high line

If I couldn’t be a science teacher or a teen book author or a closet organizer, I would probably be an urban planner. I have serious love for New York City, especially its green architecture and parks and all the ways in which it interacts with the people living here to enhance our lives. The idea of creating a Zen space out of a desolate area is fascinating. That’s why the High Line makes me so happy.

The High Line, June 2009

There’s an old elevated subway line running from the West Village into midtown. For years it just sat there. But now it’s been transformed into the High Line, a new green space with amazing views and lots of vegetation. All of the plants are indigenous, grown from preserved seeds. Trees, grasses, shrubs, and flowers were all planted around the old train tracks:

The High Line, June 2009

It’s a sweet place to relax. I love having peaceful places like this in the middle of a busy city. It’s a totally rejuvenating experience! There are lounge chairs that roll along the original rail tracks. There’s a wading pool you can walk across in the summer. A huge glass wall overlooks the street below. Benches are spread out. Every little section has its own theme going on. And all of the lighting is placed along the railing to reduce the amount of light pollution, which will rock on clear nights.

Since the High Line is elevated in an area with few obstructions, the views are incredible. You can check out the awesome surrounding architecture in a way that’s impossible from street level…

IAC Building by Frank Gehry

…or just watch sunset on the Hudson River :

High Line sunset

Yay for reclaimed materials! Here’s more info about the High Line’s design and history.

buzzing like neon

I’m still buzzing from my High Line experience last night. It was even more amazing than I was expecting! I’ll be posting pics later this week.

Some links:

Teens Writing for Teens interviewed me about fear, inspiration, and advice. I just found this awesome site, which was totally created by teens. If you’re a teen writer looking for advice, check them out.

Nisha and LIbrary Lounge Lizard recently reviewed Waiting for You.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article about darker YA fiction.

Even though I write back to all of my reader email, I just want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts about Waiting for You. I’ve heard from a lot of readers who can relate to Marisa’s struggle to feel normal, both readers who are dealing with an anxiety disorder or depression and readers who see parts of Marisa’s story in their own lives. Your kind words mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

i heart

Top Five Things I Heart This Week:

1. My new Rocket Dog flip-flops. Back before flip-flops got some style, I used to get silk and velvet ribbons from the fabric store and cover the rubber thong parts of my flip-flops with them. Then I would glue on sparkles or sequins. But now flip-flops are all tricked out. My Rocket Dogs are even tie-dyed.

2. The High LIne is open! It’s an old elevated portion of subway tracks that has been transformed into a park. Reclaimed and recycled materials were used to create a beautiful green space, which New York City totally needs more of. It has lounge chairs that roll along the old train tracks. And all of the lighting is positioned near the walkway, so at night we may be able to see a few stars.

3. Scoring the first season of One Tree Hill and a Flight of the Conchords tee at the Virgin Megastore closing sale.

4. John Krasinski in Away We Go. Even with that beard. HIs sweetest line: “You’re my life, Verona. My sky.”

5. This Waiting for You ad in the July issue of Seventeen. Woot!

Waiting for You ad in Seventeen

winners!

Congrats to the three winners of my Floor Display Contest!

Renee took first place with her super creative entry:

Waiting for You ginormous contest winners

Love the When It Happens theme. Surprisingly, she was the only one who busted out the Photoshop. I could seriously play around on Photoshop for days. So fun! Renee won copies of all three of my books.

This pic scored a second-place win for Marjon:

Waiting for You ginormous contest winners

Note the waiting mode of both the friendly neighbors in the pic and of the book itself. Putting sunglasses and the scarf on Waiting for You made the book like it was relaxing in a tropical climate, just as Marisa sometimes envisions. Nice one!

Paula won a copy of Take Me There:

Waiting for You ginormous contest winners

You might not see the creative aspect of this photo. Here’s the premise. Paula was one of my good friends in high school. I haven’t seen her since then. A few months ago, we reconnected on Facebook and she found out that I’m an author. So this photo, with my friend from high school in front of the magazines we used to read and cut things out of to make collages, next to my floor display which is a reality we could only dream about back then, blows my mind on several levels. This photo is a holistic experience. It’s a statement that dreams do become reality. Anything is possible. Remembering how difficult my life was back then, I’m here to tell you this: If I can be the architect of my own destiny, so can you.

