Going to the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts (and now Humanities) was a big, transitional thing for a teenager in the 1990s. Back then it was like summer camp for South Carolina kids who were saddled with more creative energy than they knew how to harness. As we learned how to harness those energies, we formed bonds with kids who were going through the same awkwardness that--even for the most mainstream-looking among us--made high school an uncomfortable box in which there wasn't enough room to stretch. Today SCGSAH is a full-year public boarding school, but I'm sure the bonding experience is similar.
Megan Mayhew Bergman and I weren't Govies at the same time. I think we were a year apart (I attended a year later than most because I chickened out on sending my application the first time 'round). But we both had the same hilarious, brilliant, tough teacher, George Singleton. A few years ago we discovered this fact during an exchange of Facebook messages, realizing that we had that Govie bond that's like a secret handshake whenever you meet a fellow alum.
I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Megan's writing career take off. Her social media accounts are full of the beautiful chaos of raising two children while keeping a writing career intact and thriving. When she pops up on my Instagram feed I see a life with enough similarities to mine to make me feel that I'm normal (we all know I'm not, so of course I couldn't type that with a straight face! Ha!).
Megan's latest collection of short stories, Almost Famous Women is available TODAY. It's already been tapped as a success by Vanity Fair, Bustle, and Anjelica Huston: