I found terrifying treasure in my mother's attic. Diaries spanning five or six years of my pre-pubescent and adolescent life.
They are horrifyingly cringe-worthy and painfully nostalgic and in parts hilarious and in others sweetly naive and in yet others chillingly perceptive of the depression I was coming to learn to live with.
And no one else must ever, ever (ever) read them but me.
BUT. They are pure gold for the purpose I sought them out. In my next book the protagonist is a 12-year-old girl, and since it's been a while since I was one of those, I needed some character fodder... And oh, mama, have I got it.
There's bad poetry and notes from my best friend and hangman games with the kids I used to babysit and to-do lists lacking any sort of responsibility and pages spent practising forging my mother's signature to get days off school and pros and cons of fancying this boy or that one and long-gone landline numbers of friends I never speak to any more.
I'm not going to show you any of it. Sorry. No. Fucking. Way. But I am almost certain some gems will find their way into the book... You'll just have to guess which ones are real and which are made up.