I’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.