Yay! and Hello!
I thought long and hard about what the first words of my very first post on this fine blog would be. And considering the corny-and-proud girlie that I am, I think the ones I went with are appropriate. Thank you, Jenn, for inviting me on board! I’m super excited (!) to join this community of talented authors. Still (for now), I promise to keep the exclamation points to a minimum.
A little about me—I’m a magazine writer turned YA author. My very first Pulse Ro-Com—tentatively titled PERFECT SHOT—is scheduled to hit bookstores in the Fall of ’09. As of October of 2007 I’ve been living overseas in Bermuda. The hubby got hired by a company based out here, so mere weeks after our wedding we made the move. It’s been an adventure adjusting to the high cost of living (gas is over $8 a gallon!) and learning to drive on the left side of the road, but we’re enjoying it.
The move has also given me the opportunity to write full-time from home. Other writers have drawn inspiration from this mid-Atlantic island—most famous of them was Mark Twain. While I don’t propose to have one-tenth of his creative genius, it is nice to know that this is a magical place to be a writer. And talk about inspiring—if the turquoise ocean or unique architecture don’t move you, the island’s pleasant people will. Bermudians are dynamic folk. Through school visits and youth organizations, I’m beginning to learn that being a teen in Bermuda is similar to being a teen in a conservative, cosmopolitan place with a very small-town feel. Imagine every local in your town knowing you or your family.
I think of Karina Pasian’s hit song “16 At War”—the refrain is “I’m 16 on the block” and she paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to be 16 in an urban environment. In a few ways, being 16 here in Bermuda is different from Karina’s 16. For one, it’s nothing like when Karina sings, “Bad air in my lungs—man, I can't breathe; My eyes burning from all the dirt in the debris.” The fresh air out here is nice. Pollution is low—although this 21-square-mile island has about 66,000 people, it’s considered densely populated. (They should visit my 4 square mile, NYC area hometown of East Orange, NJ with its 66,000+ residents.) Being 16 here means you’re now able to get your scooter—not vehicle—license, so you most likely ride your scooter to school (Yamahas instead of Vespas seem to be popular with kids). Whether you attend a public or private institution, you wear uniform to school. There are only a handful of movie theaters in the whole country and no major mall, so you hang out at places like the beach, parks or eateries. You can catch the CW, MTV, BET and all other current American TV fare on cable so you’re up to speed on most music and trends. Some of your friends are already attending high school at boarding schools abroad. Entering college means you’ll be living oceans away from your family—most Bermudians attend schools in Canada, the UK or US because the local college is a two-year one. Your passport has lots of stamps in it and you’re no stranger to the idea of making a wardrobe shopping trip to the nearby US.
That’s a little about what 16 looks like here. So tell me, what makes being 16 unique where you live?