Sunday, June 27, 2010

Memories

I had a mini-reunion with a few of my friends from elementary school yesterday. We found each other via the Internet, and after a lifetime apart, we met and had the best time reminiscing and getting to know each other for the people we've become; not just the memories we carry.
What's interesting to me is that the things they remember are different than the things I remember. Collectively, though, they help to shape a past more whole than the one I carry in my mind. Kids didn't have cameras or phones or video cameras back then, so what we have for the most part instead is the picture that's shaped in our minds.
My very first published book--How I Survived Being A Girl--was a fictionalized version of my growing years. It was my take, my memories, my fictionalizing. But if one of my classmates from sixth grade had written it instead, I'm sure the story would be completely different. And if every kid in my sixth grade class wrote their own "How I Survived..." we'd have thirty vastly different stories, even though we shared many of the same experiences.
That's really the whole premise of Flipped--two different perspectives on the same story. And I wrote it because I was turned down when I suggested writing "the companion volume" -- the boy's perspective--for HISBAG. Despite being turned down, the idea fascinated me and I decided to start all over with different characters and a different setting...and a different publisher.
When Flipped first came out, people commented that they'd thought that reading the same story from two different perspectives would be redundant and boring, and on the surface it seems that would be the case. It's fascinating, really, how un-boring it can be.
I guess, like real life with a little distance, there comes a point where we appreciate seeing a fuller picture. You've had the experiences, it's good to let other perspectives help you get the most out of them.

30 comments:

Jinnyd said...

From elementary school? Awesome! The elementary years were the best in my life. (so far, anyway)

I like how in Flipped sometmes in Juli's chapters you find out more about what happened than in Bryce's chapters, if you know what I mean. LIke she remembered more about what happened, you know?

Optimistic4ever said...

That is so cool!

I love the change in perspective in the book flipped! Who doesn't!

sammy4ever said...

you're so gorgeous! you look like my friend's mom with the short blond hair. she also likes to run a lot. and when i read flipped, i was blown away. it was almost like i was reading two different stories because bryce and juli's perspectives are so different. anyway, it must have been so interesting to see all your classmates from elementary school! wow, did you recognize anybody? sounds like a lot of fun, i hope i have an elementary school reunion, ha ha!

NewYorkAngel said...

That's so nice to meet friends from elementry school. There's only one friend from elementry school that I would like to see again. He lives a few blocks away (I think) but I have'nt seen him in years. He was my best friend in school. I lost touch with my others friends but most of my firends now, have facebook so we're keeping in touch over the summer. It'll be like we were seeing each other every day. For instance, I know that Karen is reeeeaaallly upset that Mexico lost to Argentina yesterday in the World Cup. I figured that anyway, since she was born in Mexico, but her family was ready to shoot the entire country of Argentina.

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I can't wait until I do something like that when I'm in college. It always surprises me how some people you think you'll know forever but ten years later you're like "Luke WHO?" I'm not saying YOU, I'm using "you" in general you know. Anyway, when I first read Flipped (I think I've said this before?) but the cover reminded me of some sort of Jerry Spinelli book, which isn't a bad thing because he's a great author. I love "he said, she said" stories. I recetly read one called Better Than Yesterday, and it reminded me of Flipped (but for an older audience I guess) but that's why I liked it, because I was familiar with the style of te story. I don't just like a book randomly, I'm really picky. Like when I first read Runaway, I just HAD to lend it to my friend the day after I finished just because I liked it so much. I was like, "Why didn't I read this earlier?!". I may have even cried. I'm such a sap. I cried when I read The Last Song, I cried when I read Freaks and Revelations etc etc. Oh well. ;) but just saying that Flipped is suu a good story for girls AND boys even though it's a romance. At school one day me and my friend Alex (a girl) we're talking about the movie, and my other friend Michael was like, "What are you talking about?" and when he heard it was Flipped, he said oh-so-casually, "Oh, I read that." then maybe because he was embarassed to be caught reading a romance or something he said it was "just for a book report". Yeah, right. I bet he's a closet Twiligut fan. ;) But what I'm saying is, Flipped is good for just about anyone. I mean I was so suprised when I heard he read it because he's like this punk and all he ever does is make teachers' lives living hell but he reads romances in his free time? His is what your books do. :) I wonder what would happen if I tried to get him to read Confessions of a Serial Kisser. He'd probably just flip me off ;P There is only so far a person can go before they hit the limit. Oh well, I'll always love your books. I've never tried to read those other two series of yours, but I'm not sure what age they're meant for? But I've read every one of your seperate novels and SK books. :) Sorry, I always have too much to say. I'm not the only one.

