fact all the fishermen in my area were losing hunting knives and fishing equipment from their fishing camps. Seems ole Bigfoot likes to steal what he can use.

    It was Christmas 1984 and many relatives were joining us for Christmas. We were busy opening the presents, when my brother looked out the kitchen window and whispered Dennis somebody is carrying away your chickens over the back fence. It was beginning to get dark and the yard light couldn’t illuminate the area because of the barn. I sprang to my feet and ran to the fence and climbed over it. It just struck me. I hope this thief isn’t armed. The thief came into view with the chickens in each hand. I grabbed his arm and demanded he release them. All the sudden this huge fist struck me in the jaw, and drove me back six feet into the small cedar trees. This made me terribly mad because I wasn’t being hostile towards him. In a few seconds I responded with four quick jabs to his stomach, and heard him lose his wind. I was a scrappy 6ft6 300 pound kick boxer who hammered his thick skull and hairy body. All the sudden he began biting and scratching me with these huge finger nails. Next he flung me into the cedar trees, where my brother had built a tree house. I yelled for my brother and cousin to get back across the barbed wire fence, because we were no match for this giant of a man. It clamped its huge hands around my throat, I knew this guy was planning to finish me off. So I screamed at the top of my lungs to release the dogs. We had them in pens because of the relatives being here. My mothers cousin Dorthy Nelson from Tonkawa Oklahoma was running our way, she had pulled her revolver from her purse, planning to rescue me. In the darkness she could accidentally shoot me by mistake. When she heard me scream for the release of the dogs, she stopped and opened their doors. The dogs were already foaming at the mouth, ready to bite my attacker. They hit Bigfoot like a freight train, pushing him into the ground. I was terrified they would bite me by accident. The Bigfoot screamed in pain as the punishing jaws tore at his flesh. From the scream, I knew it was not human. Soon Bigfoot was up and running with the mastiffs on his heels. When they took me to the emergency room, I was covered in bites and scratches. I have no idea what the emergency department thought about all my unusual wounds. Dad said I looked like a bear had attacked me. It fractured my skull and bruised me from head to toe.

    My family moved from here in 1992. I moved a girlfriend in, and we stuck it out until 1994. Eventually all my dogs died at the hand of a Bigfoot, wooden arrows, wooden spears, cement blocks, and beaten with a fence post. Even electric fences didn’t stop them. Meth makers began taking over the area, so my family moved away. It seemed every place I moved the Bigfoots would soon follow. Neighbors complained that someone was trying to scare them in a gorilla or bear suit. We would have the same pounding on our walls at night. I contacted the Bigfoot research people, and sure enough Bigfoots were being spotted in my vicinity. I have no clue why these creatures are attracted to me. Finally I moved so far away, that they might never find me.

  38. wilson hara

    I’m wilson, 37 year old Japanese female. I was a quiet child for 2 reasons : 1. By nature, am shy. 2. My mother suffered from migraines, my father didn’t live with us, silence was expected.
    Here is a timeline of my life.

    Am 5 years old. Someone gives me a book about badgers. The badgers are my friends.

    First day of school in L.A. Some girls surround me, stuff oranges down my t-shirt and lock me in the toilet. Quickly lose interest in “joining in”. Instead I read during break. I also dig up worms and scare the other girls. They leave me alone.

    Go to the U.K. Go to church every Monday, I like the stories.
    First time in a public library : happy day.

    Am 9. We move to Paris. The American School has a fantastic library. I read The Last of the Mohicans, it bores the crap out of me. I read The Lord of the Flies, and love it. I read the usual stuff, Nancy Drew…

    I get a Walkman, music becomes as important as books.
    I check out a book called Carrie. I begin reading it on the bus:

    Carrie is born on the 21st of September, same as me. Am surprised.
    I read the shower scene. Shocking behavior.
    King tells me a little bit about sex. Am interested.
    He also uses rude words. Interest level increases.
    Carrie goes to the prom, and I can’t wait.
    Blood and death. Best thing I’ve ever read.

    22 years old. By now, am reading non-fiction too : biographies, history (have developed an interest in the 2 world wars but especially the period of ‘peace’ between them). Start to actually enjoy poetry and mythology.
    Start to write.
    Read Madame Bovary. Believe that Flaubert is a genius. Am discouraged.

    Read M. Atwood and Murakami. Others too, but these authors make me sit up.

    Read. Write. Listen to music. Start to paint.

    I have a baby.

    Read the Da Vinci Code. Many others are doing the same thing. I stop at page 50. I read the last chapter and laugh. Am feeling very hopeful, am pretty sure will be a millionaire soon. I sit down to write my own version of the Code. It’s not as easy as I thought.

    Go back to writing my usual stuff.

    Share my stories on Writer’s Digest. Glad I did.
    I’m thinking of doing the nanowrimo. Will any of you be participating? Or if you have done so already, any advice?

    1. wilson hara

      Consciously or not, I left out a date and this bothers me.
      Earthquake and tsunami : I am… Hurt and scared. So I write more quickly. I stop reading novels. Then I start again, most recently ‘the devotion of suspect x’.

      1. DMelde

        hi wilson. i hope to do the national novel writing month too. i’ve never done it before so i really can’t give any good advice. i’ve thought up my beginning, middle, and end, and i feel ready to write. i probably won’t visit writers digest during that time because 50,000 words in thirty days seems like it will take up all of my time. happy writing!

    2. Ishmael

      Hey Wilson (and DMelde and Onaway)!

      Long time, no see…been busy myself on a multitude of projects, but you’ve sure been missed! Great to read what inspired everybody’s journeys into the world of writing. DMelde…the other day someone mentioned that I was Owl from Winnie the Pooh. Hadn’t thought of Winnie in forever, so it was funny how you wrote about it.

      Glad that you are doing the NaNo. Me, too. I’ve got my blog up and running full steam now and have been discussing it. There’s a link there to my NaNo page, if you’d like to add me as your buddy.

      Guess what my story is about? Monty Tucker! Yeah, the short I wrote a long time ago. Of course, it’s evolved…Monty is now the kid’s name…no dialect in the narrative (but some in the dialogue, depending on the character). I took out the narrative dialect due to the feedback in here. See? Posting stories and receiving constructive critiques is so beneficial!

      When things settle down (it’s been incredibly busy), I’ll fit in the prompts again. Just too many other irons in the fire.

      Good to see you and read your stories.

      – Ishmael

  39. Adrian Majerle

    Why do I write? Well, I’m good at it. Everyone does things because they’re good at it, but do they enjoy it? That answer is yes whenever I seize that chance to write my own poems or fiction. This happens on a Sunday or when I’m done with my papers and other homework for college. It helps me relax and gets me excited even if I have a stressful week.

    I started writing because of my first Creative Writing class in high school. Writing was something I had never thought about but I was sure glad I did, then. I wrote stories but never finished a single one of them, so I turned to poetry where I was mildly successful. I wrote a couple deep emotional poems as a tenth grader. One of them I lost and another I published this past year at eighteen years old.

    I’m not sure when I wanted to be a writer. Perhaps it was as soon as I was published the second time because that was the publication that mattered to me. One time publication might have been a fluke but I knew after the second time that my words were something special. I shared excerpts of my stories with my friends, and they told me that if I kept writing I could have it made in the writing world. I beamed and kept writing, but I could never persevere enough to actually cross the finish line of writing “The End”. I never came close to the revision stage. That’s the hump I’m trying to get over now, finishing, and I hope to do so with my next novel.

  40. catbr

    I have always loved books and learning all of my life. Spending time at the library researching different topics helped me maintain my sanity as a stay at home mom so I was mainly into non fiction for quite some time. But then when the kids grew up I found I loved fiction. It helped take the edge off of reality and provided a haven for a head vacation of sorts. For years about the only things I would write were poetry and various daily journal entries. It was only this year that I decided to try fiction writing and take it a little more seriously. I know I lack the skills and the education, but the desire is there as is the imagination. Someday my writing might improve or all of this might just fizzle away…but who wants to be a filthy rich famous writer anyway?


