When I was a young lad, only twelve, and had decided in earnest that I was going to be a novelist, I began tap tap tapping away on my Apple IIGS (Appleworks, baby!). There were a number of ideas bumping around in my head. I wrote stuff for Jim Henson's Storyteller (which in no way fit the program but what the hell did I know). I got into a lot of trouble when my mother (who spied on me to make sure I wasn't being amoral--that clearly didn't work) saw me title a story "Lucifer Jr." The work I put the most effort into was Arcadia--I don't remember the actual title.

Arcadia was a post-apocalyptic story. Between pollution and natural evaporation, there was so much moisture in the air that clouds could actually sustain weight. Humanity fired took what could survive and sent them up in rockets. Over times, they evolved so their bones were lighter and they had wings. They kept their prisoners down below but one of them escapes to the clouds above.

I'd print pages off on my dot matrix printer and send them to my sister to read. She thought they were interesting. She was upset when I stopped writing it. I thought it was crap. This says something about her taste. I never forgot that story, though. It was my first genuine attempt. It was my first real failure. And it was so BAD!

My sister still asks about it from time to time, when we talk (which granted is not often). A small part of me tries to write the absolute best story I can so I can send her the book and say, "See, this is why I quit writing that novel when I was 12. This is good. That was crap."

It's kind of odd how much influence a 21-year-old failure has over my effort today. (My writing is totally better though.)

When all is said and done and I'm bereft of new story ideas, I'll totally resurrect this thing and shell it out there. :D