Author Archives: melaniekristy

About melaniekristy

30-something librarian with a mission to make words into sentences that mean something.

Seven Day Song Challenge / Melanie Kristy / Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes (song 4)

One of my favorite movies is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I love the series so much I’m listening to the audio books right now. It reminds me of summer, friendship and freedom. I adore reading stories about groups of best friends, tight knit families and any other sort of community. I love when people – even just those in fiction – have found their tribe. This is another reason why I love Now & Then so much (see my previous post).  Even though the characters had grown apart, they come back together. This is another reason why I enjoy watching HBO’s series Girls. Even when best friends aren’t talking, there’s still remnants of that friendship beneath layers or hatred or mixed feelings. Just watch the season finale of season 5 to see what I mean.


In high school I had a lot of friends that I had met over the internet. These days it doesn’t seem as weird to go online, find a community and become part of something where you can become real life friends. This group is the perfect example of that. Online writers from all over who shared a common interest in writing and Francesca Lia Block met through an online writing workshop and bonded over Facebook and other social media sites. Back in high school I used to write in online journal type sites like LiveJournal. I became close to a few friends that I still talk to and see, if even it’s not on a consistent basis.


There was something cool about Chuck Taylor’s. There’s always been, I think. Even now I’d rather pick out Chucks to suit my personality than stuff my toes into heels. Somewhere along the line, it was decided that Red Chucks were the ultimate. I think it sparked from this song. My friend Kate used to feed me story ideas because she’d think up some world or scenario she would want to see, and I’d make it happen. This still happens to this day. Nana Sprinkles was inspired by the thoughts of Kate Jones. So at some point I wrote her a story about a boy with red Chuck Taylors and all I remember is that he lived in New York City.


Some time after that, and I’m not even sure where the inspiration came into play, but it was decided that as I was going into my freshman year of college two of my online friends – who didn’t really know each other, but had common interests and knew of each other through me – and I would share a pair of Red high top Chuck Taylor’s. Our feet sizes varied a little, but the Chucks were forgiving. We kept them for a month before passing them on, writing in a colorful journal to keep in touch that way. Miranda brought them to a Hanson concert and got them signed. Then, after my freshman year of college Hanson was on tour again and my friend Michelle’s mom somehow knew Taylor’s father-in-law (it sounds a lot more convoluted than it was). She managed to get us on the “meet and greet” for a show in New Hampshire. We were grouped with a bunch of people who won a radio station concert, and we had a chance to get something signed.


I started babbling the moment I stuck the sneaker in Zac’s hand. When the shoes were in Texas, Zac hadn’t come out so the other shoe only had Isaac and Taylor’s signatures. I was determined to fix this. Zac barely said anything to me, nodding as he signed. Then he passed the sneaker along to his brothers.


I met both Miranda and Kate because of  Hanson. At this point I’d spent time with Kate, both in Massachusetts and Ohio, and I wouldn’t meet Miranda until a year later. Because of Hanson and Chuck Taylor’s, Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants we have this one cool thing we did back in 2003/2004. Something I often forget about, but every now and then the memory pops up. And it feels like magic.




Melanie Kristy

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Seven day song challenge / Melanie Kristy / Sugar Sugar

When you’re friends with someone for 26 years weird things connect you in ways that sometimes need explaining. Shaylin and I are connected by orange traffic cones, doors, Dumbo and amongst many other things: Sugar Sugar by The Archies. When I turned eleven I was allowed to take two friends to the movies. We chose Now & Then and the movie quickly became our anthem. Shaylin and I spent summers pretending to be Sam and Roberta and conquering the streets of Carver one our bicycles. We highlighted roads we ventured down in our Town of Carver maps. In the bogs behind my house we found our 

In sixth grade we performed Sugar Sugar in the sixth grade lip sync. Choreographed dancing and pretend singing in an elementary school auditorium.

There were lots of songs in Now and Then. We learned them quickly with the help of my soundtrack, and somehow Sugar Sugar was the song that stuck the most. It became part of the soundtrack of our friendship.

Fast forward to 2011, five years ago, I was the maid of honor in Shaylin’s wedding. I had the DJ play Sugar Sugar for her (us) and we danced like we had danced all night. 


