sheetcaking

“Sheetcaking is a grassroots movement. Most of the women I know have been doing it once a week since the election.”

Tina Fey sheetcaking

See, this is why I love Tina Fey.

I used to sheetcake on the reg, but I swapped cake for pages in my 2017 Year on Fire. As of today, August 18, my Gram’s birthday, I am about to start writing my FIFTH BOOK of 2017.

That is how we convert negative energy into positive energy.

Get it!

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top five, feeling the city love edition

There has just been so much city love in the air here in New York. Whether it’s chilling up on my roof on sunny mornings in the 70s listening to Dear Sugar podcasts (back for a new summer season!) (and can I just say how on-point Cheryl Strayed is with the advice every. single. time?!), or walking down my street doing errands when I pass by Books of Wonder and see that two of my fave authors are doing an event right that second so I serendipitously get to attend, or having refreshing blended mint lemonade granitas at Westville with good friends visiting from LA, or just listening to the mourning dove in the tree outside my window hoo while I’m writing…it’s been a beautiful end to springtime.

Here are some more city love examples.

1. The tagline of City Love is Look up. Anything is possible. When you look up, you notice beauty you’ve never seen before. You view history. You welcome connections, which invites possibility. One thing I love about looking up is spotting old-school signage on buildings here in downtown Manhattan. Like this one for manicure sets:

Old-school signage in Chelsea, New York City

Not only do I love the physical signage, the faded lettering in vintage fonts of the 20s and 30s, but it’s fun to imagine the New York of that time, back in the day when the now apartment building was a factory or warehouse. The mix of old and new on every block here is dope.

2. I was on the High Line, my fave place in New York, the other evening filming part of a City Love trilogy walking tour I’ll be posting in July when Forever in Love comes out. It was one of those perfect springtime New York nights…gorgeous weather, good vibes, dazzling sunset. Another thing I love about New York along with the mix of old and new, which you can totally see around you every step of the High Line you take, is the mix of country and urban. The High Line has tons of spectacular vegetation, which I love against the backdrop of city life:

The High Line, New York City, June 2017

3. This.

The High Line, Pride Month 2017

Yet another reason why I love the High Line. Happy Pride Month!

4. We filmed another City Love trilogy walking tour video at Bubby’s across the street from where the High Line begins. If you’ve read City Love or Lost in Love, you might remember that Sadie loves Bubby’s. And that Rosanna is obsessed with fresh watermelon juice, which she cannot get enough of at Bubby’s and nearly falls off the stool in a total state of euphoric bliss. I loved sitting at the bar, enjoying watermelon juice and geeking out over the Pac-Man decorations:

Bubby's High Line, New York City

Bubby’s was really loud, but I think I yelled loudly enough to be heard in the video. We’ll see…

5. Guess what arrived?

Forever in Love by Susane Colasanti

The first copy of Forever in Love! And yes, it has a printed case underneath the jacket like the other two books in the trilogy. Forever in Love comes out on July 11, but you can pre-order a shiny new copy now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or from your local bookshop.

Wishing you glittery city love vibes all summer long ❤

the wonder years

The Wonder Years was my truth in high school. My rock. That half hour it was on every Tuesday or Wednesday night at 8:00 or 8:30 was my favorite half hour of the whole week. My happy place. My sacred time to connect with characters who were my people. A time for the brilliant tone and nuances and writing of that show to break down the walls of my loneliness and depression. I felt validated. I felt understood.

Back then there was no Netflix. No binge watching. You had to wait a week for another ep of your show to come on, and the next day at school all your friends were talking about it. While I love a good binge, I appreciate that my lifetime is spanning both realms of technological advancement so I got to experience old-school TV and the freedom to watch more than one ep of any given show at a time. Patience was required back in the day. Instant gratification was not a thing. There was wonder in waiting a whole week for the next ep of your show to come on. There is always a kind of beauty in anticipation.

But. Now it is 2017, and The Wonder Years is on Netflix. And I’m pretty sure I set a world record for fastest binge watch ever.

Mainly because I wanted to see how adult me would react to the show vs. teen me. I wanted to see if the show still felt as powerful as it did 25 years ago. Also because I never saw the last two seasons. I left for college after Season 4 and haven’t had a TV since (I watch Netflix on my laptop). I was beyond stoked that such an old show, my favorite show, had these unseen lost eps which made those two seasons a new show for me. Fresh eps! One of the first details I noticed was everyone’s glasses. Season One takes place in 1968, when everyone was apparently wearing the square and round glasses that are in (back in, dig that cyclical trend) today. So there was that thing when you realize your new glasses in 2017 are straight out of The Wonder Years circa 1968.

