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inspiration * conversation * aggitation * alot of connection

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson: a book review

Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether.

Ever feel like the numbers on the scale define your worth?
Yeah, met too. It was the darkest time in my life. It got to the point that I couldn't stand the sensation of ANYTHING in my gut. It had to come out. I had to be empty... clean... empty.

This book by LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON was bsaed on the author's correspondence with the many teens that have read her New York Times Best Selling Novels like TWISTED and SPEAK! Had she not mentioned that in the acknowledgments I would have bet my soul she was a recovering bulemic like me! This book is raw and painful, cathartic and poignant.

But this book will change your life. Every teen girl needs to read this. Every middle/high school teacher. Every mom. Every mentor.

There is no doubt in my mind that Laurie Halse Anderson is saving lives with this book. Fantastic! There is even a study guide** with questions in the back of the book.


**If anyone is interested in doing an online Book Club, I would be happy to add a page to this blog devoted to book discussions. Tell me what you think!

Monday, November 29, 2010


"You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world."

~The Beatles

I don't know about you but I am COMPLETELY SICK of people making teens feel like they are a waste of space! I am pretty sure that those people that make you feel that way one point in their lives TEENS! So, that would mean that THEYbelieve that at one time THEY THEMSELVES were a waste of space?

NO ONE is a waste of space. We are all designed to be an integral part in this giant machine we call man-and-womankind! If you are between the ages of 11-18, I am here to tell you that together YOU can change the way society views teens!


We are all passionate about something. For some of us it is music, for some it is art, for some it is as simple as our significant other. But do you feel me when I say those things are INTROspective? Those are things that make US feel better.

We need to collectively start being EXTRAspective - and I am not even sure if that is REALLY a word! LOL! It is a scientific fact that if you put your heart into something and GIVE, your life will change for the better. It's not a Genie-in-the-Lamp kind of phenomenon - you have to do a little (A LOT) more than rub and wish - you will have to work but I PROMISE you it will be worth it. You think your heart has been broken? Life has thrown a big stake right through it? Pick up the pieces you have left and give this a shot! I promise BIG results!

I recently read this on The Illuminated Mind (I don't agree with everything on that site but THIS was a nugget of info I felt was worth sharing - and using to rally  the troops!):

what it takes to create a Revolution

  • It has to be something you care deeply about and would be willing to devote your life to.
  • It should be something that will help other people.
  • It should have a long term impact.
  • It has to be remarkable; it has to be worth sharing and bigger than you.
  • Working toward a revolution often involves the pursuit of being an ordinary radical.
  • Your revolution must have a distinctive quality to it that is caused by you working in it. It wouldn’t be the same if someone else did it. But it is definitely a collective movement created by similar values.
Now, what I need from YOU, what kinds of things would YOU want to do? What does YOUR REVOLUTION look like? Would it be a random acts of kindness style project? Would you raise money for something?

How can we collectively CHANGE the WORLD? Can you see the headlines now? WORLD CHANGED...BY TEENS!!!!!

Guinness Book of World Records HERE WE COME!
Send this link - make it VIRAL!
Tweet, Facebook, it!

And leave thousands of comments below! Ideas people! We need IDEAS!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Sweet 16 Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Nora Mary Prince

On January 14, 2010, Phoebe's life ended tragically and as a result of bullying. This beautiful girl was talented and gifted and loved by so many. Tomorrow would have been her 16th birthday but thanks to the harsh words of people who barely knew her, her life was snuffed out like the flame of a candle.

What gives kids the right to make ANYONE feel they are of a lesser worth?
What gives ANYONE the right to create a life of torment for someone?
What is so torturous in your own life that you need to drive someone so far into depression that they take their own life?

Information in quotes found @

"One week last October, Bill Evans, the assistant principal of South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, chose two students to read public service announcements over the loudspeaker as part of the school's participation in National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week. In selecting kids to read the PSAs, Evans thought about who would be a spokesperson that other kids would believe was speaking sincerely. He chose Sean Mulveyhill, a senior and star of the football team. "He was a natural selection—the kind of kid who would seek out someone having difficulty just to help him," Evans says.
In his PSA, Sean laid out four steps that victims of cyberbullying can take: Don't return nasty texts or IMs. Make copies of them. Set up filters to block the bully from sending more. Talk to a caring adult. Sean's message ended: "Remember that when you are targeted by a person or group of people, whether online or face-to-face, you are not alone and you can take action to make it stop."
"Sean read it. I think he meant it," Evans says."

Sean is one of the students charged with not only bullying but rape in Phoebe's case.

