We have a very interesting English class. We do a fair bit of creative writing, which makes great blogging subject matter.
For instance: We’ve written short stories, written poetry, watched Star Trek, written and designed picture books.
And now we’re doing a small unit on Myths and Legends. And World War I.
Shouldn’t World War I be in history? No, it’s English. You see, we’re reading a book called Soldier Boy, which is about the youngest ANZAC, a fourteen year old boy. Disturbing, right? Especially considering I’m fourteen. I’d rather die than go to war (no wait…that doesn’t sound right.) Changing. I’d die if I went to war. It’s like The Hunger Games. I’d never make it past the cornucopia.
I find Gallipoli and the whole ANZAC thing creepy and terrifying. The fact that there was a fourteen year old there…and he didn’t even die fighting! He died of Typhoid. On the way home.
Our teacher is having us write a journal. It’s to be the story of a soldier or nurse. Written like a journal. Fun, right? I have these amazing plans for an entire novel. Only one problem. I don’t write historical fiction.
Trust me, I’m not opposed to writing historical fiction. I quite admire historical fiction writers. Why? Research. I have the patience of a…flea. I can sit still, I can work hard. But research? Worst assignments ever.
I don’t think my brilliant novel idea (that doubtless won’t get finished in class) will ever end up a real book, simply for lack of research and historical accuracy. My research so far consists of class brainstorming, snippets from the movie Gallipoli (which is quite funny), and a booklet on Gallipoli sitting on my desk, waiting until the murderously hectic period of exams is over so I can read it.
But I am excited to try a new genre. I mean, it’s new. And my idea is pretty cool if I do say so myself. At least people in the class had the same brilliant idea the moment the teacher said “soldier.” Girl pretending to be a soldier? Let’s go Mulan style! Unfortunately, when a boy asked if he could do that, she said no, just soldiers and nurses.
And so comes into being Letter to Elizabeth.