Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Things I Love Tuesday: My First Story

Welcome to Things I Love Tuesday, my weekly post where I get to showcase the things that tickle my fancy.

One of my favorite things about visiting my parents is the chance to dig up treasures from my youth.  I know, I know — I’m only 24 years old, so we’re not talking a huge span of time.  Still, I am inclined towards nostalgia and I have a tendency to save things (though nothing on the level of Hoarders folks), which means that when I dig through the storage bins in the garage, there’s always a chance of uncovering something precious but forgotten.

I’ve saved the normal sorts of things, like old report cards, essays that received high marks, awards from elementary school, but what I really treasure are the books that I’ve kept, especially the ones from when I first learning how to read.

Today’s find: my copy of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, a present for my 5th birthday.  What makes these books extra special, however, is that it’s also where I wrote my first story.

The front page has an inscription from my mom, written in red crayon.  It still smile whenever I read it, because it brings back memories of the day she wrote it for me.

"Jamila will have a birthday soon! She will be 5 years old. Jamila will go to an ice show with her mom and dad."

My mom taught me how to read and write before I got to kindergarten.  I’m her first-born, and she thought that I would need the skills when I started school.  For the record, I ended up incredibly over-prepared.

The reading bit was an accident; she read to me every day, and eventually I started reading back to her.  Once I mastered that, she taught me letters, words, and sentences.  When I had those building blocks in hand, there was no stopping me.  I wanted to make stories of my own.

Granted, they’re a little silly, disjointed, and short, like the above: “I am Jamila on a big cat.”  Still, I tried for a little complexity:

One thing I had down by this point, quite clearly, is my name.  One thing I didn’t have down, and that was the whole “books go from left to right” business.

On the right, we have the start of the story: “Jamila story book by Jamila Jamison Sinlao.” (No grasp of possessive nouns, either.)  As it continues,

the story. [I am] 4 and I will be 5 next year and my TV…

The fox ate the rabbit and the lamb.

the end of the story

What I really love?  The fact that my mom wrote out, “The end of the story” so I could copy it down myself.  Gotta love parents who encourage their children’s endeavors.

Really, what we have here are my first attempts at flash fiction. :p  But what I also think it shows is that for me, my love of reading and writing fiction sprang up together.

When did you start writing fiction?  Was it an early hobby, or something that you adopted later?  Any fun stories about your first stories?


  1. The first story i remember telling (mum wrote it down) was for an assingnment in pre-school. I was really shy so I was put in a class meant for kids who weren’t quite ready for school.
    A teacher had drawn a few lines on to a paper, we had to continue them and then write a story about the picture. My story was about an orphan puppy, who found a pegasus nest and became friends with the pegasus foal. The mother pegasus adopted the puppy. The end.

    My mum still has that story on paper =)

  2. I am kind of sad I can’t remember my early writing or reading that much but I do remember Chicken Licken was my favourite book. I loved it and still have it even though it is very ragged from so much use!
    I love looking at your early writing and as a Nursery Teacher (children are 3 years old in my class and turn 4 with me) your early writing made me ‘awww’ out loud!

    • Oh gosh, 3 and 4 year olds are my favorite. My mother was a pre-kindergarten teacher for many years, and I was her classroom assistant during the summers. There’s so much growing that the kids do during a single year (and even in a summer program) that I was amazed. I miss working with that age group, especially because they gave so many hugs, and could be so sweet. Definitely different working with college students!

  3. Pretty sure I’ve been telling stories at least as long as I’ve been able to talk. Unfortunately I have terrible memory–but fortunately my grandmother made a bunch of videos of me showing pictures I drew and explaining what the story is that goes with them back before I even could write. Still looking to go back to the “Pirates of Monster Island” and make a go of it.
    Very cool getting this backstory on when you started writing though, it’s always nice to hear about people getting into creative writing so early.

    • Pirates of Monster Island? I love it!

      It’s been really helpful to me to go back and think about my early forays into storytelling, if only because it reaffirms my conviction to make a go of this whole writing business. There was a time when I doubted that this was anything more than a silly hobby, but I think I want it to be more than that. I don’t think it’ll ever be more than a part-time job, but you never know. 😀

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