Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Once Upon a Time...When I was Young

Yeah, it's time for YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question I've missed this! There is nothing a writer likes more than writing/talking about him/herself. :) This week's question is so awesome and I can spend hours writing about it, but I will limit it to the next few paragraphs- promise!!!

The question is what did you write when you were young?

I started seriously writing when I was about 10 to 11 years old, before that I would scribble some ridiculous poems and short stories about me and my mom going to the store, or my grandmother straightening my hair. My first poems were all about the things in life that I had not yet experienced, but that I thought would happen to me eventually. Love, shopping, best friends betraying me etc.

I also kept a journal of poetry in my teenage years and they were pretty much about my social awkwardness, the boyfriends I wish I had, the experiences I wish I had, and a few were about teachers that I couldn't stand :)

After writing my first poems, I realized this wasn't enough. I started to then write stories and "novels." At first, I felt like my stories and novels had to focus on my lifestyle and my race/culture. My cousin, sister, and I would write about African American males and females living in the "ghetto," getting high, having sex, joining gangs- all things that I had never done and couldn't imagine doing. I completed a novel around the age of 13-14 about a African American male dealing with family trouble, girlfriends, and murder/gang violence.

When I got into high school, I branched out. I felt like I didn't want to be this stigma writer- I didn't have to just write about my own race. I started to experiment with the other cultures that I longed to know more about and (at some points) that I wished I were more like. I wrote stories and novels about Latin Americans, and White Americans in high school dealing with normal teenage problems. I wrote a series called Milton High School about a group of friends struggling with relationships, family problems, drug use etc.

The one thing I'm really proud to say that I wrote around the age of 15-16 was a novel called Annette and Jason. It is heavily influenced by R.L. Stine and other authors that I read who wrote thrillers/suspense. It is about an abusive relationship between two high school students.
The writing is extremely cheesy, but I was pretty impressed with my take on the subject matter at such a young age. Maybe I can re-visit it one day :)

Anyway, that's the cheesy crap I wrote when I was a young adult. What about you ???


  1. M:

    You may think some of your writing was cheesy, but the themes certainly were not, and definitely worth exploring again, especially in a suspenseful backdrop.

    By the way, I see you're getting your MFA. Mind if I ask where? I graduated from Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program in 2007 and loved the experience. Nothing like a room full of aspiring writers going over your work with discerning eyes!


  2. You wrote such interesting stuff when you were young.

    I plotted out one novel with a gang where the guy had gone good thanks to help from his older brother but the gang ended up killing him when he got a record deal. I thought it was awesome. So I would love to read something like that.

  3. Heidi,

    I am attending a low residency program with Fairleigh Dickinson University. It is based in New Jersey, but right now we are at a 10 day residency in Wroxton, England! It is so neat :) It snowed here though and we are hoping that we are not snowed in on Friday so that we can see London- so excited!!!

    And I hear you about the discerning eyes- I just had a workshop today. It's hard letting go of your baby and allowing people to rip it apart :( Not cool. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Laurie,

    That novel sounds hella cool- would love to read it one day :)

  5. I too did not want to be a stigma writer. I completely understand what you mean. The first story I ever wrote was about me living in a house that was next to my parents' house. I was supposed to be a doctor. Then I started writing about living on a farm with both a pig and a golden retreiver. Now, I just write about everyday people living everyday lives.

  6. Um, how come I don't remember this Annette and Jason novel? Are you keeping things from me? :)

  7. LOL- I told you about it- was embarrassed as all hell to show it to you- but it's at home in my closet...if you can pry it from my cold, dead hands then you can read it :) Love ya!!!