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 ❤

love on the weekend

If you know me, there is a good chance that you know John Mayer plays the soundtrack of my life. He just gets me. From little things like how blue lights on a black night can make you feel more to big things like the monumental euphoria of falling in love in New York City. My novels even reflect the strong connection I have to John Mayer’s music. There is a reference to the blue lights thing in When It Happens and the City Love trilogy covers that NYC euphoria.

So when John Mayer came out with a new single right before this weekend, of course I could not wait to be swept away again.

Love on the Weekend by John Mayer
And I was.

I will be grooving to “Love on the Weekend” all weekend. This song has JM’s old-school musical sound, but reinforced by the recent journeys he has taken. Artists have to take risks at certain points in their career to stay fresh, to grow, to evolve. I feel like the past four years have been that time for John to explore new territory and travel new roads. Now he is back and it’s 2003 all over again. This song. Nostalgic. Full-circle. Bliss. Fellow fans will understand when I say this song brings the heart and soul of JM right back to you. I cannot wait for the entire album to drop. Of course it is called The Search for Everything.

Even the artwork of this single resonates with me. All of this just makes me smile and feel like sunshine and mellows me out. Perfect weekend feels.


Happy Weekend, friendly neighbors ❤

top five, signs and signals edition

Here in New York, the first day of school was yesterday. Which, I mean, what? We’re actually into September already? Really? WHAT IS HAPPENING. But yes, these are the last days of summer to cherish, and yes, it is still summer. It is still summer until September 22 when it will officially become fall and don’t let anyone tell you any different. So keep working your graphic tanks and snapping those flip-flops with purpose as you walk down the street enjoying the summer breeze. Speaking of graphics…

1. You know you are dorktastic to the max when your idea of a fun night out is rocking your matching Mister Rogers and Bob Ross tees.

Mister Rogers + Bob Ross tees

We found these tees earlier in the summer and I freaked. out. My plan was to wear them to some upscale restaurant like the total dorks we are. So we went on a Citi Bike ride down the East River, chilled at Ost Cafe on the Lower East Side, rode to South Street Seaport and had dinner at Barbalu, a restaurant we discovered on a Citi Bike ride last summer that is so fantastic it will appear in Forever in Love, the final book of my City Love trilogy. But of course it was Labor Day weekend and no one was even around to notice the ironic fabulousness of our tees. What can I say? We were on fire.

2. In other Forever in Love news, I recently finished reviewing the copyedits. Which I was sort of avoiding because after copyedits there is only one step left in the publication process: looking over the first draft, a hard copy of the book’s layout. It has been really hard to say goodbye to my girls. After three books and so much more to write about, this is a difficult transition. Fortunately I am super excited about the new book I am working on!

Are you into audio books? You can listen to an audio excerpt of Lost in Love here.

3. Here’s a throwback to 9.09.09.

Susane Colasanti at Katikies in Santorini

What was I doing seven years ago today? Oh, I don’t know. Just chilling in this world famous infinity pool at Katikies in Santorini! Santorini is the most beautiful place in the world. The resort I stayed at was positioned on a steep slope on the rim of the caldera. So in this photo you are looking at me blissfully floating at the top of a volcano. How incredible is that?

4. Shout-out to my girl Andrea on Twitter for designing this:

John Mayer in Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

If you’ve read any of my books, you might have noticed that I love including music. It makes me so happy when readers tell me they are into The Cure or R.E.M. or Paul Simon or Fleetwood Mac because they were inspired by my books. But I don’t just include old-school sound. John Mayer is a big part of Waiting for You, a story of a girl dealing with anxiety and depression, and that makes this graphic especially sweet.

5. I don’t know how long it will take for me to not burst into tears when I hear “Empire State of Mind” around September 11, but apparently it’s longer than 15 years. This Sunday, September 11 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks. I cannot believe that was 15 years ago. I remember lots of details about that day, both big and small, mostly because I have relived September 11, 2001 so many times: how perfectly blue the sky was, what I was wearing, that excitement I always felt as a teacher at the beginning of a new school year. And of course the fact that, out of all the possible days I could have gone, I had plans that day to go to the Twin Towers with my friend Stephen. We were going to meet up after school and go to the observation deck. But we didn’t because the Twin Towers were…gone. You can read archives of my past September 11 posts linked from here.