Neighborhood Foodie said...

I happened to find myself wandering through a used bookstore this weekend, and what should I stumble upon but a paperback copy of How I Survived Being a Girl! It caught my eye, and something struck a chord in my memory, just enough to make me reach out and pick it up. When I saw your name running down the side I exclaimed "Hey, I know who wrote this!" Then I looked around and remembered that I'd come alone, and wasn't talking to anyone in particular. But it made me smile, and I'm about to crawl into bed early and read it. It's a first edition even, maybe you can sign it for me when I'm back home this weekend for the 4th! :)

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Wait, didn't How I Survived Being a Girl stop making copies or something? Or am I thinking of something else? hmm.
ZOMG 3OH!3's NEW ALBUM CAME OUT TODAYY!! :DDD Had to get it out. (Just went to iTunes to buy it. I'm lisening to "We Are Young".)

Pooja Dimba said...

That's really cool how you can reconnect with people from your elementary school.
I've been to like 5 elementary schools so... I don't think that can happen to me.
Flipped is an awesome book. My brother brought it home when he was in seventh grade, I was only in second grade.
But I read it in sixth grade and it was amazing!

Cammycrazygirl said...

3oh!3's new album? Itunes, here I com XD
I know that this has nothing to do with the post, but you look JUST like my old LA teacher. LOL you're probably laughing so hard. Language Arts teacher. It's true though :D

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I thought I should say it here first since you inspired it. I GOT A TATTOO! Before I say anything dumb, I'll mention that I DID have an adult with me.
But anyway, it took forever because half the places we went thought I was too young. The reason I all of a sudden got one was because I found out that Justin Bieber had one, I'm like, if HE has one, why can't I? It was on my list on 100 Things to Do Before I Die.
Here is how it connects to you: part of it is a horseshoe. I'm so lame, but my friends drew it for me. Around the horseshoe is the 3OH!3 hand symbol. It's on the base on my spine but it's SO COOL. I wish I had a better view of it. My friend got the same thing (not in the same place). He didn't understand the horseshoe until I explained it to him but what the heck, not everyone can understand Casey's charm. My dad looked like he was gonna shoot me but when I explained to him how "appropriate" both things were (Well, 3OH!3 is faaaaar from being appropriate but what can I do. It's not like their hand sign is a real gang sign or something). My mom knew about it though. Not a long story and I'm not saying anything stupid like I said before. I say a lot of stupid things and adults think I'm some freak who's going to hijack a schoolbus and drive us off a cliff or something (if IL has any cliffs at all...well, we have prairies down South at least). Okay I'm being stupid again. But anyways I just wanted to say you inspired a tattoo xD. If I ever get a second, it will be a key. I wonder why, huh? Umwellbyethen. :)

Anonymous said...

This book is a romantic comedy. Its soooo awsome. I can't wait until it comes out onto the big screen.

Innocent Impatient xxCammyLoverxx said...

Random House should be renamed to We Love to Watch Innocent Bored Teenagers Named Stephanie Drown in Her Own Puddle of Tears Because She Has Been Waiting For Over Half a Year For Wedding Crasher. Just kidding, but my family has invested in a new pool because I can easily fill it now with my I'm Cant Take It Any Longer tears. I swear, I've even give up my fanfiction for a while because all it does is remind me of October and how far it is. It's not your fault of the wait, but it IS your fault that your write such amazing books that I can't wait any longer to read because I am obsessed. Stop writing so good! Okay no don't, i was kidding, don't stop...
--quoted from "Pleas of an Innocent, Impatient Sammy Keyes Fan" written by yours truly.

NewYorkAngel said...

Oh, you too? That's good to know. My dad said that too save money on water, to fill up our pool, he'll just show me the calender. *sniffle snifle*

Cammycrazygirl said...

