I was supposed to post this last Wednesday, but since I had my usual Wednesday Writer’s Workspace scheduled, I’m posting late for Stephen Tremp’s National Wormhole Day Blog Hop.
National Wormhole Day Blog Hop: Here is a fun Blog Hop! What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? Would you go back in time and talk some sense into a younger you? Go five years into the future and bring back the Wall Street Journal? See just how the heck the Great Pyramids of Giza were really built? View what the other side of the universe looks like? Kill Hitler?
A wormhole appears right in front of me, swirling blue and gold.
I frown, wondering why the time-space continuum is acting all funky today.
Then I remember. It’s National Wormhole Day.
Awesome. I’ve been waiting for just this opportunity. I jump through. I know exactly where I’m going.
I travel back in time 23 years, and find myself in a tiny bathroom, in a small apartment in Manila, Philippines.
I lift one foot from the toilet bowl, and the other from the bathtub (Apparently time travel makes you very flexible), then peek outside.
My 5 year old sister is playing with her toys, while my stepdad watches TV in the living room. I open the door slowly and dash up the stairs straight into my bedroom.
Ten year old me puts down her book and blinks up at me.
“Who are you? And why are your shoes wet?”
“Forget the shoes.” I close the door behind me and grin at her. “I’m you. Only two decades older.”
She frowns. “You look older than 30.”
“Hey I’ve had to deal with grown up stuff. Like taxes and sh-mits.” My nostrils flare. I didn’t realize I was this rude when I was younger. “You mean I look like I’m 50!?”
“No. More like 32.”
I breathe a sigh of relief. I guess you can’t lie to yourself. “Well that’s because I am.”
“So why are you here?” My younger self asks.
“I’ve traveled back in time to give you a very important message.”
Her eyes grow wide. “What? Do I have to save the world or something?”
“No, silly. You want to be a writer.”
Her eyes narrow. “I knew that.”
“Well yes, but you’ll forget about it eventually. You’ll get distracted with school and friends and pimples–“
She gasps. “Will I have lots of pimples?”
“Just a pimple once every blue moon.”
“Oh that’s not too bad.” She says, visibly relieved. Vain little pipsqueak.
“Anyway, I was saying you’ll forget about writing eventually. Sure, you’ll dabble here and there, but writing as a career option will fade from your mind in time. You’ll listen to all the ‘practical’ advice grown-ups will give you and you’ll begin to think that what you really want to be is a doctor.”
“Because I want to help people?”
“Er..sure. Actually, it’s either that or you become a lawyer or a businesswoman. Apparently those are the only career options which will bring you money.” I snort.
“So I don’t really want to be a doctor?”
“Well, you’ll convince yourself that’s what you want. You’ll take a Pre-Med course in Psychology, then you’ll discover that you dislike the sight of blood and almost faint…” I bite my lip. “You’re not supposed to know that. Anyway—what I’m trying to tell you is this. You want to be a writer. You’ll always want to be a writer whether you forget about it or not. But the truth is writing as a profession takes a long, long time and you need lots of practice to be good at it.”
“Which is why you’ve come back in time? To give me a headstart?”
“Exactly.” I always knew I was smart. “So here’s what you have to do. Read all the books you can possibly lay hands on, and write whatever stories pop into your head.”
She grimaces. “Then I won’t have time for homework.”
What a nerd. “Well, of course you have to do your homework. We both know you like being an overachiever. But whenever you have free time—write down your stories. Play with your imaginary friends, let your creativity and imagination run wild.”
“That’s all it takes to write a book that people will read?”
“It takes a lot more than that, and you’ll learn along the way. But those are the basics. Never let go of that place in your heart that believes in magic. It’ll help you write the stories you want to write. Magic is real, trust me. It just appears in forms you might not recognize.”
She looks at me skeptically, then shrugs. “Okay.”
“Believe in yourself. Brush your teeth after every meal. Floss often. Make friends. Laugh a lot. Eat your greens. Dream big and work hard. Love yourself. Hold your loved ones close to your heart. Don’t say things you might regret and write. Always right. Oh—and never, ever, ever give up.”
“That’s a lot of clichés.”
Smart aleck. “Yes. But they’re also true.”
Her eyes bulge. “There’s a glowing portal behind you.”
“That’s my cue.” I bend down to give her a hug. “You’re going to be just fine. Just believe in yourself.”
She nods as if she knows this already. I smile and step into the wormhole, looking ahead to a brighter future.
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