Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your History

I cringe just thinking about this blog.

The other day my wife and I were cleaning out our crawlspace in our basement when we stumbled across a tote full of my old artwork and childhood papers. Submerged within this tote was all of the stories I had written as a kid; I'd say about 11 or 12 years old. When I wrote these stories, I was obsessed with the slasher horror movies and it showed in my writing.

Reading these awful stories today is like torture. And do you know what is even more torturous? The fact that I'm going to share it with you. Yes, you heard that right, I'm going to show you my earliest work. The following is the first page of my first ever novel. (I say novel even though the entire story is a whopping 12 pages long.) Here it is with zero corrections. Go ahead and have a laugh.

The story was titled, "Your History." The byline was, "This is one class that you'd better pass!"

Alright, alright. Stop laughing.

On a side note, "Your History" was so successful (in my mind) that I wrote a sequel called "Your History Part 2: School Days" And the tagline for that masterpiece was, "Time for a Long Vacation."

And now my first-ever first page of a novel (with a few comments from me in red.) Enjoy.

This is such a mistake.

It is time for the first day of school and Mr. Stean is organizing his notes. Marc Stean is a substitute teacher for Mrs. Judy Eagle's 10th grade History class. Marc is tall, (6'4"- 6'5"), muscular, and weighs approximately 200 lbs. He has black hair and black eyes. (Notice how the descriptions just flow out of my 11-year-old mind?) Marc is not a teacher who usually dresses up, he likes to wear casual clothes but today is very special so he has dressed up. Judy is in the hospital for nine weeks. She is on IV's and oxygen. (It's all in the details, folks.)

Marc leaves for school and says that he is ready for anything. When the day gets underway, kids snicker and laugh at him. The day is almost over and the kids are acting up. They don't listen to anything Marc says.

James, a red-head, spits a spit-wad into the back of Marc's hair. Jimmy put chewing gum on Mr. Stean's chair. John got into the gradebook and changed all the grades. (Did I really think that stuff happened in schools?)

That night, Marc decides to be more strict with the kids. Marc also thinks about all that has happened that day. This angers Marc, but he keeps his cool. He says to himself, "I never should have taken this job. My day has been a disaster and I'll go crazy before this grading period is over."

The next day is even worse. He thinks about the things that had happened. Anything bad that could happen, did. (OK, maybe I could use a little more description here.) This continues for five straight weeks, when the principal comes in and sees the kids messing around in the class.(Five weeks in five paragraphs. That, my friends, is called efficiency.) The principal fires Marc and says, "Don't ever come back if you can't keep your class under control." (Ohhhh.)

He goes home furious and looks at the pictures on the wall.(???) He loves to design and make-up ways of killing for movies. Marc just loves seeing blood and gross violence.

He has a wrist-band that he wears around the house. It is a band that slides onto his arm. It is about the length of his forearm. The blade is 12 1/2 inches long. The blade is razor sharp and can slice through bone and meat like it was butter. (See how the similes roll from my fingers like... uh... like... well, I can't think of anything right off-hand.) The blade slides out the band when he clinches a fist and backup when he releases. He puts this along with some clothes into a wooden floor in the cellar.

And there you have it--my first page as a budding writer at the “tender” age of eleven. The story progressed from this strong first page into slasher-style violence. I feel sorry for my grandma who typed every bloody word. I mentioned in another blog once that I wonder if she was secretly pushing my mom to have me committed and I still believe that could be the case. I'd love to give you more fun and entertainment but I must save the last 11 pages of this exquisite writing for my next submission to my publisher. Get ready, Rhemalda, to go into the "Your History" business.

I know they'll love it. Don't you think?


  1. Doug, I am SO impressed by this! No - seriously, I am. No joke. First I'm impressed that you had the courage to share it. Can you remember how you felt when writing it? Would you have - did you - show it to anyone? (Not counting your sainted grandmother, of course, I mean your peers.)
    Second, I am really impressed with the grammar and spelling. Or is that down to your grandmother too? If she typed it up, did she 'edited' it for you? If not, then you really had a good grasp of grammar and spelling back then!

    I too had a portfolio of little stories and poems I wrote 'way back then'. One story - fantasy of course, I know I still have and I might even revive the idea one day. It'd have to be YA though. But I also had a school book full of poems and somewhere along the tale of my life, I lost it. :-( So treasure this snapshot of your life Doug - it's precious. And thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. I'm sure my grandma edited it a tad. I actually have the original, hand-written copy. I'll edit this post with a picture from the original. Give me a couple of minutes and check back.

  3. There is the original. If you click on it, you should be able to read it. I think it's hilarious.

  4. Okay, that was so worth posting--I think every writer/blogger who has samples from childhood needs to post theirs! I laughed all the way through it! ...and, nicely placed commentary, also!

    Thanks for sharing this--I'm still grinning...

  5. Thank you so much. I enjoyed putting it up. Now if only my writing today was as skilled as it was then ;)

  6. Doug, I'm even more impressed now that I've seen your handwritten original. Apart from an overuse of hyphens, I couldn't see anything wrong!

  7. Hi Doug! I got your comment on the BLB ebook tours blog :) Shoot me an email at theresacole(at)live(dot)com. I can explain much better that way. Thanks so much!

  8. Wow, Doug! I loved reading this, honestly. It reminds me so much of my own writing when I was younger - so simple and straightforward and cliched. For the age you were, this was the perfect place to start budding your imagination. :) It's fantastic.

  9. lol. Thanks for sharing! Reminds me of how I cringe whenever I read an old story of mine written in the 5th grade. Hell, I cringe when I read previous drafts of everything I'm currently working on. I agree that all authors should do a post like this!

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