In the beginning

There was a single moment that set Kelli’s feet on the path of the writer. A moment of pride, and accomplishment, which led to an important call. She did her homework! That’s right. No one did it for her, she didn’t copy from a smart kid. She actually. Did. It. Herself. And, only a few days after she turned it in, her mother received a phone call. Kelli’s seventh grade English teacher, Mr. Strathairn, wanted to know if she’d ever been dropped on her head. (Okay, maybe it was more along the lines of “did Kelli suffer head trauma as a child?”) Of course Kelli’s mother was taken aback by this, and the teacher had to rush on explaining that a study suggested that some accomplished artists and writers suffered head injuries when they were young.

As a matter of fact, Kelli had gotten a doozy of a lump that resulted in stitches. A scar she still bears, faintly, to this day.

Mr. Strathairn told Kelli’s mother that the assignment to write a short story about something that had happened over the summer was good. That Kelli showed great potential with words. It was the first time a teacher had called to say something positive about her. That phone call gave her the courage and confidence to strike out as a writer.

A few months later, as a Christmas gift, Kelli gave Mr. Strathairn a short story. It was grim little piece about a man-eating Christmas tree, and the little old lady who loved it. Kelli hadn’t expected her English teacher to hand it back a day later marked from top to bottom in red ink! It was a gift after all. Her first short story, voluntarily written, ever. One she believed to be a masterpiece! Who did he think he was? He did make some good points, though. As she read his comments, she grudgingly realized that he may know something about writing after all.

And so Kelli learned the way of a writer early in her career. Write, edit, find someone with a red pen to pick it apart, cry, rewrite…and rewrite again.

And so it has been ever since.

2 Responses to “In the beginning”

  1. So it was the head trauma… Makes sense. I personally had “several” before the age of ten, and a few since… Lots of stitches, but then I guess, that’s just how boys play. 🙂

    Look forward to reading more things from you induced by head trauma!

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Embracing Creativity

Ramblings and writings of J.M. Farthing