Shelter of Last Resort originally transpired from my Young Adult Novel Class, taught through Bethel College by Professor Kim Peterson. In addition to writing and editing the first 20,000 words or so of the book, I had to create character profiles and get into my character's head by creating a journal. The journal was an account of bits of Jermaine's life that may or may not be used in the book. It just helped me get a better feel for who Jermaine was and what his life was like so I could apply those characteristics and experiences into the book, usually indirectly. Here is an example of some of those entries.
So much death. Jermaine watched the events unfold on the TV. as if they were taking place around him. The continuous popping of the rifles as both sides sought to slaughter each other. He felt as if the bullets were whipping pas this own ears. Men were dying. When a whizzing bullet blew through the brushes and planted itself into real flesh and blood, the noise sickened him
Yet it was just a movie
The courage of the American soldiers seemed foreign to Jermaine.In the heat of battle, where bullets burned and bombs dismembers, soldiers helped their brothers in need. They protected each other. They tended to the wounded. They stayed focused on their mission.
Jermaine wondered if he could ever be that brave.
“Get that dog outta here!” Jermaine’s mama shouted from the kitchen.
“What’s he doin’ now?” Jermaine’s eyes rolled and he made his way across the livingroom. Suddenly a brown and white blur of fur darted past him and up the stairs.
“Finchley!” he shouted after the dog.
“That’s it! One more time he steals food off the table, he’s out on his butt!”
“Mama, he’s just a pup.”
“I don’t care if he’s a pup or a full-blown dog. He needs to learn him some manner.”
The alarm clock set sounded it weak wake-up call reminding Jermaine that the batteries were low. He tapped the back of the clock and sat up. He rubbed his eyes and slipped out from the covers, making his way down the hall. His mama and little brother Kirk still slept.
After reaching the small kitchen, Jermaine poured cereal into two bowls and sat them at the table. He went to Kyle's bedroom.
“Breakfast,” He mumbled as he nudged his brother awake.
Kyle always woke up easily. He popped out of bed and hustled to the kitchen for breakfast with Jermaine following close behind. Jermaine divided what was left of the milk into the two bowls. Kyle grinned a sleepy grin at his brother and grabbed his spoon.
Never a Duh Moment
Sometimes I feel like I am in God's way. For example, if I forget an appointment or miss a deadline. Or when I place great expectations on myself and fall short. Or when I get lost because my sense of direction falters 98 percent of the time.