Kerigan has always read. Her mom jokes around that she was reading cereal boxes from birth. Joking aside, she learned to read from her parents. They were very patient, and after a while, they could tell that she was becoming a reader rather than an athlete. At sixteen years old, she reads for many reasons, but the major one is that it allows her to escape. Reading allows her to explore new places and times. She can get on board the Hogwarts Express, climb through the wardrobe, step through the standing stones, and suddenly she's immersed in a whole new life. When she reads, she almost becomes the character she's reading about. Instead of being stuck in her house with two siblings, one already having grown up and moved out, she can be wherever she wants. Kerigan also reads for knowledge. Through reading, she can learn about other cultures and places that she may not ever visit. When Kerigan was younger, she had a fascination with checking books about animals out of the library. You could always find her curled up in a chair in the non-fiction section reading about pandas or giraffes or some other animal you could find in the zoo. Now, she may not read quite as many non-fiction books as she used to, but she still gains knowledge from the fiction she reads. In her opinion, to be a good reader you have to let the story carry you away. It's not about asking questions, it's not about predicting, it's about becoming so involved with the book that you cry at the end or scream when the main character's heart is broken. Granted, it is important to be an active reader, to participate with the novel more than just letting your eyes scan the page, but that's not the main goal. A good reader doesn't let people tell her what she can and can't read. Kerigan loves to read because it is easy for her. She can pick apart complicated words and glean the definition from the surrounding text. The part of reading that Kerigan hates is being interrupted in the middle of a chapter. When she gets swept away by a chapter, she doesn't want to put the book down for anything, even Honors Pre-Calc. She chooses books based on several different things. Most often though, it's word of mouth. Her mother suggested the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and now it has become one of Kerigan's favorite series. She's probably read the whole series 10 times since finding them her sophomore year. Sometimes it will be the cover that catches her eye, sometimes the title. Still other times it will be the author's name or the summary on the back of the book. For her, a good book consists of lovable characters, or hated characters, a good plot, and a realistic setting. Her mom can always find her with a book in her hand when Kerigan has a spare hour or two to relax. Overall, Kerigan believes that reading is something that should be enjoyable for everyone, no matter what your level of excellence. Reading should not only be a tool. One should read for pleasure as well as information, and that is something that Kerigan wishes everyone would remember.
Kerigan loves to write. She learned to write in kindergarten like most people, tracing the dotted letters on the page to spell cat, dog, or bed. Only recently has she really begun to write though. She spends hours coming up with believable scenarios, relatable characters, and intelligent sounding sentences. Kerigan thinks that the reasons for writing are different from person to person. Some only write because they have to. Others choose to write all the time. However, writing is a way of communicating. Writing letters, emailing, and texting are all forms of communication that depend on the written word. Social media is also possible because of writing. Writing is a way to be creative, to share your own thoughts, and to improve yourself. Being a good writer impacts how well you speak. If you're more aware of sentence structure and grammar, your thoughts can come across more clearly and concisely. To be a good writer, one should read. By reading, you can learn how to put the pieces together to make a story flow or an essay have impact. A good writer also never stops editing. Never believe that what you've written is all that can be said. There are always more words to add clarification and depth to a topic, you just have to use them. A good writer also pulls readers into the world they're trying to create. Kerigan will write just about anything. She's not that great at writing poetry, but practice makes perfect. However, her favorite thing to write is her story, In The Last Place You Look. She's spent so much time on it that it's practically all she can think about throughout the day. Her ideas come from everywhere, snippets found on the internet, television shows, movies. But most often, the ideas for her stories come from her dreams and her own life. Since starting In The Last Place You Look, Kerigan has uploaded it to fictionpress.com where it has received almost 2,000 views since the end of June. As of now, October 17th, it has received over 4,000 views. FictionPress contains a spot for readers to review and comment on what they had just read, but Kerigan's always trying to beg her visitors to comment. She would love some constructive criticism. Praise is good too, but constructive criticisms really let her know if she's going the right direction with her characters. Whenever Kerigan isn't reading, she's writing. And most often, she's reading what she's written. Over the summer, Kerigan developed a great sense of pride with what she's written. When she thinks about those 2,000 views, those 89 pages that took hours to write, and all the poems that surprisingly weren't awful, she smiles to herself. Her writing's improved over the course of her high school years. It's gotten to the point where she looks at her writing and wonders if she could make a career of it someday. It's difficult for her to share her writing with people she knows, people whose opinions matter to her, but if you ask, I'm sure she'll let you read it. Because what's the point of writing if no one reads it?