My fourth book Rascals Go to the Opera House is finally completed. The illustrations took me as long as writing the story, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
I hope children and adults like this chapter book for reluctant readers as much as
Star-Crossed Rascals, but I couldn't help myself, I made it quite gross. I guess I'm still that seven-year-old child with memories as clear as clean water, though my short term memory is slipping a little.
When I was a small child, I often had little mishaps at school and I guess most children do at some stage. But this is rarely spoken about by children because of the embarrassed. I know I was so embarrassed sometimes that I refused to go to school. I would chuck a tantrum and use every excuse from tummy ache to complaining that my pigtails didn't match or my socks were uneven. When that didn't work, I would make myself sick.
I had a teacher that refuse to let children go to the bathroom unless it was recess. I guess that doesn't happen these days, but it was terrible when it happened to me. I was a small child and seemed to have a tiny bladder. I could never wait until playtime. One day after an accident, I came up with a brilliant idea - or so I thought. Hiding behind the coat racks at the back of the classroom, I waited until everyone went out to play. Then I stuffed my wet underpants down the back of the school radiator.Yay! I thought. They'll dry there. Lucky for me, I had my gym shorts in my bag, but no way could I play handstands with my friends. I told them I had a tummy ache. LOL.
Though I thought I had solved my problem of the day, I had created a big one. Of course when I sneaked back to my classroom before the other children, my underpants were warm and dry. Yay! I outsmarted the kids that usually teased me. I put them on and sat at my desk with a smug grin on my face. Well, that is until the teacher started sniffing the air. A minute later, the headmistress came into the room and wrinkled her nose. She immediately opened a window and said the classroom stunk. Then she asked us all which one of us had wet their pants. Yipes! I couldn't smell anything. Were they talking about me? I hadn't realised that the steam from the drying underpants had lingered in that classroom. I was terrified.
Then to make matters worse, a boy put his hand up and suggested to the headmistress that it was most probably me as I often had an accident. I was indignant. I stood up and yelled that it wasn't me and when the teacher checked my pants, she found that I was dry. Yes! I'd outsmarted them all, but by the skin of my tiny teeth.
The teachers never found out who's stunk out the classroom, but through my school years I had many odd accidents. Like the day I thought the linen towel, hanging from the wall would make a great swing. I was still only seven and tiny for my age, but while I was swinging too and fro, the darn container broke from the wall and landed on my head. Yipes! There was a huge hole in the wall and I was covered in grey dust and rubble, not to mention a big bump on my head as big as an egg. Only my best friend saw this happen and she steered me away before I got caught. Once again, I outsmarted the teachers as they thought it had just fallen from the wall.
The name my teacher used to address me was Wish-washy. That name stuck for years and I came to believe I was a bit thick as I had many occurrences like these. (Which are all made into the fictitious children's stories in my Lovable Rascals series. Star-Crossed Rascals is the first and Rascals Sing at The Opera House is the second and due out very soon.)
It was at this age that I had to have a few childhood operations, so I missed out quite a bit of my schooling, which set me behind in my lessons. I couldn't keep up with my classmates and that teacher was no help at all. She often sent me to sit outside the principal's office instead of keeping me in at recess and teaching me what I'd missed and needed to learn, like reading and writing. Of course, being the little weirdo I was, and still am, I learned to cope by making my classmates laugh. This brought me many friends an made my childhood years happy ones. I lived in England until I was twelve, then moved to Australia and while I was on a website a year ago, I came across one of my old friends from my childhood. This fellow now hosts my website. What a fun world cyberspace is.
As I grew up, I realised I wasn't thick at all, just uneducated. So I went and educated myself to the best of my ability, but I still wanted to make kids laugh, so when I write my children's stories, I add things that children actually do. Some of these things are quite gross and I've even had one man tell me that he wouldn't let his grandchildren read books such as mine - meaning ones that talk about toilet habits and cheeky children.
LOL. Well, my books are not for everyone, but so far my fans love them. Children love to read gross things and even if some parents won't let them read such books, they'll hunt them down in libraries and even at schools. I've had many teachers and librarians tell me that the reluctant readers love them. I even had a wonderful review from a lady with an autistic boy who wouldn't read, but is now one of my best fans.
That's my only aim with my books, to make people laugh, mainly children. Though I have many pensioner fans as they love small books with larger writing and the slap-stick humour of my stories.