Throughout my teaching career, I've had many students who have gone on to accomplish wonderful things. Some of them are on LiveJournal, which allows me to keep up with them on a regular basis, and to turn the teacher-student relationship into a friendship.
Deborah Sacks (fynixsoul) is one of these former students. When I met her, she was an eighth-grader looking at high schools, and she chose to attend the Cambridge School of Weston partly because I was teaching there at the time. She loved science fiction and fantasy and harbored hopes of becoming a writer. Before she was even in high school, she had already written a full-length novel, and she wanted to learn how to write better.
Our time at CSW only intersected for three years, but during that time I read her work, gave her advice and encouragement, and even taught her officially when she enrolled in my Science Fiction Writing Workshop class. In her senior year, she created a background for a fantasy novel series as her thesis, and I made a point of attending her formal presentation although I was no longer teaching at the school.
The December issue of Reflection's Edge (edited by valancy) has published her story "Homesteader" as their Featured Story this month. It's one of the best stories I've ever read
One warning -- it's dark. The blurb reads as follows:
In a world where only a handful of survivors ek [sic] out a cramped existence after life on Earth's surface is destroyed, this man doesn't expect much: he certainly doesn't expect to see his children, his wife, or any others of his family alive again. He doesn't even expect to keep all his limbs as the Toxin slowly eats away at him. But he does have one last hope: to create a sanctuary on the surface before his time runs out...
So go read Deborah's story, and then if you want her own perspective on her background and how the story came to be written, read her post Not just a writer, but an Author. And to Deborah herself, I have one final word: Congratulations!