Monday, December 17, 2007

Did Santa Give Pencils?

By C.L. Beck
© 2007

Have you ever wondered what writers were like as kids? Did they want normal things for Christmas, like hula hoops and toy guns? Or did Santa give them pencils and dictionaries?

As a child, I didn’t know someday I would write. It never crossed my mind to wish to beome an author. Instead, I wanted to be the first nun to dig out of Alcatraz … with a spoon … on a dark, moonless night. It also never crossed my mind that a nun was supposed to be holy and therefore, an unlikely candidate for Alcatraz.

In keeping with my cluelessness about my eventual avocation, I never asked for writers’ accoutrements. No requests for pens or paper from me. Not even a tiny, secret wish for a thesaurus.

One Christmas morning, I zipped down the hall and when I caught sight of my stocking hanging by the fireplace, I stopped short. It stretched much longer than normal and I swear, from the shape, it looked like it had a leg in it. Always one for caution, I looked around to see if an axe murderer lurked in the room and had stuffed a leg in my Christmas sock!

After a few minutes, satisfied no one else was in the room, I crept forward. Was it really a sinewy limb? Uggg, it probably rested on a chocolate-marshmallow Santa and cuddled next to an orange. With trepidation—tinged with morbid excitement—I reached in and pulled out … a baseball bat!

Santa, that jolly ol’ elf, had delivered just what I wanted. Softball was one of my favorite sports.

Years later I sit here writing, laughing at the thought of myself as a nun, digging out of Alcatraz. And giggling at the memory of a young girl who thought there was a leg in her stocking.

No, Santa didn’t give me erasers and pads of paper in preparation for my life as a writer. Instead, he gave me an imagination.

What books C.L. recommends:
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)
Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne & Dave King

View C.L.’s other work:
Newspaper Column
Photography Website

2 comments:

Weston Elliott said...

Too funny! Yes, I think you have quite an extraordinary imagination - you morbid little kid, you! But we're sure glad you do, it makes entertaining reading for the rest of us!

C. L. Beck said...

Weston,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. All I can say is that I know you've got a terrific imagination---it would have been interesting to know what YOU thought was in that stocking! :>)