Reflections from a four-year-old novelist

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I’ll never forget my first pencil grip—a vibrant green crocodile one with googly eyes bulging at its parallel sides. I can’t remember if I named him Croccy or Christopher, but giving him some silly C-name, I carried that grip with me throughout childhood as I learned to write. When I struggled to verbally communicate and express myself given my countless years in speech therapy, writing always provided an outlet for me to do so. The innate excitement of building complex worlds and crafting characters became a vessel for my self-expression, spending hours at my typewriter (due to my laughably messy handwriting) clicking away. To this day, that typewriter has been the coolest gift I have ever received (thank you, Grandma Lil!). But somewhere along the line, that toothy-grinned, big-blue-eyed little girl with her head always shoved in a book grew up and gained the confidence to start sharing her work with the world. Whether that was reading poems or short stories at open mic nights or submitting work to school newspapers and outside publications, I became fully immersed in the world of storytelling and I knew I had to join The Weekly’s staff once I arrived at college. With that same child-like glow in my eyes and the swift movement of my pen, The Weekly was the first organization I signed up for at the involvement fair back in 2019 and anxiously awaited my first assignment. Writing for The Weekly became part of my weekly routine and empowered me, teaching me that my voice and story matters. During remote learning, The Weekly granted me a sense of digital community that I am still beyond grateful for to this day. Even when everything seems to be crashing and burning, this driven, kind and talented group of people has taught me the importance of storytelling and how it builds community, especially during the toughest of times. 

As I look at my cap and gown hanging up at almost 23, I know that I will always hold this publication near and dear to my heart. I now reflect on how 70 percent of my courses at Muhlenberg were related to writing, and I have The Weekly to thank for reigniting that passion of mine. While I no longer have my crocodile pencil grip, what I have gained is a forever love for writing. To the Weekly staff and readers, thank you for believing in and supporting me and my work since I was 18. Perhaps I’ll feature The Weekly in my memoir one day *wink wink.* While this chapter at the Weekly is coming to a close, I will never stop honing my curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Thank you for everything.

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