From the Editor's Desk

Actually, I'm not the editor. I'm just a journalist. But anyway, here's what I'm submitting to my school's newspaper this month. It's my thoughts on my school and leaving for college and all that (there will probably be more of these as college approaches). Enjoy :)

I vividly remember my first day at my school when I came in third grade. We arrived on campus at 7:28 a.m., and my dad waited outside with me until the bell rang because I did not know anyone. Later that day, I met G.C. Our first conversation went a little like this:
    “So tell me about yourself,” she said.
    “There’s not really much to tell,” I answered.
    Word of advice to people trying to make friends: try a little harder than I did.
    Ten years later, however, I can now confidently say that I have much to tell. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior; I have published a book and am working on editing the second; I have developed an interest in photography; I have had my share of broken hearts; my brother is married; and I am attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA this fall.
    Yes, my life has changed drastically since my tentative arrival to BCS, and I truly believe my time here has blessed me in an extraordinary way. I have made friends with whom I know I will keep in contact long after graduation. I have learned more about God than I thought there was to learn, and many of the lessons have come from my peers. I have seen His forgiveness, His mercy, His love, His sense of humor, and His majesty reflected in the people around me, and I have become a much stronger Christian and better person because of the lessons I have learned.
    So how will I cope with college next year? Actually, it’s this year; I’m still getting used to the idea that I’ll be in Virginia in less than eight months. How will I be able to form new friendships as strong as the ones I’ve forged here? BCS has been my home for ten years, and the thought of never attending school here again is a very strange one indeed. This school, these people, these hallways -- they’re basically all I have ever known. August will bring new faces, new places, new hallways, and new lessons. A new chapter in my life will begin, one that will not be as long as the BCS chapter, but hopefully just as rich and blessed.
    Because one thing will not change when I graduate and drive the 2 fourteen-hour days to Virginia: God. My friends will all go their separate ways, my parents will remain in Texas, my brother and sister-in-law will probably be in Germany, and I will be on my own for the first time in my life. But God has been the one constant in my life; He has never changed, nor given up on me, nor been farther than a whispered word away. He knows what lessons are waiting for me in Virginia. He knows in what ways I still need to grow (and there are many). He knows who will make the best roommates for me. And so I can rest assured that no matter what happens, He will be by my side.
    I will miss my friends dearly. I will miss my school and all its oddities that only fellow BCS students can understand (the randomly dispersed cardboard cutouts of Elvis, Michael Jordan, and Jack Sparrow). I will miss my teachers. I might even be able to bring myself to miss Texas and its bipolar weather.
    But I am excited for Liberty. I am thrilled at the thought of living on my own and being able to leave my shoes lying around wherever I want. I am eager to gain more amazing friends and learn from knowledgeable professors.
    More than all that, however, I am impatient to grow as a person, to seek and study and nurture the woman God intends me to be.
    When I come back and visit, I’m convinced I will have amazing stories to tell about my friends and my professors and all the misadventures at Liberty. And I hope I will be wiser, more patient, more passionate, more bold, more creative, and more in love with my God than ever before.
    Thanks for everything, BCS.

Book Three Begins! (Again)

If you didn't already know, Book Three has been finished since before Young Falcon was published. But since I just finished rewriting Book Two, many things in the story have changed, so Book Three must be rewritten, at least partially, to accommodate these changes. I think the last half of it will be fine, but the first half I've never been overly fond of. It'll be good to rewrite it and finally get a beginning I like :) 
       Still waiting on my reviews from PG13, A.M., and T.C.—I'm hoping they'll be great reviews that I can post everywhere! :) After that, I'm going to send requests to some fellow authors and see if they'll review it for me, so I can put those on the back of Book Two when it's published. I'm intending to put part of a review from either PG13, A.M., or T.C. on the back, just to have a peer's review there along with some older, more experienced people.
       I'm super excited for Book Two! I hope I can get it published before I head off to Virginia, but we'll see. God's timing is perfect, after all, so whenever it's published is when it was supposed to be published :)

Last Finals of My High School Career!

Unless something goes horribly wrong and I have to take a final in the spring. Which I doubt. But yes, I powered through my physics final today, and I'm gearing up for humanities and pre-cal tomorrow. Friday is the last day of school, and my last high school finals of all time! I can't begin to describe how glorious this is. From what I've heard, college finals don't sound too bad, so it's not like things are going to take a nosedive after I graduate. 
      So yes -- I'm celebrating my last finals ever with G.C. and N.B.; we're going to see The Desolation of Smaug on Friday. It shall be epic.

Officially An Adult ...

Well. Today is my 18th birthday. Very odd. I remember thinking a few years ago, "Wow, I'm going to be EIGHTEEN in _____ years!" Now that I'm here, the thought isn't any less mind-boggling. Since when did I get this old? I don't feel old. But realizing I'll be 20 in two years is really quite disturbing. In no way do I feel ready to be an adult and do adult-like things. But it's exciting too, because I'm totally ready to be an adult! At least, I'm excited to move on. Being a kid was nice, but I am excited to see what's next. I'm definitely anticipating college with much enthusiasm. My 10 years at my school and with my wonderful friends have been the best years of my life, but ... the time to move on is quickly approaching, and I look forward to it eagerly. I probably won't feel this way when I'm on the road to Virginia next August, but for now, the school year can't be over fast enough :) I don't know. It's just a weird time. But fun, definitely fun -- now that I've been friends with these people for 10 years, I know them so well, and I know most of us will be friends long past high school, so that's encouraging. 
     Ah, well. We'll see what happens. Come what may :)

A Brief Update on Book Two

There's not all that much to report. PG13, A.M., and T.C. are reviewing Book Two to make sure it's appropriate for my intended age range (and that I didn't embarrass myself with a bunch of glaring errors), and my mom is editing as well ... though pretty much all she does is have me change a word here and there so my meaning is more clear. Once she finishes, I'll give it to my principal, who used to be a professional editor, and she'll read over it as well. And then I can send it to my REAL editor, Julie, and the publishing process shall begin :) I have book events/signings coming up for about four weekends in a row -- one of which is the Gathering of the Scottish Clans, which I attend every year anyway -- and then some various holiday bazaars and events. So yeah, that's where Book Two stands right now. 
      Hope you're all having a great week!

