David, I Love Your Man-Tears, Man

Here’s the thing, people. As cute and sweet as David Archuleta is, that doesn’t fly with us girls anymore (ahem… when I say us, I mean, um, me). I like a man who’s a little rough and ragged with the potential to, like, freak the hell out. One who’s hiding a lot of pain and has like this whole secret brooding-prince-of-darkness thing that could just blow up outta nowhere.

I think about that when I watch David Cook sing. Sure, he looks kind of like a nice guy, and he probably is, but on the inside, he’s definitely pissed off about something. Remember when Ryan went all smarmy when he brought up the bartender thing? I could swear David pulled him aside right before the cut and said, “You pull that shit again, Seacrest, and I’m gonna lay your spray-tan-wearin’ ass out.”


Archuleta is talented and true and has a whole career ahead of him, I’m sure. But for my money? Cook takes the cake. And eats it, too.

I have no idea what that means, but whatever.

Let’s look at an example from another recent cultural phenomenon: Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT. Edward Cullen vs. Jacob Black. Jacob is sweet and endearing and loyal and all that, like a best buddy. Or a dog. Or a werewolf, more accurately. But Edward? Anger management issues. Protective. Borderline possessive. Hella-intense. And he has that whole pissed off, misunderstood vampire thing going for him. See? Brooding. Prince. Of darkness.

That’s not all, people. Let’s dig deep into the archives. For those of us who grew up in the 80s, there was Michael Carrington of Grease II fame. Did super-hottie Stephanie Zinone want the sweet, shy type? No. In her own words, set to music, and tight leather pants, she wanted a “C-O-O-L *pause* R-I-D-E-R.” Ya, I learned that song before I learned my ABCs.

Grease II.jpg

“Stephanie, have you ever… read… the Superman comic?”
“Not in the last few hours.”

See? And certainly none of us over the age of 25 (okay 30. Ish.) can forget this:

Breakfast Club.jpg

“Remember how you said your parents use you to get back at each other? Wouldn’t I be outstanding in that capacity?”


Anyway, congrats to both Davids. And for the record, I’m not sure I could sit through a performance of someone singing the phone book, but, like Paula, I do get a little choked up when they cry. Dreams coming true and all that.

Sarah’s Writing Diary

May 14-15, 2008

10:00 AM
Word count: 0

Dear Diary,

Today is going to be a great day! I got up early, had my coffee, and I’m ready to rock! Let’s jump right into book 2 and make some progress. I’m hoping for 3,000 words today. Let’s do it!

2:00 PM
Word count: 17

Dear Diary,

I was feeling a bit stifled after a few hours of staring at the screen, so Alex and I went for a walk and had lunch at a little diner called Pop. I had French toast and the waitress was so old school and cute with a bun and glasses and a pencil stuck in her hair. Anyway, now I’m all refueled and energized and ready to write. Rock on!

3:00 PM
Word count: 19

Diary, I know I know I know I know, but General Hospital is on! I haven’t seen it in 15 years! Carly’s 12-year-old son Michael is in an irreversible coma, which means he’ll be back next year, inexplicably 21 years old and looking for revenge. Oh, no no no no no. I can’t get sucked in. I really should be working on my book. But… wait… whatever happened to Jagger?

4:01 PM
Word count: 18, no 19

Yo Diary,

Yes, I must get serious. I’m staring at work in progress. I’m creating and destroying worlds and people and love, all inside my mind. But I’m stuck on a word. I stare at it for several minutes, then delete. It’s an adverb, after all. A modifier. But a good one. I retype it. Delete it. Retype it. Decisions, decisions.

5:12 PM
Word count: 31, woot!

Seriously? I need to sign in to Facebook and make sure Mom hasn’t posted any additional pictures of me posing in ugly sweater and wig. BRB.

5:13 PM
Word count: 31

Damn it. Must consider changing name on Facebook. But not now. Now, I must focus.

8:47 PM
Word count: 39

Tell me something, Diary. How can it be that this boy doesn’t have a nickname yet1? What am I doing with my days of leisure if not honing my craft? How come I can’t make up (or troll friends’ ideas for) a stupid effing nickname? Am I losing my creative touch?

8:59 PM
Word count: 39, but listen to this!

Dear Diary,

WTF is wrong with Tyra? I mean, is Whitney really considered “plus sized?” Really? WTF? Well, I like chocolate cake, you know. And if Whitney can do it, so can I. Plus-sized writers unite!

9:01 PM
Word count: 39 (still, yes, I know, you’re not my mother!)

Dear Diary,

Simon Cowell is trying to sabotage me! I have work to do, can’t he understand? Wait, why is David Cook crying? Don’t cry, David! You’ll be okay! I… ugh! Listen, Dave, stop distracting me with your man-tears and tender rock star ballads!

10:31 PM
Word count: 104

Type type type. Type. Delete. Type type.

Are you happy now, Diary? I’m working.

