Friday, March 07, 2008

Origins of a Writer

Thinking back this week about what led me to become a writer, what made me want to create and shape worlds, I was led back to one particular aspect of my life. Of course we can't discount the foundation of reading from an early age or being taught to think creatively, but if I were to point to one think that made me being to create fiction it was being in trouble as a kid.

I grew up with strict curfews, deadlines for play, times that I was supposed to be home. Commonly during summers I was told to be home by noon. This wasn't "around" noon; this was BY noon. Sometimes, though, I didn't make it home on time.

There could be many reasons for being late. I never was a good judge of time. I'm not sure what should be expected of a twelve year old.

Hustling home, from a friend's house on the other side of the highway, or limping home a bike with a flat tire or a busted chain, I would think about what it would be like when I got home. I would imagine exactly how it would play out. Not just my excuse, but the expression on my dad's face, the light through the window, the feeling in my gut.

By the time I got home I would have been through the scenario about thirty times, diffusing the situation, taking all the anxiety out of it. This mental exercise, though, made me think about creating a scene, shaping a world, and all the things that were possible with the imagination.

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