The Lost Manuscripts: Here’s an idea for Mother’s Day!

So my early childhood writer self did not, in fact, remain limited to fantasy stories. Nope, I also decided that it was my destiny to be a self-help/instructional writer as well. So today we are visiting my short essay on a project you can do with everyone in your life. In fact, I highly suggest you do this as a unique Mother’s Day present this year. I remember my mom loving things like this when I was a kid so why shouldn’t she love it now that I’m…not as much of a kid on the outside? Try it and see how speechless you can make your mom!

And as usual, unless they really make me cringe I’m writing these verbatim so remember that my spelling and grammar have improved somewhat since I was ten.


(By SJ age ten)

This is how you can make your own silly looking animals. You will need paper, a pencil, and some crayons. First, get out one piece of paper and fold it in half. Second, think of two animals, like a camel and a dog. Next, draw the first half of an animal on one side. Then, draw the last half of the other animal on the other side of the paper. Now, unfold the paper and see your silly looking animal. Finally, color and name your animal.


Man, wikihow here I come! What amuses me about this is that I was so procedural. In an ironic twist of fate when I was eleven (a year later than when this was written) we had a class assignment that was similar where we had to mash-up animals and name our creature. In that instance everyone in class did the two animal thing and I think I actually may have put together the parts of like forty different animals and written a whole dissertation about the creature’s habitat, food habits, and hobbies. Don’t ask me what in my brain changed from age ten to age eleven, but apparently I decided that typical methods were not for me within that time! I wish I still had that picture – it was a riot. All I remember was that it was some sort of four-legged thing with a giraffe neck and part of the head was like a gator with these really shiny silver teeth because I was in love with my silver crayon and I may have tattooed its butt like a My Little Pony. So compared to eleven-year-old SJ, this ten-year-old version is truly the lame how-to craft book author version. But since your mom may not want a forty-animal hybrid picture for Mother’s Day, or in the event that you’re not feeling comfortable with being that off-the-cuff, I suggest with sticking with the tamer version. Though I would write a little poem to go with it and sign your name at the bottom – moms dig stuff like that. Add some flowers picked from your garden (especially dandelions) and you’re golden! And in the event if your mother is not thrilled with receiving this sort of thing on her special day…well…remember that this advice is coming from my ten-year-old self via time travel and scrapbook.

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