I found the hand-written copy of Countercharm that I wrote during my lunch periods in 9th grade! I also found like 9 other revisions after that. I guess one for every year it took me to finally get it published. I copied it exactly how it was written.
Begin Countercharm Chapter 1 by Cherese A. Vines (age:14, 1991)
Interview with the author of My Birthday Is September Eleven: Nicole Weaver. Thank you for the interview.
1) Tell us who you are.
My name is Nicole Weaver. I am Haitian American. I am fluent in four languages-French, English, Spanish and Creole. I am a veteran French and Spanish high school teacher. I am also a published author of a trilingual book titled: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle/ María y su Amiga la Tortuga Del Mar/ Marie et son Amie la Tortue de mer. I have a second trilingual book titled My Sister is My Best Friend due to be published fall 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing. My third trilingual book titled: My Brother is My Best Friend is under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing. Read More
I’ve been getting ready to move for the past few weeks. I used to move all the time, but I guess I forgot how hard it was. Sydnie moved a lot before she came to Seattle. There she found out the true purpose of why she moved around so much. I guess the purpose of my moves were to experience as many different places as possible. And Sydnie has been right there with me.
Countercharm has been a part of my life for 20 years. I wrote the first draft when I was a freshman in high school. It was the first of three high schools I would go to. I suppose I was feeling like Sydnie, wondering why I was moving around so much and when it would all stop. That’s probably why I feel a connection to Sydnie. When I talk about her, all my friends and family know who I’m talking about. She’s like a real person to me. I find I miss her sometimes when I stop for a minute in my busy day. Sydnie is a part of me. Ron and Neal and Aunt Sandra are parts of me too, but Sydnie is a big part. She was/is my 14-year-old self. We’ve experienced some of the same things. I don’t mean to say that I had some weird guy with swirling eyes stalking me. But I’ve moved around a lot, just like Sydnie. As I’m moving now, I realize that this is a big change for me. Just like when Sydnie first came into my life. It was after a big move from Northern Illinois down to Central Texas. She understood what I was feeling. Now I’m 34 years old (I’m proud to say my age, by the way) and Sydnie is still that 16-year-old girl who was and is my friend. (BTW I do have flesh and blood friends that I talk to also, so don’t think I’m that crazy.)
My favorite part of the story is the excerpt I always use. It is when Sydnie and Ron go into that old abandoned house and it becomes an enchanted ballroom. I smile just to think about it. (Check it out on the Countercharm page of my blog www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com)
I’ll try to dig up that first handwritten copy of Countercharm to see how much it has changed over the years. I’ll post it when I find it, hopefully by next week. When I finally move, I may not know where the kids’ shoes are, but I’ll definitely know where all my writing notebooks are.