Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Stained Glass Summer: Where Did You Get the Idea?

on January 3, 2012

The idea for STAINED GLASS SUMMER occurred when an artist friend gave me a broken piece of glass which she had found in a dumpster. That night, a tough teen-age girl character, who wore all black, showed up in my room. She sat down, tossed her black boots over my blue and white striped chair and said, “Hello, my name is Jasmine, and it is time to write my story.”

Over the years, that tough teenage girl character revealed herself to me through multiple drafts and revisions. By the time Musa accepted STAINED GLASS SUMMER Jasmine was no longer a “tough” character. She was a girl who is devastated when her artist Father, who she adores, abruptly leaves the family, and she believes that if somehow, someway, she had done something different, he might not have left.

The tough shell exterior is not something which is unfamiliar. In the Denney Juvenile Justice Center  poetry workshop, so often, in the beginning of the poetry workshop, I am greeted with a hard shell attitude.  It’s the same one I first encountered in my character Jasmine. I’ve learned from the teens in detention that the hard shell hides a hurt and vulnerable inside. And that by the end of the workshop, that tough teen will have written a poem which blows us out of the water. I’ve learned from Jasmine that, sometimes, I have to rewrite and rewrite the story many times before the character reveals her true self to me.

Jasmine wants to be an artist and spends the summer on an island in the Pacific Northwest learning glass art. A few weeks before the release of Stained Glass Summer, I participated in a glass art workshop with the teens in detention. The workshop was a part of the Reclaiming Futures Program which encourages community connections between teens in Drug Court and community members. Snohomish County Juvenile Court is creating a program in which the teens experience workshops with different types of artists called PAIR–Promising Artists in Recovery. At one point during the hot glass workshop, I looked down at the floor of the hot glass shop, and there were the same pieces of glass that my friend had given me so long ago.

I felt as if Jasmine had joined us at that workshop.


3 responses to “Stained Glass Summer: Where Did You Get the Idea?

  1. Now that is some cool research – being able to work with stained glass. My ex-brother-in-law creates stained glass art and it’s so beautiful.

  2. Mindy Hardwick says:

    I actually had a really hard time with the stained glass class! But, I think I could get into blown glass!

  3. […] pictures about my books. I show the kids the glass art pieces which inspired STAINED GLASS SUMMER (you can read and see those pictures here), and I show the kids the stained glass I made in the class I took while researching the […]

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