I was recently taken down memory lane when a fellow blogger looked back at his blog and thanked me for being his very first follower. The Opinionated Man and his Blog Harsh Reality caught my attention in January of 2013 and like me, he was a fresh face in the blogosphere. I followed him because I liked his premise of offending every person at least once. He truly lived up to his name but he has yet to offend me so he still has work to do. 😉
That said it was a nice trip down Memory Lane and it got me feeling nostalgic. Now before people also want to feel nostalgic you have to be at least 40 years old to talk about nostalgia by my rules. You simply haven’t lived long enough for your songs that you listened to go from being on the popular channel on the radio to the classic rock channel to the oldies channel until you’re at least forty. They you can be nostalgic and talk about what kids are missing these days. It got me to thinking about how long I have had the notion of being a writer in my head.
I think my first thought about being a writer was a long time ago. This was the summer between Junior High and High School for me, probably July because I was thinking about my first time trying out for the football team. I was a paper boy delivering the Grand Rapids Press. I had just finished my route and had stopped at one of the neighborhood micro grocery stores. Now we have convenience stores but back then the smaller neighborhood grocery and the gas station were two different entities. The two just didn’t mix very often back then as your average gas station was still full service and had a garage where someone could repair your car. I was after my favorite drink – a Coke in a glass bottle where I dropped a quarter in a machine pulled one out and popped the top with a bottle opener. Looking back at that time everything was about a quarter. Video games were at the arcade and cost a quarter to play, most pop (that’s soda or some other moniker for those outside Michigan), and candy bars were a quarter. We complained about it then too because it had been a dime just the year before.
It didn’t matter much to me I had a job delivering papers and I made good money and had lots of quarters. I also enjoyed two years of outrageous tips at various times of the year. One customer even went through the trouble of finding out my birthday and got me present of 20 dollars cash which was a lot of money back then. I learned a lot about customer service back then and about giving people what they wanted and being good to people. It paid off and in my young teenage brain that was what mattered to me.
Having got my Coke, I went out to my bike which was good because it meant it was summer and I could get my route done in less than an hour. It took me twice as long in the winter when I had to slog through the snow, but that had its benefits too. Hot chocolate was served by two old ladies on my route one near the beginning and one near the end. It was like they knew my route and coordinated this. I wouldn’t doubt they did. People looked after each other like that in my small town. I sat down on my bike and looked at my empty bag (a good paper boy knows exactly how many papers he needs) and began to sip my Coke.
I think it was this Summer I had been reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (for the fourth time I think) and I thought to myself I would love to write something like that. I loved fantasy literature much to my conservative Pentecostal pastor’s ire. I really didn’t like him that much. He wasn’t a mean guy just very sure what was right for me and I was sure he was wrong. I loved the story of LOTR. I still do and despite the movies I still like the books better. But I was thinking I would like to write fantasy books and wondered what t would take to write my own. I sat there enjoying my Coke, the weather and the thought of being a famous writer. It was a good moment.
it didn’t last long of course. I hit the football field and suddenly discovered what real physical pain was and developed a fascination with other topics that swallowed up my writing dream (namely girls, football and academics – in that order) at least temporarily. I t wasn’t till six years later that I realized I could actually write well if I applied myself to the task. Every once in a while I feel almost as good as that moment on my bike sipping a Coke. I had the world at my feet that day, that feeing has gotten far fewer and far between as my life has gone on, but I still enjoy it.
Blessings and Cheers!!!