Jackie, the Child Writer


Some of my stories from growing up:

In third grade, I invented the Pononia family and spent time exploring the romance between Billy Pononia and his girlfriend Kate. When they left for college (a concept I could hardly fathom), they didn’t know how to find one another (because obviously a dating couple wouldn’t share where they were each going, right?) and Billy had to search long and hard for Kate, who had given up on him and was starting to love another man. But when Billy tracked her down (on her college campus!), he fought that man (of course!) and ended up marrying Kate. That’s romance right there, people.

Around sixth grade, my sister Kristin, neighbor Amber, and I started the Story Society, which was to meet weekly in our awesome clubhouse (a room in our motorcycle shed that I’d cleaned out and whose walls I adorned with a freehand painting of a castle with just one light on in one of the turrets). We were supposed to write one story each week, read them aloud to one another, and then offer feedback. My first story was about a jealous best friend taking archery lessons who ended up shooting her best friend’s boyfriend– but her best friend jumped in front of the boyfriend, and the arrow pierced both their hearts.  Tragic. Then the Story Society disbanded.

In junior high, I authored a soap opera. I’d write “episodes” in a green notebook labelled “Sunnyside High,” which my friends passed amongst themselves before it would end up back in my hands. Then I’d write a few more episodes for everyone. This soap opera was full-on drama: a teen pregnancy, a long-lost twin, a rebel who’d gotten AIDS from a tainted blood transfusion after his motorcycle accident. Sheer gold.

I also wrote a story about two best friends competing for just one spot on the track team. (Note to self: maybe stay away from writing sports stories, mmmkay?) I also penned a stunning mystery where a girl kept seeing her dead boyfriend. Hot.

Then there was my novella about a teen cheerleader who developed emphysema. Let me tell you; this was intense. I finished the story around 2 am in the dark in our family room, only the light from the computer screen to illuminate the tears that flowed down my cheeks.

In high school I turned my attention to bad, melodramatic free verse poetry, but that’s a whole other post. I’ll spare you for now. 🙂

If you’re a writer, do you remember some of your earliest creations? Were they dramatic and over-the-top like mine?

10 thoughts on “Jackie, the Child Writer

  1. I probably shouldn’t laugh about a teen cheerleader developing emphysema, but it’s late, and I love tales from Jackie’s childhood, and I’m contemplating the various ways a teenager could contract emphysema. LOVE this post!

    My early creations included “The River Heights Gazette,” co-written with my two best friends, where we turned the innocent Nancy Drew stories into sordid soap opera installments where Carson Drew ran off with Nancy’s friend Bess, and the maid Hannah Gruen had a hot affair with George’s boyfriend Dave. Then I decided to clean up my act and write “A Piece of Faith,” my Christian historical romance. I also created a tear-jerking drama for my Barbie dolls, featuring cancer-ridden-parents and immaculately-conceived-infants with burns on their legs.

  2. I still have some of my childhood writings. My early stories usually involved some kind of moral. LIke in one that I wrote in first or second grade, a cat known for being unkind learned that it was better to be kind. 🙂 When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I wrote some “scary” stories where all the creepy stuff actually happened in dreams. I also started a novel with characters who were friends and were going to solve mysteries. Didn’t get very far with that one.

  3. The jealous best friend! Hahahha! Oh my gosh, I can’t even remember how many stories of mine involved someone jealous trying to win someone else back! The pinnacle of my illustrated stories was about a mermaid who performs surgery (with what appears to be a kitchen knife) on her two best friends, exchanging with each of them half of a heart. The friends transform into beautiful women with their new transplants, while the mermaid becomes a horrifying creature who appears to be wearing only some sort of hula skirt. She goes on vacation, only to return at the end as a silky, shiny angel and turns her friends into angels as well.

    In high school, my best friend and I tried co-authoring a novel; we wrote alternate chapters. It was based on what we expected reality to be once we started college. Perhaps needless to say, my college experience did NOT involve dorm rooms covered in rose petals, severe skiing accidents, potential paralysis, and ridiculous gifts all the time from the man who fell in love with me the first week of school. What a shame.

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