Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who Says First Love Can't Last?

Thanks for stopping by for the start of our blogoversary celebration! Don’t forget if you comment on this post or any of the others this week and/or do the things listed on the sidebar >>>> you’ll be entered to win TWO Dorchester books compliments of Tracy this week, and be entered for our grand prize that we’ll give away at the end of the month -- $100 to Amazon!! And be sure to stop back again next week for new prizes and more chances to win!

And now for my take on first love! It’s interesting that Tracy picked this topic, because first love is a topic I seem to always touch on in my young adult novels. Though The September Sisters is the story of what happens to Abby after her younger sister disappears, in many ways it’s also a story of falling in love for the first time. In Abby’s case, first love comes in the form of her new neighbor, who like her, is dealing with loss. In my upcoming book, The Life of Glass, Melissa struggles to define what first love really means as she sorts through the love stories of people in her life, and then, ultimately must discover her own first love. Even in the YA book I just finished drafting (the details of which, I’m not ready to disclose yet) there is, at the core, a 16-year-old girl who falls in love for the first time.

Maybe it’s because my own first love made such a big impact on my life. And I’m not talking about my first crush (totally unrequited, I might add), my first celebrity crush (Jason Priestly) or even, my first boyfriend (a relationship that was totally platonic and with a guy who now only dates other guys). I’m talking about the first time I fell in love, the first time I actually felt real love. That story goes something like this:

I was 15 and had just started my sophomore year in high school. He was a drummer in the school band (I played the clarinet.), and he was cute, smart, funny, and really nice. Just when I almost got up enough nerve to tell him how I felt, he started dating someone else, and I was crushed.

A month later, they broke up, and shortly after, the two of us ended up at a party together. I’d been telling myself that I didn’t like him anymore, that he was never going to like me back. But suddenly, that night at the party, I think he saw me, really saw me for the first time. We started talking, then dancing, and then, right there in the middle of the dance floor, he kissed me. The next week we started dating and . . . we’ve been together ever since. That was nearly 16 years ago.

In my case, my first love became my best friend, my husband, the father of my children. And maybe that’s why I always think of first love as such an important part of a coming of age story, because I’m still reminded of it in my own life. Every. Single. Day. That overwhelming feeling of falling in love for the first time is something that really, truly has stuck with me all these years later.


Thao said...

Oh my god that was the sweetest story ever!!! I love it when first love ends up being the only love :)

Please enter to win the grand prize. I'm already a follower and have added The Novel Girls to my blogroll.

Lexie said...

I love those sorts of stories. I mean I only ever saw such on the TV (Corey and Topanga on Boy Meets World for instance) 'cause my family's love lives in general tend to be train wrecks, but they always make me smile.

My own experience with first love I can't even remember when it began. I mean I'd been inseparable from him from the time we were in the cradle (not related, but our mothers were good friends) and it is with great difficulty for me to remember any big moment in my first 13 years of life without him there as well.

Up until he died of leukemia our 13th year, I didn't think we'd ever separate. But well.

I remember falling in love with my current/only/first boyfriend Kyle tho. He handed me a cuddlefish late one evening when I was over watching anime with him and some of our mutual friends. He only said six words to me all night.

When we met up again on Valentine's Day, again to watch anime with some friends, he spoke only six more words to me. But that next week we talked furiously over instant messenger and I'll never forget how indignant he got when I told him a guy in my video arts class asked me out. That's when he asked me over to watch stuff together ALONE.

Ellie said...

my first boyfriend (a relationship that was totally platonic and with a guy who now only dates other guys)

^ this made me laugh out loud.

Please enter me! I've been following for the whole year (!) and added you guys to my blogroll.

Tonya Kappes said...

Super sweet story! I wish I could say the same...It gives a good story to write!

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks, Thao and Tonya!

Lexie, what a sad story. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Ellie, Ha! I know, and also makes perfect sense now why we dated for almost a year and never even kissed!

cait045 said...

Awesome contest enter me in!!!

1 point for commenting
2 points for already being a follower
2 points for tweeting about this contest @cait045

~*Jessica Rabbit*~ said...

These stories are making me feel like a girly girl.I'm going to go watch Braveheart.


LOL.Okay is it me or is that the best part of the movie.NOT HIS DIING!LOL.Him screaming that.Ok but in all seriousness I loved your story.


ronsfd said...

I'm a follwer as of today. Hope you'll stop by my blog as well.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

I'm a follower. Nice contest

Maureen Lipinski said...

Awww...but what will you do if Jason Priestly comes a'knocking? :)

Haley said...

oh your blog just made my day :D that was soooo sweet AHHHHHH i'm melting :D see the dimples in the cheeks while i grin?? yes. they're there, that's SOOO sweet.

ok, i've put a link to the blog on my blog on Pulse It (haleyknitz) and also on twitter. and i'm a follower.
haley mathiot at yahoo dot com.

(ps- still smiling ;D)

Lexie said...

@Jillian--I want to say it has gotten easier in the 12 years since, but I still sometimes feel that tug on my spirit as if saying 'You are missing something, find it'. I guess I can be something of a romantic despite my best intentions :)

YA Book Realm said...

DO you know how much I love real first love stories like this? SO MUCH! I'm usually a pessimist when it comes to romance...and other things too but these stories like this make me go all OMG and gooey. lol

I like how your reminded about falling in love every single day-very important.