Fallen Redemption was the first novel I wrote with the hero as the main character. Since my previous novels were all heroine centered, I figured getting to know Emma would be an extremely easy event. It wasn’t. She was stubbornly silent the first few months of pre-writing.
This was one of the first pre-writing activities she completed for me. Below are two pages from her diary. And although she didn’t talk directly to me, I still learned a lot about her character.
September 8, 2009
Jenny’s crazy. She has another blind date on Friday and, yet again, is trying to get me to go with her. She’s really excited about this one, too. I just don’t get it. What’s there to be excited about? Pounding heart, sweating palms, frantically trying to fill the silence about something other than the weather. And then the guy ends up being a loser who still lives with his parents or some psychopath. I will never go on a blind date. A real one would be bad enough.
In one of her attempts to coerce me into going, she reminded me, oh so casually, of what I tell my students: Never allow hard work or fear to hold you back. My response: I stuck my tongue out at her. Something I learned from Jamie Henderick almost every week last school year.
Her words struck a chord anyway, especially when I think of the closet in my front room filled with emotions that I allow to hold me back on a daily basis.
I’m still not going on the date.
October 14, 2009
I love my kids! Tina Kansicowski gave me a big hug and a “thank you, Ms. Monaco” after class today. She’s been having a hard time lately. Her parents are getting a divorce. She’s been coming into my classroom during recess and after school to hang out. It’s something I allow all my students to do whenever they want.
I try to teach my kids that anger, stress, disappointment, and all other hurtful emotions can be expressed physically with a canvas and a paintbrush. It’s an outlet I use on a daily basis. Most of the time it seems like they don’t even hear me, but then I get that one student. . .the feeling is indescribable.
I did the right thing by becoming a teacher. This is where I’m supposed to be.