Melanie Kristy

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Song Challenge \ Melanie Kristy \ Penny and Me


Penny and Me.
There was a long wait after Hanson’s second album came out before we had any music news. We didn’t fully believe there would be more music. We were young, and Hanson was in an ugly battle with their record label to even put out music. Eventually they split from their label and decided to take the independent route. They recorded an acoustic album, a spoiler of their new CD, in a church basement in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Penny and Me is one of the songs on the album. A friend of mine who has connections with in-laws told me it’s about a doll named Penny and living long distance and the Georgia mountains. To me it’s about a lot more.
You know those days when you can drive around with the windows open, drinking iced coffee and wearing sunglasses while singing along harmoniously. Maybe beach trip is in the immediate future. Maybe you’re on a road trip. You feel free. If you’re familiar with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it’s one of those feelings where you feel infinite. You just are. And that’s all that matters.
I came up with the term “Penny Days” to describe that kind of feeling, that infinite, breathless lightness that sometimes happens when the moment is just right. It started when I wrote a novella called Penny and Me. It’s about a girl named Penny who becomes fast friends with a boy named Lucky who is a guitarist and just about to make it big. It was the first piece of fiction I wrote and completed that wasn’t fan fiction. And I loved those characters. It’s been so long since I’ve revisited them, I decided for Camp Nano this month I’d write more based on Penny’s life as an early-twenty something girl who’s disillusioned by life. I haven’t actually started writing it, and we are a week into April so you can see how well I’m doing with writing fiction. But that’s not the point. Penny was named for my friend Kate who later got “Penny Rose” tattooed onto her foot as a way of indicating her alter ego.
This song encompasses a feeling I can’t quite explain, that high on life you can’t always recreate. It’s magic in song form, and I love every second of it.
Melanie Kristy

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oh wordpress, how I’ve neglected you

bits of ideas written on scraps

Like song lyrics lost to the wind

I can’t write more than a sentence or two

Because I’m always asking myself

What do you want to say?

There’s a sun out there today

Holding back the snow and darkness

Is it spring, finally?

The equinox has passed

And I’m here with my bad poetry

Standing amidst a pile of rubble

Made of words and thoughts and hopelessness

Like we thought the winter may never end

A new age Narnia, where we had no wardrobe

Only the ache of time passing.

I’m going to sit outside near the ocean

With my Moleskine and iced tea 

Sit back and look up through heart shaped tinted glasses

At the never ending blue

And imagine words

Words that I’ll compile 

Chew up and swallow

Ideas that I’ll sit on

Take naps with under a tree

Before making something

Creating something

Stringing together words to make more than just one depressed winter-like scene. 

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Mid-March Theme: Rebirth


So I’m a few days late with this post. At first I was looking for the perfect image, then when I couldn’t decide I thought I’d wait until today. In the mean time I forgot. I’ve been dealing with a lot of overwhelm, to be vague about it. And I’ve not been taking the time to be creative – or try to be creative, because quite frankly my mind refuses to think. 

It’s a struggle to write when you can’t think, anything on paper sounds dry and emotionless. Conversations are hard. And all that.
But I’m not here to talk about my mental health.
I’m here to introduce you to this month’s new theme. It’s relevant, especially to today. It’s the first day of spring. (Though the weather in Massachusetts hasn’t gotten the message). And in in desperate need of it. REBIRTH.
Tell me about the times you turned into someone new, you set fire to your life and grew from the ashes, you became a lotus in your own life. Tell me the tales of others, the mishaps of strangers. Show me the life that’s becoming where you live, as you can see its gray, brown and covered in dirty snow here. So tell me. Tell me about rebirth.

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An anxious life // Melanie Kristy



I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was a kid, but I didn’t know what it was for a long time. In fact, it wasn’t until 5-6 years ago that I actually, personally, placed a name on all of my feelings. I self-diagnosed myself, sought out a few therapists and ultimately, I’m still here. Still occasionally suffering.

