Saturday, October 5, 2013

Settling in - Senior Year

I've heard quite a few friends talk about experiencing their "boring" senior year. In society, it seems that the senior year is the final (sometimes not-so-challenging) push of high school before either getting a full-time job or spending thousands of dollars on a piece of paper that claims you know something. So the senior gets to sit back, relax, and enjoy the excitement of his or her future while ranting about how "done" they are with school.
My senior year is pretty non-stereotypical, and I'll admit it's weird to be so off-the-wall different when I talk to other senior friends. However, it's been a great ride swimming against the current!

But what exactly makes my senior year so different? I've tried to outline it for you here:  

1) Sickness

You probably don't know that I've been sick for a long time, as it's not usually something I post about. Because of sickness and some brain issues, memorizing and retaining information has become a big struggle. I started CollegePlus again this fall, wanting to pick up my pace from last year. My coach and I picked some courses for my English degree that don't have a ton of memorization, hoping it would make things easier, and it has! I still need to pick up my pace... though :)

2) College.

Did I say English Degree? Yep. I'm hoping to graduate with my English degree next year or the year after. Meaning, I'm in college and high school at the same time, and while I'm technically a senior, I'm also a college student. So, if I "graduated" high school this year, I'd need another graduation for college next year....and if you know me well, you know I don't want a graduation ceremony at all, much less two of them within a year of each other. So, when people ask the "senior" when she's graduating, my answer is usually pretty complex.

3) Tutoring

Not only am I in charge of my own school, but I'm also a creative writing tutor, so I'm in charge of other students. I did some tutoring last year, although mostly with friends for free or for trade. This time, rather than having them send me papers to edit and grade, I'm actually the one assigning material. Teachers, I have such a high respect for you now. :) I give up a lot of time for tutoring. For instance, today was supposed to be a book planning day, but.... I actually need to scrap that and grade papers, since I was sick earlier this week and didn't get to it.

4) NaNoWriMo

So, if I told you a sick college student and creative writing tutor was going to attempt to write a 75,000 word novel in the 30 days of November, would you think her mad? Yeah, I would too.

NaNoWriMo. You knew it was coming. I wrote my first novel, Rain Dancer, for NaNo in 2011. My second novel, Reaching Home was the product of NaNoWriMo 2012....and my full-time project for the rest of 2012. This year will probably be my last year of NaNo, as I'll be writing professionally from now on.

I actually taught NaNoWriMo to a group of people last year, and I have two students doing it this year. Thus, not only am I doing it, I'm teaching others to as well. Crazy, right?

5) Published Author

Remember Reaching Home, my 2012 project? I signed a publishing contract on that novel with Ellechor Publishing House a few days ago. You can read more about that here. A publishing agreement doesn't just mean my book is going to be produced and distributed across the map. It also means I have a job. I'm working on book covers, promoting and marketing, getting my name out there on a bazillion social networks (hint: follow me!) and planning to edit the 75,000 words of Reaching Home this month before writing the next 75,000 for Kedar's Tower.  This is fun stuff, you guys!

As you can see, my year is far from stereotypical (well, except for the fact that I'm always broke), and I'm enjoying it immensely!  What about you? How is your senior year different from the stereotype?

For the Kingdom,


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