I think of myself as having come to the writing profession rather late. But grownups who asked me at eight years old what I wanted to be when I grew up received this answer without hesitation, “A writer. I have so many stories in my head that I want to share.” In fact, when I was eight, I was not an aspiring writer. I was a writer. I wrote stories all the time. It’s only as a grownup, after many detours and turns in life’s crooked road, that sharing the stories in my head has become intimidating.
In the movie Shadowlands, when C.S. Lewis meets his future wife, he asks to hear one of her poems. She responds, “I’ll give you an old one; that will be safest.” So, in that vein, here is a recently unearthed story I wrote when I was eight.
The Mysterious Purple Glop
One day Ms. White woke up and found her house was all torn up, and worst of all it was Purple!! She got it almost clean and went to bed. The next morning it was just like the day befor! It kept happening for a week! Finly she decided that she would move far away.
She could’nt move to any place. So she headed for Switzerland.
It came every night there too!
She asked herself who or what it could be. The question grew and grew.
Then she had the answer. She snapped and said, “I know!” She stayed up till the door quietly opened. A purple glop
e came in (a glop is a monster made of grape gum.) It saw her and said, “I’m the one who washed your dishes every night.”
She looked at the kitchen sink, sure enough the dishes were spic and span!
She said, “Thank you.”
He said “I had a hard time finding you here.”
She said, “Now I can go back to England.”
And they moved back to her old house.
Best of all, she had a man build a house in her back yard.
She finly got furniture for his house.
And they lived happily ever after.
First of all, I would like to establish that I had not read Daniel Pinkwater’s The Big Orange Splot when I wrote this. Also, I was decades away from my first exposure to Bollywood, where every story involves a trip to Switzerland. But more importantly than the question of literary influences, I find this story supports the idea that themes stay with artists throughout their lives. For example, I am currently in the process of deciding which shade of purple to paint my house. The idea that any story worth telling must involve international travel has obviously stayed with me. The urge to avoid a situation through relocation rather than to untangle a conflict through reflection and rational thought plagues me to this day. Supernatural influences and their ambiguous nature are still elements in many of my favorite stories. The foundations of a literary oeuvre are clearly visible in this early attempt at fiction. Now I just need to run with it.
Hmmm. Maybe I should rewrite a bunch of my childhood stories now. It could be a good exercise, and maybe like this artist, the application of mature technique to childish inspiration could produce something wonderful.