Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Once Upon a Time...

Sometime in the early 1980s, probably 1983/1984, during the middle of an English Composition exam I fell in love with the word entrepreneur. I'd always loved reading - if twitter had existed back then I would have stalked Enid Blyton until she was forced to take out a restraining order - but I'd never considered that I could write a book. I didn't decide that day either, but I like to think of it as the start of the slow-burn.

Even earlier in the 1980s, about 1981, we had to write a story about a postman and his route. I can't say for sure what the other stories were like but I'm nominating mine as possibly the worst in the class. I think I was a very dim child. I wrote about a postman and I had him deliver a letter to each house and well, that was it. Snooooze. I hope you're still here. I remember the teacher having to explain to me that I should have added some action, like a vicious dog (if she'd mentioned zombies, I'd have choked on my gulp). There was no spark back then, not even a slow burn.

In primary school, about 1976, the teacher asked us to write our own version of Alice in Wonderland. I plagiarised. Adding here that I was about 8. I thought if I changed a few words, I kid you not, that the teacher wouldn't realise I'd copied it from a book. Oh she noticed, thank god they didn't use rulers on backsides back then.

So why this post..? Just me wondering wondering which point in the road led to today.

17 comments:

Aaron Polson said...

This is why you write things of a speculative nature, Cate. The Fairies took over...those zombie faires with the leather wings.

You're in their clutches, now. Good luck.

Cate Gardner said...

Aaron, putting in a request for a zombie fairy with leather wings Friday Flash, thank you. :D

Ed Pahule said...

The word entrepreneur started all this? Interesting. Was it the sound of it or was it its meaning?

Jamie Eyberg said...

I would like to think that a garden gnome whispers in your ear every night.

Cate Gardner said...

Ed, the sound. Other words I adore are Agamemnon and Pyroclastic. Sigh!

Jamie, locking windows tonight.

katey said...

I often wonder about what lights a fire under these things, too. Totally cute story about the postman thing-- and plagiarization. Kids are so weird.

And entrepreneur does have a fabulous sound to it. I can't say as I blame you.

Cate Gardner said...

Katey, I'm imagining future headlines 'Cate Gardner Accused of Plagarism' and getting it all out into the open now. :D

Aaron Polson said...

Oh, Cate...now the wheels are turning. Thanks ;)

Cate Gardner said...

Fantastic. :D

abrokenlaptop said...

This was a beautiful post! I hope it becomes a meme. I'd love to hear what set everybody on their individual roads.

-Mercedes

Cate Gardner said...

Me too. Good idea, Mercedes.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Ha! Ying had the same problems with the idea of fiction. Still does : ) Which means, wherever your road forked, the other route led to being an engineer. Which, from what I've seen, is even weirder than fiction writing by far!

Demon Hunter said...

I think we(writers) all wonder that. You have to think of when so you put that on your website as one of your FAQ. I look forward to reading it. ;-)

Danielle Ferries said...

I've pondered that, can't put a finger on it and decided that it just is. If that makes sense.

Cate Gardner said...

Natalie, in an alternate universe zombie machines are about to take over the world.

Tyhitia, I often wonder on what day I and others made the leap.

Danielle, it does.

K.C. Shaw said...

Just be glad you weren't writing about zombies and things back then--your teacher might have recommended you for a "special" class. :)

Whatever road you took along the way, I'm glad you took it.

K.C. Shaw said...

(Oh, and you made me think of the Dr. Seuss's Big Book About Me that I had when I was seven. I loved that book and filled it all in. And on the page where it says "can you draw a bird?" or whatever, I copied the Dr. Seuss bird on the previous page. Even worse, my "story" was a list of things around me, preceded by "I love," as in "I love TV. I love couches. I love dogs. I love macrame." Yes, macrame. It was the 70s and my grandmother had a big macrame wall hanging in her den.)