This is a page from my writer's notebook back before the story for What Can't Wait even existed, back when I was just doing exploratory writing to find my way into the characters.
People often ask me, "how much of your life is in What Can't Wait?" Usually I end up talking about how many of the stories came from my students and why it's dedicated to them. But stumbling back across this page--what I imagined as Marisa's longings--makes me realize that there is plenty of me in Marisa.
Of course, there's probably plenty of you in her, too. Because what she wants is pretty universal, no? I think this is why readers from walks of life quite different from Marisa's can still relate to her. What she wants--when you peel back all the layers of local experience, family, culture, and circumstance--is what most of us want.