Thursday, October 14, 2010

A sort-of guest post

I am working. The kind of intense don't-bother-me working that doesn't make for good parenting except during breaks, when I grind my gears and shift into Mommy mode. I am so close to having this book finished... and so close to another regularly scheduled deadline that it's sniffing my pant leg wondering why I'm not paying it no nevermind.

So while I'm hoping that the candle I'm burning at both ends doesn't run out of wax (or drip on my laptop), I offer this short story written my nine-year old Snuggler.

See Plot Run

Once there was a boy named Henry. Henry was a quiet kid who worried quite a bit. One day in writing class, he had to write a narrative. Henry immediately started to worry. What if he couldn’t come up with a plot? What if he made a mistake? What if his writing teacher didn’t like his story? Henry worried through all the rest of his classes. Whenever he worried, his palms got sweaty, so he couldn’t hold a pencil. He worried all the way home. He worried for an hour more at home, thinking up more and more things to worry about.

 His mom told him, “Henry, you need to do your homework, or else you won’t have it when you need it,” She said.

“But Mom, I can’t think of something to write about,” Henry replied.

“Well, go look at a book for inspiration,” she snapped crossly, and went back to doing the laundry.

“All right, all right,” Henry grumbled. “She’s in one of her moods.” Reluctantly, he picked up the first book he could find, the Dick and Jane Treasury. He opened it angrily and scowled. “Look, look. This is Dick. Dick can run. Run, Dick, run,” he read aloud. He was disgusted and didn’t feel like reading the rest. It was really depressing. This was literature? Oh well, she asked for it, he thought.

Henry sat down at the computer chair. He opened Microsoft Office Word and stared at the blank paper on the screen. “I can’t and don’t want to do this," he told himself. Henry looked again at his book. “Look, look. This is Jane. Jane can hop. Hop, Jane, hop,” he read aloud. It got worse by the second. I’ll just have to suffer through it, he thought. After reading twenty pages containing a grand total of only ten different words, Henry finally got an idea. He would rewrite Dick and Jane with an actual vocabulary!

Henry quickly set to work. It was 3:30, and he had to go to soccer practice at 5:00. He would have to hurry. Henry immediately started to type:
Observe Richard perform vigorous exercise.  Notice his accelerating lower limbs. Richard has a sibling named Jeanette.  Behold, Jeanette can leap. Examine their canine companion. This creature is named Blemish.

Henry leaned back and admired his work. But there were a few problems: this was supposed to be a Narrative, not an Expository piece, and there was NO PLOT. That certainly wouldn’t work. “Hmm… I guess I’ll have to make draft two, with less vocabulary than last time. My class might not understand that.” said Henry with discouragement. So Henry settled down to work. He glanced at the clock. It was 3:50! He would really have to hurry. I might as well give it one last try… He thought. Here it goes!

Once there was a boy named Dick. Dick had a big secret, so secret not even his sister Jane knew! One day, Dick’s big secret got revealed! It was horrible. This was his deepest, darkest secret! How could things possibly get worse?  Now everyone knew it: he was not at all interesting! He was a boring, plotless boy!

It was a very dramatic story, and very intriguing. Later on Henry revealed that Dick’s sister, Jane was in the same situation.

Henry checked and double-checked until his story was almost perfect. By that time it was 4:30. He hurriedly polished the story, and headed out the door for his soccer practice. When he came home, he was too tired to work anymore.

The next day, he handed his homework to the teacher with shaking hands. Henry glanced about nervously, waiting for his teacher to pull him aside and say she wasn’t happy with his work.

“Henry, will you come here for a second? I’d like to talk to you.” Henry’s teacher finally called. 

A few of Henry’s fellow pupils snickered. “See ya in detention!” one called.

“Yes Ma’am?” Henry said.

“I’d like to congratulate you on your writing,” his teacher said, “You definitely won the award for creativity!”


  1. Wow! What talent! If you have trouble meeting future deadlines I suggest calling on Snuggler for help!

  2. "He would rewrite Dick and Jane with an actual vocabulary!" - excellent task.

  3. This story is about literature, and about writing, and about the stories of childhood that have no plot, and it is about intelligence, humor and creativity. Bravo!