Never Forget Your First

Drawing: a silhouette of three children in a dark cave, with the caption: "A story of three girls on an adventure lost in a series of dark tunnels."

Never Forget Your First blog post by Iris Carden

I’m thinking back to the time when seven year old me went with two friends to explore a cave and became lost in a labyrinthine network of tunnels.

It didn’t actually happen. It’s the first story I remember writing. This was brought back to my mind by Lady Jabberwocky’s writing prompt for the week: “Never Forget Your First”, looking for memories of writers’ first story or poem.

This was my first story I can remember writing in primary school. I invented my friends Jane and Sue, because I didn’t really have any friends, and we went on an adventure in a dark and scary place. I don’t remember how the story ended, but I do remember that we three girls were all very brave through the whole ordeal.

I liked the characters so much, I used them repeatedly for a couple of years. We were always incredibly brave, in incredibly dangerous circumstances. Maybe I wrote myself and my fictional friends this way because I wasn’t very brave, but really wanted to be. Whatever the reason, I very quickly discovered I loved making up stories.

I was probably eleven or twelve when I wrote the first poem I was actually pleased with – and it was a story about a haunted house told with versification, rhythm (almost) and rhyme. I still remember that in its entirety:

The Old House
by me aged about 11 or 12

The wind whistles through the trees
and you scarcely dare to sneeze
near the old house.

The ghosts scream and cry at night.
You can tell they're there, though not by sight,
in the old house.

Twenty years ago or more
a young lad's body was found on the floor,
in the old house.

Nobody really seems to know why
that poor boy was doomed to die
in the old house.

Being a kid who practically lived in books, it was probably inevitable I would love to tell my own stories, and that would extend to poetry as well.

I just loved words. I still do.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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