Confession (Sydney Salter)

I never had a summer romance.

Not for lack of wanting, wishing, hoping and, you know, stalking.

My high school diaries are full of detailed accounts of my well-researched, well-timed "chance" encounters with The Boy.

During school visits I share what I wrote on August 24, 1985. My friends and I woke up at 4:30AM and decorated our favorite boys' cars with mustard and whipped cream. Next I read the car-decorating scene from My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters. I like to show students that writing doesn't have to be perfect, or even good. It's full of misspellings, grammatical weirdness, and inside jokes that I can no longer explain. But that hastily-written passage gave me great material to mine decades later.

I rarely reread my diary entries. And I hadn't looked at my high school diaries until I started writing YA a few years ago. Oh, all that desperate boy craziness. All that wanting, wishing, hoping, and, yes, stalking.


But here's the surprise. Much older me saw a pattern in all that earning for the perfect summer romance: I wasn't ready. I liked boys who didn't like me. Boys liked me but I didn't like them. So much delicious drama. But little risk. I simply wasn't ready for a boyfriend.

I am enjoying a great romance, 27 years and counting, but it started in the cold, sweater-y month of November. But, hey, no complaints. I can always write about summer love!


  1. I love how you used that car-decorating experience in your book! I've tried to reread my old journals but they make me cringe!!

  2. I love how you can look back and know it didn't happen because you weren't ready. I realized I was a slow mover for the very same reasons. :o)

  3. Slow moving to the third power here. :-) Gotta love old diary entries.


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