Doodle Doodle Leads to Career
My Childhood Dreams
When I was a kid, I read, wrote stories and poems and played outside. That was my life.
In the fifth grade, my Grandma Matlock gave me what looked like a giant Post-It pad. It was bright orange and I swear it was the size of a stove top. I doodled and wrote stories about my doodles. I interviewed family and friends and wrote those stories in there too. I was obsessed.
That same summer, I was given an old gray manual typewriter with red ink. With it I started my own newspaper - filled with local (about a 4-block radius) events and stories and interviews. From then, I knew I wanted to be a reporter and told everyone I wanted to write for newspapers. I wanted to tell people’s stories.
I wish I had the orange notebook and I wish I had that typewriter and any of my “newspapers.” My biological mother left my stepfather and me when I was in the 8th grade. I had lived with them since I was three. This was February. I was 14. I was packed up with my clothes, a couple of favorite stuffed animals, my very first book and one box of memories.
I went to live with my dad and stepmother who lived two hours away (I have considered her mom since I moved in) and my five siblings (one more joined us later). Among the belongings were a white teddy bear my Aunt Jan had given me one Christmas, a nearly life-sized Raggedy Ann doll, all my barbie clothes and my first baby doll.
Two years of a school-district wide “literary magazine” titled “Scribbles were also in my move box - 1979 and 1982 - ages nine and 12. I circled the names of contributors I knew in the 1982 version - in purple ink. It also was filled with Kyle loves … comments and a poem I must have written trying to act tough.
In the 1979 version was a sentence in cursive: The guys I liked in fifth grade were:
They were both hockey players. Hmmm. I am a hockey player now but it never crossed my mind that I could play then. There were about four “girls” sports in Kentucky then.
This book was not from fifth grade, however. It was from third grade with my favorite teacher Mrs. Tretter. When it was time for creative writing, Mrs. Tretter would sprinkle powder with sparkles in it over our lowered heads - magic powder to bring out our creative selves, she would tell us. I loved this teacher. I loved that we had so much time for reading. I loved that she thought it took magic to write. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer - thank you Mrs. Tretter.
My poem about being as tall as a tree made the magazine third-grade magazine - in case you were wondering.