First Stories

“The Drawer”

Photo by ergonofis on Unsplash

Remember that very first story that you began? Or the very first story you finished? How old were you? Did you scrawl it in crooked script? Punch it onto a typewriter? I will never forget my very first completed story – “Poncho’s Adventures.” I was seven years old. My final version was four pages long, and I dreamed of it’s making the New York Times bestsellers list. *Smile*

And even though I filled notebook after notebook (all of which still line my bookshelves) with story after story, I shelved my writing to pursue science – my other passion.

I wrote as I was able, mostly science fiction and fantasy. I attempted submissions to magazines, contests, publishers. I became well acquainted with rejection.

Fast forward fifteen years to my first attempt at a picture book. I was so proud. I was convinced that every agent and publisher would leap at the chance to offer this sweet book to the world. After all, it featured school buses. What small child does not adore school buses?

Two years later, the school bus story is in the “drawer.” I wonder if other writers have physical drawers holding stacks of their printed first stories? My drawer is a folder on my laptop.

I recently asked a group of writers on Twitter what happened to their first stories. You know, the one that really got them into writing seriously, not just dipping a toe in, but diving into the deep end and struggling to keep their heads above water.

And the stories about the first stories? Well, they were great!

Most are still in a “drawer” somewhere, but every writer could remember that FIRST STORY and knew where it was and what it had made them. I’m hoping to share more details of some of those stories with you here in future posts. Look for a series called “First Stories.”


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