I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. Not just writing as in being able to form words on paper with a pen or pencil but writing as in creating a work of literature. I’m not saying what I wrote when I was a little kid was great literature or anything, but I did win second place in the third grade poetry contest with this gem:
Lady Kathleen Kelly is her name.
During her lifetime, she won lots of fame.
She was queen and ruled the land,
and all her courtship was very grand.
With all her courtiers she loved to chat,
but this is a dream, and Kathleen’s a cat.
It was probably the twist ending that impressed the judges.
|Long before Dances With Wolves, I wrote a story about a
frontier soldier who questioned mistreatment of tribes.
I’m not sure I have a favorite among all the writing I’ve done. Standouts among the stories I wrote when I was little, in elementary or middle school, are two kind of dark pieces. If I ever find them again (I’m sure they’re boxed up somewhere), I’ll post them online. Years before Dances with Wolves won an Oscar, I wrote a short story about a frontier soldier who questions treatment of a Native American tribe. What can I say, I watched a lot of old westerns on TV and my great-grandmother on my mom’s side was Native American. The other story is about a barber who’s planning to cut the throat of a dictator. When I ran across this in some papers a few years ago, I kind of wondered if I made it up or if it was some sort of bizarre English exercise. You know, this story is missing the punctuation; copy it and insert the correct punctuation marks. It just doesn’t seem appropriate content for middle school. I think the one guy’s name was Torres. I don’t remember if that was the barber or the dictator. Does this sound familiar to anyone from school in the mid-1970s?
In high school, I was pretty proud of a story I wrote for senior English. We were supposed to write a true story, but I couldn’t think of anything interesting, so I wrote some far-fetched science fiction story in the first person, and for anyone who might question its veracity, I ended it with the brilliant, “It could be true, and it could happen to you.”
The only scripts I’ve ever written are short ones, 20 minutes or less. Two were completed for a 24 Hour Theatre project, so they were done under the gun and turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. One was the screenplay for a movie that I got to make as part of a contest run by MTV and Amp’d (a mobile phone company, now defunct). I thought the script turned out well, though it was also written rather quickly; the finished film was cut down to four minutes (the better to play on Amp’d cell phones), and I think it would have been better about a minute longer. Still, I’m proud of the film. The two other screenplays I’ve written were for short film contests, but due to circumstances beyond my control, they were never filmed.
I’ve started writing novels and feature-length scripts, but I’ve never finished any of them. That, however, is a post for another day.
What writing projects that you’ve done stand out in your mind as something to be proud of?