Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Carolyn Scott

Third Advisor

Wanita Zumbrunnen


Coming of age in fiction is a classic genre. Examples of life's hardest lessons learned can be found again and again in novels, movies and short stories. Most of the people in this series are a little older than adolescents, because a lot of the world's most difficult lessons come for many people in their 20s or beyond.

Normally, this type of experience is gained from falling in love, travel, or the death of someone close. Most of these realizations come for my protagonists by finding out his or her worth after the fact. Discovering worth comes from knowing what one is made of, either from dealing with a crisis, or through life's normal experiences. Usually, these experiences precede the lessons of equalization-that is, those that make everyone realize that most of us are on equal ground because we live through and learn many of the same lessons.

The protagonists in this series all share a common bond. Carlos, Ren, Yale, Rita, and the others, al l learn lessons about growing up and leaving innocence and comfort behind. Some of them learn this lesson gladly, and others with tragic results.