Friday, January 20, 2012

Firsts--and why I write YA

In high school, I started a list.

The first time I ...

… kissed a boy. …at the school dance …

… french kissed. … the New Years Eve party …

… enjoyed kissing. … went to the old cemetery …


Pretty much.

My dad—in the throes of cleaning frenzy after I moved away to go to college—tossed it out, and I’ve tried to re-create it from memory. Though I really did enjoy that night in the cemetery, kissing wasn’t the only thing on the list

The first time I …

  • went down a water slide

  • … wrote a letter to the editor

  • … appreciated Shakespeare

  • … ran in a cross-country meet

  • … went on a ski trip with friends

  • …cheated on a test (and the last time. I got caught.)

  • … ate a whole meal with chopsticks

Each first had a different quality—tingling me all over, boosting my self-confidence, zapping me with electric excitement, filling me with whipped cream, over-taking me with feelings of slime and rot. At night, I would spend hours in the dark reliving the glory or the pain.

And that’s why I love writing for teens. They live in a world of firsts, of intense highs, deep lows, and events so significant they will never be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. So true, Lauren! I love that your list included highs AND lows (the cheated-on test). Really shows the full picture...(That'd be a really great list to make at the end of a year--maybe just before a birthday. Hmmm...)