The Chief Squid Leader Notes

Don't worry, the title will make sense eventually, if I do my job right.

I can't really pinpoint the exact moment I started writing, but I know that all my life I've had little notebooks. The first came from my mom. It was hers when she was around 20, with the occassional scribble of IOU or a birthday in the margin. It was a sort of calender, with poetry and art at the beginning of each month.

Anyway, I soon began writing little entries of my own, illustrations, and poetry. On honest to God example was a poem about a flower that got sunburned because it forgot to wear its sunscreen. The illustration features a technicolor, grinning daisy.

In fourth grade I remember playing with two boys named Nick and Austin. We would pretend we were foxes and run around the tree next to the soccer field during recess, catching bugs, and waving pencil magic wands [yeah, I know what you're thinking. No, I'm not special, just odd. In case you were wondering, my fox name was Fawny]. One day, Austin was asking me if I'd seen Atlantis [the disney cartoon] yet. I had. He wanted me to tell him about it. I told him the basic plot, but he stopped me at the bit where Milo is on the dock.

"Was there a shark in the water?"

"Sure, I guess."

"Was it blue? Cuz if it was it was probably [enter some random name of a cartoon character he'd seen once]."

He kept bugging me about it, so I thought, what the heck, and went along with it. I told him about a crystal cave and bay leaves and a big underwater battle, and the kid was totally enthralled. He got the wrong idea, though, and went to see the movie. When he came back the next day he called me a liar. I didn't 'write' properly again until seventh grade for guilt.

The summer of seventh grade I was at a science camp and they gave us special green steno books for notes like diagrams of fish guts and records of bird sightings. That poor notebook eventually was filled to bursting with quotes, sketches, and the beginnings of a story involving fairies, parallel realities, and a special machine called Cyclops I. I returned home one day and to find the steno book in a melted paper pile on my desk, the ink run together and leaking over the sides. My window had been open and our sprinkler in the yard had been splashing it all day. My notes were destroyed.

I took up note taking again with feverish verosity. I would check out entire towers of books from the library, ranging in theme from teleportation and robotics to ghosts and bigfoot. That's how I came across my pseudonym. Architeuthis Dux [the Chief Squid Leader, Giant Squid, The Kraken. Told you I'd tell you what it means] became my mascot, because of its debated history. Also, females can grow to be 42 feet long [wink], and 42's a good number.

Ninth grade year I was on the Yearbook commitee. That last year I'd cut my hair scandilously short for the uber religious community, and had taken to wearing my dad's flannel shirts that hung over my hands. None of the girls liked me. This became obvious early into the year when the Yearbook spread was unveiled. Every other girl, it seems, had gotten a say in their picture, with them posing dramatically, an arm waving daintily, or pulling funny faces at eachother from between the frames; but mine showed me hunched over a desk, frowning, and not even looking at the camera. I didn't say a thing. I drew back into my flannel shell, not wanting to draw unneeded attention to myself.

Sophmore year everything changed. Now our tiny religious community mixed with the world at large. Us Valley kids were bussed out into the big city, where reputations didn't stick as well and nobody cared that you'd been a freak in Junior High. As such, I died my hair pink and started wearing elaborate outfits with plenty of feathers and scarves. I discovered new genres of music in languages I didn't understand, wide open hallways filled with people I didn't know and might never meet [a novelty after growing up in a tiny community], and I made real friends. Friends who could pronounce my last name and didn't care that I stared at the ceiling whenever I couldn't think of something to say.

The preceding description is from year earlier. I still have pink hair, am listening to Dragonstea din tei by O-Zone, and have taken to painting Krikket robots on my fingernails. However, seeing as it's an odd year [I'm in 11th grade, now] I've taken up writing again. My notes have overflowed into numerous notebooks [generally green, the blue one are cursed, I can't write anything good in them] and I have decided to see what I can twist out of them to make any stories.

Okay, then. Back to business. Why I write:

  • As an outlet for frustrated, hyper, possibly radioactive energies that, if holed up, would otherwise make the world a very dull place to live in, indeed.
  • To make people consider, contemplate, and/or giggle at inappropriate moments in the narrative.
  • And because where else but literature can one publish a work like A Briefe Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother, Written uppon occasion with hat been of late taken thereby, to suspect possession of an evill spirit, or some such supernaturall power. Wherein is declared that divers strange actions and passions of the body of man, which in the common opinion are imputed to the Divill, have their true naturall causes, and do accompany this disease without being admired for, at the very least, their vocabulary?

Your turn! So You Think You Can Write? Prove it! Nya, Nya!

The End

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