I am not what I would consider old. At the same time, it's been nearly 15 years since I was in high school. It's hard to feel like I have an authentic grasp of what teens today are thinking and feeling. This is a problem when I want to write YA books.
Fortunately for me, I grew up in one of those typical Mormon families. You know. The Osmonds. A dozen kids spanning twenty years? Except in my case, it was 8 kids. I am 3 months shy of being 19 years older than my littlest brother. (I'm the oldest.)When he was really small, people asked me if I was his mom. And I could have been.My brother just turned 13 a few months ago. (And yes, if you want to do the math, I'm 32.)
I also have a sister who is in high school. She's a junior. Just got her driver's license. Fairly outgoing, but not the top of the social ladder. She has the typical group of friends and they do typical high school things. And, of course, there is a fairly standard dose of teenage drama. Over the last several days, she has come over to my house and unfolded the saga of the two friends who can't be friends. While the story is just about what you would expect, there are several things that I take away from the conversations. First, I'm really, really. really glad to be out of high school. Second, I have a great reminder of what it is like to be a teenager. I hear what words and phrases she uses. And I remember what is important to someone her age. She helps me recognize my teen voice.
How about you, friends? How do you find that inner voice of a younger self?