Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bad Writer

The other day, while going through a box of photos my mother had saved,  I came across a story I had written when I was apparently seven or eight. Since it was printed—and I learned cursive writing in the third grade, I figure I must have been closer to seven when I penned—er, penciled—it.

I drew this when I was about the same age I wrote the story.

I'm not surprised I wrote a horse story. I've always loved horses. Unfortunately, I wrote this story back in the day before I'd learned much about horses. Or spelling. Or the basic principles of writing. So I'm not surprised that the story is really, really bad.

One of the things that I hate nowadays is stories that get horse information wrong. I've blogged about this before: the wrong gender for a particular historically well-known horse, a cover photo that doesn't match the horse's description, or descriptions of riding and/or horse care so dreadful as to be totally unbelievable.

Here's my story. (You can click the pictures to enlarge.) How many errors—both factual and stylistic—can you spot?


OK, Tom's almost four years old (and they let him play unattended by the corral!) but he's given a newborn foal that roams the range by itself (Arrrggghhh!) and is captured by Indians. But four-year-old Tom just happens to be out on the range (Alone!) and finds Spot and leads him away (The foal is already trained to stand tied and to lead?!), but the chief captures Tom (He ties up a four-year-old?!). Tom's siblings search for him on a clift—er, cliff—because goodness knows that's where four-year-olds are likely to go, doncha know. Too bad I didn't describe how Jack and Janet rode down the cliff—that scene would have been better than the scene from the 1982 movie, The Man From Snowy River, where actor Tom Berlinson rides down the mountainside. In case you missed the movie, here's the scene:

Can't you just see a couple of pre-teen kids doing that? Me neither.

With such a bad beginning, I suppose it was inevitable I grow up to become an internationally ranked bad writer. Winning two divisions of the notorious Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which celebrates the worst opening line of a novel that hasn't yet written, pretty well established my reputation.

You can read my dreadful Bulwer-Lytton entries (1999 "Worst Western" and 2008"Vile Pun") at the bottom of this page of my website:

Looks like I've been a bad writer for nigh onto sixty years! Is that bad, or what?




Blogger R.M. said...

That is so precious! thanks for sharing - so much talent at such a young age.

10:12 AM  

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