working out, kicking back

Going to the gym is hilarious on so many levels. First off, it’s amazing that I’ve belonged to gyms since I was 18 considering that I hated gym in high school. No, I HATED. IT. Those of you who’ve read When It Happens know what I’m talking about (see the Here’s Why Gym Sucks list on page 127). But belonging to a gym as a grownup is a whole different thing. I don’t have to be tormented by scary dodge balls flying at me. I can do my elliptical or lifting or kickboxing or whatever else I want. Well, it’s been a while since I did kickboxing. Or any other class for that matter. Eight years, actually.

I didn’t mean to get into an exclusive relationship with my elliptical for eight years. It just happened. I switched gyms and stopped taking classes and switched gyms again and was too lazy to start taking new classes. Until today. I took my first class since I stopped and was not at all prepared. That was one serious wake-up call in cardio sculpt today. After about five minutes, I was pretty much on the floor. Hilarious! When you do the same workout for years, your muscles adapt and you hit a plateau. The elliptical has spoiled me. Which is why we need some time apart. I’m not talking about breaking up. We just need to see other people. The other people I need to see are instructors who will whip my butt into shape. Was I really the princess of step, dance aerobics, and kickboxing in my 20s? I kind of was, yes. And I’m determined to earn my crown back.

Something else I’m determined to do is catch up on my summer reading. I finally bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After hearing so many of her fans rave about it, I could no longer resist. The girls next to me were buying Waiting for You. It’s fun when people are picking out my books while I’m standing right next to them. I also bought Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, which for some inexcusable reason I haven’t read yet. Sarah did a summer reading recommendation video for Barnes & Noble – it’s here, in case you haven’t seen it yet – and all of the featured books were on a cute display. So a big thanks to Sarah for spreading the love!

My new books will be much appreciated over the next few days. I’ll be unplugging from all things Internet to go chill in Philly. I love reading on the train. The main reason I’m going to Philly is for John Mayer’s show across the river in Camden, but I’ll also get to hang out with some friends and see how much Penn’s campus has changed since I last visited. It’s funny how I spent so many late nights in the science lab building, had so many frustrating times there and could not wait for the endless work to be over, and now I’m all excited to go back. Just goes to show that time really does heal.

While I’m gone, I’ll leave you with this interview by Allykatzz. Those girls rock. And because I’m psyched out of my mind about this concert, here’s the Waiting for You playlist.

Out of all my book playlists, this one seems the most summertime to me. It’s just a happy, mellow mix. You can check out the other playlists on my website.

Whatever’s going on in your life these days, I hope you take some time to kick back and enjoy the summer breeze!

why i live here, reason #573

Anayvelyse at the Poem Shop, University Place between 13th & 14th Streets.

Poem Shop

She’s a poet with an aura of awesomeness. Of course she was set up right outside Crumbs. She knows what’s good.

Anayvelyse writes poems on her typewriter, then edits them at home. She trades poems for money or found objects.



I’ve been thinking a lot about endings lately.

You guys know that I pretty much worship My So-Called Life in a religious way. It deserved many, many more seasons than it got. When the first (and only) season ends, Angela discovers that Brian wrote a love letter she thought was from Jordan. I always wondered what would have happened in the next season, or even farther down the road. Would Angela and Brian have ended up together?

IMHO, I do believe they would have. But not right away. I totally see Angela and Jordan getting back together for a while. Which would of course end tragically all over again. The Jordan Catalanos of the world never work out.

Whenever a good book or movie or show ends, I always have to imagine what happens next. There’s no way I can let characters I’ve become so attached to just fade away.

Here’s that last scene. You decide what happens next.

the little things

Last night was super fun. It wasn’t even about doing anything major. Just some of the little things that make me happy. I walked along the High Line to see the flowers and the view. There was an awesome sunset with pink clouds. Pink clouds at sunset rule. Mint chocolate cookie ice cream was also involved. The night had that same excited feeling of anticipation I had when I first moved here 14 years ago. It was sweet.

Another sweet thing is my Bobble water bottle. It has a built-in filter, so you just fill it up wherever and you instantly have fresh water. It’s perfect for the gym!

