Thoughts race through my mind faster than I can type – or even record them on tape, as I tried earlier. I started attending a writing group at the Bothell, WA library Friday, 07 SEP 07, and Saturday, 22 SEP 07 I started going to a group called “Reflections” at Cedar Park Assembly of God Church. It is for people who want to leave a written legacy to their family. Those who have already been regularly attending had written, and read, several interesting stories about what they did this summer, and I am hoping to use these ramblings to get my thoughts in some semblance of order to present to both groups.
Thoughts race through my mind covering everything from childhood to recent events, and I am having a very difficult time focusing on what to write about. I believe this is from both having started attending these writing groups recently, and also from having stopped taking melatonin / valaerin to help me sleep. I have always had an over-active imagination and someone suggested taking melatonin, and it did indeed help me sleep. However, and this is a big “however,” when I take the melatonin (or valaerin, which somebody else suggested) not only does it help me sleep, it has the side-affect of killing my creativity. So I have stopped taking the pills for the last two nights, and indeed I am back to being kept up half the night with my imagination running wild. I will just have to decide whether or not this is the price I am willing to pay in order to do creative writing again. I tried before to stop taking the pills, but at that time I had not been trying to get back into doing any writing, so I just decided it wasn’t worth being kept up all night.
Thoughts race through my mind faster than I can organize them, thoughts about the numerous stories I have left in various states of incompleteness, ranging from a mere idea I jotted down a slip of paper, through some assignment for college that I handed in and never tried to do anything else with, through projects that I have snippets from various scenes recorded but I have not worked out plotting or characterization, through what am I going to try to write about to leave as a legacy. I am hoping that attending the writing groups and trying to spill my thoughts in these ramblings will help me to get my thoughts organized and headed in a specific direction, in order to get going on some of these ideas / projects.
So since these ramblings are partially a result of joining a group where we are supposed to be writing a legacy to leave to our families, and 2 of my 5 nieces enjoy writing (and know I enjoy writing, and have therefore asked me to read their work), I’ll start by telling you all about my interest in writing. I first started to like writing in 7th grade while attending Seward Grade school in Seward, Alaska, let’s see…that would make it 1972, 35 years ago. But wait, the story actually starts 5 years earlier in 2nd grade when I got placed in a remedial reading class (of all things – when I was in 9th grade I was tested and found to have a 12th grade, 6 month reading level). As I sat and listened to my classmates reading, stammering and unsure of themselves, I was leaping ahead in the book (“See Dick and Jane “), keeping the page being read aloud bookmarked with one finger and every time I heard the rustle of leaves, I would pause in my own reading, and flip back and make sure I was still keeping the correct pages marked, then plunge ahead with my own reading. Every so often the teacher, Miss Enatti, would call on me, “DeWayne, would you read the next page please.” With a sigh I would mark my own personal pages, and go back to read where the last student had left off, and then when finished go back to where I had been in my own adventures in reading. Ever after I was a voracious reader, reading everything from “Tom Swift,” “The Hardy Boy’s” and “Nancy Drew,” to science fiction (please it is not “sci-fi” unless it is a grade “B” movie from Hollywood), and yes - comic books, to Greek, Roman, and all mythologies I could get my hands on, folk tales, Aesop’s Fables, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to eventually getting my hand’s on Tolkein’s The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings,” and inhaling them 4 times (so far).
It is certain that all this reading affected my writing during that 7th grade writing assignment. The assignment was to write a short (2 page) science fiction story. This assignment was not handed out by my writing teacher, but by my science instructor of all people. My story ended up being eleven pages long, and
Although I have enjoyed creative writing since 7th grade, I never tried to do anything with what I wrote, but my councilor told me that I should try submitting my work. She also said her friend had had problems getting any writing done until joining a writers group, and suggested maybe I should try finding a writing group to join that would give me a swift kick to do more writing, and to do something with what I write. Well, here I am – six months later (procrastination is a terrible thing to waste) having joined two writing groups that I had not looked for, but found despite myself.
Thoughts race through my mind, thoughts about the writing groups. Will they do me any good?? Will they do my writing any good?? Will I do anything with what I write?? Will I ever finish these ramblings?? Only time will tell. In another 35 years (if this world is still around) we’ll see what kind of legacy I will have managed to leave my 5 nieces and 2 nephews.