How A Potato Launched My Writing Career

Everyone knows that potatoes have eyes—those little dimples on the skin that sprout potato plantlings—but did you know that potatoes have legs?

I remember a sunny Saturday morning when I was a kid watching my mom peel potatoes at the kitchen sink. As the sharp peeler scraped the potatoes bare, I saw Mom dig out a tiny, green bump.

“Are those warts?” I asked.

“No, they’re eyes,” said Mom.

“How come potatoes have eyes?”

“Because little potato plants grow from their eyes,” she said.

“You’re cutting off the babies? You’re killing them!”

Just then, I’d realized that a potato was a living thing, a mother with babies sprouting from her eyes! (How weird was that?) And my mom was ripping the skin off that mother potato, digging the babies out of her eyes, and throwing them away like garbage. Then she cut that mother potato into pieces and boiled her in water.

Oh, the agony of it all!
The inhumanity!

Was I being a bit dramatic?

Yes.

Did Mom suggest that I go outside and play?

She did.

But, instead, I went to my room and I drew a story. I drew about that potato sprouting legs and running away from my evil mother. And with my limited knowledge of how to put words onto paper I wrote:

                                           POTATO LEGS

                                           Mom try to kil her
                                           She run away.
                                           Run, Potato Legs, run.
                                          The end.

And so began my writing career. Many more stories followed “Potato Legs” and today I can’t think of any better activity than to write.

Every writer has that one eureka moment that sparks the need to write.

Sometimes it’s a what-if question that begs to be answered. (What if potatoes had legs?)

Other times, a tragedy needs to bleed out shedding its anger and grief. (Dave Pelzer’s “A Child Called It” comes to mind.)

The need to write might come from reading a poorly written book. (“I could write better than that!”)

Or from the desire to be heard. (Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”)

But most often, inspiration comes from encouragement. (“Hey! You should write a book!”)

How about you?
When was your eureka moment?
Why do you write?

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jan2015FB

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6 Comments

Filed under Aspiring Writers, Why write?

6 responses to “How A Potato Launched My Writing Career

  1. klelange

    I love your story! Inspiration can strike in such unexpected places. So glad you followed the call. 🙂

  2. I always love reading your posts. I consider it moments well spent. I enjoyed the Potato story immensely!

  3. I’m glad you had that Eureka moment or we might never have met. 🙂
    I’ll be linking to this post on June 5th.

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