ten years

Ten years ago this summer, I took a massive career risk when I left teaching to become a full-time author.

I only had one book out at the time, with absolutely no idea if my future books would sell, or how many books I would have published. But I refused to let fear prevent me from creating my dream bigger life. Failure was not an option.

And now today, because of you, we have all of this.

Ten years of books by Susane Colasanti

THANK YOU. Thank you for making this life possible. None of this would be possible without my readers, the most dedicated, passionate, caring readers in the world. You are why I write. You are why I keep hope alive every single day.

Whatever your big dream is, don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way from bringing it to life. Never, ever, ever give up.

Much love.

xoxo-
Susane

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the even advisory system

One reason I love interacting with you guys on social is that some of you know the kind of quirky stuff I adore. To the point that you will send me things that are so me I can’t believe I didn’t think of them first.

A perfect example is this Even Advisory System, shared by friendly neighbor Greg H. on Twitter:

The Even Advisory System

I wrote a decent amount of “I can’t with that”, “I can’t even”, and “I can’t” into Take Me There. That was back in 2007. At the time, this slang was on the newer side. My editor and copyeditor didn’t quite know how to handle it. They were like, “Can’t with what?” and “Is there a word missing at the end?” But I stuck with this supreme slang because it was just too good not to.

It’s been eight years since I left teaching to write full-time, but I still miss geeking out over shiny new school supplies. I also miss that sense of a fresh start filled with infinite potential. It’s a transient sensation that can only be captured in September. By October, the freshness has gone stale, and the motivation you had when school started has succumbed to boredom (for students) and exhaustion (for teachers).

Even if you did not go back to school this month, you can still harness the power of that fresh start with the Even Advisory System. How? By completing each prompt to create five statements expressing how much you can’t, then identifying five solutions to mitigate their severity.

I’ll start.

  • I can’t with summer ending. Fact: There are seven days left of summer until the autumnal equinox on September 23. Solution: Enjoy the eff out of them.
  • I can’t even with the upcoming lack of summer fruit. Fact: You might find berries and melons in the winter, but they will not taste good. Solution: Inhale as many pints of berries and entire melons as I can while they are still edible.
  • I just can’t even with people who cross the street when an ambulance or fire truck is coming right at them. Fact: Sirens exist for a reason, but not everyone’s reasoning skills are sharp. Solution: Point out that an emergency vehicle is coming to people who are about to demonstrate a sad lack of awareness.
  • I cannot with people who litter. Fact: The earth is not a garbage can. Solution: Run after people who toss garbage on the sidewalk, pick up their straw wrapper / gum wrapper / napkin, hand it back to them and be like, “I think you dropped something.”
  • I literally can’t even with negative energy. Fact: Haters gonna hate, but I have no time for anyone throwing shade. Solution: Minimize exposure to negative energy just as I would with any other toxic health risk.

Feeling much better already!

Have fun working your own system, friendly neighbors 🙂

crumbs bake shop forever

I really, really don’t want to write any of this down.

Because if I write it down, then I’ll have to admit this is actually happening.

Crumbs Bake Shop has just closed all of its stores.

Sprinkle Crumbs

Heartbroken. I am just…heartbroken.

Was there advance warning? No, there was not. Which is weird. If Crumbs had announced it was closing its stores even a week ago, sales would have spiked with superfans like me scrambling to get their last Crumbs fix on. We would have snatched up all the Girl Scout Cookie cupcakes and Rainbow Cookie cupcakes and the best freaking danish in the world.

Don’t even get me started on the danish. Don’t even.

But they didn’t give us any advance warning. According to these articles in The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Daily News, and The Wall Street Journal, Crumbs announced they were shutting down all of their stores yesterday. Then every location closed last night. I can’t even rush in to my nearest Crumbs now for a last hurrah. Unless my last hurrah includes staring in the window mournfully with big, wet eyes.

This cannot be happening.

How can there never again be a new Cupcake of the Week to obsess over?

Berry Berry Crumbs Cupcake of the Week

Or special edition cupcakes like the Big Apple, circa 2010?

Big Apple Crumbs cupcake

And how are we supposed to celebrate summer without a Pina Colada cupcake? With a tropical drink umbrella and a cherry on top?

Pina Colada Crumbs cupcakes

Even in a horrible situation like this, I always try to look on the bright side. More than try. I find a bright side and try to stay focused on that. Because even in a negative situation, there is always something positive. The good news here is that we still have Sprinkles. But man…I was so proud of Crumbs branching out from their one little Upper West Side store in 2003. I remember the day I discovered Crumbs. I had a Snickers cupcake and it was the best cupcake I’d ever had in my life. More stores started appearing a few years later. A bunch of new stores came on the scene in the past few years. And now…

Maybe they shouldn’t have expanded so widely? Maybe they should have just had a few locations in New York? But no. I love that they took a chance and expanded. Crumbs became the nation’s largest cupcake chain. That is a monumental achievement. Snaps to Crumbs for being brave. Snaps to Crumbs for dreaming big and turning that big dream of national cupcake domination into reality.