It is Finished

Book Two is finally finished! *rejoices* It was a long, sometimes hard trek through atrocious fourteen-year-old writing, but my second book is now completely rewritten, and I've already got people editing it :) I'm shooting for its publication summer of 2014; hopefully sooner! Pray all goes well (and quickly), and that Book Two can far surpass Young Falcon! :)
      Have a great week!

First Quarter is Almost Up ...

Where has the time gone? The first quarter of my senior year is two weeks away from being finished. I'm not sure how this is possible, and I've been wondering whether or not I somehow time-traveled in my sleep. It literally seems like we just started senior year, and now I'm already a fourth of the way finished with it. So hard to believe. 
      I'm super excited for college, but it's also hit me lately that this is my last year at home, with my friends of 11 years, with my parents, with everything I've ever known. Next year, there will be new people, a new home, a new state, a new school -- nothing will be the same except my memories. It's a difficult thought, I admit, and I'm a bit sad that the first quarter has gone so quickly. Right now it seems like it can't go fast enough, but I know that when I'm headed to Virginia, I'll want nothing more than to be back at BCS with my friends. A Trace Adkins song comes to mind: 

"You're Gonna Miss This"

She was staring out that window of that SUV
Complaining, saying I can't wait to turn 18
She said I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said I was just like you

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this ...

That's not all of the song, but that's the part that really hits me right now. I will miss everyone next year, even as I make new friends. I'll miss my school and my teachers and everything they taught me. It's a hard thought to wrestle with, and I hope you'll pray that I can come to terms with all of the changes that will be happening after senior year -- and even the ones that are taking place right now. Growing up is scary and exciting and strange, but I know there is one thing I can always rely on: God and His faithful love and constant presence. Even though everything else will change next year, He will always be the same, and that's very comforting. People come and go, places change, we get older, but God is always God, and He is always loving and ready to defend me from whatever bad things come my way and wanting to teach me to rely on Him. So I'm not worried. Scared and excited, yes, but not worried, because my God is definitely big enough to help me adjust to all the changes next year will bring :)

Page 388

I'm on page 388 of Book Two (which is SUPER close to the end), and I can't even begin to describe my excitement. After two years of rewriting this thing, it's almost finished, and it's so good! The difference between the quality of YF and Book Two is amazing -- which is not to say YF is horrible or anything, I just mean that if you liked YF, you will LOVE Book Two! :) I'm incredibly excited for you all to read the next part of the Sons and Daughters saga; it will be well worth the wait. 
    On another note, senior year is in full swing, and we already have a ton of homework. Fuuun stuff. I'm so looking forward to college. At this point, senior year is literally just for getting my last credits for graduation; other than that, it's completely pointless. Which is slightly aggravating. But I get to go to Italy with my class for the senior trip, so that's exciting. Shamefully, I've never been out of the country before :( 
    Anyway, Book Two is nearly completed, and I have several YF book events coming up, so I shall return with details on those later! Hope you're all having a great weekend! :)

Senior Year Begins Tomorrow

School starts tomorrow. Let's all pause for a moment of silence. I'm not ready to go back. At all. Mostly because PG13 won't be there, and I'm going to be so sad. But also because I have to take Economics, Pre-Cal, and Physics. Right in a row. My life = horrible. Maybe it won't be so bad. I'll enlist G.C. for help   >:)  But I AM super excited, because this is my last year of high school, and next year about this time, I'll be heading off to Liberty in Lynchburg, VA, an awesome school I can't WAIT to attend!! I'm just really excited for the next chapter in my life; I love Brentwood and the people there, but I'm totally ready to head for college. I used to not even want to go to college, and now I can't wait :D You guys who get to go this year are lucky. But anyway, you college freshmen people -- have a great first year in the outside world, stay safe, and do great things :) We're going to miss you, but I know you are all going to do amazing things and change the world!! 
      Have a great last day of summer!!

Awesome Day at the Lake!

Today was AMAZING! So let me explain what went on before today: Mrs. G sent some of us an email, asking us to attend a secret party for PG13. This was about two weeks ago. A week ago, PG13 -- who was completely unaware of this, by the way -- invited the same people to a party that she had planned, which was supposed to take place the day after the real party. We were all very amused and pretended to go along with it, and we succeeded in fooling her :) So we met at our school this morning, drove out to the lake, and hid in the boat to await her arrival. She was told they were going to a family reunion. We popped out of the boat, shouted, "SURPRISE!", and truly surprised her. It was AWESOME; her face was priceless :D Then we had a great day of skiing, tubing, and food. It was great to see my now college-freshmen friends again and to hang out with them one last time before they head off to school. I'm definitely going to miss them! 
    Hope you all had a great day too! :)