Dec
2

Rule #2: Authors spring forth from the womb, gilded fountain pen in hand… Or not. ‘Cuz you know what? They tell lies for a living.

Wanted: Creator of worlds

Many established authors seem to want us to believe that they've been imbued with the singular ambition of becoming a writer since birth, and that they've been regaling their friends and family with tales of magical rainbow-eating unicorns, or high-flying space aliens from Alpha Centauri, since before they could hold a pen (or an iPad).

Well, I have just conferred with the definitive School Day Treasures book my mother faithfully completed for me each year, and I can say with some authority that not one of those memento-brimming, pocketed pages had the teensiest of checkmarks next to the esteemed vocation of WRITER in the “When I Grow Up I Want To Be” section.

 Here, instead, is how I apparently planned to bring home the bacon:

• Kindergarten through Grade 2: Ballet Dancer or Clown (‘Cuz really, who hasn’t gone through this phase?)
• Grades 3 to 5: Artist or Scientist
• Grades 6 through Graduation**: Astronaut 

[** With the unfortunate exception of Grade 9, when I dawned a fedora, took scissors to my jeans, fell madly in love with the New Kids on the Block, and dotted my i’s with stars for a year.  But we shall speak no more of this.]

Alas, mine is a misguided tale of follies, foibles and failed ambitions: I did not fulfill any of these noble and lofty ambitions.  Though as a pre-teen I did get to be a magician’s assistant for the Frenette Bros. magic act for one night… which, if some over-sized shoes and an over-zealous make-up artist had been thrown into the mix, might have come somewhat close to that “clown” option.

Now, if I squint my eyes a bit and skew things in a "hind-sight-is-20/20" kind of way, I could pretend that the early combination of “Artist, Scientist and Astronaut-wanna-be” meant that fate really has been leading me towards becoming a Sci Fi Writer my whole life.  I would then be a "liar-liar-pants-on-fire" but I could pretend it, in some mystical, artificially-fulfilling, Kumbaya kind of way.  

But in truth, I absolutely hated writing as a child, and as a teen, and for most of my adult life.  The fact that I was enrolled in mainly science-related courses meant that, until recently, my writing generally took the form of research papers or comparative essays with little to no creativity to be found. 

So in all fairness: ~ Maybe I just didn’t know what I was missing. ~

And come to think of it: at the age of seven, whilst swinging gaily on our backyard playset, I quite innocently convinced my little sister that I was an evil alien robot from Mars, come to take over the world – with nothing more than my quick wit, a fantastic imagination, and three strategically placed mosquito bites that felt remarkably like bolts on the back of my head.  (Sorry about that one, Kel.)

So at the end of the day, maybe I’m at the right party after all – even if I did arrive somewhat late.  ‘Cuz if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s bullshitting with flourish.

Beware of Robots

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six Responses to "Rule #2: Authors spring forth from the womb, gilded fountain pen in hand… Or not. ‘Cuz you know what? They tell lies for a living."

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