Today I’m the guest blogger over at YA New York. I wrote about how my purpose in life is to help teens in some way and how S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders was the catalyst for my future writing career.
YA New York is a fabulous new site created by Sabrina Banes, who blogged about last week’s Teen Author Reading Night. You can read her commentary here. I was honored to be reading from Take Me There with E. Lockhart and Rachel Vail, as they are two of my absolute fave authors. They are immensely talented and have transformed the landscape of the young-adult book world into something spectacular.
Here’s Sabrina with Melissa Walker.
Melissa’s new book, Violet in Private, will be released on August 5. How psyched was I to open my August Teen Vogue and see that Melissa is a contributor? She wrote an article on girl crushes and totally rocked the magazine.
There would be no Teen Author Reading Night without event master David Levithan. I had to take this photo with David because he was wearing a Death Cab for Cutie T-shirt and I love love love the Death Cab. Transatlanticism is a work of genius.
Contest alert! The Book Muncher is giving away these books to celebrate her 100th post:
You can go here to win. Entries must be received by July 15 (midnight PST). Thanks, Rachael!
There is no person on this planet more intense than The Cure’s lead singer, Robert Smith. Or any other planet.
When It Happens would not have been possible to write without The Cure continuously playing. Almost every scene in that book is set to a Cure song in my mind. I’ve got this thing for nostalgia, but not the normal kind of nostalgia where you’re remembering stuff you’ve been through all fondly and missing it. I have the kind of nostalgia for times I never experienced. But being at The Cure concert last Friday was like senior year all over again, with the sucky parts removed.
Some people think I’m crazy for spending way too much money for a second-row floor seat at a John Mayer concert. But dude. Being close enough for Michael Stipe’s sweat to fling in my eye at an R.E.M. concert is a priceless experience. So was having fourth-row center floor seats to The Cure at Madison Square Garden. And these were a gift from SP, so even better. He’s the best boyfriend ever!
You know that stranded on a desert island game where you have to give three CDs you’d take with you to listen to for the rest of your life? I’d only take one. Disintegration. And I’d never ever get tired of it. John Mayer’s Heavier Things is like that too, but The Cure was with me back when I was surviving high school. It got me through things.
Before the concert, Laila and I made our Top Five Cure Songs lists and had a pre-concert rock out session. They played four of my songs! “Hot Hot Hot!!!,” “Close To Me,” “Pictures of You,” and my all-time fave Cure song, “Fascination Street.” When they started “Fascination Street,” I thought I might have a heart attack. I almost couldn’t take it, it was so intense.
Robert’s guitar has googly eyes. I always knew he was a kindred spirit. It has googly eyes and stars and a Parental Advisory sticker. And he totally made eye contact with me. But that’s not something you look at through a camera lens.
Nights like these are ones I will never forget. So when I have nostalgia for this time in my life twenty years from now, I’ll have real things to remember.
Sparkly congrats to the winners of my first official contest! Ultimate contest winner Renee C. will have her writing published in my third book, Waiting for You, which will be released next summer. Renee’s idea was so cute! The first runner-up is Rachael S., otherwise known as The Book Muncher. And the second runner-up is Mia F. Huzzahs for all of your fabulous entries!
Plenty of Paper reviewer Heather was so sweet about When It Happens. She was a guest reviewer over at The Story Siren. You can read Heather’s review here.
Amy has a really cute LiveJournal icon. She wrote about how When It Happens connected to her own life. It’s all about the connections, this whole life thing.
The fabulous David Levithan organizes an exciting event here in New York called Teen Author Reading Night. That’s where you get to hear authors read from their recent teen novels and ask your burning questions. How fun is that? I’ve been to many reading nights as an audience member, but this will be my first time as a reader.
I’ll be reading from Take Me There this Wednesday, June 25. The festivities will rock from 6:00 to 7:30 at the NYPL Jefferson Market Branch, located at 425 6th Avenue (at 10th Street). These most excellent authors will also be reading:
John Coy, Box Out
Sarah Beth Durst, Out of the Wild
Daphne Grab, Alive and Well in Prague, New York
E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski, How to Be Bad
Randi Reisfeld, Rehab
Rachel Vail, Lucky
I’d love to see you there!
A lot of people consider Memorial Day weekend to be the beginning of summer. But not me. I love the springtime, so I enjoy a full three months of spring. For me, summer will always begin on its actual start day, which is the summer solstice. This year, the summer solstice is tomorrow at midnight. What will you do to celebrate?
Another thing about the summer solstice is that it’s the last day to enter my first official contest! You have all day tomorrow to enter, in case you’re still polishing your entry. You can win signed copies of Take Me There, When It Happens, or have some of your writing published in my third book, Waiting for You. I am awaiting your dazzling brilliance!
If you’re not planning a whole big solstice party, celebrate one thing in your life that is making you feel warm and fuzzy these days. Here’s mine:
The Take Me There floor display in Barnes & Noble!
This MoMA entry is all about fun with geometry!
Here’s a page from the Russian children’s book About Two Squares. It’s about a red square and a black square that fly to Earth from space. I really like that! And I thought it would have been cool if the squares had magic powers or something. But actually, the squares represented the superiority of the new Soviet order (red square) over the old (black square).
This is Matthew Brannon’s The Never That Lasts Forever. It’s a huge cut-out covering almost an entire wall.
Brian Belott’s Books, books, books, books, books, books, and books, in which children’s books found at thrift stores were collaged with all sorts of interesting patterns and shapes.
I love love love Alexander Calder’s mobiles. His minimalist style and simplicity of streamlined shapes and colors always look so peaceful to me. His mobiles are especially fascinating because as they slowly move and rotate, new angles of the design are discovered. Here are two views of Lobster Trap & Fish Tail from 1939. It hangs over a staircase.
The fascinating Plan for World Trade Monopoly by Oyvind Fahlstrom. The first photo is the entire piece and the second is my favorite detail.
Rothko’s No. 5 / No. 22 from 1950. Picasso’s Guitar from 1913.
A portfolio of eight double-sided screenprints by Francois Morellet.
Random stick-figure looking dudes say bye for now.
The Museum of Modern Art is so exciting right now! Their current exhibits are all about light and motion and geometry, with all of these interactive light installations. So of course I’m sharing my fave MoMA works of art with you here. I’ve divided my photos into two (sort of) categories, featuring light (part one today) and geometry (part two tomorrow).
As part of Olafur Eliasson’s Take your tIme, this installation rocked in its simplicity. Square room, white walls, white lights in the center surrounded by diffraction gratings and rotating color plates. The diffraction gratings separate the white light into its visible spectrum colors, otherwise known as ROY G BIV. Roy was a good guy.
There was a circular area with a continuous light wall. You were supposed to stand really close to the wall and stare at its color. About every 20 seconds, the color changed. Each color inspires a unique emotional response (the blue was calming, but the yellow was thrilling). Here’s the light wall in the background being admired by kids on a field trip. Every time the color changed, they were all like, “Oooooohh! Greeeeen!”
Several cool films can be watched. This one had found objects changing over time. I have a thing for old typewriter keys, so I liked watching this typewriter slowly being covered by snowflakes.
During the MoMA’s recent renovation, lots of new windows and tons more natural light were incorporated. It changed the whole feel of the museum. The space is open and connects with the surrounding city environment. One windowed wall is entirely covered by connecting shapes of mirror and glass, forming different angles and bringing the outside buildings, trees, and sky in to the observer. I am upside down in the first photo.
This is Liam Gillick’s Underground (Trailer for a Book) and an immersive light installation containing mist.
Tomorrow: Fun with geometry!