sunday night dread

Sunday Night Dread was always so extreme when I was in school. Every Sunday night, there was all this homework I didn’t do yet and that sick feeling of having to go back to school the next morning and I just felt so horrible. You’d think I was over Sunday Night Dread, since I don’t have homework anymore and all. But for some reason, the Dread got me last Sunday. I didn’t even want to read! It was that serious.

Angela Chase understands this phenomenon, as seen below.

Enjoy your weekend and have a wonderful Sunday night! If the Dread gets you, know that you’re not alone.

less waiting for waiting for you

I have good news for those of us who get impatient with waiting. The Waiting for You pub date has been changed to my usual release month of May! The new pub date is May 28, 2009.

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

If you’re a book blogger or reviewer who has sent me your address, it’s been added to the advance copy mailing list. You should be receiving your advance copy in the near future. Penguin would like to send out the advance copies soon, so if you’re a book blogger or reviewer who would like to be added to the mailing list, please email me your website address and mailing address. You can email me through my website, or email me directly at friendly.neighbor (at) I’m only having advance copies sent to book bloggers and reviewers because I made several changes to the book which will only appear in the final copies.

There will be floor displays of all three books in Barnes & Noble and other bookstores, so I’ll be asking you guys to send photos of the displays when they come out. I’ll also have a few contests here to win free books. And the friendly neighbors at Penguin are planning lots of funtivities, so stay tuned for much excitement!

things that are rad

We were having dinner Saturday night at Babbo when the table next to us received a very special treat. Every single dessert on the menu was delivered to their table. For reals. I wish you could have seen their table. It was a thing of beauty. So of course I had to lean over and say to them, “You guys are awesome.” It turns out that they didn’t order every single dessert on the menu. They were friends with Mario Batali, master chef and owner. Mario is an example of a good friend to have.

Neighbors, you should know by now that it’s cool to be smart. That’s why I’m psyched about the new Electric Company! I used to love the Electric Company, but I don’t really remember anything from it. There used to be all these odd science and literacy shows on Channel 13 that I adored. They were weird and random and I thought their existence was the coolest thing ever. I remember this one show that had a sort of reading and writing club. I even got a membership card in the mail that said “Palabra Jot!” I can’t remember what I learned from these shows, but the fact that I remember bits and pieces of them means they were doing their job of sharpening my noodle. It’s so exciting that the good people at PBS have renewed their commitment to help kids pick themselves up and dust themselves off. And learn how to read and spell.

Dude! I just Googled “Palabra Jot” and found this link to some YouTube clips. The show was called “The Write Channel.” Dig the 70s wardrobes.

I’m usually the last one to know about what’s new in the virtual sphere, but I had no idea that you could trade Linden dollars on Second Life for real dollars. You could have a whole Second Life business! That could be your job! I wonder if Dwight and Jim’s avatars know this, or if they’re just hanging out, flying around and playing guitar. I also wonder how much paper Dwight’s guy has sold.


How is Twitter different from Facebook status updates?

Everyone seems to be riding the Twitter train now and I’m thinking of joining the ride. But I don’t entirely get it, so I thought you guys could explain what I’m missing. It’s just a page of status updates, right? Why wouldn’t you just update on Facebook? And how come the Facebook people didn’t think of this and just offer a feed of status updates from there, if that’s what people want?

Hmm. I’m definitely missing something. Please explain.

virtual reunion

I am not embarrassed to admit that I watched inaugural festivities (on and off…okay, mostly on) for about 12 hours on Tuesday. Everything was fascinating, including what was for lunch at the Inaugural Luncheon and the Obamas dancing at the balls (although Michelle’s gown was too long and I felt bad for her, having to fling it out of the way every few dance steps). I even found those moving vans outside the White House to be fascinating. Since I was watching online at CNN/Facebook, it was a very different experience for me. So many of us were watching alone in our homes or offices or home offices, but at the same time we weren’t completely isolated because we could update our Facebook status on the side of the screen and see what everyone else was writing. We were able to connect with each other on that important day.

Something like this would have never been possible a few years ago, younger neighbors. I know it’s hard for you to imagine a world without the Internet, but that world existed and we lived in it. We did things like write letters and go to the library to find stuff out and call back when we got a busy signal (which is still the case with my phone, actually). We made mix tapes from the radio and pressed rewind on our Walkman if we wanted to hear a song over. We only watched what was on TV at the time we wanted to watch something.

Dude. It was an entirely different world.

Now we have things like Facebook. We can connect with people we would normally never connect with. Or reconnect with. Which is fine for days like Tuesday or if you really want to find someone. But what about people you never want to see again?

