My Teenage Valentine

So, I was having trouble coming up with a blog post when I decided to let Cupid inspire me.

Except you should know something about my perception of cupid.  Who is Cupid really other than a little naked guy yielding a sharp, painful weapon aimed at your heart?

So, this post will be about a cruel, heartless Valentine.

It was my sophomore year.  I’d had a crush on this guy from the beginning of the school year (that’s August to February)  Count ‘em, 6 months.  A lifetime in my teen years.  And the guy was was just so freakin’ cool.

Now, don’t you for one second think I was that girl who guys ever actually liked.  I was weird, and awkward and scowled all the time.  So while the hallways were filled with giggling girls carrying big heart-shaped boxes, balloons, stuffed animals that I wanted to kick across the dirty hallways, I carried nothing.  Not a thing.  Year after year, I came home empty-handed, a fact always underscored by my mother who wondered don’t boys get things for girls anymore the way they did when your sister was in high school and junior high? My god, the way she would come home, her arms full, hardly able to carry everything she got on Valentine’s!

See why I scowled all the time?

Anyway, my sophomore year? That was the year I actually had a Valentine. I’d started “going out” with the above mentioned skater guy about two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day.  Except . . . the more I got to know him, the more I realized I liked the idea of him, the coolness he kind of portrayed.  Heck, I shamefully admit, I may have just really liked his hair.  Anyway, I didn’t really like him, know what I mean?  And, I don’t really think he liked me either, because quite frankly, I was weird and hardly spoke about anything other than the bands I liked and my what my favorite songs were.  And each day it seemed I liked him less and less, so by the time Valentine’s came around, I was in deep dislike.  And with all the hearts, and the gushing, and the giggling, and all around LOVE in the air, I really thought I might be sick to my stomach if I carried on with the shenanigans of walking to class together any longer.

So I did the unthinkable.  The cruel.  The heartless.  I snatched Cupid’s little arrow and jabbed it into his heart, quick and dirty, as Cupid snickered behind me.

That’s right.  Right when this guy gave me a card and a rose, I handed him a cd (Metallica if I recall correctly) and said, “Here. And I think we should break up.”

I know. Terrible, right?  Absolutely terrible.  And I don’t know how this great crush suddenly turned into that weird please don’t stand too close to me or talk to me kind of feeling, but it did.  I thought to myself afterward, “Would it really have killed you to wait one more day?”  Especially when he said, “Thanks. Thanks for the crappiest Valentine’s Day ever.”  But hey, at least he got a cd.  And, honestly, I don’t think he was that broken hearted.  I mean, he was back with his ex-girlfriend the following week, so . . . you know teenage love.

Anyway, that’s my teen Valentine’s Day story.  Do you have any terrible ones to share?  Please, do!

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YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes!

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent is now officially over!  A big thanks to all who participated and please make sure to check out the Apocalypsies blog on January 24th for a list of winners.

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes is ON, people! This blog race features some seriously YAmazing 2012 debuts and most definitely offers some MGnificent prizes (ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and more) so read on to win. If you’re just starting, first click on the Apocalypsies blog to start from the beginning and get the full run down.

If you’re already on this part of the race, then onward you go! How you feeling? Good? Good!

Alright then, you’ll need this:


by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Charlie Grisner is an ex-fat kid with a complicated story, and the universe is never on his side. When he returns home from fat camp at the end of the summer, he finds that his mother has run away—again. His father won’t discuss it and Charlie begins another school year with bottled guilt. Though he has lost thirty pounds, Charlie still perceives himself as fat. But when he spots the new girl, Charlotte Vanderkleaton, no longer is his goal to just get through his senior year unnoticed. Perhaps he can at least pretend to be smooth so she will notice him (in a good way).

While dealing with the constant battles of keeping the weight off, staying clear of the fanatical school pariah he shares a locker with, his beyond-dysfunctional parents, and getting the girl, Charlie can at least count on photography (the one thing he knows he’s good at) and his best friend Ahmed (a Sammy Davis Jr.-obsessed, wing tip shoes– wearing “player”). However, when his life really reaches a tipping point, Charlie can only hope that things will go his way just once.

Available now for pre-order.

