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Getting Serious

Let me tell you about the exact moment the light bulb went on.

I don't actually know what class it was, some kind of English I think, but I know it was during my junior year of high school. Our teacher broke us down into groups of five for a special assignment. She wanted us to produce a recording in the style of the old serialized radio programs like Dick Tracy or Little Orphan Annie, except it had to be from original material. We were given two weeks to write the script, record the show using sound effects and background music, and then result would be played in front of the entire class on a Friday. The whole group would be graded based upon the quality of our overall work.

I was assigned to a group with three other guys, and Vicki Marmarose. Vicki was captain of the cheer-leading squad at Havelock High. She was so pretty your eyes would ache if you stared at her too long and had a such a sweet personality that anybody who to talked to her would come away feeling sticky. I was so shy and withdrawn in high school (like I ever grew out of that) that I would have never have said a word to Vicki had we not been placed in the same group together.

At our first team meeting it was quickly decided we wanted to do something along the lines of Sci-Fi/Horror Theater, but nobody knew exactly what. That's when I suprised myself by volunteering to write the story. I had always been good with my imagination, and could put them into words fairly easily, so when I saw an opening to impress Vicki I jumped on it.

I came up with an idea of a mother (which would be played by Vicki) who buys a full length mirror from a yard sale and the things that start happening when her small son starts playing with a friend in the mirror. Everybody said they liked the idea, so I wrote the story the next day. It took us a couple of days to record the script using various sound effects and the eerie music from 2001 a Space Odyssey as a background, then it was ready.

On that Friday we presented our radio show. After the whole class listened to it we received generous applause. But the teacher was upset that we didn't use original material as were were instructed and wanted to know where we got the story from. I informed her that I wrote it, which she didn't believe until my team members all backed me up. When we finally convinced her, she was so enamored with it that she urged me to submit it to various contest.

That was when the light came on. I was actually pretty good at writing stories. I impressed Vicki Marmarose as well, but this isn't the type of story where the hero gets the girl. It's based in REALITY!

I never submitted the story to any contests, nor did much with my writing at all after that. I joined the school newspaper my senior year and wrote a couple interesting articles, but once I hit college my writing took a back seat to just about everything else.

It wasn't until I started getting involved in these social networking sites and writing my thoughts out in blogs, that my more creative side started to emerge. At first I wrote a couple of short stories that I only my wife was privileged enough to read. Then I wrote one in particular about the re-surfacing of a repressed memory of a brief romance, that was much longer and more involved than anything I had attempted before. Once again I let my wife read it, and she thought it was great (but she is my wife, so the requisite grains of salt was indeed taken). I had such a great time writing it as well. I was starting to think about what my next project would be when I had a thought. What if I turned my short story into an actual novel? Was it time to get serious about this writing stuff?

Next time I'll tell you what it was like converting my short story into a book, and why it might never be published.


  1. i SO hope you've sent this post to Vicki! she'd treasure it.

  2. If I knew where she was or had an e-mail address, I would.




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