The Wonder Years, Paul Pfeiffer

Rewatching those eps that I cherished in high school plus the lost eps I’d never seen before, all those same feels came rushing back at me like it was 1989 all over again. And new things too, like how Kevin’s parents seemed so old at the time, but now they’re my age. Mind. Blown. I mean, I can’t imagine having three kids in high school and college. My life plan in high school was to get married in my early 20s and have two kids before 30. But I’m grateful the Universe guided me down the path I was truly meant to take. Now I feel like I wanted those things because that was my impression of the only acceptable life a person could have to be considered normal. Fortunately I realized that being weird and happy was more important. Like Ellen DeGeneres said, “As long as you stay true to exactly who you are, you will be rewarded in ways that you can’t imagine.”

Out of respect for 1973, the year The Wonder Years world came to an end and the year I was born, I will end with lyrics from “Bookends” from memory. Not googled. Just what my heart remembers. One of the things I adore about this show is the soundtrack. They feature several Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel songs, songs I played in my room constantly in high school. With the exception of a few bands like The Cure and R.E.M., my musical tastes were one generation removed. Paul Simon, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Cat Stevens…that was my music. “Bookends” is a short, poignant song that intensifies with age. This is how I remember it. And them.

Time it was, and what a time it was
It was
a time of innocence
a time of confidences.

Long ago, it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

The Wonder Years

the search for everything

Today is the day, John Mayer fans.

The Search for Everything is out in the world.

As John Mayer’s biggest fangirl, my search for everything ended on February 25, 2010 when I scored impossible front row center seats to his Madison Square Garden show. One of my favorite activities is making the impossible possible. And that was the best. night. EVER.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

I’m celebrating today by kicking it old-school with a mix of Room for Squares / Heavier Things combined with the new album. Our attention spans are so short now (8 seconds on average, while the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds) that artists are releasing singles in waves before albums because few us of can handle an entire album anymore. Part of me aches with nostalgia for the days when a new album would be released and everyone would go buy it, then take it home and listen to all the songs together. Hearing those songs for the first time, all of them in an order that meant something, was the biggest rush. An album release was something to look forward to. Something to cherish. Something to share with your friends.

But another part of me appreciates that JM released “Love on the Weekend” first. I grooved to his classic musical sound, euphoric that he was connecting to his roots full-circle. Then Wave One came out with “Moving On and Getting Over,” a super fresh jammer, and Wave Two brought us “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Emoji of a Wave,” a song that always makes me tear up. John Mayer has been playing the soundtrack of my life since 2001, and The Search for Everything brings that history home.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Oh yeah. I was pretty much sitting on John Mayer’s lap that night. That thing where there are fifteen thousand people in the room but it just feels like the two of you? Is something I’d never experienced before and probably will never experience again.

Which is why I remember that concert so clearly. The pure euphoria of making my big front row center dream reality. Finally there was nothing between us. No heads getting in the way of my pictures. No arms in the air obscuring my view. Jumping up and down to “Bigger Than My Body” as John smiled right at me, knowing that I totally understood every nuance of that song. The charged rush of “No Such Thing.” The swoony spell of “Assassin.” Putting my camera away during “3 x 5” out of respect. Every time I hear those songs, I am right back there with John again.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Wondering how I made the impossible possible? You can read my blog post from 2010 here.

Wishing you sweet karma for the ultimate concert experience of your dreams, friendly neighbors. Rock on ❤

happy spring, friendly neighbor style

Happy first full day of spring, friendly neighbors! The vernal equinox occurred early yesterday morning, and I wanted to write this post yesterday while I was in full-on first day of spring celebration mode. But my 2017 Year on Fire was en fuego with activity yesterday. I will be writing other posts specifically on my 2017 Year on Fire as incredible news unfolds to illustrate the power of positive energy in manifesting big dreams. For now, this is all about the positive energy of spring.

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell - Spring 2017

Let’s go back to yesterday for a minute. Not only was March 20 the first day of spring, it was International Day of Happiness and Fred Rogers’ birthday. ALL ON THE SAME DAY.

Mind. Blown.

That’s like one of the biggest non-coincidences I’ve ever seen.

I was freaking the eff out. First of all, I could feel the power of spring energy in the air the second I woke up before I even remembered it was the first day of spring. You know that groggy feeling you have when your alarm goes off and you want to sleep for two more hours? That’s me pretty much every morning. But yesterday? I did something I’d never done before. My alarm went off and I actually raised the roof in bed. Raised the roof a second after I woke up because I was wide awake and so happy. And then I remembered it was the first day of spring and I could just feel the positive energy spring brings and I visualized everything this season will manifest. It was the ultimate TGIM wake-up call.

