Created for Necessity, Employed for Passion
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
Let's build a world. Explore what we believe by writing. In many ways my characters’ experiences with fate, destiny and free-will mirror my own. What is up to us and what isn’t? It’s one of the great questions of the human experience, I think. But no matter what is for us to control, we must own the identity. You’re a writer if you write. Period. Writing is a lovely way to spend one’s time. Enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy my writing here.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Dear (Teen) Readers
I loved the movie. I thought it was poignant and nuanced and just...powerful. I cried. I totally bawled, actually. And that line when Paul Rudd tells Charlie he could write a book one day? On the floor.
I had a teacher like that. I had many teachers like that. I'm also old enough to remember when Paul Rudd wasn't a teacher, but the dorky (hot) college kid in Clueless. The people who handed me those books, who never closed an after-school door, who told me if I wanted to, I could do it, too--- they're the reason I am here, now, writing to you.
And that's all well and good, but the reason Perks struck me was not because Stephen Chomsky wrote that book, about his experience, and then made it into this movie. It was because it reminded me of what it's really like to be that young. Correction: of how hard it is to be that young.
I spend a lot of time in the brain of seventeen year olds. I poke my head into their surroundings, and I try to envision the way they see life, love. The way they see themselves. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I get it wrong. I forget. I over romanticize. Because I'm not seventeen anymore. Somewhere over the course of when I experienced the things I wrote about in When You Were Mine, and published that book, it happened. I grew up.
I'm a nostalgic person by nature, and I often mourn the loss of youth. I have a life now-- one that I built. It's real. It's mine. It is filled with both the wonderful and mundane: excellent friends, travels, bills, laundry, deadlines. I suppose what I'm saying is this: I am happy, but I am not infinite. Not anymore.
I'm not saying I miss it. Honestly, If someone wrote me a check for twenty million dollars I wouldn't go back. It was awful. I felt like I was constantly getting it wrong. I felt so misunderstood. I felt so terribly alone. But it was also so short lived.
As I watched Emma Watson lift her arms through that tunnel tonight my breathe caught in my throat. It was beautiful, and tragic, terrible and exhilarating. And that's youth. That's what it means to be seventeen.
I am sorry that sometimes I forget that. I am sorry that sometimes I make it seem, or sound, easier than it is. But do me a favor, okay? Just for a moment look around, and remember this. Hold your eyes wide open. Take it in--- all of it. Because someday it won't be like this. It will be better, I promise you. You'll know more, you'll forgive easier, you'll be kinder--- to others and yourself. But you won't be seventeen.
I'm off to continue revising. I'm writing a new one for you--- something I hope will keep you company in the meantime.