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About Literature / Professional Senior Member E. Kristin Anderson31/Female/United States Groups :icontexasdevmeet: Texasdevmeet
We wont bite...without BBQ sauce
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Upcoming Events!

*Can't make it to an event? Get a signed copy anyway!* Order DEAR TEEN ME from The Book Spot in Round Rock, TX, and I will sign and personalize your book for you! They ship!

June 28, 2014: The Writer's League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference in Austin, TX
I'll be emceeing the session with  Scott Wiggerman, poet and editor-in-chief of Dos Gatos Press.  I'll also be hanging out with Yellow Bird Editors at our table in the vendors' area. Stop by and say hi!  I will have chapbook swag with me....and, with any luck, chapbooks!

November 16, 2014: The YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium in Austin, TX
I'll be signing at the Author Blitz event on Saturday night!  More details to be announced as they arise.  I CANT WAIT!

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Editorial and Mentoring Services

Yes, you can hire me! If you're interested in hiring an editor to help you with your manuscript, a mentor or coach to help you with your career, a proofreader for your poetry, or an industry professional to take a look at your query, I hope you'll consider soliciting my help through Yellow Bird Editors. Our rates are competitive and testimonials are listed on the site. There are many services offered in almost every genre and with so many editors and authors working at Yellow Bird, there is surely someone who will suit your needs, even if it isn't me!

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Dear Westbrook High School

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 29, 2014, 7:00 AM
FROM THE DESK OF E. KRISTIN ANDERSON:

Dear Westbrook High School,

At graduation with dad & bro.
This is me at graduation, between my dad and my brother, who were both more popular at WHS than me!

Hi, remember me? Probably not. I graduated way back in 2001, and in those days then my name was Emily Morse. (Technically, it still is. We can talk about pen names another time.) Anyway, I wasn't very legendary. I had a few awards from being on the track team, and occasionally I'd get some sort of acknowledgement from an English teacher. I think I got a medal for women's citizenship at graduation, but I'm sad to say I can't remember. Recently, my mom found my National Honor Society pin, which I'm amazed that I even had, considering what a shit show senior year was for me. That pin now sits on my dresser between my basket of clean socks and my 13" TV with a built-in VCR. I guess you could say I like to hold on to things.

Anyway, the new school year is starting. As I write this, I'm at a coffee shop in Austin, Texas that's about spitting distance from the neighborhood middle school. They've already started classes here in AISD, and at about 3pm, my beloved (air-conditioned) sanctuary will be invaded by middle school students. It's cool. Teens are my peeps. But it makes me think of you guys.

A highly literary excerpt from the journal I kept as a teen.
A highly literary excerpt from the journal I kept as a teen.

According to my dad, school is starting for y'all next week. And I thought I'd write you a note with a little bit of insight. Because, goddamn, high school feels so huge, doesn't it? Not, like, in an OMG I'M IN HIGH SCHOOL WOW sort of way. (But, yeah, for freshmen, that can totally be the case. I felt that way.) But in a THIS IS MY ENTIRE WORLD sort of way. And that's pretty overwhelming, isn't it? Teachers and administrators have probably said the phrase "permanent record" in your presence at some point in the last few years. Or they've been talking about "if you want to get into college..." and all that stuff. Plus, you're finding yourself navigating cliques, which I know for a FACT are super weird and tough in a small town. (BTW, if you didn't know it, Westbrook is a small town. 16,000 people? Yeah, small. I know it's not, like, you know, Aroostook County. But it's small. Trust me. I didn't figure this out until I was like 26, but it's true.) So while you're stressing about where to sit in the cafeteria or whether you'll make new friends this year or if your friends will make fun of you for joining the math team or going out for track or if you even have a chance at making the football team (has the football team won a game recently? They SUCKED when I was at WHS) -- well, I thought maybe you could use a few pointers.

WAIT. Don't click away. They're not those kind of pointers.

Actually, I only have one pointer.

BE NICE.

STOP IT. Stop rolling your eyes. I'm serious. I may not have learned a lot at Westbrook High, before I escaped to college and eventually to New York and later Texas (damn, it's hot here! I miss real autumn!) -- but I did learn the value of being nice. The hard way. I was the kid that got picked on in middle school. And I later became kind of hardened. I didn't trust anyone. I was jealous. I was angry. I was pretty sure that the kids at my lunch table didn't like me that much. And, you know what? Some of them didn't.

