“You look like you’ve been living in a stables,” Adeline said, wrinkling her nose at Acacia’s never brushed hair and dress that would have been lovely had it not been shredded from climbing the ship’s rigging.
“And you look as though you’ve been vomiting for a week,” Acacia said, grinning broadly. “What ladies we’re growing up to be.”
When I was brainstorming ideas for my honours thesis, my initial plan was to create a discussion around the representation of young girls in middle-grade literature. Although I ended up going another way with my thesis, the idea stuck with me. Specifically, two sisters kept whispering story ideas in my ear.
When I was a young reader, there was not a lot of writing that showed girls as the lead characters in their own lives and stories. Hermione (although more interesting, in my opinion) was a side character to Harry’s story. Wendy lived in Peter’s shadow (the metaphorical one, not to be confused with his actual shadow, who is a sassy bitch). Even Lucy Pevensie’s adventure is commandeered by Edmund, who just HAD to have that Turkish delight.
Although there have been enormous steps made in middle-grade lit since I was a tween, I want more. I want girls to see themselves front and centre in as many stories as boys do.
And so these two girls, Acacia and Adeline, who have been whispering in my ear for almost two years now, are starting to take shape. I am so excited to be actively working on the first draft of the MG story that I needed growing up.
Thank you for 2018.
Thank you, mum and dad, for being understanding when wanted to be a lawyer, then an SLP, then a teacher, then a lawyer again, then a basket weaver, then a basketball coach, then a cat farmer.
Thank you, my friends, for sticking with me through a year of enormous change and for creating such beautiful new memories.
Thank you, to the new friends I’ve found, especially those in the writing community, who have been so supportive of my writing and so inspirational with their own work.
Thank you to the various communities of poetry and writing for accepting me like a new family.
Thank you to the works of art, movies, books, music, poems, and performances of this year, for reminding me again and again of the beautiful things in this dystopian hellscape.
Thank you to the very nice professor who let me move into her basement this year in order to write some questionable poetry.
Thank you to myself. For finishing a degree this year when it was looking bleak for a minute there. For taking a year off to work, and to rhyme, and to go a full month without writing an essay on feminist criticism in literature.
Thank you for 2018. ⭐