Hello, friends and fans!
Some of you might remember I once wrote and illustrated a short story for kids… or rather, a story for parents NOT to read to their kids… I called “Innocent Minds” my “one attempt to write a children’s story“… well, recently I was persuaded to attempt a REAL children’s story for ACTUAL kids!
That was intimidating!
Those of you who know me fairly well, know that while I like kids in general, I am quite uncomfortable around them. You see, I don’t really ‘get’ them very well. I don’t think I ever really did. Last night, as I worked on the surprisingly complex, and misleadingly simple text for the book, it occurred to me why this was.
You see, children are honest. Absolutely, unequivocally honest. Whether they love you, or hate peanut-butter, or can’t stand a pair of shoes… they are 100% honest about it. They haven’t learned to lie yet, to hide their feelings, or to consider yours, or to live complex lives where they have a hundred-million thoughts flashing through their heads at any one moment about a thousand different things, distracted, diffused, and watered-down. Their feelings are pure – not in the sense of ‘good’, but in the sense that they are ALL about whatever their focus is at any particular time, and their emotions are in every word, every motion, and in their beady little eyes.
When you can feel people’s emotions, and when you can deal with adults on a daily basis, it can be a little intimidating when you’re confronted with total honesty at full power. Resistance is futile.
And so, with this in mind, last night I wrote the text for my first REAL little story for children.
It’s called “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You“. An artist is already busy working on the illustrations – and I promise, this one has no guns or violins in it – not even a tiny one. Apparently it’s surprisingly good – and I say ‘surprisingly’ because well, frankly, when people ask me if I want kids, I usually tell them “No thanks, I’ve already eaten”.
Perhaps in future I might think a little harder first, and then say: “Perhaps a little is okay.”
All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2014.