I’m a Slacker

It’s true. I thought I was doing pretty well until the other day when I uncovered my baby book in a box in the attic. I’d been looking for some research materials for an action-adventure novel I’m percolating in my head. Instead, I found this ancient archive of my childhood.

Brooks' Early Edition Books
K. S. Brooks’ Early Works

As I gingerly moved it out of the box, some papers fell from it. These weren’t just ANY papers. They were all cut the same size, and bound together with a plastic-coated twist-tie. They were BOOKS. On them, my mother had written lightly in pencil “5 years old.”

Not only were they books, they were books I’d made – by hand. I’d illustrated them, and they rhymed. How in hell had I managed such a thing at five years of age? Granted, there were spelling errors, but those should have been caught by my editor. And for crying out loud, I was FIVE.

This made me smile – but not necessarily why you’d think. I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen. I remember writing story books about talking animals on magic islands when I was in third grade. In Kindergartenish times, I clearly recall fudging some details about a visit to the arboretum while writing the post-trip recap. Well, technically, that wasn’t lying. It was for the sake of art, hence – fiction.

But did any of those mean writing was in my blood? I sort of thought so, but who was I, really, to make that claim? What empirical evidence did I have?

I can’t tell you how many times interviewers have asked me “why do you write?” Honestly, that question makes me borderline belligerent, as does “when did you first know you wanted to write?” How do you say “I was born to write” without coming across as narcissistic? And how do you prove that statement?

I’ll tell you how you prove that statement. You thank your most excellent mother for saving those precious pieces of paper that give you peace of mind and validity when you say “I was born to write.”

There is one drawback, however. These newly discovered one-of-a-kind first editions pose a new mental conundrum: when I was five, I produced three picture books. Three! In 2011, I had only two new picture books go into publication. Dammit. I thought I was going great guns, but now, I’ve come to realize – I was more productive when I was five. Ouch.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

7 thoughts on “I’m a Slacker”

  1. I love it. But ya gotta give yourself some slack. After all, your picture books are longer now. 🙂

  2. Look at your other responsibilities now. You do your own accounting, travel planning, marketing, networking, research and writing. That is just with the books. You also cook, clean, assist Mr. Pish, and a host of other mundane details that you were blissfully unaware of at five. They fell into the category of "Mom does stuff". You are doing amazing.

    That doesn't mean that you can't aim higher. This is the time for New Years Resolutions to form. I think mine will be to not use the #7 for at least a week, after my last article. I didn't even notice I had done it till after I read it again… http://www.pinchercreekvoice.com/2011/12/new-year

  3. I love your post, Yvonne!

    I have only one 'book' to my credit when I was a child – in Grade 8 (I think). It was required writing, and I'm not sure if the topic was assigned or randomly chosen by yours truly. I was lost on a desert island after a shipwreck and was able to catch a turtle to make turtle soup, create a bow and arrows, find shelter in a cave all before being rescued by a ship on which my parents had come to find me. And all illustrated in color my me, too! I think I was graded 8 out of a possible 10. I know it is around here somewhere, but I cleaned up before Christmas and it has likely found a new home in some very safe place and I can't lay my hands on it. But you have given me an idea – I will photograph it (when I find it) and post it on my web site just for fun.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. There is no way I'm buying that you didn't make those last night. 😉 Just kidding. My mom has some stuff like that that I did, too. I figure she's saving it to blackmail me with.

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