Unexpected surprises
Thursday, May 14, 2009, 8:37 PM

In the tenth grade, my English teacher read an assignment of mine out loud to the class -- a short story based on the book and movie titled Shane -- and later persuaded me to move to honors English. Well, between he and Oogie, they convinced me within an inch of my life that it was a move that could only benefit one who possessed such talent as I.

I'd never been so publicly embarrassed over a piece of my writing. I was a shy kid. Didn't like attention. And I was embarrassed that I liked to read and write so much because nobody else I knew liked doing those things.

On top of that, I felt like a one-trick pony. It was just one friggen assignment where everything seemed to click. The only thing I really remember about the story I wrote was the bittersweet angst that made Shane who he was. He couldn't stay with those he loved, even though he dearly wanted to, but his soul was damaged. He wasn't the kind of guy who could settle into family life. For whatever reason, it resonated with me.

All of the popular kids were in honors English. All of my friends were in regular ole English. It was hard saying goodbye. Not only did I feel like I was losing my friends, I felt like a big fat cheat. So what if I could write? Nobody I knew cared. Nobody I knew was interested in that kind of stuff.

Until I wrote that kick ass poem about the hero, that is. Mr Dorfman had us write a 500-word story about a hero. I was heavily into piratical romance at the time, so I wrote about two duelists in concealing gear. The action was blazing! They told me so! And then the winner pulled off her head gear and said touche. Until that last sentence, nobody reading would have guessed it was a girl fighting a guy.

(This piece, Mr. Dorfman made ME read out loud to the class. Oh, the humiliation.)

I didn't faint or die on the spot because everyone loved it.

And, well, who'da thunk?

It's the same thrill I'm getting lately from my own fan fiction writing. This time, all of it on purpose.

Andi raises a fist and pumps it in the air

Thanks, Mr. Dorfman.


6 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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