Monday, September 15, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 4: First Stories/Characters

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Ugh. so it's been a few days or something, but Cerati's passing still kind of hurts. It hurts even more when I think about how often my dad and I kept holding out hope he'd wake up. I don't know how many times I said, "oh come on, it's only been so and so long, he's going to come back." Or whenever I spread the good news of him responding to some kind of medical treatment.


But I guess it gives me reason to keep going through the discography. I'm thinking from Soda Stereo, this album here, Sueño Stereo, is my favorite~

QUESTION 4: Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

Oh boy. This brought back some memories. Some kind of cute, others a little weird. In fact, this post kind of took me down a weird path; be warned...


So most people who've had the misfortune to hear my Writer Origins story know that it started with Harry Potter. JK Rowling was my childhood hero, and the reason I decided to give writing a try when I was six years old. She inspired a love for fantasy. While I've never been able to recover the first short story I ever wrote, I know it was called El Libro De Los Cuentos, a title that still makes me a bit eye-twitchy (simply put: book of stories. It sounds dumber in English) >.> It has the stereotypical story of a girl who gets sucked into a book and replaces the main character. Which is strangely enough a type of plot I avoid like the plague now a days.

So in this one, the main character gets sucked into a fairy tale book and starts off in the Little Red Riding Hood universe. Since she a) thinks finishing the story will be the only way to get out of there and b) already knows the plot, she decides to avoid the wolf all together and get to her grandma's house safe and sound. Though she manages well enough, nothing happens, so via deus ex machina, the real Little Red Riding Hood talks to her as a magical voice and tells her she needs to follow the story lines as they are to get out of the book.

So in like three sentences, I end it with a summary o-e She agrees and goes through the rest of the fairy tale book finishing the stories as their main character. And then she gets out.

It's kind of lame, but it was really fun for me. I did the illustrations--as most young child authors do, it seems--bored my parents with details of the plot, and started thinking of my next story. I have no idea what happened with the thing I wrote it on, and don't remember if it was in loose leaf paper or a notebook.

But luckily, when I went back to Ecuador in 2012, I rummaged through my room till I found the next best thing. Right after El Libro De Los Cuentos, I started writing a collection of short stories and tucked them away.

(Sorry for the yellow tint. I took these pics late at night about a month ago, whilst packing for college)

It's difficult to see, but I wrote the title of the collection with a blue pen.
My name, number, and address. I'm not entirely sure why
I added that information if I was planning on selling the notebook.
Weirdly, I  only started adding my name and number
on notebooks again right after the start of 9th grade.

I remember these stories pretty well, but my trip back home helped refresh my memory. With the one exception, all childhood tales were recorded in this tiny, flowery thing. When I was little I had the idea that I could fill a bunch of notebooks and just sell them one by one on street corners. So this collection was titled Cuentos Maravillosos y Misteriosos. (Marvelous and Mysterious Tales--it says so on the front after I attempted to scrawl the title with a thin pen; it's difficult to see.)

So excluding my first ever short story, these are the others, the titles which I've decided to list down here. >_> they're...super mega dumb but...lolzohwell I was a little kid.

Here we go, my masterpieces, in order of appearance, with all grammatical and spelling errors, as well as original capitalization, intact:
  • Un Misterio e la Piscina 
  • Una Montaña misteriosa
  • Un Bosque Encantado 
  • Una Espia con un Pasado Tormentoso 
  • La istoria del diabo sonriente

  • A Mystery in the Pool. 
    • There's a grammar error. I'm certain it's "en la piscina."
  • A Mysterious Mountain
    • Starting to sound like an early Lemony Snicket book >.>
  • An Enchanted Forest
    • ...I can't even tell if I wrote it right or misspelled it as "encandado." Man. I've had horrible handwriting all my life.
  • A Spy With a Tormented Past. 
    • Oh god this fucking title. Cringe.
  • The Story of the Smiling Devil.
    • WHERE'S YOUR "H", GURL? Historia! Dx
    • I'm not sure about translating devil. I think I could have also meant smiling demon, or smiling Satan.
These are all fantasies, except for the spy story. Which I guess is...uh...thriller.

Let's go in order. Rather than focus on plot (HAH) let's do inspirations and the like, along with selected sample pages.

A Mystery in the Pool

1) I've been swimming since I was five. Had my head underwater for a good chunk of my childhood. The massive pool I used to train in had these little suction thingys on its floor, as most pools do. I used to love watching the small, whirlpools forming over them while I was doing laps. So the heroine of this story gets sucked into one after one of the whirpools grows super strong and massive. She emerges into the seashore of another world. She's greeted by a young boy with a crown called Maxx--yes, double x. I was obsessed with that name. Similarly, my problem with A names apparently started early. The girl is called Ani.

Ugh >_>.

