Friday, December 9, 2011
I Wrote This Post Fifty Years Ago
I alluded to the writing sample that follows in my post on Monday 12/5. As I explained in that post, my teacher at the time, Mrs. Kingston, showed us a picture that she had taken from a magazine and told us to write a description of it.
As I recall, the illustration of what was probably a scene depicting a nighttime sea battle during the American Civil War showed a massive fiery explosion in the water. Men in a dinghy near the blast are drawing back in terror and shielding themselves from the powerful force of the eruption. At least, this is what I remember and I will have to rely on this memory since I don't have a copy of that picture.
Mrs. Kingston gave me an A and some encouraging compliments. She then mounted the paper on a larger piece of yellow construction paper and after reading my paragraph to the class, she passed it around to the other classes in the school and eventually mounted the paper on a bulletin board outside the school office. I experienced my first thrill of having my writing read by others and hearing the words spoken in public. It was a writer's high that I never wanted to lose.
The following is the collection of adjectives, metaphors, and similes that was the paragraph that set me off on my course of writing aspirations.
Burnt and Salty
There is a smell of fire and smoke. You can taste salty water from the ocean. It was fire from the ocean. It was like a volcano from the bottom. It looks like a huge ghost coming out of the sea. The sky looks like the heavens are on fire. The sun fell into the sea. A sea dragon is shooting flamey fire out of the rough water. It feels like a steaming hot furnace. The sea looks like thousands of geysers shooting water. Even though it is dark it is light. It is a geyser of steaming flamey fire. You can feel water and fire shooting into your sweaty face. Your clothing is shabby. Your face is burnt and scarred.
So from my fourth grade self here is some sort of insight to my writing style perhaps. I'm not sure what was influencing me at the time, but I do recall reading a great deal back then. I'm not sure whether to thank her or curse her, but Mrs. Kingston, you played big role in why I blog today.
Do you have a particular teacher who influenced your desire to write? Have you saved any of your old schoolwork or writing samples from childhood? Did you have aspirations to become a writer when you were a child?