When I was little, I didn’t need superheroes stories to inspire me. None of them fit my superhero image. So, I created my own superheroes…and they were me.
Of course, I thought no one would catch on that I was the girl in the stories. I am sure I had my writing teacher fooled, very fooled. Just because the girl in my books sounded like me and looked like me, it could not have been me. I mean, I didn’t have a flying horse or telekinesis. And I certainly did not have those large awkward hands like in the book! Sure, my house was yellow, but it certainly was not the three-story estate I illustrated in my story, The Horse Star. Just look at these pages I created back in elementary school. You will see, there is no way this girl could have been me, been inspired by me or had anything close to do with me. (That’s my story and I am sticking too it.)
In The Horse Star, I, I mean ‘Gail’ sees a flying horse and starts to tell her parents, but then decides they may not believe her and could make her go “see nice doctors.” Blah ha ha. Clearly, I, I mean ‘Gail’ was worried about some perception, and afraid of doctors.
Regardless, ‘Gail’ finds and befriends a superpower horse. I mean what young girl wouldn’t?
In my next book, The Power, I write about another girl, ‘Jenny’, who has telekinesis. The fact that ‘Jenny’ was a blonde girl who only had a couple of friends, was concerned about being considered weird or had a mother who sounded strangely like mine are all ironic coincidences of course. The pages are filled with odd and stilted dialogue, spelling errors and poor grammar. (I was in elementary school though, so I hope my young eager self will not be judged to harshly.) But the main story line is that ‘Jenny’ has a super power and hides it from everyone out of fear.
I wrote these stories back in 4th grade (and fortunately, my mother kept them for me). And looking back, I think, these are some pretty heavy topics for my young mind back then.
I remember taking the two books to a young author’s convention and meeting a real-life, published author. I wish I could remember their name but I remember sitting with them and felt like I was talking to an actual superhero. I remember they told me I had potential and to keep writing.
I did and I didn’t keep writing though. I wrote for school and then for work, but I never found time to really write for me. Life demands always got in the way. In the past few years though, I have started blogging and writing.I needed to see if that little author was still there.
As a matter of fact, in November of last year, I wrote about how this little writer who dreamt of ponies and superpowers was coming back to life. And just this week, I came across the actual books in a box, so I thought I would share the images with you as a follow up.
As I travel down this path of rediscovery, I see that this little girl had big dreams, but she was insecure and scared of pursuing them. She thought the world would not believe in her or accept her. So, she hid her talents (and flying pony, naturally). The only way she could believe in herself was to make herself more than she already was, which is what Michelle W. said in The Daily Post, Superhero.
“When we’re able to associate with a hero, especially as children, it helps us to believe that we could also be this better, nobler, more powerful version of ourselves.”
Decades later, I know that ‘Jenny’ and ‘Gail’ were really me. (As I am sure my teacher and you followers already did too.) I just wish I could go back and tell that younger me: keep writing and don’t hide who you are. Do you. Be you. And don’t ever think you are not enough, because you were, are and will be.
I can’t travel back in time or change the past though. But that’s ok, because that little superhero girl comes to visit from time to time and she assures me: everything will be just fine.