Sunday, July 2, 2017

Teenage Summer Flings (Lea Nolan)

Hi everyone! I’m Lea Nolan and I’m thrilled to be posting for the first time here at YAOTL. This month’s theme, Summer Lovin’ got me thinking about one of the best things about my teenage summers: the summer fling.

You know what I’m talking about, right? The fun, temporary, totally-not-serious, hot-and-heavy, then gone in a flash romance?

Yeah. *sigh* I had a few. They were awesome. Ah, to be seventeen again. (Actually not. I’m really happy to be all grown up and done with adolescence, thank you very much.)

But I do occasionally dip back into those summer fling memories because they provide plenty of fodder for writing YA. When I was young, and oh so inexperienced in the ways of l’amour, my summer flings taught me the basics about flirting, kissing, falling head-over-heels, and saying goodbye—all within the span of a week.

All the feels in a fraction of the time!

Let me introduce you to the first summer boy who stole my heart. I met John, the sexy saxophone player when I was at music camp. I was 14 and I think he was 16. He was tall, confident, and gorgeous and I couldn’t believe he liked me—me, the dorky, insecure singer who couldn’t catch a boy’s attention back home if she tried. But John did like me, and he taught me how to kiss for real in one of the practice rooms at camp. That day, I learned that kissing for real is nothing like Spin the Bottle kissing.

As with all good things, camp ended and we parted ways. But I didn’t yet realize how ephemeral summer flings are and had to learn the hard way. A few weeks later, we met up in New York City with some of our other camp friends I’d thought he was still my boyfriend, and even bought him a shirt while we were there, but then we left and I never heard from him again. It broke my heart, but it also taught me an important lesson: Most summer flings don’t last. They’re fun on a strict deadline so enjoy them while they last.

So from that time on, I vowed to be less possessive of my summer fling and simply enjoy the ride.
Enter Dave, summer boy number two. We met at music camp the next summer when we were both fifteen. He played the trumpet. Or maybe it was the trombone. It could have been the French horn. Either way, it was definitely a brass instrument that made his lips plump when he played. That summer I learned another great thing about summer flings: they give you the freedom to break your regular rules and date someone you’d never know back home. Dave and I were complete opposites who’d never work if we lived in the same town, but for one glorious week at music camp, we clicked.

My final summer fling was filled with international intrigue and a tiny bit of danger, which made it all the more fun and exciting. Emmanuel was the French foreign exchange student who came to live with us the summer after I graduated from high school. We had to keep our summer fling on the down low so my parents wouldn’t find out what we were up to. Knowing how limited our time was, and that he’d return to another continent made it the ultimate summer fling.

It wasn’t long after that I met and married Mr. Permanent Love-of-My-Life. Each of my summer fling experiences made me a better girlfriend (and wife) as well as a better writer. I’ve relived so many of these emotions through my characters and have even borrowed a scene or two for a book.

So how about you, dear reader? Did you enjoy a fun and flirty teenage summer fling? What did it teach you?


  1. Love this post! I had a few of those summer flings. When I was 13, there was this one boy at our campground I was crazy mad for. We hung out at the pond during the day and at the rec hall playing pinball at night. He bought me a popsicle at the campground store. I think of him whenever I smell bug spray.

    1. You made me laugh after a long, hot day, Janet. Bug spray? Ug. I hope you don't live in a bug-infested area.

  2. Welcome aboard, Lea!

    As a young fella, my summers never included flings. I was too maudlin for anyone to put up with me for long. :)

    I got better though. I think!

  3. Welcome, Lea! Love what you say about your own flings making you a better writer.

  4. Love this post, Lea! Welcome to YAOTL!