Track team portrait.
Me in my track team portrait, spring of senior year.

I did track almost every season that I was at WHS. I was even good at my event (racewalk) in the spring. Like, really good. But I wasn't a jock. Sometimes the Most Popular Girl In School would give me a ride home. We had a lot of classes together. I'd known her since I was like six (small town, y'all...you know how that goes). She'd been mean to me in middle school, but that was in the past, right? Not for me. I didn't trust her. I felt good when we would talk about music (The Cranberries, Foo Fighters), but never opened up. I found out in high school that I was struggling with mental illness. I found out in college that Popular Girl also did. Can you imagine what might have happened if either of us had been NICER to each other?

One of my favorite drawings from my high school journal.
One of my favorite drawings from my high school journal.

So when I say BE NICE, I'm not just talking to bullies. And I know you all have heard how bullies are bullies because they're insecure. And I know that you don't care about this when you're being bullied because it HURTS. And, yeah, bullies? Be nice. Duh. And not-bullies? This all applies to you, too. It applies to everyone! Anyway, I thought it might be valuable for you to know a few things, from someone who has walked those same hallowed halls:

1. The kid who made my life miserable in 6th grade looked me up on Facebook when we were 27 and APOLOGIZED to me. At length. He was embarrassed and ashamed. We're FB friends now. If I ran into him while I was visiting Westbrook, I'd hug him.

2. The only people I'm still actually for realsies in touch with now from Westbrook are either related to me or people who I've reconnected with on Facebook post-college. (Given, we didn't have FB when I was in college. I'm just saying, if you don't want to stay in touch with people, you don't have to. And if you want to re-connect later, you can!)

3. I can think of at least five people who were mean to me who have since come out as being gay, or having serious struggles with an eating disorder, or having seriously effed up family situations at home. Which means this: You don't know what other people are dealing with. And while I FIRMLY believe that having a tough life doesn't give you carte blanche to be an asshole, sometimes assholes need a bit of grace in order to be, uh, less of an asshole.

4. It's okay if you fail trigonometry. I did. I'm doing okay for myself. But you should probably still be nice to your math teacher. (I used to draw pictures of angry people trash-talking trig as answers on my math tests. To be fair, I was kind of losing my mind at the time and my math teacher was kind of a jerk, but, you know...maybe not the best tactic.)

5. Only like six people went to my ten-year high school reunion. I was not one of them because it's expensive as hell to fly from Texas to Maine in August.

For WHS. I <3 you!
For WHS. I :heart: you!

6. The teacher who was a total jerk to me (and taught MOBY DICK, which I HATED with a fiery passion...which may or may not be his fault) was eventually fired in some sort of scandal involving weed and an affair with a student. According to rumor. So much schadenfreude, since he went easier on athletes on the team(s) he coached. All students should be treated equally, am I right?

7. I did go back to Westbrook High School in 2012 to bring y'all a copy of my first book, DEAR TEEN ME. The head librarian did not remember me, but remembered my brother and my dad. (My dad used to coach the hockey team.) One of the volunteers at the circulation desk was shocked to find out that someone from WHS had published a book. Guess what? There is nothing about WHS that limits you. NOTHING. Which brings me back to:

BE NICE.

This is me now. I've gained about 50lbs, but also so much knowledge and experience. Wouldn't trade it.
This is me now, at the aforementioned coffee shop. I've gained about 50lbs, but also so much knowledge and experience. Wouldn't trade it.

I swear to you. Being a good person, a nice person, will open more doors for you than being captain of the (anything) team, or having perfect grades, or being popular or being a nerd. (Because, let's face it, nerd is the new cool.) Being nice doesn't mean being a doormat, of course. And it doesn't mean you won't have to be assertive, or ask for what you want, or reach hard and long for goals. But being nice is way more important than calculus or English or soccer or cliques or small towns or big cities.

So, Westbrook High School, I wish you all the best for your new school year. Make new friends. Take risks. Sit with people you haven't ever sat with before. Take a class that scares you. Try out for a team you're completely unqualified for. Go see a new band. Join a band. Write poems, write novels, write epics. Try not to be scared of math. (Make friends with someone good at math who can help you not be scared of math.) Go to homecoming stag. Ask your crush to homecoming. Ask for help when you need it, whether it's for school, for relationships, or your health. And, above all, be nice. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you well, from sunny Texas.

