Monday, 28 July 2008

Finding My Inner 8 year-old—More Bogies, Farts (and a Rat) - Lucy Coats

I am a 47 year-old woman (or is it 48?—I never can remember, being well on the way to senility). I am unlikely ever to have been an 8 year-old boy, at least not to my knowledge. However, like Lynn Huggins (see Bogies, Farts and Poo blog below), since I have started writing a series of books with an 8 year-old male hero called Shazzam Smith, I have found my head filled with a kind of sniggering glee at the thought of farting, snot, slime, pooey pants and all things vile and disgusting. My teenage children are horrified at the sight of me howling with laughter as my jet-propelled dandie dinmont terrier parps his way round the kitchen (looking terribly surprised and embarrassed as he does so). Apparently I am something called ‘sad’—though I feel quite the reverse. In my current mood, I’d make them both apple-pie beds if we didn’t have duvets.

Added to this, normally I am like any sensible woman. I hate rats. In my former middle-aged existence, anyone who owned a rat was slightly odd, bordering on insane. They bite (don’t they?), they like eating disgusting stuff and are dirty—I mean, look at most of the rat population in Ratatouille. But Shazzam has a white rat called Pocket (that’s where the rat lives, see?). So now I’m forced to admit, having done some research, that rats are clean, intelligent, loving and really rather nice. My 8 year-old boy self really really really wants to own one. And secretly, I wouldn’t mind either, apart from that long pink tail which looks like a worm. I’m still iffy on worms, I’m afraid. Although that may have to change.

Yesterday I did a nose-picking experiment. My 47/48 year-old self was horrified and disgusted and wanted a tissue and a lot of soap right away. My inner 8 year-old giggled and chanted, ‘Pick it, lick it, roll it and flick it!” I think this is what actors call ‘method’, and I have to tell you that so far I am enjoying being a grubby delinquent more than I can say. I have no doubt that I shall be snortling at the ‘s’ word soon. (For those without kids, that’s What Parents Never Do because they’re too old and it’s revolting!) How my husband takes this remains to be seen. Perhaps his inner 8 year-old will emerge too, and we can chortly evilly together as we make mud pies to throw over the wall at passing cars. Then the children would almost certainly leave home in disgust. This will save a lot on food and fuel, great in this new world of credit crunchery, however much I would miss their lofty teenage pronouncements.

I may have second novelitis (see previous post), but this new departure into younger fiction is giving me a new lease of writing life. Long live ye bogies! Hooray for poo!


Candy said...

people who write for older readers have NO IDEA what writers for younger readers have to do. great post! great blog!

Lucy Coats said...

Thank you, Candy. Glad you appreciated the rigorous research I do on behalf of my younger readers! ;-)