This post reminds me of a fiction short story I wrote when in junior high school - middle school to you weirdos out there. I was in what they called the Extended Achievement program (fancy term for gifted and I mention this not to brag but to note that not all seventh graders in The Frozen North were subjected to such arduous assignments) and our English teacher was a hoot. He bears no resemblance to Tom Clancey the writer, but that is who he reminds me of now - I didn't know who Tom Clancey was when I was thirteen. Shame on me, I know.
He was the teacher who taught me to love Shakespeare and how to read poetry as all one piece and not get interrupted by line breaks. And he taught me to be true to my own style of writing and analysis. It sounds absurd for the age level, but I remember him and his class as one of my most grown-up class experiences.
During the short story part of the curriculum we had to write a short story of no less than ten pages a week. (I think those were the requirements, it was a long time ago, and remember this was just at the advent of computers, so these were handwritten pages) Some of my stories were good. Some were not. As we neared the end of the section, I was wiped mentally. I could not come up with any more ideas for a story. I tried and tried, I did other homework, I reread previous assignments, I tried to revise stuff from previous years.
I had nothing.
And it was getting down to the end of the week. We had to turn the stories in on Friday. Then I remembered about "writing what you know." So Thursday night I wrote about writing a story. I included all the snippets I had tried to write that went no where and when I wrote the conclusion, the story ended with the beginning paragraph. I felt all proud of myself at the time for the idea, not knowing that "stream of consciousness" had already been invented. And, shockingly, I was not the first one to write a circular plot line. Who knew?
Still it filled the assignment and it made Mr. C laugh which was the highest praise a student could achieve.
This is me, telling you a story about a story.