All day I was busting out happy dances and throwing confetti around, as I do. How fitting that it was International Day of Happiness – oh snap! I just realized that connection to feeling so happy when I woke up! – on Fred Rogers’ birthday. As you know, I worship Mister Rogers in a godlike way. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the inspiration for my whole friendly neighbors thing. Fred Rogers was the OFN (original friendly neighbor) and I love how he taught so many kids about the importance of kindness, compassion, and being exactly who you are.

Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

I’ll leave you with this quote by Fred Rogers when he was testifying on the importance of educational programming for kids in front of the US Senate to encourage funding for the National Endowment for the Arts:

If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health. I think that it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger than showing something of gunfire.

Wishing you much love and light this spring ❤

java stop

One of the most frequent questions authors get is this: Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Heck yeah we do.

For example. There is a scene in Lost in Love where Sadie has a meltdown/rant/enraged fit over a new store on Bleecker Street. She grew up in that neighborhood. The West Village is the only home she’s ever known. One of the things she loved about the West Village is how it was a community of artists and musicians, filled with mom-and-pop stores that had been there forever. But the West Village, like a lot of New York City neighborhoods, has changed. It’s no longer the boho creative enclave of the 60s and 70s it once was. Sadie observes that Bleecker Street is kind of looking like an upscale strip mall these days. Case in point: this one artisan soap boutique that has, um, leaves inside.

Bleecker Street leaves

Sadie’s meltdown/rant/enraged fit is sparked by a certain Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named. The new coffee shop muscled in after a mom-and-pop record store that had been there for 17 years got pushed out by an outrageous rent increase. Which is why a lot of older stores are closing all over Manhattan. The rents are crazy. Sadie sees the shiny new coffee shop and has what I hope is both a passionate and hilarious fit in front of the store. She even makes a protest sign out of some recycled cardboard and a borrowed marker from Rocco’s. Darcy records Sadie’s rant and they post it online. You’ll see what happens in the final book of the City Love trilogy, Forever in Love, coming out next May.

What does Sadie’s fit have to do with experiences IRL? I had the same exact fit.

I was walking down this block of Bleecker Street I hadn’t seen in a while. When I lived in the West Village for nine years, I walked down that block all the time. But it had been a while since I was right there. And when I saw that our beloved record store had been replaced by the Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named, I lost it. I freaked the eff out. Just like Sadie did. Minus the protest sign.

Of course my meltdown/rant/enraged fit had to find its way into a book. The City Love trilogy was the perfect place for it.

At first the Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named was named. But my editor made the wise decision to change the name. You know. Good vibes only. So I came up with Java Stop, which I’d never heard of before. Or so I thought. Almost a year later, I was watching Singles, a dope film I hadn’t seen in many years. And what was the name of the local coffee shop?

Java Stop.

Was this another fun non-coincidence? Maybe. Had I ever even noticed the name of that coffee shop before? I don’t think so. But maybe I did and I forgot about it on an obvious level. The brain is a fascinating thing. Our memories are there, just not always accessible. Whatever the reason for coming up with Java Stop, it makes me smile to know that Sadie’s fury over its rampage of bullying smaller shops like a big bad boogeyman is making readers smile too.

Keep smiling. And remember to look up. 🙂

fun fact and a book – the outsiders

My Fun Fact and a Book video series continues with The Outsiders! You guys know that I worship this book in a godlike way. I slept with the original copy I show you in this video under my pillow in 7th grade, wishing for some magical form of osmosis to seep through the pillow into my brian so I could one day write a teen novel that would help other teens the way The Outsiders helped me. And if you’ve seen me on a panel at an event, you might have heard me mention that Ponyboy Curtis is my book boyfriend because he understands about sunsets and colors and things.

So yeah. Much love for this book.

The first Fun Fact and a Book video expanded on one of the fun facts in my Epic Reads author fun facts video where I share one of my collections. I collect a lot of things, but that would have been the whole video if I showed you them all. There just wasn’t enough time to share everything about each fun fact! So I decided to do this video series where I expand on one of the fun facts in the Epic Reads video, then connect it to a book. The fun fact I expanded on in this new video? The Knowing when I was a teen that New York City would be my true home. I felt like an outsider in my isolated small town, which is why I connected so strongly to The Outsiders. Here’s the whole story:


If you feel like an outsider like I did, I hope this gives you some inspiration. Visualize your place to belong. See it. Feel it. Your happy place is your true home where you will find your people. It is the place where you will not only be accepted for who you are, but appreciated, celebrated, and loved.

You matter. You have a purpose. And you belong.