Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest

Today is the Origins Blogfest, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Matthew McNish, DL Hammons, and Katie Mills. (Thank you all!)




The story of how my writing dreams began isn't really anything huge or profound. I've been writing since I could even attempt to spell words. I used to write stories for my first grade class and bring them in to read them. In third grade, I was working on a story about a planet made from candy. (I had an illustration of this concept in one of my first blog posts...let me see if I can dredge it up...)

Aha, here it is!



(The Twizzler grass was my favorite part of this story.)

I loved reading; I read any book I could get my hands on. My third grade teacher made my whole class learn how to read in the cafeteria when everyone was being loud, so we could learn to focus. I probably didn't need a lot of help in blocking things out when getting sucked into another world, and it sure didn't serve me well in fourth grade, when my next teacher was constantly trying to get my attention before class started. One time, I was so sucked into a book that it wasn't until my fourth grade teacher was like, "LAURA!" that I looked up and realized everyone was standing up for the pledge of allegiance.

I had a really hard time finishing stories, though--child and then teenage me had a difficult time with the concept that stories had to be finished when they got boring. There were so many shiny new plot bunnies to explore! And when I did come close to finishing, I suffered The Great Computer Crashes™ and didn't bother going back and rewriting everything. This attitude has, obviously, changed in the years since.

I finished my first "novel" at age fifteen. It took me two years to write it. I laugh a lot now, because it was about 90 pages long, and that seemed sooooo long to me. It was probably a novella, not a novel.

I've loved words for as long as I can remember. I love the idea that words can suck us in and spur the imagination onward; I love stories that can touch the heart and make me think about them for years afterward. I write because that's the story I want to tell: one that will make a mark on someone, that might leave an imprint. This dream didn't really ever have a definitive beginning--it's kind of just grown with me my whole life.

47 comments:

  1. Cool story :) I don't think I started reading and writing like crazy as early as you did, but that certain curiousity and awareness that makes me a writer was always there...

    Hopefully I'll be joining this blog hop today! (If I have time--eek!)

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    1. It's so cool seeing the different ways people came to writing!

      (I'll have to get over to your blog to see if you joined! I'm sooo behind on my blog hopping this week!)

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  2. Hi Laura, I'm dropping by from the origins blogfest. I love how you finished your first novel at at age 15. :)

    your newest follower,
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  3. Hi, Laura! I'm with you ~ to leave an imprint on another human, in their brain and in their soul... how fantastic!

    Great Computer Crashes... suck. Been there. Though the worst of them occurred within my own easily distracted and derailed brain.

    Looking forward to more of your voice!

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    1. Computer crashes are awful...and I hear you on being easily distracted. ;)

      Thanks!

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  4. Great entry! I know the feeling: born a writer. I'm still that way with a good book.

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    1. In some ways, I feel like writing has tainted my reading experience--it takes a LOT more to draw me into a book than it used to. Still, when I find one that does, I'm lost to the world. ;)

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  5. I love your illustration of "Candy Planet". Such a great example of youthful imagination! And being so absorbed in a book that you have to be shook out of it! Thank you for sharing your ORIGIN story today! :)

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  6. Love the fact you were so absorbed into books. I like the idea that it sorta grew "organically" for you.

    PS: I replied to your comment on my blog asking about me bro. In short: he's fine ; )

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    1. Thanks!

      Oh, I'm so glad to hear that about your brother!

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  7. Books have a way of turning many a reader into a writer. Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. so glad you persevered! getting to the end (a few times) is difficult for adults too!
    great beginning!

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  9. Learning to finish is a big step!
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

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    1. It is, but well worth it. :D

      Thank you for hosting!

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  10. Great story! I was the same way in grade school, always reading and getting yelled at "Krista!" to get my attention from my book. :)

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    1. Hee! It's nice to know other people did the same thing. :D

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  11. LOL. I loved the finishing your first 90-page novel! I did that, too! It sure seemed longer on the computer!

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    1. LOL, it sure did! Especially when I had to print it out--printers in those days weren't fast. It took about four or five minutes to print each page.

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  12. Hahaha... I bet that 90 page "novel" is brilliant! I hope you still have it??? I have a story that I wrote in third grade that is priceless to me! Thank for sharing, Laura. It's fun to know a bit of your history :D

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    1. LOL! I'm sure it was terrible! I don't still have it--honestly, I'm not sad about that. ;) There are other stories I wish I still had, but they went missing over the years and computer changes.

      Thank you!

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  13. Seems you were carried away by your stories in your childhood years.
    I too enjoy stories that linger with you long after you've finished them.

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    1. I probably still get carried away sometimes. ;)

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  14. Great story and I loved your candy house! I am partial to the lemon drop sun myself :)

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  15. I love the illustrations that accompany some of your blog posts ;-) And congratulations on finishing a novel (or novella!) at age fifteen! I never got past a few chapters at that age!

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  16. I am so impressed that you finished a novel at fifteen! I remember finishing one in 2nd grade. ;) It was about 3 1/2 pages. Double-spaced. With that really wide-lined paper. Finishing one for real came a whole lot later for me than fifteen!

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    1. It was my first attempt at rewriting and editing, too. I had sequels planned...but never got past half the second book. ;)

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  17. I agree with Peggy that it was quite an accomplishment at only 15! The candy house was a terrific idea! Nice to meet you via the blogfest! Julie

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    1. Thank you! And it's nice to meet you too. ^_^

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  18. Reading in the lunchroom to learn to focus is a great idea, thanks for sharing that in your origins story. Good luck!

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  19. Great story. With your imagination, you were destined to be a great storyteller/writer. A candy world, what a fascinating idea. I loved the picture with the twizzler grass. I also really liked what you wrote about words, "I love the idea that words can suck us in and spur the imagination onward" That was awesome.

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  20. Still catching up on these Origins posts - great story, Laura, thanks a lot for sharing. And I have to say, a candy planet sounds pretty darn cool.

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    1. I'm terribly behind on the Origins posts. O_O Thanks very much!

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  21. A finished novel at 15. That's fantastic. You have a great future ahead of you!

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  22. I'm like you in that there is no true beginning; it just always was. It always surprises me when someone has an actual trigger for the beginning of their writing. Too funny about being caught up in reading during class. I was the same way, too. A friend of mine has a pre-teen boy who does the same thing and she was really upset about it. I told her I came through it okay; at least her son likes to read! (Though, yes, paying attention in school is important, too...)

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  23. Reading is good for us you can learn more great values and adopted for every living.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!