This chapter is all about Jessie. My sometimes ‘favorite’ character. My personal preferences change with each new chapter. After having read this one, I ended up asking myself whether it was possible for a man to really write about a believable young female character.
I work a lot with children, and I also have kids of my own, but does this qualify me?
As you get older you may find, like I have, that the younger generation are quick to point out what they consider failings – slow on the uptake – out of touch with society – coining phrases that no one uses anymore – it’s a lengthy list, and in certain places, I happily agree with them, while silently iterating that this is not a failing but a state of mind. Growing up is all about finding out who you are, right? Well I know who I am – you just described me. (Smile)
But back to the chapter.
This is a fun chapter which reveals Jessie’s close relationship to her WallScreen and at the same time, her experimenting in the world of maturity. It is her puberty. Something the media often presents as a traumatic time – I’ve chosen to show it as something magical. Growing up is not a bad dream. The world around us might be a dreadful place, but this does not mean the world inside the young adult’s mind has to be. There is an awful lot of negative messages about this subject, backed up by just as much data. I do not need to add another distraught kid to the collection.
Jessie is clever (very) but not conceited, and generally good humored and direct. She may know a lot of things, but she doesn’t allow this to stop her enjoying herself. She has a crush on the idea of GoD, a crush inspired and built upon, my own teenage crush for Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie. It was not erotic. It was not physical. It was the last summer of my innocence, and she was my gentle partner. Here is a link to the video – even now, watching it makes me smile. Thank you.
(Disjointed paragraph flow – or mind springing)
Later In the chapter, we learn about how Jessie accidentally discovers the secret tunnel between the levels. Basically she is attacked and falls into it. I had a little bit of fun at this point playing with the many names her attacker has. All lighthearted descriptions. Usually, the names in my books are chosen very deliberately with hidden meanings or reasons. So it was kind of relaxing just to have fun. Jessie’s character inspiring me.
After this, the mood changes. George comes on the scene and so does Evylin. What follows is their discussion about ‘stalking’. When I re-read this section, I really felt I had captured a possible real conversation. It didn’t quite flow but was more disjointed and angular. The one part that left me puzzled and shocked was the story of Evylin’s friend and her stalker. I still don’t quite get the message – what am I trying to say? I know that sounds bizarre as surely, I of all people should know, right? But I don’t. Was he stalking her, or did he just not fit into what society expected? He knew what she liked and showed her, through gifts at Christmas and birthdays. Is this wrong? When did gifts turn to being scary? Who was deciding? It has to be society, right? In the end he killed himself. She wasn’t to blame… She did the right thing… she blocked him before it got dangerous.
Or had she? Are we training our children to block rather than reach out?
It is not this that shocked me on reading this section, but the swiftness of the conversation. The manner in which it was talked about. They stream-rolled over his death.
I know I write the books, and I know I am supposed to know what I am writing, and I do partly. It is just – every act causes a reaction of kinds, and these then cause further reactions. I once wrote a small story about how an acorn fell from a tree and landed in a pool, and how this led to so many other events. This is a little how my writing works. It’s almost as if I were ‘free-writing’ the story and then with afterthought corrections.
Having a glass of wine helps my mind run without any distractions.
So, yes, I do get surprised by what I have written when I read it later, and yes, I did feel sorry for the young boy who committed suicide. He wasn’t stalking, was he? He was just unable to understand the world around him.
I think this inability to understand has shadowed a great part of my life. What I have been taught concerning love, family, and loyalty has nothing to do with the reality I have lived in.
Perhaps this might be the reason my books don’t sell (Smile) simply too disconnected with anything anyone but myself can imagine. That, or they are just poorly written (Huge smile)
Have a nice week!