Thursday, 21 March 2013

Haunted at 17

What haunted me at 17? It was only four years ago but honestly, truly, it seems like lifetimes.

17 & in the sun

Well, it was the first year of sixth form (like junior and senior year of high school, for those of you who don't know). Two years away from being done with school, the first year of being The Old Kids. The ones who didn't have to be at school, but chose to be, because we were serious students (ha!). The ones who could come in late or leave early, and had free periods in which to do our serious work (or paint our nails and talk about boys and drink diet Dr. Pepper).

I was coming off probably the best summer of my life: the glorious ten weeks you get after the hellish exam years, which I spent laying on the deck outside, tanning and listening to electro in the sun. I went to Paris with my mother, where we hung around outside (never inside!) Chanel and Marni and Bottega Veneta, and ate Laduree macarons (which are so not worth the hype, FYI). I drank rosé on ice with my best friend, classy girls that we were. We and all our other friends had late nights walking around town, lying in the middle of the deserted streets, being stupid. And that summer was when I first thought I'd try out this whole writing-a-novel-thing! (If only I could have seen where that idea would lead...)

But I was also still coming off the two years before that. They were bad, bad years--my worst depression times. Times of staying in bed because I could not, and did not see a reason to, gather the energy to get up. Times of telling my mother I hated her, and spending my Friday nights playing video games by myself while my former friends were hanging out together. Times spent giving up on the things I loved because...who cared anymore?

But 17--it was good. I had friends, and I had people who waved at me in the hallways, who took blurry pictures with me at parties. I was still writing, albeit slowly.

So what haunted me through 17, that year of parties and older boys and getting far too drunk in the warm safety of my friends' homes?

17 & hanging out on a cold winter night.
What haunted me was the idea that it would all go back to before.

That these friends I had now (some old, some new) would leave me the way those other girls I had called friends did just a couple of years before. It might again happen that I would be sat down and told that they'd prefer it was just the four (five, six, seven, whatever--as long as I wasn't included) of them.

That the Friday nights we spent trying (failing) to get served at the Chinese restaurant and subsequently walking home stone-cold sober in the bitter cold (still happy because, well, the whole situation was funny in the most stupid way) would turn back into being just me: alone, headphones plugged in, in a room lit only by the television screen.

That the people I'd been going to school with for five years but was only just starting to get to know would realise that actually, I wasn't at all interesting. They'd realise my skinny jeans and leather jacket were way too try-hard, my attempts at flirting were just embarrassing, my jokes were not amusing in the slightest.

That all the good and fun and life I had now would just...poof. Disappear.

But you know the funny thing?

17 & smiling.

None of those hauntings ever became reality for me.

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Nova Ren Suma's 17 & GONE is out today! Go get it, because her writing is beautiful and I'm super excited about this book. 

Also, go here to see more (and way better) posts about being haunted at 17.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013



I've delved back into my rockabilly-roadtrip-fun-crazy MS to do some serious work. You might remember me putting out a call for readers--I got some great offers and the lovely Darcy has been putting me through the wringer. And it's been great! I'm feeling really excited about my story again, and even more motivated to keep working on it. Wheeeee revising!


A new job! Yes, that's right, I will soon be a relief library assistant--kind of like a supply teacher, but for books. Yay!

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 (And here's a message to those people out there who insist that it's really not that hard to get a job if you just try hard enough--over 600 people applied for 5 part-time positions. Six HUNDRED. That shit really is cray.)


CODE NAME VERITY--holy shit, you guys. It took me a while to get into but yes, it IS as good as you've heard. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR--while it lacked in other areas, the super swoon-worthy romance kept me reading. DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES--another awesome Rachel Cohn-David Levithan collab. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU--the very final Gossip Girl book that I only just found out existed. Majorly disappointing, but I knew it would be, and I couldn't help but want to follow Blair and the gang to the end.

{Listening To}

Podcasts! I've talked about my love for The JV Club before, but I caught up every episode, so I had to branch out. I'm obsessed with Totally Laime! And The Mental Illness Happy Hour! And Authors Are Rockstars! Podcast junkie in training.

and my next-summer soundtrack:


I have sadly become obsessed with yet another form of social media. Sigh. But I like seeing other people's pictures of their cats and kids and food! You can follow me if you want to see my cutie cats, and food, and quite a lot of selfies because I am really, really vain. And tell me your IG names so I can follow you, I need more people!

I hope you have all had a lovely day/week/recent times. And if not, here are some virtual good vibes, cupcakes, and flowers from me :)

Ciao my lovelies!