Oh where do I start!
Some critics would say I have never written anything good. Others are more generous and think there are a few things that needn’t be torched.
Out of respect to Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas, I will skip their entire series. Surely each of them has a favorite book and one each doesn’t like. Since I hope to keep their good will long enough to write another mystery, I have opted for diplomacy, will avoid any conflict with them, and choose something that might not offend either.
So let me reach back to my callow youth and mention a few stellar examples of juvenilia which should never see the light of day. Actually, I think I have already burned them.
The first was a radio play from Grade Five in which I told the story of Appomattox from the point of view of Traveller, Robert E. Lee’s horse. In a praiseworthy attempt to be kind, my teacher told me that he thought my neighing was quite well done.
In high school, I wanted to join the drama society. For the audition, we were told we had to write our own monologues. Considering we were teenagers, this was not the wisest choice. A little dramatization from a reading of Wind in the Willows might have been better. In any case, I went for the max. Boy, did I go for the max. My monologue was written from the viewpoint of a person standing on the edge of a huge vortex, looking into the depths, and expecting to fall into the abyss. Oh, the symbolism! The angst of the post-WWII world! How Age 15! Yes, I am glad to say, I got in. Most of us did. However, that may have been the reason the school psychologist called me in for a little chat soon after, although I have always assumed it was because I flunked the required IQ test.
So let me stop there. Those are enough examples of really bad writing. Edward Bulwer-Lytton is already green with envy…