Thursday, June 16, 2016

just a girl from Greencastle, Indiana

I have not blogged here for some time. It's not for a lack of something to say, because I'm always full of words. It's usually that I have so much to say, I cannot confine it to a few paragraphs. That's why I write 100K word novels, right?

In any case, it's been a busy and highly sentimental month for me. My oldest son graduated from high school and my youngest son from elementary school. I made the joke on Facebook that I don't know how this is possible considering I am only 29!

But alas, I just heard from my high school friends that it's time to start planning for our 25 year class reunion, which will be next year.

So in my heightened state of nostalgia, I was thinking about my hometown and home state. I haven't visited since October 2013, and until recently had no plans to go back. I don't feel particularly welcome by certain members of my family, but I did reluctantly decide to participate in the Indies in Indy signing next July. So I have been thinking a lot about my homecoming and whether or not it will include a trip to my hometown, Greencastle.

I was also thinking about high school a lot because of my son graduating and because of my impending 25th. Many of my readers may not know that I attended the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, which is a state-funded, residential high school for academically high-achieving juniors and seniors. Not only did I attend (and thus am an official, card-carrying nerd) but I was in the inaugural class.

I remember the local newspaper The Banner Graphic doing a story about me right before I left for my junior year in Muncie. The Banner also did a story about me when I published my first women's fiction novel Green Castles in 2013. I wonder if anyone ever put two and two together that I was the same person?

Now I'm all grown up and graduates of The Academy (as we call it) have dispersed like seeds to the ends of the earth. I think about all the funds that were invested in us and wonder if any of us have considered whether or not the state received a return on its investment. I wonder if people who read about me back in 1990 would think I've done enough now that I'm in my 40's, if they'd think I'm anything special. Have I contributed enough to society using my Indiana Academy education and my degrees from Indiana University through my years working in higher education or the novels I've published?

Because I don't feel all that special or extraordinary. I'm just a wife and mother who works four jobs to take care of her family. I'm just a 40-something who is still plugging away at a dream of writing full-time. For all I know, I'm an utter failure in comparison to other Academy graduates. These are the types of things I think and blog about when I'm supposed to be doing one of my four jobs. (Oops, sorry bosses!)

I wrote a whole book about my hometown, but I still don't know if I've given enough back. Perhaps I will never know. But I do hope when I come to town next year that a few people will come out to see me. I hope a few will have a look at my body of work. I appreciate the few people from the homeland who have supported my writing career by buying my books, following me on social media, or leaving book reviews. It means a lot to me, more than I could ever express in mere words. And words are kinda my thing.

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