From the Pages of Mini-Di: First Work of Fiction


And here she is, folks. My first protagonist, created and lovingly illustrated when I was six – twenty-seven years ago. (The rough draft is dated Nov. ’84.)  Big thanks to my dad, for saving these pages for all this time, and then scanning them for me with such care.

I give you…

Rainy Day Cindy.

This is the front and back cover.

Rainy Day Cindy front and back cover
Rainy Day Cindy – “Daddy, my doll broke!” Cindy is always on the go! Cindy also has lots of friends, but no one can keep up with her! First she gets stuck in the rain, then she breaks her doll, then she gets a cold, then she has a special circus birthday party! She always has an open heart! What will Cindy think of next?

I was very disappointed when my mom told me it was the publisher who is supposed to write the blurb on the back of the book. I thought this dynamic hook was the best part! Who could possibly resist reading this now?? And hey – I’ve redeemed my six-year-old self: I AM the publisher.

RDC endpapers

Rainy Day endpapers.

RDC Title page

And Title Page. It seems I was a very thorough little kid.

RDC Dedication

And… dedication. I owed those cats my success. (But his name was actually spelled “Arthur”.)

RDC p.1
One day Cindy was walking down the street when she heard thunder.

Thunder says “BOOM BOOM”. Or maybe that’s Cindy’s giant mouth saying that.

RDC p.2
It began to rain. Cindy got soaking wet.

Remember how hard it is to draw hands when you’re a kid? TOO MANY FINGERS!

RDC p.3
She ran home, got her umbrella, and then ran back.

You’ll notice her hair shrank in the rain.

RDC p.4
She splashed in the puddles. She loved that.

If one of my six-year-old students drew this picture, I’d tell her to go back and fill in those white spaces in the colouring. Tsk tsk.

RDC p.5
When she got tired she went home. When she got home she hugged her mother and kissed her father and went to the window.

Yikes… I can’t tell if she’s wearing pants or not!!

RDC p.6
The rain made funny patterns. Cindy watched the rain for a long long time. By that time mother had gone to the store.

She’s always on the go! See? She’s swinging her feet while she watches rain patterns. Try and keep up with the action.

RDC p.7
Then she got up and watched TV.

This plot is off the hook!!

RDC p. 8
Afterwards, she said “Daddy when is lunch?” “Right now” he said.

I love how she’s so huge, like a linebacker. And Daddy only has one tiny arm, in an inappropriate place, and some swirly Elvis-hair.

RDC p.9
“Yum yum!” said Cindy.

That’s Cup-A-Soup, by the way.

RDC p.10
Time flew and before she knew it she had eaten her dinner! Cindy went to the window just before bedtime. The rain had stoped. Then she got into bed and went to sleep. “Good night, Cindy”

I’m pretty sure I gave up on using a ruler for those text boxes after the first three pages. But the bunny slippers make up for it.

RDC p.11
In the morning Cindy got out of bed went to the window. It was raining again. Cindy said it was sort of boring and it is if you are a girl like Cindy. Later she was playing with a doll of hers when it’s head broke! She yelled “Daddy my doll broke!”

I’m not sure what I meant by “a girl like Cindy”… I think I wanted her to be adventurous. Boy, did she play with that doll! Like crazy!

[Oddly enough, in the rough copy, I did not put the apostrophe in “its head”.]

RDC p.12
Daddy came running. “I came to help” he said. “Good!” said Cindy.

I never broke a doll’s head as a child… but my Gramma Sue did have a doll with a breakable head at her house in Texas. We didn’t play with that doll, but we got to hold her reverently. I guess that proves that Cindy IS pretty intrepid, playing with her breakable doll. Good thing Daddy is magical.

RDC p.13
He fixed it in no time at all! “This was a big day” they both said together! Then they went to bed. “Good night Cindy

That WAS a big day! Almost as big as that other one (with the rain and the window and the TV)!

And there you have PART 1. I hate to leave you at a cliffhanger like this… but I’m afraid you will have to stay tuned for Part 2: the exciting conclusion!



4 thoughts on “From the Pages of Mini-Di: First Work of Fiction

  1. Mama says:

    Oh, ah, the memories! And that was just the start! The later ones – well, I think you’d better not publish those free on the web: you probably have a market for them!

  2. Carol Leigh Wehking says:

    oh, man, i needed a belly laugh! this is so wonderful! i love the way her slip shows, too – probably creative camera angle, eh?
    but the multi-legged bed might just be the best part – next to the ambiguity of “they” went to bed –
    can scarcely wait for the next instalment – is this how Dickens’ readers felt?

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