Childhood Creativity

(First of all, the new students move in at the University of Northwestern in the morning– hooray!  A year’s [sometimes two!] worth of work parades in front of us today, and it’s fun and exciting and campus will be buzzing with teenagers embarrassed of their parents and about to meet their new best friends!)

childartistToday, for Random 5 Friday, I wanted to share with you some of my creative endeavors of childhood.  Next Friday, I’ll tell you about my high school exploits!

1. Story Society.
My sister Kristin, our childhood neighbor Amber, and I formed loads of clubs, but the best idea we ever had for one was the Story Society, which sadly was quite short-lived.  We had a clubhouse (a room in one of the sheds on our farm), which I painted.  Kristin and I went in there just last month, and one wall still says, “Story Society”; another, “Expanding our Imagination”; the third, a freehand castle with just one window lit up.  We were each supposed to write one story a week, then read it aloud at our club meeting and critique it for each other.  I remember my first story was this melodramatic piece about a jealous best friend who ended up shooting her friend’s boyfriend with a bow and arrow– only the friend jumped in front of her boyfriend, and the arrow pierced both their hearts.  Awesome, right?

2. Glamour Shots.
Kristin, Amber, and I wanted to do our own version of the beautiful Glamour Shots that adults sometimes did, so we raided the dress-up trunk and took *glamourous* (read: hilarious and awkward) photos with a disposable camera.  I distinctly remember choosing outfits Claudia Kishi of the Babysitters Club would wear.

3. Library.
You’re starting to see the roots of my current writerly nerdiness, aren’t you?  Well, how about this: one of the “games” we played was called Library.  Amber would haul some of her books down to our farm, Kristin and I would add ours in, and we’d lay them out on the deck stairs before each choosing one and then … reading.  (Let’s be honest, all I ever really wanted to do when I was a kid was just read uninterrupted.)  Amber had naughtier books than we did (i.e., books where girls and boys kissed), so that was a total bonus.

4. So many plays.
I wrote them.  Kristin, Amber, my brother Kevin, our friends Brandi and Tina, and I would act them out.  Most of these illustrious scripts have now vanished, but we do have one play (on rollerskates!) recorded on video.  It’s about rollerskating Olympics, and I was the star.  Of course.

5.  Mysteries.
For my sister and her friends, I would create these elaborate mysteries that they would then be tasked to solve.  Again, it was writing.  I’d set the scene for them, and then there would be a series of clues– some that would seem to incriminate various characters and some that (sneakily) exonerated them.  If you were to process all the clues together, you could come up with the culprit.  After everyone guessed, I’d read the true answer.

So, was I a dork growing up?  Yes.  Do I care?  Not a bit.  Look at how early the seeds of creativity were sown in me!  I’m proud of creative little Jackie Lea.

Random 5 Friday is a weekly meme over at A Rural Journal.

10 thoughts on “Childhood Creativity

  1. Jackie, your writing is wonderful! So fun to read about how it all began! This reminds me of some of the crazy things my siblings and I would cook up when we were little. Keep up the good work! Oh and I would love to see those photos too. Claudia Kishi was one of my favorite babysitters!!

  2. These made me laugh because I was the same kind of kid. 🙂 I made up stories and plays to act out. I started a detective agency called I Spy Detective Agency. Alas, I never had a client. But my brother gave me liquid ink and some powder in case I ever had to take fingerprints. LOL I wrote stories and started novels. It was all related to the books I read and my weird imagination.

  3. I wish I lived next door to you I’d have loved to join one of your clubs. I tried corralling my sisters into becoming a bookclub, after all my efforts we just can’t get a day that is convenient for all of us.

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