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  • Writer's pictureBob Rivenbark

Writing at Sagamore Hills: Nurturing the Novelist Within

In my journey as a writer, the realization of my passion struck like a bolt of lightning back in the sixth grade. It all unfolded in a quaint corner of the Atlanta metro area, at Sagamore Hills Grammar School in DeKalb County. The catalyst for this discovery was none other than Mrs. Lee, our homeroom and English teacher, a recent graduate of Agnes Scott College. Sagamore Hills was no ordinary school; it embraced an experimental approach that allowed teachers to explore special activities with gifted students. Mrs. Lee, with her keen eye for talent, recognized the budding writer within me. This recognition led to my election as Program Chairman in our class elections, a pivotal moment that would chart the course of my writing journey. Under Mrs. Lee's guidance, I found myself thrust into the role of a class playwright. With pen in hand and imagination running wild, I embarked on a creative voyage, crafting plays that were, admittedly, amateurish imitations of the science fiction and horror novels and movies that had captured my imagination. But they were mine, and I poured my heart into them. Those early days saw me not only writing but also donning the hats of a director and casting agent. I brought my stories to life on the classroom stage, sharing my creations with eager classmates. These were stories steeped in the eerie and mysterious, reminiscent of the beloved tales that had inspired me. One of the most memorable moments was when I gathered the courage to read my horror short stories aloud to the entire class. The hushed anticipation in the room, as I wove my narratives, left an indelible mark on me. Yet, throughout this transformative period, I never learned Mrs. Lee's first name. She remained an enigmatic figure, an unsung hero who changed the course of my life. Decades have passed since those formative years, but my gratitude and the desire to find and thank her have never waned. Now, as I reflect on my journey and the recent success I've found as a novelist, I am driven by the hope that my story will reach her. Mrs. Lee, wherever you are, your belief in a young, aspiring writer set in motion a creative odyssey that continues to unfold. Thank you for being the guiding star on my literary voyage.

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