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Early Stories

"I wish, I wish"

I have pictures of all my wishes, too. I didn't think much past the wish and the consequence of the wish. This is why young children read picture books and not novels.

"The Great Car"

I was surprised when I went back to read all of these stories from my childhood, to find how many of them were fantasy/science fiction. My memory of my life was that I had never read that stuff after about fifth grade, when I turned to "real" literature and the adult section of the library. It wasn't until my twenties when, desperate to get away from reading more depressing and deep German novels, that I began to rediscover children's books, fairy tales, and fantasy and science fiction. I think children don't make genre distinctions. And to me, fiction naturally was a large arena of make believe where anything could happen.

"Haunted House Adventures"

In the style of "Choose Your Own Adventure." Unfinished, as so many things I wrote at this time period were. But then again, I think that is true of most writers.

"My Summer Vacation"

I read this recently and found it really funny. Also, true. I'm more sympathetic to my parents now that I am one, especially my dad. I think I see a little bit of what was behind his constant "projects," and also the sheer desperations that drives a parent of many children. It is a matter of survival sometimes, and when the kids are home all day, they make a lot more mess. If they don't help to clean it, the world is quickly a disaster. One thing that happened as a result of summer vacations like this one (and I could tell you lots of other stories about them, just as real and sadly funny), all of the kids in my family are workaholics. It's like we don't know how to relax. Never learned it. And it turns out you have to practice that to get it right.

"The Stamp"

An interesting story, aborted. I think part of learning to be a writer is figuring out instinctively what stories you will care enough about to keep going with. And how to figure out if there is going to be an ending, and what shape it might take.

"Me in the Year 2000"

This was perhaps the only writing assignment I was ever given that turned out OK. I made it my own by talking about my family. I think that is one of the keys to getting kids to write. Help them to feel that it is their own, that they can be natural writing about it. Otherwise, the dreaded writer's block hits them very young and they don't get over it easily. Also, I think that no one really cares about stories that are BIG unless they also have a very small focus.

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Copyright Mette Ivie Harrison 2008 all rights reserved.
Last revised December 31, 2008.