What I consider my earliest "real" writing was a science fiction short story called "The Giant Hercules." I was eight years old and I remember asking my great aunt Edna how to spell "atmosphere."
The story was for me. I had no idea about publishing or submitting it to a magazine. I was merely inspired to create.
The story was about a man named Hercules who entered a contest to win his love. Little did he know but that someone had bewitched the discus he was to throw. When he threw it, the discus flew into the sky and disappeared. That night, Herc found himself sleep walking toward the now returned discus sitting on the stadium floor. He grew smaller and smaller, until he reached it and entered the discus, finding himself floating in space, suddenly protected from the vacuum by a block of ice. He grew smaller and smaller until he landed on Earth.
Fast forward thirty years, and I'm driving down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles -- along the famous Sunset Strip. On one of the billboards was a picture of Lou Ferigno as Hercules, up to his waist in ice, floating against a backdrop of stars.
I couldn't help but smile.