Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I write therefore I am

by Josh

I'm pretty sure I came out as a writer the moment I came out of my mother's vaginal canal. If only in that delivery room there had been a pencil within reach, I undoubtedly would have reached for it with my tiny left fist to scribble down some notes.

Alas, my innate writerocity would remain dormant until a spelling assignment I received in second grade. Interestingly, I wasn't even supposed to be in that second grade class; due to my CP, the principal wanted me to be in the special education class, but my father fought for me to be mainstreamed and so I was there to receive that aforementioned, catalytic spelling assignment. I ended up handing in a short story about a vampire with a loose tooth and it was well-received and the rest, as they say, is sophistry.

And yet I never really was a writer, even at a young age. I was a typist. Because my handwriting is indistinguishable from the readings on an electrocardiogram, I type my tales, and did so even as a pre-adolescent rapscallion. I would take a piece of light tan paper - so low-grade that the wood pulp was still discernible in the sheet - and fold it in half (because books are folded in half, aren't they?) and roll it left-side down into my Dad's typewriter and away I'd go, my fingers swarming down on the keys like a flock of birds at a sesame factory, and I'd fill up small books with the adventures of John Corin (don't laugh), leader of the Police Cops (stop laughing), a squad of highly trained superhero crimefighters whose identities were loosely based on the action figures I happened to keep in a tub in my closet (still laughing, aren't you?).

I also created my own TV network and populated the time slots with shows of my own creation, most of them action-oriented but some of them set in space, some underwater, etc. The space stories were some of my favorites. There was a starship (shh) piloted by a man simply known as the Captain (shush) and he and his crew of highly trained superhero crimefighters - whose identities were loosely based on the action figures I happened to keep in a tub in my closet - traveled the galaxy in search of adventure (no, seriously, they did).

On my good days, I like to think that my imagination has matured since then.

On my better days, I am glad it hasn't.


Michael Wiley said...

I'm glad you started early, Joshua -- Oh, for a pencil in the delivery room. And unless I'm mistaken, this is the first Criminal Minds post to use the phrase "vaginal canal." I hope it's not the last.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Michael, you're up for "vaginal canal" in a post next week. Here's hoping it's not "post your favorite recipe" week.

Thanks for classin' up the joint, Josh. I bet somebody in that room had a pen. Can't wait to hear the end of the story after lunch.

Meredith Cole said...

Your stories sound great, Josh. I used to love to type on my mother's type writer when I was little. It made everything feel so much more official. I have atrocious handwriting, too, much to my family's despair. I always have to read the shopping list aloud to them...

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I only laughed a little. I started typing all my stories in 7th or 8th grade myself. I was the only kid I knew with a typewriter (electric!). And, just so you can laugh back, it had a silver foil sticker of a unicorn on it.

One of the best parts of having a son is getting to have a tub of action figures in the closet. I hope you kept yours.

Thanks for another great post!

Reece said...

Baby Josh arriving with pen in hand in the delivery room -- thanks for another indelible image!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

What a fabulous post, Josh! I also loved the imagery of newborn Josh with a pencil.

When I was in 7th grade, I hand wrote a story on pages of lined notebook paper. After finding the address of a publisher in the front of one of my books, I sent it to them for publication. I'm sure they had a great laugh over it. And if they didn't, they should have.

I think we should all be tasked to use either "vaginal canal" or "pre-adolescent rapscallion" in our next posts.

TracyK said...

See?This is why I never read you before I post my stuff - how does one compete with an opening that has the phrase "vaginal canal"?