My brain can’t wrap itself around any of the WIP that I have facing me today. Which is fine, that happens. So instead I turned to a writing prompt and found a simple one that merely said “tell a true story”. Sounds good to me!
I was the kid with awesome parents. You know which parents, right? The ones that are super supportive, friendly, and helpful. Seriously, other kids used to come to my house to get my parents to help them with things. They were incredibly involved and amazing. Full disclosure: they still are. Hi Mom and Dad.
In high school I was a poet. I loved writing poetry. I used to fill entire journals with poems about all kinds of things. When I was a Sophomore (I think) I decided I wanted to enter the school poetry contest. I read about a hundred poems that had won high school contests across the country and a lot of them were about hating your parents or fighting back against awful, oppressive parents.
I never felt that way about my parents. But I knew people who did. I also knew that was a big topic in movies and music. So I immersed myself in movies and TV shows about parents like this. I imagined they were my parents so I could relate.
Then I wrote an angsty poem.
I didn’t show it to my parents. This wasn’t unusual, they weren’t exactly still checking my homework in 10th grade. I turned it into my English teacher so she could submit it to the contest for me.
Fast forward about a month. I won the contest. My excitement was tempered with a sudden fear. I had to tell my parents I won. There was going to be an awards night and then my poem was up for publication in some national contest. I had to get my parent’s signature before it could be submitted nationally. I had to show my parents this poem about being an angry teen who hates her parents.
At this point, you need to read the poem to understand my fear. Here it is:
The funny part is the reaction my parents had. They never even blinked. They read the poem, told me it was wonderful, and supported me all the way. They signed the permission form. I think they even bought a copy of the book it appeared in. They never acted like it was shocking.
To be fair, I now realize they knew exactly what kind of movies I’d been watching and probably chalked it up to that.
Anyway, that’s your true story about a time I wrote a poem that resonated with enough people to earn me an award for being an angsty teen.
Come to think of it, it’s also a story about the first time I won an award for writing.