Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cleaning Out the Basement

The semester finally ended (yay!) so now, until my summer photography class starts (so excited for this), I have two weeks with nothing I have to do.  But believe me, I have more than enough I could be doing, like, ahem, writing. 

The Basement

But instead of writing, I spent a few hours over the past two days helping my mom clean out their basement.  Just so everyone knows, it’s not one of those nice finished basements with a carpeted play room and/or a bar.  No, it’s one of those spider-filled basements made of cement and cinderblock.  One corner’s filled with the washer/dryer, another with a tool bench and dusty tools, another with a freezer; the two longest sides of the basement are lined with shelves containing dozens and dozens of over-stuffed storage boxes; the staircase descends right smack into the middle of the room. 

One of my mom’s goals for the summer is to clean out the basement or at least severely reduce the number of boxes down there.  And because I’m a wonderfully helpful daughter (and about 1/3 of the boxes contain my stuff and I didn’t want it getting thrown away/given away/sold without my consent) I’m helping. 

My Childhood Creative Writing Box

As I went through some of the “Anne” boxes, I found piles and piles of my old school assignments from elementary and middle school.  I remember at the end of each year at school, the teachers made us keep a few projects/tests for our portfolio.  All of my portfolios were still in that basement. 

I ditched all of the old science, math and history portfolios.  I kept all of my English/Language Arts writing assignments and added them them to my creative writing box that contains all the stories I wrote as a child, beginning at about age two when the stories consisted of only drawings and stickers. 

I can’t bring myself to throw any of these old stories away!  I need them.  I think that, somehow, I will one day be able to turn these stories into something useful.  Maybe, maybe not.  But if I can, how?

Using Childhood Stories as an Adult

I haven’t figured it out yet, but I would like to.  If you have any ideas how to turn childhood art/writing into something beautiful (sellable?) as an adult, please add a comment and let me know!

I found one story I wrote in elementary school called “The House with Many Doors” about this building that these kids find that has no doors or windows on the outside, but they somehow get inside the building and it is HUGE and filled with many rooms and hallways and tunnels.  It bares and eerie resemblance to The House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski which I read not too long ago.  Not that I can quite compare a childhood short story to the complexity that is The House of Leaves, but a similar concepts exist. 

And this makes me wonder…what other concepts did I come up with back then that I could use now?

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