September 2009

Teen Authors Break Into Nonfiction: Are You Next?



School Library Journal reported this week that nonfiction is gaining popularity with young readers, so I had to take this opportunity to point out a set of nonfiction titles that blew me away recently: The Louder Than Words books.

Marni, Emily and Chelsey -- three works named after their teenage authors -- cover the topics of a hair-pulling stress disorder, chronic illness and the murder of a parent, respectively. Edited by Deborah Reber, these titles capture the voices of their young authors in a way that had me laughing and crying at the same time, an emotional state that I love (I'm weird, I know). The bottom line: Each is a riveting read.

Now, Reber is searching for her next trio of teen writers to tell tales from their lives.

If you're between the ages of 13-19 and you've got something to share, here's how to submit your story. And if you aren't quite ready to let the world glimpse your innermost secrets, just pass this opportunity along to your really open friends with writerly aspirations. They'll thank you.

5 Fantastic Fall Florals



I held onto my tank tops and sandals for as long as I could, but I have to face the hard truth: summer is definitely over. I'm very emoticon sadface about it, so I'm making the transition easier for myself by wearing pretty floral patterns that remind me of sunshiney days! Take a look at these weather appropriate fall florals.

1. Bloom Necklace, ShanaLogic ($35). Artist Lauren King makes these one-of-a-kind pendants out of vintage flowers and beads. Bright. Cheery. Happy. They're the jewelry equivalent of The Muppets.

2. Mixed Rose Footless Tights, Top Shop ($16). These romantic black tights with roses will look great with a simple black dress or a demin skirt. Top Shop has graciously de-thorned the stems. Those Brits -- so polite! 

3. Floral Circle Dress, Urban Outfitters ($48). This is the most perfect fall dress I ever did see. Wear it with some boots and a leather jacket for that girly tomboy dichotomy.

4. Romantic Blossom Scarf, Forever 21 ($9). Do you know why I love scarves? Because they're accessories that are stylish and functional! And this soft gauze scarf is the prettiest in a violet and purple color palette.

5. Crochet Babydoll Top, Wet Seal ($18.50). Wear this bright floral patterned babydoll tunic over a pair of skinny jeans for the ideal fall outfit. Bonus: from far away, you'll look like a Monet painting.

Ash: The A-Z Series



The year was 1996, and a trio of high school punks from Downpatrick, Ireland calling themselves Ash released an album called 1977 (in honor of the year Star Wars opened in theaters). I was instantly smitten with the band's dirty, no-holds-barred, pop punk tunes. Teenage rebellion? Check. Cute lead singer? Check. Songs that made me feel cool? Check.

Thirteen years later, the band is still kickin' out the jams -- a lot of them. Ash has created a project called the A-Z Series: a collection of 26 limited edition 7" and digital download singles. Each single will be released every two weeks over the upcoming year. Perfect for us impatient types.

The first single is "True Love 1980," a melodic, new wave ballad that makes me miss John Hughes films. The video takes place in the middle of a high school love triangle that satiates my nostalgic penchant for young romance. But there is a twist. You're just going to have to watch it yourself, because I'm not going to spoil it. Duh.

"True Love 1980," will be available for download on October 12th!

The Matte Effect: Get Knockout Nails


KO polish A few weeks ago, we interviewed NYLON Beauty Director Holly Siegel about her favorite beauty picks, and she dropped such a treasure trove of info that we're only just now catching up.

One item she mentioned, I have to give an extra rave. I finally got my hands on matte nail polish from KO (which stands for "Knock Out"), started by Mike Potter, the makeup artist on Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I won't even go into how much I wanted red glitter lips after seeing that movie.

Anyway, this cruelty-free find is changing my life -- or at least my look.

Liberty (pictured) is what I'm wearing, and with the jade nail trend, I feel very of-the-moment. Named after the Statue Of, who wears the same shade of green, the gorgeous no-shine style requires just one coat. (I get so impatient with that two-coat thing.)

I'm already trying to figure out which color I want next. Concrete? Calamine? Classic Flatte Black? In every shade, KO is killing it.

Oh, and instead of the standard two-stage polish look (pristine and then chipped), these colors start flatte and wear into satin. Pretty x2!

RED Hearts: Loving Arrested Development


Arresteddevelopment RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.

RED Hearts post is from Maya-Catherine Popa, 20, reporting from New York, NY, who appreciates smart, human-based television:

Tired of romances between the undead? Bored of America’s Next Top blonde, sandwich or kite flyer? Then maybe it’s time to watch a TV show that’s funny -- actually funny, not “Isn’t it funny how that model suspended in the air is crying upside down?” 

Arrested Development tells the story of a dysfunctional family, the Bluths, led by a dodgy dad who loses all of their money in a financial scandal (one that is all too familiar in this post-Madoff era). The father is wholly guilty as charged, and son Michael, the family’s one conscientious member, is forced to manage his inept siblings and manipulative mother, while trying to raise a diligent son of his own. Of course, this proves to be the challenge one would expect from a group of people who are deeply perplexed by the idea of work and find it difficult to adjust to not charging everything -- from $18,000 magic tricks to large donations for their own invented, ludicrous charities -- to the company card.

But unlike watching an MTV reality sitcom on the lives of adolescent millionaires, Arrested Development features a script that is brilliant, and, best of all, grammatically correct. The show’s comedic timing is perfect, and you may actually walk away a smarter, sassier individual.

So why was Arrested Development kicked off the air after three seasons? Maybe it just couldn’t keep up with the times. The Bluths were, after all, human -- painfully, hilariously human. A dysfunctional vampire or zombie family was the sure way to go.

The three seasons of Arrested Development are available for download on iTunes.

Red RED Hearts guest poster
Maya-Catherine Popa is an author of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, now available in paperback.

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