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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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childhood hobbies

So I made my first Bad Purchase on eBay.

Bolstered by my success with buying a copy of The Borrowers as well as a harp music book on eBay for extremely reasonable prices, I bought a Mulan DVD. It arrived in perfect condition, sealed, and the title on the DVD was Mulan...but it was a Mulan ripoff version, animated, but not the Disney version. fault for not reading the description closely enough, and for not asking the seller detailed questions about the product.

Recently finished Michael Crichton's Airframe, which was a quick and entertaining read (I made a point of reading most of it while in the airport and on the plane). I have an autographed, handwritten letter from Michael Crichton from years back when I was writing to my favourite authors. Also have one from Stephen King (typed letter with liquid papered mistakes, written before he became really well-known), Zenna Henderson (long, handwritten letter), autographs from Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Marion Zimmer Bradley, others.

My other two childhood hobbies were (1) collecting stamps (don't we all?), and (2) editing a family newsletter called Family Weekly, which I forced my sister and brother to contribute to, and that I taped up on the wall of the upstairs bathroom (because I knew everyone would see it there). I guess I've always had the editor's bug in my blood since I can't remember a time when I haven't been the editor of some newsletter, even when the circulation was only one. :-) Family Weekly was a pretty elaborate affair, considering the venue. I'd include exciting local news ("We had pizza for dinner!" "Ruth's teddy bears were hanged!" etc.) as well as cartoons (I drew a comic strip about a baby called Boppy. I have no idea what I called it Boppy.) and contests with prizes. My dad still has a bunch of issues in his basement; I'l have to dig them up and scan a sample for the Web.

Oh wait, I remember another childhood hobby...collecting spoons. My family used to go on long car trips every summer, across Canada and the United States. During that time, I used to collect tacky little souvenir spoons geared towards the tourists. My Yellowstone Park spoon had a bear on it, for example (or was it a geyser? I can't remember). I was very proud of that collection. Mom used the spoons when visitors came for stirring milk and sugar into their tea, and that made me even prouder (since it was obviously an *important* hobby). :-)

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