December 20, 2014
Charlotte's Hope is proof any project undertaken by friends can be completed. In 2007, three teenage girls decided it would be a grand idea to write a book together. Each girl loved to write and each was working on one (or more) writing projects of her own. They wanted to encourage one another and keep each other accountable to write faithfully and improve their craft. They began having their “writer’s meetings” (WM’s).

Emails flew back and forth between the three girls. Abi typed her ideas for the new book in blue and nicknamed herself Dotty because she liked to trail off her thoughts . . . Ashlyn typed her ideas in purple and dubbed herself Winky for her signature winking smiley face. ;) Jana typed in orange and called herself Diz because she had a flair for the exotic and made Abi and Ashlyn dizzy with plot turns. 

Amidst these colorful emails, the three girls could not help but pour out what was going on in their lives as they worked hard to make Charlotte come alive. Lying on their stomachs on the carpet of Ashlyn’s basement bedroom, the three girls passionately tried to solve Charlotte’s story, their own problems, and the problems of the world during their writer’s meetings. They lay on the floor because sooner or later they would end up there anyway from laughing so hard together.

A 2007 Writer's Meeting in Jana's room.

Ashlyn’s younger sister Makenzie and Jana’s younger sister Kristen tried to keep the trio from becoming stuffy, house-bound writers. They kept the mood light with mash-ups of discussions about which pronoun should be used in a certain sentence or whether or not Charlotte was too boy crazy or not in that scene. They teased the trio mercilessly for falling in love with Tomas when he banged open the door with wind-blown hair. Or for taking 20 minutes discussing how to dress Captain Rio. They brought the trio snacks. Once a special treat was brought to Jana – a chocolate delight (Jana’s favorite). She bit into the delicacy only to find a mint square hidden inside (Jana hated mint).

Seven years passed. Jana had already graduated from high school and entered college. Ashlyn and Jana went on a missions trip to Mexico. A boy named Brandon was on the trip too. Ashlyn started courting Brandon. Ashlyn graduated from high school. Abi and Jana went on a missions trip to Mexico. Abi’s uncle Ben was on the trip too. Jana started dating Ben. Jana married Ben. Ashlyn married Brandon. Abi graduated from high school with Jana’s sister, Kristen. Ashlyn and Jana had baby boys, born only one month apart. Abi moved across the country with her family to Idaho. Jana struggled with serious health issues and found herself mostly on the couch or in bed. She used the downtime to make Charlotte dizzy again. Abi went to Bible college. Ashlyn had a baby girl. Each girl self-published one of their own stories. Kristen and Makenzie went to college.

Through the seven years Charlotte’s story morphed more times than could be counted. Characters and scenes came and went. Much time went by between WM’s. Combining three writing styles, the melodramatic flavor of teenage girls, improved writing skills, and life made the three girls despair that Charlotte could ever be finished.  By 2014, it had become a matter of principle. Charlotte must be finished, if for nothing else than that their efforts and perseverance would not be wasted!

Of course, Abi, Ashlyn, and Jana hope that you will enjoy this colorful little story. Writing it together was a sometimes difficult, but laughter and fun-filled process. Each girl grew in her writing abilities as they wrote, and each one grew spiritually as the three encouraged one another as friends. May Charlotte’s story encourage and inspire you as well!

About the Authors:

Abigail Prigge, author of One Summer's Desire, has many wonderful memories of pursuing the project Charlotte's Hope as a trio. She treasures the time spent with Ashlyn and Jana at these timeless writer's meetings. She enjoys skiing, reading, camping and card-making.



Ashlyn Busenitz is now married to the love of her life and is the mother of two. She loves being a mom, working and helping out on their family farm in Kansas. But one of her most loved pastimes was writing. She thanks God for Jana and Abigail -- two of her dearest friends, and the opportunity to write Charlotte's Hope with them. She has also published a book of her own -- The Silver Locket






Jana Busenitz is the author of Faith in the Fury and Canyon of the Cross. Some of her fondest memories are of writer’s meetings with her dear friends, Ashlyn and Abigail. Jana loves to write, travel, serve others and spend time with friends and family, especially her husband Ben and son Josiah.

4 comments:

  1. What a neat undertaking, Abigail, and what a great memory with your friends!!

    Tammy Stalcup

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tammy! We certainly enjoyed the process. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. YAY! So glad you finished this exciting project. What special memories and a wonderful story I'm sure. Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes with us! Thankful for you, Abi. ~Cassidy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Cassidy! I'm very thankful for you too.

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