Inspiration to write another book zapped me again. And it was kind enough to provide a title before I ever wrote a word–A Voice Among the Thorns. Scenes and characters crowded my mind and I couldn’t wait to begin writing. I knew making the main character, a seventeen-year-old girl, “real” was going to be a challenge.
I think the essence of “girl-hood” is the same from one generation to the next. Feeling disconnected. Navigating relationships with boys. Managing hormones (actually do we ever learn that?). Struggling to become independent from our families. Dealing with the pain this separation causes. Most importantly, learning to make choices, some of which will affect lives forever. I lived that–I can write that.
But, I also live in a bubble and I’m technologically and socially network (or social-networkcally?) stunted and I haven’t been seventeen since–let’s just say it’s been a while.
I could write a book about a seventeen-year-old listening to Backstreet Boys on her boom-box, playing Pacman at the arcade, wearing a banana clip in her hair, and watching My So-Called Life on TV. (These examples are used only for the purposes of illustration. I didn’t like the Backstreet Boys or play Pacman. I did love banana clips and boom boxes’). I could use words such as, “cool,” “totally” and “foxy” (granted, before my time). But the character in my book lives in 2011, so the details of the book should be up-to-date. Something I am definitely NOT when it comes to high-school life.
I started my research on modern youth, by reading a YA book that’s very popular today. There was only one mention of music and it was about Pink Floyd. Definitely not what I was hoping for. I thought about just listening to girls when I was out and about–how they spoke, what they talked about, what they wore. But that would be just a little too creepy for me.
So, I decided to start another blog specifically for girls. I could ask questions and get input and ideas on everything from clothes to relationships to the meaning of life (that one should be interesting). I even found a way to make surveys for girls to take. Naming the blog was easy: A Voice Among the Thorns. Getting girls to participate may be another story.
I’m excited to see where it all leads. And I figure if girls don’t participate, I can always set the book in the 1980’s. Maybe the girls of today just want a story about the good old days.