Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Flashback: Middle School Marisa's Book Covers

I've blogged before about the stories I used to write in fifth grade, middle school, my freshman year of high school... well guess what, folks! Some of those stories have BOOK COVERS! And attached to those book covers are the stories that go with them and, oh man, they crack me up. I might need to share samples from some of those stories in another flashback.

This post is about book covers, so I'll begin with THIS:

From 5th grade - check out those eyebrows.

I didn't get my first set of fancy colored pencils until 6th grade, so I made do with crayons. And check out the calligraphy in that title! Practicing calligraphy was one of 11-year-old Marisa's favorite pastimes.

From 6th grade - a sci-fi story about doppelgangers found in an alternate universe.

From 7th grade - another sci-fi about an alternate universe inside a mirror and a girl who falls in and has to convince the dorkiest, smelliest boy in her class - who she and her friends made fun of - to help her find a way out (he's the one who has the mirror). This story was about unexpected friendships - I was big into writing stories featuring unexpected friendships.

(for those who recognized the frightening girl in the mirror - yes, that was me. You'll find brown-haired, blue-eyed, moley-faced characters on a lot of my covers because I learned how to draw people from looking in the mirror. Also, I never finished the drawing because I thought it was so darned ugly)

Also from 7th grade (1993) - how NINETIES is this book cover?

In this story, my main character's BFF dies. Her name was November Shane. I was a huge Guns N' Roses fan, you guys.

Also, I killed off someone in just about all of my stories. I loved killing characters. In fact, here is a little clip from the diary I kept when I was in 5th grade:

(my character in this particular story was called Capulet Montague, by the way. 11-year-old Marisa was fascinated by desperately sad love stories)

(also, in case you are wondering, this entry was from March - my diary did a great job of reminding me of those missing summer pages in that when I came to them, they were missing!)

From 8th grade - the main character spends the summer suffering from a horrible illness, confesses her love for her very best friend who confesses his love for her, too, and then she dies.

Also from 8th grade - a ghost story. This one featured a haunted doll that was made as an effigy of a girl who had been murdered by her tutor - the girl's bones and dress were found in a locked trunk that was in the basement, hidden behind a brick wall, The Cask of Amontillado-style. I had just read that story and it freaked me out so badly I simply HAD to include my favorite part in a story somewhere.

According to my notes, I planned for the doll to have the hair and eyelashes of the dead girl... but how that could be when she disappeared and her body was found a hundred years later locked in a trunk behind a brick wall, I have no idea. But hey, not too bad for age 13!

And because it amuses me: The title page, complete with publishing information.

And another ghost story from my 8th grade days:

This one was Scooby-Doo-like in that the ghost was a hoax in order to bring guests into the haunted inn where the characters were staying.

This was my 8th grade Young Author's Faire book.

I didn't win. Heck, I wasn't even chosen from amongst my classmates to participate in the actual Faire - my story was pretty darned boring, despite the mildly interesting title. However, I wasn't upset. Only one book was chosen from each class to be entered into the contest, and the girl who won from my class asked me to do the illustrations for her book, which I did. That made me happy.

And now for a mermaid story (because there has to be a mermaid story somewhere - these are MY stories, after all):

This was the very last book cover I made in my middle school days, drawn just before freshman year, and I worked on this story off and on through high school.

Sadly, I cannot find the other book covers I drew, though I know they are around my house somewhere. Most of these I found in a file marked: MARISA'S TAXES '02. My organization skillz are clearly lacking.

Have a flashback of your own to share? Head on over to Tia's blog and join in the fun!

Have a great weekend, folks!



Tina Laurel Lee said...

OMG you are so fun and brilliant! I'm so glad I know you! i love that - unexpected friendships! I want to write stories about that. Why do you think they were missing - those pages?

Marisa Hopkins said...

My missing book covers, Tina? Missing because they are probably stuffed in a folder marked: COOKING PROJECTS or a folder marked: WEDDING PHOTOS, or something like that. I basically try to get organized and then fail miserably when I begin stuffing papers wherever I find room for them. :D

Natalie C Parker said...

I love everything about this post, Marisa!

Also, "According to my notes, I planned for the doll to have the hair and eyelashes of the dead girl... "

<3 <3 <3

I think you should do this.

AlyGatr said...

This is just one more reason why I love you and bask in your awesomeness.

November :) Party on Wayne. I seriously sense you were immersed in VC Andrews books. See, only the most excellent Marisa Meyers would have gone that extra yard to draw her own book covers. Someday when they are doing the "True Hollywood Story" on you they are gonna drag these babies out. And yet again, your middle school art skills murder my 39 year old skills. Just sayin.

Anita said...

I liked looking at all the eyebrows after you mentioned the one...they're all so different and I can tell you really THOUGHT about the eyebrows. I wish I had started writing at a young age. And your posts are making me more sentimental about keeping my kids' work...their future selves thank you!

Katie Mills said...

oh wow, you can definitely see the evolution in your art work but I think these are all excellent for a kid growing up and a great example of your dedication to being a writer since a very young age! How great to have these!

Emily said...

AMAZING! I would love to read some of these. They say never judge a book by it's cover - heck by these covers these book have got to be gems.

Marisa Hopkins said...

Natalie - Creepy dead girl dolls FTW! <3 I have many creepy middle school stories just begging to be rewritten by adult me. :)

Alyssa - Haha, I knew you'd love this post. And wouldn't you know it, November Shane had a sister called Rain. I kid you not.

Anita - I STILL think about eyebrows when I draw - they can make or break the face! Also, save those creative pieces!! My mom gave me a file cabinet when I was 11 to keep all my work in, and that's the only reason I have them today!

Katie - haha, thanks! :)

Emily - :D Thanks!! They are so much fun to read!

Patty said...

These are awesome - I had similar covers from elementary school, but I generally got bored from drawing them half way through so they all have very white backgrounds :-) My favorite, I think, was my "The A-Z's of Recycling" lol

My Captivating Images said...

That is an awesome flash back! :) You have great artistic skills! I couldn't draw like that even now even if I tried! :)

Meeling said...

So fun!!
Love the Scooby Doo one...made me laugh.

Great flashback post!!

Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

mshatch said...

oh my, these are wonderful! and so interesting to see the progression of your artwork. I wish I had saved some of my old art work.

Kearsie said...

Oh my gosh. I am about to get all fangirly and maybe a little Swim Fan all over you and your creativity. Can we just be best friends and get over this awkward courting phase?

shibori girl said...

You are SO FUNNY! Marisa's Taxes.. *snork*

Maybe you found making the covers taxing? :)

Or maybe you are brilliant, knowing you'd need to hang onto your taxes for years?

Either way, this is a wonderful slice of a creative childhood you've got here...



Melissa said...

I am IMPRESSED by your book covers! Seriously. And you had some really good book ideas, too. The one about the doll with the hair and eyelashes of the dead girl? Totally gave me the shivers.

AnnieMay said...

Oh Marise,
I distinctly remember a good half of those book covers. They were so dramatic and serious, just like the stories we used to write.... more like the first page we used to write...until we moved on to the next book cover, amazing titles and character names. Thanks for sharing Marise, you're posts bring back such amazing memories :) xoxoxo Big hugs

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