Welcome to the next installment of Throwback Thursday, where we take a nostalgic glimpse into one of the many many journals of Childhood Susie.
This week’s entry comes from 16-year-old Susie at the start of her senior year of high school, during which she had the immense pleasure of taking her first short story class – arguably the single most solidifying factor in her quest to become a writer.
IN FACT, the teacher of that class – Mr. Tom Waldron – is on WordPress! If you enjoy my blog even the tiniest bit, you will love his. He’s retired now, but I owe so much to Mr. Waldron – and the letter he wrote for my senior scrapbook very nearly brings me to tears. He was also the one to bestow upon me the Literary Appreciation Award, which I allude to in this post.
So go follow Mr. Waldron right now, and totally disregard the rest of what I’m about to write.
Everybody gone? Phew. Because this post is a little embarrassing. In one of my very first creative writing assignments EVER, Mr. Waldron issued the following challenge: He encouraged us to write 150 words describing a single emotion – without actually using that emotive word. And here was my submission:
There are eight-seven and one half tiles on the ceiling. If you count the half-tiles as wholes, there are ninety-seven. Nine and seven, whose average is eight, which is exactly the number of freckles on the left shoulder of the boy in front of me. Five on the right, which makes a difference of three.
Three worms. Three worms I would eat if they would let me go home. Four, if they would let me have a glass of water, too.
Four, times itself, the number of people present in the room with me. Sixteen, with seven asleep. That leaves nine, four with wandering eyes. Two with wrists pressed lazily into their cheeks.
Three. Three left, listening attentively to the vague murmuring sound that I’m pretty sure started as words, but slowly melted into a gray puddle of random mumbling, punctuated by occasional arm movements and the shifting of weight from one foot to the other.
I knew what the man was talking about, an hour ago. I’m sure of it.
Boredom. That’s was what I was trying to convey here. In hindsight, probably not the best choice – since Mr. Waldron’s first reaction was “I hope this wasn’t written about MY class…” (Which I maintain, to this day, that it absolutely was not.)
Mr. Waldron read my submission aloud to everyone, which drew up a grin so big that it made my jaw hurt. In fact, that probably explains why I immediately ran home to transcribe this first creative writing venture in my journal.
I’m still a little squeamish about sharing this… but when I found it, I felt it was immediately necessary to document one of my first creative writing attempts. So here you go, readers.
(And thanks again, Mr. Waldron, for igniting that fire within me.)