What was your Hurricane Irene experience like? Thankfully, we didn’t feel her effects here in New York as much as the worst case scenario predicted.

Except for the Whole Foods in Tribeca.

The entire subway system was shut down at noon on Saturday. I believe the last time that happened was 9.11. Before the subway system shut down (and most of the city shut down along with it), I ran out Friday night to see One Day and get my Shake Shack on. Of course I loved One Day. David Nicholls writing the screenplay was a treat. The book leapt off the screen. And even though seeing every day from the book in the film was a thing of beauty, perhaps the film would have captured more of the book’s magic by focusing in depth on only a few days instead of showing them all. People who didn’t read the book couldn’t really experience the same impact during some of the shorter glimpses. But since I spazzed out over the book, I had so much fun filling in the blanks each year. Recommended viewing for sure.

I knew that I probably wouldn’t be going out on Saturday and I definitely wouldn’t be going out on Sunday, so I stopped by the Whole Foods in Tribeca on my way home to stock up. Good thing I’d already gotten extra water. Whole Foods looked like it had already been hit by the hurricane. The entire water aisle was empty. The entire bread aisle was empty. Last time I saw anything like that was 9.11. There were announcements about how Whole Foods was staying open all night until 9:00 a.m. the next morning, then closing until Monday. It made me wonder who would go there at 4:00 a.m. and what there would be left to get. I couldn’t even score a grape. But I did manage some Popchips and 365 popcorn among other essentials. And a slice of carrot cake. What can I say? People were in full-on panic mode and it was stressing me out and when I’m stressed I want cake.

Part of the reason that particular Whole Foods was crazy Friday night was that it was right next to Battery Park City, one of the mandatory evacuation areas. There are some gorgeous buildings in that neighborhood. They have amazing views. But the last place I’d want to be with a hurricane headed my way is staring out of a floor-to-ceiling window on the 32nd floor of my apartment building. You could tell a bunch of people stayed. When I was leaving Whole Foods, I saw tons of crates of water stacked up near the door with delivery tags.

What was my evacuation plan? I wasn’t in a mandatory evac zone, so my evacuation plan was no evacuation plan. I did not survive 9.11 to be bested by some wind/rain.

One reason I don’t have a TV is that the media can be ridiculous. The news whipped people into such a frenzy of panic I wanted to bust out my Save the Drama for Your Mama tee I used to wear when I was teaching and messenger it over to Fox News. As a former meteorology teacher, I have two recommendations for media when dealing with future severe weather:

1. Chill the eff out.

2. Take five minutes to explain the science of hurricanes.

Seriously. Did any of them explain that once a hurricane touches down, it begins to lose energy? Or that hurricanes derive energy from warm ocean water, at least 80 F? Or that by the time Hurricane Irene arrived in New York she would be a tropical storm, so as long as we stayed in out of the wind and avoided getting smacked with a tree branch or a flying patio chair some genius in that penthouse didn’t take in, we would not die? Not from what I heard. Way to freak everyone out, news.

There is a positive side to everything. The positive side of storm aftermath is this gorgeous weather we’ll be having all week. Storms bring down particulate matter in the atmosphere, resulting in a hugely decreased amount of condensation nuclei so that clouds can’t form. Storms are like atmospheric cleansing. So we’re having the best summer breeze ever. Another positive note? My windows have now been washed.

If you’re in want of more good news, check out the Good News Network. All good news, all the time. A refreshing antidote to the media frenzy huffufle!

cool designs

Some cool designs that have caught my eye…

1. Moo box

A few months ago, I started noticing mini Moo business cards everywhere. They were so adorable that I had to design some of my own. When I discovered that I could upload 100 different images for one set of cards, I was blown away. But I decided to go with the Something Like Fate spine stripes. I cropped three different areas of the stripes for a touch of variety. The cards are super cute. Also super cute? The box they came in.

Moo business cards box

This is one of the many reasons I’m obsessed with Shiny Happy Apple World. Not only are Apple products simplistically elegant, even their packaging is beautiful. It’s thrilling to discover another company taking packaging just as seriously (or not seriously). Sparkly confetti for Moo!

2. All Star Marimekko

Marimekko flowers make me happy. Every time I go to Crate & Barrel, I have to stroll through the Marimekko section just to take in all the pretty designs. Marimekko plus Converse equals two of my fave things coming together to achieve brilliance.

Marimekko red poppy Converse

Full disclosure: I have a bit of a Converse addiction. Fine, more than a bit. Let’s just say the last thing I need is another pair of Converse. But…WANT. Want is a whole other thing. Want has taken over big time. I’m either ordering these or some customized ones I’ve been working on. There’s really no choice.

3. Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamps

Q: How cool are these stamps?

Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamps

A: So cool that I had to get a second sheet for my stamp book. I don’t collect as many stamps as I used to, but when I see ones as awesome as these they immediately get added to the book. Love.

4. MoMA Store’s Ultra-Flat Multicolor Wall Clock

MoMA Store's Ultra-Flat Multicolor Wall Clock

I just checked my dictionary for the definition of “cool” and there’s a picture of this clock. Which is really weird because I’ve had my enormous Say Anything style dictionary since college and I believe this is a new design. See, that’s how cool this clock is. So cool it redefined cool a long time ago, before it even existed.

Keep it cool, friendly neighbors!

can’t you see the sunshine?

Did you feel the earthquake yesterday? My 101-year-old building did. There have been earthquakes in New York City before. In fact, we usually experience one or two a year. The fascinating thing about yesterday’s earthquake is that the epicenter was in Virginia, yet my building shook so hard I could have sworn the epicenter was the Upper East Side. Actually, I didn’t realize it was an earthquake. I was working and my chair started shaking and the floor was moving and it even sounded like my building was creaking the way it sometimes does in a strong wind. I just assumed a big truck had rumbled by or something.

I didn’t check Twitter. I didn’t check Google. I just looked out the window and went back to work. It wasn’t until I went to Zumba and started talking to people that I found out it wasn’t a big truck. Really, I should have known. Ten years ago when we had a strong earthquake here (when the epicenter was the Upper East Side), my whole bed shook. The shaking woke me up because I’m such a light sleeper that even my neighbor sneezing can wake me up. But most of my students slept through it. The whole experience was an excellent example to use when we got to the geology unit.

It’s times like these that I miss teaching Earth Science. The public school system here has a set curriculum for Earth Science, which consists of three sciences: astronomy, meteorology, and geology. Astronomy has been my passion ever since I was little (which was a big reason The Little Prince instantly became my favorite book) and most of my students loved astronomy, so I always started the year with that. I had lots of cool stuff to share about my years of observations and working at NASA, plus a bunch of sweet demos. But when we got to geology…there just wasn’t a whole lot of fun stuff to share. Other than my slammin’ rocks and minerals collection, of course. Yesterday’s earthquake would have been an awesome example for everyone to connect with.

And I would totally be using the whole 2nd Avenue subway line to teach about bedrock. They’ve been digging the 2nd Avenue subway for years. You’re basically screwed if you live east of 3rd Avenue. There aren’t any subway lines that far over. But they keep promising progress on the 2nd Avenue line, excavating about 50 feet per day. The bedrock in that area of Manhattan mainly consists of schist. Schist was one of the fun words I used in class as a substitute. You couldn’t say, “I beat the s#*% out of him at Pac-Man.” But you could say, “That Pac-Man Trapper Keeper is the schist.” Oh yes, schist was a fave in my class. Foci was also popular, as in, “You seriously think My So-Called Life is lame? Get the foci out of here, freak!” Oh, and gneiss (pronounced “nice”). That one was mainly just so I could geek out all like, “Gneiiiiiss!” when someone gave a brilliant answer.

But none of this is the point. Here’s what I wanted to tell you: Matt Flamhaff’s door has been painted.

Jenna Rink, Matty Flamhaff, and Razzles

There’s really no limit to how many times I can watch 13 Going on 30. You know the scene where Jenna goes to find Matt’s place? That building is in my neighborhood and every time I walk by Matt’s door, I smile. And then I crave Razzles. His door was blue for the longest time. But when I walked by a few days ago? I was dismayed to discover it’s been painted! Matt Flamhaff’s door is now teal, in case you were wondering. You also might be wondering how I know his address. Yeah, that’s from obsessing over every location in the film so much that I had to go and track everything down. So if you happen to be walking by 303 West 4th Street, have some Razzles in honor of Matt. He probably won’t be home, though.

It’s been so freaking gorgeous this week. I’ve walked past lots of blue doors to make up for Matt’s. My friend Derrick and I realized that the Village has tons of blue doors a while ago, and ever since I’ve been noticing them everywhere. If only the whole summer could be this beautiful. It’s perfect James Taylor weather. My summertime playlist has lots of JT songs. Many of them begin with “C” – “Copperline,” “Carolina in My Mind,” “Country Road.” His music just sounds like summer to me.

Hope you’re mellowing out with some sweet summer sounds, too. They’re the schist.

big gay ice cream truck

I ordered a rich white husband at Big Gay last week.

Let’s back up.