  41. AAG.Writes

    Seems as if there’s two kinds of books that inspire others to write: bad ones and good ones. We figure we can best the bad ones, and we aspire to equal the good ones. The first adult book I remember reading for pleasure, which prompted the urge to write something of my own, was “Alone Against Tomorrow,” by Harlan Ellison. This was one of the good ones. I was twelve or thirteen years of age at the time, and I was struck by the distinctive power and passion of the writing. That’s what I wanted to do: express concepts and images with that same bold facility. Over the years I’ve read some bad ones, too, which charity prevents me from naming here, that left me shaking my head saying, “I can write better than this.”

  42. LeahBeah14

    I’ve always loved stories. And it didn’t have to be a book. Movies, TV, even music lyrics tell a stories. When I read a book or watched a movie, my mind would always drift into “what if?” What if I was that character? What if I was in that situation. My mind would be spinning faster than the elliptical at the gym. I “wrote” adventures in my head more so than on a page. It wasn’t until high school when I really started writing. I’m a hopeless romantic (sigh, cliches), so one day I was listening to..please don’t get mad at me…Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” and decided to write down my own version of a dreamlover. Then, I crafted a heroine and wrote my first love story. Now, I write more about family relationships, but it’s that cheesy, overly dramatic story that propelled me into the world of writing.

  43. TEMiranda

    As with many folks, I have been writing since I was very young but I always felt I needed “professional” validation in order to consider myself a writer. Well, my validation arrived a few years ago when my nine-year-old daughter and I came across a sealed envelope while rummaging through dusty old boxes in the forgotten depths of my basement. Her name was written all over it with bold black marker. It was my handwriting, I obviously prepared it, but I could not recall what it was. We opened it together, her smiling all the while and me hiding back my fear of what could be inside.

    What we found was a long eight-page, printed letter of how my husband and I met and how our complicated, frustrating, unromantic, yet once-in-a-lifetime love affair resulted in the birth of our beautiful daughter. It was addressed to my daughter and was dated a few months before she was born. She read it aloud, asking at different points if what she was reading was true, and gave me the biggest hug when she was done. She finally knew how me and daddy fell in love and became the family we are today.

    Then she said, “Mommy, this was such a good story. Why did you write this?”

    “Because I wanted you to know how mommy and daddy met, fell in love, and started our life together. I wrote it for you to read.”

    “Do you like writing?” she asked.

    “I love to write.”

    “You should write stories. This was really good. You should be a writer.”

    And that was it; that was the moment when I realized I had to do it. What kind of example would I be to my daughter if I didn’t do what I love to do? It wasn’t the professional validation that I was expecting, but it was the push I needed to actually think of myself as a writer. If you have children you know they can be painfully honest, and her simple off-the-cuff assessment made me so excited that I took a fiction class in NYC with Gotham and started my first novel shortly afterwards. Now, I am on my second book as part of a series, and hopefully more will come.

  44. Birdee0809

    I’m a life-long reader and daydreamer. I’ve always felt I was a good writer but I focused it more for work than anything else, although I remember college English and the teacher giving a five thousand word assignment and the entire class groaning while I was saying to myself ‘how am I going to keep it to only five thousand words?’

    I’ve always loved animals and a few years ago my friends dog died and I wrote a little something for her. Then I wrote another something a few years later when the next dog died. They weren’t really stories or poems, just some kind thoughts and remembrances.

    A couple of years ago this same friend’s father died and I wrote a story of his journey to Rainbow Bridge. If you’re not familiar with Rainbow Bridge, I pasted it below. Basically, it’s the place our pets go when they die and they stay there to wait for us to die and then you all cross over to Heaven together.

    It wasn’t a long story, only about 1,500 words but I had the time of my life writing it and making up what Rainbow Bridge looked like and what the animals do there and I decided that I wanted to be a writer.

    I’ve spent the last couple years doing a lot of practicing, reading books, surfing writing websites, listening to podcasts, etc. I’ve entered a few contests but have not won anything yet.

    When I look back on the writing two years ago and compare it to my writing now, I feel I’ve come a long way. Right now I have to finish up a couple short stories and then I want to start a book. It may never get published but I don’t care, I love to write and I’m excited every day to come home and get at it.

    And that’s the story of me.

    Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown

  45. Sierra

    For as long as I can remember it’s all I have wanted to be. I have loved to write since I was little, and I do so everyday. If I’m not reading, which I also seem to do a lot, I am writing. And I love it. I want nothing more than to write everyday for the rest of my life, whether I make a career of it or not. It’s a huge part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  46. CLadeelee

    I write because it’s where I express my feelings, my thoughts, my goals and the writing aspect, and typing is every therapeutic for me. I’ve been writing at 9 years old, when I first started my own journal. I write to keep my mind free of worries and letting them out frees my mind to more creative things, I have a creative mind and part of that is to be able to share/write my ideas down where I can refer to them again. I love to write!

  47. surprizezunltd

    I do not know why, but writing does give me a high. When I am writing something, I feel very close to the situation that I describe in words. I generally write about the experiences that I have had in my life. But at times, I do write about the things that I have not done. They generally include a description of a place that I have not been to; or I write about describing a feeling that I am yet to experience. For instance, once I was about to meet a friend of mine whom I had not met personally in the last 5 years. Just few days before meeting him, I was so excited that I could not sleep properly during the nights. I would just keep on wondering what all I would do when I will meet him. And when I actually ended up living the dream, I loved to tally my writing to the real life situation of meeting him.

    Till now I have never cooked up my real life to my writing, but at times I do feel my real life gets molded the way my writing comes up.

    I have been blogging and ghost writing since some time. Though I do not earn a modest living out of my writing yet, but the creative satisfaction that I receive while writing and getting appreciated after submitting my work to my clients is tremendous.

  48. Morgan Le Fables

    It was on the day I pulled my bicycle out of the river.

    As I dragged my muddy bike out of the water — after having tumbled off my unwieldy cycle, taking a spill to the ground along the underused riverside roadway — I mused that I had two possible future career paths based on my main hobbies… cycling and reading.

    I’d reached a critical point in my line of work and struggled to find any enthusiasm for web design. So I decided that I could work towards becoming either a full time writer or a bicycle messenger. After the river incident, writing seemed much less risky.

    On the long 8 mile walk home, I had the time to think and make a pact with myself. I set myself the 30 day challenge of writing 500 creative words a day, everyday for a month. I viewed this as an opportunity to break through my decade long writers block by attempting to make writing a habit, (rather than sit and wait another decade for inspiration to hit me).

    For a while, in my late teens to early twenties, I struggled through the writers right of passage, otherwise known as the ‘Rejection Letter Gauntlet’. For around 3 months I wrote sporadically, getting the odd article and readers letter published, before I was hit by a writers block that didn’t last a few days or weeks… it lasted years.

    Fast forward ten years or so later, and the world’s internet usage boomed. And along with it brought the e-publishing revolution. I started to read about writers who’d independently published their work, managing to reach out to a wide and varied reading audience; something an independent aspiring writer could have only dreamt of a mere decade ago.

    That is when the writing bug hit me. I wanted to be read and have my work enjoyed by readers around the world. And with the internet, that possibility could be realised.

    All those years ago I wanted to be a writer, but in name only. I didn’t have the intrinsic need to be a writer. The kind of need that manifests itself as a little opinionated voice in the back of your head, always bursting with new ideas that are eager to be written down.

    After completing my 30 day creative writing challenge — those few weeks of reading, writing and studying the art of short stories — I realised that not only had I developed a writing habit, I’d also nurtured a burning need to write. No longer was I someone who thought trying to pen a few words everyday was a daydream. Instead I’d become someone who daydreams through a pen. And I hope I stay that way.


    Authors Note :: Nothing else to say except its all true. :) And that my bicycle is now all cleaned and fixed up.

    1. TEMiranda

      I kick-started my first novel that way too, writing everyday for two months. I found a quote “I only write when I am inspired, and I make sure I am inspired every day at 9 AM.” by Peter DeVries. I printed it, posted it on the wall next to my bed and for the next few months I wrote almost every day (except for me it was more like 7 PM, when the kids were winding down). Thank goodness for coffee and my ability to function with only five hours of sleep.

