My first “C” was in Creative Writing.
Y’all, I have never felt so dumb. And I’m borderline genius; my mom had me tested. The professor was this short, crack-thin, wispy old lady who looked like she bought her goth-black hair dye at “the” Wal-Mart. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that I had no imagination, couldn’t string a sentence together creatively if my life depended on it, and the only way I’d ever be a writer was if I tripped out on LSD and contemplated jumping while hanging out the window. Can you believe my parents paid for her to say that to me? For full disclosure’s sake, I did hear her say it to someone else, so I wasn’t the only one.
We wrote short stories. All. Semester. Long. Short stories with weird prompts; like “He was hanging out the window, high on LSD.” JK. But really. I felt like an idiot. All. Semester. Long. I can’t tell you what I wrote, other than it was drivel, and tripe, and derivative. Her words, not mine.
So, imagine my consternation when less than two years later I started hearing voices. The kind I needed to write down. I was sure, the day I wrote that first chapter while pretending to study for the LSAT, that someone had slipped LSD in my iced tea.
The chapter turned into a book. The book turned into a series. I discovered two reason why I received the grade that almost took away a few of my scholarships. I am not a writer of short stories. For the love, I can’t stop. I want the people I write about to live for.ev.er. And ever. And I still write drivel. But it is damn good drivel. Everybody needs a little drivel in their life. My life’s goal is for my sentences to be on t-shirts. Worthy, I know.
She’s probably dead now (although I swear she was at the forefront of the vampire facial everyone’s talking about and probably shoots up with embalming fluid), but if I saw her, on the street or in the Wal-Mart, in her all black clothing, unnecessary black-frame hipster glasses, and orange lipstick bleeding off her wrinkling lips; I might tell her thank you for helping me figure out what I was not. Or I might stick my tongue out and say, “bless your heart.” We all know what that means.