Screw You Mr. Robinson!

On 10th November I passed through 20,000 words (those who think that they may be in a timewarp, this is a repost from the main website).

I attended my first Write In, so I think that I am doing OK for my first bash at NaNoWriMo.

Since I mentioned that I had signed up for NaNoWriMo a number of people have said to me “I could never write a novel” or something along those lines. It made me wonder why people do not recognise the talents that they have. Then I remembered a personal experience that stopped me writing for many years…

Way back in that dim and distant time before smartphones, blogs, and double decaff skinny lattes (we are talking about 1976 here) I was in school. In my English class Mr. Robinson set us an essay topic “The Island” with the brief to be as descriptive as possible.At the time I was really into the stories of Robert E. Howard and so I hit the ground running.

For the next two days I wrote…

Every spare moment I wrote…

When I was sleeping I dreamt about writing…

Soon I had a whole school exercise book full of the stirring tale of a Prince of the Coral Kingdoms, who was searching for his stolen love. Flying from island to island on the back of his dragon he met a number of adventures until he finally came upon the island of an evil sorcerer and realised that his love was being held captive there. After an epic fight he killed the sorcerer and returned to his own island with his true love.Now it may not have been a work of literary genius, but I was PROUD of it. Not only was it, I felt, a great story, but I had filled a WHOLE exercise book. This wasn’t just an essay it was an epic!Then I handed in my story only to find out how things are in the real world…

When our books were handed back I received a C or thereabouts, with the comment “I asked for an essay about THE island.”One pupil was asked to stand up and read his story (name withheld to protect the terminally pretentious). The only thing that sticks in my mind was that the whole essay was a description of a traffic island in the middle of a road and that the light it gave off was translucent.

From that point on I turned in the bear minimum required to pass the year and concentrated on other stuff…So now, 34 years later, in the process of publishing my first poetry collection and writing a novel in a month, I have just one thing to say…

Screw You Mr. Robinson!


About dmlbooks

Dennis M. Lane is a British writer who left the shores of the UK in 1986 and hasn’t looked back since; he has now lived in South Africa for eleven years. His first poetry collection “8 Million Stories” was published in November 2010, followed by the collection of science fiction poetry and short stories “The Poring Dark” in September 2012 (two of the poems have been nominated for the 2013 Rhysling Award and another for the Dwarf Stars Award), his first novel “Talatu” in March 2013, and “The King’s Jewel” the first book in the five novel “Helix Key” series in August 2013. He is currently working on Helix Key Book 2 and a second collection of short stories (entitled "The Unmedicated"). When not writing, Dennis enjoys narrating and voice acting and recently set up Dramatic Voice Productions in order to take his interest further. To relax Dennis watches old movies from his extensive DVD collection, his three loves being science fiction B movies, Hong Kong martial arts, and anime. He has been presenting “A Review from the Jacaranda City” since May 2011 and has looked at classic old movies from “On The Beach” to “Creature from the Black Lagoon”.
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2 Responses to Screw You Mr. Robinson!

  1. M.K. Hajdin says:

    OMG. What a dickwad of a teacher. I want to build a time machine so I can travel back and smack him one on your behalf.

    I shamefully admit to being the kind of kid who would write about a traffic island and use the word “translucent” and be read in front of the class.

    And look at me now! I don’t write for a living at all! (Except the odd travel guide).

    “Talent” has so little to do with how we end up. Desire and persistence achieve way more than talent.

  2. dmlbooks says:

    Thanks a lot for the comment.

    While he had a negative effect on me for years; I ended up writing; so I won!

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