Monday, February 15, 2010

LTUE 2010, Service Work

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I attended the LTUE 2010 writing conference. I got to miss school. I got to drive two hours each day (with no coffee, I might add, since BYU doesn't sell any). I met people. I talked to people. I ate food. I saw authors. I spoke in disjointed sentences, which tends to happen when I'm tired.

My syntax aside, LTUE was amazing! It's hard to believe that such a wonderful conference is free and open to the public. I met so many great people, learned a lot from the discussions and the panelists, and got books signed by some of my favorite authors. I wish I had had a chance to talk to Stacy Whitman, but by Saturday I was too worn out to stay any longer.

Book #5 is about halfway done. I'm one of those 'edit as you go along' people, so my first drafts tend to be pretty well put together. I'm going to need readers. It's scary, giving a manuscript to someone else for the first time, especially since so much hard work and effort goes into its creation. The working title is The Hamsa's Song. I'm excited about this one, far more excited than I've ever been about a manuscript. Book #5 is special. Book #5 is going to help me take the next step.

Of course, that's all wishful thinking, but I'm trying to be optimistic. In the meanwhile, I just thought I'd write a little bit about Youthlinc. This summer, I will be traveling to Kenya with the Youthlinc program, to perform a 2-3 week service project in the village of Kiamuri. For those of you who don't know, I've wanted to go to Kenya since my Kindergarten class did an art lesson on Kenyan masks. I was five then. I'm 17 now, and finally, finally, I get to go to Africa. There are no words to express how excited I am.

In order to go to Kenya I have to complete 100 hours of local community service this school year. I have a Little Sister, Elsy, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Elsy is eight years old. We paint nails, swing on the jungle gym, play soccer, make videos, and play various games that are reminiscent of my elementary school days. Apart from my duties as a Big Sister, I volunteer at Shriners Children's Hospital in the Recreational Therapy program. It's a humbling experience to work with people who are less fortunate, and to realize how much we take for granted here in America.

Well, that's pretty much all I can think to write about my semi-boring life. Until next time.