And now, go, go, go!  Next stop is Anne Nesbet.

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A couple of random and cool girly/bookish things and two not so random, totally cool, and totally bookish things.

So, The Downside of Being Charlie has this element of photography in it.  It’s the one thing Charlie is pretty good at, so when I saw these, I kinda had to get them.

I bought them mostly because I was looking for something for . . .  COOL THING #1—I’m going to ALA midwinter conference!  And I’m going be signing books!  Wow, wow, wow-zer, guys!  I’m super psyched!  So, if you’re there, drop by the Perseus Books booth (#1644 ) and say hi and don’t mind me if I look all nervous like because that tends to happen to me.  Just focus on my earrings. No, wait! Don’t do that, then I’ll be self conscious!  Heehee, I’m really not as awkward as I seem.  Okay, I am, but still DROP BY!

I also got these earrings when I got those little camera ones because they immediately made me think of DEATH, DICKINSON, AND THE DEMENTED LIFE OF FRENCHIE GARCIA.  Mostly because that book deals with, well, death.  So these are pretty fitting.

I think this is going to be my thing, trying to find earrings that reflect some element of my stories.  It’s fun!

Also, I did this to my nails.

It’s something called newspaper nails.  Anyway, I thought it was kind of cool and it was relatively easy.  My nails usually look like small animals have been gnawing at the cuticles, and granted, I didn’t do the best job but come on, nail design with words?! I had to do it.

Okay, and finally I’m just giving you a heads up to get ready.  Rest your eyes.  Get good sleep.  Stretch those muscles in your fingers because pretty soon, you’re going to be clicking like mad on a bunch of awesome sites!

COOL THING #2—The YAmazing Race is Coming! The YAmazing Race is Coming!  With MGnificent prizes!

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes is this cool blog hop the Apocalypsies are doing which features some YAmazing debuts (Both YA and MG) with a chance to win  some MGnificent prizes (ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and more).  It officially starts January 16th and you can check out the Apocalypsies blog for complete rules and up to date info. The Downside of Being Charlie is part of the race so I can’t wait!

All right, guys.  That’s it in this (and so far, only) edition of Cool Things Mashup. Huh, maybe I’ll make this a regular thing. . . anyway,  keep it cool!

Also, um, can this post have anymore links? Sheesh.

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The New Year Post

I’m not a naturally peppy person, but I have to admit, there’s been an insane amount of exclamation points, giggling, and good crying this year.  Which is nauseating even to me, but, what can I say.  It’s true.

Because during the times when I swallowed heavy doses of rejection, I never imagined 2011 would be so sweet (especially considering it’s an odd numbered year, but I suppose if you add 2+0+1+1 it equals 4 which is even so . . . okay).  And here’s a confession, I’ve always felt a little funny about sharing my good news because I never want to come across like oh look at me.  I actually feel very strange when people look at me.  I get twitchy.  But the truth is, 2011 has been such an amazing year, I’ve barely been able to contain myself.

And what’s even crazier is . . . there’s a lot to look forward to.  I mean, this is the year The Downside of Being Charlie actually debuts.

*I might be breathing into a paper bag right now, trying not to freak out*

But, I’m also looking forward to 2012 for other reasons.  I mean, there’s the promise of stories yet unwritten, projects that are just little baby ideas right now that are starting to tumble around in my brain (if you’re imagine little babies tumbling around in my head, er. . . me too . . . which is weird but true).  I find myself smiling at the thought of all the days, weeks, months in 2012.  You know that fluttery feeling in your stomach, the one that feels like you just swallowed a goldfish and it’s swimming around in there? That.  That’s 2012.

And wherever you are as a writer, whether that baby idea is just starting to tumble around in your head, or whether you just decided you want to write a novel, or you just polished up your manuscript and are starting to query, or whether you’ve been querying and will continue to query, or whether you’re on submission, or whether you’ve already written a couple of bestsellers,  I hope you’re looking forward to 2012.

I hope you feel like you swallowed a goldfish. Or two. Or three.

You know what I mean.

Happy New Year, guys.

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Good News . . .or Book 2!