11:47 PM
Word count: 239

Dear Diary,

I am brilliant. Oh, people will line up around the block to buy this book, my sophomore effort, my magnum opus, just you wait! Sweet beautiful puppies, I have found my calling and it has found me!

See, Diary, I knew I could do it. When it comes to words, I’m a literary top model. I “brung” it. I’m fierce.

12:01 AM
Word count: 109

Stupid, worthless drivel! I will have to pay readers to buy this book! I’m useless! I’m a talentless, brainless, chocolate-cake-eating plus-sized HACK! Delete! Delete! Delete!

12:15 AM
Word count: 119

Diary, check this out. Someone actually named their twin babies after characters in Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT. Really, if someone called me and told me they’d just named their babies Anna and Frankie because of my book, I’d be like, “So do you want those solid gold commemorative copies hand-engraved or laser? And also, I… I… I think I love you.”

12:22 AM
Word count: 119

Diary, I need your event-planning advice. Is it too early to start planning a launch party for TWENTY BOY SUMMER? OMG I could do a super cute beach thing with adorable sparkly ocean-themed evites and mai tais with umbrellas and little candies that look like beach glass and, and, and…

Diary, do you think people will show?

1:07 AM
Word count: 121

Dearest Diary,

I don’t know how to say this gently, without adverbs, so I’ll just come right out with it. I think we need to break up. It’s not you, it’s me. And by me, I mean you. Our correspondence is just too time-consuming; it’s taking me away from my contractual obligations to complete my second book. As you know, my days are packed with a grueling writing and research schedule that leaves no time for frivolous banter.

I’ve appreciated your friendship, but really, it’s for the best that we just move on.

PS. I hope you’ll still come to my launch party.

1. Thank you all for your wonderful nickname suggestions. Each (well, okay, not each. But some. Well more like one…) is being carefully evaluated and tested within the manuscript. Stay tuned for final decision.

On Getting the Memo

Obviously, I didn’t. Get the memo, I mean. Twice. In one day. The memo was sent, and I, sadly, did not get it.

  1. Hannah Montana. For someone in her 30s, I consider myself relatively well-versed in youth culture. I write for teens, starting with 20 BOY SUMMER. I have to stay on top of these things, right? That’s why I read other teen books, keep running up our cell phone bill to perfect my text shorthand (“IDK… my BFF, Jill?”), and do crazy things like experiment with blue eyeshadow. So yeah, I’d heard of Hannah Montana before. Lots of times. I even tried to embarrass Alex recently in a Denver video store by exclaiming loudly, “Honey, look—they have those Hannah Montana posters you asked about!”

    Imagine my surprise when I discovered, upon clicking through a story about Miley Cyrus (whom I just heard about for the first time ever while watching the CMAs with my MIL – see what happens when you don’t have cable?) writing her memoirs, that she and aforementioned Hannah-Mo are one in the same, and that aforementioned Hannah-Mo is actually a fictional character! I mean, I knew the name was made-up (no one’s parents are that cruel), but I thought it was like a nom de plume kind of thing devised by Disney to sell more tickets to young girls and their parents so they can get more people’s fingerprints. I mean, um, moving on…

  2. Boys for Edward Cullen. Scott, my baby boo, was the first. You all remember it, right? Perhaps I didn’t blog about Scott’s unwavering Twilight devotion enough. I didn’t promote his Edward-hearting, me-time-taking, oreo-eating fervor with the attention it deserved. Remember?

    And out of nowhere, I was like, aww man, this is really cute, and suddenly I’m getting all emotional… I think I might need a Kleenex or some shit. So the next day, I was like, fuck it, my girlfriend isn’t coming over until later, so I got those Kleenex and a bag of Oreos and settled in for some ‘me time.’ I finished the whole book. And the Oreos. And I’m like, vampires, humans, cool, cool. I really liked it. I told my friend, dude, if you like vampire books, check it out. Now I have to get the next one. —Scott

    None of that matters now. Thanks to my late-memo-getter-doesn’t-get-jack curse, now there’s this guy*:

    And Scott, sweet little baby bird that he is, has to keep drumming for money (no, for reals. He literally plays the drums). I’m sorry, boo. If only I’d gotten the memo, I could have propelled you into Twilight fanboy stardom status and saved you from the depths of despair. Well, as deep and despaired as you can be when dozens of girls are screaming your name and throwing their bras at you on stage. But still.

Let this be a lesson for us all. What kind of lesson, I’m not sure, but there’s got to be one here somewhere.

*Post-post edit: I was too hard on Twilight Guy. TG is now officially okay in my book. I mean, not in my book that’s coming out next Spring—he’s not in that one. But my
book, you know, the one I keep on hand for doling out random judgments such as this.

Anyway, since TG, also known as Kaleb Nation, commented below, I decided I would let him keep the credit for starting all that “Edward Cullen Fan Club for Reluctant Boys” stuff. I’ll be following his hot-boy-vampire reading and research endeavors closely. 🙂

Who *Hearts* Edward Cullen?

