Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still Thirteen and all a-Go-Go

Cover image from the 1982 hit single, "We...Image via Wikipedia
The summer of 1981, the summer I turned 13. There was acting camp,  there were boy crushes, man crushes, girl crushes, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Royal Wedding (as in Charles and Diana).

There were lots of firsts, such as getting my period and getting creeped out by a flasher after walking home from seeing RotLA for the first time.

Oh, Harrison Ford!

I dreamed of being Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and my main desire beyond all else was to get into the Highschool of the Performing Arts. There was a girl with long strawberry blonde hair whose life I wanted: she was beautiful, an amazing actress and dating the best actor in THE WORLD,  but she was 16 so I never spoke to her.

Rabid journal writing.

Dieting, and the beginning of a tortured relationship with my body. I had a woman's body, but not the emotional maturity to go with it.

Y'all know I'm a preacher's daughter, growing up in an Episcopal Seminary in New York City. There was a seminarian named Jesus, (I know!) a man in his early 20's who kept asking me out, wouldn't believe I was only thirteen. It freaked me out, and I didn't know whether I should like it or not.

There was The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Blondie, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, The Clash and the beginnings of a minor obsession with Marilyn Monroe.

What does it mean to be female in this world? What should women be? What should I be?

Thank Goodness there was Beauty and the Beat and the Go-Gos. An all-girl band thrusting us into the world of the New Wave. Listening to them I felt empowered as a female, that I could do anything, be anything. They started out punk, evolving into this power pop sound that rocked my world.

So tonight, thirty years after the release of Beauty and the Beat, fellow YA author Sarah Darer Littman and I are meeting at Irving Plaza to get our Go-Go on. Our coming together for this is an uber-modern tale: we both happened to be on Twitter at the same time that Sarah read about the venue a couple of months ago. She dared me to go with her, and I double-dared her to get the tickets. And now, the rest will be history . . .

I turn 43 on June 20th, and I still know how to have fun. The way I have fun is different, as I am one of those high-on-life kind of gals without the intense angst, the self-consciousness, the body dysmorphia.

Okay, it's not ALL gone, I am human after all . . . but I much prefer being older, and being able to access every age I've ever been with a clean mind and body! (The wildness of my youth was fun in some ways, tragic in others.)

I wish that you all could come with us!

Tanti Baci,

GRRRRRRRL power!!!!!

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  1. YAY! I love this post. Saw the Go Go's on Dancing with the Stars. They still got the beat. It was awesome. It made me want to listen to Pat Benatar and Culture Club. Because hey, even though I was only three when all this awesome music rushed on the scene, I was very aware of it. My mom says I was the only three year old she knew who had all the words to "Karma Chameleon" memorized. :) You are great.

  2. YOU are great! We had an awesome time. Everybody showed those ladies mad love! And Sarah and I got matching concert tee-shirts. (I had never owned one before!) Will post pic when we next see each other!

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