I was introduced to creative writing by my high school Freshman English teacher, Dee Munro. She was the first teacher to turn writing into something more than book reports and term papers. She is responsible for lighting the flame of what would later become a burning passion. While I don’t remember all of our writing assignments, two still stand out in my mind.
For one assignment, she posted a picture on her bulletin board and we had to write a story to go with it. The next week, she posted another picture. Once again, we had to write a story that went along with the picture but, it also had to tie into the story from the week before. This went on for several weeks. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the pictures – some clearer than others. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that the pictures came from a Lord of the Rings calendar. (I didn’t read LOTR until introduced to it in college by my boyfriend.) Now, I know that one of my favorite pictures was actually Galadriel’s Mirror.
The second most memorable assignment was when Ms. Munro played a piece of music, A Night on Bald Mountain, and we had to write a story to go with it. This sticks out in my mind because the story was supposed to be completed in class. However, when the hour was up, I was nowhere near finished. I requested, and received, permission to turn it in at the end of the day. I then proceeded to do something I had never done before – I worked on that story during all of my other classes for the remainder of the day. You see, I was one of those nauseatingly good kids who never got into trouble. I always did what I was supposed to do. Part of it was just my desire to avoid conflict at all costs. The other part was, my mother was a teacher. I knew that if I ever got in trouble, she would know about it within minutes. However, my budding desire to write was strong enough to override my fear of getting in trouble.
From that point on, I wanted to write, but I didn’t. My perfectionism was strong enough to override that desire. What if I wasn’t good at it? What if I couldn’t come up with any stories? What if…? What if…? It wasn’t until I stumbled across the world of fan fiction a few years ago that I threw caution to the wind and began writing. This, in turn, led to the discovery that writing is my passion in life. So, thank you Ms. Munro, wherever you are. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing what I love.
Oh, and as for my fear of not being able to come up with story ideas? Like most of my fears, it turned out to be unfounded. It seems that the more I write, the more story ideas I come up with. I’ve currently got enough ideas to keep me busy for years to come!
Which of your teachers made the biggest difference in your life?