This is your creative life

My mom asked me to come pick up some boxes of my childhood stuff that she still had at the house. She’d saved almost everything I’ve ever made. This was a hilarious trip down memory lane for me (and will be for some of you, too) and it inspired me to show y’all my creative timeline. I couldn’t put everything (Mom seriously saved a LOT of stuff) but here are some highlights:

Preschool folder/Baby's First Mug Shot. One progress report inside said I was smart, creative and talented, but just a little bit bossy.

Preschool involved lots of coloring on paper plates, paper bags and just plain ol’ paper. Let’s leap to elementary…

My first "published" writing. "The People that were New" is the story of Dianna becoming my neighbor and BFF in third grade. It received this glowing peer review: "Skaters rule and this book doesn't."

If my book is ever published, I kind of want to use this exact author bio.

Second grade. Check out that awesome triceratops! Spoiler alert: "If dinosaurs came back, there would be a mess."

Also from second grade, two pieces of Christmas writing:

All of the Reindeer are Missing

It was Christmas Eve, and everyone was sleeping,… Well, not everyone. Deep in the forest, there was a doe and this doe saw eight deer. These kind of deer weren’t… Shhh you won’t tell? They were Santa’s reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Then a nice deer told Santa about the deer. And from now on everybody knows that Rudolph has been leading the sleigh full of toys. And he will be doing it forever.

I am a star. I live on the top of the Christmas tree. I am lonely up there, but I can talk to the other ornaments that are near me. There is a deer, candy cane, and round things. I am put on the Christmas tree last. A boy named Tom puts me up on the tree. I hate the night because I am always awake while my friends get to sleep.

Second or third grade, and the idea was probably totally ripped off from a "Little House on the Prairie" illustration.

The elementary school newspaper, where...

... Stefanie with an F was just as confusing as it was everywhere else.

For variety: physical fitness test report. I have yet to do that one pull up.

In middle school there was an elective called Fine Arts, where sixth graders did 1/3 of the year in an art class, 1/3 in a music class (I learned a few chords on guitar and then promptly forgot them) and 1/3 in a theater class (I remember doing a monologue in front of the whole class where I act like I’m going on a date. It was TERRIFYING. And somewhere, it’s on film.) Most of what’s saved from middle school is art.

That's not disturbing at all. =\

Drawn on the back of an Acadiana Cafe menu. I must have been looking at a picture on the wall.

This was for an English class. "The Untold Story of Little Miss Muffet." Take that, Gregory Maguire!

This must have been when I started getting into poetry because the whole thing is done in verse.

Moving right along to high school, when my life was consumed by dance. I was on the dance team sophomore through senior years and was also an assistant teacher (spelled incorrectly in the next photo – how shameful!) at the studio where I’d been dancing since age three.

That's right. We danced to the Spice Girls AS the Spice Girls. True story: some lady asked if we'd perform at her daughter's birthday party. (We declined.)

Dance clinic. I'm the monster in the top photo (it was on Halloween, I think?) and in the center of the bottom one.

I don't remember writing this or how it ended up on the back of our team t-shirts. I do, however, remember helping re-write the lyrics to Brooks & Dunn's "Hard Workin' Man" so that it became "Hard Dancin' Ram."

Speaking of t-shirts, shout out to Steph for creating this one, which I wore proudly. That dude's class was HARD.

Competition, senior year. Apparently we placed third in the state (that's what I wrote down, anyway). Go us!

What? Your team didn't do headstands and presses?

Our dads built a two-story jail with detachable walls for our novelty routine. Those would be looks of awe you see on the other teams' faces. 😉

Two pairs of jazz shoes, tap shoes, a lyrical sandal (the other has vanished) leg warmers and toe shoes. Only one year of toe. Those suckers HURT.

Knee brace to alternate between knees, ankle brace for the right ankle and bandage for the left ankle. My joints are pretty much shot.

Man, I miss dancing! I wrote a little in high school, too, including a poem (!) called “The Dance” (!!) that was published in “Celebrate! Texas’ Young Poets Speak Out 1999.” I also received the following prize from my Leadership teacher for my work on a video project for our principal, who retired at the end of senior year.

I'd like to thank the Academy...

I danced at the studio until I was 23 and then my college life was consumed by writing and The Paisano. The rest, as they say, is history.

It was a lot of fun to go through all this stuff. I liked seeing that I’ve been a creative/artistic person since day one. It also made me kind of sad. I don’t know why. Anyway, I hope y’all have souvenirs of your childhoods to show that you, too, have always been creative. If not, start making them now! In thirty years you’ll have a nice laugh. 🙂

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10 thoughts on “This is your creative life

  1. Damn…that Acadiana Cafe menu picture is kind of amazing. I bet Dianna was there when you drew that – didn’t we used to go there like every weekend, LOL. ahh, good times. except for when y’all were haters and shunned me from the barbie play dates… no wonder I develop a nervous twitch when I pass by the barbie aisle at target. haha, jk

  2. I love this! And I love my shout-out. That always makes me feel special. I think my mom asked me if I wanted my stuff like this at some point and I said no, so she threw it away. 😦

  3. My mom kept a bunch of my stuff and passed it along recently. Like you, I had some “bossy” notes and a few “talks too much” comments as well. I’m sure you’ll be shocked. LOVED this post. And I love the bio and think you SHOULD use it…typo and all! 🙂

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