3.8.11 | By: Megan Langham

Day Three of Fifteen Days: First Times

This is going to be nostalgia evening. Everything points that way: not least the title of this day's challenge, which is:

Your first attempt at writing.

It is about this time that Megan wishes she had an encyclopedic mind, somewhat along the lines of Sherlock Holmes', so that she could easily pull memories from the labeled files. Her mind being more akin to that of the moderately intelligent John Watson, however, she must do what she can with what she has. 

You see, many of her earliest memories involve writing. Stories of fictional adventures with her brother, poetry dedicated to her closest friend (who reciprocated with stunning, if smudged, artwork), shamelessly self-centred Narnian fanfiction... there is much to remember, but in the midst of all these blurry colorful images she sees two early milestones: her first illustrated short story and her first attempt at an original fantasy.

When she was eight years old she told her little sister a bedtime tale. This was at the suggestion of her mother, who had been trying to cajole that same sleepless little sister with the promise of blueberry muffins for breakfast the next day. The story was centred around a gentle and benevolent rabbit who went about selling blueberry muffins at very cheap prices to appreciative village folk. All was well and happy until he met a poor little family with no money to buy muffins; being somewhat less than wealthy himself, he faced a conflict of conscience. Eventually, of course, he gave in to his more generous impulses and went without breakfast himself to feed the needy family. Megan's own family remembered this story for years afterwards, perhaps because she often insisted on refining and retelling it.

Three years later she began to write down some of the many fantastical ideas that insisted on swarming about in her mind, and eventually a world of sorts took shape. Much of it was simply a knockoff of her beloved Narnia, but a few of the ideas were quite original for her, such as:

1) A beautiful young queen bound by an enchantment that caused her to drown all of her admirers in icy water. For this reason she always wore light blue gowns and a silver bangle.

2) A stone that caused whoever touched it to teleport to the place they (consciously or subconsciously) least wanted to be. This was before she had read anything on the subject of teleportation, though she must have known what it was.

3) A sort of watch that could predict its wearer's fortunes up until two hours later. It could give no details, merely a general idea of what the wearer would face, such as delight, or urgent need to make a decision.

In all honesty, Megan's writing only began to be readable a few years ago. But she refuses to utterly despise her early attempts, because--unoriginality, clunkiness, poor grammar, and all--they are her stories, and they helped to shape her future as a dreamer with a pen.

7 missives:

Jenny said...

Your stories are all so melancholy. :P For being early attempts, I really like the ideas of the young enchanted woman and the bewitched stone. They have that touch of dark intention that doesn't usually come with the frivolous imaginations of childhood. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I thought the ideas were neat. Naturally, I can't vouch for your ability to pull them off. You opted out of throwing in excerpts. :P

Abigail said...

Everyone else seems to have good memories of their early attempts at story-writing; mine are rather bad. I suppose I will do this question if I ever get around to answering them, but I think I'll focus on "Stonehenge" rather than the earlier stuff.

Like Jenny, I thought your ideas were quite interesting - particularly the watch one. I would love to see what you could do with that story now, although of course you are the best judge of how good or awful it really was. But your early scribblin's were, I am sure, a lot better than mine!

Lilly said...

Despite my great desire for happy endings and such, I must agree with Jenny. I really like the idea of the young Queen and the stone (.oO "How can we sail to a place no one can find, with a compass that doesn't point north?")

I would post my first attempt, but it mostly contains as I said to the people on the chat plagerisum, plagerisumm, a stupied attempt at a original war romance, then plagerisum, and a (very short) sojourn into a Narnian torture? fic. Not things I really want to share with the public at large.

I must, through, agree quite heartily with your statement, "...But she refuses to utterly despise her early attempts, because--unoriginality, clunkiness, poor grammar, and all--they are her stories..." And somehow (at least for me) we can look past the mistakes, and still like the great parts.

Jessica said...

Wow! I love your early stories. Tragedies of the creative mind are so interesting! Thank you for sharing your early stories! They are so much fun!

Megan L. said...

Jenny - I opted out of throwing in excerpts for a reason. :P And it's odd. I was a generally happy child, carefree as a child should be, but there was always that streak of dark fascination in my imaginings. Probably there always will be.

Abigail - "Stonehenge" was glorious, and if you use it you will be cheating. After all, I could have pulled out "The Readiest Road". And anyway, your current writing is of such high calibre that I can't believe you could really write anything dreadful. Ever.

Lilly - Well, one day you must at least show me your first attempt. It can't be much worse than mine were, anyway. ;) And that's very true about liking the best in a story. It's not the mistakes that make a thing, after all.

Jessica - Aw, thank you. I blush. ^.^ It was quite a lot of fun for me also, digging up all of that ancient history.

Jenny said...

Actually, Abigail went through this "stage." It was the typical "I'm a young writer, my writing is terrible" stage, like most of us do. Only, she spent maybe a year in it, tops, where most of us spend five or ten years. She just decided, "Pfft, I'm done with that. I put in my quota of junk. Now I can get on with the really good stuff."

In. Sane.

Megan L. said...

I'm not going to embarrass Abigail dearest by going on about how very like her capable, practical self that is. But even so, it's perfectly true.

So much for the bothersome artistic temperament. :P

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