“You must lurk in the libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.” – Bradury
On the first day back from Christmas break in third grade, I sat at my desk as the first one to run back from recess early. A special day had come at last, and I could not stop bouncing my legs under my desk. My classmates on the other hand dribbled back in with shuffling feet, and sad faces that we had to go back to work. The boxes had already arrived though and I sat ready. That day I began my first book.
In our official manila envelopes we received special paper that felt glossy to the touch, erasable magic pens, and fun stickers. I am not really sure why sticker came as part of the set, but it only added to the joy of the moment. Our teacher, Mrs. Young, stood before us and told us about our project. We all soon would claim the status of published authors she told us. I remember very little of what she actually said because I began scribbling on scratch paper immediately. I drew pictures of dragons, and dogs, and a girl who looked like me. Picking which of the many stories running rampant in my mind to pen-down proved the biggest task.
Most of my other pint-sized peers grumbled. To them it spelled an atrocity, oh the horror of having to spend time writing a dumb story. In my mind this observation of their disgruntlement solidified my own superiority to them
(I had a touch of a narcissism problem). Always in spite of the peons in my class I wasted no time racing back from recesses, or PE, or lunch every day for months to edit my story.
The Fabulous Product:
The third grade graduation ceremony barely eclipsed the wonder of the writing process. However, it stood apart for a very important reason. As we crossed the stage the principal handed us our books, and our certificate of completion of the grade. In that moment I became an author of an actual bound book. I asked my mother for business cards (I had to resort to creating my own). I went back victorious to my seat as the ceremony continued. Nothing else registers as a memory on that day. I tuned out the rest of the names called. Instead, I sat to marvel over my book. Not only did my love of books explode from that moment, but I also became obsessed with writing stories about everything.
Because I knew in my heart of hearts that my story of the princess and the dragon had a destiny of becoming a bestseller, I copied ten copies of it over the summer. I autographed and, with my mother’s help, mailed out a copy of the story to all of my family members. My favorite days transformed from evenings reading, to evenings at the library to do hard-hitting research for my next novel.
The Future; The Present:
Fast-forward some years into the future, and I sat at a desk recalling my early infatuation with words. I made the definitive choice that I wanted to forever be a writer and hopefully find a way to get paid doing it. I decided to be a journalism major. Despite objections from family that I’d simply be paying to “learn how to lie from the liberals,” I followed through with my dream. Though I do not continue writing about dragons and princesses, I do still seek out the heroes of stories.