Archives for August 2014

Aug 31

eternal night: the playlist

Have you all downloaded your copy of Eternal Night yet? I’ve been so pleased with the response! I was scared to read any reviews at first, but even the criticism has been really cool to read. It’s like getting to sit in on an honors English class picking apart something that I wrote. (Though I won’t feel like I succeeded until someone writes erotic fan fiction, but whatever. We all have our measures.)

Anyway, I was asked to put together a playlist for Eternal Night. These are songs I listened to while writing, songs that inspired me, or songs I could hear as a soundtrack to the Eternal Night movie playing in my brain. A lot of them are specific to certain characters or scenes — see if you can guess which ones.  I linked to YouTube versions, but some of them aren’t awesome, so you should download them on iTunes and support the people that made my life suck less while I wrote.


1. Vampire Weekend – Unbelievers (YT)
girl, you and i will die unbelievers, bound to the tracks of the train

2. The Damnwells – Let’s Be Civilized (3. Dame – Holy Moly (YT)
call me when you’re at the right time in your life, i’ll be here

4. Wakey! Wakey! – War Sweater (YT)
i’m in the mood to say shit that will change people’s minds

5. Brett Young – Don’t Panic (YT)
please don’t think i don’t know what we stand to lose

6. Noah Gundersen – Ledges (YT)
i drink a little too much, it makes me nervous
i’ve got my grandfather’s blood

7. Tyler Hilton – Loaded Gun (YT)
i’m gonna be your next tattoo

8. Matt Hires – Restless Heart (YT)
i wish i had seen what was coming for me
but you wear such a lovely disguise

9. Tegan and Sara – Burn Your Life Down (YT)
nothing is lost in the end when you burn, burn, burn your life down

10. Matt Nathanson – Earthquake Weather (YT)
i’d kill anyone who’d treat you as bad as i do

11. OneRepublic – Something I Need (YT)
in this world full of people, there’s one killing me
and if we only die once i wanna die with you

12. Taylor Swift – Treacherous (ACOUSTIC) (YT)
i’ll do anything you say if you say it with your hands

13. The Damnwells – Texas (YT)
you’re cheating on the weather with me

14. Sara Bareilles – Chasing The Sun (YT)
it’s a really old city, stuck between the dead and the living
so i thought to myself sitting on a graveyard shelf

15. Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers – Dying Wish of a Teenager (YT)
i know it doesn’t seem like i’m trying
mostly ’cause i feel like i’m dying

16. Something Corporate – I Woke Up In A Car (YT)
i met a girl who kept tattoos for homes that she had loved
if i was her i’d paint my body until all my skin was gone

17. The Killers – Flesh and Bone (YT)
we are the descendants of giant men

18. Augustana – Hurricane (YT)
you can only pray when you’re waiting out the hurricane

19. Amy Kuney – Appreciate Your Hands (YT)
you’re a hero gone to waste, untouched, unused
but i’ve never been this beautifully rescued

20. Dawes – When My Time Comes (YT)
i thought that one quick moment that was noble or brave
would be worth the most of my life

Aug 26

what a ridiculous day.

My book came out today.   Isn’t that such a weird thing to be able to say?   I am not an emotionally stable person by any measure, so I basically spent today trying to work while climbing walls and having regular crying fits in my office because my friends were just so awesome, all day. Messages and flowers and calls and emails and most importantly, signal boosting. I was so overwhelmed by how much support I got from the people I love and admire.   The first week of sales for a book are important, and since I’m a first time author without a huge marketing push, I was (and am) really relying on word-of-mouth. I was blown away by the number of people who took the time to help me with that today. Being a fan is such a huge part of my identity — it has been since I passionately decided to devote my whole entire existence and every corner of my heart to JC Chasez at age eleven — and so I spend a lot of time shouting from the rooftops about the things that I think are awesome. It was pretty incredible to have a little taste of that support turned back on me today by the people that I love and admire most.   Basically… thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.   Now’s the fun part. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of Eternal Night, so tweet me, email me, etc! I really hope you have fun reading it.   P.S. Happy national dog day! Pacey doesn’t give a shit that I wrote a book.   Double P.S. JC Chasez, I’m still here. Colton can give you my number.

Aug 3

playlist: summer in los angeles, 2002.

Today, I stepped out of that new Starbucks on Sunset and Vine and had this really bizarre moment of déjà vu. Or maybe that’s not the term — maybe it was just nostalgia. Either way, some inexplicable thing about the exact combination of sounds and smells — music from someone’s car or the coffee in my hand or the muggy, cloudy heat — at that particular moment transported me, whiplash-fast, back twelve years to the first time I was in LA.

