top five, good vibes edition

Happy November! For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you much happiness and progress in your novel writing journey. As I am also working on a first draft this month, there is nothing but good vibes up in here. Writing a first draft is the most difficult part of the process for me. So I am surrounding myself with positive energy and warm fuzzies as motivation. Keep going even when things get rough (and know that they will)! The key to reaching your goal is to never give up.

1. I am sort of still dragging after Halloween. It was a wild day of trick-or-treating, then walking in the NYC Halloween Parade. Walking in the parade is so freaking fun I can’t even tell you. For nine years I watched the parade pass by right near where I lived in the West Village, wondering what it would be like to actually be in the parade instead of watch it. So I was stoked to walk for our fourth consecutive year. My fiance got to pick our costumes this year (we alternate back and forth). Perhaps you recognize us.

The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

When you walk in the parade, you never know who you’ll get to see walking along beside you. I saw Harry’s Styles, six friends who dressed up as Harry in different stages of his style evolution. I saw a Nasty Woman with a Bad Hombre. There was a huge inflated dinosaur bouncing along. Sometimes we were walking next to him and sometimes we weren’t. He kept fluctuating in and out of our area, which I adored. But when I saw these two guys, I lost my ish:

Michael Jackson and Prince in the NYC Halloween Parade 2016

2. It has come to my attention that there is a Love Wall here in New York. How City Love is that?!

Love Wall NYC

I will not rest until I kiss it. Obvs.

3. Speaking of kisses, Jay Asher’s new book What Light is out in the world. As you can see, I am a major fangirl.

Susane Colasanti and Jay Asher with What Light

You know how some people are not only outstanding at what they do, they are genuinely good, caring, altruistic people? That’s Jay Asher. Congrats on another super successful book launch, Jay!

4. October was National Bullying Prevention Month. As someone who was bullied all through junior high and high school, I feel the pain of each and every one of you who has been mistreated, ostracized, or abused. My book Keep Holding On was inspired by my experiences being bullied and is dedicated to Tyler Clementi. So when the Tyler Clementi Foundation asked me to write a guest blog post, I was honored. This piece I wrote is all about survival and the importance of staying strong. You are the change you’ve been waiting for.

Tyler Clementi Foundation + Susane Colasanti

5. When I turned 40, I decided that this decade was going to be fabulous. Every year I’ve been posting a Fabulous at 4_ photo to document. It’s a good way to keep me on point. Especially when I am very interested in cake. This is Fabulous at 43.

Susane Colasanti, Fabulous at 43

Stay strong, friendly neighbors! xoxo

sit with us

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

This is important.

My National Bullying Prevention Month hero this year is Natalie Hampton. She created an app called Sit With Us. Sit With Us helps you find people in the cafeteria you can sit with so you don’t have to sit alone at lunch.

This is outstanding.

Sit With Us by Natalie Hampton

As someone who endured the horror of sitting alone at lunch in high school, I know how devastating sitting alone is…and how the trauma of this harsh ostracism can affect you for many years.

Sit With Us is improving lives everyday. It even has the potential to save lives.

This is phenomenal.

Sit With Us is on Twitter @nobodyeatsalone. Connect with them.

For those of you in school, please be aware of anyone sitting alone in the cafeteria who would be immensely grateful to sit with you. Be an Upstander and invite them over to your table! You have the power to save lives too.

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.

NOH8

The first thing I listen for when my alarm goes off to NPR in the morning is if there was another shooting.

This is how I wake up now. Hoping that no one else was killed.

But there are places on this planet where mass shootings aren’t even news. Places where people live in fear of their lives and the lives of their loved ones every single day. Places where you are afraid to leave your home. Where simply being who you are, openly and proudly, means risking your life.

If the human race is to continue, we cannot go on like this. And PS? There is only ONE race. The human race. We are all connected. Regardless of skin pigmentation, sexual orientation, or any other component of our DNA. The human race will become extinct if we continue to kill each other like this. Considering the entirety of the Earth’s existence, humans arrived quite recently. We are new to this planet and we have already overstayed our welcome.

The hate thing? Has to stop.

Matt Huntington and Susane Colasanti, NOH8 2016

I posed for this photo with my fiance for the NOH8 Campaign as a way of taking a stand against hate. NOH8 promotes love, acceptance, and respect for all human beings worldwide. I am speaking out for the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting, for Tyler Clementi, for Matthew Shepard, and for every other innocent human being who was discriminated against to the point of being murdered. Hate is a lethal virus. What is the antidote?

We have the capacity for kindness. We are able to make good choices. Our thoughts, words, and actions are all choices we make every day. Let them be positive ones.

We must choose kindness.

We must choose love.

We must accept that we are all one race. And that all love is love.

Be who you are. Love who you want. Live and let live.

top ten, working it edition

1. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might know that I like to work out. I’ve been working out since I was 16, doing aerobics in front of the TV with Charlene Prickett on a very 80s show called It Figures. We’re talking leotards, belts, and leg warmers. Then it was on to a lot of step in college. Other classes in grad school. Since then I’ve been into kickboxing, boot camp, yoga, Pilates, hip-hop dance, and total body with a few trainers. Currently I’m all about the Zumba, Bodypump, and core. In over 20 years of working out at many gyms, Kara Doyle is by far the most amazing fitness instructor I’ve ever had. She is in permanent beast mode. She is dorktastic in the best possible way. She has dazzling positive energy that motivates her students to work harder and inspires us to be better. I’ve only been working out with Kara for about three years, but in that time she has shaped me into someone who, for the first time ever, might actually be in rehearsal for the gun show.

