I wrote my first book when I was ten years-old. I chose to write a mystery that took place at my school. I wrote it with a number 2 pencil on a Big Chief tablet. It was five pages long. I titled it “Mystery in Room 323.” It was published in installments in the school newspaper.
*spoiler alert* The teacher did it.
I only remember the first two sentences of the book: “She tripped over the sidewalk and stubbed her big toe. It hurt.” Even at that young age I had a sense of drama. Which I probably got from watching all those Charlie Chan movies on Sunday afternoon.
I remember trying to weave humor into the story. I had my protagonist, Michelle, write the teacher an anonymous note. Michelle mistakenly signed the note ‘Miscellaneous.’ I thought that was hilarious.
*spoiler alert* My readers didn’t.
I brought the humor down a notch in the next installment. This time Michelle cut the cheese in class. My readers thought that was hysterical.
I thought my newfound fame would make me… desirable. That being a published writer would make girls swoon in my presence and that boys would want to be me.
*spoiler alert* Didn’t happen.
So, I moved on. I became the paper’s cartoonist. It was the era of Watergate, which means I drew a lot of cartoons of men with ski-slope noses saying things like “I am not a crook.”
*spoiler alert* He was.
My fellow students still didn’t fawn over me. To earn their love I began to do impersonations of famous personalities a la Richard Little. (If you’ve never seen a fat, ten year-old girl wearing cat-eye glasses do an impersonation of John Wayne, you haven’t really lived.)
*spoiler alert* I became the kid nobody wanted to eat lunch with.
However, as it has a tendency to do, life went on.
BIG TIME *SPOILER ALERT* I grew up to be a writer as an adult. I still think farts are funny, but now I call it scatological humor. Girls still don’t swoon over me – and some even run from me. I still wear glasses and I still do a mean John Wayne.