I was fifteen, my parents were at the messiest point in a very messy divorce, I’d left Connecticut in the awkward middle of a weird first-love adventure, and I was in a new city. I was at UCLA for an eight-week college program — we lived in the dorms and took a couple college courses and did lame touristy things like window-shop Rodeo Drive and take the Universal backlot tour. My sister joined me a few weeks later, but for the first few weeks, I was truly alone — there wasn’t a single person there who I knew from back home. It was the very first time in my life that I was in that position. 

I think I’d kind of expected it to be easy to make friends — like summer camp, where you fall so in love with everyone you meet and swear you’ll be best friends forever — but it wasn’t. There’s a big difference between the hopeful adolescent idealism of a sleepaway camp cabin in Vermont and the high-pressure competitive fervor of a dorm full of fifteen- to eighteen-year-olds trying to get good grades and look hot and hook up with college guys in Los Angeles.   It wasn’t easy to make friends, but I wanted, badly, for that summer to be an adventure. It was my first time away from my parents, other than the aforementioned sleepaway camp, and I wanted to feel independent and wild and free. I remember things in fits and starts. I dyed my hair red from a box I’d bought at Rite-Aid (it didn’t go well, as you can see from the picture). I took diet pills — and ephedra was still legal then, so I dropped weight quickly, but I’d gained it all back by the end of the summer. I drank three sips of vodka at Disneyland and cried during the parade. I let a really pretty girl from Long Island named Alanna copy all my Psych 101 assignments because she seemed like the kind of person it’d be good to be friends with.

I took a yoga class and wore the same pair of UCLA sweatpants like, every single day. I illegally downloaded “Life as a House” from Limewire or something and watched it a zillion times on my laptop with my roommate. I saw a bunch of kids put on a production of “Chicago” and one of the guys in it was named Nathaniel, and everyone was in love with him.   Mostly, for the first time, I just let myself be alone. Honestly, I was really sad about what was going on at home, and the sadness made me quiet, so I wasn’t much company for the people I did manage to connect with. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever felt like a true introvert, and I think that was just what I needed that summer.

Last year, I saw one of the girls from my floor in the dorm at the airport, and I started to wave hello — and then I realized she wouldn’t remember me, because I’d barely talked to her, because I’d barely talked to anyone. This was pre-Facebook. Generally you have to actually have made an impression, to be memorable to people who only knew you pre-Facebook.

I spent a lot of time that summer wandering the campus, writing in a journal, listening to music. I had a shitty MP3 player that had come with my lime green Dell laptop. It held 15 MP3s at a time. In addition to Psych 101, I was taking a History of Rock and Roll class, which was introducing me to a lot of new stuff. New to me, extremely old to the rest of the world. I wrote my final paper about “Gimme Shelter,” and I made my AIM away message lyrics from Led Zeppelin’s “Fool In The Rain.” (another ten minutes/no longer/and then i’m turning around) but that was also the summer that I fell in love with Something Corporate — “Konstantine,” obviously — and Jack Johnson. I think I listened to John Mayer’s “Love Soon” about 47 million times because a guy I liked from home had emailed me the lyrics.

I was into a lot of emo bands, too, though I don’t think I knew at the time that they were emo, and I definitely wasn’t tapped into the subculture — or even aware that it existed, as far as I recall.   Anyway — the music is the point of this entire post. After I had that weird time-travel/déjà vu moment today, I went back to my office (I was working on a Saturday, because I’m annoying) and started digging through Spotify trying to assemble that 15-song playlist that I listened to so obsessively that summer.

It’s a weird mix — and some of it is really lame — but it brings back such a vivid time for me, such a specific kind of healthy, introspective, peaceful aloneness.

1. Jack Johnson – Mudfootball

2. John Mayer – Love Soon

3. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

4. The Juliana Theory – If I Told You This Was Killing Me Would You Stop

5. The Animals – House of the Rising Sun

6. Something Corporate – Konstantine

7. New Found Glory – The Glory Of Love

8. The Spill Canvas – Sunsets and Car Crashes

9. The Beatles – Revolution

10. Guster – Rainy Day

11. The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving

12. Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

13. Switchfoot – Let That Be Enough

14. Counting Crows – Hard Candy

15. Led Zeppelin – Fool in the Rain

Talk to me! What songs bring back specific moments for you? Have you ever had a weird time-travel moment for no particular reason? How blatantly terrible is that New Found Glory cover of “Glory of Love” and why did I listen to it three times today?