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…
WHEN HE WROTE POETRY, IT WAS LIKE HE SHOUTED AT THE WORLD. PERHAPS THAT WAS THE ONLY WAY ANYONE WOULD LISTEN TO HIS INNERMOST THOUGHTS. HER DAD RARELY WORE HIS HEART ON HIS SLEEVE UNLESS HE WAS WRITING. THIS WAS THE QUIET SPACE WHERE HE COULD SCREAM.
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.