4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
In second grade, we were reading a book that mentioned Kittiwakes, a type of seagull. I don't remember exactly how the assignment was set up, but we were supposed to write a story, and I wound up with a bit about a little baby seal named Kittiwake. I think (I hope, maybe) my parents may still have a copy hiding in their house somewhere, but the story went thusly:
Kittiwake was a baby seal, blind from birth, who could see because he had a magical amulet that granted him sight. One day, his necklace broke and, unable to find the amulet, he wandered too far from the shore, getting lost in the forest. (I'll remind you I was in second grade, so the idea that a forest would be too warm for a baby seal hadn't occurred to me yet.) He was frightened and began to cry, until a tree took pity on him and called out to Mother Nature for help. She answered the call, appearing and healing Kittiwake's eyes so he could see without the amulet, and helping him get home to the sea.
Makes you a little misty-eyed, doesn't it? I'd really love to find that story, if it even still exists, and post it up. Funny enough, I was telling my husband about it just earlier this evening, and made note of the fact that even as a child, I loved stories of magic, and thought Mother Nature could fix anything if you knew how to ask her.