valentine letters

In high school, I used to wear black on Valentines Day as a form of protest. This year, I celebrated a few days early with my sweetie. I'll be grading midterms all week and working on my editor's latest request: a personal letter to mail to reviewers along with my advanced reading copies. I'm not sure how to start. Whenever authors stand in front of large audiences and babble about their writing "process," my eyes begin to glaze. I don't want to bore anybody. But it's a good idea to send a note with the ARCs, if only to thank someone for bothering to read my book.

I asked, "Should I write the letter by hand?"

My editor nixed that idea. She's seen my I really can't blame her.

Here's the meme I promised to fill out in the spirit of V-day (It's a heck of a lot easier than writing that letter).

1. Who was your first crush? How old were you? Tell us about him.

Mr. Robinson, my crazy music teacher in first grade. He taught us songs about Germs, the Invisible Dog. He called me Macaroni Girl. Everybody said he was gay, but I didn't quite grasp the concept. When he left the school, I cried. That summer, I sent him a card I had stapled with construction paper and crayon hearts. The postman gave it back, stamped with the words, "Return to Sender."

2. Was your first kiss a memorable moment in your life? Do tell.

I remember the location (behind the cherry bushes near the swings) and the time (recess) and that is all.

3. What song always reminds you of an old love?

When I hear acid-jazz numbers by Jamiroquai, I think about studying film in Prague (summer 1997) and the German boy who kissed me on the Charles Bridge. The song, "Virtual Insanity," played nonstop on every radio station. Somebody even chose it for the end credits of their student film.

4. Did you and a friend ever get in a fight over a boy? What happened?

Nope. But my friends and I shared the same crushes…like the shaggy blonde kid who graduated a year ahead of us (We both believed he was some kind of secret genius). Imagine my surprise when I spotted him back on campus, one year later, cutting the grass.

5. What stands out in your mind when you think about the junior high or high school dances of your youth?

I was the geek selling tickets instead of jumping to Miami Freestyle in the gym.

6. Which best sums up your high school love life: single and loving it, always on the prowl, heartbreak city, one true love. Care to spill the details?

My heart was broken because it didn't belong to anyone. When I gave my heart away, it broke all over again. I had to wait a while before I found someone who knew how to hold it.