Monday, September 19, 2011

Journal Report #3

So, this has been an interesting week for writing. I've read a lot this past week but it's all been homework. One book I read was Missing in Action by Dean Hughes. It's a middle grade novel that I had to read because the writer is coming to speak to us. I say "had to" because it wasn't something I would have chosen for myself, but I'm glad I did. It is a historical fiction about a boy named Jay who is living in Delta, Utah with his mom and her parents. Jay is one-quarter Navajo and has to deal with people's stereotypes about Native Americans. He works with a boy named Ken, a Japanese American who lives in an internment camp. The book is about stereotypes and truth, and most of all being yourself and not being ashamed by labels or what others think. At least that's what I got out of it.

What I liked about the book was that the author sets his story in a small Utah town and his characters are LDS (Mormon). However, the story is not about Mormonism. His characters are people living in a difficult time and their faith does help them, but the author is not preachy or defensive about the use of religion. Neither does he strike against it. Religion is a fact in the story rather than the main point. It's an example, for me, on how I as an LDS writer can write characters of faith without making faith the main theme of my story. Sometimes a story on faith may be appropriate, but when it's not it's possible to write like Dean Hughes.

As for my writing, it's been rough. I've been working on my picture book. It's a lot better than it used to be. Simpler, but better. More like the picture books I read for my other assignments. Here's the opening:

Once upon a time there was a princess who could sew, sing, and paint perfectly. She was also excellent at sword fighting, rock climbing, and horse racing. Her name was Princess Charming.

When Princess Charming was old enough to marry, her fairy godmother left her at a dragon’s cave. “Wait here,” she said. “And a handsome prince will slay the dragon and marry you.”

Princess Charming waited until she was bored and then made friends with the dragon. She didn’t want to wait for a prince anyway.

I also have started rethinking a short story I wrote last year and haven't looked at in a while. I hesitate to say much about it because I might change a lot, but I will say I'm taking a English major's angle on post-apocalyptic themes. It will be fun!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about Dean. He writes the LDS angle well. I can see your PB developing into a princess and dragon relationship. :)