If I had been able to talk when I was born, I wonder if I’d have come out into the world making things up. As a little girl I not only loved to be the center of attention, but I liked to garner that attention with the most outrageous and ridiculous stories. In elementary school I could often be found at the teacher’s desk enduring lectures about how no one liked a fibber… Thinking back on it now, I wonder how many storytellers are given this slap on the wrist and told, “Making up stories is bad!”
The attention it got me didn’t support the teacher’s claim that storytelling was bad, and fortunately I wasn’t deterred from continuing on with my incredible stories about living in a shoe with seventeen brothers and eleven sisters and a mother who worked nights under the bridge catching trolls and sending them back to where they came from.
I didn’t start writing my stories down until I was in fourth grade. Adopted by my mother’s husband, who has always been and will always be my daddy, I often fantasized (especially when things didn’t go my way,) that my real father was some famous 1970s rock star. His superstardom, fame and incredible riches were forgiveness enough for my imagination, and by the time I was eleven I had begun a series of short novellas about a girl named Niki. Daughter of a rock star, she was sent to live with her father after tragic circumstance struck her mother.
I wrote these stories from the time I was in fourth grade until I was twenty-five-years-old, the character in them growing and evolving into adulthood right along with me. Niki’s experiences were an outlet for life’s frustrations and a landscape for my fantasies.
I look back at those stories now and laugh at the outlandish scenarios and experiences I threw at my protagonist. It’s a wonder the poor girl made it through the 1990s alive because I was often a cruel and angry creator. On the other hand, I think I’m a much better writer because of those stories and the heights they allowed my imagination to soar to.
I keep her in a torn and faded cardboard box in the closet, and sometimes I pull that box out so I can reminisce. She always reminds me of where I started and where I wanted to go when I first sat down and created her.
Jennifer Hudock is an author, podcaster and freelance editor from Pennsylvania. Her first full-length novel, The Goblin Market, is currently available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. For more information about Jennifer Hudock, including updates on upcoming fiction, visit her official website: The Inner Bean.