spin the bottle

spin the bottle covers

“spin the bottle”

a pact to always stick together in high school
the first party at the lake
“hey, we should play spin the bottle,” she said
and so it all began

the beautiful girls, so sure of themselves
they could get anything they wanted
the gorgeous boys, so funny and tan
one look, one smile, they totally had you

losing old friends, making new ones
love at first sight, the boy of my dreams
everyone called us “really good friends”
he didn’t know i wanted so much more

summers of sun, cedar point
laying out, more parties at the lake
best friends with the boys of their dreams
charming boys who said all the right things

i had that gut instinct all along
told me it was just too good to last
but i ignored it and
fell harder and harder instead

another summer, i hate her so much
she has everything i want
another pact, shots of captain, a new boy
i feel like a bad girl and i love it
something tells me to stop, we’re going too fast
but i’m way too caught up to listen to that too

another school year, i still hate her
and he’s so confusing, sometimes i hate him too
lonely nights, don’t know what to do, everything’s wrong
then finally back to good or better
but back to the same lies too
crazy parties, hot dates, basketball games
screaming so loud, losing my voice
i love being so mean to the other teams
we were all so invincible

well-played games, better-told lies, best-kept secrets
if only we’d had any idea
funny how a moment of realization could change everything

i feel like things meant so much less to him than they did to me
i guess maybe i never knew him at all
and she still loves him, she says she knows it’s right
and i still love him, but i feel like it’s wrong
how did we end up here?

looking back we never would’ve said
that pact would only last a month
it’s been so long, we’ve come so far
it’s almost done, we’re almost gone
it’s so crazy to think about

please don’t forget me, don’t forget what we are
i’ll remember you, and i’ll remember the scars
and now it’s that morning, time to leave
and everything i lost is yours to keep

This poem, “Spin the Bottle,” appears throughout my Spin the Bottle series, with a different part of the poem at the beginning of each book. I wrote it to try to capture what Spin the Bottle is all about…the emotions of high school. The relationships, the friendships, the self-discovery. The parties, the boys, the classes. The peer pressure, the tears, the romance.

People always ask me which of my books they should read first, and since Spin the Bottle encompasses the first 4 of my books chronologically, it’s always a good place to start. There’s one book for each year of high school, and they go in the following order:

Really Good Friends
Wrong All Along
Best-Kept Secrets
Game Over

I thought it would be fun to introduce some of the main characters so you can get to know them!

Jill Sherer is the number one main character of the series. Most scenes are told through her perspective, and her storyline gets the most space on the pages. At the beginning of Really Good Friends, Jill is about to start her freshman year of high school. She is somewhat shy around new people and hasn’t had a ton of life experience, but she has a solid group of girlfriends, or so she thinks. A couple of them are in a major hurry to leave their eighth-grade selves far behind, and within a month one of them will basically be out of Jill’s circle of friends for good. But Jill is about to meet two people who will still be part of her life in the book I’m working on now, which takes place 12 years after Really Good Friends. Jill is the character readers often say they relate to most. She’s the good girl who’s dying to be a little bit bad, and her relationship with Todd over the years is a pretty great love story, or so I hear. If you like to scream and pull out your hair in agony, that is. 🙂

Hillary Andelin has been Jill’s best friend since pre-school. She is boy-crazy and becomes even more so when she gets into a fast-moving relationship with a cute boy near the beginning of freshman year. Hillary has a tendency, especially as she gets older, to say exactly what she wants when she wants, which sometimes irritates Jill but is sometimes just what’s needed in a situation. Her friendship with Jill has many ups and downs throughout the series, and Jill often goes back and forth in her mind as to whether Hillary is truly a good person or a friend worth having.

Lorylyn Porter is Jill and Hillary’s other best friend. If Jill is a little shy and naïve, Lorylyn is even more so. She’s cute with a bubbly personality, and she is shocked by a lot of things she discovers about “the real world” during her freshman year. She falls hard and fast for a boy she meets at a lake party, and even though she’s innocent to the extreme, this boy seems to like that about her. Her relationship with him is one that will lead to the best and worst times of her life, shape who she is to become, and continue to affect her well beyond high school.

