Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Known Facts...

About me, of course.

All through high school, I failed English. Oh, I grasped the concept of it all, got things right in class and passed most of the tests. But I never really pushed myself in school.

I started working at the age of 15. I got a job to help pay family bills, not to have my own savings account. So school sort of took a back burner in my mind and so I ended up on the 6 year plan rather than the normal 4 years.

My English teachers loved me, though. All but one, but she was psycho to begin with and she is a whole other story.

One of my favorite teachers was my English Lit teacher. It helped she was Scottish, we had common ground. Each day or sometimes just once a week, she would write journal entry prompts up on the board and we had so much time to write. We would have to pass our journals up to the front and she'd browse through them while we were testing or whatever.

One day she wrote "Describe a forest fire" on the board and I immediately began to scribble out my story, from the viewpoint of the animals. When the time came to pass them to the front, mine caught her eye. She even read it out loud to the class and in her usual manner said, "That was a great piece! I won't mention who wrote it, but her initials are Melissa McWilliams."

Embarrassed the hell out of me. Looking back on it though, she was just one of the teachers that encouraged me to write. Only it took some time.

I didn't really catch the writing bug until I was 19 and started playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I came up with a really cool Elf Ranger... named Kayta. She's evolved quite a bit and she is my very first character ever. To have her in my current books has helped me a lot because she's an old friend, very familiar and she's easy to write about. She is like me, after all.

I think that if it hadn't been for my English teachers, I never would have even thought about writing. Another one of my teachers actually told me I would make a great writer, but passing English was sort of a big deal. That teacher had challenged the whole class with writing our own fable. She gave us the moral and we had to come up with the story. Matter of fact, I still have mine.

Maybe I'll dig it out for you one of these days.


Unknown said...

A teacher can make or break - they don't get enough credit for the impact they can have on a young mind.

Mel Chesley said...

Very true! My brothers married teachers and they're the best. It was nice to have those teachers influence me way back when and if they hadn't, I wonder ... would I even be writing now?

Ella said...

I am so happy you had this woman in your life! It makes a huge difference when we are nudged on our path~
I enjoyed reading your post :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great someone encouraged you! I think I started writing about the time I began playing D&D as well. Small world.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

You know Mel, a teacher can see talent a mile away! I'm so happy that she saw that in you. <3
I fell deeply in love with the written word when I learned about sensory detail. *sigh*

Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

Unknown said...

You had an awesome English teacher. Mine were just doing their time. They didn't care if I learned to write or not. Which is probably why I was a sucky writer until later in university.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I wish I had your English teachers. I don't know if it was just because I was in a Catholic school, but creative writing was something that was never really encouraged :(

Mel Chesley said...

Aww Jamie. I can imagine getting your knuckles smacked with that ruler would be a huge deterrent. :(

And Stina! I'm glad you went to university! :D

@Elizabeth~ Thanks! I was a lucky girl.

@Alex~ D&D! I still have my cards and books and papers... I'm a geek. ;)