3 Ways You Can Prepare Your High School Senior for College

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Is senior year too late to prepare your teen for college? The short answer is no.

But if you want your child to be ready, here are three practical ways you can assist them in the often-challenging leap to college:

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Write Club

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The first rule of write club is you don’t talk about write club.

Truly, it’s a secret society of sorts – to be a writer in a sea of non-writers. It’s like every time I pick up a pen or sit down at the monitor, I take an oath of silence.

It’s painful not to talk about what you’re planning to write – what you aspire to communicate to a wider audience. I come up with at least one new book idea every day. But I’m a mom and a teacher, so those ideas don’t necessarily have an appropriate place to be entertained. And time, well, what’s that?

If you, too, are a writer, perhaps you also mull over ideas, stories – really any inspiration that strikes you – for infinite weeks?

Should I write a book?

How can I blog and write a book at the same time?

Should I just try something shorter like poetry?

This is the great difficulty with writing: you spend your days battling words, the very things that – once fully realized – can bring peace.

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A Centennial Confession

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In this, my 100th post, I feel compelled to come clean.

I have been running…and not in the good way. But, first, let me explain.

The trouble all started a year and a half ago when I extracted pure gold from my favorite used bookstore back home: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. The book was published in 1986, and I harbored strong initial doubts. Six dollars, however, wouldn’t break me, so I took a chance. And, truthfully, I have not been able to put the paperback down since.

Perhaps most striking of all in Goldberg’s inspired wisdom is the following passage:

You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration…[y]ou train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle…you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop.

Her message is quite simple: Keep writing.

A month after reading these words, I signed up for WordPress. Two months later, readers began to follow my writing.

And seven months later, my book found me.

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The Smoky Trail of Tears

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It was a moment I didn’t see coming.

“You are a little engine, but you go so fast.”

Right there, in the middle of a Thomas adventure, I lost it. The tears flowed, and the familiar words I can practically recite in my sleep blurred. My son lifted his head with concern to study my face. I locked eyes with my husband.

“I know,” he whispered.

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