Until I was in high school, I wasn't consciously aware that the catagory "short story" existed in literature. I didn't know much about literature in general, actually. I would read things for class, stories our English teachers assigned us with the hope of forcing us to think big, complicated thoughts, but all I could see were assignments, homework. I would read them for credit and then move on. Books I would read, books I would devour. But, to me, books were either classified as "children's books" or "novels" for a very long time with no in-between. I had no idea what I was missing until one wonderful day in Biology class freshmen year of high school.
My quirky and loveable high school Biology teacher surprised us one slow weekday afternoon by producing for us a story to read in lieu of lab that day. Curious and happy not to have labwork to labor over, my class sat down on our metal stools and bent our heads over the pages of a story instead of the lenses of microscopes. The story was "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury.
Much like children in elementry school, we sat in that classroom like it was storytime as our Biology teacher read this literary masterpiece to us out loud. I can honestly say, as I listened to this facinating adventure tale, truly a cautionary tale -- for who doesn't worry about this exact thing happening to them should they find themselves traveling backward in time? -- my life changed forever. It wasn't just that the pure enjoyment of it took me by surprise, the fact that it replaced Biology lab that day didn't hurt either, and it wasn't just that for the first time I was able to really see the story for what it was in and of itself and not just as a possible good grade in English class. "A Sound of Thunder" changed my life because somewhere something inside of me clicked. The story of the greatest adventure gone wrong, the twist at the end, the boom resonating with the reader long after the story is over, stuck with me, changed me for the better. And, while it took me a few more years to really admit it to myself, I became a writer that day.
Causes Danyelle Overbo Supports
Planned Parenthood, NOW, Girl Scouts, SPCA, NotForSale, NaNoWriMo