How to Be

By Samantha Edmonds



You’re a happy kid. Sit in the back of the church-house three times a week with your feet propped up on the fuzzy red pew in front of you. Wear tights under your scratchy dress—your mother makes you anyway—so that this position is not quite as scandalous. Take off your shoes, black strappy sandals with a silver buckle. Balance a blue three-ring binder on your knees and scribble stories on wide-ruled notebook paper while the preacher shouts, Can I get an Amen? and the congregation says, Glory, Glory. Give these stories titles like ‘A Dog Called Hope’ and ‘Mad as Heck but Still Best Friends.’ Declare yourself a writer at the age of ten and show everything you write to your mother as soon as you’re finished.

To try something (good lord, anything) else, go to section 2.

To be a writer, jump to Section 3.