Bobble water bottles

One little thing I’m way too excited about is my new day planner. I know I’m like the last person still using a paper day planner. I’m old-school like that. My teacher self still anticipates the whole back to school routine of getting new supplies. You might even find me in Staples buying a new set of pencils before I need them. The beginning of August is usually when I get my new day planner (always for the academic year instead of the calendar year – that’s how I’m programmed). But I was in the stationery store where I get all of my colored pens the other day and thought, Why not see the new day planner designs? Every year I get a very specific kind of day planner. The colors and designs change every year. This time, it was like they read my mind. There was one design where you could put your own picture right on the front. I’ve been wanting them to do that for years. And now they have!

Yes, I am a total nerd. Which you already know.

Some friendly neighbors have been asking if any of my books are out in audio. Brilliance Audio is totally taking care of business. Something Like Fate is out on MP3 and CD. All of my other books will be out in audio this fall. It’s a little thing, but when my audio copies arrived I was pretty stoked.

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti audiobooks

What I’m most excited about right now is seeing John Mayer next week. And dude, I might be front-row center again! I was front-row center when I saw John earlier this year at Madison Square Garden, which is how I took these amazing photos to show you. I can’t wait to do it all again. When he was here in February, we had some serious blizzard conditions. Everyone was layered in their puffy coats and scarves. This time we’ll be outside on a warm night. Totally different experience. Plus, I’ll be spending a few days in Philly. I fell in love with Philly while I was at Penn, so going back to visit is always fun. Some of my good friends are still there. I’ll hang out on campus and imagine times I wish I’d had (which may sound depressing, but it actually helps me with my writing). And then celebrate what makes me feel alive with JM.

Yeah, it’s all about the little things. They add up to create the big picture of our lives. They’re what makes living in the Now a happy place to be. And I, for one, am their biggest fan.

awesome author alert

How excited was I to finally meet Jonathan Tropper last night? Beyond excited, that’s how. He had an event at the Columbus Circle Borders to celebrate the release of This Is Where I Leave You in paperback. And not just any paperback.  His paperbacks have been reissued with shiny new covers. I think the artwork reflects the tone of his books beautifully.

Jonathan Tropper shiny new covers

If you haven’t read any of Jonathan’s books, you want to get right on that. They are all so warm and funny and introspective. And I know sometimes the term “brilliant” is thrown around loosely, but it definitely applies here. I’ve been a huge fan since Plan B, so I was stoked to finally hear him read and get to meet him. And guess what? He sort of knew who I was! Life is now complete.

I got there early to snag a good seat and signed my books while I was waiting. I’m always thrilled to see them on endcaps, but it’s even more thrilling when I get to share such good company:

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti endcap

Sharing space with Sarah Dessen, Candace Bushnell, and Cecily von Ziegesar? Sweet! And I totally need to read Burned by Ellen Hopkins. Now, you see that book by Kate Brian? Kate Brian is actually one of Kieran Scott’s pen names. Kieran is one of the warmest, funniest YA authors I’ve met. Even her website is cute! She’s running an awesome contest on her blog that you should def check out.

A few other links for you: The Paperback Princess interviewed me about inspiration, dessert, and the latest news.  Plus, Cem’s Book Hideout just reviewed both When It Happens and Take Me There.  Thanks for spreading the word, Cem!

show love

I heard a rumor that Steve Carell is leaving The Office. I’m calling it a rumor because there’s just no way that can happen. The Office without Michael Scott would be like a Double Stuf Oreo without the Stuf. His World’s Best Boss mug doesn’t lie. Who else would bring donuts in on his birthday and organize a Lake Wallenpaupack booze cruise and throw an 05.05.05 party because it happens once every billion years?

Michael Scott

Only Michael Scott.

Now, I always try to see the bright side of a dark situation. The only good thing that will come of this is that Steve Carell will finally win his long overdue Emmy. They can’t just let him leave without giving him the award he’s deserved for the past five years.  Give Steve Carell his freaking Emmy already! He really, really needs to win this time around. Then 30 Rock can hog all the Emmys again next year.