In grade school I was one of the last kids to be picked up on the way to school. This resulted in an entirely full bus of students sitting two to a seat, avoiding eye contact and hoping I (or any other student who got on after me) didn’t choose them to make their seat too stuffed with three elementary school kids. The seats weren’t build for three people, and often the third person on the end would have to sit sideways with their hand across the isle holding onto the seat on the other side of the bus so they didn’t slide right out. For at least a year I couldn’t eat breakfast in the morning because of the anxiety over getting on the bus.

In middle school and high school I couldn’t eat before concerts, or anything else that was in any way stressful or exciting. I still can’t eat if I’m traveling – at least not until I’m through security, know I have a very large chunk of time before my train comes, I’m on the road, etc.

I had insomnia for all of high school. I would go to bed at 10pm in order to wake up at 6am, and I wouldn’t fall asleep until 2am or later. My parents blamed this on my staying up late on the weekends, they blamed my sleeping in and always being tired on staying up late. Usually I wasn’t, not on purpose (but especially not on school nights). Later I would find out I have sleep apnea. That can cause insomnia. I’m not sure I had sleep apnea in high school, but it’s possible that’s why I could never fall asleep. It’s a breathing thing, you know. But so is anxiety. A breathing thing. A mind thing. And every thing.

Through the years anxiety has changed and affected me. Sometimes it was about dating, sometimes about jobs or friends. It’s always about food, health and money. Other things slip in there, I avoid the need for confrontation because my mind just stops working, and being confrontational doesn’t work when I cannot think of anything.

There are a few different ways that anxiety takes hold inside me. It’s either with heart-thudding, queasy-stomach I-have-no-appetite anxiety or the more common anxiety that I felt in my chest and in my throat. It convinced me to just keep on eating. Finish that pint of Cherry Garcia. Find a new bag of chips. Order an entire pizza and devour the whole thing. Then, what’s for dessert? Then when food wasn’t enough, when I started to have digestive issues from stuffing myself for so long, the spending issues got worse. It’s always been a flip between the two. Credit card. Full stomach. Both things I’ve never been able to budget, in spite of me logically knowing how.

I’ve spent nights frozen in my own thoughts, mad at myself for not being able to just act. It’s a circle that doesn’t end. And then it might pause for a little while before sneaking up on me. And suddenly I’m back to the sick feelings, frozen mind and just plain old tiredness. I’d like to say I’ve found some miracle something or other. I’ve tried herbal medications, prescription pills, not eating gluten (digestive issues, remember?), therapy amongst other things. Sure, there are times I may allow myself to take a bath and forget about the world for a bit. And if I allow myself to NOT do the things I need to do, for a while the feelings dissipate. But it doesn’t last. It never lasts. It comes back in full force when I look at my credit card statement, check my weight, or get back blood tests that remind me that, once again, my a1c levels are too high. Stress and anxiety makes your blood sugar higher, did you know that? It’s a never ending battle.  And when I have the free time, I can’t seem to force myself to do the things I know I need to do, or that I know will benefit me. Yoga. Writing. Bubble baths. Forgetting. Remembering. Something. Something. I’m not quite sure what.



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Plymouth, Massachusetts

Home is a place in your heart. It’s a feeling beyond feeling, not really tangible. Home is feeling sick for places you’ve never been, missing feeling you can’t quite describe.


So when you announce you are coming home, does that mean to a bedroom, a house, a town? Does it mean you are returning to where you sleep at night or where your family lives? No.


It’s where your heart is, where comfort lies. Home is in the longing. It’s in a bear hug, a group online filled with kindred spirits. It’s in a journal entry or a blog. It’s in the sharing of recipes, laughing over petty mistakes and late night phone calls.


Home is the invisible arms wrapped around you, a word of love in an otherwise crazy world.


So when I say I’m homesick it may not mean that I want to go back to where I sleep. It may mean I want to go back to where I slept for three weeks in 2007 or two semesters in 2005-2006.


I may mean I want to go back to the feeling I had when I was in love, or the emotions I miss from loving myself. Homesick is heartsick, really. It’s the dull thud of your heart when it knows it’s missing something just beyond your reach.  

Melanie Kristy

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Kindred: Grown Up. No one can tell me I can’t say FUCK.

I’m not sure I ever took the time to contemplate what it means to be grown up. As a kid my thoughts were on owning a house and getting married and having kids and doing what’s supposed to happen next. High school led to undergrad. I always wanted to write.


