Why

Harold&me.WBI’m back in grade six, in Mrs. Mackenzie’s class, middle row, middle desk, working with a vocabulary list and writing stories and this is practice – that’s all. I’m picking up where I left off 46 years ago when I stopped making stuff up and started reading boys instead. I spent way too much time as a teenager trying to figure out the opposite sex and find myself four decades later not much wiser in that regard. I might as well return to fiction. It’s probably better for my brain plus I can make the boys do what I want.

Returning to writing stories after a lifetime long absence is like trying to learn French at 50. You have mastered your mother tongue but in a second language you feel like a baby burbling sounds that make no sense. You put verbs in the wrong tense, dribbling nonsense leaks from your lips, when in your head you know exactly what you meant, but everyone is staring at you because you’ve just asked for a sock instead of sugar for your cafe au lait.

So, my dear, funny, loyal, wise, insightful readers, the saga of Harry Bittercress and Lady Smock will bumble along, spontaneous silliness prompted by Dictionary.com’s word of the day. Sometimes the stories may not make sense, but that’s because this is practice, not high Art. I am 11 year old Susie Fletcher again, learning to write stories, mostly getting it wrong but sometimes getting it right.

Welcome to my grade six scribbler. A record of attempt. One day when I’m a grown up, it will make me laugh.

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14 thoughts on “Why

  1. Bravo! I’m excited for you. I’m struck by the parallelism in our lives. In between rewrites of my memoir I read Stephen King’s – On Writing, and following his advice, started writing something other than my memoir to give it a break. What came out was fiction! I didn’t know I had it in me. Who is this person writing about diamond smuggling out of Liberia in the 50s (seriously?), manipulated marriages and illicit sex? Goodness Gracious – NOT I — ha ha ha. But it’s fun! In such an unexpected, delightful way, so again, Bravo! Keep on writing.

    • Isn’t it a fun and wacky ol’ world that we can discover these things late-ish (for me, not you, of course not you!) in life? If you need a reader for your illicit sex/manipulated marriages/diamond smuggling novel in draft, let me know. Sounds like just my cuppa!

  2. Harry Bittercress and Lady Smock always make sense to me, and now that I’ve read this posting I’m starting to worry that perhaps it’s because I’m nuts! I could possibly add a sentence or two to Cynthia’s and your husband’s recollections!

    • I do make some attempt to string the stories together but it’s not like I have a plan. As for the state of your mental health, I will remain discretely silent for once. What a wonderful ol’ gabfest you, Cynthia, and my dear spousal unit would have reliving the horrors of teaching pubescent plebes.

    • You are so right. Tongues like Rattlers and quick to bite. I have three daughters and survived that stage but there are nicks in the old flesh. I’ve always been a cactus in my heart and at that age there wasn’t much filter for the barbs. Did you teach that age group, Cynthia?

      • Summers in college, I worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor…that was my major encounter with that age group. Otherwise, I taught in high schools–huge, urban, and also small, private Catholic…that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish….

        • I should get you chatting with my hubster, now a retired teacher from a large urban Catholic school. The stories you could share! He started a blog briefly but hasn’t got the bug like his missus. Now that he’s out of the system I think he should spill, don’t you?

"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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