above: my Booky-Wook
I wrote my first book in the mid 1980’s, when I was about ten years old.
To my surprise, I still have it. I came across the typed manuscript the other day as I was tearing the house apart in a cleaning frenzy.
As a kid, it took me MONTHS to type this thing…I do remember that much. I hadn’t yet taken a typing class, and I was reduced to using only two of my fingers (the pointer finger of each hand) and the tried and true – if painfully slow – “hunt and peck” method.
above: a closer view of the cover page and my mind-blowing typing skills
Today I sat and read “The Magic Mirror” for the first time in decades. I think I can safely say that this book is the most BIZZARO work ever written. Jesus, I was a strange kid. It’s like I came from outer-fucking-space or something. The story is completely bonkers, yet at the same time, it’s so creative and outside the box that I’m almost proud that I was such a nut-job kid.
But reading through the story, I noticed THIS —
I had given the three main characters of my book the following names: Gregory, Clint, and Lana.
As a young child, I had chosen the names randomly. I didn’t know anyone named Clint. There was a Gregory at the school I attended, but I wasn’t close to him, nor was I thinking of him when I chose the name. And I’d never met a Lana before…not a single one in all my life. I didn’t even know who the actress Lana Turner was at that point. It had all been spontaneous – the names just popped into my head, and I typed them. No meaning or association.
Fast forward to 2012. In the 25+ years since I wrote the book (and LONG after I’d forgotten what I’d named the characters), guess who the three most important and/or influential people in my life have been? They were people with the following names: Gregory, Clint, and Lana.
Gregory would turn out to be the name of my husband/now ex-husband. Clint – who won’t be discussed here – had a profound effect on almost every aspect of my life and personality. And Lana, of course, ended up being the name of my only child.
**Cue scary music**
Obviously, this is proof that I am not only a writer, but also a prophet.
Stand back in amazement, people.
— Jenn, The Prognosticator