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Diaries and Terrors

September 28th, 2013

Holly terror_excerpt

Before I wrote Stay Well Soon I re-read my primary school diaries to help establish the main character Stevie’s tone. It seemed helpful to read what I wrote as an eleven year old girl before I tried to write about one as a thirty year old.
Rereading my diaries I’m struck by how much of it is unreliable. I wrote things because I liked the way they sounded, rather than because they were true.

This is a couple of diary entries from late September in 1991 when I was in Grade 4.

Today we saw the writers train. I liked Libby Hathorn But not the other writer. We went to the foot ball. It wasn’t as bad as uselal. I got a Milky Way. We were walking around with Don. He kept Chit chating with his friend. Felt like telling him to Shut up and lets get going only didn’t (note 1). Finely we went back to the car. Tomorro is Fathers Day. We are going to Echca to see Paddy and Loo(note 2).

Paddy is a Holly Terror (note 3) and sos his brother (note 4). But I like Joe (note 5).

(Note 1) I probably didn’t really want to tell Don to shut up. I was trying to sound tough like Penny Pollard, who was my inspiration for diary writing. Dropped a lot of pronouns to sound like her.

(Note 2) I don’t know why I referred to going to see ‘Paddy and Loo’ when there were three other members of their family, including Paddy’s dad. Maybe they were just the loudest.

(Note 3) I had clearly heard an adult call someone a ‘holy terror’ and I liked the way it sounded. It’s possible that Paddy was a very well behaved six year old and I was just dead-set on using the phrase. Anyway, it sounds weird coming from a ten year old. Particularly one who can’t spell.

(Note 4) They are both lovely people now and were probably just being boisterous at the time. I have three sisters and was not used to boys.

(Note 5) Joe was a one year old, so probably didn’t have the capacity to terrorise with a Christmas theme yet.

Posted in Diaries, Stay Well Soon, Writing

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