Older & Wiser by Sydney Salter

My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters
is a tribute, of sorts, to my high school years. Bonfires in the hills, the weird experience of living in a casino culture, living near Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. I worked through some of my personal experiences too. So many teen emotions remain constant over time.

But I'm very aware that social mores have changed since the 1980s--thankfully! 

Modern teens don't like to be boxed into groups like the characters in a John Hughes film. I loved watching my own daughter be sporty, brainy and emo-esque. And while high school still isn't easy for most teens, I watched my own daughters find more authenticity than I managed to do in the 80s. 

Sexual mores have changed--thankfully!

Modern teens are more accepting and more aware. And don't like being boxed into anything specific. I can no longer watch the movie Sixteen Candles without thinking about what I failed to see among my own friend group. Did we really think it was okay for unconscious girls to be taken advantage of sexually simply because they were sexually active? I think often of one particular night, one particular party where I wished I'd known then what I know now. What serves as a comic relief/romance sub-plot in Sixteen Candles sure wasn't funny in real life. And I wish I could have done better by my friend. I am still so deeply sorry for my ignorance. 

I enjoy being older and wiser now, and bringing that to my writing for teens. I also appreciate all that today's teens have to teach me.


  1. It kind of feels like we're all older and wiser, doesn't it? Us and the teens we write for.


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