February 14, 2012

2k12 Guest Post: AC Gaughen Author of Scarlet

A long while back I was approached by Caroline Starr Rose to help promote the fantastic group of authors in the Class of 2k12.  These are a group of authors being published in 2012.  I jumped at the chance to help out.  
What we came up with was a series of guest posts.  The topic: 
 Since I teach 7th grade I live and breath middle school (ok some of you can stop shuddering now). 

So over the course of 2012 you will get to hear from some the the 2k12 authors and their memories/thoughts about that time in their life.  I thank each of them for jumping in a tackling the subject!
To learn about all the 2k12 authors check out their site: Class of 2k12: Fiction that Rocks

Today our 2k12-er is:

AC Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Release Date: February 14th (today!)
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. 
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.  
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

 It sounds fantastic!!! 

Today AC Gaughen is sharing a piece she wrote for Chicken Soup for the Middle Grade Soul.  I love this piece! How perfect is that!

Letter to a Younger Self

Ten years after I was thirteen, one of my old teachers mailed me a letter I had written to my 23 year old self.  The letter was full of silly things like who I had a crush on (much to big of a secret to reveal here) and how much I totally hated my brothers.  I wished I could write back to her and say these thirteen things.
1. Your Beanie Babies will end up in a box in your closet.  (Except for the elephant.  You seem to really like the elephant).  They are not a financial investment, I’m sorry. 

2.  Similarly, don’t get too attached to your Tamagotchi.  It will get confiscated by a teacher who doesn’t understand that without you pressing buttons your digital picture of a turtle will die. 

3.  I know this whole changing schools thing is tough, and you’re leaving your friends behind, but life has some amazing surprises in store for you in terms of friendship.  One of your friends from your old school will be your best friend ten years from now, and it’s definitely not the one you expect. 

4.  When everyone’s giving you grief because you’re holed up in your room writing stories, don’t pay attention.  It will work out pretty good for you.  I know you’re only doing it because sometimes, your characters are the only ones you can count on to always be there when you need them, and that’s perfectly ok.

5.  Both your brothers cease to be so annoying after you all make it through puberty alive.

6.  You aren’t going to marry your crush (or even date him), but that doesn’t mean you have to stop crushing. 

7.  This divorce thing isn’t going to get easier for a really long time, and I’m sorry about that.  I wish I could be there with you, but it doesn’t work like that unfortunately.  You’re going to go through a lot of this feeling completely alone.  You have to keep believing that it will get better.  Its going to get a little worse, and then, little by little, its going to get a lot better.  You’ll all figure out how to be a family again. 

8.  It’s ok that you’re hurting.  It doesn’t mean that you aren’t strong enough.  It doesn’t mean that you aren’t there for your family.  It just means that you’re hurt, and that’s ok.  You deserve to feel hurt.  Your family just broke and splintered—it’s when you pretend that you’re fine that it will hurt the worst, and you will feel the most alone.

9.  You know how you’re 99% positive that you know everything there is to know about the world?  You’re wrong.  (Now you just know 97%). 

10.   Everyone’s going to tell you that the blue mascara is stupid, and when you’re my age you’ll laugh with your best friend about how unfashionable you were, but secretly I love that you wore blue mascara.  I like that you aren’t afraid of color.

11.   Just clean up your room already.  It’s going to drive Mum nuts for like, ten years.

12.  You’ve got a lot of incredible adventures coming your way.  You’re going to climb up a snow covered-mountain, walk through a rainforest, and tiptoe carefully on an active volcano crater.  You’re going fall in love and out of love and have crushes and kisses.  You’re going to get through almost ten more years of school and when its over, you’re going to miss it (shocking, I know).  You’ll go to Paris, Florence, Scotland, London, and countless more beautiful, wondrous places, and you’ll meet more friends than I can count.  Ten years from now, you’ll have a life that you’re in love with.

13.  The whole thing with middle school is that you really are in the middle right now.  In the middle of your parents’ divorce.  You’re the middle child.  You’re in between childhood and a tentative adulthood.  Grade school was left behind when you had to transfer, and you’ll switch again to go to a different high school.  You are right in the thick of pain, and heartbreak, and disappointment, but it was happier in the past and you, my love, will be so happy in the future.  So hold on tight.  There are some more obstacles in your way, some more difficulties ahead.  It sounds unfair, I know, but from where I’m looking, the hardest stuff you go through makes the good stuff even better. 

You are so much stronger, and more loved, than you could ever understand right now.  So just trust me.  You’ll get through.

I soooooo love this piece! And I need to share it with my 12 year old daughter!!!

Thank you AC for sharing it with us!

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