Strange Tales of Living Windows, Goggle Soup and… Criminal Penguins?

Have you ever revisited your previous writing (say, third/fourth grade) and thought, “Aw, this is so cute”? Well, that wasn’t my reaction when I looked back into a folder with my past writing. I was absolutely horrified –with more than the simple grammatical errors that flooded my writing. My topics were absolutely scary, to both read and ponder. It actually frightened me.

In sixth grade, everybody had to create a folder full of writing, and then gift it to someone else. I gave this to my mum and dad, whose initial reaction was, “This kid is weird,” and they started laughing. I didn’t understand it back then, but I do now.

Let me outline the works in this folder of mine:

  1. How to Make Goggle Soup – A procedure to make soup out of swimming goggles
  2. Night of the Living Windows – Flash-fiction written in the style of R.L Stine’s Goosebumps, about windows that come alive and attack the main character.
  3. Pengu the Criminal Penguin – Wanted for escaping from the zoo and is armed with excessive weaponry. Beware of any penguins roaming the streets. Also, there is a large reward (like, with at least 123 zeroes) for anybody who manages to find the penguin.
  4. A Witch’s Point of View – Hansel and Gretel told from the witch’s point of view, who is actually a vegetarian (!) but is a cranky, elderly woman who simply wanted to teach these rascals a lesson. (I actually quite liked this one, because despite the inconsistencies, it was an interesting take of the “villain”)
  5. A poem on a haunted house – It’s filled with skeletons, mommies in closets and spiders creeping here and there. I believe the last line referred to a zombie

That alone is my sixth grade portfolio of writing. It made me laugh, cringe and most strongest of all, they reminded me of my love for writing before I actually began writing for myself.

My third-grade portfolio was more or less the same: a clown who would attack people if they write in capital letters (!), imaginary sea animals in waters and fairies with the same names as my best friends (at that time). I suppose they were more normal than they could’ve been. There was also another story about aliens who invaded the backyard and started painting everything a different colour. Then, my main character (“I” at that time) woke up, relieved it was a dream, but then realised the grass was purple and began to question their sanity. (Twist endings were my favourite.)

—-> A funny story about the “imaginary sea animals in water” —> When I finished my first draft, my teacher absolutely hated it. She said I could do a whole lot better and basically threw it on the floor. Well, a little peeved, I began throwing in every adjective I could think of (think: rainbow-ringed octopus, dolphins with indigo fins), and ended with my main character going to a party. My teacher absolutely loved this, and commended (repeatedly) my vivid and wonderful imagination.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that, despite the words scribed on paper, I couldn’t imagine any of these things. They were just cold, hard words copied directly from my memory of another book. My lack of imagination followed me throughout, but being able to show people things (regardless of being blind to them myself) always intrigued me.

Maybe that’s why I began writing: to connect with people. Maybe that’s why my stories were so strange: it captured attention from my teachers and peers, and provoked emotions (usually horror or repulse) from the pieces. I loved watching how words could change somebody’s reaction in a matter of seconds… and, so, I kept writing. And I still do.

***

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10 thoughts on “Strange Tales of Living Windows, Goggle Soup and… Criminal Penguins?

  1. This is a brilliant celebration of young imagination. I agree with your excellent point, it’s great news it turns into the spark behind writing as an adult. I love the idea of goggle soup! Surreal and fascinating.

  2. Thanks for the pingback – it led me here.

    I love the idea of goggle soup (I read it as Google soup first time, just shows you…)
    and I think ‘A Witch’s Point of View’ is a great storyline.

    Lovely to meet you, will now be following your blog.

    Dee

    • Dee,
      Thank you so much for stopping by! And, in the 21st century, so many words are usually misread the first time around. 😉
      And thank you! Your blog is really lovely –I’m following you too! 😀

    • Really?! I used to love Wallace and Gromit when I was younger, but I never watched anything with a killer penguin… at least, not from what I can recall. 😛
      But thank you for the insight! 🙂

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