As I work on this YA manuscript, I've been thinking about how teenaged love is different than, say, love in my mid-30s.
Here's what I've come up with: love in high school is just tough. First off, it is not a level playing field: some people are lip virgins, and others aren't virgins in any sense of the word. And for the former, there's so much scary territory that is simultaneously tempting and utterly terrifying.
What's more, you've known most of your classmates forever, and it's hard to imagine dating John [last name redacted] who walked out of the kindergarten bathroom with his pants down, or Timmy [last name redacted] who vomited all over his grade school desk, or Chad [last name redacted] who called me "dream boat" starting in the third grade.
Those boys knew (many of) my secrets and had seen me at my absolute worst. We were like extended family, and no one wants to date their pimply cousin whose mother is constantly imploring him to wipe after a bowel movement.
For the past two weeks, my brain has been basking in (mostly cringe-worthy) memories of high school. The letters from friends and notes from boyfriends (oh yes, I kept them. ALL.) are very helpful, and I'm injecting some of my own angst into my protagonist.
He's a boy, though, so it's a little different. We're embarking into this virgin territory together.
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: