A is for Author

I think I have wanted to author books since about the time I learned how to communicate with people. Besides for the epics I constructed with an imaginary wolf pack that lived in the woods around my house (they eventually left me for the colder north, where there would be more meat and snow), from a very young age, I collaborated with my siblings to have ongoing story arcs involving our Lego adventurers (who time-traveled in an ever-changing RV, complete with rocket ship) and Safari Ltd. animals (Spinosaurus had a star-crossed love affair with Hammerhead that was never meant to be).

What really put me in the “chair”, so to speak, though, was when my father put a Macintosh SE in our playroom. The computer was such an endless fascination to me, and between the only two options of either SimpleText or Chess (which I always lost), SimpleText became my window to a whole new world. I was around six or seven then, I suppose.

It turns out that the very first stories I ever created in my life, my parents kept carefully boxed away in storage, so basically twenty years later, I can actually share them with you here.

First up is my story about a “horse” (read: fire pegacorn) that gets captured. I think I wrote this while I was in the conference room of my dad’s workplace. He used to take me when there wasn’t a babysitter around, so I’d just have a bunch of thin paper and some coloring utensils around. I was probably around six.

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“The horse. It helps people.”

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Why Little Me thought rabbits lived in trees, I will never know. Probably came from one of thoseΒ David the Gnome‘s episodes.

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Early Influences: Watership Down. Keep this in mind for later.

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Easter Egg Detected! The swan was drawn from a pastry my mom used to buy once a week when we were good, from a fabulous French bakery called Zoe’s.

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“People have got the horses.” Dinosaurs and pegacorns being stolen for human amusement! Smells suspiciously like The Last Unicorn

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“The horse is now in a parade.” Animals being forced to perform cheap tricks? I have a feeling Dumbo may have scarred me a little…

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I’d be too, if I were being forced to live as a living fountain ornament.

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No words needed. Black Beauty made me cringe every time I thought of a bit in a horse’s mouth.

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Watership Down‘s most terrifying experience was definitely the wire snare that Bigwig got stuck in. I probably watched that movie too much (I now have a tendency to kill my favorite characters in the most violent way possible).

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But, somehow, happy ending! Yay! Pegacorn turned into a real horse?

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Silly dinosaur, cards are for people.

The second story was written on the SE, with two of my siblings as a collaborative effort. I’m guessing this was when I was seven or so.

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Like a typical 80s child, I was overly impressed by clip art.

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Note to future Alex: If your story only has one chapter, it is not a chapter at all. Also, learn to follow through with your plots. Sheesh.

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Note: Sabertooth and Mountain Lion are the same toy, a female African lion that changed species depending on the time period we were setting the story in. Clearly I didn’t know how to keep things consistent. Also, I still own these toys (and play with them every week with my students).

And the final story I’ll be sharing here is Zebord and Drake, a story that, I think, best shows the sort of writer I would later mature into. I even tried to make a faux cover by gluing my illustration to a cardboard sheet. Covers are important, yo!

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Cover: Heavily influenced by 90s Lego horse armor.

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This one even got a title page!

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Holy smokes, Batman! Exclamations!

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Admittedly, I still enjoy sweet-sounding chapter titles that have nothing to do with the content of said-chapter…

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You go Zebord. I was rooting for you from the beginning! Villains rock! ….but seriously, what was in your golden basket? (Actually, I still remember. It was his heart.)

And so ends my first post for A-Z! Check back tomorrow, for a much shorter post to make up for this very long one today.

Tomorrow: B is for Books!

98 thoughts on “A is for Author

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thank you so much for the comment, Patricia. I, too, am really happy they kept all of this stuff. It was really cool to go through it all again. πŸ™‚

      I just visited Story Dam, and I’m off to your personal site next~ thanks!

      Like

  1. racheltoalson says:

    These are very impressive! My mom has some of my old ones packed away, and they sound suspiciously similar to Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables and Where the Red Fern Grows. So funny how our early influences are captured in our early stories. These are surely treasures that speak clearly of our early dreams. I greatly enjoyed reading yours!

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      It is interesting to see where all of the influences come from. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Rachel. Maybe one day, you can share your early stories too! They sound interesting. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thank you very much, Jeremy! I appreciate it. I just tried to check out your website, but couldn’t find the comics. In any case, nice blog, and have a great day!

      Like

  2. deborahbrasket says:

    That was so much fun! Your stories as a child were amazing, especially with the drawings. I’m sure your parents could see how talented you were even so young. I have some poems from when a was very young and a couple of short stories later on, but no drawings, no book format, jus lined paper–truly low tech :). Actually, we weren’t very techie back then, come to think of it. I’m so glad you shared these. (I didn’t know Watership Down was made into a film! Loved the book. Read it to my kids on the boat.)

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the stories, Deborah. πŸ™‚ I had a lot of fun at the time, I remember, even though I can see they were sort of a cathartic exercise for me back then….