Ohmygosh I don't know if everyone already knew this but...
RUNNING DREAM IS ON AMAZON WITH THE COVER AND THE WHATEVER IT'S CALLED DESCRIBING THE BOOK!!!
And tell the publishers that they need to hurry up. Before I had finished the whole SK series I refused to read CHC because I didn't want the series to be over...
And I'm so impatiant and cammy-starved that I already made one of my messed-up, crappy covers for Night of Skulls. I NEED MORE SAMMY KEYES. You need to put up a new puzzle on the SK website, btw. I might be satisfied for an hour...
And I already pre-ordered WC. And another book, but it's not SK. I'm so excited though. Barnes and Noble is forever my favorite bookstore. So I am now guarenteed a copy of the WC.
Even if it is coming out in October.

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I never thought of making an SK14 cover yet! :D I should do it. Oh and after I got the comment on my blog (from you, Cammycrazygirl) I searched the Running Dream book and it took me about seven different tries to find it from the stupid Amazon search bars. Sometimes I wish the search bars would just know what we're thinking. :| Running Dream looks sad (the beginning part). Does it start before the accident or after? but I'll read it of course.
And since m stupid B&N doesn't carry SK books anymore (they carry them on the website but not at the store), I had to pre-order it so it'll be shipped to B&N when it comes out etc etc.
When will a one-chapter preview of Wedding Crasher come ouut???!! And will there be anymore short stories on the website?

xxCammyLoverxx said...

(To NewYorkAngel:) We needed a second pool now. :|
We may even have to rent out the Y just to use a pool there, too. :| I usually love October because my birthday is in that month but right now I am wishing it would be knocked off the calender to September would replace it. :)

xxCammyLoverxx said...

(that would mean WC would come out earlier..if October was gone)

NewYorkAngel said...

GOODBYE HALLOWEEN! I'D RATHER HAVE SAMMY KEYES THAN HALLOWEEN ANYDAY!

xxCammyLoverxx said...

What's even worse is half the people (okay only two) in my band are on vacation so me and the lead are just doing the song writing part now until school starts up where we shall record them. We would try to do the vocals now, but we use the basement of the person who is on vacation. So now, I have to wait for Wedding Crasher and there is absolutely nothing to do. Vacation is out of the question (new baby in the house) but I'm going crazy waiting. That's all I did yesterday, complain about not being able to read WC. No lie. I should make a YouTube video about how long the wait is and by the time it comes out the world will have ended (due to me taking over the government and..never mind.] Oh yes, yesterday I learned why I am so impatient. I have a small case of ADHD. How wonderful, it's so embarassing. My mom said it wore off when I was six but the can't-sit-still part stayed. :| No wonder I'm so impatient. October = dead to me. }:[
Sometimes summers couldn't be longer.  

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Lololol I just saw a website that spelled it Sammy Keyes and the Wedding CRUSHER Hahaha EPIC FAIL.

NewYorkAngel said...

My brother has ADHD...Ohhhhh myyyyyyyyyy gosssssshhhhhhhhhh. He cannot sit still. On the first day of Pre-K, he actually hit another kid at school...

NewYorkAngel said...

Wedding CRUSHER? Like a crush? Where did you find that?

xxCammyLoverxx said...

MAYBE I AM A DEMIGOD!! OHMYGAWD!
And no, I don't think they meant it like WeddIng CRUSHer, I think it was just a grammar mistake. (should have taken a screenshot)
Lol I was on Yahoo today and one of the News Videos was about "Wedding crasher gets arrested" or something. I called my sister over and I'm like, "Look, even Yahoo is taunting me." even though the "gets arrested" part probably doesn't make sense (or does it...? Sammy usually gets the criminals or whatever get arrested..hhemmm.)
If I had one wish right now, it would be for summer to end, because benefiting me: it is not.
(Ps: I may start a mob because of this long wait. I'll be the second biggest mobster in Chicago, maybe even the first after I'm done. Move over, Al Capone.)

NewYorkAngel said...

