As with any artistic endeavor (or craft, if you will) there’s a point at which one can look back and see the beginning of the adventure. For me, I always enjoyed writing, even in school. In grade school I used to write little vignettes about Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolfman. They were barely a page but fun to write. I was very much into monster movies at the time, even though they scared the crap out of me. But it was a safe scare and I think that’s why I liked them so much. Plus the monsters of old used to be tragic figures, cursed beyond their control. You almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

When I was just entering junior high in seventh grade, our language arts teacher, Ms. Miller, told us to write a story. Something fictional. I believe she said ‘not real.’ It could be about anything. I got very excited and before the end of the period was over I had finished what I considered to be a masterpiece; at two and one half pages long, it was epic, frightening, and action-packed. The piece was called Goke, The Body Snatcher From Hell and told the tale of a scientist on the trail of a creature who seems to be stealing bodies. A giant earthquake unearths (as it were) the stolen bodies and the scientist and his assistant must confront Goke, eventually killing him with fire. This brief summary doesn’t do the story justice. If fact, the story doesn’t do the story justice.  I remember turning the story in and as Ms. Miller began to read a smile spread across her face. Then she began to laugh and finally tears rolled down her cheeks. I didn’t know anyone could love a story so much.

She was very kind and supportive of my writing and I think she laughed more at my earnestness than at the story itself. Then again, it could simply be the story that made her howl.

But it was a beginning of taking images from my mind and making them concrete on paper. And regardless of those fledgling attempts, the exhilaration of doing so was wondrous.

And who knows, maybe there’s a sequel to Goke waiting to be written….

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