staying in touch

To start things off today, a little blog news: I can now be found at That's right! I'm officially a website! Now I just need to remember all the places around the net that need to be updated with the new domain...

Today I want to talk about staying in touch--not the kind of staying in touch that requires you to keep your contact info/blog listing up to date (see what I did there?), but the kind where you are in the loop on what's current.

One of the things I've learned as a new mother is that you're constantly encountering lists of milestones that your baby should be hitting at certain points in their development. I receive these lists through e-newsletters and baby apps on my iphone among other places. Recently, one such milestone that I read about was that the baby should begin to understand that people speak into the mouthpiece of a telephone. This struck me as very odd. Certainly, I've seen babies with toy phones before, adorably mimicking adults and babbling into the phone as they make their imaginary (though often brief) phone calls.

"I think you have the wrong number..." Image by Linh Ngan
But it still struck me as odd. I can't think of a single time my baby has seen me on the phone. I rarely call anyone anymore. I text. I email. But I rarely call. In fact, I make so few phone calls, I usually save them for times when the baby is sleeping (so that I don't have to explain the loud baby screams that often sound like somebody is being murdered in our living room). My baby is more likely to mimic texting on a toy phone than she is to make a call. And as far as milestones go, I suppose I'd consider that equivalent. Should she know to speak into a phone if she's never seen anyone do that? I wouldn't think so, but I would expect her to play with a phone the way I play with mine. And she does. I'm sure future baby milestone lists will have to be modified to reflect this change in the way we communicate.

The reason I bring this up is because things change over time. That's no secret. I can still remember what it was like to be a teenager and that definitely plays a part in my writing, but I also know that the teens of today are experiencing a very different world than the one I lived in over a decade ago, and I need to keep that in mind too. I read and write (and watch) YA not only because I feel a strong connection to that voice (I sometimes need to remind myself that I'm not a sixteen-year-old girl anymore, even though I often feel like one inside), but also because I want to maintain that connection. There's something wonderful and thrilling about the experiences you have at that age and I never want to lose touch with that, even as it changes over time. All writers need to live part of their life in the world they write, both on and off the page. YA is where I feel most at home and I'm lucky that there's such an awesome community of YA authors and readers online to help me stay connected :)

What genres do you feel most at home reading/writing and how do you stay connected?