  49. LetMeBeYourStar51

    My love of writing came at a pretty young age. I’ve always loved making up stories and creating illustrations to go along with them (even though the illustrations were less than spectacular) and I’ve been a bit of a book worm since I was little. However, I would say I age 13 was when I really started. I had an assignment in health class in which I had to write a sad song. Around this time I was grieving the loss of my nephew. I used his loss as a template for my assignment. When the entire class responded positively, it made me feel good because I had wrote it from the heart, and it defiantly wasn’t easy for me to express just how sad I was. After that, I edited the song a little, and sent it to a contest where it was published in a poem anthology. At 13, it made me feel like I was good at something besides quoting movies from memory. From then on, I had so many ideas in my head on what would make good stories. I joined a teenage quiz/story/fan fiction site when I was 16 and wrote short stories for fun. I was shocked when I got positive feedback, and I kept writing one story after another. Now, writing is something I really want to do along with teaching. At the beginning of my college career, I took two creative writing courses and did well in them. I’ve submitted my short stories to contests, and although I haven’t won or placed in any of them, I’m still proud of the work I’ve done because I enjoyed it and just entering a contest is good experience. I have a few ideas for novels racking around in my brain and I’ve started writing some of them. My only problem is, when I get an idea for a story or novel, I have to start it right away because it’s fresh in my mind and I want to at least write it out so I know where I can go with it. Even though I’ve always loved writing and creating stories, I’d have to say that the poem I wrote for my late nephew really started everything because I’m not really comfortable with expressing my feelings to others and I felt that writing really helped me say what I want to say and helps me now whenever I’m stressed or there is something I want to bring light to.

  50. mokingjay

    When I was around seven or eight I found myself for the first time waiting for a book in a series to come out. IT was the 13th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. While waiting I wrote the only work of fan fiction I have ever completed. I wrote the 13 book. I planned out all the chapters and gave it a good happy ending. (you know, parents turn out not to be dead after all, Olaf died and everyone was happy.) As far as I can remember that really started it, and I haven’t really stopped since. I’ve written a few long things, but with school, and a problem with carrying a plot, I do mainly short stories. Writing has become one of those things that make me who I am. I wouldn’t be me without writing. Most of my hobbies, (singing, ballet, contemporary dance, and guitar) involve hard work and exercise. With writing, I just write, that’s it. Every word is a unique work of art. And unlike a song or a dance, you don’t just keep it in your memory. You can keep it forever.

    1. onaway

      Hey there- I can sing and dance and play guitar without hard work and excercise… it just isn’t any good. I agree, every word is a unique work of art, and that takes time and practice to recognize, and make others recognize it. So keep reading and writing, kiddo.

      Having said all that, I enjoy your stories, keep up the good work.
      (hopefully the above comment will benefit everyone, I think, and it fulfilled my take on the prompt this week so thanks for letting me leave it here)

  51. marniejade_99

    The blank page has always beckoned me with its siren call. When I was growing up, I kept a journal, and unlike the other kids, I enjoyed the writing assignments given to us in school. I had an active imagination that often got me into trouble, and writing was a safe way for me to release it.

    When I was a teenager I had dreams of writing the next great novel. It involved a girl, a demon and a little book of spells and the resultant damage caused by the three. I spent hours happily writing. I pictured myself sitting at my first book signing while my many fans waited to catch a glimpse of me. I never finished the project because my attention span was short, and I grew frustrated when I realized just how hard writing was. It was at that point that I developed a severe case of writer’s block. The blank page still called to me, but I had lost interest in answering it.

    When I reached my 30s it was as if a dam had broken and all of these ideas and images came bursting forth. My mind was flooded, and I couldn’t write fast enough. The subjects that I wrote about were political in nature. This was after September 11th, and my American patriotism was strong. I filled page upon page of my ideas of what it meant to be an American, what our founding fathers had imagined for our nation, and my thoughts on where we had gone wrong. I never shared my writing with anyone because I was afraid of their reaction or outright laughter. I was a closet writer filling the blank pages one after another, but telling no one.

    Writing became my private escape as I started journaling. I spent hours pouring out my heart and soul, filling my notebooks with my emotions, thoughts, and opinions. Writing became a private hobby, something I did in my spare time.

    My desire to pursue writing openly was born after my dad died in 2010; death creating life in a figurative way. I realized how fragile life was, and that our days on this earth are limited. I decided to stop hiding my words from the eyes of others. Writing also saved me after my dad passed away by helping me to release my emotions and pain onto the blank page. I wrote about my grief, my dad’s life and how his death affected me and my family. Writing became a way of honoring his memory, and hopefully a way of offering support to others.

    I no longer write in private. I write to escape, to rant, and to share my knowledge, but mostly I write just because I want to. I share my words in the hope that my thoughts offer support, enjoyment and insight to others. I proudly say that I am an aspiring writer with no fear of recriminations. The blank pages will always beckon and now I gladly answer their call.

  52. Andy Brackett

    Why Do I Write? (490 words.)
    I write, yet I don’t believe myself a writer…yet. Writing for me began, as I would think, in the same way it does for most writers. By reading.
    It starts with being read to. By listening to stories of Green Eggs and Ham, Uncle Wiggly’s adventures and The Hardy Boys mysteries. These stories and more helped develop an imagination, of seeing the life and characters as though living the adventure with them. It also creates a yearning for more stories, more adventure, more action. So one starts to read on one’s own.
    In grade school I found myself voraciously devouring a series of books by an author that now escapes my memory. His stories were of the action/adventure genre, and the main character, (was it Nick Fury? No, but something along these lines.) was a heroes hero, a mans man. A defender of good and vanquisher of evil. Green beret, master of all weapons and skilled fighter. It was in this vein of writing that I wrote my first story.
    It was a project for my English class in I’m guessing 8th year of school. I remember how much I enjoyed writing the story and how excited I was to receive an A for my efforts. I did not stick with it though and lost the desire for some time. We moved shortly thereafter, and a few times more after that. Writing for me became more of a passing whim picked up and put down when I fancied. The writing became shorter, lyrics, poems, little odes to feelings and my own insecurities.
    A few years ago, after finding myself unemployed and with more idle time on my hands, I found sites like Daily Writing Tips and Freelance Writers Journal. Theses piqued my curiosity and rekindled the desire to write. An early success was entering an original poem in an online competition. It didn’t win, but was fun and exciting to watch the votes stacking up for awhile.
    I had also started with the local ToastMasters club, which not only taught me to speak well, but encouraged me to write more as the more speeches I prepared the more I had to write them! I so enjoyed this process.
    My next (futile) attempt at writing was participating in last years National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I went in to this endeavor blindly. No outline, no plot, no characters…nothing. I stared at a blank screen for what seemed an eternity. And then, something magical happened. I simply started to write. Word after word flowed out of me and before I knew it I had Sebastian’s Creed. Oh what fun this was!
    Again, I stalled. I never finished NaNoWriMo last year, nor have I finished Sebatian’s Creed. But, still I write, and this year I will again attempt NaNoWriMo, as well as these weekly writer’s prompts, (this being number 3) and someday, someday I hope to call myself…a writer.

  53. humblebee

    The voices of my childhood storytellers.
    Had it not been for my father giving me wings to fly with Peter and Wendy, my mother encouraging me to believe in magical far away places, and my grandfather belly laughing with me for endless hours at tall tales of his own creating, the forest of words in my mind would never have flourished.
    Being read to and read to with enthusiasm that brought characters to life, was what made me know from a very young age that I wanted to be a writer.
    Every significant moment in my life is accompanied by a book title. Some because of the book itself and others because I turned to turning pages when I needed them most. And with every page turned, every wound healed, every fear overcome, or even important relationships formed, I carried a yearning in my very core to make someone feel, with my written word, the way these authors had made me feel in those significant moments.
    It began for me at the age of four with a book titled “No More Monsters For Me” and now years later with many veins of story telling cut and bled onto the blank pages of my life, I read to my own children with the same enthusiasm that was read to me and hope that soon their mom will be a published author worthy of a bent spine in the hands of another.

  54. handyman43127

    No yellow brick road to illuminate the way to go. Without a good witch to encourage me along the way I was just a shy nine year old boy with a vivid imagination and no outlet. Barricaded within the wall’s of my room and hour’s of empty solitude I suppose writing my thought’s and adventure’s on paper was more of a defense mechanism than anything else. Tucked away in the secret folder I kept hidden from all eye’s except my own, my dream’s remained locked away for the year’s that were spent traveling in an attempt to provide for the family I had started, at eighteen years of age. Time for a hobby was not an option, I wanted to be a good provider.

    With travel my means of employment personal relationships also had little to no room in my life, there was just no time. Friendships were more casual and usually focused around work. Through the year’s the solitude provided by my employment was not noticed by me because I was just so very busy all of the time.

    The kid’s grown and finding their place in this world I find myself alone again and the solitude coming back to visit like the only friend I ever had time for. Packed with a trunk full of memories and no more skill’s for writing than I had as a child I begin the process once again, funny how life never forgets.

  55. KirstenB

    Try again …

    I’ve been told that I’ve been writing since I learned how to form words. Before that I would draw to express any feelings or thoughts going round in my little body, or else take the tune from a song I knew and liked and tell my story to it. It just seemed natural to get my feelings out somehow.

    As I grew I learned to transfer my feelings to a given topic and soon loved creative writing at school, bringing home the school English prize twice and getting merit twice too. In my late teens I focused on poetry for the simple reason that it appeared to be so romantic and intense, and we were forced to study it in Literature. I thought it was the best way to get known and ‘make it’.

    When my life for real started, that is, my working life, I put all creative writing on hold. After a very long break I came back to it and turned back to short stories, only producing the odd piece of poetry in between. I discovered the ‘flash’ and soon became very comfortable and adept at writing full pieces in 500 words or less. I was starting to enjoy success too with various pieces being published and winning competitions.

    However, I seemed to have a 3000 word barrier blocking my way. I wanted to break it and so I wrote two pieces based on real life experience and managed 11 000 and 22 000 words on them. Then I went back to my shorts, they were so much easier.

    About 3 years ago a friend finally talked me into trying a novel. In fact, I sat down simply to prove to her that I couldn’t do it! Now, with two novels finished and a third under way, I am in writer’s heaven. One novel is being negotiated, the other is being read by my agent.

    But one truth has not changed since I stopped *trying* to write: the stories choose me, I don’t choose the stories.

  56. penney

    Writing is Theraputic

    One night my sister, and I laid in my mom’s bed listening as she read some Louis L’amour western. I was 8 or 9 and my sister was a defiant 14. Mom was great reading aloud, pulling out each character one by one. But as chapter after chapter went on, so did our bedtime on a school night. We laid there yawning and as I slowly dosed off, a cracking “THUNK” connected with my head. His thumb and middle finger flicked me awake with great precision

    “You will stay awake until I say we are done, now show your mother some respect.” My father stood over us on the cold laminate floor of our base housing, keeping guard as she read. His job, to teach us about some famous, amazing writer.

    “Please Bill, the girls are tired.” My mother pleads our defense, uselessly.

    From that moment on I pledged that I would never read or like reading and I could care less about Louis L’amour, Alcott, or Tom Sawyer. They could all go screw themselves.

    I sat for hours getting drilled into my head never to say, “I hate your guts,” after being chased home by a bully. But, instead find compassion by saying the mouthful, “I find your companionship very incompatible.”

    Years passed and in high school after being “away” for a long time I met my tenth grade English teacher who said after grading my analysis of a Simon and Garfunkel song, that I had potential of becoming a great writer. After earning my Letter in Debate, I immediately retreated into a black hole of drugs and alcohol for the next six years.

    Once rescued from that horrible, spiraling abyss I gained the courage to live again. I finished college and did a lot of scholarly writing including the college paper. I reunited with my parents and spend occasional coffee times with my father who is a self taught introvert with boxes and boxes of letters, lectures, essays, exploratory thesis’s, poems and much more. He has books on writing, grammar, umpteen dictionaries and Thesauruses. He reads fiction and non fiction works with comments scrawled in the margins and places underlined and cross-referenced. The world was not safe when he came across Psychology and now he could have an MA in almost anything but he has not one diploma to show off.

    I write maybe because of him. I bring him my weird attempts at short stories. We yell and debate and scrutinize daily topics. I glean from him every memory every moment and write it for all of you to see some day or maybe not.

    “You should be able to recite five of each and say something intelligent about it. Authors, composers, singer (various genres), scientist, politicians, inventors, painters, books of the bible. Can you Penelope?”

    I have written for years and it all sits in boxes and boxes, bit’s of notes and memories. It makes me feel better, someday I’d like to actually have a book or two. Some day.

    1. Ishmael

      Although I could’ve done without the thumping (and I guess you could have, too), your dad sounds like a remarkable man who wanted to share his love for the fine arts with his daughter.

      Wonderful insight into your life, Penney. Kudos for kicking the drugs!! :)

  57. Benners

    My Mom has Multiple Sclerosis and growing up with her in a wheelchair I watched her put time towards a story she was writing, until the disease took over her arms and rendered the physical functions useless. She then proceeded to record the story by voice, and keep reading and researching, until she had difficulty talking and keeping focus.

    It’s simple why I write, I want to be a voice for the voiceless.

  58. slayerdan

    I grew up reading, and hearing about, the various mythos of the history of the world. I will always be partial to the Greeks and Romans–their polytheistic soap opera fables made for such imaginational fodder. As I have aged, I have read extensively about others–the ancient Sumerians, the Japanese and their near infinite supply of deities, the Norse myhts….all amazing in their own right. I was also partial to horror movies. And partial to heavy metal—a phase that I grew into mind you, having started with Elton John, CCR, Jim Croce, Freddy Fender, Clapton, Devo, and the Ramones. The Ramones ushered me to the harder sounds.

    Props to you if you know who Freddy Fender is.

    I loved music. Listening to it 24/7. BUt musically I was a stump. Couldnt sing. In 5th grade, we had to write an essay about something for some contest—I did my first comparitive paper on the differeing legends and lore. I won. I learned then I had a knack for getting into peoples heads. Flawed, interesting characters and situations my favorite. Love a good underdog. It helped I was a voracious reader. Still am.

    In sixth grade I was introduced to a tabletop game named Gamma World–props if you get that one too. This game led me to its sister, and superior, game-Dungeons and Dragons. D and D is ALL imagination and every free moment I threw myself into creating worlds and adventures for others. The voracious reading and developing worlds and adventures helped me become a better creative force.
    A better writer.

    All the while through the next 4 years or so at school I won 3 more contests. It was in 10th I started writing papers for profit and discovered that in short, I could write. I wrote a paper that won someone else some newspaper award—still our secret to this day. Allow me to stop here and highlight something: I have detailed a love of rock music, Dungeons and Dragons, and selling papers to others—–paints the wrong picture. I was from a middle class family that always worked. I have NEVER even tried a hot off of a joint and never smoked—always been drug free and proud of it. I just liked certain genres of music–thus my name here—I am as likely to be listening to Slayer as I am Carly Simon at any time. I played football, have 2 black belts, and 2 masters degrees(social work and of course my first love, literature). I am a counselor and teach sometimes at the community college level. I have 1 grown child and one teen. I have an exwife, a girlfriend, a mortgage. I have lost friends to suicide, cancer, car wrecks. I HAVE stories to tell.
    In college myself and a friend did a fanzine in Tampa–where the late 80s/early 90s death metal scene was HUGE and we interviewed bands and put out a zine every other week–before the net and the ease of webpages and blogs.I wrote for the social work paper at USF Tampa, did newspaper fluff stories, and wrote poetry that was published at undergrad.
    I have sold one novel length story–to that paperback juggernaut Tor. It has yet to be published. And as I find out, Tor buys alot but publishes much less. Such is life.

    I have several stories floating in my head that I want to crank out—would love to write a book a year, even if never published. I lucked into the WD prompts and try to have alot of fun with it. I like the challenge of 500 words.

    Basically I am a 40 something metalhead that sees the worst of problems with my patients daily–everyone is a story. My kids are a story. You–yes you reading this–you are a story. I do photography as a side and learned along time ago–everything is ready to be photographed–its up to me to find the best way. Writing is the same–EVERYTHING has a story, that story just needs the right author..

    And that is why I write. I see the stories.I dont know them all. I cannot write them all. The stories however, are there, and i want to try to write them. It makes me feel good to tell a story–with a lens or a pen.

