My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘Blast from My Writing Past’

Blast from My Writing Past, Day 3

Today I’ll share with you my first attempt at a novel. We’ll use “novel” very loosely.

My novel was entitled Journey Toward Opportunity and it was about a twelve-year-old immigrant girl from Poland, set in the 1840s. Yes, this is when my fascination with historical fiction began. It was heavily influenced by the American Girl series, which is kind of what this book was supposed to read like, only it was MUCH longer than any of the AG books were.

My main character’s name was weird…her first name wasn’t very Polish. It’s funny because every one else in her family had accurate names, except for her. Her name initially was Favor  Penjowroski. Don’t ask me why I chose that…saw the first name a baby name book, as this was before my family had Internet; the last name may have been from a phone book).  Her name eventually changed to Marya–much more Polish and authentic.

Anyway, it detailed her struggles with leaving her homeland and coming to a new one, along with the issues of transitioning in a society that looked upon immigrants with hesitance. Yes, I know–rather deep stuff for me writing this at age 11. I tried to set it in a town much like the one I lived in–even went to the library and did all sorts of research.

Marya’s nemesis was Amelia Darlington, a “Southern belle” type who didn’t like people different than her. Then I had Callie McAllister, a bright red headed Irish girl (with a temper–a bit cliche I know) who became Marya’s new best friend. There were also the twins–Josephine and Jeremy Broadmore, whose mother was German and helped Marya’s family transition and learn English.

Yes, Marya’s family knew German too–they lived on the border of Germany and Poland (I did my research then, :P). Jeremy became a slight love interest for Marya, much to Amelia’s dismay. I had planned on writing a series; I even had half the second book written by the time I was in sixth grade. I even had a few pictures drawn for this, although I think those have been lost (thankfully!)

This story was “complete” at 176 pages–technically 88 as I wrote a few on the electric typewriter and the bulk by hand on typing paper, front and back, in pencil. I started writing it during Christmas vacation of 1995–at least that’s what the handwriting on the top of the draft said. I think it was finally finished about a year later.

Want an excerpt? Here’s a scene where Marya is being picked on at school and her friend Callie comes to intercede:

“Excuse me,” Callie said, tapping Corbin on the shoulder. “Will you please leave my friend alone?”

Corbin laughed. “What if I said no?”

Callie then said, “Well I’m afraid I’ll have to knock ya down so hard the grass you land on will start cryin’.”

I’m actually rather amazed at the improvement in my writing style from the ridiculous anthology written in fourth grade to less than a year later when I started writing this “novel.” It’s still pretty bad, but much more cohesive than any of the other attempts I had. I guess my strength came from the fact it was a story more than seven or eight pages long.

The characters for Journey never completely went away; I sometimes find myself thinking of this story now at 25. Maybe someday I’ll completely re-write it…

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Blast from My Writing Past, Day 2

I fully planned on publishing this yesterday but forgot to add the pictures…oops.

Anyway, today’s blast from the past comes from third and fourth grade. In school, we had to write stories for these little “anthologies”. In third grade, it was a tie-in lesson from the famous Ramona Quinby Age 8 book. All of ours were to be entitled our names with our age.

Mine was age 9 because I was one of those “early birthdays” being in November. Anyway, this book is autobiographical–I think that was the point of the project.

The following year we did the same sort of thing with the anthologies, only we had to come up with the stories and the title. Mine was “Fantasy, Fiction and More.” Never mind the fact that fantasy is a type of fiction 😛 I didn’t know this at ten years old.

One thing I vividly remember about this was that one kid at my group table tried to steal my story title. I had mine nearly done and I saw him sneaking peeks at my work and asked him what his story was called. He didn’t want to say. Finally another kid got him to share and it was my title, only “Fiction, Fantasy and More.” All the kids at the table said he blatantly copied mine and he had to come up with his own title 😛

Anyway, this one has a story about a girl who travels back in time (to the Revolution, the Civil War and then to the 1950s where her grandparents were dancing–random, I know) another one written in first person about a girl in a living through a hurricane (yeah, this was supposed to be suspenseful but really it’s just comical), and then a very poor attempt at a mystery Babysitters’ Club style. Also, there was a poem and a list of things to do when you’re bored.

And that was my attempt at writing when I was ten. Tomorrow–my first “novel”, written between age 10-12.

Blast from My Writing Past

Thanks to fellow blogger and writing friend, Mariah,  I was inspired to do a mini-series this week on the progression of my writing–from age four to well, now. I may even do a vlog on Friday of some of the funnier excerpts or stories. I was laughing so hard this weekend at some of the absurdity that I think I scared the dog. 😛

Anyway, to start this fun-tastic week off, I will go all the way back to my first few pieces. Let’s start from age four and my first story (or at least the first one I have record of) entitled “The Story of the Tulip”

This is the only page I wrote, because I was still so young I didn’t quite know how to spell many words just yet. But I have a wonderful Mom who ended up transcribing the entire story for me, while I did the illustrations.

This story is a whopping seven pages long. The two characters, Michael and Jessica, plant a tulip seed and water it, and it “grew and grew and grew” until it became a beautiful pink tulip (because honestly what other color is there when you’re a four year old little girl?). The End.

A year passes, I actually learn how to write and spell, and here’s my next attempt at a story, probably late kindergarten/early-mid first grade. It’s my “Crystal Trilogy.” It’s about a girl named Crystal who was walking along one day and found herself stuck in a bubble. The bubble popped, she fell, and a young man named Michael catches her. They fall in love, get married and have triplets. The End.

Book I “Crystal and Michael”:

Yes, this is a picture of my MC. In a bubble.

Book II: “Crystal and Michael Get Married”

Yes, they are standing by "the love tree" and the "the love pond"

Book III: “Crystal’s Triplets”

Total page count for the entire series: 12 .Yeah…quite comical. It’s funny how a six-year-old thinks.

And that’s how it all started, folks. 🙂

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