Monday, October 01, 2007

Choose Your Own Teen Adventure


JEANETTE LA CHAPELL, 16, is dressed as a 1950’s housewife. In the background the SCHOOL ORCHASTRA rehearses the opening overture to the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Jeanette waits outside the boys’ dressing room clutching a CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY. Out walks DOUGLAS, also dressed in ‘50’s garb. Jeanette has had a crush on Douglas since about Day 2 of rehearsal. Jeanette licks her lips, straightens her apron, takes a deep cleansing breath, and approaches Douglas.

Hey Jeanette, you ready for the final performance?

JEANETTE (Her voice trembling a bit)
I can’t believe it’s over.

Jeanette stares at Douglas. A goofy grin disguises her horror—she has forgotten every word of the beautifully crafted speech that she scripted the night before—a script that would surely end in Douglas asking her out.

DOUGLAS (Giving Jeanette’s arm a brotherly pat)
It’s almost time to get out there. Better go finish your makeup.

The slight scent of affordable chocolate laced with plastic wrapping brings Jeanette back to life as Douglas turns to go.

Wait. (Holds out the bunny) I got you something. Um . . . Happy Easter.

Jeanette gins expectantly as Douglas takes her gift.

DOUGLAS (Smiling)
Aw, how sweet. Thank you.

JEANETTE (looking hopeful)
I’ve really enjoyed being your wife (cringes). I mean, playing your wife (clasps her hands to keep from slapping herself). You have done a great job in the play.

You too (studying the bunny). And hey, this was really nice of you.
MR. OLIVIER, the director, calls a ten-minute warning. Douglas turns toward the dressing room then whips back around to face Jeanette.

Hang on a sec; I want to ask you something.

JEANETTE (Her expectancy obvious)
Sure, what?

I was thinking about this bunny (he holds it up and steps closer to Jeanette). Would you mind if I donated it to a food bank?

JEANETTE (looking at her gift—the one that she sacrificed babysitting money to purchase and spent days deciding on)



The above story is pitiful but true. All but Jeanette’s name have been changed to protect those who have most likely matured since this episode took place.

If you were to compare your life to a movie what would it be?
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Napoleon Dynamite
Mean Girls
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
A Lifetime Evening Movie that tries to squeeze too many issues into one 2-hour story

The truth is our lives are like movies, starring us. Chances are the “genre” changes daily—sometimes a laugh-your-head-off comedy, others days a romance, and sometimes a very depressing Hallmark Hall of Fame tear-jerker. At times you probably wish you could send a scene or two to the cutting room floor. The true is, we can't. We can, however, look back over those moments, learn, and use them to help make the sequel shine much brighter.

Tricia Goyer’s latest non-fiction book for teen girls, My Life Unscripted, uses scripts from her own teen years (both good and bad) to illustrate the difference between a life that is unscripted—one where we make snap decision based on emotions and often regret them later—and a life that is scripted—making choices based on Godly wisdom, strength, and confidence. Incorporating scenes that read like film scripts (starring Trish Valley), screenwriting terms, and elements like character sketches, wardrobe, the “Hero’s Journey,” and villains, Trisha shares her experiences in dating, frienships, becoming a pregnant teen, and finally surrendering to Christ. The stories encourage teens to look at their own choices, friendships, and relationship with God and live a life that is “scripted” like a blockbuster rather than a horror film.

Even as an adult I loved this book! If you have a teen girl on your Christmas list My Life Unscripted is available at Barnes and Noble, Christian bookstores, and on Amazon. Here are some links to get you started.
Link to the first chapter
Buy the book

Now, I bet you are aching to know the fate of Jeanette and Douglas, not to mention the bunny caught in the middle of it all. Well, here’s your chance to try your hand at script writing. Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? So what do you want Jeanette to do? Should she accept Douglas’s plan out of her desperate need for approval? Should she try to convince him otherwise? Snatch the bunny from his hands and give it to Julian who has been flirting with her for over a week? Do you have an even better idea?

Go for it. Write the rest of the scene (leave it as a comment and be sure to include your name and e-mail). Your name goes into a drawing just for giving it a shot. The winner will win a free copy of My Life Unscripted.

Have fun! And don’t forget to keep an eye out for this great book.


Blogger Maridy Carpenter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Maridy Carpenter said...

Oops, messed up on the last post and deleted it. Here's what I wanted to say :)

Jeanette agrees with Douglas because she doesn't want to cause a bigger scene than the one she is about to star in. But she is crushed because her crush sees her only as a friend, or worse, someone to be pitied. However, years later, Jeanette can look back on this scene and see how God worked it all out for the best. And she can now use her life experiences to encourage others who don't see their worth in God's eyes.

You are an amazing woman, Jeanette, and I am so glad that I have gotten to know you a little and look forward to getting to know you even more through the years. to come.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Tricia Goyer said...


Thanks so much for sharing teen years "drama". :)

Thanks also for sharing my book with your readers!


12:22 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

So, Doug says Just kidding! and gives Jeanette a warm smile that makes her melt. Later, when the cast goes out to ice cream, Doug asks her to the next dance.

It's gotta be a happy ending to me...

7:37 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Jeanette,
My name is Sarah and I'm doing a paper on christian teen fiction for my library school, and I was hoping I might be able to email you and ask a few questions. My email is ourlivesonholiday AT gmail DOT com if you would be willing, or my blog is I apologize in advance if this is inappropriate and look forward to hearing from you! Many thanks!

11:46 AM  

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