I'll join the mob :) My friends taunt me. "Look, Jennifer. The calener says that Wedding Crasher is ___ days away." They do this to me every day. "What do you think will happen with Lana and Warren? Will Casey kiss Sammy already? What's the thing about Sammy's dada? I wonder if Sammy will get into a dress willingly." They like taunting me. I should stop mentioning Sammy Keyes every six seconds..but Karen is nice sometimes on facebook. Sheeven plays along and calls me by my facebook name. When I first got a facebook, she sent me a message that said, "Sammy! Ur heeerrrrreee!" And on the chat window, she always calls me Sammy. She's the friend that started taunting me. She's also the one that strted saying that me and Mark should get married. I should not tell her about Sammy Keyes anymore. Unfortuneatly, Mark's eyees are brown. That really helps...OMG, I will freak out if in WC it says something about Casey's hair being smooth. I really will. Cammycrazygirl put that idea in my head. Karen made me feel his hair. It is smooth. He needs to cut it, though. He looks like Harry Potter. he even has the glasses. This is so random...

xxCammyLoverxx said...

How would Sammy know if Casey's hair is smooth? Lol. Well, maybe. We'll see. In October which is three damn months away. :[ To tell you he truth, I always liked green eyes (on guys) before I read SK. But now I like brown. Actually, I can't decide, so I just imagined Sammy's eyes win green. It kind of just started when I had this strange dream where Sammy was at a camp and she had color contacts? That was a long while ago. I've been pondering SK13 before bed the past few days and I recall having a dream, erm, two days ago? Gosh I am mental. Speaking of SK what's going on with that "Sammy Keyes tv show" idea? Any progress? (That is direted towards Wendelin Van Draanen). 
I feel rude saying "Wendelin" because I'm just a kid and it's rude but saying your whole name makes me feel like I'm being too vague, and saying Ms Van Draanen will make me sound like I am trying too hard, so what should I call you? I can't say "WVD" to you directly because that's sort of rude. Although, pretty cool initials I must say. SAMH (my initials) Stephanie Anne Marie Hall. :|
So! Any progress in the show?
And NewYorkAngel, I feel your pain. My friends down taunt me but the world does. like Yahoo, and iTunes. Sometimes I wish Katy Perry would keep her mouth shut. :P I remember when I went through some "Katy Perry" obsession, then it was Lindsay Lohan and then it was Boys Like Girls, Ke$ha, etc. People always hate people like me (they call us "scene" kids) because they think they're true "punks" and it annoys me. Just because they like Sex Pistols and The Runaways doesn't make them superior. Which is why my band is more crunk-rock/hop/pop-screamo. And some rap in between. We recently wrote a death metal song, you know, just playing around with the tunes. We'll find what we like best soon. But we're sticking to scene. And even though our new name which we are sticking to sounds creepy-- Killing Rue-- at leat it has meaning. 
Off topic much? How is the SK tv show going!? :]
I must leave because my sisters are bugging kento join their movie night which consists of fattening foods which I won't eat and lots of drunk pirates aka Captain Jack Sparrow. You gotta love him. 
(OMG there it is again! The Evil Spirits Of Sammy Keyes haunting me! "Drunk pirates"? BOTTLES OF RUM!? 
Even the "Yo-ho" song he sings while he is sitting in a row boat! WOW life is strange at times)

xxCammyLoverxx said...
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xxCammyLoverxx said...
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xxCammyLoverxx said...

Oops my phone wet haywire I accidentally posted that like three times. I deleted the other two. My bad.

Elizabeth said...

I hope you had a happy and safe Fourth of July everyone!!! It is 9am here on the east coast, so I'm gonna go finish breakfast :D

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I can't believe how behind I am...again! Some answers (and advice):

SK movie thing -- I think it's best described as on hold.

Please call me Wendelin. None of this formal Ms. stuff.

Wedding CRUSHer is so funny!

No more short Sammys--focusing on Night of Skulls

Here's the advice portion: Do NOT spend your summer waiting for October! Get out and ENJOY your time off!! Go DO something!

A Tattoo? I never imagined inspiring any part of a tattoo. I hope you don't hate it in 10 years, or 5 years, or next year! That was a shocker!

Final item: Root for The Netherlands tomorrow! (That's my parents' country of origin :-) ) Hup, Holland, hup!