October 20, 2011

A Small Ripple in One Heck of an Ocean

In Depression Cookies, Krista is a teenager navigating the perils of teenage life and circumstances out of her control. I started writing this book as a new mom and found it difficult at times to make sure Krista's voice was free of mother thoughts.

An excerpt (during a particularly rough teenage moment):

"I was surviving, nothing more and nothing less. This in itself was a small victory. There were many times I felt like nothing special. Have you ever realized it was not the same old robin or mourning dove that caught your eye while you were staring out the window? Usually, it took the brilliance of a blue jay or the sound of a red-headed woodpecker to draw your attention. The other birds flew in and out of our lives with no effect, not even a conscious awareness of their existence. I was starting to view my life this way . . . a small ripple in one heck of an ocean. If nobody remembers you when you’re gone, did you ever really exist?"
Funny how I still struggle with these thoughts and how often I feel like I'm surviving day to day. I say to myself, "If I can get through Tuesday, I'll do something fun." But the commitments and responsibilities just keep on coming. The closer I get to my 40th birthday, 288 days (not that I'm counting), the more frantic I feel about defining myself and embracing life's moments. I thought I'd have it all figured out by now. I don't.

I worry sometimes about letting my more adult thoughts creep into Krista's voice. Mom and I are now writing the follow-up to Depression Cookies which has Krista heading off to college. Krista's voice needs to mature, but to what end? Other than language and a slightly increased ability to reason, and the second increases in very small increments with age, I've come to the realization that our fears and worries don't change a lot as we get older. Actually, the more knowledge and experience we gain, the scarier and more confusing things become.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who feels this way. Do you think your voice has changed much since your teenage/young adult years? How so?

Thanks in advance for comments. We'll call it research for the new novel, but I'm looking forward to the answers on a personal level, too. As hard as it is to question, I don't want to ever think I have all the answers.


Anyes said...

In my opinion, we might be just a draft of ourselves in the early years but around teenage hood (or even a bit earlier)we truly become who we are. As adults our job is to define the lines of our drawings in order to have a clearer picture.
I hope this helps :-)

Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

To be frank, the biggest change in my "voice" from teen years to adulthood (maybe not even as old as I am now) is the focus of my voice. When I was younger my thoughts and views were all entirely about me. As the years have gone by and more responsibilities have crept into my life, I tend to focus more on others.

Julie Glover said...

I passed that wonderful 40-year mark. It was a time of reflection about where I was in life and the push I needed to focus on writing. I do think that we are simply a mature version of ourselves in later life. We always have those 12-year-old or 19-year-old thoughts running through as well. But I can see the long-term, the people around me, and my own strengths and weaknesses much better. I'm more comfortable in my skin now than ever. Hope you feel that way too in 200+ days.

Tia Bach said...

You've all helped me so much. Thanks. I am looking forward to 40, just thought I'd have more of life figured out by now. ;-)

The writing and blogger community I've discovered in the last year has been tremendous and a wonderful way to celebrate my last year at 30-something.