A Writer's Journey
  1. 1st & 2nd Grade: Summaries of basketball games I'd watched the night before
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    The first stage of my development as a writer. Maybe I wanted to be a beat reporter? For example: "The Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 97-93. Michael Jordan had 25 points and 4 assists. Dennis Rodman had 12 rebounds." I had a terrifying capacity for remembering obscure basketball stats in those days. Now I just have a terrifying capacity for remembering random details about pop culture.
  2. 2nd Grade: Jake, Noah, and Ace Ventura Solve the Mystery of the Nets Game
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    Despite the presence of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, this was a VERY SERIOUS mystery about my friend Noah and I teaming up with Ace (who, yes, said things like "all righty then") to figure out what happened at the Nets game. I don't really remember what happened, but I think the scoreboard fell? I think I believed at the time that someone was actually inside the giant scoreboard in the middle of the arena. Also, the culprit was Ray Finkle's brother, who we nabbed thanks to Ace's "Finkle Files."
  3. 4th Grade: The Janitor
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    A student finds out his school was flooded and, rather than celebrate, GETS TO THE BOTTOM OF IT. Spoiler alert: the janitor did it. I'm not sure what his motive was (maybe that I called him a janitor and not a custodian)? I'm also not sure what I had against janitors. The custodian at my school, Mr. Ho, was very nice. Narrative flourish: Despite being told in 1st-person narrative, the story randomly had several 3rd-person scenes featuring the culprit. Innovative!
  4. 4th Grade: The Janitor 2
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    I literally have no idea what happens in this story. I only remember it exists because there was a 3rd Janitor story, and by this point, I'm pretty sure I could count to three correctly.
  5. 4th Grade: The Janitor 3: Mr. Birker's Revenge
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    The thrilling conclusion to the trilogy. Mr. Birker (the titular Janitor) hijacks an amusement park, and the police send in a 4th grader to save the day. I'm pretty sure I'd recently seen Beverly Hills Cop 3 and was enamored of the idea of writing action scenes among Ferris Wheels. Fun fact: Popular kid Will Taylor read the story and said he really liked it, so I naturally told everyone. When this got back to him, he denied even reading it. Asshole.
  6. 4th Grade: The Map
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    So there's this map of the world where, if you touch a continent, it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. If you touch it again, it comes back up! Obviously, this happens to Atlantis. At some point, Africa sinks. Sorry, Africa!