    Will be at Manson and ZOmbie this friday in orlando and the Spooky Empire concert the next day. If you see me there, say hi. Maybe we can work up a story……


    1. penney

      Dear Mr. Dan,
      I like your style and now am even more interested in your approach to writing. You definitely haven’t had any, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights”. I too am a 40-something and thank you for the window into your past. I also have an appreciation for mythology which started as a child when old enough to research my proper name (Penelope). My Bassets; “From Zeus Came Hercules” or Herc the Jerc, and “Penelope’s Odysseus” better known as Odie, are my little nod to the gods.

    2. Ishmael

      Nice to get a peek into the creative mind of Slayerdan…sounds a bit like my story with the love for all things mythological. Interesting stuff, Dan. Yes, there are stories out there, everywhere, that are just waiting for someone like us to tell them.

  59. Laura S.

    I ignored all the signs that I was interested in writing and attended college for a different major. My career in sales was just not fullfilling. Years went by and finally after reading a few books that I just couldn’t put down I put pen to paper. At first I was fearful to tell anyone what I was dreaming of doing one day professionally but one day I decided to show my husband a short story I had written. He encouraged me to continue on.
    Currently I am writing short stories and submitted articles to magazines. Its rewarding and scary but it is what I should have pursued a long time ago.

  60. Holley

    My earliest stories started in fourth grade, when I began to write down this game we used to play. At first, it was just so we’d remember the past games, but then it turned into a habit, almost an obsession. We were only nine, so some of it was just silly, but there ended up being some good ideas in a few of those stories. Those ideas turned into my biggest project, which I still have to finish.
    I entered a poetry contest and made it to the semi-finals, getting published in With Honors. After the publication I had hope, and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I was hooked on writing after that.
    Unfortunately, I got several detentions and failing grades in middle school because of my new hobby, but it’s still great!

  61. SJMcGowanwrites

    My earlier creations in writing began when I was sixteen years old as a response to situations and circumstance in my life,and the world of the late 1960’s early 1970’s. I wanted answers, was curious, and sought to explain things on my own. I began wondering about love and if I would ever find love. Sometimes when you are young you think you are old and you are missing out. At this young age, I guessed I looked at other people who made me feel that I needed something else. I was not ready to have a relationship. If I could not find romance, I would write about it, and so I did. I wrote love and nature poems. The first words I remember writing was in a poem about love. I don’t remember the lines, but if I still have this poem I will write it in my blog. The poem was so emotional that you can really feel how I felt. I think I had a keen interest in people, and questioned the actions of others and why they lived the way they did.

    A lot of my earlier poems were about questioning life, nature, people, emotions, and God. I was fond of Shakespeare and Chaucer, because their works are so spectacular, and I saw these writers as observers of people because they wrote about life, nature, beauty, and so forth.

    Now I started to love history and the study of ancient peoples. Ancient people fascinated me, and I particularly liked the Scandinavian people and had a interest in the Medieval and Viking ages. I walked many blocks to the library to do research while I was in high school because I wanted to write a book. While at home one day, I came up with a story about a young man and his father who was an archaeologist. This was an idea which inspired me to write at least five chapters of a story about a Viking ship. No one guided me or even told me how to write it, and maybe someday I will finish it and it will be published. I went into music and learned to play the clarinet in High School, and then I concentrated in drawing.

    Even though I stopped writing to take on other interest I felt myself being drawn back again to one of my first loves. The expression of writing is like a dream state without being asleep. It is a release of the inner voice and an expression of oneself. I am truly grateful for the experience and joy of writing.

  62. Bradleygene

    When did I remember? I believe it was back in elementary school when I was told to write about a story. Everyday in school, we were given a free writing time and we had to write about anything. Now when I mean anything, I mean anything. If it meant you were thinking about what you were going to do that night, you wrotw about it. Now being a little boy at the time, I talked about how girls were nasty and were mean to boys. We also talked about trucks and mudding and hunting in the woods. But, I was a little bit different. Yes, I did write about those things alot, but I also wrote about weather. I love weather now, but I didn’t back then. I remember one of the little short stories that I wrote that got me attention. Here it goes in brief: I was in the 3rd grade and it was fall time. I hated storms and never did like them. One night, we had a storm come our way and it was a tornado warning. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew it was a bad thing. To get to our shelter, we had to go outside and it was bad outside. We ran for the shelter and I wanted inside. When we got there, I flew into the small space of the shelter and hit my head on the concrete and went out cold. I woke up to my family screaming at me to get up so they could get in. I was bleeding very badly on my forehead where I made the impact. I was scared to death that I was gonna lose my head. I was scared of storms and I never wanted to go through that again.
    This was my story. Well, the next morning at school, I wrote about that night and gave it to my teacher. She looked it over and told me that I did a great job on it. She wanted me to redo it on clean paper and to draw pictures with it. Well, after a couple days of working on it, I gave it back to her. She told then that she was going to turn it into a contest and I got honors at that contest. Because of my third grade teacher, who is now a college teacher, I continue to write free short writing today. Becuase of her, I have become a better writer!

  63. shann8204

    I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and spent most of my life day dreaming. Day dreams with involved story lines that could play out over days, weeks and even months. While I dabbled when I was younger with writing, I never had the confidence to follow it though, and eventually everything I wrote down ended up in the bin.
    Earlier this year, whilst having to stay 5 hours from home for a month, while awaiting the arrival of our 3rd child, I read a book by R.L. Mathewson called A Humble Heart about a woman who follows her dream and becomes an author. This book sparked something in me, so I hit the laptop and let my fingers fly across the keyboard.
    My only problem now is that I have so many story lines trying to get out of my head, that I have currently 6 books on my desk top all begging for my attention!

  64. wanderwr8ter

    Once upon a time, there was a girl that wanted to combine all of her favorite TV characters into one story.

    Even though the girl was only of eight years of age, she put her best foot forward when it came to expressing her thoughts on paper. She was rather shy and came across as very introverted, so writing became a harmless–yet consuming–habit. Once she put pen (or any writing utensil she came across) to paper, every notebook in her presence was not safe.

    Possessed by a ferocious Poltergeist of Prose, she wrote and wrote and wrote.

    As she looks back now, she realizes how atrocious her writing style was–she was eight, after all. Given that fact, she still thought it was unacceptable that she used to write without the basics of punctuation. Commas, periods. Heck, even the quotation marks were missing where the dialogue was supposed to be!

    However, she never threw her old writings away because one must never forget how they used to be.

  65. sarahbecker

    True Story:

    My two friends and I sat at Steak and Shaking talking about our dreams.

    “I had the most strangest dream ever.” Susan said.

    “Most strangest?” Tara questioned annoyingly.

    “Yes, most strangest. I was in a spaceship and the whole world was about to be destroyed. It was weird, the spaceship was designed very particularly. Here,” Susan turned the back of her placemat over and began to draw. “See, we were seated in like this round area and there was this protrusion thingy that stuck out in the middle and this alien was standing on it telling us not to worry, that he was going to take us some place safe, and that we would be looked after.”

    She finished her drawing just as our milkshakes arrived. We thanked Natasha, our usual waitress, and continued learning about the most strangest dream.

    “And then Chicago completely gets destroyed. Fires everywhere. It’s horrible. There are people in the spaceship praying, clutching their kids, husbands.” She paused, “This was a really detailed dream.”

    “Really detailed dream.” Tara parroted.

    Susan nodded to show she’d heard and went back to her dream, “And I can see people outside the windows running, and I guess somehow I knew that the government was the ones that were trying to kill us all, and all these people are dying. And then there are a bunch of other spaceships, just like the one I’m in, that are loading up with people. And not too long after the sears tower is destroyed the spaceships start taking off, but right after we reach the atmosphere the other spaceships are blown to pieces!”

    Susan paused. Tara attempted to share a look with me.

    “And then?” I asked.

    “And then I woke up.” Susan finished. She shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of her milkshake. “It was one of the most active dreams I’ve had in a while.”

    I nodded a few times as I stared out the window. Turning back to Susan I said, “You know, I was going to say that someone should write that down and turn it into a screenplay, but you know what? Instead, I’m going to write it. I’m going to write down your dream.”

    “Yeah! You should! Here take this,” she handed me her drawing, “use it as inspiration.”

