It was February of 2010. My Mimi had just passed away, and I had a lot of energy to channel. I was twelve. I set out to write a novel.
This novel was a piece of work. It took me four months to finish, and it was a miracle that I didn’t know my husband at the time, or else he would have ended up as a character alongside the infamous Tanner Bradley, who was based off of my Spanish teacher’s son.
In hindsight, perhaps my husband when he was younger bears a resemblance to Tanner Bradley in personality and energy, because while my Spanish teacher’s son did climb on rooftops, his energy didn’t quite match his fictional counterpart’s. My husband’s younger self climbed trees, screeched, and picked on me with the best of them. He was the best of them. He still is.
Anyway, it was driven by a larger than life ensemble cast that could have only been concocted by a 12 year old. The novel’s name was Headstand, and you can still read it here.
I spent hours in my room with only a speaker and my tiny LG Lotus flip phone for company, often forgetting to eat for 8 or more hours at a time. This was before I had my first iPhone, which I wouldn’t get until 2012. Gasp! My mom would have to remind me to eat and to come out of my room and actually be with non-fictional people. I was absorbed in this book. It got into full swing when summer hit, and I spent countless hours laying on the porch writing, much like I am now, only this time I am writing inside because it’s cold out. I brought that speaker outside and blared music while I wrote. Pair that with my discovery of Pandora Internet Radio a little while before and I was rocking my way through the book.
Headstand ended up being about a 10+ member band made up of teens and preteens who take the world by storm because they play by the pool every day for an entire summer. They get caught on camera and the video is uploaded to YouTube, where it then goes viral. They have to then deal with fame. And they like it.
I wouldn’t deal with any kind of personal fame until I went to college in Idaho, where more people knew of me than I knew of them. I don’t think I want that again. I was always afraid that I had messed up and forgotten someone’s name I had wanted to remember. People would stop me on the streets around campus and ask me if I was the girl with the ukulele. I was indeed the girl with the ukulele, and this girl with the ukulele wondered how in the world you knew of her. So it turned out that a sort of fame did come, just not in the form I was expecting.
This novel remains dear to my heart even though it is absurd. I later tried to read it aloud to my husband when we first started dating, but the Comic Sans got to me a bit too much. Yes, the entire novel is written in Comic Sans. The entire thing. It’s also full of obscure references to songs that are hard to find unless you’re willing to do a little YouTube digging. The songs in question are mainly unofficially released Sara Bareilles songs.
The essence of this ramble is that things don’t always turn out as expected. I had hoped for fame, got it, in a sense, then walked away from it. I had hoped that Headstand would bring me recognition, but nearly a decade later, it remains almost untouched. And I eat a lot more now. I’m so much happier for it.
Until next post,
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