A Backward-Looking Foreword

As a child, I was always making up stories. Some may call this lying, but I prefer to think of it as being imaginative. I was in third grade when I first transcribed one of these stories onto a piece of paper. It was a gripping supernatural tale about jolly, treasure-laden fairies and the pair of naughty raccoons that slip into fairyland to rob them. The treasures were far too plenty for the fairies to carry around with them, so instead they placed their gold bullion and jewel-encrusted tiaras within the most beautiful flowers in the meadow, where they were ripe for the raccoons’ picking. Long before I studied Greek literature in high school, I created my own deus ex machina in the form of the sun, who offered the distraught fairies a simple solution to prevent future theft: he would keep an eye on their treasures during the day and then each night as he set, he would close all the flowers’ petals to keep them safe. And this was my rationale for why flowers close at night. Perhaps it isn’t quite Greek mythology-worthy, but really it’s not too shabby for a nine-year-old.

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My Dream Boyfriends in their Hair Heyday

In my pre-teen, boy-obsessed years, I was less concerned about understanding the meaning of the universe than I was about meeting and dating pop stars. Enter Duran Duran. In fifth grade, my friend Cass and I wrote our first epic love story, trading a small embroidered notebook back and forth between us as we chronicled our grown-up lives as notable fashion designers who just happen to meet John Taylor and Nick Rhodes at a party. Throughout junior high, a steady diet of soap operas and Tiger Beat magazine fueled my solo practice of penning epic tales (the longest of which got up to 800 handwritten pages) of my torrid relationship with Nick. We fought. We made up. We had a lot of sex (really mortifying written-by-a-12-year-old-virgin sex). We were harassed by the media and plagued by his jealous ex-girlfriends. But at the end of the day, we were in love.

Nowadays, I’m pretty sure I create fictional characters primarily so that I can torture them. Why else would I introduce the shy, undiagnosed narcoleptic woman to the guy with erectile dysfunction and a chip on his shoulder, and then force them to date? Why else would I conceive of the career woman whose child is kidnapped while she is sleeping with her boss? I am a literary sadist. And as my fourth round with National Novel Writing Month creeps ever closer, I am already stalking my next victim…

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One thought on “A Backward-Looking Foreword

  1. […] I mentioned in my previous post (A Backward-Looking Foreword), my early writing efforts focused largely around the fantasy life I had concocted for myself at the […]

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