In one of my college classes, the students had to think about the first memory of reading in a classroom. In this post, I’ve decided to share my first memory of creative writing. Now much of my childhood years are a blur. I attribute it to my nose constantly being in a book thus ignoring the world around me. If I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading. However, there is one memory that is special to me. I don’t remember the grade or the teacher, only that it was early elementary and the teacher was a male. I’m also bad with remembering names. Well, this nameless individual stimulated my interest in creative writing. We learned about the “Oregon Trail” and each student was instructed to write a report or maybe even a paragraph about what we had learned over the course of the lesson. I decided to do something different and created a fictitious journal written by a slave girl named Sarah. Sarah was traveling with her slave master in a covered wagon. I imagine it looked a lot like the one a certain little girl and her family rode on in one of my favorite television series as a child. In this journal, Sarah wrote about her fear of Indians, being raped by her master, and her longing to return to her mother. Why was I writing about such topics at a young age? I believe it was because my love of reading introduced me to some dark historical facts very early in life.
When I had completed writing Sarah’s journal, I decided that I wanted the papers to have an old rustic look. I turned on the oven, placed each sheet inside until they browned, careful not to set off the smoke alarm. I then poked holes in the sheets of paper and carefully tied them together with a few pieces of yarn. I had written my first short story.
In the end, I’m not sure if the assignment was given a letter grade, a star, or a smiley face, but I do remember the teacher approaching my desk and saying,
very good. My wife also liked it.Hold on to that
He also mentioned something about liking what I had done to my paper and that I was very creative. Sadly, my family moved around so much, I lost trace of Sarah’s Journal.I don’t think I’ll forget the rush I had then. It’s the same feeling I have now when I write.