leap day style

TGIM Leap Day style! I considered posting something epic for Leap Day. Or reporting on how I celebrated in some big way.

And then I was like, We don’t need a calendar to give us extra minutes to celebrate time. Every single minute of every single day is an opportunity for you to shine. No matter how you choose to enrich your life.

This moment is your life.

So if you are like me and didn’t do anything major to celebrate? Why not take one of these extra minutes to just breathe? Or practice gratitude? Or enjoy a treat that makes you happy? Isn’t it all about the little things, anyway?

“This moment is your life.”

Advertisements

top five, feeling the love edition

1. Thank you for all of your congratulations on my engagement! I appreciated every kind comment you made on social SO much. Now it’s my turn to congratulate someone on her engagement…my good friend Linden. When good friends get engaged right around the same time? That’s the Universe bringing lots of positive energy full-circle.

Susane and Linden, former single ladies

2. I cannot stop thinking about Taylor Swift’s Grammy acceptance speech. Her message for all the girls following their hearts and believing in their dreams? Was incredibly on point. I am in awe of her poise, eloquence, and confidence. When I was 26, I was a hot mess. Yeah, I was a new teacher who absolutely loved what I was doing professionally, but in my personal life I was settling for a relationship that was less than what I wanted in lots of ways. I was insecure and worried that I would never find true love. That I didn’t deserve true love. It took me the rest of my 20s to learn the love lessons that I live by now. And I am always learning more. But Taylor Swift? That girl came into this world knowing. Snaps for TS! Not only for her badass speech, but for rocking an ensemble that very few of us could pull off.

Taylor Swift at the 2016 Grammy Awards

3. One of my fave things about being an author is the relationships I’ve built with bloggers, librarians, and other book enthusiasts over the years. If you are in the bookstagram community, you know Erica at The Book Cellar. Erica has been reading my books since day one, and I am incredibly honored that she featured Lost in Love with some of her reflections from over the years. Although the final of my 15 Lost in Love advance copy giveaways was just posted on my Insta (there are still a few hours left to enter!), you have another chance to win one with Erica. Plus chances to win lots more books! Check out the Lost in Love feature at The Book Cellar with an interview and giveaways.

4. Another thing about Instagram? That’s how I found out about the Russian edition of When It Happens. A Russian reader posted the book and tagged me. This happens sometimes with foreign editions. A contract to publish a foreign edition is signed, but the author doesn’t always know when that edition is published. See, this is another reason why my readers freaking rule! The title of the Russian edition is When Love Comes. And the cover def brings those feels.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti, Russian edition

5. Are you in Santa Monica, Las Vegas, or New York City? Or at least close by? Then maybe I’ll see you at an upcoming event in March or April! I will be doing two events with the NYC Teen Author Festival on March 18 & 20, a bunch of stuff at the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas April 14-16, and I am stoked for YALLWest in Santa Monica April 30-May 1. And dude, May 1 is my birthday. Party in Santa Monica, whaaaat! More events will be added as we get closer to the May 3 Lost in Love release date. You can always find my upcoming events on the events page of my website.

Stay warm, friendly neighbors ❤

random acts of kindness day

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!

This year I decided to reach out to teens in my community. It was the perfect time to donate extra books to some local schools and libraries.

Random Acts of Kindness Day donations

Whether or not you let your kindness shine today, Random Acts of Kindness Week is good for the rest of the week! And of course kindness is good all day, every day.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation would like us to make 2016 the year of kindness. Visit their shiny new website for inspiration and to take the kindness pledge. Each month the RAK Foundation posts a calendar with daily acts of kindness you can do that day or any day you prefer. Check out their February calendar, focusing on self-care. Because being kind also includes being kind to yourself.

Shine on, everyone ❤

believe in love

Valentine’s Day is here, which could mean one (or a combination) of a few different things for you. Either a.) You will be spending at least part of today with someone you love, b.) You are fighting to not get sucked into a downward spiral of depression, having been accosted by annoying displays of hearts and chocolates and flowers everywhere you go, and will be self-medicating with discount Russell Stover’s tomorrow, c.) You could not care less about a commercialized holiday that puts an enormous amount of pressure on everyone involved; your day will be business as usual, or d.) You will be taking back VDay with your friends, celebrating the love you have for one another and the love you are developing for yourself.

If you are in a b.) situation, please know that I hear you. Loud and clear. Like, we could be binge watching The Office and baking chocolate chip cookies together right now. I cannot even tell you how much day-after-Valentine’s-Day discount chocolate I have drowned my sorrows in over the years. My comfort chocolate of choice has always been Russell Stover’s Assorted Creams. Their Nut, Chewy & Crisp Assortment was backup, followed by their milk chocolates. Because really, who wants to deal with dark chocolate when you’re depressed?

During those years of Valentine’s Day sorrow, feeling like I would never find true love and would not only die alone, but would die one of those miserable urban deaths where nobody would even know I died and my body would not be discovered until days after when the smell of my decomposed, Russell Stover’s rotting corpse would seep out from under my apartment door and someone down the hall would smell me and be like, “Is the garbage chute backed up or something?”

So yeah. I know all about being depressed on Valentine’s Day.

