It was the early 1980’s, when teachers were still allowed to educate, the powers that be kept their noses out of the classroom, and parents didn’t give their children a choice about doing their homework. Back in those days, projects were assigned, and they were expected to be done. The one my teacher assigned wasn’t any different.
The project was simple in the saying but not so much in the doing. Simply put, we were supposed to make a book (and this was before Word and Photoshop). We had to write the story and then rewrite it on typing paper (neatly, of course). We had to illustrate it, sew the pages together, and put a cover on it. All for a grade, and all by the due date, no late ones allowed.
Now, this project was not well received by any of us, myself included. I mean, really, who wants to spend every night for weeks writing out a story, waiting for the teacher to approve it, rewriting it again? And again. And again. Then finally drawing out lines, in pencil, on typing paper (after spending more days drawing pictures) and rewriting it yet again. And, of course, tossing the page and making a new one from scratch when you made a mistake (no correction fluid allowed). After that, the lines had to be erased, and the whole thing had to be approved again. THEN, at last, we were free to assemble the book. All in all, it was a several week project that took hours every single night to get completed on time.
The sad part? I loved every single minute of it. (Okay, maybe not the first couple of days.)
Mine were short stories (the only one I remember had to do with an apple-headed boy who died and came back to life). I labored over each story and each illustration (I still can’t draw), and, though the end result looked horrible, I was hooked. Ever since then I’ve spent most of my spare time creating worlds and writing stories. And even if no one else ever reads them, and even if those who do read them don’t like them, I will still spend most of my spare time writing stories and creating worlds. It’s just who I am and what I do, and it’s all my fourth grade teacher’s fault!
SHAMELESS PLUG: Don’t forget to check out A Walker is Born while it’s free on Kindle.