Twelve-Year-Olds on Dangerous Magical Adventures

Writing, writing. Woke up thinking about the middle-grade novel, so I started with that. I’ve just gotten my protagonist back home, and now she has to deal with her parents. It’s always a little tricky, deciding how you’re going to handle that. If the kid going off to have magic adventures doesn’t tell their parents, then there’s all the sneaking around to manage.

And if they do tell their parents — well, what decent parents are going to let their twelve-year-old go off and have dangerous magical adventures?

One solution is to make the parents not decent — they can be absent, neglectful, abusive, etc. So it’s easy to evade them, and if they do find out, maybe they don’t even care. But I didn’t want to write those parents for this book, so Shanthi has to deal with attentive, caring parents instead.

Hence, sneaking around, I think. She’s going to have a helpful grandfather she confides in, which should help later in the story as things get hairy.

I really liked how Diane Duane handled this issue in her Young Wizards series, but I’m not going to talk about it, because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I did make my opening scene of the book a little homage to her opening, because I love that series so much. Deep Wizardry in particular, book two, broke my heart in the best way. If you haven’t read it, go read it — the first book is _So You Want to Be a Wizard_. (Yes, yes I do.)


Okay, back to writing! Plan for today: write for a couple of hours, getting further into this book, and doing some more edits to either the novel or the screenplay of Liminal Space (maybe both?)

Then maybe do a brief midday shopping expedition and get some shave ice, then come back and Zoom teach for a couple of hours, then write more if I have energy, and if not, go to the beach for a bit, let the waves knock me down some more, maybe write more in the evening.

We didn’t get to snorkel yesterday because it wasn’t safe; maybe today. We did get some spectacular pics at Ke’e Beach, and had a great time there — will post more about it soon. Maybe after I write the next scene…


“I’m home, Amma.” Shanthi slipped in the kitchen door, trying to stand in a pool of shadow so the dirt and blood on her clothes wouldn’t be too obvious. She still hadn’t figured out how to explain them.

“Shanthi, where have you been?” Amma had her back to her, stirring furiously. She was in full-on getting dinner ready mode, three pots going on the stove, balls of roti dough waiting to be flattened and pan-fried. The air smelled of onions and garlic and ginger sautéing and Shanthi’s stomach gave a loud rumble – she was STARVING. Which was a little strange, because she wasn’t actually late for dinner – she’d only been gone about two hours total, and she shouldn’t be that hungry yet. But her stomach disagreed.

“Sorry, Amma. I stayed after school to study with Carmini. We have a big math test coming up next week.” Shanthi held her breath, hoping her mother would accept the excuse….


Pictured: More little flowers from around my hosts’ pond.

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