The Ballad of the School Hallways
I got a confession to make.
Writing the Ballad of the School Hallways, as well as its sequels (which I am currently doing alongside my other stories), is both heartwarming and painful for me. I really appreciate the positive comments I received on how I wrote my characters, especially the ones meant for Stephanie, since I guess I was able to do justice to her real-life counterpart.
Yes, as a writer, I wanted my characters to feel like 'human'. And the Ballad is also special to me because I used my experiences as a teacher not only to 'tell a story', but also to 'give closure' to the lingering feeling of pain I have in my heart for so long.
The Ballad is easy to write because I only remembered the events that made my stint in my former school 'interesting'. Of course, not everyone thinks the same, so I brought in fantasy elements. The time-travel part isn't real, obviously, and it's made to add flavor to my work. What's difficult for me is to recall (and re-experience) the feelings I had then, for they are not easy to carry.
Well, I've left that school for a long time now, but I guess I won't be able to move on easily. After all, it is there where I 're-learned' to love again (shit, it's cringey, even when I'm typing this), formed my principles that I defended until the last, and aspired for something even better...including for my own students (who I treated as friends).
I entered the HoneyFeed x MAL contest just to gain 'exposure' for my other works. This second one got a prompt that exactly fit my work, so I thought, why not give it a chance? I won't win anyway. For, really--let's be honest, I don't think this story can compete with the other famous novels and well-known authors here. Yeah, call me negative or anything, but I'm just being realistic. I'm aware I'm not a talented author nor a lucky one, and what I lack in the 'talent' and 'luck' departments, I try to offset with hard-work.
I guess aiming to win is good, too, but it's not my cup of tea. I learned not to keep high expectations. I've accepted the fact that not all hard work will result in recognition some day. I've been disappointed and traumatized enough. LOL
Ah, in any case, before this turned into a full-blown main chapter (due to word count), I want to say thank you to those who read this story. It's not much, but it's an honest, 'from-the-heart' piece from a person who always failed spectacularly in his life. There are two more sequels to this, but I guess I can't upload it just yet...not until the HF contest ends.