Today’s the day!

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Along for the Ride is OFFICIALLY on sale! (I know, I know, some of you have had it forever, but today is the REAL pub day.) Hooray! I’m doing a lot of running around today before my reading (The Regulator, on Ninth Street, 7pm!) so I probably won’t be able to do my normal routine of stalking bookstores and trying to be stealth to see where the book is and how it’s doing. Which is probably a good thing. After all, there are deviled eggs to eat and coffee to drink and nails to bite. Okay, maybe just the eggs and the coffee.

I wanted to post something kind of special to commemorate this day. I was going to wait to post the link to my Borders Book Club video…but I got too excited and put it up yesterday. So instead, here’s a playlist I put together of music I was listening to while writing and thinking about Along for the Ride, with some explanation below:

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1. “Love Me Like The World is Ending,” Ben Lee. This song was pretty much my anthem while I was writing the book. In fact, Ben Lee’s album Ripe could be the soundtrack to it, I listened to it so much. But this song in particular, to me, just really brought me back to that promise of summer. So much ahead, all that potential. Every time I hear it, I feel it again. THAT’S a good song.

2. “As Cool As I Am” Dar Williams. There’s a lot of stuff in the book about feeling like an outsider, and then finding your way in. This song has always signified that to me, especially the line, “And then I go outside to join the others/I am the others.” Nicely put.

3. “Stolen,” Dashboard Confessional. A song about summer ending, and the price we pay when it goes. Sad and mopey, perfect for those bad writing days when you feel all emo.

4. “I See Monsters,” Ryan Adams. I was really sleep deprived when I was writing this book (who am I kidding, I’m still sleep deprived, but now I am just used to it) so I felt an affinity for any song about sleeping, or not sleeping. Plus, I just love Ryan Adams. Even before he married Mandy Moore. That made him that much cooler, though.

5. “Let it Rain,” Tracy Chapman. I think for every book you have that moment when you are just exhausted and feel like you can’t go on. It usually happens around page 200 or so. I was also dealing with all this other major stuff, and feeling totally overwhelmed, and then I heard this song on the radio. It just….seemed perfect. Like the universe was listening, or something, and things were going to be all right.

6. “Breakable,” Ingrid Michaelson. My husband can never remember who Ingrid Michaelson is when I play her music: he says she sounds like every other female singer-songwriter whose songs have been on Grey’s Anatomy. But I love her stuff, and this song in particular just hit a chord with me. So to speak.

7. “No One,” Alicia Keyes. Again, a song that will get you through a tough spot. I love any song that says repeatedly that everything will be all right, especially when you really need to hear it. Plus, this song makes me think of my daughter. “You and me, through the days and nights….” Indeed.

8. “People Who Died,” The Jim Carroll Band. Sometimes a particular song will just mesh in my mind with a character. It happened with “Angels From Montgomery” and Ruby’s mom in Lock and Key: I just saw her when I heard it. And this song makes me think of Eli.

9. “No Sunlight,” Death Cab for Cutie. Another song about the night, or at least the lack of day. Plus Death Cab always gets it right, in my mind.

10. “Whatever It Is,” Ben Lee. I started this list with Ben Lee in my head, and will end it with him as well. I actually just heard this song a few weeks back, and it just summed up SO much of what this book is about to me. “Awake is the new sleep.” Yep. That says it better than I ever could.

Okay, I have to go drink some coffee now. Have a GREAT day everyone!

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