Saturday, November 13, 2010


I've been writing my whole life, and when we were younger, I used to read my stories to my two little sisters. Sometimes, the older one would start to write her own version of the story. Usually, so that she didn't "copy" me, she'd change the names of the characters, but other than that, same story. I thought it was cute. She used to do a LOT of things in imitation of me, most of which drove me crazy. This one never bothered me.

But eventually she outgrew that. Stopped "borrowing" my plots, stopped re-naming my characters, and so far as I knew, stopped writing entirely.

I live 800 miles away, so usually I don't get to hear all the little details of her life. I'll ask "How's school going?" "good." "What have you been up to lately?" "Stuff." Mostly, when we talk, I'm the one doing most of the talking. Right now, she's in 7th grade.

Obviously, with NaNo being so much of a focus in my life right now, I told her how I was doing with it. Something along the lines of "Well I was doing really well, but I've hit a block and I don't know what to next."

Her response was "Well you should send it to me. We had to write a story for Halloween that was supposed to be between five-hundred and fifteen-hundred words. I wrote mine and it was three thousand. When I turned it in, he got annoyed that it was too long, so I went home to write another one, but it ended up even longer. I turned it in anyways, just to see what he'd do." I laughed, and asked what happened. Turns out that he graded them both (and both got As) but he did give her a sternish note asking her to follow directions and stay WITHIN the word counts next time. She then went on to tell me that she was writing another story, this one, just for her own personal enjoyment. When I asked her what it was about, she said that it was "a surprise" which hopefully means I'll get to read it when it's done.

It excited me. It feels so wonderful to know that the thing you love, brings joy to a person you love. It's also strengthens the connection that I feared we were losing. Despite our 7 year age difference, we were always really close, but we me far away, and her never talking much on the phone, we were slowly growing apart. Now at least, I have fodder for conversation.

Mostly though, I'm really proud of her for writing two great stories, and I can't wait to read them. Plus, that's a lot of writing in such a short time, especially for someone who hasn't written much at all in years. I'm impressed, I'm excited. I'm thrilled.

The writing bug is contagious.


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