Thursday, August 14, 2008

Childhood aspirations

All this time I thought when I was a little kid I wanted to draw for a living when I grew up (I also remember wanting to be a teacher, a lawyer or an embryologist). See, when you get a book published, people ask what you were like as a kid, and what you aspired to, growing up.
You get all introspective about it, and try to remember.
And what I'd remembered was that, as far back as my brain would cooperate, I was a good writer and a good artist, but writing was my mother's forte and, being territorial, I figured I couldn't write. And so I drew.But my dear friend April just described her work-in-progress and it jolted my brain and suddenly I remembered something wonderful: When I was 7 or 8 I read Eleanor Estes' The Witch Family which I looooved. I read it a zillion times. I remember loving it so much I drew and wrote new scenarios for the witch girls. I longed to write and illustrate a real, published story about little witch girls at school and at home. I knew I couldn't do justice to the idea as a kid. I knew I'd have to become a grownup first.
Incidentally, The Witch Family was nothing like Harry Potter. It was for younger kids, and it had an entirely different sensibility.
Funny that I forgot it all these years.
Funny to suddenly remember why I've liked the name Clarissa all these years, and why bumblebees have never scared me, even though I was stung between the toes when I was 9.
And funny to know now, with absolute certainty, that at age 8 I wanted to grow up and write and illustrate kids' stories for a living.

No comments: