Writing to your audience

I will not mention its name. But you've heard of it. You may have read it, or even seen it. I became intrigued with the hype of a certain book and the questions it engendered. Do soul mates exist? What does it mean to have eternal life? What is evil?

Those kinds of questions which you don't really want to tackle before a good dose of caffiene. Then I saw the lights in the eyes of some people I know when the book was mentioned. I tried to think back to a book that brought that kind of look to my face.

The Scarlet Pimpernel may have been one. I read it in high school and loved it. I also loved A Tale of Two Cities, but that was required reading. I'm not sure that counts. In spite of these two titles I'm not a big historical fiction reader. I picked up A Tale of Two Cities a few years ago, and could not get past the first three pages. Have I gotten dumber since high school? Or does that book just take a while to get into? I didn't stick with it. Why should I? Mrs. Arrington isn't going to quiz me or make me write an essay. Still. I think I want to go back and try to make it to chaper two. But not this week.

This week-today actually-I'm meeting with two other ladies who have also been reading on this unnamed phenomena which as captured the imaginations and hearts of the eleven to eighteen year old female population.

What is bothersome so far about it. It is so H.S. Is this because it was specifically written to that audience? Or is it the writer's perspective and ability which make it a nearly painful book for a nearly 40 year old woman to read? I confess I haven't read much young adult fiction even when I was a young adult, so I may be the last one to judge a book by what is inside the young adult cover. Is it because my jr. and sr. high days were exercises in awkward moments and emotional eschatological immaturity? Everything had the potential to be the end of the world. Oh, the drama!! And it is still that way today. I chaperoned a dance where I witnessed with a full and heavy heart the drama of sixth grade girls flirting and crying their way through the evening. As I have witnessed these children change from August until now, I've noted that whereas the girls used to be...well...girls as they entered the school building, now they tower over the other kids. They can stand nose to nose with Mr. Greene the principal. It's incredible. AND THEY'RE ONLY SIXTH GRADERS!!! Most of the sixth grade boys haven't had their growth spurt yet. I see them eyeing the girls with wary and fascinated expressions. Obviously, they also have witnessed the odd behavior of their preteen classmates. What to do? They don't know. Some boys ignore the girls. Some chase them and listen with gleeful grins as the girls squeal and giggle or else turn around and punch them. They never know what might happen. It must be very exciting.

In actuality not all of my teen years were horrible. Here are a few memoriable happy moments for me:
1. Getting my driver's license.
2. A birthday party at my house in twelth grade. It was laid back and comfortable. I liked the people there and was comfortable with them.
3. Sr. High Prom in which I went with a group of friends. This is when I found out that the word "onion" was a derogatory euphemism for someone's rear. And I think it actually meant someone's BIG rear. Oh, the memories!
4. Jr. High Prom in which I went with a group of friends, including Octavia Spencer who ordered lobster at the Red Lobster and had us all in stitches at her disgusted fascination with the creature on her plate. Who was my date? I'll have to try to find the pictures.
5. Graduation. Even though I missed singing with the choral group I was a part of, I still loved that my family was there as well as some of my friends who drove from Tuscaloosa just to be there. They screamed "ONION!" at a certain point. It wasn't because of my rear end however. I am still thankful for this.

I am sure there are many other happy moments, but what I do note as I reflect on these is that none of these had to do with a romantic relationship. In fact, all of them have to do with friendships. Oh, somebody stop me. I'm about to get sappy here.