If you’ve read So Much Closer, you may recall John’s shirt that says Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Big Gay is an actual ice cream truck run by Doug Quint. Doug is made of all things awesome, obvs. When I discovered his truck two years ago, there wasn’t really a line. Not too many people knew about the truck that serves things like wasabi pea dust and olive oil and bacon on ice cream.

But now everyone knows.

Here’s a typical Big Gay line:

And here’s what the line looks like at every other ice cream truck in Manhattan:

You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I first found Doug. It was like an urban legend that he existed and then suddenly he was there. I’m sure he doesn’t remember how I spazzed out over the need to put his truck in a book.

Fast-forward two years.

In the Venn Diagram of Big Gay fans and Susane Colasanti readers, the intersection probably only contains like three people because no one knows who I am and everyone knows Big Gay. So how impressed was I when a reader tweeted the page in So Much Closer mentioning Big Gay to Doug? Their pic:

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

I think I was on book tour at the time. I hadn’t visited the truck with a copy of the book for Doug yet. So that’s how Doug found out Big Gay made it into the book – on Twitter! You can follow Big Gay on Twitter for all the latest in tasty. Or to find out how Doug is celebrating his birthday today.

You’re probably wondering about the rich white husband I ordered. It’s vanilla ice cream with nuts, plus caramel and rainbow sprinkles. This girl in front of me ordered vanilla with nuts earlier in the summer. Doug was immediately like, “I’m calling that the rich white husband!” But I had to remind him what it was. That’s how awesome Doug is – so awesome that he can’t even keep track of all the awesome. Then I went ahead and added caramel to make my husband extra rich. And rainbow sprinkles because how can you not?

Doug Quint totally pulled a Justin Bieber. In just a few years, he blew up into a whole dazzling franchise. Doug is even opening a Big Gay store with his partner! This Daily Candy video gives you a sneak peek, including the biggest and gayest thing in the store. Big Gay all the way!

This is one success story that’s a major source of inspiration to me. It shows that whatever your big dream is, you can turn it into reality. You can make it happen. And people will be waiting to adore it.

i know that you from jersey

Happy One Day Day! Are you seeing the movie this weekend? I’m actually not going until next week. The waiting is excruciating. Good thing I’m into anticipation.

Friendly neighbor Diana posted this video in the comments and I just had to post it again here for you. It’s a beyond hilarious clip of me – um, I mean Anne Hathaway – rapping about the paparazzi.

I love her even more for this.

cover anticipation

You guys. I am SO freaking excited about the cover of my new book, Keep Holding On. Have I seen a draft of the cover yet? No. So why the excitement? Well, the designers have been working on it for a while now. I’m taking that as a good sign. It means they really want to get the cover right. And not having the first clue about what the cover is going to look like is exciting, too. I can’t wait to see what the phenomenal design team at Penguin comes up with!

But there’s even more cover anticipation. The paperback edition of So Much Closer is getting a shiny new cover! I’m extra stoked because the photo shoot might be taking place on the High Line again. Plus, we’re putting some bonus material in the paperbacks for you. How sweet is that? It’s like I have two new books to look forward to in 2012.

Of course I’ll be sharing both covers with you here as soon as I can. For now, I hope you’re enjoying the last few weeks of summer, which tragically always seem to fly by at an alarming warp speed. Some of you even went back to school already. That blows my mind. I can’t imagine going back in August. But I guess you get out earlier, so that rocks. Every situation has a positive side.

I’m not really sure what the positive side of Friday Night LIghts ending is, but at least there’s a new tidbit to share. A friendly neighbor on Twitter told me about Coach Eric Taylor’s farewell speech. It was originally supposed to be the voice-over for that spectacular final montage of the Friday Night Lights series finale. Then it was decided that the montage was more powerful as just a collection of images, perhaps the most profound collection of images ever. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to this speech. This part gets me every time: “You will always be a part of me, my heart and my soul. You are my family.” Just like the theme music gives me goosebumps. Every single time.

For those of you obsessed with connections like I am, I just have to point out one thing. There’s a part in Take Me There where Danny is talking about Easter eggs. Not the kind you dye. The kind that are these hidden features on DVDs. Coach Taylor’s speech is an Easter egg on the DVD. To access it, you have to go to the menu screen for the finale, select “commentary off,” right click, and a small football will appear. If you click the football, you get to the speech. See? Everything about that show is made of awesome, including the DVD.

Whatever you’re anticipating, I hope these last few weeks of summer bring you fun times!

and i thought my place was small

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how much I love living in the heart of the Village. You know I sacrificed some things for this prime location. Like having a freezer. I don’t remember putting all that much in my freezer before, but when you don’t have one and it’s 100 degrees out? Man, you want a popsicle. Or at least some ice. But living in this 400-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood I adore the most in the whole world was more important than Quorn. Quorn, if you’re reading this, I just have to say that I am one vegetarian who desperately misses you. Sometimes I strategically plan to have Quorn for dinner by getting some at Whole Foods and immediately cooking it up when I get home.

