All, I feel compelled to say this, based on a letter I received from a teenage girl thanking me for a section in my novel, “The Language of Trees”. So I need to send a message to a certain group of girls. And it is this:

To all the girls who ran wild at 17, that let their hair grow long and flung it boldly in the rain, who dyed their hair, who snuck out of windows and stayed out too late, who drank and smoked and danced too much, to those who may have hurt themselves, who may have gone too far with boys they didn’t love, who suffered under judgmental glares praying for invisibility, to those girls who jumped off bridges into cold rivers and swam, who wore too much eye-liner, who fought, who loved, who fell, who made mistakes, and got up again, and ran, untethered, to where and to what they couldn’t have known, to all of you I want to implore you: Take heart, because you have passion, you, who will ultimately prove your place in things, you, who will ultimately bring magic and change to the world.

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Comment by Michelle McGee on October 21, 2010 at 6:38pm
I LOVE this! It is so true. I used to be one of those girls in several aspects and one thing I can truly say about myself is that I live with passion. I didn't run wild in the same sense, but I did enter into a world of self-abuse because my emotions were too big for me. Now I know those emotions were the beginnings of the parts of me that I love the most now. Thanks for sharing this.
Comment by Ilie Ruby on October 20, 2010 at 12:25pm
Each day growing more thankful for the wild side.

In my first book, I wrote like a mother. In my second, I'm writing like a MF.
Comment by Laura Molina on October 16, 2010 at 4:05pm
Just read Sugar's #48 too and it was great!
Comment by Ilie Ruby on October 16, 2010 at 4:02pm
Thank you! Sugar rocks. Have to get that t-shirt, too, and wear it when my 3 young hoodlums are not around their writer mamma. :)
Comment by Beth Lowe on October 16, 2010 at 3:44pm
Ilie, I love this. I wish someone had told my best friend and me this when we were 17. i think we managed, though. Me with my words, she with animals (she rescues the ones who need rescuing). Do you mind if I quote her this message from you? I'm off to get two copies of your book, one for each of us.

P.S. I'm with Laura Didyk, below: I think you'll love Sugar's piece, too. And the t-shirt is awesome. I just got mine. :-)
Comment by Laura Didyk on October 14, 2010 at 6:04am
You DEFINITELY need to go read Sugar's post over at the Rumpus "How You Get Unstuck": You will love it (oh, and the new t-shirts are on sale.. "Write like a motherfucker." Mine is on the way!
Comment by Kelli Swearingen on September 7, 2010 at 9:20pm
Love it!
Comment by Tracy Slater on September 7, 2010 at 5:51am
Happy eve-of-your-birthday, Ilie! I'm going to email you soon about the fall Four Stories lineup. Thanks for sharing this.
Comment by Laura Molina on September 6, 2010 at 8:55pm
"Applied red lipstick, put on a short skirt, grabbed her guitar and played Rock 'n Roll with the boys!"
Comment by Marcia Fine on September 6, 2010 at 8:07pm
I loved this! I was one of those girls who looked like 12 at 17 so I watched the "wild girls" from afar. I taught high school English and started another business that marketed self-esteem to teen-age girls. What a vulnerable age! All the bravado and not so much back-up.


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