Thursday, September 9, 2010

Teenage Three Things Thursday

Today's Three Things Thursday is a great one for those of us who write YA and Teen lit.  The theme is: Three Things About Your Teenage Years.

I was a pretty dorky teenager.  I mean, I'm a pretty dorky 24 year-old, but my teenage years were full of me bumbling around trying to figure out a.) who I was, and b.) who I wanted to be.  So.  Here are my three things.

1.  I was obsessed--and I mean OBSESSED--with The Lord of the Rings.  The first movie got me hooked, and soon I was reading and re-reading the books, blaring the soundtracks nonstop, writing fanfiction (yeah, I did), doing Tolkien-themed English projects with gusto, scrap-booking, and even occasionally dressing up like an elf.  IN HIGH SCHOOL.  Like I said, huge dork.  The Return of the King film came out right around my birthday, and my best friend and I made shirts to go to the midnight showing.  I cried so hard at the end--no, WEPT so hard--that my little rocking movie chair was swinging like a carnival ride, and made it difficult for the poor souls behind me to exit the theater.

2. I played softball from elementary school up until my junior year of high school, which really throws people for a loop if they didn't know me at that time.  (I don't strike most people as being terribly athletic.)  But I was a pitcher, which worked well because I have these long, skinny arms which can be used as a kind of trebuchet or windmill, giving me all kinds of leverage.  By the time I quit playing, I was throwing that ball at sixty miles per hour.  Pretty good for an un-athletic clumsy girl.

3.  More pertinently, sixteen was the age I first started writing in earnest.  I remember sitting with my best friend in one of our new (old, junky) cars, telling her about all the stories I had in my head, and how I would play them out like movies as I was falling asleep at night, and daydream about them in class. 

Instead of calling me crazy, she looked at me and said, "Why don't you write them down?"

I think I laughed.  Me?  Write books?  Of course, I'd done that in elementary school, but that was different.  This would be trying to write a real book.  Well, I tried it.  I wrote in notebooks until I could afford a laptop, and then transcribed and edited all the way up through my freshman year of college.  That book, naturally, will never see the light of day, but it was my tricycle.  It was what taught me to write, and showed me how much I loved it.    

What about you?  What things stand out to you from your teenage years?  How did they shape the person you are now?


  1. I can see you both dressed as an elf and playing softball, but not at the same time. I probably could have elaborated on my teenage years because I went through stages. The American football/ bible studying stage. Then a christian rock band groupie (I liked Switchfoot before they went big). Then the foundation of myself today which is a quiet, shy, writer/reader.

  2. My teenage years..... I think I was an average high schooler, but I did keep journals from the age of 12, so I have books to remind me of how overly dramatic I was, and how many times I thought my life was over, or how many times I fell in love. Plus, I worked A LOT, played sports, and drank too much too early thanks to fake IDs. No, you know what, I was mean when I was in high school, rude, sarcastic, just not very nice. I thought it was funny, and so did other people at the time, but looking back, I regret most of the things I said and how I acted. I'm sure I've burnt quite a few bridges, and I can't say I blame anyone. That changed throughout college, and into my marriage,now, I'm more aware of sensitivities, and try to shape my sarcasm which can come out harsh into more positive comments.

  3. Mmm... you were dorky in high school.

    But honestly, I don't know if I realized how much you used to like Lord of the Rings. I mean, I knew you like it a lot... but not that much. Haha.

    Also, I love that you have known what you wanted to do since high school. I think that is amazing.

  4. You had a truly good friend!

    One of the things I remember best from my teen years, besides playing in the marching band, was my love of reading. I read everything, but I loved series of any kind. When younger, I started with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew and as a teen read all kinds of mysteries and romances.

  5. Your passion for the Lord of the Rings shows spirit, and good taste! I was passionate about Grease when I was 16. And S.E Hinton - The Outsider's. I wanted to BE her.

  6. Lovely post. My writing and poetry got me through my teens. I did not have a great teenage life. When I was 17 I met DH, then life improved. ☺

  7. I think I was twelve when I first started writing - so it was *almost* in my dorky teenage years!

  8. I was completely outside of the loop as a teenager. I played in the rain and came to class soaking from puddles, dressed up like a doll or a 60s gogo dancer or a ghost girl or in as many patterns as possible, spent most of class doodling and writing notes, was deathly afraid of dating and physical contact even from friends... I lived in my own world. I think I dreamed my way through most of it. I had magic powers and an adventure was just about to happen... I wrote love letters to my faerie prince and left them in the back yard on moonlit nights. I cursed like a sailor and only ate ramen. I didn't kiss a boy until I was twenty. And it was terrible and only out of curiousity. I was quiet. For some reason people thought I never smiled, but I remember laughing until I cried quite a lot... I was every mood and very dramatic but I don't think anyone ever knew because I kept to myself.
    I'm still pretty much all of these things.