College and Stories and Trees, Oh My!

Man, last week was crazy. I didn’t give much of an update, but I have a good excuse! I was away at College and I didn’t have time. Well…. Okay so I wasn’t really at “college” – it was more like a workshop at a college. But I had classes and tests and stuff….. So it still counts! I was attending the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop at ABAC down in South Georgia, and it was amazing. So much happened in those few short days that I could write a book about it. Really, with just a little bit of artistic licence (not much is needed) it could be a really awesome book. I’ll just stick to some of the highlights.

 

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(A view of the college at sunset)

It was all very exciting, though the only down side being how busy I was. On the long bus ride there I got about 1,154 words written, and then 231 more one morning when I woke up early. But sadly, nothing after that. Besides, I think my alter ego, The Mouth, was jabbering on so much that my Thinking Cap would’ve bounced right off anyway.

I finally got a taste of what classes and regular “school” is like. There was sitting in classrooms, making friends (although I do that anyway), eating at a dining hall, tests, the stress that comes with the tests, and even a bit of drama. After all that, I have just one thing to say… THANK GOD I’M HOME SCHOOLED!!

If I were in high school, I would be way over stimulated all the time. There would be too many people to talk to, and it would be very hard for me to chill out and collect my thoughts. I would have no time because I would be stuck in a building ALL DAY doing the SAME THING week after week. Oh, and worrying about a test on something I may not care all that much about, no thank you. Plus after all that, I’d be too exhausted and have no time for writing. Things are so much simpler when I can simply learn and explore the wonder that is the world around me.

Regardless, it was a fun and very interesting experience. I learned a lot about trees, the natural world and what it takes to care for it. And I even got to sit in desk chairs for some of the classes. I’ve always wanted to use one of those!                                                   Everyone was given name cards that doubled as door keys. My friend said it made her feel like a secret agent. The way the dorms were set up I felt like I was living in a hotel, minus the TV and room service.

What was really fun, was the field trip on Wednesday. I caught two small-ish catfish, got pretty close to the bulls eye in archery, shot two out of four skeet with the shot gun, saw how to light a prescribed fire, and hugged a tree. Well… okay I was measuring it, but it involved a hug. The pine forests there are so beautiful. The trees are thinned out and tall, so you could easily walk through the patches of light and shade. The floor had some shrubby plants and bushes, as well as blackberries, which I ate. When I looked back across the lake I could see their long rows, simple and strong against the world. It held an almost magical quality about it, like it might house fairies just waiting for adventure. It was very lovely, and most definitely will be put in a book someday!

The fun continued with a picnic which was really fun; I got to hang around with all my friends and eat food! The only bad thing about being in South Georgia is that it’s too close to Florida, and everything’s flat and rather humid. So afterwards we hit the pool!

That night was the night before the tests, and thus started the stress build up that didn’t end until I got home late Thursday. Between the pre-test, the talent show, trying to be ready for the test the next day, and butterflies that had somehow flown my stomach away…. Well, that night was interesting to say the least.

The test was alright, except for the couple times I wanted to throw up. I wore my rosary all day so I could pray through that in between test sections, and that help tremendously. (I could just imagine Mary glaring at the stress cloud with her awesome Holy Mother-ness, and it slinking to the corner.)  All went well after that, until we were ready to load up and go home. Our bus was delayed a couple hours because someone got on the wrong bus and they had to find him. ( School bus that is. I got to experience a long, hot, bumpy school bus ride) When we finally did get going, the yahoos who like to cuss every five seconds were sitting behind us. We had to endure their shameful language, and oh! The things they talked about! It was disgusting. They over used their limited vocabulary of cuss words to such an extreme that the words sounded empty. They made the words meaningless! Just repeating them over and over again to fill up space. Words should not be abused in such a way! It was like they couldn’t think of anything else even a little more creative to use in insulting, complaining, or talking about the disdainful things they said. Plus they were loud.

Even dealing with all that, I had a fantastic time. But boy, is it good to be home! After a few days I was back in the groove of farm life, and everything was back to normal. Well, as normal as anything can be around me. The best thing is, now that I’m back I can focus on my short story. Which is my other big news…

I have decided to enter the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award contest. I must have my short fiction story, of no more than 8,000 words, done by June 30th. I started a month late, but it matters not! I will win anyway. Hopefully. Even if I don’t, I enjoy a challenge. I’m really excited about this story; I’ve gotten to 4,000 word and hope to fit the rest of the story into the other half. Of course I want to share it with you, so if it doesn’t get published first, I’ll post it here for you all to read. Let the adventure continue!

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3 thoughts on “College and Stories and Trees, Oh My!

  1. This sounds as if you had a great deal of fun! I love adventures like this! Good luck with the contest!

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