      WD was made into a film. The animation at the time was superb, but it was very dark, and actually quite faithful to the book. I think it was remade a few years ago though, and I can’t vouch for that one (I don’t like the animation style).

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks so much, Moondust. We’re having a grand old time, but it’s going to be over before I know it! Time really flies.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my silly illustrations. All the best to you, as well!

      Like

  3. Andrew says:

    Zebord reminds me a bit of Trogdor, which I’m sure was later than you did this. However, I smell a hint of Dragonheart.
    And, you know, Bigwig didn’t -die- from the snare.
    It’s great that your parents kept that stuff.

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      I had no idea what Trogdor was until you told me about him, here, haha. I see the resemblance. πŸ˜›

      And I do know that Bigwig didn’t die…. but there was that moment of terror…. and that’s what stuck with me.

      Like

  4. dmvsk says:

    This is so cool! You wrote these at 6 and 7? I am seriously impressed! All those silly stories that i came up with but don’t remember anymore… If only i have written them or even better drawn them too….The only one i remember is a story about Modern He-man and i called him muscle man! πŸ˜› and his bike…i was drooling over the bike i drew for him… I wonder if they are still there somewhere..

    Kickass first post by the way!

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Hey, thanks a lot dmvsk! I am really happy that my parents kept these. It would have been sad to lose them.

      Your stories sound fun! If you ever find the pictures, be sure to link me so I can go see them! ^_^

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      That would be awesome to see! Be sure to tag me on a random page if you do so I can see them! (if you use straight URLs, the blog owner doesn’t get notified, for some reason… so, you have to use alex-hurst.com/?????????/ for me to get a notification.)

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Like

  5. saxtoncorner says:

    Hilarious!! I think it’s so lovely that your parents kept everything you wrote. I hoard the most ridiculous things that my kids have created – for my amusement later on in their lives. Lol. But I’ve got to say, I really guffawed at the chapter title “In the Lab of Terror” and then your comment after. Brilliant stuff, thank you πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks very much for the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was shaking my head so much at younger me. But, I found it amusing enough to not hide in storage forever, haha.

      Thank you again for stopping by! See you soon! πŸ˜‰

      Like

  6. Clare Davidson says:

    Thanks for sharing theses stories. You had a great imagination as a child, so it must be incredible now! I also watched Watership Down to death and I agree the snare scene was terrifying, as were Fiver’s visions. Looking forward to B is for books tomorrow πŸ™‚

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks so much, Clare! I recently went to look p WD and found a new remake! I was so disappointed. The scary animation of the first will always be the real WD movie to me. That opening scene with El Errah will always hold a special place in my heart. ❀

      See you tomorrow! πŸ˜€

      Like

  7. Jessica S says:

    Thanks for sharing! Watching the progression was truly fun. πŸ™‚ I loved your comment regarding clipart and the 80s child. Now I want to scan in my little chapter books I wrote in the fifth grade. LOL I just used clipart, though–apparently I was too lazy to draw.

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Clipart is awesome, I don’t care about the bad rap it gets these days. πŸ˜‰ You totally should scan them! I think it’d be a great little ‘meme’ to go around the writing community. πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Angela Tague says:

    What a fun look back at your early work!! I used to do this as a kid too! I think a poem I had published in a local newspaper at maybe age 8 is what really made me determined to get published as an adult! ~ Angela, A to Z participant from Web Writing Advice and Whole Foods Living

    Like

  9. Awillaway says:

    This post is pure awesome! It’s really great that your parents kept these for you and you have them to look back on. I wish you the best on the A to Z challenge…I will be checking back in tomorrow to read your “B” post. Right now, I’m going to go try to find some David the Gnome episodes to watch because your post reminded me how awesome my childhood was. πŸ˜€

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Yay!! Someone else who remembers David the Gnome. He was freaking awesome… and that opening made me cry more than once, haha.

      Thanks so much for the comment! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

      Like

  10. Marilyn Albright says:

    What a great imagination you had (have) and it’s wonderful that your parents saved these for you. Judging from the creatures below the tree, I see why you put the rabbit IN the tree!
    Writing is your destiny.

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks for the comment, Marlene! I appreciate it. Siamese are awesome. We had one called Moonshadow when I was little. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Julie says:

    How awesome your parents kept your first writings. Back then mine were nothing but daydreams. Thank you for visiting.

    Julie at A Whisper In The Woods

    Like

  12. Becca J. Campbell says:

    Cute stories, and I love the artwork. It’s so interesting to see those early influences, isn’t it? My earliest story was when I was about 15, but I still need to go back and read it. Now you have me curious. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Oh, I have about three drafts of the novel I’m rewriting now from that age that will NEVER see the light of day, haha…. Hopefully yours are better!! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. Miranda Stone says:

    This is delightful, Alex! How wonderful of your parents to save these stories. I started putting little storybooks together when I was around seven or eight, accompanied by my own horrible illustrations. I kind of wish I still had them. You were a talented little writer and artist even all those years ago, my friend!

