Every writer, published or not, takes their first steps into the unknown sometime. Often that moment is lost in the past, a distant memory from school or left to moulder between the covers of an embarrassing teenage diary. As we practise, our prose becomes more polished and those of us using a word processor have our spelling corrected but the journey begins with one tiny venture.
I have been sorting through a box of papers and photographs from my parents’ house and amongst the old birthday cards and monochrome snaps was – my very first story. Written a few days after my eighth birthday, it has all the flaws of a juvenile (and handwritten) piece but reading it yesterday I could recognize my hand. I don’t know why my mother chose to keep this fragment of my childhood ambitions. Perhaps she always knew I would become a writer in the end. I hope so.
So, for your amusement here is my very first oeuvre, spelling mistakes and all.
The Three dwafs
Once apon a time there were three dwafs. The eldest one said
lets go into the wood to pick berries. Now the yongest said
can I eat some? Then they went out. But the yongest aet to
many. So the others left him wich was a very foolish thing to do
for very soon who should come along but grey wolf himself. Ho ho
ho laughed gray wolf. I have found my dinner.
When I showed this to a couple of friends they read it and turned over, looking for the happy ending. But there isn’t one. Even at the tender age of eight I had already developed a callous streak, it seems. I don’t think my mother would have been surprised to see I have become a crime writer. The signs were there, from the very first baby steps. Thankfully my spelling and punctuation have improved since then and there is always the spell-check on my word processor to spare my blushes but it was rather touching, finding this – and to see just how far I have come over the years.