November 13, 2013

little laura gets worms

Blogger's Note: Thanks to my family's pack-rat tendencies -- and my vanity -- I've managed to keep documentation of my progress as a writer from kindergarten on. Instead of letting those cedar chest gems go to waste, I figured I might as well do what I do best -- post them to my blog. This is Little Laura Learns the Ropes.

No. 18: Write about having a worm for a pet.
Date: May 1993
Age: 6

A worm would be a good pet because it would make my soil good. It make a tunol so it would be funny. It would work herted

Oh brother. Where to begin? I know you're six year's old, Little Laura, but his reads more like hieroglyphics than a short story or essay.

I can understand misspelling tunnel. Kind of. And at least the spelling you chose for that word shows you were trying to sound it out. But what the hell do you mean by "work herted?"

Were you saying work hard? That's the only thing that makes sense, but I can't figure out how you got where you did with that spelling.

I'm not even going to touch the missing punctuation at the end. You can at least end your sentences with a period, LL.

Your vocabulary could also use some development. You opened with "good" twice in one sentence. Asking you to say "awesome pet" and "fertile soil" would probably be asking too much, but I think we can do better than a double good.

I'm also trying to figure out what's funny about a hard-working worm making a tunnel. You realize that's what they do, right, Little Laura? They make tunnels. (And fish bait.) Here's a lesson for you, girlfriend. Working isn't funny to watch unless it's scripted TV, like The Office or Workaholics. Otherwise, it's just work.

And even on the best days, work doesn't have as many laughs as you'd like.

Nice illustration, by the way. I'm guessing that's a worm farm. Or a really fat worm. Either way, this whole concept makes me think of Harry and Lloyd's future dream business, I Got Worms.

This will be the last "Little Laura" series post. After covering more than a decade of my "early work," I feel like we've checked out enough skeletons in my closet for now.  Does this mean we'll never see Little Laura again? Not necessarily. When the time is right, I'm sure she'll come back to us.

For the series finale, I selected a leftover selection from the early days. I figured it would make a nice comparison to show where we started five months ago. Plus, how could I resist using a headline like "Little Laura Gets Worms."

I've appreciated the kind comments and support along the way. These old writing clips always made me smile when I stumbled across them during spring cleaning sessions or when moving. And it was fun to share them with you and laugh at myself along the way. I'm grateful for the opportunity to give these cedar box keepsakes a second life with this series. 

Grown-up Laura also learned some important lessons from Little Laura. We all have to start somewhere. The path to becoming a better writer never ends. It's something you always have to work at. And it's important to never take yourself too seriously. In fact, it's good to laugh at yourself. It's better than crying.

Thank you for following this adventure with me. We -- like my writing -- have come a long ways.

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