Christopher Armstrong, CA

Junior Writer

Much like his literary heroes from the roaring twenties, Christopher Andrew Armstrong lives life as an expatriate. Okay, this technically isn’t true; he still resides within the confines of America’s borders, but migrating to Los Angeles after spending his first twenty-eight years living in the South certainly feels like moving to a different country. His writing drifts along different subjects, much like the Santa Ana Winds gusting in from the north, floating freely from high-end liquor, the sharing economy, and hip-hop, but now he’s focused on writing your story.

As a Story Terrace writer, Christopher interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Eating My Words

I was somewhere around the age of nine when I first fully comprehended the power of writing, and the damage my written words could potentially inflict.

As a young child coming of age during the nineties, no other movie rocked my childhood more than Jurassic Park.

So, when Mrs. Brewer, my fourth-grade teacher, assigned us pen pals from schools on the opposite side of the city, and when my correspondent, Jesse Spence, asked me what my favorite movie was, I told him Jurassic Park. But that’s not all I said, no, I explained to him all the Jurassic Park themed stories bouncing around my imagination, including one crackpot fantasy of mine where a Tyrannosaurus Rex would eat my older sister much like how Donald Gennaro, the lawyer, meets his fate in the film’s most infamous scene.

Now you’re probably either thinking this was an innocent joke coming from a child with an overactive imagination, or you’ve reasoned that there should be a parent-teacher conference, and a stiff grounding for the boy with those hurtful trigger fingers. Unfortunately, for myself, the latter won out.

My troubles commenced the next day, beginning with Mrs. Brewer refusing to send the letter to my pen pal and climaxing with no television for two weeks. My infuriated teacher sought a punishment more extreme, such as suspension, but my parents resisted. Their youngest child wasn’t a monster who harbored vicious, bloodthirsty thoughts against his older sister, and they knew it. He was merely a child stuck in his own imagination who often found difficulty separating fiction from reality. A young boy who wrote two pages in creative writing class instead of one. A naïve writer whose words, which challenged the expected norm, resulted in censorship, much akin to those who came before him, like Ray Bradbury, J. D. Salinger, and Toni Morrison.

At that age, I didn’t know where writing would take me. At best, it earned me a few good grades in English class; at its worst, a grounding. Later in the school year, a friend asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, “a writer.” It was the first time I ever responded to that impossible question with this answer, and it was the last time I ever said anything different.

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