Recently, I was cleaning out some drawers, and came across the very first fiction pieces I wrote. They were for children, and I received rejection letter after rejection letter. After those failures, I’m not sure what gave me the courage to attempt writing a novel for adults. Twelve years, five novels later, and I’m reading these old stories. One about a boy who gets stuck in a newly constructed sidewalk. Another about a girl attempting a rain dance to save her mother’s vegetable garden. They are not great, but not all that bad. And in ways, they were the start of something.
Here’s the first one I wrote. I researched the origins of the foods mentioned, and thought it would be a unique take on a counting board book. I still think it’s cute.
What’s in the Pot?
One brave bunya nut leaps into the pot.
Two jalapeno chillies shout it’s hot, hot, hot!
Three timid artichokes hide behind the spoon.
Four old rapini stalks compose a silver tune.
Five carefree fiddleheads sway to the gentle beat.
Six clever snakebeans lurk beneath their feet.
Seven hairy melons, do they need a trim?
Eight portly damsons hang so plump and prim.
Nine black-eyes peas shoot out a glassy stare.
Ten pretty ginger roots fan the steamy air.
Eleven noble cabbage heads proclaim, “What is this fuss?
Forget about those soup bowls, you may drink a tea with us.”