One of the greatest things I learned in school was the joy of writing on the fly. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. June St. John, shared two great loves with her class—fountain pens and creative writing.
She'd get up, walk to the blackboard, and write a short line. We'd all hold our breath in anticipation, fountain pens poised over our papers, waiting to copy the words. Sometimes she'd torment us with a prolonged pause or even erase a word or two and change it to another. Those who were too hasty and had already penned their headings would groan and reach for another page. When she was finished, she'd turn around, cross her arms, grin, and say, "Go!"
And the stories would flow. Because the line on the board wasn't just a heading, it was the title of a story. An unwritten tale waiting for each of us to tell in our own way. The name of a new friend we were about to meet. I only remember one story title— "Guess What I Found in My Vegetable Soup"—but the joy of writing those stories, then listening throughout the week as classmates read their work aloud, will never be forgotten.
R.R. Russell lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up traveling the world as an army brat and now travels the country as a coach with a non-profit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns. Visit her at rrrussellauthor.com.
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