Back in June 2013, I introduced the world to ILONA.
And in June 2014, I am finishing the tale of ILONA.
A full year of this story, just like I planned.
But first, an introduction to the who and what of ILONA.
For some years before it hit the world, the concept of The Passport To The Wall came to me. Originally envisioned as a short story, told in vignettes, I quickly began expanding it more and more, until I realized it should be a much much longer narrative. It took me awhile, and all sorts of gentle prodding from Googliebear and various friends, to finally commit to the story of ILONA.
At this point I must admit to a little fib, a bit of dishonesty, a shard of a lie. The Passport To The Wall was always promoted by me as being a continuing story, but that is not the case. I knew from the beginning the journey of ILONA would be 52 + 1 chapters. Yes, you read that right, 52 + 1 chapters. All part of the grand design.
Starting on Friday May 2nd 2014, a six-part story arc will cap off Passport. Titled A FAREWELL TO GRADE FIVE, these chapters will showcase the end of ILONA’s time at SummerFall Junior School. As usual, each chapter will come out every Friday till the final one on June 6th 2014.
When I first talked about Passport, I mentioned that each chapter would be about 1,000 words, and that over time that became another lie, as each part started reaching 2,000 words very easily. With these final chapters, besides all the character moments and storylines converging and different endings coming about, I naturally decided to turn everything up to eleven.
So with that mentality brewing, chapter 50 became a special almost triple sized edition, where ILONA and her friends experience the culmination of so many events, thoughts and feelings. Then, when chapter 52 hits, another triple sized edition happens, with ILONA living with what happens in chapter 51.
Part of the reason I am announcing this now is because of three wonderful things happening at once. First off, to tell the world the end is nigh for the wonderful journey of ILONA. Second off, I always love to celebrate milestone blog posts, and with this one being the 400th here on Scoops Mental Propaganda, I knew this announcement would be the perfect commemorative column. And third off, on Tuesday night at 9:45pm, I finished The Passport To The Wall. It came to 52 + 1 chapters and about 88,000 words. And yes I cried after I finished.
As for those coming in now, let’s back up abit, shall we?
The Passport To The Wall is about a shy, quiet, lonely girl named ILONA who is in grade five at SummerFall Junior School. In the first chapter, she gets her parents, who have little money, to buy her a popular book, which she plans to use to meet a group of girls at school. Because what ILONA really wants is friends.
After meeting and befriending the girls, ILONA starts to learn about the thoughts and feelings and messy chaos having friends causes. She stands up for her friends and they stand up for her. Books are passed around and Geek talk rules. More and more people enter ILONA’s orbit, with tremendous impact to her soul. All part of her new life.
And so many of these people have appeared before. And that’s because they have. Right from the start of Passport, I intended to cross over my other short stories into ILONA’s life. So far, many of those tales have, but expect more as A FAREWELL TO GRADE FIVE soldiers on. Some in very surprising ways…
Now what about the friends ILONA first met?
We have: Cynthia, the leader of the group both spiritually, mentally and all things inbetween. Madison is wild and crazy and wild, and very very loyal. Clara is Maddie’s wing girl, has some extra weight on her, and is a massive Judy Blume fan, Praise Be Her Name! Susan is smart, thoughtful, a Doctor Who fangirl and until recently kept quiet except to her friends that she is a lesbian. Collette is smart, thoughtful, and a Sherlock Holmes groupie, a passion she inherited from her father, who is black.
For an even longer, more detailed, look at the characters, themes, thoughts, and love of books involved in The Passport To The Wall, you can check out my post from months ago, before the massive Merry Christmas story arc premiered. This post is mainly to wet your appetite.
Now to give a quick preview of what to expect in these six chapters.
1. ILONA and her friends will go to the movie based on their favourite book, the one with the man with the trident on the cover.
2. Two characters will receive life changing news.
3. ILONA will be instrumental in another person’s fate in a shocking way.
4. Dating. Need I say more?
A FAREWELL TO GRADE FIVE starts on Friday May 2nd 2014 and the journey of ILONA concludes in The Passport To The Wall.
It’s been a joy and thank you for coming along. And ILONA thanks you as well!
…is currently reading Schultz and Peanuts by David Michaelis