Write write write.


In my head my future was writing, publishing novels, living in a city and traveling all the time. But I never took the time to fill in that fantasy and figure out what it means to be that person. That I would have to show up and do the work.


So now I’m on the last months before I turn thirty, and I’ve been thinking about it more and more. My entire twenties have been a sort of quarterlife crisis. You can say that doesn’t exist, but maybe our entire generation* is in the midst of a crisis. We can’t figure out which was is up or where to put our next steps. We can’t see a straight line into our futures. Being thirty for me is different than for my parents, having two children and settling into the house they still live in more than twenty-five years later.


The reality for me, right now, as a “grown up”, avoiding the word “adult and still referring to people as “girls” and “boys” as in I want to find a “boy” to date, it means living in your childhood bedroom, working a  9-5, taking graduate level classes, filled with wanderlust, reading books meant** for teenagers, and trying to find my way through “what is next”.


In ways that I’ve come to conclude, being “grown up” has come to mean doing things, being responsible, losing passion, giving in, settling down, giving up, forgetting dreams, holding your breath, doing whatever you want, responsibility, being able to be alone, knowing what you want, paychecks, owning something, facing problems, drinking coffee and wearing lipstick. ***


I’m surrounded by peers and strangers who have their shit together, who are fumbling, who live this image of what life is supposed to be like. Last year someone jokingly asked me why I wasn’t married yet and I responded with “I don’t have the time for that”. Being grown up is, really, what you perceive it to be. It’s more than an age and a status and a maturity. It’s more than what society tells you it is, but in reality sometimes you have to define it while pushing against the ideals and norms that society tells you. A grown up is someone (usually) taller than a toddler who children physically look up to, someone who chooses to use their wisdom to be or not be whatever the fuck they want to be.


A grown up is someone who can say “fuck” without apologies because there’s no one there telling them “you can’t say that bad word”. Or if there is, you don’t have to listen because you are grown up.

* Okay, some people have it figured out.

** I know, YA as a “genre” is almost a fake thing, more adults are reading YA now than ever before and I’m not alone in this.

*** all of this and none of this, but you’ve probably figured this out by now


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Foodie in Italy


In Lucca my pants size shrunk a size without me even trying. In Lucca I ate pizza every day and gelato at least once a day. Sometimes I had chocolate filled pastries for breakfast and during the weekend in Rome I insisted we seek out a bakery to find Cannoli – they’re more of a southern Italian pastry – and ate two for breakfast. I was at a sit down restaurant, sitting outside in the lush weather of Italy when I had my first official true authentic Italian pizza. It was a margherita pizza and it came with an olive in the middle as if to identify itself. In Italy the olives on pizzas are whole with pits and they roll off the slice when you pick it up. There are gelato shops all over Lucca sucking you in. I ate hazelnut milk chocolate all of the time and drank Diet Coke light. When you order water it comes in glass pitchers with or without bubbles. There are sandwich shops with Panini pressed fresh for you. I find myself wishing I remembered terms for words I’ve long since forgotten, but I remember that the hot chocolate was thick like pudding and Limoncello tasted amazing. The tomatoes were the most flavorful I’ve ever had. The bread served before dinner wasn’t as salty as what we have in the United States. We would ask for olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper before dripping chunks of fresh bread in it. I didn’t take so many food photos seven years ago. But I tasted. And I still insist that in Italy I ate the best food I’ve ever eaten.

Melanie Kristy

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Week 2: foodie



Oh baby. I am always so excited to photograph delicious meals and gush about new favorite restaurants that when I dated a picky eater for three months I was surprised by how much I missed the excitement of tasting new flavor combinations. I filled up on pizza and love instead (and it was a whole different kind of satisfying). Now I have more free time for restaurant adventures, experiments in cooking and instagramming my meals. I’m even thinking about starting a mason jar herb garden this year. Why not, really? So tell me about your favorite cuisines, why you are afraid to try any food that’s write and creamy, vinegary, etc. I want photos and recipes, restaurant reviews, poems about love affairs with food. Anything!

tastefully yours,

Melanie Kristy

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