Reflective Essay: Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted

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“If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.” This quote by Marc Anthony was printed in bright blocky letters on the poster that hung on my 4th grade teacher’s door. I remember walking past it every day, wondering what I loved to do. It seems like a very simple question, but it took many years to answer.
My interest for writing surfaced when I was ten years old. I was an avid reader by that time, and preferred books over people to keep me company. My parents encouraged my interest by taking me to the library every week and helping me pick books to read. The gradual exposure to the world of literature eventually lead me to write my own stories. One of my first experiences was a writer was producing my own interpretation of Cinderella after reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, who put an interesting twist on the classic tale. Finding the concept intriguing, I set out to do the same. Needless to say, my version of the story paled in comparison to Levine’s, but the experience was incredible.
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Although I faced many adversities when I failed to place in many of the competitions, I refused to let my failures faze me. In 8th grade, my efforts paid off in the VFW Essay Contest, where participants wrote short essays based on the theme: “What Freedom Means to Me”. Being an Asian-American girl with both parents who emigrated from China to the United States, I had a clear understanding of how precious freedom is. Freedom meant the opportunity to be myself and the ability to do what I love, a luxury not everyone has. When I placed first in my school, county, and district, I was pleasantly surprised. This gave me more confidence in myself as I realized that writing was a skill I desired to

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