The story I’m about to tell with this blog begins either in a middle school library or in the cafeteria at lunchtime, depending on how far back you want to go.
The story of this blog itself, though, begins with a big plastic storage tub, and what craft stores do to my brain.
The plastic storage tub holds the makings of a scrapbook — the scrapbook itself, the photo corners, the adhesive square thingies, the packs of paper — and of course all the things that were going to go into the scrapbook, the photos and newspaper clippings and the journals I kept when I was 13. At the time I bought the stuff, scrapbooking was the big craft craze of the moment, and I envied people who meticulously crafted each page, as if they were sewing a paper quilt of all their memories. I love roaming the aisles at Michaels looking at all the stickers and papers and embellishments. I love the idea of a big long creative project done bit by perfect little bit, each page an accomplishment, a delightful shiny bead in a long string.
That tub’s been sitting in a corner of my home office for years, and I’m starting to come to grips with the fact that I’m not the sort of person suited to long involved craft projects that require a lot of steady effort. I’m trying to get better at that in other areas of my life (and this blog will be part of that), but as the 25th anniversary of my great little adventure approached at breakneck speed, I finally admitted to myself, that scrapbook wasn’t happening.
So… Welcome to my virtual scrapbook.
What I’m going to be doing here, over the coming months, is revisiting those journals and sharing with you my perspective (then and now) on what happened when three eighth-grade girls from Waynesboro sent a story to Steven Spielberg, and that story became an episode of the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures. I originally planned to read all the journals through first, construct a rough outline for the blog, and then share what I’d found and learned, but as usual, I’m winging it instead and will be reading through them in closer to real time. And because this is a digital scrapbook, besides text and photos I hope I’ll also be able to share with you video and audio, both directly related to those events and just things I remember from being a teenager in the ’90s — to set the mood, as it were.
And to be honest, I’m both excited and terrified to be doing this. Besides the obvious fact that I’d rather not have any trouble from Warner Bros.’ legal department and will do my best to watch my step there, I’m also not looking to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m not writing some kind of tell-all; there’s no scandal to reveal here. I’ve agonized over whether to ask permission to write about these things, even when I haven’t been entirely sure who I’d be asking permission from, to write about my own life and my own experiences. If the choice is between being honest and being kind, in this space I’m going to do my best to be kind, and I hope those I’m writing about will give my good intentions the benefit of the doubt.
Really, what this blog will end up being for me, I expect, is a love letter to my younger self — my dear idealistic, sarcastic, self-conscious, dreamy Thirteen, who is with me still, even as I’ve become the older, more cynical, and still way too self-conscious Thirty-Eight.
For you, I just hope it’s enjoyable. If you were (or are) a fan of the show, or an animation buff, or if you’re just a fellow ’80’s/’90’s kid looking for a hit of nostalgia, I think you’ll find something to enjoy here. I’m always open to comments and questions (and might answer some of them in future blog posts), so feel free to say hi. We’re all a little looney here, after all. 🙂