along for the ride giveaway

The big day is almost here…

Sarah Dessen’s much anticipated Along for the Ride will be released on June 16! To celebrate, I’m giving away an Along for the Ride galley. Not mine, though. I know you’ll probably think I’m crazy because I didn’t read my copy right away. It’s been seriously difficult to resist. The thing is, I’m going to the Greek Islands in September, so I need to save this book for the 12-hour flight. No other book would be acceptable. Sarah’s books always have such a calming effect on me. And they’re very hard to put down, which is exactly what I’ll need during my Day of Travel. This story sounds absolutely amazing. It’s all about night and romance and possibilities…just the thing to keep me mellow in case we hit turbulence. So yeah, I’m keeping my copy. But I’m getting another one to give away (thanks, Jillian!).

To enter: Leave a comment here on LJ (not Facebook, so we can keep them all together), telling me what your favorite Sarah Dessen book is and why. I will select one winner to receive a galley of Along for the Ride. If you are commenting anonymously, please tell me your first name. For a double entry, pass along this giveaway info by posting a link on your blog or other site. You have until 11:11 p.m. on June 26 to enter. I will announce the winner on June 29. The giveaway is open to US residents only.

Also, have you checked out Sarah-Land yet? It’s a community where Sarah’s readers can connect with one another. How sweet is that?

arrival

My book is in the Raleigh-Durham airport Borders!

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti airport sighting

But I’m jumping ahead.

We went to Chapel Hill, North Carolina this weekend for a wedding.  Chapel Hill is a cute little town with impressive trees and sweet air.  They love their Tar Heels! Sarah Dessen often raves about her Heels on her blog, but I just thought she was a fan.  Now I understand it’s more like a way of life.  These were the wedding favors:

Tar Heels wedding cookies

I had no idea what these cookies were supposed to be.  Get it?  Tar on the heels? Other things of note are the Pac-Man mint tins I scored at Chapel Hill Comics and a dessert place called Sugarland, which of course I had to visit.

So.  We were at the airport to get our flight home when SP wanted to go in the airport Borders.  He always wants to check out airport bookstores for my books.  I never want to.  Why would my books be there?  Those bookstores are so small that there’s only like five books in the teen section. I explain that I am not Meg Cabot.  I explain that I have not written a book containing vampires.  But SP isn’t hearing any of that.  He is my #1 fan.  He always insists on checking.

And there it was.  A copy of Take Me There.

It was a moment I’ve secretly been waiting for.  Seeing my book in an airport bookstore was one of my goals that I didn’t really have control over, but always wished would happen.  I was a bit verklempt.  Laurie Halse Anderson had been there on her recent tour and signed copies of Wintergirls, so I had to sign my book, too.  SP did a happy dance, even though his neck had a crinck in it because he didn’t see the pillow menu at the hotel and slept all crooked.  That’s dedication.

in which i own summer breeze

I heard a rumor that recent Gap ads are using the most excellent Seals & Crofts song, “Summer Breeze.” I’m a bit disturbed that no one checked with me first. That’s my song! Well, that’s my summer song. Every year when spring finally turns warm, I go around singing, “Summer breeze! Makes me feel fine!” Whenever a warm breeze blows through my window, I’m all like, “Summer breeze!” Seth Cohen’s boat is the Summer Breeze. My desktop folder is titled “Summer Breeze.” I even bought the CD just for that one song. Ever since I was little, this song has been close to my heart. And now it’s a Gap ad? Fine. I’ll let them have it, given that my husband (aka John Krasinski) did a Gap ad and all.

Speaking of John, I could not be more excited for Away We Go. When I saw the preview months ago, I didn’t even recognize him with that beard. And then I was like, “Dude! That’s John Krasinski!” SP was less than thrilled. The movie comes out today, but I’m going away to Chapel Hill, NC this weekend so I won’t be able to see it right away. I’ve decided that after my deadline next week, I will celebrate turning in my line-edits with an exclusive afternoon viewing. I like going to movies on weekday afternoons when you have the whole theater to yourself. I haven’t done that in years!

One ad I am psyched about is in the July issue of Seventeen. Since I have a subscription, I will be eagerly awaiting the issue, which contains an ad for Waiting for You. I’ll post it when the issue comes out. In the meantime, I have to pack and figure out what I should see in Chapel HIll. I’m going there for a wedding, so I’ll document the wedding cake if it is spectacular. I’m hoping for vanilla with buttercream icing.