Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Waiting for my Pulitzer!

Y'all in for quite a treat today. I have delved deep into the folders and boxes of my past just for you. And Memory Lane has been pretty much hilarious for me to walk down. Won't you come along with me? All spelling and grammatical errors have been kept in tact....

First, let's start with a heartfelt letter from Ginger. This is a note I got from my dear sister while I was away at camp one summer.

Val- Hope you are having a great week at camp. enjoy all of the funnies. Oh and by the way you have a 7:00 VBS meeting Tuesday that is mandatory -G

Aww..... Isn't that sweet? And before you excuse her for being too young to write more, please know that she was a SENIOR in HIGH SCHOOL. Yeah. Oh, the love we have for each other....

Okay, enough sisterly nostalgia. Time for a story!

This is a story that I wrote for a school contest. In seventh grade. The theme of the contest was "Ready for Action." Apparently I took the idea of a theme and drove it into the ground. No, through the ground. The story is quite long and very boring, so I'll just give you a small sample.

Gladys Kanger --

Wait, WHAT? Gladys KANGER?? And the oddest name award goes to....

Gladys Kanger was always prepared. She wasn't a Boy Scout or anything. No, no of course not. One couldn't imagine the inconvenience of being a Boy Scout.

No, one couldn't, could one?

Or even a Girl Scout at that matter. The bugs, the flies, the tromping around to just nowhere in particular was out of the question. And above all, the uncleanliness. Yes, it was a fact. Gladys [really? Gladys?] absolutely hated camping, and especially, in a group such as with Boy or Girl Scouts.

This sentence makes no sense to me, not only because I am crazy comma happy, but also because I used to go camping ALL the TIME! I love camping! Also, it should be noted that I had quit the Girl Scouts the year before I wrote this. Coincidence?

She knew though also, that they did not just go camping. She knew that. Several years ago a flier had come in the mail about Girl Scouts.
"How about it Gladys?" her mother had asked. "You want to try it?"
Gladys, who loved her mother dearly and wanted to please her, replied sweetly, "Of course Mother. I'd love to. Sign me up right away!"

Mother dear, I think something's wrong with Gladys. Can we say BAD SEED? Creepy!

Two meetings later, she quit. It was terribly unorganized, she disliked the monotonous songs and recitations, and she hated the way they wasted their time on stupid little crafts only to be thrown away, or used as dust collectors by the unorganized that stubbornly refused to get rid of them.

Wow. Apparently I had a lot of Girl Scout aggression to take out! Let's skip ahead a bit....

Gladys loved oragnization, convenience, and structure. She had such qualities, and because of them many people said she was ready for action. Ready for a war, or kidnapping, or something of the sort to come along. She was ready.

Ready for WAR and KIDNAPPING??? My gosh, where does this child LIVE?

She never verbalized any unnatural or unkind feelings, never voiced them. That's why people liked her. She was organized, well kept, and always said nice and charming things.

Gladys is scaring me. Skipping ahead again....

Gladys had once almost fallen off a bridge in Connecticut [???], but she had been thinking, ready for action in her mind. [OF COURSE SHE WAS!] So when she tipped to one side in a split second she had the hard metal railing gripped in her hand.

You think this story is odd and insane? No. It is not. Keep reading.

When her younger brother was little she had ground this theory into his head. She'd pass by his door and whisper, 'ready for action!' into his bedroom [Creeptacular!!] and it was henceforth imbedded [Someone's been using their thesaurus!] on his little mind. On one occasion he was at the zoo running this saying through his mind [OF COURSE HE WAS!]. He stood in the rail by the gorilla cage, which is a good 10 feet down, and nearly fell in, but since ready for action was continually ringing around in his little head--

Time out! Why are there TWO references to how small the brother's head is? Is it abnormally small? Does he have a regular sized body and a tiny little skull? That's what I'm picturing here. Time in!

--he was prepared enough to throw himself backwards [oh whatEVer!] onto a grassy slope behind him which he had noticed before. [I hope that conveniently grassy slope was enough to cushion his little baby head!]

The rest of the story just as ridiculous and insane, and the climax of the "action" comes when Gladys suddenly comes to the realization that she has no life because all she does is think about being ready, but has nothing to be ready for. Last paragraph: Gladys discovered she loved sports. She still didn't think Girl Scouts was for her, but she became less critical of it and other things. Throughout her busy life, her motto stayed the same. I am ready for action!

Bet you never knew how much pleasure you could derive from gorillas and Girl Scouts and tiny heads and Connecticut, did you? You're amazed to hear I did NOT win the writing contest, I can tell.

Finally, let's take a look at an old writing exercise.

8th grade. The assignment was to write where we thought everyone in the class (there were only 16 of us) would end up in 20 years. I'll spare you the details of what happened to everyone else in the 8th grade, although it does involve an incident at a Hanson concert, a person missing in Africa, and a band called "The Horses." And yes, I came up with that name all by myself! If you need a band name, just get in touch with me. I have HUNDREDS of ideas like this. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy reading about where I saw myself in the year 2028! I'm halfway there, so let's see how I'm doing on my life goals.

I live in Galveston, Texas, and am married.

Strikes one and two. Also: Galveston? Really? Let's aim high in our future fantasies, shall we?

I have two children, twins.

Strike three!

9 years ago I began as a junior high school theatre teacher for 1 year.

Apparently this will happen next year! Score!

Since then, I have been directing.

One year of teaching middle school drama totally prepares you for being a director. Didn't you know?

I am working on my 4th movie. 2 of them I won best director Oscars for, and all three were nominated for best picture and 2 won.

Way to stay humble, Val! Can't win every award, now can we? Better leave some for the other junior high drama teachers!

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I have a few more gems that I can't wait to share with you, but those will just have to wait for another day. Be sure to come back and read all about the most full-of-it character in the history of ever, Snobby McSnobberson, from Snobsville, California!

Until then, I am.... READY FOR ACTION!

[PS-- Check out my new favorite blog 30 is the new 13 for some hilarious stories of another former preteen "author." She's the inspiration for this entry, and her blog is amazing- you'll love it.]

7 comments:

~lady j said...

You. Are hilarious.
Gladys and her tiny headed brother are terrifying.
And I don't think it's any coincidence that you and I fell upon some of our jr. high/high school writing shenanigans at the same time. :) let the madness commence. (i have a thesaurus too!)

ps. there's a band called Band of Horses... they sing a pretty song called St. Augustine. :)

Annie Parsons said...

I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I read "Galveston." Never been there, but... you know what, I think that's okay. :)

Ginger said...

I feel totally ready for action today. Thrilled with the action that lies ahead of me. The small skull part was my favorite part as we both know that C did not have this problem as a little child. "I'm a little boy daddy..." - with a huge noggin. It's like sputnik...on a toothpick.

dc said...

WOW. Can't.... breathe....
When I read "war or kidnapping", I almost passed out. So funny.

Sada said...

I love the Kangers and their uncanny ability to ALMOST fall over guard rails. I'm linking to this post in my blog, I hope you don't mind.

zanne said...

Hey- I came across your blog through 30 is the new 13. Love it!

Lara said...

This is great. This is about the age I started imagining accepting my Best Actress Oscars. Maybe I won in your imaginary movies!