So I was bummed to see that no one’s ever buying tickets to my gun show while Jim Wittig is working it:

Susane Colasanti and Jim Wittig

Muscles much? Jim is fierce. He does not play. Actually, he does play hard after he works hard. My BF/soul mate (who is Jim’s cousin) took this photo of us at Jim’s poolside gym. At his gorgeous beach house. That sleeps 22 people. Um, yeah. Jim wins.

2. Happy 20th Anniversary to my favorite comic strip of all time, MUTTS! Patrick McDonnell does such a beautiful job of creating sweet, sensitive artwork that raises awareness of animal rights while encouraging everyone to treat the world around them with respect and admiration.

MUTTS comic, pink bubble wishes

May your pink bubble wishes for peace and harmony blossom.

3. Some of you have been asking me if the reference to Red Bedroom Records in Now and Forever is the same Red Bedroom Records from One Tree Hill. They are absolutely the same! One thing I love about writing teen novels is adding the kinds of quirky details I love reading in books. I adore making connections that resonate with me and I am thrilled when you love them, too!

4. Speaking of Now and Forever, Jean BookNerd just posted a fresh interview with me and included a giveaway of three signed copies of the book! Thanks for being so awesome, Jean.

5. I really don’t want to admit this. But. After much denial, I have to say that it’s getting kind of chilly. Like dipping down into the 50s at night. I’m doing my best not to let the end of summer get to me. We officially have one more week of summer left. The autumnal equinox is September 23 this year. And you best believe I will be working it endless summer style until then. This summer girl does not want to put her flip-flops away. No one should ever have to put their flip-flops away. Unless, you know. You love fall. If fall is your season, then yay for you! I’m sure you will be working those sweaters and scarves like nobody’s business.

6. It seems that I may have developed a slight addiction to ModCloth dresses. If by “slight,” I mean “severe.”

Susane Colasanti in ModCloth

This was my summer fave. We called it the mermaid dress. See you next summer, mermaid dress. Tear.

7. An apartment one block from my place is being sold for $16 million. Of course it is on my dream home list. Don’t get me wrong. I totally love my place. Buying and renovating my apartment was when I turned one of my biggest dreams into reality. But this is my first apartment, not my last. There will be a lot of changes in the next few years. A lot of big, exciting, groundbreaking changes. Part of my practice of creative visualization involves recording my goals for the next three months, six months, year, three years, five years, ten years, and lifetime. A penthouse apartment here in downtown Manhattan is right up there on the goals list. The epitome of working it as a New York City homeowner is scoring the type of apartment that is so you it becomes this peaceful Zen retreat. My home is like that. It is a bright, streamlined writing oasis. But this duplex penthouse at 18 Gramercy Park? Is def on my goal list as a future Zen retreat.

8. You know how the models on my book covers never show their faces? I prefer it that way. When I’m reading a book, I like to imagine the characters the way my mind shapes them as the story unfolds. At the same time, it’s always interesting to see the cover models’ faces. They never look the way I thought they would! Friendly neighbor Ronni found this interview with the boy on the cover of Something Like Fate. Thanks, Ronni! Plus you can see what the cover boy from Keep Holding On looks like and read a short interview I did with him here.

9. For the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping count, more than half the adult population in the United States is single. And into it. They’re the growing number of people putting their time and money into making cities vibrant. Only 22% of Americans were single in 1950. Today the number is just over 50%. One factor that’s contributing to more people staying single longer or making life changes to become single? The search for a soul mate. Refusing to settle for anything less than what your heart desires. The key to finding true happiness in a relationship is finding true happiness with yourself first. Snaps for everyone who has the confidence to work it and own it being single, confident, and happy.

10. I’ll end with this reminder:

You are of infinite worth

You are of infinite worth. Never forget that you matter, you are making a difference in this world, and you are loved ❤

national bullying prevention month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Those of you who know that I was bullied in junior high and high school understand why I want to do everything I can to reach out to others who are surviving daily torment and ostracism. That’s why I wrote Keep Holding On. Keep Holding On is about a girl who is relentlessly bullied at school and horribly neglected at home. Most of her experiences in the book were inspired by my actual experiences back then. I want my readers to know that they are not alone. No matter what you’re dealing with, there are other people out there surviving the same painful times.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

In conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, I’m giving away a signed copy of Keep Holding On. Let’s spread the word on Twitter! Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet this:

Win a signed copy of #KeepHoldingOn for National Bullying Prevention Month. Follow @susanecolasanti and RT to enter. https://susanecolasanti.wordpress.com

Tweet before Sunday, October 27 at 11:11 pm to enter. The winner will be contacted and announced on Twitter. US addresses only.

Less Than Three Conference

Are you in the St. Louis area? I’ll be there this weekend participating in Less Than Three, an anti-bullying conference to raise awareness and focus on positive approaches to end bullying. Here’s the event info:

October 19, 2013 – 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Less Than Three Conference
St. Charles Library
427 Spencer Road
St. Peters, MO 63376

I am so psyched to gather with teens, librarians, teachers, and a stone-cold pack of amazing authors. Hope to see those of you around St. Louis there!

A couple other items: Thanks to Justine Magazine for sharing some of my high school survival tips. And tomorrow, October 17, is Spirit Day. Wear your purple to take a stand against bullying of LGBT teens!

Feeling like you have no one you can talk to is the worst. But there are lots of friendly neighbors who want to help you. You can find a list of hotline resources on the Keep Holding On page of my website. And you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. The lifeline is available 24/7 and is a free, confidential service.

Stay strong, reach out, and never, ever give up ❤