Feedback Friday

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Feedback Friday
Tags: , ,

When I was in the sixth grade I had this teacher, Mrs A. Nobody liked her, and for good reason, really – she was rather mean. Looking back, she wasn’t really mean, she just had rather high expectations, expectations that our 11-year-old selves had little chance of meeting. Be quiet? Pay attention? Stop tapping on the fish tank? Be realistic, Mrs A. She was reviled, and feared, and viciously made fun of.

I loved her.

An environmental group in our county held a contest, and as part of that contest, every 6th grader at every school had to write and submit a nature-related poem. We had no choice; our teachers tied it to our English grade and made us do it. There was wailing and cursing (11-year-olds like to curse, it’s new and exciting and makes the bus ride fun) and gnashing of teeth, but eventually she brow-beat us into writing those poems. Mine was about wolves and the moon, or something like that. I’ve saved nearly everything I’ve ever written, no matter how terrible it is/was, but I didn’t save that poem.

I should have. Because I won.

I don’t remember what the prize was. Probably a savings bond. It doesn’t really matter. Because what I got, in addition to the certificate and the mystery prize, was a revelation. HOLY SHIT. I LIKE TO WRITE.

That was it; that was the beginning. A contest, a shitty poem and a bitch of a teacher who said, over and over, “You can do this.”

In high school, I wrote five books. Book 1: A group of friends murders one of their own and is in turn murdered by her “ghost”. Book 2: A shape-shifting teenager moves to a new town and eats her classmates one by one, then moves on. Book 3: A group of sorority sisters murders one of their own, and is in turn murdered by her vengeful father. Book 4: A teenager is murdered by her boyfriend, and her sister seeks vengeance. Book 5: A trio of teenagers are possessed by the spirits of vengeful witches. Who were murdered.

Don’t blame me. I read a lot of RL Stine and Christopher Pike.

I also wrote short stories, and poems. I started and abandoned dozens of other manuscripts, most of which are saved on floppy disks that no modern computer can read.


These went into a machine that had no internet and printed like a type-writer. I am old.

I’ve written, in one way or another, every single day, for 19 years. And this blog, right here? This is the first time, in my LIFE, that I’ve allowed anyone to read what I write. Before September of this year, I had a very strict rule: SHOW NO ONE. Not my husband. Not my mother. Certainly not a stranger.

Here’s what’s happened since I started putting up these chapters: words that I’ve written have been viewed over 1,000 times. People from 18 different countries have read my stuff. Maybe they liked it, maybe they didn’t. The point is that they read it. That’s scary, and exhilarating, and insane.

Now, I won’t lie and say that being read is ALL I want out of this thing I’m doing. I have kids, and a mortgage, and a shoe addiction I’m considering seeing someone about.


ModCloth will be the death of me.

(I hear what you’re saying. “Elizabeth, those are $120 worth of hideous.” To which I say, no friend. Those are $120 worth of amazeballs. Where would I wear them? Who the fuck cares?)

So yeah, someday, I’d like to get paid. But this? What’s going on right here, right now, with the viewing and the reading and the people sharing what I write with other people? This is awesome. This is something that I never, ever imagined would happen.

Thank you for making these last 2 months some of the best in my life. I love you for it.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

I just finished reading Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, and it was fantastic. The premise, I admit, sounded kind of silly (says the lady writing a zombie apocalypse romance): guy buys a suit off the internet, ends up being haunted by the ghost of the former owner. How scary can this be? The answer: pretty damn terrifying. I can’t get over the fact that this was his debut novel (he has two others out now); it’s layered, and interesting, and the horror isn’t in-your-face, which I liked. I slept with the light on the night I started reading it, and I don’t get scared easily. Only one other horror author has managed to do that to me, so I’m pretty impressed with Hill’s work. It’s also only $2.99 for the Kindle right now, so there’s that.

I’ll be back on Sunday with Chapter 11, which I hope doesn’t suck because honestly, I haven’t written it yet. Fingers crossed.

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Comments
  1. My husband’s yet to read anything I write, and I think I’m okay with that. I’ve specifically told my mother that if she reads any of my books, we ARE NOT DISCUSSING THEM. That said, there is something thrilling about finally sharing your literary babies with the world – bonus points when people actually seem to like them at least halfway as much as you do!

    Horror isn’t my favorite genre by far, but that book does sound pretty interesting. (Can’t argue with the price, either!)

  2. Hello, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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