‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Juleah del Rosario

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Juleah del Rosario

Juleah del Rosario grew up in the Seattle area and ha spent much of her adult life living in various parts of the country: the East Coast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and now the West. She currently lives a book- and mountain-filled existence as a librarian in Colorado. Her debut, a YA novel written in verse, 500 Words or Less, from Simon Pulse is slated for publication in Fall 2018.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads


December 23rd

I am probably corralled
in a tightly wound queue,
inching impatiently closer
to the moment when
I get to take off my shoes,

expose my liquid toiletries to the world,
awkwardly hold my hands in a triangle
over my head
and wait until an anonymous being
viewing x-ray photos of our bodies determines
that what I carry with me
is not a threat,
today.

At some point I am sitting
on the stained carpet
by Gate 37 Terminal C
charging my phone
at one of the few coveted outlets
wondering if there’s a word
for the feeling that encompasses
holiday travel by airplane.

Or maybe I am
39,000 feet in the air
enclosed in an aluminum alloy canister
with a hundred and thirty seven other humans,
pretending to sleep.

Maybe you are too.

Maybe you are the aisle seat to my window.
The 12C to my 12A.
Seated over the wing.

For two and a half hours
we are separated
by 12B,
but we never talk.
We continue to exist
independent and alone.

Is there a word for: A person who functions alone in the world. Returns to a place of belonging?

Or maybe by now, I’m somewhere
over a land mass of the continental United States.
If lucky, there are mountains below
instead of the long drawn out flatness
of most of America
that feels like the long drawn out flatness
of most of the year.

Or I’m waiting
on the curb of airport arrivals,
blinded by the headlights
of other people’s SUVs,
clutching the handle
of my rolling suitcase,
starting to tatter at the corners.

A car idles
in the cell phone waiting lot.
Someone to pick me up.
Drive me to a house
with leftovers in the fridge.
With the heat turned on.
A tree already decorated.

Is there a word for: A person who anticipates belonging. A person who gets in a car and belongs?

Title 500 Words or Less
Author Juleah del Rosario
Pages N/A
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Verse
To Be Published Fall 2018 by Simon Pulse
Find It On Goodreads

Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League-obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays.

But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.

Provocative, brilliant, and achingly honest, 500 Words or Less explores the heartbreak and hope that marks the search for your truest self.

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