Hilton Joliet went to a different middle school from Jill, Hillary, and Lorylyn, and she’s the popular girl Jill looks up to from the day they meet. Hilton is gorgeous, confident, and laid-back, not intimidating or a bitch like some of the other girls. And she seems to know everything there is to know about guys and how they think. As freshman year begins, Hilton becomes one of Jill’s new best friends. Hilton is outgoing, free-spirited, and a loyal friend who manages to be a girls’ girl and one of the guys at the same time, someone who can look at any situation realistically and still be a romantic at heart.

Landon Kessler is a year older than Jill and her friends, and his parents own a cottage on a lake outside town, where he throws outrageous parties that bring all the characters together and lead to hookups, breakups, makeups, love, and disaster. He’s also the longtime crush of one of the girls mentioned above, and he’ll play a pivotal role in all their lives.

Todd Blake is the boy with the surfer hair whom Jill meets on the first day of high school in advanced English. For Jill it’s love at first sight, and for Todd it’s the beginning of a fun new friendship…when he notices her a few days later. Their complicated relationship over the years is poignant, maddening, hilarious, heart-wrenching, and everything in between.

Brady Cash is Landon’s best friend and has a sort of “bad boy” air about him. He’s a flirt, he’s a partier, and he’s a dream guy to a lot of the girls around him. He knows exactly what he wants, and he usually gets it, even when it’s more than one girl at the same time. He’s a heartbreaker in one breath and a romantic in the next, the guy who says all the right things at all the right times…until it comes back to bite him in the ass.

Brooke Carlson is a popular cheerleader who’s not afraid to speak her mind or go after the guy she wants. She’s the life of every party and at the center of most drama. She’s fun to be around until she takes the fun too far, usually in the form of a blindsiding stab to somebody who’s wronged her or one of her friends. A self-described bitch, she’s somebody whose bad side you don’t want to be on. But deep down, she’s a girl who’s been hurt by a boy she loves, just like everybody else.

At the end of the series I wrote another poem, or really more of a paragraph. Unlike the “Spin the Bottle” poem, which is more about what happens in the series, this one is more about the characters, and it captures their spirit and the spirit of the books. It goes like this, and it’s how the series ends (don’t worry, no spoilers!):

We sang at the top of our lungs and screamed at the top of rollercoasters. We stayed up all night and stayed out on the lake all day. We could dance like crazy and we could outdrink anyone. We talked fast, drove faster, kissed with passion, and lied without a second thought. We hoped for the best and were shocked by the worst. We crashed hard and bounced high. Our voices were loud, our laughs wild, and our dreams big. We were scared as shit and smart as hell. We owned our world, and we looked good doing it. We craved thrills, we rolled the dice, we demanded attention, and we loved with all we had. We lived to play, we played to win, and we almost always did.

You can learn more about Spin the Bottle here: http://daisyjordan.com/spinthebottle! There are dolls designed to show how I think the characters look, and each character has a personal webpage with theme songs and other interesting info! Thanks so much for checking it out, as well as reading my blog. 🙂

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the crazy thing about postcards

It took me a long time to decide what to call my blog. Two and a half years, really, because two and a half years ago is when I realized I should be blogging. But a few weeks ago, when I started thinking seriously about it, one of the first titles that came to mind was Living in a Postcard. It’s the name of one of my books, and the “living in a postcard” theory, which my characters Hilton and Jill created and use to define their lives, is one I very much believe in too. It’s all about finding those moments you would die for and actually living them. But in the end, the name for my blog came from “The Tigger Song.”

