Dear Journal Chapter 2

Submitted by Damaris Ann on Thu, 07/16/2015 - 02:43

June 12, 2009
Dear Journal,
I made two new friends at the park this afternoon. They were a brother and sister named Josh and Kelly. Josh is 16 and Kelly is 14. They're homeschooled. I figured out that they live three houses down from mom and me so they invited me to hang out at their house tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours. They have a big pool so we'll probably swim. And Josh said he'd teach me how to skateboard. He's pretty cool.

June 13th, 2009
Dear Journal,
I had a really good time at the Gray's house (that's Josh and Kelly) today. Their mom made cupcakes for us while I was there. They don't mind that I don't have a dad. They invited me to go to church with them tomorrow and Mom said I could. They don't have a youth group at their church; I think that will be nice. I'm sick of the silly kids in my youth group. They're all fake, and they laugh at me for wanting to learn more about the Bible. The Grays think it's really good that I love God and love the Bible.

June 14th, 2009
Dear Journal,
I loved the Gray's church! It was wonderful, and everybody was so nice to me. The pastor was preaching on marriage and "courtship". I had never heard of courtship before. It was different from what I used to think but it made sense. After the service I heard Josh talking to a couple of his friends about dating and courtship. Josh was mostly arguing with a guy named Carl because Carl thinks dating is dangerous and that (what he called) "superficial relationships" are against the Bible. Josh was getting angry because he thinks dating is good. He has a girlfriend named Courtney. She's nice but she seems too quiet for Josh. He's pretty goofy. Mom said I can go again with them next Sunday. I'm glad.

June 21st, 2009
Dear Journal,
It's been a busy week! Mom had the flu from Tuesday to Friday so I had to cook all of our meals. I love cooking but I don't have much experience. Two nights in a row we had to eat cold cereal because I burnt or dropped the food. I felt bad but Mom said it was okay. She reminded me that the best way to learn is through experience.
I went to church with the Grays again today. The pasted have the second half of his sermon on marriage and courtship. It was really good and it gave me a lot to think about. I told mom all about it and showed her my sermon notes. She said she wished she knew about courting when she was my age. But she said that God always knows best even if His timing isn't the time we want. I love Mom. She's such a wonderful woman.
After church today Josh and Carl discussed the sermon again. Josh went away mad and in the car he told me that Carl is a "prude" and that he doesn't want to be friends with him anymore. I like Josh a lot but sometimes I think he isn't very mature.

June 27th, 2009
Dear Journal,
Today was Josh's birthday and he had a small pool party at his house. I felt really weird because before I thought my one-piece bathing suit was modest but next to the other girls' suits it looked pretty skimpy. Courtney and Kelly were wearing one-piece suits but the rest had on knee-length dresses over leggings or else long loose shorts and a tee shirt. I asked one of the girls (I think her name was Bekah) why she wore her swimsuit like that and she said it was because she wanted to glorify God by what she wore, and that she believed it was more modest that way. I had never thought about that before. I thought I was modest but I think that if I really looked at myself as if I were standing right in front of Christ I wouldn't wear half of the things in my closet. It gave me a lot to think about. I told Mom about it when I got home and she just looked at me for a bit and then said "You are so wise for your age. Always do what is right before God, even if I tell you something different." She said she would go through her closet, too, and see about what she should do differently.

Author's age when written

Well, I tried to give a better picture of where I'm going with this story. :) And I wrote a longer chapter. :) Let me know what you think!


Hi Damaris! I read this and went back and read the first chapter. This is a nice setup, and I love how close the main character is with her Mom. I can really relate. There are just a couple of suggestions that I have.

Most of this is leaning towards "telling" versus "showing". That's something that's really hard to master--the art of showing--and especially so when you take on a "dear diary" type of story. A journal is pretty much just telling. But, since this is a book, I think you can take some liberties.

In the first entry, you pretty much just summarize her meeting with Josh and Kelly. Instead, why not have Kennedy recount their conversation? Dialogue is a great way to show instead of tell, and it allows you to slip some subtle things in about a character. Like, for instance, as Josh talks to her he could be "pushing his skateboard from hand-to-hand". That lets us know he's a skateboarder, as well as maybe a little energetic. Subtle cues like that really do a lot for a story!

I like your development toward Kennedy being more religious, but I think that could be done in a subtle way as well. Instead of saying what happened on the June 14th entry, she could maybe start by musing about courtship. For example:

"So, I learned about something new today: courtship. It's kind of strange for me, something I never even considered, but..."

So on and so forth!

This is good! Please keep writing! :) I hope you don't mind my suggestions.

Thank you for your comment, Homey! No, I don't mind your suggestions. :) Kyleigh had mentioned before that I tend to show more than tell. I guess it's my writing style. :P But it is def something that I need to work on! I'll look at it and keep your suggestions in mind.
Thanks again!
Stay blessed. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Interesting story line, I'm keen to read more! I like how Kennedy is growing nearer to God and that she is actively learning how to be a woman of God. I am enjoying this a lot :) Please write more!

Do Justice//Love Mercy//Walk Humbly

I really enjoyed this second chapter! I agree that more showing would be good, but I just found some old diary entries the other day and they are written just like this style! I think you have Kennedy's "voice" fairly nailed down. At her age, I think you could write it either way. She could be more "here's what I did today" or more contemplative and include things like dialogue and what she thought about it. As long as your consistent, I don't think it matters too much for this story, just more personal preference.
I definitely enjoyed seeing Kennedy thinking about things, but I would suggest perhaps a bit slower of pace for her (this is just a personal suggestion, you don't have to take it). As a 14 year old and with her "wiser" personality, I think she might consider things a bit more. For instance I liked when you said if she had to stand before Jesus that she would not wear half of what was in her closet. This was a great way to show the reader why she made her decision to be more conscience of what she wears.
I want to hear more of her thoughts about the courtship/dating thing. You explained how Josh and Carl argued about it, but not about Kennedy's interest/confusion/fascination/curiosity about it (whatever emotion you wanted her to feel). It feels a bit rushed to me in that area because Kennedy hasn't said how she feels about the subject (other than say she hadn't heard of it before and it made sense to her. Perhaps explain why it made sense to her vs. dating) That's just a few suggestions. Sorry if this comment doesn't make a whole lot of sense because I am running on little sleep today haha! Blessings to you as always!

"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! I had wondered if it was bad penmanship or personal preference to do more showing versus telling, and you just cleared that all up for me. :) I really appreciate it. :)

As for the dating versus courtship part, I was preparing my readers for later happenings in the story. :) I'll be touching on that soon.
Thanks again!! I always love your comments. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.