My nine-year-old daughter has been writing short stories for years. I find them laying around the house on loose sheets of paper. Last year, the recurring themes were: adopted kids, twins, adopted twins, and puppies. Lately, she has been campaigning for her own room. She is into mystery books. And she would like to get rid of her 3 siblings, so siblings aren't portrayed very well in her recent stories. She's also going through a stage in which she feels like a martyr. The first signs of puberty. She disdains all things "princess-y," in reaction to her sister, Emma, who is a very "girly" girl. I think it's hilarious to see all these life attributes come out in her writing. Here's a sample that I found in the kitchen this morning. I corrected spelling and punctuation, but everything else is as she wrote it. Oh, FYI, she NEVER actually finishes a story. My name is Stephaney Williams. Most people, like my best friend Martha Arches, call me Steph. Only my older sister, Jennifer, calls me Stephaney. And she bosses me around. Mom and Dad make me do whatever she tells me to do. Martha and Duffy, my golden retriever, are my only friends. "Stephaney!" my sister called. I ran across the hall to my sister's room. "Stephaney, paint my nails sparkly red," Jennifer ordered. I knew I had to paint her nails. I have to file them so they're the same length, then get a tub of hot water for her to soak her feet in. When I finish her fingernails, I have to get another tub of warm water and massage her feet, then paint her toenails. And her feet really stink! "Stephaney, get me my red underpants, sparkly red dress, and black sandal high heels." I stood around and gave her a towel after her shower. Then I had to paint her nails again. Then I had to put her hair in a bun and leave two strands hanging down to braid and bring them back up to the bun. Then I put a crown in front of the bun and put on her shoes. Then I went down to my room and took a shower. I changed into my pajamas, and was just about to read a Trixie Belden mystery book, when the phone rang. My phone, actually. I have my own phone number. "Hello," I asked. "Hi, Steph, It's Martha. We just got another case." "What is it this time?" I asked. "Well, down in the woods, this guy has been hijacking loads. Appliances, toys, school supplies, clothes, and animals," replied Martha. "Well, I'll call Sam, then bring Duffy down to Pine River. Okay?" "Sure. I'll meet you there." The End. We'll probably never know the fate of the hijackers.