Saturday, October 26, 2013

April Brucker Wrote a Book

This past week has been a time warp. I have found myself back in my hometown for a book signing event. I have been writing since I was a little girl so maybe this was a reach, but maybe it was also expected. High school was the best and worst time in my life. It was good because I love learning and had some terrific teachers. It was also horrible because well, kids can be cruel. So there you have it.

Friday I went to speak to some classes at my old high school. One class was a journalism class, the other creative writing. When I walked into school it felt like a scene from Peggy Sue Got Married. Except I didn't hit my head and wake up in math class to find myself receiving a pop quiz. Instead, I was greeted by some familiar faces of people still working there which was nice. Still, it was surreal. Some of the teachers I had retired. My old high school, a set of buildings, has been ripped down. Now it is one big building that looks akin to a small college.

The first class I spoke to was journalism. It was taught by Mr. A, who is a former cross country teammate of my sister's. This was crazy to see him teaching and to hear he is married with a baby on the way. Nonetheless, things have changed for the better. Now the journalism class is the newspaper. To boot, these kids were really stoked about writing. Plus they really liked Mr. A. When I was in school the journalism class and the newspaper were two separate animals. Thus why our newspaper never came out. Now the paper comes out, kids write, and they are enthused about the process. It was beyond a pleasant surprise. It was refreshing.

I found myself interviewed for the campus TV station the next period by a student journalist. A cute girl with blonde hair and glasses she reminded me of myself at fourteen or fifteen. Like her, I was a history buff who loved to write. The tech ed teacher running the media center was also my sister's classmate. Unlike the olden days when the media center was located in the library building, it was now its own animal. We were sound tested and off to the races we went. There were television kiosks in the hall as well. My high school indeed had come a long way.

The next class I spoke to was creative writing. They too were stoked about writing stories and such. These kids had a lot of questions, which was good. We talked a lot about writing, publishing, and marketing. Their teacher had covered these topics with them as well. Again I was pleasantly surprised. This was not like this when I went to school there. We spoke about writing your truth, writing what you know. We also spoke about how to compose, start, and finish a book. These kids weren't just excited about writing, they wanted to be informed. It was another refreshing surprise.

Despite popular belief, this generation is not screwed. High school has changed. With all the attention coming to bullying, now kids seem kinder with each other. The world is different now. It's a good thing.

I found myself giving these kids a piece of advice I wish someone would have given me at sixteen. That piece of advice is to be nice to yourself. Yes, be kind. Reward yourself after you show up for your art by writing daily. Don't beat yourself up and expect everything to be perfect. No adult ever said that to me growing up. Maybe, just maybe, if they had I wouldn't have been such a basketcase for so long. I found once I stopped beating myself up I got so much more done.

Today I did my book signing which was really exciting. Saw a lot more people from my past. My third grade teacher came which was exciting. She was the woman who really turned me on to reading and writing. I wrote her a nice message in the front of her book. She is a wonderful woman and I am grateful and blessed to have known her. However, somethings never change. No matter how many times I write a man's name on my notebook he never returns my phone calls. I still hate math. Oh and my handwriting still sucks.

So yes, Peggy Sue Got Married.

And April Brucker wrote a book

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

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