But here’s the thing. I refused to die that way. Not finding my soul mate was just not an option for me. Now, if you are in a c.) and/or d.) situation and are totally cool with being single, enjoying a girl or boy break or savoring the tingly anticipation of your first relationship to come, you freaking rule right now. I wish I’d had the confidence to be you. Maybe you don’t even want a relationship. I am impressed with your swagger. No matter which situation you are in today, I want to share something about my own process of dreaming big and making that dream reality. I have shared lots of these examples over the years. Today the story is about my fiance, but this is an example that will hopefully inspire any of you with big dreams, no matter what your dreams are.

This magazine ad of a snowman holding a Tiffany’s ring bag was on my dream board for years, then on my scrapbook treasure map.

My Tiffany's vision...

I looked at my Tiffany’s snowman on my dream board every day and visualized finding my soul mate. While the snowman was in my scrapbook, I didn’t see it every day, but the power of creative visualization was still at work because I had put that positive energy out there and was taking steps every day toward making that dream a reality. This photo shows the actual Tiffany’s ring box and bag that Matt (I never told him about the snowman, FYI) gave me when he proposed…in the winter with snow on the ground and the New York City skyline glittering in the background. And this is my engagement ring!

After years of dreaming big and putting those dreams out there in verbal, written, and artistic form, it never ceases to amaze me when I go back to one of my goal lists and can check something off I’d written years before that I’d totally forgot about. Although I never completely forgot about my snowman, I hadn’t looked at him in a long time. That winter Tiffany’s part of my vision was already manifesting in way more specific detail than I expected it to. I mean, why did I put that particular Tiffany’s ad on my dream board? I don’t do winter. Why not one from spring with pretty flowers, or glowing in the summer sun? You can’t just cut something out of a magazine, glue in on your treasure map, kick back and expect a Tiffany’s ring box to knock on your door. You have to work toward achieving your goal, no matter what your goal is, every day. But it is fascinating how powerful the visual components of your dream can be, and how closely they can manifest in real life.

Matt Huntington and Susane Colasanti

It’s okay to have bad days where everything is going wrong and you feel hopeless and alone. Feeling like your dreams are out of reach, or worrying that you won’t be able to achieve them, is a natural part of the process. But then a shiny new day comes and you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on your creative visualization track. Visualize your big dream. Take steps toward achieving it. Put positive energy out into the Universe. And refuse to give up.

Believe in your dreams. Believe in love ❤

bright colors, big city

February greetings, friendly neighbors! January pretty much zoomed by in like three seconds. I think it was a combination of being on deadline with my new book and…no, that was it. Writing the final City Love trilogy book was not easy. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to my girls. But now I am already starting my next book – which will be the 12th – and I am excited for this new beginning in a way I haven’t been before. The City Love trilogy is the only series I’ve written, and it has sort of become a diving line between my previous novels and what is to come. No worries, I will still be writing realistic teen love stories! There is just a bright new energy in the air here at the home office in New York City.

Authors can’t always rely on a set schedule year to year. Every time we sign a new book contract, we are agreeing to a new delivery deadline for the manuscript and tentative publication date. This is why I have been extremely fortunate that for the past ten years, my new book has always been due on February 1, and every book has been released in May (except for City Love, which came out last April). Being on the same schedule every year works well for organization freaks like me.

When I submit a new manuscript, it is actually my third draft, not a first draft. Writing a first draft is the most difficult part of the process for me. Facing the blank page can be terrifying. But the key is to dive into writing a new book without fear. Let the words flow. Let them glide you down meandering streams, race you through steep valleys, and arrive at an aqua sea glittering in the sunshine…which is how I feel when I print out that first draft. The manuscript still needs tons of work, but at least I have something on paper to work with. I like to do my second draft on the hard copy, then the third draft back on the screen. But that’s just how I work. Every writer works differently. The important thing is to find what works best for you, and then work it and own it.

Speaking of diving in…have you read This Raging Light by Estelle Laure?

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

 

How gorgeous is this cover? The second I saw it I wanted to dive right into its painted paper. And I don’t even know how to swim. This beautiful design is a perfect reflection of the beauty of Estelle Laure’s writing. I was riveted the whole time. You know those books that are so good you stay up reading until four in the morning, your eyes burning out of your head, knowing you will pay the next day but not caring? Oh yeah. This Raging Light takes you places. I cannot wait for the sequel, These Mighty Forces, coming next January. Snaps to Estelle for her extraordinary debut!

Speaking of debuts…it’s kind of blowing my mind that my first novel, When It Happens, came out 10 years ago. And get this. My new book, Lost in Love, will be released 10 years to the day of When It Happens on May 3, 2016.

You know how I love a good non-coincidence.

So what will this next stage of my career bring? Too early to say. All I know is that I am excited to dive into writing a new book and let the energy of New York City keep inspiring me every day. This energy makes me feel alive. See, my city love isn’t about a boy. It’s about this place I knew in my heart was my true home way before I got here 20 years ago. It’s about visualizing my dream life and taking steps every day towards making that dream reality. And, as always, remaining dedicated to writing books that hopefully make you feel less alone. You are why I write. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Here’s to those magic changes ❤