Mom just found a bunch of my writing from elementary school.
When she first started to read from my old writing, I was embarrassed. I expected to be embarrassed. I found it interesting, in spite of myself, and now I’m just curious. Why did I choose this topic? Did I choose this topic? What was I thinking? (I confess that last question crosses my mind with the greatest frequency.)
I looked through my writing notebook from 5th grade, which was little used and less well written. That year they required us to use cursive in school, so my writing is just legible.
The entries are mostly about what I might do if I had some sort of magic power. (Usually the ability to stop time. If I remember correctly—and I did not write this down—I almost always imagined using this power to humiliate certain classmates.) My written plan for using this skill was to stop time during the (to my mind) infernal timed multiplication quizzes and be able to write down the answers instead of panicking.
Another sample of my writing at the time takes us even further back (dramatic music, please) to first grade. All in capitals and completely phonetic, you can read it if you use your imagination. The first page dedicates the following to three of my friends, complete with large hearts drawn in pencil. After much illustration, I inscribed: “It was Halloween when I got there, 1000 hours later. / Aly’s going to California.” (I have corrected the spelling here.)
I had a story plan – I just wish I knew now what it was!