Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Writings from my past

For the last couple of days, I've been editing a book about a man whose young wife died. He then receives a mysterious letter and a key to a storage shed; the letter says that stuff belonging to his former wife is stored there. He goes to the shed and finds all of her diaries and writings from her childhood. Then he begins to read them and discover things about his wife that he never knew.

I wanted to tell you about this story because I also have many writings from my past stored away and want you to have them should anything happen to me. Grandma and Grandpa Bignell will keep them for you.

Unfortunately (Well, given their lack of quality, maybe not fortunately!), my writings from childhood have been lost over time, but my journal entries largely begin in junior high with some writings from college.

Most of the stories lsot from my childhood were short stories I wrote in fourth through eighth grade. Almost all of them were set in the Star Trek universe or other science fiction pieces.

You always enjoyed creating stories when we were togther. Do you like to write stories, too?

Friday, December 28, 2012

My next teaching job

After working in New Mexico for two years, I came back to Wisconsin looking for a better paying job. I landed one in Merrill, Wisconsin, where I taught from fall 1994 to January 1999.

My first year was spent teaching English to eighth and ninth graders, The next year, our junior high became a middle school, and we changed to a "team teaching" concept. I taught English to eighth graders on the Delta Team, a five-teacher team, which I headed for four years.

During this time, I went to school during evenings at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and earned a Master's degree in English. I spent two years of night classes and summer school from fall 1996 to spring 1998 getting it done.

I also wrote a lot of short stories and even a couple of novels during this time! None of them are anything I'm particularly proud of, though each of them have their moments. It was more a lot of "practice" as I learned the craft of writing.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My journals that you may inherit...

The last couple of days I typed entries about you from my journals of October 2009. As someone who's loved to write since he was in second grade and to make up and tell stories even before I went to school, I have a lot of journals and folders - both paper and on computer - containing my writings. Many are just loose notes and descriptions of places and items, done more to practice and master the craft of writing. Some are short stories, with quite a few of them in desperate need of a rewrite and others waiting to be finished. You'll also find inthere three or four novel manuscripts, some poetry, a couple of starts to plays, and lots of outlines, especially for essays.

I've asked your grandma to keep all of them for you should anything ever happen to me. The writings probably are of limited monetary value, but they do contain my thoughts going back decades before you were born, so in some small way they will provide a connection to me. She will give them to you when you are old enough; should she pass before them, Uncle Chris will keep them for you.

I do imagine that one day you'll become a writer - not out of my personal vanity - but because you have all of the makings of a good writer: an active, creative imagination; a love of stories; a way with words. Should you come across some striking image in my journals that would fit your story or decide that you know exactly how to finish one of those many stories, feel free to use it as your own. It is my small gift to you, my way of being there for you though the fates have conspired against us.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A little about myself

So far, most of the entries here have been about my memories of you. But I thought you might like to know a little but more about me.

I run and own my own business in which I edit people's writing and help them get published. I edit all kinds of things but mainly novels and nonfiction manuscripts. I also write books, which help other people become better writers, get published, and sell their books; another set of my books is about how to hike with children (which is largely based on my experiences hiking with you when we were together!).

My company "logo."
Helping other people write better books brings me real pleasure. First, I like to read, so someone paying me to read their book is a lot like someone paying a person who likes to fish to spend his whole day fishing! Secondly, I like to teach and mentor others; it gives me a lot of joy to see others achieve their goals in part thanks to the help I gave them (In much the same way, I so enjoyed helping you learn and master new skills when growing up, from learning your colors and counting to using a scissors and throwing a great spiral pass).

I also like to write, but most of my efforts these days are on nonfiction pieces rather than fiction - though I've got plenty of short stories and novels started. They are just very time consming (albeit fun) to write, and I find penning nonfiction and editing others' works more lucrative. Scan through my blogs and websites, and you're certain to come across my published writing.

The first story I ever wrote that wasn't a class assignment was in second grade. I wrote a "Star Trek" tale for a friend of mine, who was an Asian-American. Mr. Sulu was his favorite character, and he always complained that there were no episodes in which the helmsman saved the day. So I wrote a story in which Mr. Sulu rescues Captain Kirk on a dangerous planet!

You always loved to make up and to hear stories when we were together. I have a confession to make: I'd always guide your storytelling and teach you terms of the trade in hopes that you'd become an excellent writer one day yourself! In fact, in one story you were going to have our main character die, and I said, "But you can't kill him! He's one of our lead characters!"

Like a typical writer, you weren't too keen on having someone else tell you how your story should go, but after a while, you relented!