Our plan for that day was a sign. Every day since for the past 15 years, I have been grateful to simply be alive.

This September 11 I will be broadcasting my walk down to Ground Zero on Periscope. You can find me there @SusaneColasanti if you want to see the Tribute in Light. Every year when I see the Tribute in Light, I see it as a signal reminding me to be grateful for everything I have. And every day when I see One World Trade, now standing proud and tall near the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood, I see it as a sign of better things to come.

Anything is possible. This is New York.

One World Trade

We will never forget. ❤

top five, deadline edition

TGIM! Today’s Top Five is going to be cat quick, as I am on deadline with line edits and have snuck over here like a ninja. So here are some super fast things…

1. New York City! I will be at the Barnes & Noble B-Fest this Friday, June 10 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Citigroup Center B&N. There will be games and prizes, including a raffle of those ginormous canvas book covers hanging all over the store! Hope to see you there.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016

2. I am loving this Booklist review of Lost in Love: “Teens who are drawn to new-adult titles and dream of romantic, parent-free summer escapades will be well rewarded.” Like all of my previous books, the City Love trilogy is YA, but I was hoping it would have crossover appeal. Good to see Booklist agrees! You can explore Lost in Love things here, and City Love here.

3. So there’s this sculpture called Looking Up by Tom Friedman that is on temporary display on Park Avenue. The second I read about it, I knew I had to go see. I mean, Look up is one of my main mottos, even right on the cover of City Love. It’s also a theme in So Much Closer. My whole thing is that we miss so much when we don’t look up. When we look up, not only do we discover beauty and history that we probably passed without noticing a hundred times before, but we invite positive energy into our day that can make magic happen. Anyway, I bookmarked an article about the sculpture and made a note to go see it before July.

The other day I was walking down the street when I looked up and noticed a cool sculpture. It was of a guy looking up. I was like, “Sweet! Look up!” But I totally forgot about the sculpture I had bookmarked. The next day I found it and realized I was on Park Avenue when I saw the guy looking up. I saw Looking Up without even realizing it at the time…all because I looked up. Full-circle meta, yo.

Then last night I looked up from my computer to look out my window and saw this.

New York City rainbow, June 5, 2016

There were lots of rainbow pics on social after the storms we had. But how many of those rainbows were radiating from a water tower? And dude, I have a thing for water towers. Always look up…

4. Taking a fangirl moment, I just have to say that this diagram perfectly quantifies my eternal love for the soul mate magic of How I Met Your Mother and Jason Segel as Marshall.

ceciliachart

I have been a huge Paul Simon fan since forever, so this dorktastic intersection of a fave musician and a fave show in science/math form blows my mind. Well played, HIMYM.

5. I will leave you with a warm fuzzy for the week about your time. Make the days count.

Make the days count

Much love ❤

lost in love playlist

Good news, book lovers! Official playlists are out for the City Love trilogy books.

City Love and Lost in Love by Susane Colasanti

The Lost in Love playlist is now on Spotify.

Lost in Love official playlist

1. “Hello” – Adele

2. “This Is Not a Love Song” – Daddy Yankee

3. “Story of My Life” – One Direction

4. “I’m a Ruin” – Marina and the Diamonds

5. “New York City” – The Chainsmokers

6. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons

7. “Yellow” – Coldplay

8. “Try” – Sidsel Endresen

9. “Good for You” – Selena Gomez

10. “The Night Before” – The Beatles

11. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift

12. “Want” – The Cure

The City Love playlist is also on Spotify! Listen here.