For a while now, I’ve been hanging out with this really quirky, death-obsessed girl.  She lives down the street from a cemetery, talks to Emily Dickinson’s corpse, and she’s got a pretty major secret.

Yeah, she’s pretty cool.

And now, looks like you guys are going to get to meet her because, yep, my second book has sold!

Check it out.  From Publishers Marketplace:

Jenny Torres Sanchez’s DEATH, DICKINSON, AND THE DEMENTED LIFE OF FRENCHIE GARCIA, about a 17-year-old girl who after the death of her high school crush uses Emily Dickinson, her neighborhood cemetery and an unlikely friendship to figure out how to piece together her broken past and uncertain future, again to Marlo Scrimizzi at Running Press Teens, by Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (World).

I’ve been dying to share this news and now I just can’t wait!  Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait until this book is out there!  I even have to remind myself to breathe.  Anyways, I’m off now, to breathe and jump around and overall just act delirious. 😉

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ARCs are cool.

So, yeah, I have ARCs *shrugs*.  It’s cool, it’s cool.  I’m not freaking out or anything.  I’m totally fine.  I’m totally cool.


The cover isn’t quite final, but I still love it!

Aren’t they great?  I can’t tell you how incredibly cool it is to finally see everything come together in, you know, an actual BOOK. I only have a few for now, but hopefully will get more soon so I can host a giveaway. I’ll keep you posted.


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My Jo March Moment

So, a few weeks ago I received in the mail a thick, beautiful package.  It was hefty and I have to tell you, I’d been waiting years and years for that package.

Some background: In seventh grade, I heard that S.E Hinton was published when she was 17.  So at 13, I thought, I’ve got plenty of time.  I started writing a book about a kid named Benny.  It was pretty bad, but you know, in my head it was going to blow away The Outsiders.  I stopped about a hundred rambling pages into that story (okay, maybe twenty pages, but at the time it seemed like a hundred) and thought, whatever, I’ve got four years.  Seventeen came and went and I was like, damn . . . forgot to finish that book.

In college I read Edwidge Danticat and thought, oh, okay.  I’ll be published in my twenties.  I was a bit delusional, you know, because that’s EDWIDGE DANTICAT. Anyway, instead I got a job, like one of those I’ve graduated now and don’t have to work on weekends anymore kind of jobs (which, incidentally was slightly traumatic for me since I thought this meant a strange, trapped, corporate real adult existence.)  I used to listen to The Smiths song Heaven Knows I’m Miserable now everyday on my way into work.  That’s kind of depressing, but totally true.  Anyway, then love, marriage, kids happened, which has been terrific and I’d never change for anything.  So I pushed this dream of being published to thirty.  At thirty, I was like wait, wasn’t I going to be published at 17, 20, 25, 30? . . . but I hadn’t even written the book. After a bit of a freak out, I started writing. Everyday.  And eventually, I finished.   There’s a lot more to it than that, but basically, right?

Anyway, the point is I’ve wanted to become an author for as long as I can remember.  So much, that when I saw Little Women (eventually I read it, but first I saw it.  I’m a huge Winona Ryder fan), it was that moment when Jo receives that thick, beautiful package in the mail that meant the most to me.  When she tore it open and saw her pages all set for publishing (relax, I shed tears over Beth’s scene.  Come on, I’m not that coldhearted;)).

And, guys, I’ve been waiting for that Jo March moment.  I’ve run it through my mind an embarrassing number of times since I saw that movie.   I’ve gone to sleep with that scene in my head, and those moments when I was sure I was chasing a futile dream, I’d think about that scene.  About how it would feel to get that package, rip it open, and see my name and title in print.

So, when it came, I just stared at the envelope a long time before opening it.  Then I finally did, slowly, and slipped out the manuscript.  And then, I smiled and put it on my dining room table. Passed by it a bunch of times, and glanced at it every single time.

When my husband got home, I ran around the house with my first pass pages in hand and shouted, “Hannah, they’re publishing me!  I can’t believe it.  My book is going to be published!”

We laughed, because he totally understood (he’s actually watched this scene with me) and it was cool.  It was very, very cool.

Posted in 80's/90's Nostalgia, Everyday Writing, Inspiration, Uncategorized, YA | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments