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?