Let’s start with my earliest diary, a San Francisco State blue book, the lined booklet in which college courses will require an essay be written during midterm or final. The entry, dated 12/9/76, is the first diary entry (the first page of the booklet contains an abortive short story, “Charlie the talking squirel [sic]”); the entry begins, “Dear Diary, Well today I’m home with the cold again …” I was in sixth grade, my teacher Mike McBride.
“I’m reading some books – well all the books (most) – written by Zilpha Keatly Snyder [sic]. If I can find out her adress [sic] I’m planning on writing to her, she lives in Santa Rosa.
“… I’m still trying to finish one of my books but I can’t seem to get around to it and I have so many of them.
“Just recently Zilpha Snyder the author I told you about gave a lecture at Twin Hills [School]. And enlightened me on some things about writing.”
Entry dated 12/10/76: “I still don’t have Mrs. Snyder’s adress but I think we’ve found her phone number.
“I just finished And All Between the second book in a trilogy by Zilpha Keatly Snyder.
“I can’t wait for Xmas Vacation cause then maybe I’ll get in some real serious writing.”
Entry dated 12/17/76: “Right now I’m reading Watership Down.
Thus endeth my sixth grade diary. Six entries, 12/9 thru 12/17/76. Did I ever write to Zilpha Keatley Snyder? I don’t remember.