I Never Write Right

April 6, 2007 2:54am CST
When I was fifteen, I announced to my English class that I was going to write and illustrate my own books. Half the students sneered, the rest nearly fell out of their chairs laughing. “Don’t be silly, only geniuses can become writers,” the English teacher said smugly, “And you are getting a D this semester.” I was so humiliated I burst into tears. That night I wrote a short sad poem about broken dreams and mailed it to the Capri’s Weekly newspaper. To my astonishment, they published it and sent me two dollars. I was a published and paid writer. I showed my teacher and fellow students. They laughed. “Just plain dumb luck,” the teacher said. I tasted success. I’d sold the first thing I’d ever written. That was more than any of them had done and if it was just dumb luck, that was fine with me. During the next two years I sold dozens of poems, letters, jokes and recipes. By the time I graduated from high school, with a C minus average, I had scrapbooks filled with my pub
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