• Sofiya Pasternack

The Story Behind How I Started Writing

Being a Weird Kid Without a TV or Any Friends

Ahahaha that sounds so sad. It's not! I promise!

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I grew up kind of out in the middle of nowhere. My parents wanted to have a goodly amount of property, so we had 11 acres adjacent to a State Park. Neighbors that were within driving distance but not easily walking distance. My bus ride to school was 2 hours or so.

I had a lot of animal friends, like a Disney princess. Except instead of singing to chickens to get them to dance or lay more eggs or whatever, I would hypnotize them in the driveway. If we weren't careful with the pasture gate, the goats would get out and climb on the cars. One time our pony let herself into the house because someone left a door open. I tried to ride our cows and they were not amenable. That kind of thing.

And we had a TV, I guess, but it had like 4 channels on it, and 3 of those were news channels. The fourth only played cartoons on Saturday mornings. So my sister and I had to do other things to stay mentally busy.

And one of the things I chose to do... was write.

Little Sofiya's Creative Nonfiction

When I was pretty little, my grandma came to live with us because she had cancer, and my dad wanted her to live with us while she was getting treatment.

Now, my country bumpkin grandma had a lot of ridiculous things going on about her, one of which was her farm girl upbringing meant she was absolutely appalled that we let the rooster be a jerk to everyone, and one day she took matters into her own hands and... well, I'll leave out the details, but we did eat chicken soup for a couple of days.

Roosters are so mean, you guys.

Another cool thing about my grandma was that she had no teeth. I don't know the circumstances that led to her having no teeth but I don't think there was a time in my life when she had a single tooth in her mouth. She wore dentures, and I was enthralled with her ritual of removing and cleaning her teeth every night.

I was convinced that, at some point in a person's life, they gained the ability to remove their entire set of teeth. That I would one day achieve this ability. And I was very excited about it.

So for a school journaling assignment, I wrote about my grandma's removable teeth. And the untimely passing of our rooster, Clucky. And the alligator that lived in our pool for a few days before we called the Gator Removal Service to take it away (this was Florida; things are wild in Florida).

And my teacher brought out that journal to my parents at our parent-teacher conference and said, "Well, Sofi has quite the imagination."