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Thursday, March 9, 2017

What Sister Said, Eltrut, Fear

"When you no longer worry what someone will think about you,
or the words you put on paper, you'll lose your fear of writing."
--Linda Della Donna

I am a writer. There, I said it.

When I was in sixth grade the teacher gave a homework assignment to write a composition. 

"Write anything you want," Sister said. "Fill one page with a story," she said. "Hand it in tomorrow."

I had no idea what I would write about, but I went home determined to write something and that evening while sitting in my bedroom gazing into the eyes of a nickle-sized, four-legged, slime green, dime-store creature, perched on a rock in a small fish bowl, I decided to write a story about a turtle. I gave him a name, an address, and because my father was a carpenter, I gave the little guy a hammer, a saw, and a job. When I was done, I had more than 1000 words and a title--"The Adventures of Eltrut."

The next day, I handed in my work and got on with the rest of my sixth-grade life. I told no one about what I had written, not even my mother. I was too shy, too insecure, and too self-conscious. And too worried someone would make fun of me. To me, my story was just words on paper. And a secret.

One afternoon some weeks later, I was called to the front of the class,"Linda," Sister said, handing me my composition, "I want you to read your story to the class." 

I did. And when I was done, Sister proclaimed, "Linda, you're a writer!"

I will never forget that day, Sister's words, or the twinkle in her eye when she said them. I didn't realize it back then, but that teacher had planted a seed.

Thank you Sister Mary Ancilla wherever you are.

Linda Della Donna
"Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be."

The E
Loyal Friend
Mighty Muse

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