When last we left off, I still hadn’t started off with the bullet points.
Maybe, crossing fingers, this time I will.
Anyway, as I stated in Part 1, these posts are designed to give the lowdown on what my thought processes were when I was creating The Passport To The Wall. And when we hit the meat of the actual chapters, the plan is to go bullet points just because I am incurably lazy.
So we left off at the other short stories I had written and how they all fit together into the larger tapestry of ILONA.
Four O’clock Appointment with Joy came to me as being an interesting way to look at loneliness and the generational divide. I also knew from early on that Joy and ILONA would have known each other once upon a time, long long ago, and had mostly forgotten. In Passport, Joy, when she was in grade five at SummerFall Junior School, read to ILONA, who was in kindergarten. I thought this would be a fascinating connection and completely plausible since when I was grade five, kids in my class, including me, read to the wee ones. We just didn’t have a couch, so we sat on the floor. I have no memory of the name of the little blonde girl I read to, but I do recall she was quite nice and chatty and listened attentively even when I stuttered. I wonder if she remembers me?
Kimberly and Jason was the only latecomer to the parade. This tale of young love and protectiveness did not come to me till after Passport was already well into development. But when building up Kimberly’s family, I realized I could kill two birds with one stone. I had always intended for one of ILONA’s friends to get a boyfriend towards the end of Passport, and the creation of Luke, Kimberly’s younger brother, fit the bill.
Now with all the short stories accounted for, the question Passport fans around the world are wondering about is will future fiction shorts still tie into ILONA’s life? The answer is yes. Another short story, almost completely done, touches upon the Passport universe, and various other ideas for fiction pieces are under development, also hopefully to fit into the world of ILONA.
And speaking of ILONA. Don’t you just love my segue? I also promised with this go around to give a look at how ILONA was designed.
I already covered the ILONA at the start of Passport, very lonely and very much in pain. I knew that she would have to have repeated a grade, all to create more distance between her and her peers. Grade three was picked because I also did that one twice, and I hate research, so going with what I went through made that pick easy. While that helped shape her, I also had to have a reason why she failed grade three. The death of a baby sister, and how the family had never properly dealt with the tragedy, struck me as a reason for ILONA to do badly at school, and affect her personality for some time afterwards.
Also, the unresolved difficulties of the passing of a family member, especially one so young and innocent, would of course change the parents as well. And the idea that the death had some badness behind it, an unmentioned evil that the parents would feel like they had to somehow fight against, and lose, created a pain for all.
Plus, the financial stresses I wanted ILONA and her parents to have to live and deal with would have already been present before the baby’s passing, and made worse because of the after affects. Kids know about the money situation of their families in they are dire, no matter how much hiding the adults do. And ILONA would be no exception.
Basically, I wanted to pile onto ILONA quite a few psychological problems. All realistic and damaging. All adding up to her disillusionment.
And these issues are things ILONA is partially aware she is suffering from as Passport begins. But only partially. She does not know the terms of what she is suffering from, or all the root causes, or even for exactly how long, she just knows her pain is real. And to her, making friends feels like the right first step to solve… something. And having her own copy of the prized book is a must, all in order to help her fit in more.
Help her heal. Become a different person. Start a new life.
And that’s what The Passport To The Wall is all about.
So with that you now have the blueprint of the creation of ILONA, and when we next meet up here for Annotations, hopefully we shall finally break out the bullet points.
Till next time!
…is currently reading Peacekeeper: The Road To Sarajevo by Major-General Lewis MacKenzie