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My First-Grade Masterpiece

Hunt Smith

Posted on February 1, 2020 20:35

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It turns out that I wasn't a young William Faulkner.

I reread my first attempt at creative writing recently. I found it stored away in my old room while I was visiting home. It was scribbled in a white booklet which allowed for crayon illustrations. The illustration that I had made was deeply faded, and I had to squint to make out much of the color. It wouldn't have mattered: I've never been much of an artist anyway. Scrolling through the pages, I noticed the huge size of each of my cursive letters. One sentence would cover the entirety of the page. You would think that the size of the letters would add an amount of legibility; however, the words were almost cryptic as if they were a surviving artifact of an ancient language.

Even when I was able to decipher the language, the story failed to make any sense. It seemed to be a spy thriller in which James Bond's son attempts to escape his mother in order to avoid doing homework. What's odd about the story is that while my writing is totally incoherent, I am able to remember what I was attempting to create. I vividly remember trying to elucidate my thoughts in an interesting way. When I finished, I celebrated as if I had created the world's next artistic masterpiece. It didn't matter that most of the sentences were fragments. In my head, I had created a New York Times best-seller.

What I found hidden away in my old room was far from a compelling short story or a sign of a young genius. Heck, the story didn't even have an ending. It just stopped. I never got to learn what happened to young James Bond Jr. If I remember correctly, I meant to write that he gets caught by his mother and appears utterly foolish in the process; however, I can't know for certain. I was seven and obviously didn't comprehend the English language fully enough to write a complete story. I admire my teacher who had the task of commenting on my work. She didn't have too much to say. She gave grammatical advice and marked spelling errors, but the bulk of her critique was a short note at the end of my story saying, "I would love to see an ending." 

I'm sure that in fifteen years I will be embarrassed when I look back at my current writings. I might feel as I do now, wishing that I could bury the story in my back yard. However, no matter how I feel about the content of the writings, I will be able to return to that feeling I had as I wrote it. It will spark the memories of joy and frustration as I attempted to create something out of my inner ramblings. I will remember being that young kid who wished he could be James Bond Jr., if only for a day. 

Hunt Smith

Posted on February 1, 2020 20:35

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Source: The Guardian

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