The following short stories go back to 2010, which was my senior year of college. I was taking my first nonfiction writing class. I had virtually no experience with the genre, either writing or reading, so I experimented.
My first assignment for the class was a brash attempt at a spiritual, a travesty of an essay that hopefully gave my classmates a glimpse into having a relationship with God. My instructor compared my writing to Anne Lamott, a compliment (I guess) that still makes me uncomfortable because I don’t enjoy her writing or revisionist “Christian” theology. Thankfully, my second assignment was better.
I wrote three short stories about my childhood growing up as a missionary kid. They weren’t incredible, but they were well received and start me down a path that would ultimately culminate in my writing and publishing Three Ring Circus: Life as a Missionary Kid in a Family of 11, roughly four year later.
The only avenue of escape from my childhood home is through the front gate. Like most upper-class Filipino homes, this one is a two story box of painted concrete surrounded by a six-foot wall. The wall, like a cake, bears toppings. However, these decorations are pieces of glass bottles. Around the front of the house, the wall becomes a metal fence—still six feet tall—complete with spikes and a gate that sports chains and padlocks. Within the perimeters of our compound, our German Shepherd patrols the yard.