The weird thing about this new world of hi-tech reality is that people I went to high school with can find me. Including people I never talked to. Which is fine because we’re older and nostalgia tends to wash past events in peaceful pastel watercolors and it’s all good. I sent friend requests to some kids I wasn’t friends with because I’m wondering what they’re doing now. But here’s the thing. There are some people I just don’t want to have a virtual reunion with. Especially this one girl.

Let’s call her…Sally. Sally was so mean to me I cannot even tell you. She wouldn’t let me sit at her table in lunch. She made fun of my discount clothes. When she talked to me, she never looked me in the eye. Her line of sight always hovered somewhere above my right eyebrow. She spewed negativity. So no, Sally. I will not be accepting your friend request. Your friend request is a joke. However, it’s been fun reconnecting with everyone else, regardless of whether or not we were friends. And the thing we mostly write on each other’s walls? Is how weird it is to reconnect like this, using a format we never imagined back then.

Team Technology, you win this round.

day one

I’m loving that CNN and Facebook provided a way for me to watch the inauguration of President Obama. It would not have been the same just listening to NPR. I am so excited to have a president who knows how to improve the world. This is the thing that has always impressed me most about him.

President Obama’s speech was just as amazing as I expected. He was extremely clear about the most important issues that need attention right now: achieving peace, lowering insane health care costs, improving school quality, and using a lot more renewable energy. I loved how he announced that it’s time to “restore science to its rightful place.” Other fave parts:

“We have chosen hope over fear.”

“The time has come to choose our better history.”

“Imagination has joined a common purpose.”

“We cannot be broken.”

“We can shape an uncertain destiny.”

This is our time. “It’s time to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.” This is the beginning of a better era, “a future of peace and dignity.” It’s a “new era of responsibility.”

Congratulations. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. This is our day to rejoice.

new and improved

The pink iguana!

Pink iguana

This is a new species of buddies that was just discovered in the Galapagos. When so many awesome living things are becoming extinct, it’s exciting to discover new friendly neighbors around.

Over at Teen Reads, you can vote for your fave young-adult book of 2008. You can either vote for a title already on the list or add a new title. Why not head over and spread the love?

Doing research for Something Like Fate, I came across this interesting Find Your Fate site. If you want to know more about astrology, numerology, palmistry, dream analysis and such, you might like it. I’m fascinated by all of these things. Readers of Take Me There may remember the dream journals that Nicole used to have. That idea was totally based on my actual dream journals in high school. The more I recorded my dreams, the more dreams I would have, and in greater detail. It was really cool, but got way too time consuming so I had to shut down the journals.

Oh, and about One Tree Hill? I just saw the school shooting episode. Best. Ep. Ever. I’m all in. But evil psycho dad needs to chill. I can’t believe he killed Keith. He’s really pissing me off. Oh well, I will just focus on everyone else, since they are such sweet characters. Just goes to show, there’s always light within the darkness.

people always leave

I’ve been Netflixing One Tree Hill because I keep hearing that it’s good. I couldn’t really make up my mind about it during the first two seasons. I’m in the middle of season three now, and it’s getting good. I mean, it’s definitely not Dawson’s Creek, or even The O.C., but I like its weird quirks. Like that strange “ice cream day” song Nathan’s car stereo sometimes plays. Or how Peyton said that she fell in love with music when she heard The Cure’s Disintegration. I even like the bracelet Nathan gave Haley from his Cracker Jack box. And all those letters Brooke wrote to Lucas! I love the idea that real letters are still being written.

Peyton is my favorite character, by far. I admire her strength and talent and heart.

One Tree Hill, people always leave

However, the evil dad has apparently confused a teen dramedy with a bad telenovela and it’s really annoying. Did he take a wrong turn somewhere? He’s been tired since season one and if I decide to move on to season four and beyond, I hope his character evolves. Also, Chad’s hair was all shaved and decent in season two, but now it seems to be leaning more towards the fluffy porcupine look again. Oh! And I’m so not buying that Lucas would rather be with Brooke than Peyton when he’s wanted Peyton forever. That’s just false.

Friendly neighbors, are any of you One Tree Hill fans? What are your thoughts (without spoilers, please, although hints are okay)?

city lights

Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by bokeh. Bokeh is a photo effect I’ve always loved, but I didn’t know there was a name for it or even a whole practice of creating photos with blurry lights. Photos of round, fuzzy city lights rock my world.

Taylor-Tomorrow is a master of bokeh. She creates gorgeous photos that speak to me, like this one.  This photo is right out of Take Me There, and even inspired a quote from the book.

Taylor says, “I don’t live in the city, but it feels like home to me.” That’s exactly how I felt growing up in New Jersey, pulled from across the water by the energy of New York City. Thanks for sharing your amazing talent with us, Taylor! It’s always a happy day when I connect with a kindred spirit.