How I Started Writing
By Kate Scott
Last month, I was here at The Pen & Muse for an interview. Since Denise was gracious enough to invite me back to guest blog, I decided to talk today about something she touched upon in my interview: how I started writing.
I have ALWAYS had an active imagination, and as a young child, I made up a lot of elaborate stories. Thoughts and ideas were constantly popping into my head. Though I knew those things didn’t happen to me, I wished they did, and I felt compelled to tell people about them. I loved listening to stories and couldn’t imagine other people wouldn’t be equally interested in my musings.
The stars of all my stories were a brother and sister pair named Jonny and Crystal. Jonny and Crystal lived in a house on my street and had very exciting lives. Everything I could think of that never seemed to happen to me happened to them. I told my parents and brother all my Jonny and Crystal stories. Then I got old enough to go to school and started telling all my classmates about Jonny and Crystal, too.
Eventually, my real life friends started asking me why they hadn’t met Jonny and Crystal. A duo this spectacular would be hard to overlook. I quickly explained that problem away by announcing that Jonny and Crystal went to private school. That got me thinking, though: what were Jonny and Crystal doing every day at their private school? Soon, my stories were filled with new private school classmates and characters.
By the time I was in second grade, nobody believed Jonny and Crystal were real people. No real kids are that fantastic. Some of my real life friends were mad at me because they thought I was lying to them. I wasn’t really lying. I knew Jonny and Crystal weren’t real. I just liked telling stories. Still, the words “you’re too old for imaginary friends” became a frequent admonishment.
I decided that I wasn’t too old for Jonny and Crystal, but they were too old for me. So they moved to Palm Springs, since that’s where people move when they get old. The moving truck arrived; Jonny and Crystal packed up all their belongings and headed out of town.
My mind didn’t stop just because I claimed my imaginary friends had left town, though. I kept on thinking about them, wondering what was happening to them at their new school in California. There was only one solution to my problem.
I found a piece of paper and wrote myself a letter. At the bottom of the page, I signed the names “Jonny and Crystal.” Then I drew a stamp on the envelope and deposited it in my mailbox. The next day at school, I had a new story to tell all my friends. The adventures of Jonny and Crystal continued.
Over time, new characters have populated my stories, and I no longer claim to know any of the people I write about. But I’m fortunate to have learned this valuable lesson at such a young age: being an author is nothing more than a socially acceptable way to play with your imaginary friends, and I have some very entertaining imaginary friends.
The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight-without being able to read.