Yesterday I mentioned my closet full of notebooks and binders. Here it is:
Some stuffed animals on a shelf (if you look close you can see an Ewok), and my wrapping paper and some other miscellaneous items, but predominantly it’s binders and notebooks. Some of those binders are actually photo albums (what an archaic idea), but the blue and white one are complete print outs of Phase and my first novel (still undergoing rewrites). I work better on paper, especially in editing, so I printed the suckers out over a year ago and made fun binders with pictures to make myself work on them. It kinda worked.
But yeah, hello, notebooks:
I won’t lie and say that they are all filled with great stories and ideas. Some aren’t even full. Often a journal turns into a a melting pot of things: journal (my day and angsty thoughts), stories, things I’ve read, prayers and so on and so forth. Some of them are blank, given to me (because journals are the easiest gift to give a wannabe writer) and ready to be taken and filled with words and fragmented thoughts.
When I was emptying that box of binders on Thursday, I started digging around in my notebooks looking for a specific one. My first completed story is in a tiny black spiral and it’s horrible. Entitled ‘Friends for a Long Time,’ it has a beginning and an end and a paragraph of middle. I think I wrote it in early high school, but I’m a late bloomer and I’d say the ability portrayed by those pages is more on par with a middle schooler. It’s truly one of the most embarrassing things in my life. But I don’t throw it away. I keep it to remind myself that I’ve come a long way.
The journal I was looking for was half journal and half story. I hadn’t been able to find it when I lived in my previous two locations and hadn’t remembered that I wanted it until literally just days ago. The journal portion is from when I went to Northern Ireland with my college and we were required to keep a journal as it was a cross-cultural credit (had to have one to graduate). But the story in it is pretty special.
Other than ‘Friends for a Long Time’ (I shudder even as I write that title), up until my sophomore year of college, I didn’t have any completed stories that weren’t fanfiction. I had tons of fanfiction stories, all started my freshman year of college after watching Newsies and falling absolutely in love. But original work? Nope.
This notebook’s story is much longer than the other one (I cannot rewrite that title anymore) and complete. It has almost two separate plot lines that run parallel. I started it in Northern Ireland and finished it before that summer, I believe. I wrote like a crazy person on it and the sense of accomplishment that came with finishing it was impressive for a college kid. I’ve never forgotten that story because even today, I think it has merit.
Only part of it is typed and I was/am desperate to know how long it is in comparison to my novels. Typing up an entire story like that, in my handwriting, is intimidating, but now that I’ve found it, I’m already in progress of transferring it to Word Document form.
Oh man, the writing is bad. I’m not sure if I should fix things as I type it or just type as it and go back to make it better later. I was merely twenty years old and that might sound old to some, but looking back, I’ve grown a lot in a decade.
“Sure.” I muttered as we headed up to my room. He laughed at my response. I stopped at my door, turned towards him, and crossed my arms. “Well, I had an interesting time tonight. Thanks.”
“Glad you did.”
“See ya tomorrow.” I turned to go into my room and he spun me back around. “What?”
“Is that how you say farewell to the one you just gave your love and undying affection?” he looked appalled.
“Oh, what would you have me do then?”
“I think I deserve a kiss.” He told me seriously. My eyes widened, but I tried to play it cool.
“Really? Well then, where?”
“Here.” He touched his right cheek.
“Fine.” I leaned up and barely brushed my lips against his cheek. I pulled back quickly. “Satisfied?”
“Yes.” He wore a smug grin, “Night, Eliza.” I went into my room at that point and closed the door behind me. Good grief, do he have any clue what he was doing? My brain was so muddled that I just went to bed.
I know, I know. It’s wretched. I had so little concept of how to write dialogue and how to develop a boy/girl relationship back then.
So, if any one who reads this is a fledgling writer and is terribly critical of their abilities, just keep writing. You’ll get better. I promise.
SOTM: Never Say Die by Sleigh Bells
© ecnewman, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.