    “I will.” I folded the placemat and placed it in my purse

    That night I began to work on my first screenplay. It would end up being 90 pages long and the first time I ever took writing seriously. After I finished it I couldn’t stop. I wrote about Tara and how annoying she is when she’s with our group of friends as opposed to other groups of friends (weird, huh?). I wrote for Nanowrimo, and even took sketch writing classes at the Second City. And now, I just don’t seem to be able to stop. Which is wonderful, and I hope others of you guys are having as much fun as I am.

  66. Debra

    My youngest memory of writing was a song for my dead guinea pig called Oh Peanutbutter. I was about 6 or seven. Clearly emotion spurred me to write that. I wrote creatively off and on until I went to law school, Law school legal writing courses squelched creativity as most would understand it. During the recession, my legal career was blown to bits through job losses. The first one gave me time to write, and I did..some. The second loss just this past June really spurred me into writing action. As I wrote, I realized that I had lost a chunk of who I was to being an attorney and practicing law. I reclaimed my creative self. I am writing picture books and a middle grade novel. The two – attorney and creative writer – co-exist nicely.

  67. hedwigy13

    You Should Be A Writer

    “Good story!” a student hissed at me as we made our way from math to language arts and vice versa. I thought about it for a moment, and to my horror, realized that it was my story that Ms. Kassop photocopied for the entire sixth grade to read today. It was my turn.
    A week earlier we were given a simple enough prompt – something along the lines of “A child has a strange sense of unease as he leaves his home, almost as if something bad was going to happen” – and asked to go from there. All I remembered was taking that idea and running with it, handing in a pretty meaty story for Ms. Kassop by the week’s end. It wasn’t that long, I thought, and even though I liked it, it probably wasn’t any good.
    Plenty more peers congratulated me and told me what a good story I wrote as I made my way slowly to class, but I didn’t believe them. I hated writing, or at least I used to, and I was more than content with simply reading what other people wrote, people who enjoyed writing it. I got to the doorway and Ms. Kassop smiled and said, “Everyone loves it, Shayna!” I smiled back, trudged into the room, and slumped over in my seat. She made her way to the front of the class and started passing out photocopies of my piece. It was thicker than I remembered – seventeen pages long. A novella, Ms. Kassop called it. Then she started reading it. Everyone was silent, listening intently to the tale of my protagonists, Noah and Mike, and the eerie specters that chased them through a school left empty after a bizarre anomaly wipes out everyone else and leaves them in a pitch-black and entirely locked school. Kids called it “awesome” and “cool”. Ms. Kassop called it “haunting”, “unconventional”, “phenomenal” and “poignant”. And all the while I sat in my seat with the slightest smile on my face, unable to process the popularity of my work.
    Reading that story took the entire class period. And then school was over. We all milled out of our classrooms and ran to our lockers. But I had to make a pit stop to pick up my trumpet from the band room. The band teacher was putting away the stands. I found a copy of that story on the floor, but not before he noticed it and skimmed through the first page, realizing it was mine.
    “This is great,” he announced with a flourish. “You should be a writer!”

  68. JRSimmang

    Bass Drum

    I share a birthday with Jeffrey Dahmer and I have to say I’ve thought about killing someone before. I also share the day with Mr T and Fats Waller. I have neither aspired to be a wrestler or a man with a mohawk. I have aspirations, though.
    I can’t remember where I was or why I was. I can only remember the falling leaves sounding like a thousand storms raging the shores at my feet. I dove straight into “Mr Holland’s Opus.” Richard Dreyfus was inspiring and monumental, so much so that I left my living room and bought a bass drum. What I was going to do with that bass drum was anyone’s guess. But, I had it and it had me.
    There’s only so much you can do with a bass drum. You can bang it, a slow dum-dum-dum, or you can sit on it, or you can spread a piece of glass over the top and have a nice end table. At the very least you have a nice conversation starter.
    It was because of this bass drum I realized the dreams I had been having. It was dinner.
    “A bass drum, huh?” My wife was oblivious to the inner workings of my mind.
    “And that is to… start a high school marching band?” Ha ha.
    “No. I don’t know what it is.”
    “It’s a bass drum and it’s in our living room.”
    “I realize.”
    She sat down next to me and we both stared at the silver plated nuts and bolts and the faux sheepskin. “What’s this really about?”
    I thumped the drum. Womp. “I guess I need something to do.”
    “Hm. And buying a bass drum was going to help?”
    “I thought it would. Instead, I’m beating that and not my head. Which I suppose is an improvement.”
    She laughed. “Well, maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe you should try something else.”
    I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, but she was right. I needed something else.
    “Here,” she said. “It’s dangerous out there. Take this.” And that’s why I love that woman. She handed me a pen and a notebook. “Happy birthday.”
    “Thanks.” and that’s when it started.
    I still kick that bass drum.

  69. bresseca3

    I first realized that I wanted to write when I took a creative writing class at the local college. I was always a math brain but had to take an english elective, so I chose creative writing. That class opened up something in me I never knew existed. I had no idea that I could put words and thoughts on paper and create a story that was inventive and interesting. That was the best class of my life.
    I should point out that I didn’t go back to college until I was 33 years old. I also never read a book until then either. When I was in high school, I would read the jacket cover to do book reports.
    What I realized is that I should try new things because I will never know if I can do them if I don’t at least try.

  70. The Wired Journal

    The short version of my Yen,
    (edited down from almost 1,000 words to 419)
    Give me some wood, and a saw hammer and nails and I could whip you up the palace of your dreams but following my yen for writing has been one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever undertaken. I find it ironic that I have such a burning desire to write, mainly because as a youngster in grade school I hated English, grammar, and spelling. My big war cry was “why the do I need to learn English. I know my ABC’s and how to read, write, and speak English. I lost my way in middle school. I became a rebel, always cutting school, partying and getting high.
    I’ve always been more mechanically inclined than intellectually intelligent. I choose to attend the local trade high school rather than one of the two local academic high schools. This allowed me to evade the curriculum most academic high school’s have, English, science, economics, physiology, composition, etcetera, all of which requires a lot of reading and studying. Thus I never built a healthy vocabulary, or developed what little linguistic and writing skills I may have possessed at that time.
    It was not until my mid to late twenties that I became aware that I had a yen to write, but it was hindered by my lack of skills and training in that area. I was also married, had children to support, was working full time, had a house, was trying to start my own business etc. and just didn’t have time to try and learn how to write; it was just not a priority.
    It was not until a few years ago when I returned to school to take some college courses hoping they would help me advance in business, and administrative training that my yen began to take root. It was then, that I went out and bought my first computer along with a typing tutorial software CD.
    One of the required courses for my degree in Business Administration was Composition one, which I immediately fell in love with, and began taking other writing courses. Soon afterward, I discovered the blogosphere. I then subscribed to a few writers email newsletters and web sites; WD being one of the most recent.
    I’m still a neophyte and may never become an accomplished, published writer but I’m determined to continue learning and developing my writing skills. I enjoy it and have fun writing and pecking away at my novel. And that my fellow writers; is the story of my writing yen.

