And That’s How The West Was Won

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


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