Anyways, Maxx is a king who governs over a nation entirely composed of children. He's kind of aggressive and a jealous weirdo, but I think I wrote him that way cuz it was supposed to be romantic. Near the end, his castle and kingdom get attacked by a monster queen and her army. Though Ani gets a sword from Maxx and kills the monster queen, she gets transported back to the real world for some magical reason or other during the fight. It ends on a cliffhanger, with her waking up the pool and yet getting a message from Maxx saying they'll see each other again. (DUN DUN DUN. But no, never wrote a sequel.).

A Mysterious Mountain

2) Quito is full of mountains, which is about the main thing I miss from the city. (Next to the graffiti). Growing up, I lived in the urban areas, so mountains were always in the backdrop, kind of mysterious looking and absolutely gorgeous. At nighttime, they disappeared partially underneath the darkness, but every now and then, you could see a small flickering light near the top, probably from lone cabins. I don't know if I was aware of this as a child or not, but it didn't stop me from speculating and thinking the reasons involved something sinister or magical. So in this story, a girl goes into the mountains in the dead of night and discovers some witchcraft.

An Enchanted Forest 

3) I don't have too much to say about this one. It involves a mermaid, a siren, and some creepy queen lady that attack this random boy and girl who wander into a forest. I think this was just my excuse to cram my current favorite mythical creatures in one story o-e

A Spy With A Tormented Past

4) So after I got over the idea of being a doctor or being a model (don't make fun of me, I thought I was going to be tall Dx) I was obsessed with the idea of being a spy. I didn't know HOW I was supposed to become one, I just knew I was going to do it, somehow, some way. During recess, I played spy games with my friends. We pretended we infiltrated shit, climbed mountains, and, well, spied on people. This is kind of a boring short story even by childhood-story-standards, IMO, but it does have one amusing bit. It apparently takes place in North America, Washington, California..

....yeah. 10/10 USA geography, little me.

The Story Of The Smiling Devil

5) This one kind of disturbs me. It has the worst writing. The prose and handwriting lose cohesion and turn into a scribbled mess about half a page in--and it's the same with the illustrations. They get progressively more nonsensical. The actual story is a dramatization of something that really "happened" though I use that word loosely. My brother, maybe age four, was playing with a cousin or friend of the family or something when they heard a weird noise and saw an odd shadow. They claimed it was a devil-like creature, horns and red skin, grinning at them. It either chased them away, or they ran off in total terror. They told me about it when they found me, and I went looking for the shadow. I never found it, but I did often dream about it. Eventually, I wrote down this story.

I was a scaredy-cat. I could not do horror, and I believed in everything supernatural. Ghosts freaked me out, as did demons or anything to do with hell. So it's rather strange that I would write a dramatization of this story when I was so terrified of it. But it's even stranger the way it ends. The little heroine that's been haunted by the smiling devil is given an explanation by an angel, who tells her it's all been a punishment from God. The angel says that she already knows what the punishment is for, but the story never elaborates on what she did. It ends with the girl begging for forgiveness and the angel saying she's forgiven for now, but she must never do anything like it again.


I like to think religion never had a personally negative impact on my life--not in the way it had on some of my friends and family. I never had a horrifying reason for believing and not believing in the things I believe (and don't believe) now. (Like the usual stereotype of an atheist is that he/she asked God for something or had something horrible happen to them, and when a miracle or divine explanation wasn't granted to them, they stopped believing. This never happened to me. One day I realized I didn't believe and I was okay with it).

Despite this, I do remember being deeply religious when I was little, and terrified of things like ghosts and monsters as most kids are. I was afraid that because I and my brother hadn't been baptized, we'd go straight to hell. It was a very real threat to me.

And this story just makes me wonder about the influences some people--mainly family or my culture--had on me. I know my paternal grandmother, Alicia, made religion sound like a beautiful thing. We would stand by the main window in her house and look for angels in the clouds. I remembered feeling terrible that I couldn't see them, even though I lied and said that I did. My maternal grandmother, Virginia, has also always been very religious and faithful. (And she even kind of got annoyed at my mother's uncle once for saying he didn't believe. It was a strange thing to witness when I was little).

While I often liked the idea of God watching over me and my family back then, I think I was afraid of Him a lot of the time. And it frightens me to know a little girl and her even littler brother and friends were certain they'd seen demons out to punish them.

So in general, I think most of these stories represent six-year old me >> I loved the idea of slipping into strange worlds full of magic, had a fascination with witchcraft that apparently started early, loved having girl protagonists, and apparently liked the challenge in writing about something that terrified me. While El Libro De Los Cuentos has vapid conflict at best, as silly as these other stories are, they all had my little heroes and heroines facing a great many foes, as well as their fears.

I'm glad the notebook survived all these years. Though I doubt I'll ever let anyone read through it >.>


  1. Anonymous8:42 AM

    This is so cuuute @_@

    Also your ancient handwriting is better than my current handwriting... @_@

    1. My ancient handwriting is also better than my current handwriting T_T


"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.