Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Childhood Writings by Priscilla Brown


 He almost runs her over, she breaks a shoe in a drain.

What else can he do but play Prince Charming?


I'm an author of contemporary romantic fiction; I've recently discovered my first interest in 'published' writing was in a small way not far from the genre in which I now write. My brother while clearing out his attic went through numerous boxes containing items which belonged to our mother that he stored when widowed several years ago she moved from the family home to be nearer to him (I live in a different country). He had never looked into any of these, until this day when he took from a larger carton a shoebox marked PRISCILLA, the box with an illustration of child's sandals. Interested, he found not sandals but several yellowing sheets of paper cut, not torn, from an exercise book and covered in handwriting, and sent them to me. The handwriting is that of a child who has learnt a simple cursive, so I guess I was about nine or ten, since on starting high school I deliberately changed this style that I considered childish, and developed a personal one.

These pages are from a weekend 'newspaper' written for our family, proud editor Priscilla Brown. This is the only extant copy, and perhaps the only issue ever. Reading it now, I smiled at my book review of the Children's Encyclopedia, which I patronisingly referred to as 'also suitable for adults'. I wrote a Woman's Page (at this young age!) where I described how to paint designs on salt and pepper shakers - cheeky from someone who has never had any artistic ability. I'm intrigued by what appears to be the first few pages of  'a new serial by the editor'; to my surprise it's what today we might describe as a historical romantic crime. Set in the 16th century, it portrays a heroine falling in love with 'a very wicked man'. I would have liked to read Next Week's Chapter. This brief excerpt makes me wonder what kind of children's story I had been reading. I still have several books dating from my childhood (amazingly, I did date them), but they are all what could be termed classics. Perhaps others I may have acquired or borrowed from the library were not judged by our parents as suitable for a supposedly well-educated young girl. Actually, I do recall hiding in a corner of an infrequently used room to read...I wish I could remember what it was, but I bet it wasn't Dickens or Charlotte Bronte.

My venture into creative writing did not survive high school; sadly, this was not on the curriculum, and there was no time outside study. Once, however, an English literature teacher wrote 'Very creative' on my work, accompanied by a zero mark. This sarcasm was a consequence of my response to the essay topic 'What does the poet mean by...' Never enamoured of poetry anyway, I wrote 'I have no idea and as he's dead I can't ask him.' Stupid question.

And then, from this somewhat unfocused background, as an adult I found my place in authoring contemporary romance.

Here's to many happy reading hours, love Priscilla 


  1. Interesting. I wish my mother had saved some of my childish story writings. Keep writing

    1. Thanks Janet, from adult hindsight I guess many of us wish our parents had kept more of our 'stuff'. Best wishes Priscilla

  2. Precious childhood relics. Mine have been lost while traipsing around the world. Very little can you carry in a suitcase. But I remember my writing works were always philosophical essays for class. My literature teachers loved me, but I knew what they wanted and served them the sappy moral, philosophical, or even patriotic writings they craved. They ate it up and gave me straight As. In secret, I was snickering and writing a book about how to run a country. Because, evidently, those in power weren't doing a very good job of it.

    1. Vijaya, shame your 'relics' are lost, from adult perspective would have been fascinating to read your book on how to run a country! Also your made up philosophical essays loved by your teachers, good you got straight As for these. Thanks for your interest in my post, regards, Priscilla


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