Pirate Cats & Seeing Eye Dogs

I have always loved to write.  There’s just something about putting pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keys) and letting my imagination take over that has always called to me, calmed me, and given me fulfillment.

When I was in fifth grade, or maybe it was fourth, I wrote a short series of stories about Orange Beard the Pirate Cat.  The plot was quite similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, which is odd since I had not yet heard of Pirates of the Caribbean (except maybe the Disney ride), but you get the idea.  But then, I guess all pirate stories are essentially the same. Orange Beard was in constant search for treasure, had various foes and nemeses, and ended up dying on the open seas, of a shotgun wound from his first mate when there was a mutiny on his ship…  The idea was to carry on the story with the first mate as the new lead character, but the problem was, I didn’t care for the character as much as I had Orange Beard and I lost my passion for the series. It was then that I learned my first lesson in writing.  Don’t try to write about something you don’t care about.

In middle school I wrote a story for my English class about a girl who was blind and her seeing eye dog, and there was a limit to how many words we could use.  My original idea was to have the girl and her dog, I forget their names, get separated from their family, and it would be a Homeward Bound type story about the duo bravely facing the odds of nature and nefarious characters to find their way home to their family. The problem was, I couldn’t find a way to bring the story to conclusion within the word limit, so I ended up finishing it lamely, where someone saw her and the dog at the mall or something and called the police who returned her to her family.  I ended up getting a C on the paper.  This taught me another valuable lesson.  I should have just written the story the way I had planned.  True, I may have still gotten the C for ignoring the rules, but I would have been proud of the paper.  Lesson two, don’t ever submit anything that you aren’t proud to have your name on.

You may wonder why am I recounting lessons from my youth, and the reason is this; even though there are only seven (now eight) measly little posts on this blog, I care about it.  It’s a little baby that I’m nurturing and with luck (and some savvy marketing) hopefully it’ll continue to grow.  And, I’m proud to have my name on it.  This is Shan’s Blog, after all. 🙂



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