Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cyber Launch Party Day 15: Melissa Marr

Welcome to Day 15 of the Ballads of Suburbia Cyber Launch Party! For all of the details on the party including guests, the daily contests and the grand prize drawing be sure to read the information at the beginning of Day 1's blog.

A couple things before we get to the partying. Tomorrow (Sat, Aug 1), I'm doing a fabulous event with at the Old Town School of Folk Music with authors Joe Meno, Billy Lombardo and Megan Stielstra. And there will be musical accompaniment by The Astronomer band and Canasta, and photo projections from Jay Ryan and Todd Baxter. The event starts at 8 pm and it's a ticketed event, but Joe Meno just let me know that if you buy your tickets in advance and use the password SQUID, you get them for 10$ instead of 15$. Here's where you can get them.

Also I did another personal ballad as a guest blog for Just Blinded Book Reviews on the Traveling To Teens Tour. You can find here. It's about being the geeky girl outcast in junior high, complete with picture of me playing nintendo circa age 11.

Lastly, I blogged at MTV Books today about the books that influenced me the most as a teen (The Hanged Man and Girl Power) and how those two authors (Francesca Lia Block and Hillary Carlip) actually did a book together (Zine Scene) that marked my first publication!

Today's Winner:

Each day I am announcing the winner of the contest that was posted one week earlier. Today's winner gets Zombie Queen of Newbury High from Amanda Ashby! And that winner is Annika... from Blogger! I will email you for your address shortly! Remember to enter last week's contests! Each contests lasts one week! And the weekend is a great time to catch up so....

Here's our week in review:

Day 11: Melissa Walker and up for grabs is her book Lovestruck Summer. Deadline Monday 8/3

Day 12: Vanessa Barneveld and up for grabs is a CD, EP, and t-shirt from the fabulous Aussie band, The Model School. Deadline Tuesday 8/4

Day 13: I blogged and up for for grabs is Ballads of Suburbia and a copy of my last zine. Deadline Wednesday 8/5

Day 14: Lauren Baratz-Logsted and up for grabs is Ballads of Suburbia taffy. Deadline Thursday 8/6

So enter, enter, enter and win!

Now, today's guest blogger is author Melissa Marr!
Melissa Marr is the author of NY Times bestsellers Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity. You can find her online here.

Here's Melissa's ballad:

“I'm down to just one thing.
And I'm starting to scare myself.
You make this all go away.
You make this all go away.
I just want something.
I just want something I can never have”
(NIN, “Something I Can Never Have,” Pretty Hate Machine, 1989).

I graduated high school in 1990. This CD released the fall of 89. Like innumerable other people, I was certain then that Trent Reznor was singing Truth. He got it. He had the words for the things that I felt. Twenty years later, there are days, I sill think that.

What I wanted, more often than not, was to be still and silent inside. The most reliable way to do that was sensory overload. Drive faster. Drink more. Party. Try that. Get numb. Turn up the volume. And, at the end of it all, fuck. Repeat as necessary.

Now, I don’t do regrets because who I am now is a result of everything I’ve known, but no regrets doesn’t mean no worries. I’ve done things (and people) I don’t remember. I’ve done other things I won’t admit even now. We can play the psych games (and I had a dear friend who is a shrink, so I’ve heard them already), but the truth is that knowing why one gets destructive doesn’t change the results. I was. It passed.

Back then we were all a mess. We pulled in to pick up my ex-boyfriend one night as he was thrown through a window by his stepdad. My best friends included one who was a mother by 15, one who was on the phone with her father when he shot himself, my on-again-off-again sweetie who had an abusive father and did acid almost daily, another friend who was on her way to being a junkie. Our friends were almost all in and out of the system. We weren’t the folks who made the posters for Brightest Futures Ahead. (Some, not all, of us made it though.)

I’d tie this song to one specific moment, but it played often enough that it belongs to more than a few moments—good and less good. It’s in the house as I walk out of a party, too drunk and high to be walking anywhere, barefoot in the snow, and it’s in the car after someone’s graduation as we’re laughing and hanging out the open-roof of our car while Sunshine is flirting with strangers in a limo next to us at a stoplight.

Trent Reznor sang the Truth as we knew it.

Today's Contest:
I'm going to say what I say whenever I read something Melissa wrote. Wow, just wow. I feel this. I've been there. The friends were in slightly different situations, but yeah. Just yeah. This is one of the guest ballads that knocked the wind out of me. I kind of purposely choose to begin and end the week with total whammies that both happened to be by writers named Melissa.

