Thursday, June 20, 2013

My First Story: Miracle Maxi

Today on Facebook, I was surfing through my newsfeed and came upon something by NaNoWriMo. They challenged everybody to write about their first story. I decided to go back to the first complete story (other than those little booklets with pictures I used to make Michael) that I remember writing when I was about 10 years old.
The typed-up version of the story and the magazine that contained the contest notice. I promise that I had never seen The Princess Bride when I made up the title! ;)

I searched around for the story so that I could take a picture of it for the post, and I found it among a lot of other unfinished manuscripts, usually hand-written on unlined paper. They were about various American Girl characters, family members I hadn't seen in ages, or just my own brother and I. I wrote them before I ever knew about NaNoWriMo or blogs or anything else like that. I liked to play those awesome American Girl games, like Felicity's horse game where you have to jump over obstacles.I could never clear that rock wall...

Seriously though. 
I loved American Girl Magazine and in that issue was one of their story contests, where girls could write a story about 1200 words long and submit it for a chance to be published in the magazine. I can't remember if I was afraid of it being too short or afraid of it being too long. Either way, I sat down with pad of paper and pencil and started to come up with an idea.

I remember writing furiously on the little blue play table set up under the window in the playroom. The deadline was coming soon, and I still had to finish it! I'm not sure where I got the idea, but it seemed like I had always had a flare for the dramatic (read as: it didn't make a lot of sense), as this was the synopsis:

A girl named Alex wakes up one morning to find her window piled to the top pane with snow. Everything's fine and dandy until she discovers that her dog, Maxi, is missing and guiltily remembers putting him out in the doghouse the night before. She and her little brother go digging tunnels (just like Maxi!) and make a path towards the dog house. Unfortunately, just as they get there, they hear a splintering crash and realize that the doghouse didn't make it under the weight of the snow. As they turned back in defeat, the little terrier comes bounding up, safe and sound, and they make their way back to the house.

And then a giant dragon comes and torches all the snow and stays for hot chocolate.

...Just kidding.

But yes, that's basically all that it was. I actually did exceed my dreaded 1200 word limit (I also remember sitting in the living room with Mimi, frantically counting my hand-written words before the deadline). Mimi typed it all up onto the computer and although it was too long, we shoved it into an envelope with a required picture of me and a form saying that everything was my own creation (with signatures and everything!). We barely got to the post office on time to drop it off.

...I've never been good with deadlines.

As you've guessed, I didn't win, but it was one of my first stressful, but also enjoyable writing experiences.

And how about that dog name, huh? Came up with it myself. I decided the Jack Russell Terrier was to be called Maxi because he was small, and he would have been sad with any name that didn't make him feel a little bigger.

So that's the story of my first, well, story.

What was YOUR first story about?



Meredith Roark Childress said...

Another good blog, Quinlyn! I'd have to think a while to remember my first story--probably something for school. I remember your first story and getting it ready to go. You've come a long way since then! Keep 'em coming!
November will be here soon. :o) Mimi

Anonymous said...

My first story was a narrative/travel guide to Hong Kong. My second was about racism. Glad to know you're an author! I see we share common ground. Keep writing!