August 18, 2013

A Tale From 6 Year Old Me

I found a book at Goodwill the other day.  Actually, it's more like it found me.  It wasn't shelved; it was "randomly" sitting out on a piece of furniture as I walked by.  ("Randomly" in quotes because I don't believe The Universe deals in randomness.)

"Living Artfully" by Sandra Magsamen at

Naturally, the title drew me in, but when I sat down to read the preface, to see if it was indeed a book meant for me, I was surprised that the story there was one I had read on a blog (I apologize for not being able to find which) just a day or two before.  And if that wasn't a big enough sign that I was to buy and read this book, the half-price-tag-color of the day was yellow, and so was the $3.99 sticker on the spine. :)

So, I'm reading it, and I'm liking it, and on page 56 in Chapter 2 "Imagine the Possibilities: Rediscovering Your Creative Power" there is a quote by Pablo Casals:

Which brings me to this post's title, A Tale From 6 Year Old Me.

This is not an "uncovered" memory, but rather one that I've always remembered.  I think because I felt so misunderstood by my 1st Grade teacher, whom I liked a lot and trusted.  Do you remember this sort of paper?  Newsprint with a blank area for drawing and a few lines below on which to write a sentence or two?

Available at

Well, on one particular homework assignment, I wrote like this:

as opposed to this:

Note the letters of each are the same height, and differ only in width.

Why did I do it?  Did I have a longer story to tell and needed to make sure I could fit it all in the confines of the paper?  Was I experimenting with developing my own unique font?  Or was I merely bored and messing around?

What I remember is Mrs. Crosby pulling my mom aside when she picked me up from school and asking her what table I did this work on (huh????) and telling her not to allow me to do my work there anymore.  My guess is that she assumed a grainy wood table was to blame for corralling my pencil into such a penmanship atrocity.  (Um, it was a laminate table if I remember correctly…)  

The memory inspired me to write dear Mrs. Crosby a letter:

Mom, I know you were just as perplexed by Mrs. C's demand.  And you have always told me that I am a marvel.  Thank you for that.  I love you!


  1. And you ARE a marvel, and always were a marvel. You would disappear into your room for hours and come out with the most wonderful creations. I think you created your tall skinny letters because they were necessary for the tone of your story. How could the plump round letters Mrs. Crosby wanted you to use possibly create the mystery and slightly fearful mood of "a dark and stormy night?"

    1. Hee hee! Thanks, Mom! I love you!

  2. wow, what a deep and moving story.


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