serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love xoxo

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

 

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

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. 🙂

legally blonde non-coincidence

TGIM! To keep this Monday Motivation train zipping along on a gray day, I thought I would share a non-coincidence with you that, at least to me, speaks to the power of positive energy.

You might be wondering what a non-coincidence is. Excellent question. A non-coincidence is an example of awesomeness in the universe I wrote about in Something Like Fate. I was writing about the concept of fate and to what degree we are the architects of our own destiny. And about other fascinating things we can’t explain. Like this one time when I had a dream about two people I had not spoken to in years, and the next day they both called me. Or how I was taking a subway line I never take at a time of day I never ride the subway and looked up from my book at this one stop for some reason…and a friend I hadn’t seen in forever got on who didn’t even live here. These are non-coincidences. Why do I call them that? One of the quotes I included in Something Like Fate is by David Life: If you believe in coincidence, you aren’t paying attention.

Do I think everything happens for a reason? I do. Do I think that if you live your life in positive energy and work toward your goals with determination and dedication, everything will unfold as it should? No doubt. And do I think that non-coincidences can enrich our lives if we are paying attention? Absolutely.

Here’s a recent example of a fun non-coincidence. I have this DVD of Legally Blonde. When I first got it over ten years ago, it played like a DVD should. No problems at all. Then one day, it stopped playing. Just gave up and called it quits. Given how much I enjoy that movie, I was understandably a bit devastated. I thought about mailing it to the manufacturer to request an exchange. Or just going out and buying a new one. But something kept stopping me. Every time I was like, “I am going to send Legally Blonde back today!” I never did. Which is really unlike me. When I say I am going to do something, I freaking do it. I can’t explain why I held onto this busted DVD.

Legally Blonde

So my Legally Blonde DVD would not play for years. Years, people. At least five, probably more like seven. I tried to get it to play so many times, hoping each time would be different and it would magically play despite the ever increasing evidence to the contrary.

Of course it never played.

Then it was May 11, 2016. I had recently turned Fabulous at 43. And I woke up that morning determined to make some changes. Things I had been working on for years suddenly were DONE. I was done entertaining negative energy in my life. All negative energy had to go, as I was a positive energy only zone. I decided in that moment that my word for Fab at 43 would be STRONG. I called my crazy busy doctor who I could never get on the phone and insisted on speaking to her directly after several attempted distractions by her intimidating staff, who usually wore me down so much I gave up trying. I spoke to her, then found a new doctor because no patient should be treated like that. I threw down a schedule that would protect my workout time. I shimmered in my Knowing that the new book I was working on chose me to write it. Positive energy was abundant…and powerful.

It was the perfect time to try playing Legally Blonde again.

But this time, I made an executive decision. If it didn’t play (as it hadn’t for the past 32 times I tried over 5+ years), I would toss it and order a new one. That was it. I was DONE.

Guess what happened?

The DVD played.

To me, this non-coincidence reinforced the power of positive energy. I believe that our energy not only affects other people, but also affects every living thing. And even, in mysterious ways, inanimate objects. I know how wild that sounds. But I’ve seen enough evidence in my lifetime to know that the energy we radiate can change the entire world. Including everything in it.

Whatever you want to achieve, whomever you want to become, whichever path you choose to follow, remember this: Positive energy is the key to creating your dream life. This was just a fun non-coincidence I shared, but positive energy is a catalyst for epic non-coincidences on a much larger scale that can change your entire life.

Embrace the power of positive energy. Then go out there and get your DVD to play.

shelf talker feels

Anytime a bookstore closes, it breaks my heart into a million pieces. When I think about all of the amazing experiences I’ve had in bookstores over the years, especially indies where you can just feel the passion and dedication the second you walk in, it is obvious that the bookstores I have visited across the country are an indelible part of me.

So it was especially heartbreaking when the Citigroup Center Barnes & Noble closed here in New York at the end of June. That store was huge. When I was starting out as an author, they had a really big teen section with lots of room for those cardboard floor displays you don’t see anymore. I went there to take photos with my displays, and everyone was always so kind and welcoming. I was honored to moderate the very last event that store had, a teen panel that was part of B-Fest. Lots of sweet memories there.

Every negative situation has a positive side. The positive side of the Citigroup Center Barnes & Noble closing is that they let me keep my shelf talker…and also take a few faves. Shelf talkers are those labels you see under some authors’ books in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. Here are the ones I took as mementos:

Susane Colasanti with shelf talkers by John Green, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and The Hunger Games

I am beyond grateful to have a shelf talker, and to be in such good company with these rock star authors.

Laurie Halse Anderson has been my favorite YA author since day one. Laurie is the OG of YA. Speak was the catalyst for an actual teen section, which pretty much didn’t exist until around 2000. Back in the day, there were like two shelves of teen books in the children’s section. Laurie inspired the teen section we know and love today. She is a beautiful writer. Every single page of her books resonates with truth and brilliance and emotion so strong sometimes you actually have to put the book down for a minute to get yourself together. She dropped the mic before that was even a thing. I will always be grateful to Laurie for helping me find my own voice, and will always be her #1 fangirl.

