Friday, May 14, 2010

A Friday Five of obnoxious childhood writing phases

So I know this is really not the point of the whole Friday Five thing but it makes it more fun (also my list could get really long if I don't give myself some sort of limitation).

I was writing away happily in my notebook the other night when I randomly started reminiscing about the strange writing phases I went through as a child, when I did things I thought made me Really Really Cool. So for your entertainment, here is a random sampling of the ones I remember best. And one note: none of my childhood writing was done on a computer, unless it was for school. I have piles and piles of notebooks to prove this. Yes, I still have (almost) all of them.

1) The doing strange things with letters phase. This is when I crossed my Zs in the middle. Wrote my As about six different ways. Decided it looked cool to write everything in capitals, or everything in lower case. Wrote in minuscule handwriting so I could fit as many words on a line as possible. Wrote in giant handwriting and made each letter take up two lines rather than one. Dotted my Is with hearts or circles. Used semi-colons wherever possible because I thought it made me look really grown up. Spelled my name 'K8lin' (seriously some of my longtime friends still write my name this way. I wrote it on EVERYTHING. Even homework, in 7th&8th grade. My teachers were very indulgent. Maybe because I was a good student.)

2) The end-of-line splitting phase. I hope to God at least some of you know what I mean by this. I mean when you're writing, and you have a multi-syllable word coming up toward the end of a line and the enormous thing is just not going to fit, so you can either move the whole word to the next line, or con-
serve space by splitting it with a dash. But I didn't follow the rules for this, oh no. I did it wherever possible. I mean seriously I would write words like t-
his. It confused even me, but I thought I was being the epitome of cool because I was fitti-
ng as many words as possible onto one line.

3) The rainbow phase. When I wrote in marker. And not only that, but I wrote using my entire package of markers. I'd do one color for a couple pages, then switch. Then switch again. You know what happens when you do this? You end up with a page that has dark blue on one side, and yellow on the other (I really did use yellow) and you can't read the yellow very easily because you can see the dark blue through the other side.

4) The elaborate cast of characters phase. So for this one, I went upstairs to get my notebook (labeled on the front "The Longest Story I've Ever Written!!!!!!!!" and all those exclamation marks have circles rather than dots at the bottom) which I knew had a character list in the front of it. There are about thirty character names listed, and then below that, it says "See green attitude ntebk for a complete character listing etc. (pg 41)", yes, I did write page numbers on all my notebooks, too. So I found the "green attitude" notebook. Two things about what I found there terrified me. a) my character list is two and a half pages long. b) my handwriting was as good then as it is now. At the end of the character list, there's a circled "68" so I'm going to trust twelve-year-old Kaitlin and assume there are sixty-eight characters. Oh dear God. Also, I'm feeling really brave, which is why you'll find a picture of the first page of the character list, even though I'm so embarrassed by it that I think I might actually be blushing. (Also featured: the rainbow phase, and crossed Zs). I am fully aware, by the way, that the ages of my cattle are very strange. What can I say? The genetically engineered kangaroos did it.

5) The let's describe gory things in way too much detail phase. I went through this phase several times. But when I was younger, I thought it made me pretty badass to have limbs being chopped off or people living in squalor (I liked to write really historically inaccurate historical fiction set in medieval times when I wasn't writing about cows) and describing it all for pages and pages so whoever read it would be truly, thoroughly disgusted. Even though I didn't like letting people read my not-for-school fiction. But I imagined it.

This was an embarrassingly fun way to finish off my week, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

Z's with lines through the middle are my secret shame.

This post was a constant LOL. Oh Kaitlin. xD

Kathy Bradey said...

OMG I totally <3 this! I used to get into trouble ALL THE TIME by my parents for splitting random words with dashes to save space! I also did the huge character list thing (usually with character names like Melisande-Arabella and Jodie-Jenny lol). And the gory stuff... whoa. One of my early works was entitled '21 Ways to Die'. Great post. We'd be BFFs for sure hehe!

Holly Dodson said...

I used to do a lot of this myself. I think my middle school years were entirely devoted to designing the "perfect" handwriting. And the colors- oh how I loved colored pens, much to my teacher's dismay. Great post!

Kirsten said...

Should I admit that I'm still guilty of #1? It can make long lectures very thrilling...

Jess said...

This is so funny! I need to pull out my old notebooks now and see what kind of craziness exists in my earliest writings. I know I split words a lot--my mom had to teach me the principle of syllables--and I definitely changed my handwriting every week. I also used a lot of parentheses, but I didn't draw them correctly and my parents and teachers would get really confused by the random "C's" (forward and backwards) they would find scattered throughout my stories.
Great post!

Kristin Miller said...

This post is mega-awesome. I'm guilty of 1-4 (I've never been much for gore, lol). I remember the crossed everything and the variations on a! <--- like that. I wrote those all the time because they were much more regal than a common rotund a.

And character charts! Loaded with description! Like violent eyes and thick, waist length blond hair (violent-eyed characters make me cringe to this day)!

V.M.Pettingill said...

I am guilty 1 & 3... umm still guilty of #3 actually!! I use glitter gel pens in multiple different colors when handwriting.. well until the kids steal them from me and then I'm looking for them everywhere...

Also, check out my blog post! I have a surprise for you. ;)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I hopped over from Rachele's blog to read your May 4th post - loved it!

Have a great weekend! :-)

Kate Hart said...

Love it. I was a serial lower-caser too.

Krista Ashe said...

HAHA, awesome post. I totally did weird things with my e's for awhile. And I loved the rainbow colors wit the pens.

Sighs, the crazy things we do.