forever

Can I just tell you how epic NCTE/ALAN has been? So freaking epic it’s hardly bothering me that temperatures are in the 20s and wind gusts are like 200 mph. What could have possibly happened to make me not care about these brutally cold conditions? Read on, friendly neighbors.

As I was about to leave for my train to Boston, I found out that Judy Blume would be signing at the Penguin booth right after me. Of course I grabbed my 28-year-old copy of Forever on the way out the door. This was my big chance to have Judy sign it and there was no way I was missing out. Was I also freaking out that Judy would be sitting in the same exact chair I just sat in to sign books? Naturally. If you would have told me this would be happening back when I was reading Forever at 13 because my Gram bought it for me thinking it was like Judy’s middle grade books, all relieved I didn’t have to endure the embarrassment of buying it myself (I was a shy girl back in the day), you would have blown my mind. Like, blown it right off.

I signed books at the Penguin booth on Saturday, November 23, 2013. Just felt the need to document the exact date there. Don’t mind me. When I was done signing, Judy arrived to sit where I had been sitting. We stood there for a second in the midst of switching over. And do you know what happened? Judy Blume knew who I was. She was so warm and sweet to me, like we were old friends. I could hardly absorb the magnitude of that moment, given how lost I was in adoring her:

Judy Blume and Susane Colasanti

And just like that, another big dream became reality. Naturally, that was one of the Top Five Best Moments of My Life. It is a moment I will cherish forever.

Judy Blume wasn’t my only author idol at the conference. Laurie Halse Anderson and Sarah Dessen were also in the house. I have the wonderful good fortune of being friends with these ladies. But they are the kind of friends I hardly ever get to see. So when I do, it is a Big Effing Deal. Laurie was at the Penguin Family Dinner Saturday night. That would be Saturday, November 23, 2013, aka The Day I Met Judy Blume. Just to clarify in case you forgot. Although I was not seated at Laurie’s table, I snuck over during dessert to catch up with her.

Susane Colasanti and Laurie Halse Anderson

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (extra impressive, considering how much the world of blogging has changed in the past couple of years), you know that Laurie Halse Anderson is my favorite YA author. Her writing is beautiful, evocative, and profound. Along with Sarah, Laurie was a mentor when I was first starting out as a new author who had zero clue. They’ve both taught me so much. Which always makes catching up with Laurie in person a really special treat. So I sat next to her for a while and we talked about life stuff and it was awesome.

And then. Guess who Sarah and I chilled with at the ALAN Cocktail Reception?

Susane Colasanti, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen

Oh yes. That would be me, Judy, and Sarah, aka BFFs. See how smiley we are? That’s what happens when an abundance of positive energy collects in one area of the room. Sarah and I carried that smiley positive energy all the way to dinner. She was brave and ordered the tempura broccoli app, which I wanted to order but didn’t because it was spicy. I don’t do spicy. But she let me try some and it was so delicious I immediately requested two additional orders for the table. Sarah is the person at dinner who always orders what you wish you’d ordered. Love that about her, among a zillion other things.

One of the best parts of my job is getting to connect with my favorite authors. I am eternally grateful for opportunities like these. And I am eternally thankful to Judy Blume for signing my vintage copy of Forever that is so old it began falling apart right there at the table. I’m carrying home pieces of the cover in a baggie. Years from now, when someone pulls the book from my shelf and asks about the pieces of the cover that are taped together, I’ll tell them about the time I met Judy Blume. I’ll tell them about that moment I will carry in my heart forever.

P.S. As promised, I’m announcing the Rafflecopter giveaway winner. And the winner is…Tati F.! Please stay tuned for more ARC giveaways of Now and Forever. For which you will not have to wait forever.

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warm fuzzies

When it becomes officially cold and sunset hovers around 4:30 and we still have a whole other month before daylight hours start increasing, I rely on warm fuzzies to get me through. Warm fuzzies are not just the type of positive messages Sadie likes to create in So Much Closer. A warm fuzzy can be anything that makes you feel happy and content. Kind of like these…

I’m beyond stoked to be a part of both NCTE and ALAN this year. I remember going to ALAN when I was a new author, just starting out with zero clue, in need of some serious mentoring. The workshops I attended were so inspirational. I left the conference feeling more motivated than ever, ablaze with rejuvenated writing energy. Now I finally get to be a part of the funtivities from the other side and I could not be more thrilled. Here’s where you can find me at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston:

NCTE Events

November 23, 2013 – 1:00-2:00 pm
Penguin Young Readers signing
Booth #930

November 23, 2013 – 2:45-4:00 pm 
The Concept of Fate in the YA Romance Novel
Room 305

November 24, 2013 – 9:00-10:00 am 
Anderson’s Bookshop signing
Booth #1631

ALAN Events

November 26, 2013 – 3:45-4:20 pm 
Celebrating Romance Novels: The Chemistry of Love, Lust, and Heartfelt Desire
Ballroom B, Level 3

November 26, 2013 – 4:30-5:00 pm 
Book signing
Ballroom B, Level 3

Meeting friendly neighbors at events is the best part of my job. Second best? Connecting with readers online. I’ve been getting such sparkly warm fuzzies from readers who have emailed to say they’re feeling inspired. That’s what I love to hear. This excerpt from a dedicated reader captures the essence of what I hope my readers will take away from my books:

Each book brought me hope throughout the next four years. I learned to stop surrounding myself with negative people, to take chances in love, and to actively work alongside the Universe to create the life I’d like to be living. I stopped letting people take advantage of me, and learned to channel negative feelings into positive actions. Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that soul mates do exist, which is endlessly encouraging. 🙂

Warm fuzzy magic at its finest.

