Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roadtripping Away

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week, YA Highway asks: What is the best book you've read this month?

That's easy. Wait...I lied. That's really, really tough. If you recall (from my whining and complaining in previous posts) I was sick at the beginning of the month. So, I finally caved an one-click-bought Looking For Alaska. I'd heard great things about it, but for some reason, the title just didn't do it for me, and I was too crazy busy to be reading more books. But, I was in one very very boring class and was very very sick, so I bought it, got it the next day, and read it in about 6 hours. Thank you Blackberry for allowing me to order things I really don't need just because class is boring and you are sitting there, beckoning to me. (I also may have bought a zombie killing app...I have yet to decide which was a better purchase.)

LOOKING FOR ALASKA is pretty much made of win. Like John Green himself. My brother and I are nerdfighters (if you don't know what that is, google it right now. You'll be more awesome for it.) so reading John's work after listening to him communicate with Hank was awesome. My brother is actually reading it right now. The vlogbro's really helped me and Brady reconnect, and we've made a pact to vlog if we ever move far apart. But, since we're talking books here, not about my personal life, let's talk LFA. Everything about it is entirely amazing. The language is so real (and not just the swearing) and I found myself laughing outloud, hysterically, which resulted in the boyfriend staring at me like I was insane until I pushed the book on him and he too read it in 24 hours (I love my nerdy, geeky, brilliant boyfriend.) Of course, if you've read it, which I'm assuming you have because I am so late on the John Green train, you know that I was sobbing hysterical a few hours later, then laughing and crying intermittently until the end.

The characters are incredible, quirky, and laugh out loud funny. Walk into any dorm, peek inside of a room, and I promise you'll find a bunch of kids sitting on the couch, playing video games, with their feet up on a COFFEE TABLE, as someone else tries to study through the noise. There is one Colonel at every school you go to, at least one Alaska that stands out among everyone else with this cool kind of mystery about her, and lots of Pudge's, which is probably the most important part. Pudge is like you and me, geeky, well read, and a little uncomfortable in his skin. Not to mention, they're all as smart as they are funny. I think we forget that you can skip class constantly, pull pranks, and still get out of there with a 4.0...or a 3.8 because you pranked your english teacher and he really wanted to punish you.

The writing is amazing - easy to read while still being beautifully poetic:

So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane

And everything about the book makes teens remember that we are strong, smart people who have real, passionate loves, even if adults think we're just kids who don't know what they're doing. Okay, I'm not a teenager anymore, but John Green reminds me why I miss it.

When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.

And sometimes, it makes you want to pee laughing:

"It's my fox hat."
"Your fox hat?"
"Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat."
"Why are you wearing your fox hat?"
"Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox."
John Green, I love you. And guys, DFTBA.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Teasing early because my life is insane. I spent the weekend making 125 jello shots for my big brother's birthday party instead of writing a 20 pages research paper on PTSD in Iraq veterans due tomorrow. Good role model? No. Well worth it to see him laugh? Hell yes.
Also, the Jack's Mannequin show was so amazing that I could have died. Best weekend ever.

And I got the coolest bracelets ever, because my nieces are amazing and adorable. Why, yes, those are dinosaurs!! Karla, I want to send you the orange one. Expect a random envelope from me soon. It's not anthrax, pinky promise.

Seriously, on to the tease now. We agreed on about 500 words, right? This is probably more, because I'm too lazy to check my word count. Here we go. Band geeks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaser from something brandy new

I was writing my tattooed girl WIP from the last tease, when this SNI decided to make itself known. I'm still unsure about how I feel on it, and it's probably full of spelling/grammar errors, so beware of bad writing.
::Edit:: I should probably mention that, yes, I was in band camp. It wasn't a schmancy sleep away camp, just regular, old, sweat-your-butt-off-in-the-sun-all-day camp. And yes, I was a majorette. No, we weren't the super sexy, confident girls. No one is sexy in a high school parking lot after marching back and forth for eight hours a day mid-August. But we did twirl batons, which is pretty cool in it's own right, even if it only lasts for four years and you're still kind of a geek for it. Who doesn't love cute, obscenely short uniforms though?


Monday, April 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Happy Tuesday guys! This is from my new, untitled WIP. SINK is done now, but there is one thing I could use - Betas! I know it's April, which is a crazy month for anyone in school, but if you're interested, shoot me an email at epage126[at]gmail[dot]com - I'll beta in return!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why our parents lie to us

Or, more importantly, why parents can come off as..well..clueless in YA work. They come off that way because when we're teens, that's how we see them. But we tend to be very very wrong. I found this out because I'm 20, and my parents still sugarcoat the truth.
My mom just called me, saying that they were going through their old VHS tapes, and my brother was there, so we should all watch them together. Boyfriend, hearing this across our small apartment, decides we HAVE to go.
So, we do. And my mom puts in this tape of me, butt naked, in the tub. Boyfriend finds this funny enough to begin with, but finds it even funnier when I exclaim bubbles! - yes, just like the yellow fish from Finding Nemo - and promptly face plant in them. As my dad in the video hoists me out, my dad in the living room says, well, you were an enthusiastic kid. Of course, this makes me feel a little less challenged than I clearly was.
Next up is the video of six year old me, in footsie pjs, still rubbing sleep from my eyes, shoving a helmet over my bed head (my mom wouldn't let me cut it until I was thirteen, there was lots of bedhead) and getting on my big wheel, racing down the driveway, and promptly slamming into the fence. Once again, I'm assured, I was just enthusiastic, as I was my entire childhood. Looking back, I think they may have been sugarcoating.
But, of course, this is not the end. The end comes with my kindergarten class singing It's A Small World. Apparently, I thought I was Madonna, because I am SCREAMING along. Not singing in the slightest. Just screaming. I pick myself out immediately, hoping no one else does, but boyfriend looks right at me and asks, "Why are you wailing?"
So I answer. "I'm not wailing, I'm belting it out. I'm singing enthusiastically."
I wasn't singing enthusiastically. I was screaming embarrassingly and had no idea. 
Thanks Mom and Dad for shielding me all these years from that realization.

What does all this mean? It means that when we're writing, and the parents come across as clueless, they aren't. Our teen MC's just think they are. And our parents are way too nice to point out just how wrong we are. Like the time I roadtripped to New York at midnight without informing them senior year - not one of my finer moments, but one of my best memories. We get back somewhere around 6 a.m., never having gotten to Times Square, and no one says anything. Then, about a month later, I tell my mom, because I was just always that good of a kid. Her answer? "Oh, yeah, I know."
Completely flabbergasted - come on, our plan was airtight and fool proof, except for when we lost the directions - I ask how she knew. "You'd been talking about New York for a few days, then you were gone." Keep in mind I was gone all night all the time. But she just knew, and I had no idea.
When you're following a story from a 17 year old's mind, the parents are probably going to come across as a little dumb. But they aren't. They're just sugarcoating you. And when you move out, they will make you watch movies that are proof of just how 'enthusiastic' you were.

Yes, that is a photo of the infamous night. Yes, my best friend is taking a picture while I'm trying to navigate the New York traffic in a Wrangler. But look, I'm wearing my seatbelt!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Is it Tuesday already? All I know is that it's April, aka Hell Month for all you college students. Wow. Longest teaser ever? Sorry guys. It's probably the last from SINK though because it's out on agent submissions and I'll be working on my SNI and teasing from that.