My love for The Office is immense, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have room for other show love. I’ve been Netflixing Big Love. It’s so good! If When It Happens is ever made into a movie, the oldest son from Big Love (Douglas Smith) would make a great Tobey. He has many Tobey-like qualities.

Douglas Smith in Big Love

My Netflix queue is fierce. There are several shows I’ve been waiting for all year to come out on DVD that are coming out in August. Which of course I’m psyched about. Only, now I have a big dilemma. Which of these August releases should I watch first?

  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Gossip Girl
  • One Tree Hill
  • Parenthood
  • The Middle

Parenthood and The Middle are shows I haven’t seen yet. I keep hearing how awesome they are. The other four are some of my absolute fave shows. After The Office, of course. So which to move to the top of my queue? Conundrum!

heart’s desires

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m all about creating your ideal life. We all have heart’s desires. My heart’s desires keep me going. They’re what motivate me to keep moving forward to achieve my next goal, and the one after that, and the one after that. No matter how many goals I achieve, there are always plenty more waiting in line.

Like right now. So Much Closer has officially entered the copyediting phase of its journey. It usually takes a few weeks for copyediting to be completed. While I’m waiting, I’ll move on to my next goal. Which means it’s time for book six! My plan is to write the first draft of book six this summer.

Naturally, I have other goals beyond the author kind. My biggest heart’s desires have been speaking to me for a really long time. Meg Cabot is someone who understands this. I wasn’t surprised at all when she wrote one of her highly entertaining blog entries all about heart’s desires. She was saying how sometimes our heart’s desires are secret. Like Ellen Page’s desire to be a badass roller derby chick in Whip It.

Ellen Page in Whip It

She couldn’t tell her mom that she was a Hurl Scout because her mom would have been like, “Um, yeah, I don’t think so.” She kept her passion a secret for most of the movie. But of course it came out in the end. You can’t hide your heart’s desires for long. In fact, you have to put them out into the Universe so forces can begin to manifest your dreams. That’s how creative visualization works. If you’ve read When It Happens, you may remember the book Sara uses to manifest her own heart’s desires. That book is called Creative Visualization and it actually exists. It’s been part of my lifestyle for years and let me tell you something: It totally works!

With creative visualization, you don’t just imagine the things you want, kick back, and expect them to show up at your door. You have to put positive energy out into the Universe. The goal of doing this should never be just to get something good back in return. That said, karma makes sure that if you put out goodness, you receive goodness. Meg shared how she’s written books and short stories that benefit different charities. But I’m nowhere near that point. My thing has always been volunteer work. Ever since junior high, I’ve had a passion for all kinds of volunteer work. I like being able to help make the world a better place, even if all I can do is make it a tiny bit better. I’ve been a candystriper, a Girl Scout leader-in-training, an AIDS activist, and a bunch of other things. Currently, I do grocery shopping for seniors in my nabe. I do it because I love it.

And guess what? Friendly neighbor Kelsey just documented my books at Walmart. I didn’t even know my books were at Walmart!

Susane Colasanti books at Walmart

Do good things, receive good things. Everything is connected.

So now it’s time for you to put your biggest heart’s desires out into the Universe. You can use the comments section here (I got us started) or do your own thing. Don’t be embarrassed to dream big. How else do you think your heart’s desires will become reality?

heat wave

Hot enough for you? I’m good, thanks. It hit 103 degrees here yesterday and we’re doing it all over again today. And the rest of the week. The average maximum temperature for yesterday is 83 degrees, by the way. Hopefully, everyone is feeling cooler than I am. Because of course my air conditioner stopped working. One of the few times I actually need it.

So yeah. I’m pretty crispy.

Which is why today’s blog entry needs to be done in short snippets. I have things to share, but energy must be conserved.

1. I was really shy about setting this up, but I finally have a Facebook fan page. It would love your love.

2. Does anyone else have a favorite article of clothing they wear right away after doing laundry? I’m currently playing favorites with this cute pajama set from Forever 21. It’s a tank with a yellow bird that goes with these little gray shorts. And yes, this does mean that I technically work in pajamas.

