The first thing I remember making dates back to age four. My parents bought me a full size waterbed at that age. They built a wooden frame for it and I climbed inside and made pencil drawings of funny, flower-faced people all over the plywood, underneath where the mattress went. So every time I moved the mattress I’d encounter this bizarro city of people with petals instead of hair and ears.
I always made a lot of publications as a kid—hand-drawn science magazines or mock newspapers pounded out, stream of consciousness style, on one of those newfangled Brother AX-28 typewriters.
I have no idea when I wrote the fairy tale. The syntax is frighteningly similar to how I write today (although, thankfully, I’ve learned to spell a little better),
Finally, I was a nerd and a country girl and wanted very badly to be a naturalist when I grew up, running around with a butterfly net, collecting specimens from tide pools. In hindsight, I think this is a strictly bourgeois, Victorian occupation. I kept illustrated journals of all my fantastically exciting experiments, as all good Victorian schoolmarms do!
Amanda Manitach (www.amandamanitach.com) is a writer and artist based in Seattle, WA. It’s probably pretty obvious that she was homeschooled.