The very first piece of writing I remember composing - that I still have a copy of, amazingly! - is a Thanksgiving play I wrote in the 2nd grade.
I LOVED 2nd grade. Loved, loved, loved it. Mrs. Norma Bernsohn, wherever you are - you rocked my world in 2nd grade. We had our own class store to learn math, our own newspaper to learn about writing. We did science experiments and kept mice. We had guest speakers. Went on field trips to amazing places. And were encouraged to create and experiment. (Okay, yeah, I think some of those mice died in one of those experiments. And I will save my rant on the contrast between all that and the current state of public education for another day... or million)
So around Thanksgiving, I wrote a play. Not much going on in it, really. Just pilgrims landing in America and talking about their journey and - weirdly- worrying about how they would wash their clothes after such a long journey so they would be fresh for the upcoming feast with their new Indian pals. (Okay, clearly I had plot issues even then)
All girl cast, since I knew I wanted to perform it and I wrote it so I could cast all my best friends at the time and it wasn't until later in the year that I developed my first school girl crush on a guy named Bobby. Mostly boys were pretty icky in those days..
But the point is - I wrote a play. I cast it. We rehearsed. And Mrs. Bernsohn let us perform it. And I thought I was on top of the world. Got my first taste of what it took to write something and present it to an audience.
Been writing ever since in one form or another.
So thanks Mrs. Norma Bernsohn of Brenneman Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. The journey I'm on now started in your room. I've never stopped loving the process of putting words on paper and making them mean something. Never stopped wanting this to be part of my life.
Til next time...