"About two hours before she died, Phoebe texted with the boy she'd sat with that day in the library. In one of several messages that speak to her feelings of desperation, she wrote: "I cant do it anymore … im literally hme cryn, my scar on my chest is potentially permanent, my bodies fukd up wht mre du they want frm me? Du I hav to fukn od!" The boy wrote back, reassuring her that he would talk to Sean and Ashley and make them stop. "Who cares what other people think phoebe I know you're a good person," he wrote.
At home in her bedroom, Phoebe plugged in her cell phone to recharge it, perhaps because she hadn't entirely absorbed what she was about to do. Soon after, she hung herself in the stairwell with a black scarf woven with multicolor thread. Her sister had given it to her. After Phoebe's death, the police found several of her drawings. One of them shows a human figure with a noose around the neck. In a note drawn as if it was pinned to the body, Phoebe asked for forgiveness."

Please take a moment of silence to honor Phoebe and all the others who have lost their lives to bullying. Make a promise to yourself and to those for whom it's too late to NEVER use your words for hate and to ALWAYS report someone who does. Don't let Phoebe's death be in vain!

Happy SWEET 16, Phoebe!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The FIRST "Dear Saylor"...

If you need advice you can always send an email to and I will respond with some tips and ideas. I will NEVER post your question online without your permission first. Your emails are confidential!! If I think your question and my answer would be beneficial to other teens, I will ask you if I can post it here. You always have the right to say no and I would NEVER break your trust. Pinky promise!

So here goes, the very first Dear Saylor!

Dear Saylor,
So, yesterday my best friend said something awful about me behind my back. I thought best friends were for life. I thought they were the people you could trust with anything. There is stuff my BFF knows that I would sink into a hole and die if she told anyone.
I don't really want to confront her because if I piss her off she could tell my secrets.
How do I handle it or do I just let it go?


Dear Bff-less,
OK There are two schools of thought here... "confrontation to show her how pissed off you are" and "confrontation to help her understand."

Friends are tough because society has told us that BFFs are like two peas in a are exactly alike, you can finish each other's thoughts, blah blah blah....

The truth of that matter is, whether you are talking BFFs or boyfriends, what attracts you to one another are the little nuances that make you different. You might not realize it but one of you is strong and one needs a shoulder, one of you is a bit more outgoing than the other. It's how the universe works.

That being said if you go with the first school of thought... SHOW HER HOW PISSED OFF YOU ARE... you very well may set her off and depending on her integrity, she may spread some of your 'baggage' out of her inability to admit what she did was wrong and hurtful.

But if you go the other ...HELP HER UNDERSTAND... route you are more likely to calmly plead your case, give her a chance to apologize and mean it and renew your allegiance to each other with the addendum to the original union... "come to me with something BEFORE going behind my back."

Now, you ask, how in the world can you do that when you are so pissed you could spit in her COACH bag without feeling bad?

Yep, pretend you are writing to her and lay it all out there. It doesn't even have to make sense. You can jump from one thing to the next and make sense of it all later. Be pissed! Rant! Scream and cry while you are doing it.

THEN... and only when you are SURE you have gotten it all out... go back and read it, make sense of it and re-write it so that it reads the truth you want her to know.

BINGO - you have now gotten out all your angst, you have made sense of all your thoughts and feelings, you may have even realized some buried feelings you didn't even realize you had. But now when you approach her, your thoughts are arranged, you are less angry and more determined to straighten this out instead of breaking her nose.

Trust me!
This works.
It's the teenage version of a timeout!

Let me know how it goes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Your puzzle...

What do you  think about this quote?

"Do you remember the feeling of sitting in front of a puzzle and suddenly understanding how the triangle filled with yellow and white fits into the whole?  Working with emotions is the same, except that as we observe ourselves, we will have to tolerate both the confusion and the intensity of our feelings."

To read the whole article, go to

What pieces of your puzzle are you trying to make fit?
Join the conversation!

As always, email me with all your thoughts and questions. I will reply! Promise!

A typical school morning...

"I break through the front doors of the school each morning hoping to see a gaping hole in the earth and the rest of the building at the bottom. No luck today. I breathe through my mouth for the first couple minutes after arriving at school. The stench is putrid and I have to ease into it. All schools have the same smell first thing in the morning. It is a strange combination of shampoo on damp hair, dried zit cream and coffee-stained manila folders. I hate that smell; it is the scent of opportunity. Anything can happen on any given day and if the past dictates the future, I need to anticipate the worst. But, I secretly hope for the best."
Does this sound familiar?

How do YOU enter school?

What do you look forward to?

What do you avoid?


The Buzz has begun!

You have now entered the premier spot for teens and tweens to connect and chat.
There will be daily prompts to start conversations and you are free to join in or just lurk!

In this arena it is good to be a FOLLOWER so you can network with other teens!