Welcome to Writing Wednesdays! Or Writerly Wednesdays? Or just this particular Wednesday where we happen to be talking about things involving writing? That has a ring to it.
So I figured that for the first week of this new segment I’m doing, I should probably give you a general introduction to who I am as a writer, and also introduce you to some of my main WIPs. I’m excited. So let’s jump in!
This is a tale of Smol Gail, the tale of how she entered into the world of writerly madness.
Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Gail. She was a nice, normal little child, who played with her siblings and ate her broccoli and did the things most children would do. However, there was one difference in this normal childhood of hers, and that was that her parents read her and her siblings lots of books. Lunches would be ended with a chapter of a Meindert Dejong book from Mommy, and bedtimes accompanied by Little House on the Prairie or Tolkien or the Chronicles of Narnia read by Papa. And thus, due to this seemingly innocuous habit, the girl named Gail grew up to be far from normal. Indeed, she became not only a bookworm but, dare we say it, (cue frightened whisper) a writer. *Gasps from the crowd* Yes, my friends, I am sorry to say it, but this nice little girl would turn out to be… very strange indeed.
With the slowly corrupting influence of read-aloud books from her parents, Gail’s appetite for stories grew and grew. Weekly trips were made to the library, Christmas and birthdays saw the arrival of more books as presents. Even her friends gave her books and Powell’s gift cards. In the summer of her fourteenth year, she went as far as to read both the Lord of the Rings and Les Miserables (unabridged!). It was truly getting out of hand. Even so, had it only remained at reading, perhaps Gail could have been saved. But this was not to be.
There was danger looming from an unexpected side. A danger that was soon to cast her into an unending void of imagination and weirdness. The warning signs were there. They were there as she played in the backyard with her sisters, pretending that they were racoons and squirrels and foxes. They were there as these games of pretend progressed, becoming vast, multi-dimensional affairs full of princesses and kings, mysterious buildings and runaway slaves. They were there as her big sister began to tell her made-up stories about two mice named Tom and Frederick. We should have known. It could have been stopped. But soon, young Gail was making up stories of her own. Let us take a moment to mourn her approaching descent into madness. Thank you.
May I take a moment to remind you, gentle reader, that you have by no means an obligation to read further. If this tale becomes too dreadful, I must apologize, but it is my duty to record faithfully what occurred, so that future generations may know to avoid a similar path. With a warning that what is to come may be odd beyond all telling, I will continue.
At the tender age of ten-ish, she began to write. Poor child. Poorer still is anyone who ever comes across these first scribblings, but that isn’t the point. While short, and rarely ever concluded (or never?), the smol Gail was nonetheless beginning to learn the dreadful craft of storytelling. Now, you may say that writing down stories is harmless. You may think so at first, but do not be deceived. At first the writing was innocent enough. She had ideas, and she wrote them down. But then, a new story idea came to her. It was the best she had ever had. She really liked these characters. They were interesting, complex, relatable. The plot was… well, it wasn’t entirely planned out, but there were ancient scrolls and a band of outcasts living in the woods, and treacherous princesses, and epic battles. And all the while a struggle over right and wrong. It was going to be excellent.
But then. Oh readers, I can barely say it, but she began to talk to her characters. See, young Gail identified very well with her protagonist’s younger sister. It could even be claimed that the sister was essentially Gail. And as such, she… how can we even describe such oddness, would have conversations with her imaginary brother. Truly, the madness had begun. She would literally sit outside beneath a bush and have conversations in her head between two made up people. And then she started talking to other characters! Would it never cease?! No. The answer is no. She still does this. It is altogether bizarre and inexplicable.
And her mind was not content with one story. No! She made up more and more and more, the story ideas increasing like bacteria on a rotten peach. And, well, there is not much more to say. This is the fate of Gail. She chose it for herself. She became a writer. With strange habits and stranger characters, and the strangest of all stories. (Well, that might be exaggerating it a bit.) She has dabbled in sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, dystopian-ishness. She stops at nothing. And of yet she has never completed a polished draft. More madness. Gentle reader, take caution. If you have not already stooped to this level of insanity, I warn you, do not do as Gail did. Or the stories they tell of you will be stranger than the ones you write. With that, I take my leave. Adieu.
Ahem. Well, that seems to be the tale. And if you were wondering about the story style, I may or may not have been reading A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think that was leaking out into this. And I’m afraid I took up too much room today just talking about myself (*awkward laughter*), so I guess we’ll have to get back to the introduction of my WIPs later.
So, what was your journey into writerly oblivion like? Is it as cautionary of a tale as mine? SHARE YOUR WEIRDNESS DOWN BELOW!!! you know… so I don’t feel alone and everything. 🙂