Oh and that's one of my favorite NIN songs. Yeah.

Anyway, contest. It's hard for me to pick favorites among books written by authors I love, but INK EXCHANGE punched me in the chest the same way Melissa's ballad did and she is kind enough to put a signed copy up for grabs as the prize today! You can read it even if you haven't read WICKED LOVELY, but um, if you haven't read WL, do it!

As usual to enter the contest, just leave a comment about Melissa's ballad or that band or singer that just is/was Truth to you in high school. (I had many, including NIN, but also Nirvana and Rancid and probably most of all, Hole. Say what you will about Courtney Love now but in 1994 she was patron saint to girls like me.)

And you'll earn additional entries by blogging/tweeting/etc about this blog or the cyber launch party. Just note your additional entries in your comment. Winner will be chosen at random on Friday August 7.

Monday's Guest:

On Monday, Jeri Smith-Ready, author of Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone will be guest-blogging. So please come back to see what she has to say!


Wendy Toliver said...

I'm reading Wicked Lovely right now!

Melissa, thanks for sharing your ballad and story. Very moving, deep, thought-provoking.

Bianca said...

I haven't read any of Melissa's books, but the sound really good.

I loved your ballad, thank you for sharing!

scarlet-poems said...

Wow, that hit me hard, I read INK so manytimes wow. thats purly melissas writing, i love how she has a style of her own.

Annika said...

Trent Reznor definitely knew some Truth, but as you know I was a Robert Smith girl. Oh man, did The Cure ever speak to me.

Dusty said...

(This is not in for the contest, bc I already have read Ink, and would like to give a chance to someone who hasn't).

I just wanted to thank Melissa for sharing her story =)

I have been enjoying the ballads very much, because they show that, no matter how much you may think it, you are not alone. Teens all over the place, and in all time periods, feel very much the same.

For me Truth was sung mostly by Smashing Pumpkins. They are the soundtrack to my adolescence, for the most part.

"Mayonaise" is one of my all time favorite songs...

Kristen said...

Posted about this on twitter. :)

Kristen said...

Wow! What an awesome ballad. I can see where she gets her darker fairy world from - her own experience. I love her books and would love to own Ink Exchange!

Leslie said...

I loved the ballad! Thanks so much for sharing! =D Melissa Marr has an original style! She's very nice and awesome! I got to meet her when she was in Dallas =)

leslie-lv at hotmail dot com

Leslie said...


leslie-lv at hotmail dot com

Leslie said...


leslie-lv at hotmail dot com

Breanna said...

Wow, thanks Melissa for sharing your really moving ballad. It definitely made a lot of people think I bet. I know it made me think.

I have a copy of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange but have yet to read either of them. My bookshelf is literally overflowing. I have waaaay too many books to read!

So don't enter me in this on Stephanie! I just felt like commenting :)


Llehn said...

I loved Ink Exchange. Thank you for sharing your story, Melissa.

Kelsey said...

The ballad was amazing. Thanks!
I loved Wicked Lovely and am dying to read Ink Exchange.

I posted about the contest on my sidebar:

simmone said...

I don’t do regrets because who I am now is a result of everything I’ve known ...
wise words you think by definition ballads are sad but contain wisdom? (the wisdom of hindsight) ... great posts anyway

marina said...

i heard you got to meet my sister stephanie! haha. she called and told me that you recognized my name because well, not many people call themselves bean. haha. i wish i couldve been at the book thingy. sadface. haha.


throuthehaze said...

I've read Wicked Lovely and it is AMAZING.

I changed so much throughout high school so I'll break it down by year

Freshman: Nirvana and Pearl Jam (I will ALWAYS love grunge)

Sophomore: Coal Chamber and Slipknot

Junior: Deftones and Incubus

Senior: Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, and Keller Williams

My music changed as I matured. I went from being an anxiety ridden angry kid to a calm peace lovin hippie....these days Im nicely balanced out and I STILL listen to all these bands (depending on my mood)

BrittLit said...

I'm about to read Wicked Lovely soon.
And, really Nine Inch Nails = amazing

linked on sidebar

Lori T said...

Thank you so much for sharing your ballad with us. I can remember situations and choices like the ones you mentioned from my high school years and yes, while you look back and those choices and wonder why...these were the decisions that shaped us. My experiences were fueled by the songs of the 80s...I this dates me, but groups like Motley Crue.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Diana Dang said...

Wow, your teen years were rough. My parents are too strict so they keep me clean.

I blogged about the cyber launch on sidebar! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ballad. Wicked Lovely was really good so I really want to read this!