Yeah, “The Tigger Song.” From Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. If you Google it, it’s everywhere. I remember it from a Tigger jacket I had when I was little. It was printed on the inside of the jacket, and I used to sing it to our cat Tigger, who had markings like a tiger. When I was throwing around titles for my blog and mentioned The Thing About Postcards, it suddenly reminded me of “The Tigger Song,” which I told my mom, and she said, “Yeah, it does!” And when I realized I could even rewrite the song to be about postcards, I knew that was my title. The song would go something like:

“The Postcard Song”

The crazy thing about postcards, is postcards aren’t just blurbs

Their fronts are made out of pictures, their backs are made out of words

They always tell a story, even if it’s just one line

But the craziest thing about postcards, is they capture a moment in time

I think postcards are fascinating, one of the best and most intriguing forms of art and communication in the world. In my book Living in a Postcard, my character Hilton views a postcard as a snapshot of her life at any given moment. And this is what postcards are. Every one of them tells a story of a life at a given moment in time. There’s the most obvious way – when the story is written in a paragraph or two describing what someone is doing on vacation in the place from where the postcard was sent. But even that is just one of many stories told by that particular postcard.

daisyjordan.com/livinginapostcard

daisyjordan.com/livinginapostcard

That postcard also tells a story about the relationship between the person who wrote it and the person at the address printed on it, even though often that story is only known between the two of them. It tells a story about the person or people who took the photograph(s) on the front, or put together the design. It tells a story of the place or thing(s) represented on the front at the time the postcard was created.

Postcards tell other stories too. What about the ones mailed with no writing, only an address, letting the picture on the front speak for itself, along with whatever the recipient reads into the blank space on the other side? What about postcards kept by the person who bought them, as part of a collection or a scrapbook? Those tell a story too, of that person’s travels, where he or she was and what struck him or her about that place that’s reflected in the postcard and immortalized in a personal collection or album. I buy postcards from lots of places I travel, and I have them hanging on a wall in my apartment. I see them every day and they take me back to those places I’ve been and the people who were there with me. They also give me this constant sense of the bigger world, what else is out there besides my small piece of it.

Postcards can tell funny stories, like the one I used to think was so hilarious to send to all my friends when I was in Florida for spring break – the one that was completely black on the front and said “Florida at Night.” Or the ecard postcards online with the hilarious sayings like, “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3-day relationship between a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” Postcards can tell inspiring stories with a beautiful picture or a quote that somehow adds something to your life. They can even tell secrets, like on Post Secret. They tell stories of one moment in time – the people, the place, the feelings.

I heard this quote once I really liked, in a documentary about the Titanic, that talked about “a series of inconsequential events” leading to the sinking of the ship. The idea was that each of these events alone would not have caused the ship to hit the iceberg, but when aligned together, they did. I thought, isn’t everything really caused by a series of inconsequential events? We have seemingly small, random things happen in our lives every day, and we never know which ones will still be affecting us years later. I think of each of these individually inconsequential events as postcards, and when strung together and hung in a row next to each other, they tell part of the story of our lives.

For example, in my life a few of these postcards might be “finding a Tigger jacket in the Disney Store at the mall,” “my dog Abby chasing a cat up a tree,” and “living in Indy for a year.” These events happened over a span of 19 years and would seem to have no relation to each other, and really they don’t, but aligned together, they led to the name of my blog.

Another example for me is this one day I spent in New York City. The events that would’ve by themselves been inconsequential were that it rained in the morning, I tried to go to a movie in the early afternoon but found the showtime listed online didn’t really exist, and LaGuardia Airport was closed for an hour in the late afternoon. Aligned together in that one day, these events led to a discovery that has a major connection to a trilogy I’m writing and a timeless night in New York that I’ll use in some romanticized way in a future book.

It’s such a basic idea, about all these moments that make up our lives, that I never thought about it till I heard that quote in the Titanic documentary. But it’s exactly what my blog will be – a series of entries, each of which tells a small part of the story of my life or my characters’ lives, just like a postcard does.

The crazy thing about postcards is they connect people and places across time. They can be impersonal or intimate; they can tell a complete story or a fraction of one. Everyone can see what they say, yet they can be anonymous. They’re so little, yet they tell the story of the world.

The crazy thing about postcards is they help us piece together the moments of our lives. And those moments, some seemingly inconsequential, some standouts, are the stuff of my books, and now my blog.

So thanks, Abby, for chasing the cat who became Tigger up a tree that one afternoon. 🙂

Tigger and me!

Tigger and me!