But enough about my freezerless self. Let’s get to the guy who doesn’t even have a kitchen. Or a bathroom.

Meet Luke. He lives in midtown. His apartment is 78 square feet. He pays $800 a month. Welcome to the Manhattan real estate market! How’s everybody? Luke is badass organized. It’s hard to admit this but…I think he might even be more organized than I am. I know! Seriously, take a look:

And I thought my place was small. Hilarious! In an organization dork-off, I have to hand it to you, Luke: you’ve already won. TGIM, dude.

summer breeze

I don’t have to tell you how much I love summertime. Don’t we all love summertime? Here in New York, August is super quiet. People go down the shore. People take long weekends. People flock to the Hamptons. It’s like this understood thing that no one works in August.

For some reason, everyone else’s prolonged state of relaxation inspires me to work. Working when no one else is makes me feel extra productive. I even emptied both of my email inboxes last week. An unprecedented event! Of course it only lasted for an hour or so, but for a brief moment in time I could actually say I was 100% caught up with email.

But things will pick up soon. My back-to-school issue of Seventeen has already been read. I’ve set up my new day planner. Even though I quit teaching four years ago, I’m still on an academic schedule. I think I always will be. And next month I’ll be doing an event in Baltimore. So for those of you who’ve been asking when I’m coming to the Baltimore area, here you go! The event info:

Friday, September 23, 2011
6:00 – 8:00 pm

Baltimore Book Festival
Mount Vernon Place
600 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD  21201

I’m beyond stoked for this event. I get to be on a realistic teen fiction panel with these amazing authors. We’re going to have a blast.

A few other people have been inspired not to laze around all day. Miss Print interviewed me about soul mates, Office paraphernalia, and my graphic tee addiction. She also reviewed So Much Closer. How awesome is she? Plus, a new review of Something Like Fate is up at Musings from a Library Lady. And Laurie Halse Anderson is all over her annual Write Fifteen Minutes a Day Challenge. I always learn so much from her blog. One fabulous piece of advice she gave this year is to carve out writing time and guard it with your life. That’s really the only way to reach your writing goals.

Laurie, I’m right there with you. Right now I’m working on my chapter outline for the new book. I’m having a lot of fun getting to know my characters better. There’s always this crazy excitement before I start writing a new book, imagining all the fun scenes I want to write and knowing that anything is possible. Starting a new book means less time for other stuff I want to do. But I want to do this more.

Regular days off are important, too. They enhance our writing by recharging us. One of my fave places to chill is the High Line. Section two opened this summer with an abundance of gorgeous flowers:

I hope you have some pretty things to look at wherever you are. And remember to take time to smell the flowers!

keep holding on

It’s that time again, friendly neighbors. Revisions of my new book are done. Copyediting has begun. I’m shifting gears, getting ready to start writing book seven.


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Today is all about my sixth book, which will be out next year. It already has a Goodreads page. I should be able to share the cover and synopsis with you soon. And the pub date might be finalized later this month. For now, I’m stoked to share this with you: the title of my new book is Keep Holding On.

Coming up with good titles isn’t easy for me. I usually find it easier to write an entire book than to think up a winning title. When I’m working on a new book, I have a corresponding notebook that goes with it. Each notebook has a page where I brainstorm titles. Keep Holding On was one of the first titles I wrote down for this book. Then I worried that it was too obvious. But it’s actually perfect. All of my titles are three words. And they all have multiple connotations. Keep Holding On reflects the relationship between my main character and her soul mate. It also reflects the tone of the story. So I hope you like it, too!

I’m sure you know which song inspired this title. The Glee cover is a big, sparkly warm fuzzy. Kind of how I want this book to make you feel.

You’re not alone.
Just stay strong.

another audiobook giveaway!

I had so much fun with the first audiobook giveaway on Twitter that I’m doing another one this week on Facebook!

You can win any two of these audiobooks on your choice of CD or MP3:

When It Happens, Take Me There, and Waiting for You audiobooks by Susane Colasanti

Here’s how to enter:

1.  Like my Facebook page.

2.  Leave a comment in the audiobook giveaway thread on my Facebook page.

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be received by Sunday, August 14 at 11:11 pm.

2. I will announce the winner on Monday, August 15 on my Facebook page.

3. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti[at]gmail[dot]com) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

4. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

5. The prize is your choice of any two of these audiobooks on CD or MP3: When It Happens, Take Me There, or Waiting for You.

Good luck!