  71. Heidi Sanders

    I have written words in some form or another since I was a child. I remember I would write little lists to myself, of things I needed to take care of. Clean my room. Eat breakfast. Read a book. I remember I would make little envelopes out of construction paper and label each for a particular purpose, and then I would write out a budget for my tooth fairy money, or birthday money. One envelope went for candy, another for toys, yet a third for savings. I hadn’t had those memories until now, but I was eight when I first started making lists and responsibilities. I didn’t realize I was such a neurotic kid either, until now.
    In high school I would write about my latest crush, and a majority of those writings went to close friends and pseudo close friends in the form of a folded note, scribbled with silly sayings in the haste of getting the word out before the teacher could notice.
    As a young woman, I wrote about my children, and how happy it made me feel to be a mother, and a wife. Halfway through that marriage I stopped writing because I didn’t know who I was, and there were always so many other things to do. When my marriage ended, I went back to school, and took up the study of English again, a great love of mine. I turned in essays and commentaries, and I knew I was pretty good at it, but the writing never reached my heart.
    For a number of years after that, my writing consisted of journaling, a massive amount of pain documented on paper as a testimony to bad relationships, poor choices and depression. Later on, Facebook would become my online journal, where I tried my feet at reaching out to people and putting myself out there as a person. Then, on Thanksgiving of last year, I started working with the homeless citizens of Springfield Missouri. I met them at the street level and found a love for people who were rejected by mainstream society, and I wanted to help them in their plight. Through my volunteerism, I continued build relationships with them and learned what resources I could utilize to help them. My Facebook posts were all about the homeless for a time, and other people were starting to comment on my passion and conviction for them, and how well I explained their situation to people who knew nothing about the homeless. I realized, through social media that I was finding a voice. I had something to say about others, it wasn’t all about me. In the releasing of this idea of me, I started to understand who I really was. For the first time I started to write my own feelings, how I really felt about the world and my place in it. I continued to put these posts on Facebook, and I know it sounds strange perhaps, but it was the acceptance of my words from others and the reception of what I had to say that broke free in me the realization that I should be a writer. I realized I wanted to be a writer, more than anything. And then, I realized I had been writing all along, since I could remember it was writing, and reading, and exploring, and writing, ever writing. So, I credit the homeless and yes Facebook for opening up in me the desire to write my heart. The need to write stories of the things I see, the people I meet, the fascinating world that we all inhabit. I have a long way to go when it comes to perfecting my writing. This is my first semester in school where I have been able to focus solely on writing classes, and I love it. Writing has always been inside of me, it just took what it took to bring it out. I’m forever grateful for that.

  72. Chrisgiraffe

    I killed a man. He was a writer. It was an accident.

    I rented a car in Paris during the summer- a small red Peugeot. The only roads I’d ever driven down were long stretches in the country in my dad’s Ford truck. The only thing you had to watch for were deer at night and the occasional wild boar but for the most part there was nobody around. When my cousin offered to take me to Paris on his dime I wasn’t too keen on the idea but he promised that the place was teeming with hot girls.

    We flew into Charles De Gaulle and took a taxi to the Hotel du Prix. “So, what do you wannna do first?” I asked.

    “How about some food. I didn’t really eat much on the plane.” He dug through his suitcase and pulled out a subway map.

    “I have no idea where anything is.” I said. “What’s your map say.”

    “Oh, this doesn’t have restaurants on it. It’s a Metro map.”


    “Subway.” he clarified.

    “I ain’t gettin’ on no subway. I’ve heard about them. People get robbed and stabbed in subways.”

    “This isn’t New York.” he assured me.

    “It’s a big city and big cities are dangerous. We’re gettin’ our own car.” I insisted.

    He was outraged at this but I wasn’t backing down. We resolved the matter by agreeing to ride the subway during the daytime only and drive at night. I would take the first driving shift.

    We picked up the Peugeot, got directions to a swanky bistro in the Latin Quarter and off we sped in the gold and purple glow of the Parisian sunset. I couldn’t wait to try out the French cuisine.

    As we got closer to our destination I started to reconsider the subway. The streets were laid out in a way that made no sense whatsoever. Add to that the throngs of tourists and you driving turned into a deadly game of chance for everyone on the road.

    “I think we passed it.” Is all I remember my cousin saying before I turned my head and heard a ‘thud’ that shook our little car to a halt. Our eyes widened and I immediately jumped out to see what or who we’d hit. A woman knelt in front of the bumper, speechless with shock. We’d hit a middle aged man wearing a burgandy beret.

    “Are you alright?” I asked the bleeding man.

    His wife was furious. “Get away!” she screamed, flailing her arms at us.

    “No, no.” the man moaned. “Let them near.”

    The wife gave us a wild look and allowed us to approach. I bent down to the man who was obviously dying and asked again, ‘Are you OK?”

    “No time for apologies. I’m dying.”

    “Sorry.” I quickly let out.

    “It’s OK. But see, I’m a writer. I dreamed of coming to Paris to finish my greatest novel. It seems my work may not be finished.”

    “Is there anything I can do to help?” I said, as blood trickled out the corner of his mouth onto the ancient cobblestone street.

    “Be my voice.” he said. “Tell my story. Write. Light up the world with your tales, you simple kid. And don’t ever stop until…” Then his gaze steadied into pleasures and comforts of the great afterlife. His wife broke down.

    “EEE-ERRR-EEE-ERRR!” The police sirens wailed. I gave my cousin a quick look of panic and we didn’t need words to know it was time to hop in that car, get around that corpse, push past the gathering crowd and high tail it out of town. Thankfully the old man’s body didn’t leave as much as a dent in the fender of the rental so there were no uncomfortable questions.

    Do I regret killing the man? I hardly knew him and it was an accident that could have happened to anyone. But were it not for him the fire of writing may never have known my kindling bosom. So I write and will continue to write in memory and honor of whatever that dead guy’s name was.

      1. Chrisgiraffe

        Thank you both, very much. I’ve actually been to Paris. Can’t imagine driving around it but people do, to my amazement.

        I always find stories of hit and run funny for some reason. Also, I can totally picture myself as the old guy who got run over. My vacations always seem like the time and place I’m going to cash in by some odd tuna accident, or something other mundane but deadly situation.

        “The staff had no idea these toilet seat sanitary protectors were toxic. We’ll have them replaced and comp you for the room. Oh, and… sorry about your husband.”

  73. Chrisgiraffe

    I’ve never wanted to be a writer and never admired them; however I’ve always valued the entertainment of a good story- so much so that I’ve been a storyteller as long as I can remember. It started out as simple imagined conversations between inanimate objects of affection and then turned into a form of relating to others.

    I recall writing and performing a puppet show for my second grade class. It wasn’t an assignment, just something I thought to do for fun while waiting for my classmates to catch up to my work level. I roped another overachiever into putting on the show with me. It went over well but we were competing against math tables at peak of the Muppet Show era- how could we fail? The teacher liked it so much she persuaded other teachers to host our rambling, meandering, absurd show in their classrooms. I’m sure she might have mentioned it was just the thing to put kids to sleep and give underpaid, overworked teachers a well-earned break. So we took it on the road throughout the Harbor City Elementary circuit.

    The show did “spectacular, spectacular” until we performed for the class known for kids with behavioral problems- kids that would sock you in the gut for your milk money or just to enjoy the sight of socking a weaker kid in the gut. They were considered slow learners but I have to give them credit for quickly realizing we were all filler and fluff. Their patience for bad writing lasted slightly under five minutes before the class erupted into pandemonium. The last thing I recall about the performance was a kid yanking the puppet from my fellow performers hand, tossing it to his friends and them summarily taking turns beating the puppet. He yelled ‘HEY!’ the way a judge might blurt ‘Order in the court!’ but nothing was going to stop these delinquents. By the time the teacher noticed what was happening the homemade cardboard theater was destroyed. It was actually a relief because even I grew tired of the show and someone had to put a stop to the madness. That was the last puppet show but the stories kept coming whenever I found a spare moment of boredom or anxiety: stories of wild weekend adventures in homeroom before the school day began, lunch break tales of teenage mishaps and unrequited love, home-spun horror tales at Halloween parties, absurd yarns to my soon to be mother-in-law to ease my nerves at the dinner table and now fantastic tales to my little one during long drives and before bed.

    Though storytelling is a very natural part of my being I never considered writing as a serious vocation. In fact I’d say it’s a vocation I’ve tried to avoid because it seems so removed from the act of living. I would rather do the thing, whatever the thing might be, than write about it. But, as Jacques Cousteau once wrote: When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself. I’m starting to believe the same is true for an endless imagination. Hopefully I will write something people find amusing.

