Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Chewing-Gum Pony

I was talking with my new friend Sarah the other day about the first story I ever wrote, titled "The Chewing-Gum Pony." I did so in maybe 3rd or 4th grade. It was intended to be a full-length children's book, and I had my best friend Nik make a bunch of illustrations for it. I then sent off the "manuscript" that I typed up on my mom's work computer to Penguin Press. Sadly, this work of genius was rejected by them, though the publisher did take the time to write up and send a nice rejection letter. I distinctly remember one sentence being, "Unfortunately, we only publish books for children and not by children." I think the editor also encouraged me to revise and submit the story again when I was older. Well, the idea is a good one, and maybe someday I'll do it. Until then, though, here is the unedited original version. I still have the handwritten paper copy somewhere, written inside a hot-pink spiral-ring notebook, and all of Nik's illustrations. Of course, the subject of my writing has changed a bit since I was in 3rd grade, but you can tell from the story that I had an interest in stars and space already.

Without further ado, The Chewing-Gum Pony:

Once upon a time there was a small pony named Jimmy. He liked to chew. One day he said, “I’ve chewed everything except…chewing gum!” He went to the store but it was not there. Then he asked a boy and he said, “At the gum store.” He went to the gum store. There were all kinds of flavors and colors. Jimmy decided to get every color. H carried the boxes on his back. Jimmy liked gum. He ever chewed it at night! When he ran out, he went back and got more. Now he could blow bubbles. One time he blew a so big of a bubble that it covered his body! When he was by friends, it popped on them. For Christmas he got 1,000 boxes. For Valentine he got 100. Jimmy saved all his money to buy gum. Gum helped him do things. When he was running a race, he chewed gum to relax and he won first place. Sometimes he couldn’t chew gum because it was against the rules. Jimmy also used his gum for protection. He popped a bubble on a bully . He always gave gum to his friends. All of his friends liked Jimmy. One time he was reading a book and he popped a bubble and it took a week to get it off! People watched Jimmy blow bubbles. When it snowed it fell on his bubble and popped it. Then the snow tasted like gum. When he was going to space he packed the spaceship full of gum. When he watched a movie everyone heard popping noises. One day Jimmy wanted to go see a star. So he chewed some gum and blew a big bubble. Then it lifted Jimmy and he went up, up, up, up until he caught a star and his bubble popped and he went down, down, down, down, until he landed on the ground. Then he talked to the star and let it go. When he got tickets to the carnival he went and chewed gum the whole time.


Michael Faris said...

This story is amazing! I can't believe you still have it, and that you had it with you in France!

Anonymous said...

I got tears just reading that! I can even visualize Nik's illustrations. Honestly Nick it wasn't that long ago! I still remember how sad you were when you got that rejection letter. Thanks for the memories. *big sigh*!!! Mom

David said...

You have to resubmit! You absolutely have to!