Tag Archives: young writers

Writing Wins and Woes: Writing about dragons

1163I love to write about dragons. Before I continue, no, this picture is not a dragon. But it is a pic of my former dog, who was very dragon-like, fiercely protective, quick to bite, swift and athletic. His name was Dunkin and he was heart of my heart until he died from cancer about three years ago.

I have been fortunate to have published a few dragon stories. Among them, Cell Tower. Here is a link to my story at Enchanted Conversation.  http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/2014/05/the-cell-tower-by-shari-l-klase.html

And here is a link to my story Dragon’s Play in Knowonder  http://www.knowonder.com/dragons-play/

All this is to introduce a fairly well-known author of a book and movie called Eragon. In fact, this young man was able to write a whole series about dragons. Eragon, Eldest, Brisinger and Inheritance. I’m talking about Christopher Paolini. I have always been particularly intrigued by Christopher as he was quite young when he wrote Eragon, only 19, and he was home schooled. Having homeschooled all three of my children, at least for part of their lives, and one for the entire school career, I think Christopher’s accomplishments are nothing short of amazing. And he had a lot of help from his parents.

Christopher was born November 17, 1983 in Southern California, but he currently lives in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he wrote his first book. As I said, he was home schooled and able to graduate at 15 years of age. Immediately after graduation, he started writing Eragon, which was self published in 2002 by his parents’ publishing company, Paolini International LLC. Christopher put a lot of work into promoting his book, touring 135 schools and libraries. He drew the cover of the book and the maps inside the book.

However, his great success, owing largely to his hard work, is a matter of luck as well. For it seems that Carl Hiaasen’s step son got his hands on Christopher’s book, read it and loved it. So Hiaasen showed it to his publisher Alfred A Knopf and they republished the book, which sold more than 35 million copies. In December 2006 Fox released the movie, Eragon.

So what is Chrisopher Paolini doing today? He is currently working on a science fiction book. At least that’s what his website says. It took him awhile to change his writing style for this current project as he was used to writing archaic words and complicated sentence structure for his former series. He also occupied his time by writing a few short stories. We look forward to seeing Christopher’s new book whenever it appears.

Do you have a dragon story in your head just dying to come out? Just maybe you can wow the world with it as Christopher Paolini did. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

Writing Wins and Woes: The Case of a Missing Writer

1267I’m very excited to be blogging again after a three week’s hiatus. The reason for my excitement is a reoccurring passion to write. I recently did some research for an article. If you recall, I wrote a short blog a bit ago about never being too old to write. Well, I reversed course and started thinking about never being too young to write and I found a plethora of young authors who published stuff before the age of 25.

In this mish-mash I discovered a few mysteries. Here is one of my favorites:

A young girl named Barbara Newhall Follett who published her first book, The House Without Windows, at age 12. Barbara was born March 4, 1914. This jumped out of me right away because my mother was born on March 4th. She was born in New Hampshire to a college English teacher father and a writer mother. She began writing when she was four years old. Words were always magic to this young girl. She wrote long stories at age 5, including one called, “The Life of the Spinning Wheel, the Rocking Horse and the Rabbit”. At the age of 8 she embarked upon even a greater challenge and decided to write her first novel. It was The House Without Windows. However, the book was destroyed in a fire and had to be recreated and rewritten by the young girl. She was able to do that by age 11 and with the help of her father, published it her next year. It was a wonderful story about a young girl running away into nature.

Some days Barbara wrote more than 4000 words a day. By her 14th birthday she had written her second novel, The Voyage of the Norman D. But Barbara’s life took a crushing blow. Her father left the family, leaving her and her mother practically destitute. Her mother was forced to leave her in the care of friends in Los Angeles. Barbara hated this and soon ran away to San Francisco where she hid out in a hotel and wrote poetry. She was discovered, however, after much publicity and returned to her mother’s care. The two were in such dire straits, though, that Barbara had to take a job at 16 as a typist. She found this job not very fulfilling.

Still a teenager, she met a man who seemed to equal her love of nature, Nickerson Rodgers and they eloped in 1934. She was very happy at first. She and Nick backpacked through Europe and she took dancing lessons, but things eventually went south for her when she found out five years into the marriage that her husband was cheating on her. They tried working things out and she seemed hopeful when on December 7, 1939, she and Nick had an argument and she left their Brookline, Massachusetts apartment with a notebook and $30. She was never heard from again.

Her husband didn’t notify the police that she was gone until two weeks later and waited four months to file a missing person’s report. He claimed that he was just waiting for her to return.  She was later searched for but never found. Her mother suspected foul play but nothing was ever proven. She just vanished from the face of the earth. Before her disappearance she wrote a couple of novels that were never published. One of them was about a couple, stranded on a deserted island who were discovered but the woman didn’t want to come back. Draw your own conclusions.