      1. Chrisgiraffe

        Thank you, so much. I always get a kick out of remembering that particular event and the look on my friend’s face when they grabbed his puppet. Thank you for reading my entry. :-)

  74. Chilo

    I have written poetry for most of my life. Seldom did I write short stories, unless they were assigned by a teacher. However, I was told the stories had potential. At first, “potential” did not inspire me to be a writer. So I began reading about writing and after some coaxing, a good friend of mine suggested I write down the short story idea I’ve been sharing with her. She challenged me to get it down on paper. Thanks to her, I did, and the short story spiraled into my first novel. Since then, I needed to be a writer. I joined a writing and poetry group, I’ve written drafts on the WD Daily prompts, I’ve finished the first draft to a second novel, and I’ve kept writing ideas for future novels on file. Writing has become part of my life and I hope to one day take the title of “writer” and ingrain it on the wall so the doubts that cloud me disperse…

  75. DMelde

    “A bee! I see a bee!” Bob exclaimed.
    “Whon bee.” Owl replied as he wrote it down in his log.
    “No wait! I see two bees!” Bob looked around at Owl excitedly, and then looked back at the hive again. “Aw, no, it’s just one bee…I think…wait.”
    “Well?” Owl asked impatiently. Owl felt overwhelmed. When Christopher Robin left for summer camp, he had been swamped with dozens of chores. This last chore, counting the hive, was one that Owl knew he couldn’t do alone, so he put an ad in the Big City newspaper looking for help. Bob, sadly, was the only one who applied.
    “Well?” Owl repeated.
    “Um.” Bob responded.
    “Bob, is it a bee and not two bees?”
    “A bee and not two bees?” Bob repeated back.
    “Yes,” Owl replied, “that is the question.”
    Bob’s eyes were playing tricks on him. One second he saw one bee, the next second, he saw two. “Why, oh why,” he thought, “did I ever take this job?” He wasn’t a hive counter; he was a writer, but he had to pay the bills somehow. He had been a writer ever since the week before Thanksgiving in the fourth grade at Saint Peter’s Catholic Grade School. Sister Mary I’ll-hit-you-with-this-ruler-if-you-smirk-at-me-again had given them a writing assignment.
    “Class,” Sister Mary Ruler instructed, “I want you to write a story about Thanksgiving and what it means to you.”
    Bob immediately knew what he was going to write about. There was going to be a big blizzard, with lots of snow, and all of the kids would have a snow day and be off from school, and then a big sledding accident would put them all in the hospital! Bob started writing his masterpiece but then a funny thing happened to Bob. He didn’t write about sledding mass casualties and clever one-liners as they all lay in their hospital beds; he wrote about only one casualty. His story was about an old woman who lost her only child, her son, in a car accident the week before Thanksgiving. She was sad, the whole story was sad, as she came to grips with her loss. At the end of the story she remembered better times and gave thanks for what she had. That was the meaning of Thanksgiving to Bob: giving thanks.
    The day after everyone handed in their stories, Sister Mary Ruler asked some in class to stand up and read their stories out loud. One was Jeff, who had a killer story about how his dad had cut off his arm when he tried to carve the turkey. Hilarious. Sister Mary Ruler didn’t ask Bob to stand up and read his story. Instead, Father Bill entered the classroom, and he personally read Bob’s story to the class. After he was done, Father Bill gave the story back to Bob and said, “Well done.” On the story, written in red ink, was A+.
    That’s when I, I mean Bob, knew he needed to write.

    1. Ishmael


      Cute story! Someone told me I was Owl the other day…had a good laugh about it. I always got a female vibe from your stories…

      I’m in NaNo this year, too. There’s a link in one of my posts to my NaNo page…add me, if you’d like.

      Good to see you. :)

  76. risshaw

    My daughter wanted to see the Twilight movie but I had a rule that if you wanted to see the movie you had to read the book first however she was young so I wanted to read the books first to make sure they were age appropriate. Once we read those books we were on a role so we began reading The Mortal Instrument series, House of night series, Vampire Academy, and The Hunger Games. They were all excellent books however, at the end of the Twilight series I found myself angry. I didn’t like the way it ended I was gearing up in my mind for a war and was greatly disappointed. Then The Mortal Instruments and the Vampire Academy books, I stayed up till 3am sometimes telling myself just one more chapter. Every chapter ended in a way that made it impossible to stop there and then both series ended abruptly. It took over a year for the next book to come out it was frustrating. That is when I decided to try my hand at writing promising myself that I would never leave people suffering for that long. When I tried to write I realized just how much of a challenge it was. My head was full of ideas and as long as they were in my head they were exciting and dramatic …as long as they were in my head. When I tried to put them on paper I became frustrated and the fun seemed to drain out of the story. I stopped trying for a long time until I read The Hunger Games. In the book when I came to the scene where the reaping took place I cried so hard, the movie did not pull the same response from me. That’s when I decided I want to be able to bring that kind of emotion out of people. I started writing again and while I am a very new writer I hope that one day I will be able to write in a manner that makes people laugh, cry, cringe and say just one more chapter.

  77. Imaginalchemy

    Ah, I like today’s prompt…to get to learn about everyone’s literary origins, and about what was that tiny spark of revelation that made folks realize that the muse was calling them. I’m anxious to find out!

    I wish I could say my moment of realization was something as grand as the specter of Shakespeare riding in on a massive owl of inspiration through my bedroom window and bestowing upon me some magical wisdom of writing wonder, or that one day while taking a walk I was plowed over by the legendary Train of Thought that left track marks of ideas all over me (yes, sometimes creativity hurts). But I just remember always loving to write, all the way back to first grade. I remember all of the students were all given green sheets of paper with lines on them, to write down the titles of all the stories we would write during the school year, and if you wrote so many, you would win some little prize (a coupon for free pizza or something along those lines). I remember filling up that sheet of paper and spilling over onto the backside before the year was halfway through. So what if the stories I wrote were only two pages long? I loved writing them!

    Then when I won some writing awards in high school, and then I really got into play writing (I come from a very theatrical family) and focused on that in college, writing became not so much a hobby for me but an emotional, spiritual necessity. I have adopted the phrase “Write or Die” not in a threatening sense, but that if I couldn’t write, I would stop existing. I would be a shell of a person, as if you could knock me over and I’d shatter like ceramic on the floor. Being able to write is what fills me up, making me a complete, full human being (I guess that’s why people consider such passions “fulfilling”).

  78. jenjane

    For most of my life I felt I wasn’t on the same page as most people. Looking back, going through high school was mechanical. It was required of me. I really never felt like I was there. Kind of a haze engulfed those precious years. I spent many hours in the library when my peers were out the back smoking or kissing. Then later as I grew into adulthood, I did what was also required of me. Went to work, got married, had children. Don’t get me wrong, they were good choices but again, mechanical. Like the cogs of a clock life continued to turn. During this time I experience many life altering adventures that needed to be written down to document them for all time. I want my children’s children to read what a crazy and eccentric person their foremother was. That she was consumed with words which caused confusion and jumbled in her mind to later pour out into stories. Realistically I know they wont want to read my life in words, but if they tried, they may be on the same page as me.

    1. Cool1

      Why I write:
      My story isn’t as simple as most. I didn’t read much, because my family was poor and we didn’t have many books. I really never thought of writing until I ran out of paint.

      I tore up my shoulder while at work and was on workman’s compensation, since the employer wouldn’t allow me to work on light duty. As anyone that has endured the underhanded tactics of workman’s comp adjusters, they cut you off from time to time. I suppose they do this, so a percentage of claimants will kill themselves and they can close the claims.

      Since I was painting to distract myself from the pain in my left arm, I had to do something else when I ran out of paint. I was writing cover letters on an old word processor to apply for jobs, which is also required for collecting benefits in PA.

      At a Christmas party I had a few drinks and came home depressed. I sat with a blanket over my head in front of my word processor thinking about the card I drew from a Native American fortune telling deck ‘The Bat’. I was cold, but knew I wouldn’t be able to pay a high gas bill. The card seemed to sum up my life as it was. I hit delete on a half written cover letter for a job I really didn’t want. I wrote the title ‘The Bat’, and started my first book. I have been hooked ever since.

    2. Lisa

      Why I write:
      I equate it to a song stuck in your head — you keep singing the same verses over and over until you finally wise-up and play the full song on your iPod. This is the only way to get the song out of your head.

      The same thing happened to me with my first book — the characters and parts of the story were stuck in my head, begging to be released. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write things down. One morning, a cup of hot Earl Grey tea with a touch of honey in hand, I sat down with my laptop and started typing. Eight hours later I hear my daughter tell her father with a concerned voice, “she’s been there all day. Is she OK?”

      I don’t know if it is the same for others, but I became obsessed and madly in love with my book and writing and couldn’t stop. 90,000 words later the rough draft was finished. I was proud, but saddened that it was over. The only cure . . . start another one!