If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Reading Karen’s post from yesterday about the questions children asked her made me wonder about the questions children have asked me when I’ve done school visits. One even asked me ‘did you ever want to be a model?’ That surprised me. I’m five foot three with a nose like a ski slope and uncontrollable hair, and if I wanted to show off clothes for a living I’d turn myself into heavy duty plastic and stand in a shop window.
I had to stop and think when a child asked me ‘if you were an animal, what animal would you like to be?’ I nearly said ‘my sister’s cat’, because Chloe the Cat lived the life of Riley, but then I thought again. What animal would I really like to be? I chose my favourite animal, the red squirrel. They are clever, resourceful, live in lovely woodlands and are just beautiful. When my agent first encouraged me to write about animals I came up with ‘The Chronicles of Mistmantle’ which featured – as you’ve guessed – red squirrels. The animal I really wanted to write about. (The one below became Princess Catkin of Mistmantle.)
Two weeks ago when I was teaching writing workshops, I was the one who thought of a good question. Beyond questions like ‘what do you want to write’ and ‘how do you want to write it’ came a brand new thought – why do you want to write it?
Why do I want to write about squirrels, snowy landscapes and misfits? Why do I want to write about funny dogs? I’m still thinking about that. ‘Why?’ is a question that always opens doors.
What do you want to write? How do you want to write it? And why do you want to write it?
Is a door opening?