Editor's Note: As YWP transitions its leadership from GG to Susan Reid we are interested in knowing both what YWP has meant to you and how it can be improved. Please join in the discussion by responding to the "YWP Is ..." challenge.
I joined YWP at the beginning of my eighth grade year. This was during the same time period my family and I were considering an English tutor for me, because even though I read two books a day, I couldn't form a coherent sentence. We never ended up getting that English tutor. Throughout eighth grade it seemed I was miraculously getting better at writing, not good enough to be in the accelerated classes my freshman year with my friends, but good enough. I wasn't really satisfied with good enough though. I continued writing on YWP and I continued working in school. My sophomore year I was in the accelerated English program with my friends. I wrote on YWP all through sophomore year and started dabbling in photography too.
Listen carefully as lavender blooms out of the blue and blue ribbons sprout out of the wild blue yonder a whirlpool under the full moon elephants drink radical nectar of strawberries on a bluff of bougainvillea
Mama said not to worry about it. Mama said she didn't want us thinking about it. Mama ushered us away from the TV.
I wanted to say I'm seventeen Mama! You don't need to protect me anymore. You don't need to warn us that its slippery on the ice. You don't need to protect us from learning about shootings and bombings and attacks that I don't remember not knowing about.
Mama we had a bomb threat last week. It was just some kid looking to get out of exams. Mama they don't warn you before it really happens.
I always dreamed of finding a hidden door in my closet or under the stairs that would take me to a new world with unicorns and dragons and centaurs and fairies and fauns and talking animals and I could be a hero. I could be strong and brave and smart and beautiful. I guess I didn't realize I could be those in real life.
I've learned that all little kids smell the same. Baby skin with a hint of dirt. Play with a hint of life. Hope, somehow in a scent. Kindergarteners still smell like little kids, no matter what they've seen.