Hi everyone! Today we have PJ Sharon on the blog. She's the author of Heaven Is For heroes, On Thin Ice, and her upcoming novel Savage Cinderella will be released in Spring 2012. Welcome Ms. Sharon!!
Hello Dea and Teen Readers' Diary. Thank you all for hosting me today. Since your blog is all about teen readers and diaries, I thought I would talk about how teens decide about their mode of written communication.
I was about ten years old when I got my first diary. Of course, that was back in the dinosaur age before PC’s, e-readers, or even cell phones! A few of my friends had diaries too, but none were as committed to writing every night like I was. My diary had a lock and key which I thought was just the coolest thing—especially because it kept my brother from reading about my most embarrassing moments. I filled the pages with scribbles, doodles, and drawings, as well as sharing my deepest thoughts and emotions with my pen and paper. My mother never said anything, but I think she must have appreciated my persistence in filling those pages, because every Christmas, I got another diary to start my new year off. I still have those diaries and can’t believe the drivel, the secrets, the drama, and the stories I wrote between those pages.
Later, in my twenties, I got back to writing, but by then I called my little notebooks Journals. This was way cooler than keeping a childish “diary”. And “journaling” was all the rage. It turned out to be a really helpful way for me to express myself through some very difficult times. I wrote heart-wrenching poetry to help me through a few bad break-ups, and I wrote some short stories which later prepared me for writing full length novels and publishing.
Now that computer technology has evolved, my time is spent blogging and writing Young Adult fiction rather than keeping personal journals. But I felt so strongly about my journal writing experience, that I made my character in ON THIN ICE keep a journal. I have Penny write in her journal sporadically throughout the book because I wanted to show that the thoughts she shared with her journal were much deeper than even the thoughts that she acknowledged as the narrator of the story. Penny’s first journal entry is where the book starts.
I’m a liar. I know it, I hate it, and I can’t seem to help myself. I feel the lies piling up as if I’m being buried, each one a stone that keeps me pinned in a shallow grave.
God knows I have my reasons for hiding from the truth. Truth is hard and ugly. The lies are easier. As Mom gets sicker, my world grows smaller and the lies grow bigger. The uneven ground beneath my feet leaves me unsteady, and I’m waiting for the earthquake that will disrupt my life and change it forever.
At school, I’m expected to get all A’s. On the ice, I’m expected to pass tests, compete, and win. At home…well, I’m expected to be strong, help out, take charge, and be an inspiration—like one of Mom’s Celine Dion slit-my-wrists songs. If I am “Perfect Penny,” maybe everything will be okay, but I know that I’m lying, even to myself. Because no matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough to change the truth.
Writing down our thoughts lets us express the deepest parts of ourselves, even the parts we don’t recognize in ourselves. I’m always surprised by the profound words that come out of my head and onto the page when usually, what comes out of my mouth is so much less so.
Whether you blog in a public forum as I do, or if you keep journals or diaries like Penny, writing down your thoughts is a way of immortalizing yourself in the moment. The written word is so powerful that it can change the world—like the Bible, America’s Declaration of Independence, or even the birthday card you write to your mother that brings her to tears. When we write, we make our thoughts and ideas a permanent record in the world—a record that we were here.
So tell me, teen readers, do you keep a diary? A journal? Or do you blog?
Visit PJ Sharon on these sites:
On her Website: http://www.pjsharon.com
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
Follow PJ on Facebook: PJ Sharon Author Fan Page
Follow PJ’s Promotional blog @ http://pjsharonyawriter.blogspot.com
Follow PJ’s Tuesday blog @ http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com
Follow PJ’s Friday Healthy Teen Tips blog @ http://yabeyond.com