Especially when you're shoveling your parents' driveways this winter. Good effing luck with that. :P

Love,

Emily Morse
WHS Class of 2001.

http://www.ekristinanderson.com


Journal History

deviantID

PinkyMcCoversong
E. Kristin Anderson
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
My name is Emily, but if you're looking for my published work, you should Google E. Kristin Anderson. (Ask me and I'll tell you the why-I-need-a-pen-name story.) I write poetry (for everyone) and fiction (for young adults and children) and nonfiction (sometimes). I'm the co-editor of the nonfiction anthology DEAR TEEN ME (Zest Books, 2012) based on the website DearTeenMe.com, where authors write letters to their teen selves. I have two poetry chapbooks coming out this year: A JAB OF DEEP URGENCY (Finishing Line Press) and A GUIDE FOR THE PRACTICAL ABDUCTEE (Red Bird Chapbooks). I'm an online editor at Hunger Mountain and a contributing editor at Found Poetry Review . I blog at EKristinAnderson.com about books and writing and my bizarro life here in Austin, TX. If you're looking for editorial or mentoring servies, I'm a member of Yellow Bird Editors, a group of industry professionals offering these and other services for professionals as well as beginning writers and teens.

I grew up in Westbrook, Maine and went to Connecticut College in the beautiful New London, CT, and have a fancy-sounding degree in Classics. Once upon a time I lived in Brooklyn and worked at The New Yorker magazine and sometimes I have dreams that I have to go into the office and make the magazine and can't remember how. ATX, though? It's a great home. I can often be found at Texas DevMeets trying to be louder than StJoan and failing. Sometimes I sew my own clothes and make things with my hands, but I use too many shortcuts to be a pro. And I like to take photographs with toy and vintage cameras. Don't listen to anyone who says watching television will rot your brain -- some of my best ideas have come from TV.

Scroll down for a list of upcoming events and information on my editorial and coaching services.
Interests

Deviousness Award

Deviousness Award
`PinkyMcCoversong brings a type of dedication and enthusiasm that's a fantastic asset to our literature community. A constant inspiration and mentor to many, Emily has an eclectic background that has allowed her to develop a gallery filled with poetry and prose that will keep you glued and eager for more. An already published writer, Emily brought the "Dear Teen Me" concept to the fore in our deviantART community, and has continued to inspire writers young and old to participate. We're absolutely delighted to kickstart our 13th Birthday celebrations by bestowing the Deviousness Award for August 2013 to`PinkyMcCoversong.
-awarded August 2013

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:icondyejob:
dyejob Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
OH MY GOD EMILY! I logged in here for the first time in five years (working on a zine series reflecting on the last ten years in ten different jobs) and here you are, still killin' it. So proud of you babe. Glad to know you're (very) alive!
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Professional Writer
MISS DOT! I still think about our AOL days sometimes. Your zine series sounds fascinating. <3
Reply
:icondyejob:
dyejob Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
Oh gurrrl. I might have to put a little of my next check (whenever that will be) for your chapbooks and such. I think of you every time I see beautiful eyeshadow blends :)
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Professional Writer
Oh man. I forgot I used to post so much eyeshadow stuff.  And THANK YOU!
Reply
:iconedges-to-everything:
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hello, Emily! :handshake: It's a pleasure to meet you. :nod:

I have seen your name around the literature community and realized today that I have yet to Watch. I'm pleased to be doing so now.

I hope you're having a great day! :happybounce:

- Michael
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Professional Writer
Thanks for watching!
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:iconedges-to-everything:
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
The pleasure will be mine, I'm sure!
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:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Thank you for joining :iconthewrittenrevolution:, we're delighted to have you with us. Welcome to the revolution. :salute:

We're quite a busy group. We regularly post prompts and publishing opportunities for our members to try. Don't forget to drop into the chat room as well!

And feel free to add us on Facebook and Twitter. :dummy:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014   Writer
yor thrad had a bithrday!



/was that even english
Reply
:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional Writer
Whoa.  That's peculiar.

Also, Best Anglich ever.
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