writing rebels

Rebels of Writing

Her parents were rebels of writing. They both had the most beautifully off-kilter handwriting that ever graced the blank canvas of a page. Yet, a revolving door of teachers and bosses reprimanded her parents for their uniqueness. Bee would later undergo the same disciplinary fate.

Bee’s dad was the meticulous creator. Every letter felt like a patch on a handstitched quilt—with its own color scheme, its own pattern, its own material, its own story to tell.

He wrote in all caps…


Bee’s mom was the elegant trailblazer. Every letter felt like a figure skater practicing her spiral—one leg extended behind her, leaning the other way for balance as she glided across the ice.

She wrote in backwards italics (slanting left, instead of right)…

When she wrote essays, it was like she was pulling away from the world. Perhaps that was the only way anyone would notice her innermost thoughts. Her mom rarely broadcasted her intelligence unless she was writing. This was the sitting room where she could stand.

Bee was the exact biological product of her two parents. There was no doubt that she was a part of them, and they were a part of her. She had her mother’s lips, her eye color, her freckles, her hair tone. She had her father’s nose, his eye shape, his smile, and his hair texture.

As a child, Bee loved the act of writing. She loved it so much that she practiced her uppercase and lowercase letters vigorously. Once she knew the alphabet, she wanted to stare at the letters forever. One Saturday morning Bee drew the entire alphabet on her bedroom walls with her favorite colored crayons.

Although Bee’s mom and dad weren’t thrilled about her Crayola masterpiece, they barely scolded their daughter. She was expressing herself, she was proud of what she learned. And, they seemed to know this was just the beginning—that writing would become Bee’s way of life.

School was a different story as Bee advanced in her elementary school years. Uppercase and lowercase letters morphed into sentences and paragraphs. Bee struggled with her handwriting identity.

When she tried writing in all caps like her dad, one teacher crumpled up her writing assignment and told her to start over using proper capitalization. When she tried writing in backwards italics like her mom, another teacher slammed a yardstick against the desk and yelled at her. She threatened to send her to the principal’s office if she continued to write like an abnormal child.

Bee was terrified to write anything at school and her grades started to slip. Writing was all she wanted to do. She loved nothing more than seeing letters connect into words, then sentences and paragraphs. Soon all of these thoughts blended together, like magic, into a story. The process was so mystifying, and somehow, so true.

She became an imposter of writing to appease her teachers at school. This was the only way she would avoid punishment. Bee agonized over every letter. She was always the last student to complete writing assignments, and she got in trouble for that too.

She asked her parents for a journal so she could practice at home—far away from the teachers’ prying eyes and emotional flare-ups. Bee’s parents bought her a white journal with colorful hearts on it. It had a lock and key, so she could keep all of her words safe from the outside world.

Over the years, Bee continued on with her parents legacy until she transformed into a rebel of writing.

SHE RARELY WORE HER HEART ON HER SLEEVE UNLESS SHE WAS WRITING. THIS WAS THE QUIET SPACE WHERE SHE COULD SCREAM. She rarely broadcasted her intelligence unless she was writing. This was the sitting room where she could stand.

Eventually, Bee decided to hell with it. She unlocked her words from their safe space and released them into the world. She showed her heart and her mind with anyone that would bother to listen.

Bee would never write like everyone else, just as she would never be like everyone else. She was a rebel of writing now. And, nobody could take away that freedom.

You’ve been reading my Real Life Fiction blog series, which is dedicated to telling life stories with a bit of a fiction swagger. To check out other posts from this series, go here.

Speaking of fiction…

Last week I revealed Version 2.0 of my three existing novels on social media. All three book covers have gone through quite the costume change, thanks to my talented designer Nick Henderson and illustrator Asia Henderson.

Why the major cover design revamp? Because the paperback editions are releasing soon. Nola Fran Evie is coming first, so stay tuned for the release.

20 thoughts on “Rebels of Writing

  1. I love this Britt, I love the way you describe the writing styles of your parents and how that reflected them. It’s sad that uniqueness has to be stifled, so I’m glad you finally embraced your rebellion!

    1. I’m certainly no handwriting analyst, but I did my best to describe what my parents’ writing styles meant to me. It is sad that uniqueness is stifled. My handwriting was always neat and legible. Since it wasn’t the norm, it wasn’t allowed. I guess handwriting isn’t as important anymore in our digital age. I know mine is unrecognizable!

  2. I don’t believe I was influenced by my parents’ writing, though Mum sends me handwritten letters to this day. Dad could have been quite the poet but life led in other directions for him. Britt, did you ever get your handwriting analysed? We had Britain’s foremost expert over at our last literary festival here and it was scary what she could tell about the writer 😦

    1. That’s so cool that your mom sends you handwritten letters. Such a lost art of communication, isn’t it?

      I never got my handwriting analyzed. Now I wouldn’t dare, because I feel like have a muddled handwriting identity since I type so much. I’ve been writing in my journal more again, to remove screens from my creative process but also to practice writing and spelling without cheating digitally! Maybe one day I’ll see a handwriting analyst…I’m sure it’s fascinating.

  3. I am so very happy and thrilled to know that Bee let out her inner rebel of writing! Because every word I’ve read so far that came out straight from her heart is one of the most beautiful discovery ever!

    Funny and strange still, to know that any kind of “different” keeps being taken away from whom that is different, even as simply as in a different handwriting showing one’s individuality, originality, creativity… when those are the very attribute everyone should try and nurture into blooming.

    And I can’t wait to get my hands on the paperback version of your books! Hurray to you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support, as always, sweet friend.

      I never understood why unique handwriting was punished so harshly in school. Even as a child, I was like: Why is my teacher so mad at me? Their reprimands definitely did a number on me. It slowed me down as I had to literally reteach myself how to write. Anyway, it all worked out…I showed them…ha!

  4. A lovely piece and reminded me of my love of handwriting. My mother and father both had unique styles. And I was so relieved when the school I went to decided to throw away ‘proper’ writing and left us free to write as we wanted to. Congrats on version 2 of your 3 novels.

    1. “Proper” writing is the worst! Handwriting should be unique and expressive. I wonder how much of that is a factor anymore though. Handwriting is becoming a lost art, isn’t it?

      Thanks for the book congrats and your awesome support, Gallivanta!

  5. The best kind of writer is a rebel writer. Each to her own style! Handwriting is fascinating – reading your piece here I could immediately see my own parents’ handwriting in my mind’s eye. The uniqueness of each individual handwriting is like palm reading.

    1. So true! Handwriting is an art of its own, isn’t it? I wonder if it’s becoming a lost art now with how digital everything is. I know my own handwriting is becoming unrecognizable, which is why I still practice by writing in a journal.

      1. The nice thing is that most of the students (adult) in my creative writing classes chose to write in their notebooks – only a few bring their laptops. We need to keep our fingers nimble!

  6. How I’ve missed your words, Britt. I loved the sense that the child’s writing was like a river that could be redirected but never stopped. Dammed, but never dried out.

  7. While the great literary institutions do have their purpose, I think the most important aspect of writing is about connecting with the heart and mind of the reader, not following a bunch of rules and regulations. I enjoyed your post as it spoke to my heart and mind, as there is still a bit of a rebel in me. Thanks for sharing (and for following my blog).

    1. I totally agree with you, Amber! I’m a bit of a rule breaker myself, even though I love grammar too. The most important thing is to connect with the heart and mind of the reader. And, that means writing from the heart.

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