“At first I thought it was like, super girly. I so wasn’t into it, especially when I saw that it was a Teen People ‘Hot List’ pick—man. But I really wanted to finish it, so I just sat down and read like another 200 pages. And out of nowhere, I was like, aww man, this is really cute, and suddenly I’m getting all emotional… I think I might need a Kleenex or some shit. So the next day, I was like, fuck it, my girlfriend isn’t coming over until later, so I got those Kleenex and a bag of Oreos and settled in for some ‘me time.’ I finished the whole book. And the Oreos. And I’m like, vampires, humans, cool, cool. I really liked it. I told my friend, dude, if you like vampire books, check it out. Now I have to get the next one.”

—Anonymous rock star baby brother (sister) on Stephenie Meyers’ vampire love story, TWILIGHT

On Vampires

I did it again. Stayed up all night finishing a book and totally paid for it with burning, puffy eyes today (thankfully I didn’t have to stop at the liquor store again, or they might have offered me the senior citizen discount!).

You guys know me; when a book captures my attention enough to keep me reading till the sun comes up, it’s one of my top 5 favorite things in the world, after 1) Alex, 2) completing a challenging piece of writing, 3) burritos, and 4) tofu corndogs dipped in melted “cheese product.”

The 3-book TWILIGHT series by fellow Little, Brown writer Stephenie Meyer is #1 on the NYT children’s series book list, bumping Harry right out of the top slot. Yet, it’s taken me a while to pick it up because of the… well…


Second only to zombies on my stuff-of-nightmares production line, vampires completely freak me out. I don’t marinate myself in a garlic-infused bath of boiling holy water more than once a month or anything (I’m not crazy, you know), but still. The whole idea of drinking blood…

*throws up in mouth a little*

It’s all related to my fear of needles, refusal to eat meat, and that weird twitching I get at the very thought of closed spaces ever since I was ten and my brother locked me in my old wooden toy box by sitting on the lid and ignoring my near-death gasps for air (hello, Serpent and the Rainbow?). I hated all those “Blade” movies, and there are only two reasons I could even tolerate “Lost Boys” with my eyes open: 1) Jason, and 2) Kiefer.

But TWILIGHT and its sequels have been all the YA buzz, and Stephenie is totally my MySpace friend, so I bucked up and grabbed a copy on a Borders run a few weeks ago.

Edward fans out there, don’t kill me but… it was initially tough for me to dig in. There’s the whole vampire-aversion thing, of course, but it also felt a bit slow. The action was delayed, the narrator-slash-main character wasn’t grabbing me, and there were lots of adverbs and dialogue tags other than “said” (he sighed, she replied, they bemoaned, etc.), which as a general rule should be used like cream blush – sparingly if at all. By page 150, I wasn’t sure what all the buzz was about. I even asked Mischief Management, writer of YA fantasy herself, teacher of our nation’s troubled youth (who also may be vampires), and all around cool chick, if she’d read it. “I couldn’t get into it,” she said (she lamented hastily, she responded quickly, she quipped adamantly).

I got to work yesterday, about 200 of 500 pages in by the previous night’s count. And then… I found myself hopelessly thinking of Edward. All day yesterday, I couldn’t stop thinking of Edward. And Bella. And their intense, impossible love, delayed and withdrawn at first – like the action of the story. Despite my initial feelings, this book was completely affecting me.

Steph… girl!? Is this pure genius or a total happy accident? Does it come in pill form?

I can so relate to this story. We all can, right? Maybe we weren’t in love with any card-carrying vampires during the golden years of our youth, but hey – vampires, drug dealers, boys eight years older, what’s the difference (especially in the eyes of your overbearing dad, who was not above answering the door with his favorite gun wrapped in a cloth diaper as though he was magically cleaning it right at the moment your date was set to arrive)? Don’t you remember that agony? That I’m-not-hungry, I’ll-probably-die-of-heartache-anyway pain? Listening to The Cure? Writing bad poetry? Sigh.

Last night, before I fell asleep, I tore through TWILIGHT like an addict. I had to force myself to slow down, to stop reading ahead, to breath. My heart was pounding. I gasped once. Butterflies. Fear. There may have been crying involved, though I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of tears.

And I finished it.

Blood-sucking creepiness (and needles! There were needles!) aside, man this book was, uhm…

*looks both ways to ensure no one is listening*

…sexy as hell. And also…

*looks again*
*lowers voice to a conspiratory whisper*

…vampires are hot.

Despite my cardinal rule of no more than 10 unread books out from the library before purchasing something new, I must pick up NEW MOON and ECLIPSE, books 2 and 3, before the weekend, so I can stay up all night reading them to the detriment of all else.

Please don’t tell Alex. I’ll get sucked (pun intended) into a Blade movie marathon and I won’t be able to sleep ever again!