When I’m staying in after a long day of working on a first draft (and loving that I don’t have to venture outside where it is Just Too Cold), I like to mellow out and recharge for the next day of creativity with a good movie first, then a good book before I go to bed. Recent indie movie finds that have left an impact are The Spectacular Now, Save the Date, Your Sister’s Sister, Newlyweds, and The Giant Mechanical Man. You might want to try those if you’ve been looking for some good recommendations.

Of course, the fastest mood elevator in the darkest, dreariest days (aka February) is a cupcake. Preferably from Sprinkles or Crumbs. Now I’m off to a business meeting at my satellite office (aka Crumbs). On the agenda: Stuffed Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. Sounds like warm fuzzy time to me.

Hope to see those of you attending NCTE/ALAN in Boston!

non-coincidence

Happy 11.12.13! This is an auspicious day to start making that change you’ve been wanting to make for a long time. You know the one, friendly neighbor. Let today be the first day of shaping your life into the best version of itself.

Speaking of epic days, World Kindness Day is tomorrow, November 13. World Kindness Day encourages altruistic acts of kindness. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has listed 332 ideas for how you can change the world with one simple act of kindness. I’m down with the helping someone for free idea. But that might be more selfish than altruistic, given my obsession for closet organization.

And speaking of epic! Guess who I ran into on the street recently?

Susane Colasanti with vintage friendly neighbors

Here I am with Jeremy and Stephanie. Who are Jeremy and Stephanie? Oh, only students I had back when I was a teacher. Ten and eight years ago, respectively. Check it: Right after Jeremy came up to me and we were standing there talking on the corner of 37th and Auspicious Avenue, Stephanie came up to me.

Stephanie: Hey, Ms. Colasanti! Do you remember me?
Me: Oh my god! This is so cool.
Stephanie: [not really noticing Jeremy]
Me: Are you guys together?
Jeremy & Stephanie: No.
Me: Wait. You guys aren’t together?
Jeremy & Stephanie: [shaking heads]
Me: Dude. Epic non-coincidence!

See, the probability of running into one of my old students is low to begin with. Especially considering that I resigned from teaching almost seven years ago. But the probability of running into two of my old students at the same time? The probability of that calculates to approximately .0000001, which is essentially zero.

Which qualifies as a huge non-coincidence.

What is a non-coincidence? A non-coincidence is my own term for an event that is too magical to be merely random. As yogi master David Life said, “If you believe in coincidence, you aren’t paying attention.” Because everything happens for a reason. Everything is connected. The more attuned you are to universal energy, the more in touch you are with yourself and the world around you, the more non-coincidences you will be open to experience.

The epic non-coincidence of running into Jeremy and Stephanie wouldn’t have happened if my energy was negative. If I was looking down or rushing or in a bad mood or blocking myself out with earbuds or a screen, they probably wouldn’t even have seen me. When we choose to radiate positive energy, we welcome positive energy right back. That is the essence of karma. And karma brings non-coincidences.

Non-coincidences are abundant if you are open to the energy. You can sometimes even anticipate them. For example, when I came back to my apartment last year after Hurricane Sandy left downtown Manhattan without power for four days and I camped out at my friends’ place on the Upper West like the lower Manhattan refugee I was, everything was still dark and cold. I climbed up to my apartment through the darkness, wrapped myself in a blanket, sat in my desk chair in front of my window wall, and played Empire State of MInd on my iPod. I had a Knowing that right when Alicia first sang “New York,” the power would come on.

And guess what? That’s exactly when the power came on.

The dark windows and streetlights and neon signs I was watching all blinked on in that powerful moment. Which made me feel better about all the food I had to throw out.

Enjoy 11.12.13. Enjoy World Kindness Day. And enjoy knowing that you have the power to shape your life and make the world a better place. Here’s to epic non-coincidences for everyone!

now and forever arc giveaway!

Guess what just arrived?

Advance reader’s copies of my new book, Now and Forever, coming out on May 20!

Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti ARC

This one’s for you. I’m running a massive giveaway to win this signed ARC of Now and Forever. Just go to the Rafflecopter link below, which lets you earn lots of extra entry points. The winner will be announced here on November 25. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

Enter the giveaway:
***Rafflecopter for Now and Forever ARC giveaway***

You can see the cover reveal and read the synopsis of Now and Forever here.

Yay yay YAY 🙂

crystal

Remember those Halloween nights trick-or-treating when it was so freaking cold you had to wear your coat over your costume? Which totally sucked because then no one could see what you were?

Yeah. This Halloween was the opposite of that.

Breaking Bad, Halloween 2013

When Matt told me he wanted to go as Walter White, I faced a conundrum. Breaking Bad is one of the best shows in the history of TV. We freaking love it. So that wasn’t the conflicting part. The problem I had to solve was this: What could I be to go with Walter White? We talked about me going as Catwoman, but WW and Catwoman? Lame. I’d waited too long to find my BF/soul mate to go as separate things. We were going to match. And we were going to be fabulous.

Three Halloween stores, one Ricky’s, and six hours of work later, I created the ultimate match for Walter White: Crystal, his blue meth. Like it says on my bling.

Did we just costume up and go out? No, we did not. We walked in the Village Halloween Parade! Walking in the parade is something I’ve always wanted to do. But I could never think of costumes good enough and/or no one wanted to go with me. This year my dream finally came true. Along with a lot of other dreams. 2013 is our shiny new year and it’s been even more phenomenal than I visualized. At this time last year, I was searching for Matt. I had a Knowing I would find him in 2013. And on January 11, 2013, we met. It was like the Universe couldn’t wait to bring us together.

This is the time to start visualizing your shiny new year of 2014. Anything you want to accomplish, find, create, experience, share – just put it all out there. The Universe opens doors for everyone who radiates positive energy. No dream is too big or too small to manifest. So put visions of your ideal life out there…and get ready for your shiny new year!