Well, summer is finally here. Some of you have finished school for the year, and some of you still have a few weeks of term left. Whatever your situation, there is no denying that summer is a fabulous time.
I love spending time outdoors – exploring, traveling and getting ideas for my stories. And when the summer sun is just a bit too hot for comfort, I like to retreat indoors with a book (or write one of my own).
Right now, I’m engrossed in the world of the Scallywags (my latest series). During each blog I will be including a Curious Creature Profile of one of my favourite characters. You can also learn to draw the characters at the bottom of each blog. The pages come from my yet-to-be released book How to Sketch Scallywags. Yes, you get to draw the characters first! Today, the honour goes to Mischief McScruff. Mischief is the hero of the series. Like his name suggests, he is constantly getting up to mischief.
I wonder what mischief you get up to in the summer holidays?
When I was young, my family went on a summer road trip every second year from Bundaberg to Adelaide to visit our relatives. My fondest memory was playing with my cousins at St Kilda Adventure Playground (there is also a St Kilda Adventure Playground in Melbourne). The playground has lots of slides, a maze and … wait for it … a pirate shipwreck!
One year we took wooden swords and shields along to re-enact an epic pirate (or medieval) battle on the deck of the ship. My ballet-loving sisters even got involved. And for those of you who were wondering, dance skills are essential for staying upright on the deck of a swaying ship!
On another visit to the shipwreck, we lugged heavy rocks up the gangplank and threw them into the mud to see who could make the biggest cannonball splat. It was certainly a blast!
In tribute to these summer shenanigans, I have included a shipwreck (the Howling Queen) in my Scallywags series. The ship is guarded by one of the most curious creatures of all, a swashbuckling toucan named Sir Squawk-a-lot. Yes, my decision to lug wooden swords and shields 2,000 km to an adventure playground eventually paid off.
Here is this week’s tip for the budding writers:
A good tale needs a whole lot of trouble! Characters who are naturally drawn to trouble, are great for keeping up the excitement.
As promised, here is the Curious Creature Profile:
- Curious Creature Profile: Mischief McScruff
- Animal: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
- Future Pirate Crew: Sea Dogs.
- Strengths: Great nose for sniffing out trouble. Detective skills. Resilient.
- Weaknesses: Constantly getting in trouble. Often eats his own homework. Dodgy dancer.
- Likes: Freshly baked dog biscuits. Bones. Helping his friends.
- Distinguishing features: Newspaper hat with changing headlines. Scruffy ears.
- Favourite saying: ‘Soggy dog biscuits!’
Feeling creative? Why not try to draw Mischief from the pictures below?
Until next time, keep cool and keep reading!