The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati Playlist

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The Weight of Zero Playlist

 

the weightThe Weight of Zero: Contemporary Young Adult, Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

 

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.

 

But Zero’s return is delayed due to unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. These relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how some of the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

 

ADD ON GOODREADS

 

Website: www.karenfortunati.com

Twitter: @karenfortunati

Facebook: @AuthorKarenFortunati

 

Recognition:

 

 

Kirkus: “Catherine’s acerbically witty narrative voice is razor sharp and often raw, and the confessional tone of her present-tense narration makes clear how overwhelming her pain is…. An honest, informative, and ultimately optimistic novel about living with mental illness.”

 

 

I don’t usually listen to music as I write and I didn’t when I was drafting The Weight of Zero. But here’s how music factors into my creative process. Because of family demands during the time I was writing Weight, I spent a ton of time in my car  – maybe seventy percent actually driving and the other thirty percent waiting around in it. I brought my laptop everywhere, worried about the lost writing opportunities. But all that car time turned out to be some of the most fruitful creative moments for me. While driving, I’d listen to music and let Catherine’s story marinate. I’d think about a scene I’d just written or what should come next in the following chapter. I’d sound out dialogue (yes!) or focus on Catherine or her mom or her friends Michael or Kristal. Here’s where music would come in. The following songs are all on my phone and these seemed to nail Catherine’s emotions at different points in her story. I’d play these over and over again in the car and it would further root me in the emotion.

 

  • Cyndi Lauper: “Unconditional Love”
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: “This Is Love”
  • White Stripes: “We’re Going To Be Friends”
  • Florence + the Machine: “Cosmic Love”
  • John Mayer: “Say”
  • Florence + The Machine: “Dogs Days Are Over”
  • Kelly Clarkson: “Catch My Breath”
  • Natasha Bedingfield: “Unwritten”

 

The pain of bullying is a significant theme in The Weight of Zero. I got chills when I first heard “Don’t Let Them In” by Kathleen Elle. Kathleen is a truly gifted musician and the daughter of my oldest friend in the world. I met her mother, Jeannine, in kindergarten and she has been one of my best friends since.

 

“Don’t Let Them In” has been honored by both Seventeen Magazine and Abercrombie and Fitch and is featured in anti-bullying campaigns by both companies in schools and on the Internet. I got a chance to speak with Kathleen a few months ago on her inspiration for writing this compassionate and inspiring song. She told me it was prompted after a bullying presentation at her high school, specifically in its focus on the bully and the bystander. Kathleen felt like the victims had been somewhat left out of the discussion. She came home that day and wrote this song.

 

Listen to “Don’t Let Them In” on Kathleen’s website: http://www.kathleenelle.com/track/874760/don-t-let-them-in?feature_id=198282

 

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathlee-e11e or on Facebook at: kathleene11e

“Don’t Let Them In”

 

You’re too fat you’re too tall too short don’t fit in at all, you’re not cool enough for me.

You’re too punk you’re too nerd too gay insert any word, just stay away from me.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin them off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see.

That their words cut like knives, they’re probably shortening your life, picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try to be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let em break your heart.

 

Verse 2:

Wanna scream wanna shout, who said being different means they kick you out? Keep your identity.

Don’t stay up late at night picking at your flaws, you’ll never win the fight, you’re your own worst enemy.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin ’em off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see

That their words cut like knives they’re probably shortening your life picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in, don’t try to be something your’e not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.

 

Bridge:

Although you’re crying on the inside don’t let them realize, they got to you.

I know you’re dying on the inside, here’s my shoulder I’ll let you cry, I got you.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try and be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.