Tuesday, July 20, 2010

when my muse and I were small

Between the ages of six and ten, I wrote on the family computer in a kids' word processing program (which I reached through DOS, that's how long ago it was).  I recorded the adventures of six hapless orphaned sisters, all of whom I remember quite well.  Button, the red-headed bossy eldest sister, Cassandra, the animal-lover, the dirty-blond twins in the middle, adventurous Janie and narrating, thoughtful Robin, sweetheart Sue, and bratty but precocious Nicky.  They escaped from orphanages, discovered abandoned farmhouses, rescued animals, got into scrapes with adults who did not understand that six little girls were capable of being perfectly self-sufficient, and occasionally, ran into some kind of magic.

The word processing program capped my writing at a four-page limit, so I learned to write very concise chapters in their saga.  All those stories are unfortunately still languishing on that old PC. And even though, unlike most of my writing that doesn't quite cut it to share with the world, they probably can't be re-worked or recycled, and even though I might prefer to remember them than actually re-read them... I'm still claiming the computer when I go home to New York. I hope I can retrieve my silly old stories.

Besides, maybe it'll entertain (and inspire) my future kids to see what I writing when I was their age.


When did you really become a writer? Do you still have the first story you ever wrote? I'd love to hear about it!

23 comments:

Summer said...

I started seriously writing at age 9, but before that I was writing picture books, etc.

But at age 9, I started my first "novel," which was about a 14 year old girl named Raine who liked a boy who was going to take her to the homecoming dance...

And I absolutely still have it! I did almost all my writing in longhand, up until just a few years ago, so it's all in boxes in my closet. :) I did type one fantasy saga on my parents' old computer, which I saved to a floppy disk, but stupid me password-protected it...and can't remember the password. Whoops!

I hope you can get your story off!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

My mother saved the first story I ever wrote, which is really a little picture book called The Girl and the Dragon. My father penciled in the title and there are no words inside. (Uh, the story is self-explanatory.) I cut it out myself and glued it together with Elmer's Glue.

Unfortunately, however, most of the works I hand wrote on tablets in middle school and high school (and there were a lot of them), I threw out in a fit of insecurity before I was 18. Cleared house, so to speak. That makes me pretty sad, now.

Let me know if you can't retrieve your story. My husband might have suggestions on how to do it.

Guinevere said...

Summer, that's a neat box to have in your closet! How neat to look back on those things. It's too bad about the fantasy saga... sounds like something I would do, though. I can never remember my passwords!

Guinevere said...

Diane, you're too funny - I love the "self-explanatory" title! :) It's too bad you threw your writing away when you were a teenager, but these things happen - we do all do crazy things in our adolescent angst!

Thanks for the offer! Hopefully everything goes well; that 22-year-old computer is supposed to still be running, although no one ever uses it for some reason, so we'll see. I'll keep you in mind though if I can't get it to work (or figure out a way to transfer it off, which might be another dilemma).

Lynn Colt said...

Oh lord, I first read "sisters" as "hamsters" for some reason and proceeded to get very confused!

I didn't write much fiction until I was in college--and I was terrible at it for a few years (though I didn't know it then!) My first story was about a guy who died and was reincarnated as a rabbit, and then some other animals, and ... well I'm not sure where I was going with it, and then my computer crashed and lost it. This may have been a blessing in disguise ;)

Donna Hole said...

I wrote my first story when I was in high school. But I don't consider I became a writer then.

My first REAL interest in writing as something more than a shameful waste of time came about 5 years ago. I'm not sure how I feel about the novel now.

But, it will always be my first love, no matter what happens to it, and I will cherish the memory of its accomplishment.

It is inspiring that you feel such a connection to your first set of characters Guin. They shaped the creativity in you, and should be honored for that.

When I was younger I used to tell my siblings about the Cereal People. Tiny little beings that lived in a grocery store. I can't remember their names, but I kinda remember their adventures. It's sweet when my sister talks about them sometimes, asks if I'll ever actually write their story out.

I'm glad you have that DOS computer to rely on. Someday, you'll want those cherished memories in hard copy.

........dhole

Old Kitty said...

Awwww that's brilliant!! I hope you do get to re-read them to future kids the world over! :-)

I remember writing voraciously - more as a journalist type reporter child when I was 8-ish! I'd gather a scrapbook of pics that took my fancy and write about them - what happened etc.