Everyone was saying I needed to read The Hunger Games. This was right before the final book came out. I was like, “No thanks, I’m all set with my TBR stack of realistic contemporary teen novels.” I am all about the realistic contemporary teen novels, which is why they are all I write. But people kept insisting. They were like, “You don’t understand.” And I was all, “No, you don’t understand. I’m not into dystopia.” But they would not shut up about how I didn’t understand. The first two books sat on my nightstand for a long time before I gave in and picked up The Hunger Games one night. Next thing I knew, I was still reading at four in the morning, eyes burning out of my head, not caring that I would be an exhausted mess the next day. Because OMG HOW GOOD WAS THAT BOOK? So yeah. Took that one.

Sarah Dessen paved the way for teen romance. She was a mentor when I was first getting started and is a friend I look up to today. I have learned so much from Sarah over the years. We have a lot in common, especially all things summer like flip-flops and long daylight time and fresh treats. Her books bring all the nostalgic feels. They have a timeless quality that feels like a dream to read. Leaving her shelf talker behind was just not an option.

There are some names that require no explanation. John Green is one of them. Enough said.

This Facebook Mentions Live video summed up my shelf talker feels:

Snaps for my readers on social who noticed the Joey + Pacey pic on my bulletin board. And yes, that is Jason Segel brushing his teeth in a scene from The Muppets!

Jason Segel in The Muppets

Fortunately our shelf talkers are in lots of Barnes & Noble stores. And B&N will be opening some new high concept stores that focus on community and ways to inspire more social interaction, bringing book lovers together in wonderful ways. I am really looking forward to seeing those.

Happy summer reading, friendly neighbors! xoxo

top five, fangirl edition

Exciting times, friendly neighbors! Spring flowers are in full bloom, daylight hours will keep increasing until the first day of summer, and the first good berries are right around the corner. Oh, and my new book comes out one week from today! Lost in Love will be released on May 3. Lost in Love is the second book of my City Love trilogy, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.

In other exciting news, some things I am fangirling over…

1. Is anyone else freaking out that Gilmore Girls and Prison Break are coming back? From our mutual fangirling on Twitter and Facebook, it sounds like you’re just as excited as I am.

Okay, keeping this a spoiler-free zone? Prison Break is coming back with all the key players, which means a certain someone is ALIVE. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear this. Seriously, I was bawling for days after watching the series finale. Of course they staged the grave visit for whichever bad guys were lurking in the bushes. Moving forward I should always assume something like that when my fave characters die. Believe. If you haven’t seen Prison Break, just watch the pilot and you will be hooked. Let me put it this way. Season One of Prison Break is Breaking Bad good…if not even better. Yeah, I said it!

Michael Scofield

And Gilmore Girls? I mean, I cannot even contain myself. As I am often late to the party, the Gilmore Guys podcast has only recently come to my attention. Dude. That ish is riveting. The first podcast I listened to was around three hours long. At first I was like, “Whaaaat? There’s no way I’m going to play this for three hours. That’s OD.” But it was not OD at all. Two hours in and I still wanted more. So yeah. Go listen.

2. In other fangirl obsessions, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli blew my face off so hard I had to check to make sure my nose was still on.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon is my new role model. I love his voice so. freaking. much. I love his squad. I love his astute observations of the universal human condition. Simon made an excellent point about how we are all houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And how there shouldn’t be a white/straight default. There shouldn’t even be a default. Shine on, Simon. Snaps for Becky Albertalli on her phenomenal debut!

3. While I was at the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas, I discovered that the Serendipity 3 on the Vegas strip puts those red and blue straws in their frozen hot chocolate just like in the movie. The New York location does not. You know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…like if a certain someone ordered two of these. Because straws.

Serendipity 3, Las Vegas frozen hot chocolate

4. The Bookish Bookkeeper was the first book blog to review Lost in Love…and gave it five stars! She said, “I can’t tell you how much I love this series and all its warm fuzzies and random acts of kindness things. This book makes me want to be a nicer, kinder, better person.” Wow. Thanks for your amazing review, BB!

5. There were SO many highlights of the Chicago Young Adult Book Festival this past weekend. Like finally meeting Emery Lord and having refreshments with John Green. They were both really chill to kick it with. Somehow C-3PO wandered into the mix…

Susane Colasanti, John Green, and Emery Lord at The Book Cellar in Chicago

Thanks to The Book Cellar for hosting this fantastic festival!

My Lost in Love tour continues this weekend in Santa Monica with YALLWest. Which is going to be amaze. It is a YALL, after all. Plus my birthday is May 1! Party on the pier, people! If you’re going to YALLWest, you can find me on April 3o at 1pm moderating the He Said, She Said, They Said panel, and signing right after at 2pm. And of course I will be at the Smackdown at 5pm. Then on May 1, I have a panel at 12pm and am signing at 3pm. And am eating birthday cake. Preferably funfetti with buttercream frosting. We’ll see what happens.

For those of you in the New York area, the Lost in Love launch event will be on Tuesday, May 3, 6-8pm at Books of Wonder. Later this summer on April 6 I will be at Read Up in Greenville, SC. Really looking forward to everything…and hope to see your smiling face!

serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love ❤

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

 

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.