Maybe I can write (a little)
School was marked by some real difficulties. I had a terrible time with math and science. I couldn’t read music and eventually got thrown out of the band for ‘going solo’because I couldn’t read music. But I tested over the top. Always in the 98th or 99th percentile. That marked me as smart. My grades marked me as lazy. Teachers saw possibilities, sometimes, and I think John Koehn was the first to discover it, but through all of the other ups and downs, I could write. It started when I got to class one day and discovered that I had a short story due.
We had to read our short story in front of the class. We were a blended 5th and 6th grade, so this was only for the sixth grade. I was about halfway down the list to read the story that I hadn’t started. I started to write, feverishly. I had about 2/3 of a page done with two people ahead of me. I was writing about being followed by a shadowy figure, whose shadow I could see, but not the person. The shadow looked like it was about to hack me to pieces, raising and lowering its arms with something long and pointed in its hands. I knew I had to finish, but I didn’t know where to go. I had a lot of ideas, but only a couple of minutes. My last paragraph went something like:
“Suddenly there was a loud clatter in my head, a ringing, and someone was shaking me, was I dead? No, it was my dad, shaking me, and my alarm clock (which I didn’t and have never, used) ringing. I rubbed my eyes, blinked several times, and woke up” It had all been a dream. (the end) Everybody clapped when I got done reading it, and I got an A on the essay.
I figured out a few things that day. 1. I’m pretty good under pressure. 2. I can figure my way through almost anything. 3. I might be able to write a little.
My writing is still marked by that style. It often ends abruptly, maybe just to leave the reader wanting more, and maybe just for a little bait for the writer to write another day.
Here’s to 11th-hour discoveries that unreel for a lifetime! Keep setting out the bait, johnwilliamlindsay . . . minds love being hooked.
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Thanks, Ms. Klein