I went to three different high schools--it was W.F. West in Chehalis, WA for the bulk of my 9th grade year, during which I was in two school plays, A Christmas Carol and The Sound of Music, and also my first writer's group. At this point, I was introduced to the wonder of Reading My Peers' Stuff. I was also introduced to the word "traversed," which I spent the next three years trying to work into my writing, and which I have since discovered should never really be used in fiction writing. I believe that was when I started writing "The New Hitler"--a story about Hitler's secret son who resurrected the Nazi movement and his secret grandson who tried to secretly sabotage said movement. I stayed up until 2:00 or 3:00 am writing it some nights and sketched modified swastikas in my notebook. My parents probably thought I was involved in some psycho cult, but really I was getting in touch with my German heritage and had become fascinated with the idea that one man could get a whole lot of normally normal people to do such terrible things. I was reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant at the time, a series I'd fallen in love with when I lived in Texas. P.S. I just found out that there have been four recent additions to the series which  I have not yet read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Thomas_Covenant Guess what's going on my reading list?

I got super involved in music my freshman year--not only was I the best alto in freshman choir, but my boyfriend and my brother were in the school's elite jazz choir, so I was allowed along on some of their outings. I was introduced to the wonders of The Manhattan Transfer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofg8vUDGWQI and though I had grown up immersed in music (nightly song-fests around the piano/guitar in four-part harmony), it suddenly became more personal. Music would continue to affect my writing from that point on. My stories would have their own soundtracks--songs that I listened to or thought of while I was writing--some character-specific and some scene-specific. During this time, I wrote a series of short stories including "Something Mystical," "Remember the Past" and "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow." Obviously, I had a knack for titles.

At the end of my 9th grade year we moved to Utah suddenly and I finished the last three weeks of that school year at Box Elder High. We lived there for a few months and then moved and I started my Sophomore year at Bonneville High.

At Bonneville, I had an English teacher who ate chalk and made us write a story for class. Mine was called ERA: Equal Rights for Apes. (Still with the knack for titles.) I'd love to find a page or two to post, because it was "awesome." But once again, I was foiled by another writer--this time Michael Crichton and Congo--even more recently by the movie The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Still, those angry apes can't possibly replace my lovable gorilla, Ormond. Guess you'll never know, world.

I continued to write short stories and poems throughout high school, my handwriting got weird and I started signing my name as Syn3a Lovel& in a feeble attempt to stand out from my nine siblings. Occasionally I'll still get called Synthreea.

After high school, I went through an angry phase in which I wrote poems titled "The Hating" and "Flesh Fountain." (Still nailing those titles.) Yeah, we won't talk about those in this blog or any other. Dark time for Syn3a Lovel&. Dark. Time. My writing was mostly stuff I wouldn't want to show anyone I don't want to fear me for the rest of my life. But it was therapeutic. Life-saving sometimes. But dark. Did I mention it was dark?

Blog off.

Next time: College!