April Showers (or, Why I’m Singing ‘Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta’)

Blue Bandana

Well, it’s not because I rock a blue bandana like nobody’s business. Even though I kind of do. Especially when I’m all zoned out in my happy place on the trail and severely under-caffeinated whilst trying to control a horse named Jess. Which is, by the way, a totally true story.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m singing that special little anthem. It’s simply because the spring brings good things! Seriously! The sun is fully out now, the trails are littered with fragrant blossoms, animals are coming out of hibernation, and you know something? When you stand out there with your eyes closed and the sun on your face, you realize that despite life’s many challenges and the general stupidity with which we’re bombarded basically every day… it’s still kind of awesome to be alive. Gangsta!

Our flora and fauna friends know that spring is a time for new beginnings. As a writing instructor, I always see a big upsurge in student enrollments and requests for manuscript consultations the first week of April. It’s like everyone stored up all this creative energy through the winter, and now it’s time to go outside and sniff the proverbial (and adverbial) roses and then go home renewed and recharged and ready to knock the cobwebs off that amazing book idea.

Speaking of spring cleaning, I looked back through the dusty blog archives (*cough cough* clearly it’s been a while) and found that when it comes to my own writing (and my own life), I too follow the cool-new-things-in-the-spring thing, and April apparently brings lots of new adventures my way every year:

  • In April 2011, I turned in revisions on Bittersweet.
  • In April 2010, I shut down my Facebook profile, leaving only a simple page and many more hours for creative endeavors in my life! Shutting down an FB profile might not sound like a big deal, but trust me. It was. And I’ve never felt so free! Electronically speaking, I mean.
  • In April 2009, I recorded my first vlog. I was super nervous and gooberesque, and clearly long-winded, but still, it was lots of fun. See?

  • In April 2008, I moved from Colorado back to New York City for a fresh new re-start (and then we ended up in Buffalo, which is what you see in the vlog above, and now we’re back in Colorado, but you know, it’s the journey, not the destination. And April 2008 is when I embarked on the journey. So it totally counts.)
  • In April 2007, I finished my very first novel, Twenty Boy Summer (that is, the book that would eventually become TBS after much professional input and many revisions, but a milestone worth celebrating nevertheless).

This year, April 2012, I have even more exciting news. At the end of March, I completed and submitted my fourth novel (and all you really need to know about it for now is that there’s a super hot motorcycle boy, and he’s even hotter than Michael Carrington of Grease 2 fame, who was and always will be my heart’s original hot motorcycle boy, especially that part where he’s all, “How ’bout that ride?”). Which means I’m now diving headfirst into something totally new and crazy!

New creative projects. Sunshine. Flowers. See? Super gangsta! Something is definitely in the spring air. Or maybe it’s the water. Quite possibly the soil has something to do with it too. And chocolate Easter eggs. Either way, I’m totally excited at the possibilities!

Now tell me: what are you guys excited about this spring? Anyone starting a new creative project? Any new dreams and ideas percolating? And just how awesome does it feel to go out and play in the sun after hibernating all winter? Love!

Month in Review: A Pictorial Essay

This week marks 5 since we arrived back home in April. In some ways it feels like we never left. In others, it’s like we’re still here on vacation, time ticking toward the day we head back to Denver. I’m not sure when it’s going to finally hit us that we’ve traded in all that space and comfortable cost of living and sunshine and distance from family drama to come back, but when it does, I think I’ll be ready.


In the mean time, enjoy a few photo highlights from our month in New York so far…

It’s Spring! Speaking of getting sprung… I hate seeing flowers locked up like this. So unnatural.

Daffodil Delinquents

View outside of Seaside Johnny’s in Rye, where we tried to eat but had to move inside ten minutes into it because it was like 40 degrees and windy. Kind of like it is right now. Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve seen the ocean since a trip to Acadia in 2003, so it was cool. Like the beach, ‘cept different.

Seaside Johnny's

Cherry blossoms on West 4th Street after downing a few margaritas outside in the Village. It was 70 degrees that day. Unlike today. But anyway.

Cherry Blossoms

Speaking of cherry blossoms and happy times, I got to meet a few fellow YA authors from the 2009 Debs group at Candle 79 this weekend. Writing is such a lonely, crazy pursuit—it’s nice to take a break and hook up with people who are equally lonely and crazy. I mean, in the writing sense. Not that they’re crazy. Just—oh, never mind. It was a great time! Thanks, Neesha, for the pic.

*Waves to Debs!*

2009 Debs Brunch

Fun with my brother, Pook, at the Museum of the City of New York (don’t blink, or you’ll miss it) and a stroll through Central Park, followed by too many drinks and therapy at Wicker Park. Fortunately there’s no photographic evidence of that. Really, this isn’t a theme with me, it’s just been a month of celebrating our triumphant return!


Museum of the City of New York

Central Park

A little pigeon PDA right outside my window. Some people don’t like these birds, but I do. They make cool sounds. I’m trying to develop a way to communicate with them, but unlike my multi-talented husband, I can’t get the warble quite right and I usually scare them away.

Pigeon PDA

Speaking of love… Mother’s Day post-brunch at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope. I’m going to stalk the building every day until the tenants in the apartment above give up, and let me move in, so I will never be more than 10 steps away from this decadent dessert den.

Chocolate Room

Butterscotch Custard Love

Finally, me and Mom at the old Irish pub Alex and I used to frequent when we lived in Woodside. This picture was taken the day after we moved back, but since I didn’t get to see Mom for Ma’s Day, she can look at this and pretend that we had brunch together on Sunday. But really I was at the Chocolate Room, as you know. Which was way better. But anyway.

Me & Mom

Happy Spring, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy *insert favorite thing here* Day!