City Love official playlist

1. “Rewind” – Stereophonics

2. “Suit and Tie” – Justin Timberlake

3. “Believe” – The Bravery

4. “Sing” – Ed Sheeran

5. “Find Me” – Boyce Avenue

6. “Sweet Dreams” – Beyonce

7. “Legends Never Die” – Ferras (feat. Katy Perry)

8. “Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift

9. “Titanium” – Sia

10. “Let Go” – Hank Dogs

11. “Night Changes” – One Direction

You can find playlists for all of my other books on my website. Just go to each book’s page to see its playlist. And yes, those playlists are all on Spotify too!

Enjoy the musical sound, friendly neighbors.  ❤

top five, happy springtime edition

Today is the 5th day of spring and flowering trees are already in bloom here in New York. Flowers on trees make me happy. And birds are chirping and it’s not freezing and just YAY. All of this springtime glee makes me want to share some things with you that will hopefully make you smile.

1. First off, I have to give a shout-out to my girl Ronni. Ronni is a longtime reader, aspiring author, and has been coming to my Chicago events for years. So when she told me that she would be in New York for the NYC Teen Author Festival this year, I was psyched for another reunion…local this time. Look how Ronni got the outfit memo I didn’t even send. BOOM.

Ronni and Susane, photo by Wanda Lotus

You know someone is a rising star when they travel with their own super profesh photographer. The remarkable Wanda Lotus took this happy photo of us at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble. You can admire Wanda’s photography at Lotusland Fine Art.

2. Who else did I get to chill with at the big Reader’s Theater event? Oh, I don’t know. Only Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything, a book I completely worship in a godlike way. You can read some of my Everything, Everything fangirling here. Nicola and I share a love for all things Little Prince. So when she rolled in wearing a Little Prince tee (which I believe is this Out of Print one), it just made me love her even more. And don’t even get me started on her Kate Spade typewriter bag. Could this girl be any cuter?

I was freaking out before the event (and decided to capture my freakout live on my Facebook) because we were acting out each other’s books and I was playing Maddy from Everything, Everything. And David Levithan was playing Olly. I KNOW. Not too much pressure or anything. David and I were joking in rehearsals about him doing Olly’s handstand for real. Then he actually went for it! Of course I spotted him cat quick.

David Levithan and Susane Colasanti acting out Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

All of the authors were hilarious. I really liked meeting multi-talented debut author Jeff Zentner.

Jeff Zentner and Susane Colasanti

The Serpent King has so many starred reviews it is pretty much its own galaxy. Snaps for Jeff on his stellar achievement!

3. Events are my fave part of author life because that’s where I get to meet my readers. You guys are why I write. Having the opportunity to meet you in person means so much to me. So yay for book events and all of you who come out for them!

On the other side of author life, the side where I exist most days, I am by myself writing in my home office.

Susane Colasanti's home office

I think it’s important to surround yourself with a creative space that inspires joy. Even if you are not working in a creative field. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things that spark joy and inspire positive energy will help you create your dream life. Finally being able to have the kind of home office I had envisioned was probably the most exciting part of buying and renovating my apartment four years ago. You can see how this office space was constructed here. Since then I’ve added more pieces to my desk, found the sweetest lamp for that corner, and snagged a violet window settee with the perfect dimensions. Curating your ideal creative space is a process. But the cool thing is, you can start right now by simply organizing and letting go of clutter. Then when you find your sweetest lamp, it will feel right at home.

4. This New York Times interactive article: 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going.

5. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Coldplay. I mean, they have been one of my fave bands for years. Coldplay was even acknowledged in When It Happens. But now I’m listening in a different way. The new book I am just beginning to work on is different in some major aspects that are challenging me as a writer, challenges that I felt the need to bring on. I don’t know, it’s like this music I have loved for years that has helped me so many times in countless ways is now inspiring me to take things to the next level.

You guys know that I obsess over The Office something fierce to the point where I could create an entire 5,000-card trivia game from memory. So when I found this video of Jim and Pam’s history set to Sparks, I freaked the eff out.

Enjoy those nostalgic Jam feels.

Enjoy surrounding yourself with a creative space.

Enjoy the spring. ❤