I knew I first wanted to be a writer when I was a senior in high school. Granted, I’d played around with writing before then, mostly my own comic books I’d created, but it wasn’t until I took a creative writing class in high school from an incredibly encouraging teacher.
I’m sure it’s no surprise to any of you that she became one of my favorite teachers over time. Jean Manton turned Keeton was her name, and she had a knack for encouraging even the rowdiest of students (me!). I took the class not really knowing what to expect, and afraid it would end up being nothing but a poetry class. I was wrong. In direct opposition from my creative writing instructors in college, she encouraged wild and crazy ideas with any genre.
I remember one particular assignment was on POV (point of view). I got together with about four of my classmate and we came up with a story told from the POV of each of us—the end result being that the “versions” of the story were different based on the perspective of our characters; the one we’d each written featured a different “hero” of the story, of course. It was fun.
Once I entered college, I didn’t really know what could be done with a degree in “creative writing,” so I chose computers as a major. After 2 years of programming—and ever increasing difficulty in math—I changed to Creative Writing. I figured I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer the rest of my life.
Yeah! Joke’s on me. What do I do? Sit in front of a computer and read, write and edit all day.
While I look back on my Creative Writing classes in college now as a big time of learning, then I wasn’t always a happy camper. Seems the professors wanted what I called “boring” stories—slice of life stuff. I didn’t like that stuff, I wanted to tell stories about aliens and superheroes. And I submitted those stories to them.
The legacy I left in the Creative Writing program at USM can still be seen on their website. The Center for Writers has A Primer on Story Writing to aid incoming and would-be writers. If you go to the page, scan down and read item #12. I would suggest that most have no idea what it means…but to the dozen or so students who shared that class with me—they know that story was mine.
Oddly enough, it ended up being a comic book; granted with much revision, but it turned into a five issue series titled Krey.
And yes, it had sand mutants.