I wasn't an especially rebellious child--in fact, I was something of a goody-goody. I didn't misbehave in school, and adult approval meant a lot to me. (Needless to say, this would cause problems later in life--but that's another story.)
But any decent artist has got to rebel, somehow, and my rebellion happened, like most of my life, on the page. I must have been eight or nine, and I wrote a short story in which I used the following series of symbols to express a character's incredulity:
My teacher red-penned it. Not, she said, a valid punctuation mark.
Oh yeah?!!? I had just read it in a Peanuts cartoon. So it must be legit. Nope, it's not, said my teacher. I backed down, erased the two exclamation points and one of the question marks.
But in my mind, I knew I was right. "?!!?" expressed something I needed to express--intense, confused astonishment. Who was this teacher to tell me otherwise? I would remember this years later when a well-meaning copyeditor added about two thousand commas to my third novel, and I nearly tore holes in the paper STETting them back out again. If I say there's no comma, there ain't no goddam comma, Teach!
One of the first things I remember Rhian telling me about herself was that a teacher once told her there was no such word as "gamboling." Needless to say, I know a kindred soul when I meet one.