Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel
catvalente

Books My Child Self Wrote

So we were talking about the novels we dreamed up when we were kids this morning--the sorts of things where the girl who has a name much like one's own has a pet unicorn and fights with a sword--and I started thinking about the book I started writing when I was 12 and never finished. Nor will I--my main idea about books when I was that age was that I wanted to trap everyone in a dark place and then have them talk about awesome things, and then kill them all.

So when I was 12 or 13, I started banging out this book on my typewriter (because real writers use typewriters) and I still remember it pretty clearly, even though I don't have any of it left. It was called Can I Get There By Candlelight? and it was about a 19th century millenialist cult that trekked from Boston to Nevada to prepare for the end of the world, and colonized these convenient silver mines as their place to hide from the coming horrors (that would obviously never come). At some point there would be a cave-in and everyone would slowly die of starvation and going crazy and killing each other while talking a lot about faith and death and reality and God, and perish very beautifully.

At the time, my only other idea for a book was a group of people caught on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney land when The Big California Earthquake happened, and then they would have to live down there in the animatronic ruins, and fish for mutated technicolor Disneyfish that lived in the putrid ride-water, and also talk about faith and death and reality and God, (and also pirates, and how nothing is real in the whole world) and perish very beautifully.

As you can see, I was fond of Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies.

I am not wholly sure what this says about me as an adolescent, or the writer I became, who doesn't write about any of that stuff. I'm not sure what my obsession with that set-up was all about. Not too much later I started writing poetry and plays, and I still liked to kill everyone off at the end.

I notice there are no unicorns. I'm reasonably sure I thought unicorns were for other, prettier, nicer, blonder girls who were loved more. I don't think I ever thought I was special enough that a unicorn would come for me.

But whispering about love and death in the dark--I think I always thought I could get a handle on that.

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