Dear Daughter and/or Son,

Hello. I hope that these letters find you in good health. At the moment, I am fourteen years old, and I hope to become a writer. After reading an article in a certain literary magazine, I decided that writing these letters would be beneficial to you and possibly me in the future. I suppose I should start by telling you a bit about myself.

Well, I am about 5'1", with shoulder length dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, glasses, and somewhat pale skin. Both of my ears are pierced, and I hope to get them double-pierced sometime in the near future. I am not very athletic, as I prefer to spend my time reading, writing, or playing video games. Some video games that I enjoy are: Baldur's Gate, The Sims (with all expansion packs), Zoo Tycoon, Final Fantasy, PokeMon, YuGiOh, Black & White, SimCity, 1602 A.D., and others that I am not able to remember at the moment. The books that I like to read e mostly fantasy, sometimes science fiction, and almost never non-fiction. I am also enamored with manga (Japanese comics), and I hope that in your generation people will not be labeled as 'geeks' or 'nerds' simply because they enjoy manga. I would like to learn to speak Japanese fluently so that I can live in Japan for a few years. Sometimes I am more in favor of Japan's culture than my own, and it pains me that I am not able to go to Japan, even for a visit. My favorite artists are Amy Brown and Watase Yuu, even though my mother doesn't approve of some of their art (she is a strict Christian and does not approve of nudity, swears, sex, violence, blood, and many other things. Because of this, my entertainment (TV and such) is restricted and closely monitored). My favorite radio station is MIX 92.5, but I enjoy all kinds of music.

Did I mention that I am extremely shy? It takes me a few weeks of knowing someone before I'll talk to them. Because of this, many people think that I am a snob. For some reason, they also think that I am mute, so they are always shocked when I talk.

I have a twenty-month-old brother named Benjamin who is extremely cut and gets a lot of attention. I am not jealous in the least; as I said, I am very shy, so if I ever got even half of the attention that he gets, I would most likely either faint or throw up on the spot. I also have another baby brother, Brandon, but he has never lived with me, and I haven't seen him or my biological father in about seven years. I think Brandon is about ten years old now, but I am not completely certain. I do miss all of my siblings very much, but until I am eighteen, I can't do anything about it.

I harbor a terrible fear of dying, and I must always keep my mind busy, or else I will think of death and have a panic attack.

I recently discovered that I am lactose-intolerant, which means that I can't eat/drink dairy products. On a less vague level, that means that if I eat cheese, butter or ice cream, or drink milk, I will get a severe stomachache. If I continue to eat/drink dairy products once I have a stomachache, I suppose I would throw up. But as I haven't thrown up in at least four years, I cannot say for sure if that is true or not.

Right at this moment, I am eating cheddar-flavored Goldfish and drinking lemonade. A very odd combination. They do not taste good together at all, and I do not recommend that you try it. My mother has just finished washing the dishes, and now she is playing with the leftover water in the sink. No, I'm kidding. So far as I know, she doesn't do stuff like that.

I am afraid that I am not very good at writing pieces like this, so one can only hope that I will get better with time(like cheese. Or a good wine).

If you are anything like me(and let's hope that you aren't), then you are not actually reading this, just skimming the pages until you find something better to do. When I am given a work of non-fiction, I do not actually read it unless it is something that I'm very interested in. I will read the interesting parts, and then just skip over the rest of it. On the other hand, if you hand me a fictional piece, only the direst of emergencies can pry me away from it until I'm finished.

Ever since I was a small child, people have told me that I am an excellent writer. I have never believed them, telling myself that I am actually no good, for many reasons. The first: I can never seem to finish a story that I've started. The second: while I am working on one story, I will get an idea for another and start that one, forgetting all about the first. And third: the only people who say I'm a good writer are people who are close to me, people who wouldn't want to hurt my feelings.

I do not plan on getting married and having kids of my own. For years now, I have planned to live with a friend and adopt children from cruddy orphanages. That's right, cruddy orphanages. Most people only adopt kids from nice, high quality orphanages, and they don't realize that usually it's the kids who are in shabby, run-down orphanages who need your love the most. Sometimes I think that the only thing I'm good for is to love and support the people around me. My philosophy is: Why bring more kids into the world when there are already so many who don't have homes or families? At the same time, I do not approve of abortion. Why kill an innocent baby when there are people like me who are willing to adopt them? I mean, if you don't want the kid, then you shouldn't be getting pregnant (or having sex at all, really) in the first place.

Now, about my school. It starts at 7:40 a.m., so unless I need to tale a shower, I wake up at 6:00 a.m. I don't actually get out of bed until 7:00 a.m., but not many people know that. If I have to take a shower, I have to get up at 5:00 a.m., and if I am still in bed at 5:30, I just give up and try to go back to sleep. We have six periods, about fifty minutes each, so we get out of school every day at 2:10. Three of those periods are classes that we only have for one semester.

Unlike some people, I support gay and lesbian marriages, because if Americans have all this 'freedom of choice' that the media keeps harping on about, then people should be allowed to marry whoever they want and have the marriage be recognized by the government as legal. I do not (and have never) condone racism, sexism, or any other kind of prejudice.

Most of my mother's side of the family lives in Rhode Island, while my stepfather's family lives in Michigan. The only exception is one of my aunts, who lives a few miles away from me. I live in Poulsbo, Washington. Before I lived here, I lived in San Diego for a little over a year, and before that I lived in Rhode Island for my whole life. Poulsbo is a small town (so small that my mother says it's too small to even be a town; she calls it a village), and there is never much to do. Nothing exciting happens, and almost everyone lives within walking distance of their friends, the public library, the school, and the grocery store. They are building a Wal-Mart over by one of the highways, but it won't be finished for quite a few years. Until it's completed, we have to drive to Bremerton if we want to shop at a Wal-Mart. Or anywhere besides Albertson's, Rite Aid, and Six Star.

I only have two friends, but, now that I think about it, one of those friends is a fair-weather friend, and I don't think that fair-weather friends count as true friends. So looking at it that way, I have one true friend and a lot of fair-weather friends.

Yours Truly,

Mina