Awww that was fun!!
Take care
x

Lisa of In Pencil said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...your comment about Ke$ha's name was hilarious.

Jen said...

Guinevere this was one awesome post!!

I can't say I have any of the stories I ever wrote when I was little, the first one I ever remember fully writing was in January but that doesn't mean I didn't have a knack for it when I was young!

I love that you are snagging the computer! You should! Those are stories to remember and it sounds like a very cute story!

Piedmont Writer said...

I love your little orphans story, are you sure you don't want to resurrect it? It sounds sweet.

I have all my old stuff on a word processor that is sitting on the other desk in my office. I swear I will print out everything that's in it. I swear.

calypsounbound said...

Hi Guinevere! I love that name, by the way. I think I still have the first story I wrote. I was 5 or 6. If I remember right, it was about someone or some animal who was sad because they had no friends, but then they found some. That's pretty revealing about me, actually. Sometimes I feel like that character, but I'm not as good at finding friends nowadays. I'm working on it, trying to network with other bloggers and writers more, and visit family & friends whever I get the chance.

Taryn Tyler said...

Aw. Now I want to read those. They sound fantistic!

I wrote plays to perform in the living room when I was seven or so. I started a story that never got finished when I was ten and the first story that I still have is called "The Two Kings" written when when I was thirteen just before I stared my first novel but I think my taste for storytelling actually came from the games I used to play with dress up and dolls. We always had elaborate on-going characters and plots set up and when friends showed up who didn't know how to "play" a doll right arguments would insue. I would also be frusterated when a play mate didn't wrap up a thread suficiantly before we were done --or just kept harping on the same conflict over and over no matter how many times we solved it. Of course I didn't call them by those names then but they still frusterated me.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I started writing in the third grade, when my teacher showed us how to write stories. My stories were about Abraham Lincoln as a kid, for some reason. I wish I had kept them.

Guinevere said...

Lynn, I sort of love the misread of hamsters! Now that would be an original children's story... the six hamster sisters!

I think it's too bad that your first story was lost - it sounds interesting. It makes me think of the Run Rabbit Run books, but then I realize I'm thinking of those far too literally. :p

Guinevere said...

Donna, I love the concept of the cereal people! Wow, I really want to read all these stories. :)

And your novel is great - don't give up.

Guinevere said...

Old Kitty, I'm totally picturing you as an industrious little journalist as a child now - that must have been so cute! Do you still have the articles and photos you wrote about?

Guinevere said...

Hi Lisa! It's nice to meet someone else with the same pop culture challenges I have. :p

Thanks Jen! It's too bad you don't have any of your older stories, but it's great that you've started in January and come so far already!

Guinevere said...

Piedmont, better printed now than later! :p You never know what those crazy computers are going to do next.

Hm, maybe some day I will get to resurrect Janie and Robin and the crew. But I think I need kids before I write for them, so we'll see if my kids find the stories I tell them entertaining first. I'm just not around kids very much anymore in my current job/life, which is unfortunate - I miss having kids around!

Guinevere said...

Thank you, Calypsobound! Actually, loneliness was a big theme of a lot of my childhood writing too - and I think writing about such big families was part of my way of imagining a world without it, as an only child. Oh well - at least it drove our creativity, right? :)

Guinevere said...

Taryn, I want to read everyone's stories now! It's so cute that your original writings originated from dress-up and make-believe games that you took so seriously - I loved my make-believe games and I can totally get that! lol. I remember doing that sort of thing as a kid - usually being a pirate or an adventurer.

And the plays you mentioned remind me of my own childhood scripts, which were about a couple of princes and princesses named after jewels - Amethyst, Opal, Emerald (that was the boy) and Ruby. Wow. I haven't thought about those plays in years!

Guinevere said...

Neurotic, I wish you had kept them too! I want to read about Abe Lincoln's childhood... that actually sounds like a pretty fun fiction concept. :)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I wrote my first story when I was about six, but I started my first novel when I was 12. I think I still have my first drafts that I pecked out on this ancient typewriter someone gave me.

I've actually been playing with the idea ever since, tweaking, changing, adding characters, rearranging the plot and am actually pretty sure it's going to be my next WiP. I love it so much!

承蘋承蘋 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................................................