I picked up Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird again because I needed something quick for my sure-to-be quiet Youth Venture shift a few weeks ago. The El Cajon library is literally between the office and the center, so it’s easy to stop in, grab some kid’s movies, some books, and prepare myself for a long two hours.
I decided to actually start reading it again as I sat in the fifteen car pileup of the McDonald’s drive-thru this afternoon. I’d forgotten how entertaining that thing is. (Bird by Bird, not the MickeyD’s drive-thru.)
There’s just something inspiring about her attempts to disillusion aspring writers to the facade of published fame and glory.
Today she writes:
“Start with your childhood…. Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can. Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.”
So, without further ado, the first childhood tale that popped into my head:
Edited: Originally I wrote about this one time in fourth grade when we pretended the playground of our elementary school had been built over a graveyard. But it was a stupid story. And long. And I really hate long stupid stories. Remember one of the most important lessons we learned at camp: faster is funnier.
I also have a story about the annual spelling bee; maybe that one will prove to be more entertaining later.