3. I haven’t seen Twilight, but I’m still impressed with Taylor Lautner. He’s always so mature and thoughtful in interviews. Is that boy really only 18?! That rocks. He’s one less person I have to worry about.

4. Smiley face fireworks!

Smiley face fireworks

5. When I found out who was in The Good Guy, I was stoked. It has Alexis Bledel (from Gilmore Girls), Bryan Greenberg (from One Tree Hill), and Scott Porter (from Friday Night Lights). It was like a reunion of all the best characters playing other characters. I was also stoked because The Good Girl is one of my Top Five Fave Movies Ever. How cool would that have been if I loved this film almost as much? While it was good, I’m not doing cartwheels about it. Definitely recommended, though.

6. Does that ShamWow thing really work?

7. New reviews of Something Like Fate can be found at Teen Ink and The Paperback Princess, who gives it five tiaras!

Keep it cool, everybody!


The last revision of So Much Closer has been submitted to my editor. Woot! Although technically, it’s not the absolute last revision. It was me responding to my editor’s line edit. The next step is copyediting, in which I scrutinize every bit of the manuscript even more. Then the first pass is printed to see how the book layout will look. That’s when we check for any remaining typos. If I want to make additional changes at that point I have to have a really good reason, so hopefully I’ve already made all of my changes.

Not like that ever happens. I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to read my own books after they’re published. I only do it once to check for typos in the finished hardcover editions, but reading that one time is excruciating. Almost every page has things I desperately want to change. Seriously, it’s like nails on the blackboard. And that’s after reading drafts of the manuscript over and over during the revision process. That’s why I don’t think a book is ever completely done, even when it is. It’s also why I’ve put off reading Waiting for You until now. I really should have read it over a year ago to check for typos before the paperback was printed. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

This whole checking for typos thing isn’t required. It’s something I force myself to do because I hate when I’m reading a book and there’s a big fat typo glaring up at me. Most books I’ve read have contained one or two typos. Which is so frustrating! Because I know how many times that manuscript was read by the author and editors and copyeditors and a bunch of other people. It’s amazing how much we miss even after reading something ten times.

I know. I’m obsessive. The Japanese have this term called kaizen. It means ‘the continuous search for perfection.’ It’s a relief to know that kaizen is a thing. Now instead of being an obsessive freak, I can just be into kaizen.

Sometimes it’s best to just kick back and let life happen. That’s what I did last night. The 4th of July usually involves me running around Manhattan searching for the perfect view of the fireworks. But last night I was feeling post-revision exhaustion and it was too hot to run around. And guess what? I had an awesome view of the fireworks right from my window! It was unreal! Yay that the fireworks were over the Hudson River again this year. The best part was seeing my fave fireworks again. I have special love for the smiley faces and peace signs. Seeing them for a few seconds was like a sweet reunion with an old friend.

The fireworks made me think of that scene in Something Like Fate where Lani and Jason watch the fireworks and then stay really late. That whole scene was inspired by an actual 4th of July. When I was 17, my Gram drove my boyfriend and me to this park that had fireworks. She told us where she’d be waiting after. When the fireworks were over, we just stayed. Even though I knew Gram was waiting, even though I felt crazy guilty, we stayed for a while. Because that was one of the best experiences I’d ever had. It was so amazing to be out on that warm night with the first boy I loved, just lying on my blanket and watching the sky. Even though we were at this park in the suburbs near where my Gram lived, I could feel city energy, something that had been speaking to me ever since I started watching David Letterman when I was 12. I grew up in the country where nothing ever happened. Getting to go to a place where stuff was happening was beyond exciting.

I still feel bad that we were late to meet Gram. But I think that’s all part of kaizen. We can’t change the things we regret, but we can learn from our regrets and make better choices next time. Our choices shape our lives.

One choice I’ve made today is to minimize outdoor time. Oh yeah, we’re having a heat wave! It’s the extra fun kind that just keeps getting hotter and more humid as the week rolls on. My plan is to get lots of work done and think cool thoughts. If you’re also feeling the heat, please remember to take it easy. That’s what summer’s all about, after all.