Twenty

When I was twenty, I returned to college.  I took a semester off when Tomcat was born and transferred my credits from Wartburg to a community college a little closer to home.  I was no longer working toward a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but at least I was still working toward a degree.  As one of my floormates from Wartburg put it, a degree is a degree is a degree.  While it may not be the one I wanted, it’s better than no degree at all.

During my time at MCC, I was selected for their honors program, which left me speechless and flattered (okay, not truly speechless – that’s only happened once, but definitely shocked).  In order to obtain my degree with honors, I had to take several honors classes and attend a certain number of honors seminars, one of which was mentioned here.  I took honors art appreciation, honors music appreciation, and honors American Indian history.  It was either that or honors computer applications.  I thought history would be easier than computer, but I was wrong.

The professor I had for American Indian history was brilliant.

Moving right along

Since the two snippets I’ve posted from my WIP have been so well-received, I think I’ll continue posting them.  It’s fun seeing what everyone thinks so far and hopefully the little teasers will help me to create curiosity about the book so that when it’s done, I’ll have lots of people ready and waiting to buy it.

Okay, that’s all a pipe dream, but hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, I finished writing Chapter Four today and that was when I realized that I never posted anything from Chapter Three.  So, lucky you, you get two bits for the price of one today!

Be orange!

My first year of college was an eventful year in more ways than I had ever anticipated.  I was the only kid in my class who dreaded high school graduation; though I was excited about the new opportunities I would have in college, I was terrified of leaving my friends behind and starting over.  A few people from my school went to the same college I chose to attend and, as a private college, it was much smaller than the state universities so the class sizes were comparable to what I’d experienced in high school.

But I was on my own, for the first time.

Clear the roads!

It used to be that at age sixteen, you could get your driver’s license and hit the road, but when I was a teenager, Iowa passed a graduated licensure law.  What it amounted to was that at sixteen, assuming you had passed driver’s ed when you were fourteen and then passed your driving test down at the DMV, you would be granted a restricted license. You were not allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and six a.m.  You would receive your full (unrestricted) license at seventeen, assuming that you hadn’t been involved in any accidents or received any speeding tickets or anything during the preceding year.

What does all this have to do with a post about the age of eighteen?  Well, when I was twelve, my dad stopped driving and sold our car.  He’d been suffering from seizures (which had been misdiagnosed for years as TIAs and weren’t correctly diagnosed for many more years) that would cause him to lose his vision sometimes, so he voluntarily gave up driving.

Sort of.

Seriously, you can’t promenade alone

For my seventeen post, I’ve got another prom story to tell.  This one is about my junior prom, which was by far the most memorable prom of them all.

Despite this being a more enlightened age, I am somewhat stuck in the past when it comes to who should ask out whom.  Probably this is because I fear rejection and failure and also because I’m a big chicken.  As a result, I waited until the last possible moment to ask someone to prom.  Of course, everyone already had dates by then, so the three people I thought to ask were taken.  Out of desperation, I asked Mr. Junior.  You may or may not remember him from such other prom-related posts as “You can’t promenade alone, can you?”

But first, some back story.

You can’t promenade alone, can you?

And now I’m back on schedule!  Woot!

I was fifteen and a freshman the first time I went to prom.  I can hear it now: “How the…What the…Huh?  Aren’t those for upperclassmen?”

My freshman year, I befriended an upperclassman who asked me to go to prom with him.  I, of course, was flattered beyond belief and quickly said yes.  Since he waited till the last minute to ask me, I scored a great dress for a nominal price.  A couple of older girls took me dress shopping since I didn’t have a car and even offered to do my make-up for me.  Dressed to the nines, I was all set to enjoy my night, despite the fact that we were being chauffeured by his parents because my date couldn’t drive.

Friends and fun – what could be better?
Photo by Kay Kauffman

Here comes Miss Freshman, escorted by Mr. Junior…

Picking up steam!

I broke the 10k mark on my WIP over the weekend.  Woohoo!  I just broke it, but still.  It was enough to allow me to publicize what I’ve written so far on authonomy, which I’ve done now, if anyone wants to take a look.  I’d like to get some feedback on where things are going and how things are developing.  I feel like my writing is stronger this time around, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have a lot of work left to do once the writing part is finished.

If you’d like to check it out, it’s tentatively titled The Lokana Chronicles: Fog of War and you can find it here.  I’m terrible with titles and I’m really not satisfied with that one, but I suppose it’ll do until I can think of a better one (by the way, if anyone would like to submit some title ideas, I’m all ears).

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

 

Fourteen

Yesterday I took a day off from most social media, with the exception of a Facebook post (I heart The Princess Bride!) and a couple of Twitter updates.  Partly I was trying to get caught up on what I’d missed Friday and Saturday, but mostly I was spending a lovely rainy day with family.  I had a productive day, even if it wasn’t exactly productive in all the ways I had hoped it would be.

But!  That was yesterday, not when I was fourteen.  That’s the age we’re up to, as I recall.  Fourteen, what a year.  I was still living with my aunt the first part of that year, but that fall I started high school.  Once again I’d gone from the top of the heap to the bottom of the totem pole.  But with an awesome circle of friends, I was sure it would be a fantastic four years.

Mommy’s big little boy
Photo by Kay Kauffman

Suddenly I’m reminded of those old Iowa State commercials, the ones that asked what you wanted to do with your four years.  Or maybe they asked how you wanted to spend them.  That might have been it.  Tomcat and I saw one once when he was four and he looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I want my four years to last forever so I can stay your little boy.”

But, as usual, I digress.

Entering Teen Town

Ah, thirteen, that magical age that most parents dread.  And with good reason – the teen years are notorious for being way worse than the terrible two or troublesome threes ever dreamed of being.  My teen years were every bit as dramatic as any soap opera, and I’m sure everyone can relate.

An avid diarist, I read back through some of them once some years ago and realized that a.) as a teen, I was truly awful and b.) if my kids are anything like me, my uppance will come.  All my teenage entries were generally some sort of variation on the theme, “Blah blah blah my life is awful blah blah blah everything sucks blah blah blah no one likes me blah blah blah I am undateable blah blah blah my life is over.”

Naturally, being a teenager, there was a whole lot more swearing in there.  There were even some pictures cut out of magazines and taped in for posterity and late-night drooling.  There were also the requisite doodles of hearts and boys’ names.

Not all of this drama was of my own making, however.

Love-Me Plant Lady

I’ve been trying to get a bunch of things done today, so I’ve been ignoring my computer.  When I finally took a few minutes to check my email, I noticed I had a new one from my aunt with some information about where I could view my cousin’s wedding pictures online (I posted a few of them back in July when I wrote about the wedding – you can read that post here).

I just finished looking at the pictures.  They were awesome!  Aaron Borchers did their wedding photography and he did an absolutely fabulous job.  But that’s not what this post is about.  As I was looking through the pictures, one member of the wedding party stood out to me (and no, I don’t mean the bride, though she was gorgeous, or the groom, who looked quite dashing in his tux).

More memories from the year I turned twelve are this-a-way! Follow me!