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Awww, are they lost forever? They would have been awesome to see. 😦 Thanks so much for the compliment Miranda, though I definitely still need to work on the impatience bit…. I jump scenes just as badly now as I did then! πŸ˜›

      Like

      • Miranda Stone says:

        I do believe they are lost forever, unfortunately. And I hear you. I’m all about impatience. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m not a novel writer. Takes too much time! πŸ˜›

        Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Yes, even one counts! The only one I was looking for was “Zebord and Drake”… the rest were just bonuses. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Sorry to hear yours didn’t. I think my dad was just very art-minded, and he grew up in a family that threw away all of his first things…. so he wanted to be different (so instead we have TOO much saved, haha.) Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  14. Thomas Weaver says:

    This is so cool, seeing your origins as an author. I remember my first stories (from before I could write them down); they featured an ENORMOUS Pegasus and an equally oversized turtle. And a monster I called a “dile,” which was inspired by a creature I’d seen in an animated movie that I recalled nothing else about. (Turns out the “dile” had been inspired by a frog in a Thumbelina movie. Frogs are scary when they’re about 50 times your size!)

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Hahah, those sound epic. Yes… frogs are scary (and I still find myself sometimes singing lines from “Marry the Mole”, which happened to be my least favorite song from the Thumbelina movie… don’t know why!)

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  15. LindaGHill says:

    I wish my mother had kept my old stories – I remember writing a “book” when I was about 4 and a half.
    You were really into the action, weren’t you? πŸ™‚ What a great post! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Oh man… I wish I could see that book now! Think of all the raw creative energy in there! πŸ˜€

      Yes…. action was important. I had three siblings to play with, and we had to stay entertained, hehe.

      Thanks for commenting, Linda!

      Like

  16. The Childlike Author says:

    Nothing like a little bit of childhood to spice things up!

    Seriously. Adults are boring sometimes all the time.

    By the way, you were a pretty talented artist at six years old, albeit inconsistent with the wings and horns on your horses. Great post!

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks a lot. Haha! Yeah, my mother was convinced I was going to be an artist at that point, so she was all about sending me to private art classes starting in first grade. I’ve been pretty stubborn though, sticking with colored pencils despite every other medium introduced to me (sorry, mom!) but…. I was able to get out of Social Studies until 7th grade because of it! πŸ˜‰

      Like

  17. Allison Forsythe says:

    Loved this post! I’ll have to see if my parents kept any of my old stories…. I did write one when I was ten about two talking cats who solved mysteries. Their names? Fluff and Buff (or, as my dad joked, I could’ve just called them Fart & Shine). πŸ˜€

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      That sounds adorable! What a cute concept (which could still totally be done!) I love your dad’s other names for them, lol!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thank you Jessica! Yeah…. that was some quick problem solving right there. πŸ˜‰ Though I was a big fan of Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote when I was a kid too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks for stopping by, L! And yeah, I’d have to agree. πŸ˜€ If “The Land Before Time” met “Never-ending Story” met “The Last Unicorn”, I would never need to watch another movie in my life, haha.

      Like

  18. Joni says:

    I love this! I too have those little stapled booklets, those old simple text word documents. Yes, there’s a lot of cringing and shaking heads when re-reading, but there’s something to cherish in still having them. I think it’s knowing (hopefully) that we’ve grown in our writing and this special taste of authoric-destiny (we’ll pretend that’s a word) that was with us even in our childhood. Thanks for sharing- it was loads of fun! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      I totally agree with you, Joni. I am really happy to still have them in my possession (along with all the toys from my youth, but those were donated to my school so they could keep being loved). Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Yeah… I was pretty surprised, too. But I remember my parents tried to get me in accelerated reading as soon as possible, because they wanted me to read without assistance… I guess it paid off. (Clifford was my gateway book… and the teacher who turned reading into a game…. If only I could remember her name, I would send her a thank you note!)

      Like

  19. A J says:

    LOL Amazing that you can look back at the stories that you used to write when you were younger! I have some of my early writings as well but they were mainly poems. It was only in my teens that I graduated to stories i.e. flash fiction LOL But they were all romance/ mystery inclined πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Alex Hurst says:

      All of my stories from when I was a teen were either homoerotic or yakuza-based, haha. Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

      Like

  20. Lissa Clouser says:

    I ADORE this. (Sorry I’m just now getting around to checking out your blog, it’s been an insane month.) One of my earliest stories was ‘The Bad Time for Turkeys’ and it was narrated mostly by the turkey. I’d have to say the redneck father and son are my favorite characters though. I still laugh at them.

    Liked by 1 person

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