Some tool quoted in this article was saying that the cupcake trend is over. He said that people can just bake cupcakes at home. How dare you, sir. There is no way the magic of a Crumbs cupcake can be replicated at home. Take the Rainbow Cookie cupcake, for example.

Rainbow Cookie Crumbs cupcake

The cake is an almost exact replica of the rainbow cookie in both taste and appearance. The cupcake has raspberry filling, just like the raspberry filling between colors of the rainbow cookie. And an actual rainbow cookie sits cheerfully on top of the chocolate-sprinkled chocolate ganache.

Let’s see Mr. Cupcake Apocalypse bake that at home.

Or wait, not even. Why don’t you bake these Crumbs Halloween cupcakes from 2008 at home?

Halloween Crumbs cupcakes

Each one is unique and beautifully decorated. But yeah, I’m sure you can dash right home and whip up a batch.

My rant seems to have disintegrated down a negative spiral again. Must identify more bright side. Here’s something positive: Crumbs will always live on in my books. Crumbs has been featured in Take Me There and So Much Closer and will continue to be featured in future books. That will be my way of preserving its memory.

Goodbye, Crumbs. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. I will remember your goodness fondly…and smile.

Smiley Face Crumbs cupcake

take me there indonesia

An Indonesian reader on Twitter told me that their edition of Take Me There was just released. I often find out about foreign edition publications this way. I knew it was coming out. But I didn’t know when.

How much is this cover blowing me away?

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti, Indonesian edition

Dude. Copies of the note. In the halls. All over the school when they snuck in. What is it with my Indonesian publisher zeroing in on the coolest parts of each book and creating gorgeous covers around them? Like how the So Much Closer cover featured origami unicorns. Love. IT.

Snaps for Indonesia. You guys totally get me.

the rain, the boys, and other mysterious things

Yay, the French edition of Take Me There comes out today! It even has a super cute new title: The Rain, the Boys, and Other Mysterious Things.

The Rain, the Boys, and Other Mysterious Things by Susane Colasanti

Isn’t this cover adorable? Loving the sidewalk chalk design. Bonus: I found a review up at Persephone & the Cheshire Cat.

Warm fuzzies to my French publisher, Albin Michel. You guys rock.

cover anticipation

You guys. I am SO freaking excited about the cover of my new book, Keep Holding On. Have I seen a draft of the cover yet? No. So why the excitement? Well, the designers have been working on it for a while now. I’m taking that as a good sign. It means they really want to get the cover right. And not having the first clue about what the cover is going to look like is exciting, too. I can’t wait to see what the phenomenal design team at Penguin comes up with!

But there’s even more cover anticipation. The paperback edition of So Much Closer is getting a shiny new cover! I’m extra stoked because the photo shoot might be taking place on the High Line again. Plus, we’re putting some bonus material in the paperbacks for you. How sweet is that? It’s like I have two new books to look forward to in 2012.

Of course I’ll be sharing both covers with you here as soon as I can. For now, I hope you’re enjoying the last few weeks of summer, which tragically always seem to fly by at an alarming warp speed. Some of you even went back to school already. That blows my mind. I can’t imagine going back in August. But I guess you get out earlier, so that rocks. Every situation has a positive side.

I’m not really sure what the positive side of Friday Night LIghts ending is, but at least there’s a new tidbit to share. A friendly neighbor on Twitter told me about Coach Eric Taylor’s farewell speech. It was originally supposed to be the voice-over for that spectacular final montage of the Friday Night Lights series finale. Then it was decided that the montage was more powerful as just a collection of images, perhaps the most profound collection of images ever. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to this speech. This part gets me every time: “You will always be a part of me, my heart and my soul. You are my family.” Just like the theme music gives me goosebumps. Every single time.

For those of you obsessed with connections like I am, I just have to point out one thing. There’s a part in Take Me There where Danny is talking about Easter eggs. Not the kind you dye. The kind that are these hidden features on DVDs. Coach Taylor’s speech is an Easter egg on the DVD. To access it, you have to go to the menu screen for the finale, select “commentary off,” right click, and a small football will appear. If you click the football, you get to the speech. See? Everything about that show is made of awesome, including the DVD.

Whatever you’re anticipating, I hope these last few weeks of summer bring you fun times!