Encounters with the Writing Process
| Oct. 5. 2013
Protagonist background story
At my 2013 NaNo novel’s real time, Ariadne will be 53 years old. She wrote this letter at the age of 17 when she was graduating from high school. Chances are, neither this letter nor Miss Hoobler will be mentioned in the novel, as many waters would have passed under the bridge by then.
May 21, 1975
Dear Miss Hoobler,
I am so blessed to have had such a fantastic art teacher like you during the time I have been a student in Rocky Road High. I am writing to you with tears in my eyes because, of every wonderful person in my life, you have been the one who was most aware of my need and desire for art.
My work may never be ready for fine galleries, but just the magic of creating a vibrant, meaningful, color-laden piece makes my heart flutter. Thank you for understanding my feelings and honoring me as the artist of the year in the school fair, not just for one year but for all the four years I have been in this school. And I learned so much from you, how to see three dimensional shapes in all forms, the application of light and shadow, contrast, pattern, color, texture, scale, temperature…I could go on and on.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to pursue my passion for art. This doesn’t mean I will stop drawing and painting. Quite the contrary. I promise you and myself that I will not let go of this love.
Do you remember my stepdad Clifford Wieland from the parents’ day? I believe he thanked you for the valuable time that you spent with me, but he also said he had been training me for bigger and better things, which you might not have liked much. He didn’t tell me what you told him, but I’ll always remember you advising me to go after my passion.
It is true my first passion is art, and if my situation had been more favorable, I would have loved to study it professionally, but after several long talks with my stepdad, he told me my obligations to the family business came first, the Kinney & Russell Co., which my father, may he rest in peace, founded. As I am the only young heir to the company, my stepdad had been training me so I could manage the company and look after my family’s interests. If you may recall, that was why I was spending every school vacation in New York City.
I have to admit, I find Kinney & Russell’s challenge and my internship there intriguing, though not half as much as I enjoy art, but then, my duty to my family has to come first, as everything has a price.
Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for encouraging me and finding me that wonderful scholarship in the Art Institute of Chicago. My heart broke in pieces when I had to turn it down. I’ll probably never ever get a chance like that in my entire life again, with or without a scholarship.
I am probably being ungrateful when I think the kids who have little or no means can easily grab at such an opportunity at an art school--any art school--are more fortunate than I am. I hope I don’t sound like a rotten person here. I know how lucky I am for the lifestyle my family has provided me, and I accept my duty toward them and the company my father founded, where my stepdad works as well.
I hope I’ll see you and say my final goodbye to you at the Graduation, next week.
Thank you again for everything, Miss Hoobler. I hope all your students recognize what a wonderful and caring teacher you are. I will miss you greatly.
With much love,
Prep Contest Promp:
"Write a story about your protagonist that takes place outside of your novel"