A brief update…life, the universe, and everything.

Since the last time I wrote was 6 months ago, I figured I should give you an update on my life. Who knew these past several months would be so crazy? I mean, well, I guess I should have realized this would be the case. When has life never been full of surprises?

Since November I’ve…

  • written a novel
  • graduated with a master’s degree
  • traveled to Europe
  • traveled to California
  • lost beloved family members
  • watched my sister move to Japan
  • met award-winning authors
  • been published
  • picked up a freelance gig
  • accepted a summer publishing internship
  • seen dear friends wed
  • seen dear friends graduate and move away

Really, it’s been quite a year. And of course, I have loads of pictures.

This was one of the interior courtyards of a building in Budapest. It looked perfectly ordinary from the outside, but once we went inside to visit one of the agencies we were greeted with this view. The only downside I can think is having to carry groceries up several flights of stairs. I would live here in a heartbeat.

This was one of the interior courtyards of a building in Budapest. It looked perfectly ordinary from the outside, but once we went inside to visit one of the agencies we were greeted with this view. The only downside I can think is having to carry groceries up several flights of stairs. I would live here in a heartbeat.

We walked across the famous Chain Bridge that separates the Buda side from the Pest side of Budapest. We traveled up the stairs to Buda Castle. I'm fairly certain I left part of my heart in this city.

We walked across the famous Chain Bridge that separates the Buda side from the Pest side of Budapest. We traveled up the stairs to Buda Castle. I’m fairly certain I left part of my heart in this city.

The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest. Absolutely beautiful. Open 365 days a week. I learned that some men come every day when the baths open and they sit in the water and play chess against one another for hours. You can see the smallest glimpse of those men in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.

The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest. Absolutely beautiful. Open 365 days a week. I learned that some men come every day when the baths open and they sit in the water and play chess against one another for hours. You can see the smallest glimpse of those men in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.

Amsterdam. This place had special significance because I was able to visit the Anne Frank House and it was also featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which is coming out in theaters this June). It's crazy that I visited Indianapolis AND Amsterdam within a year of reading John Green's book.

Amsterdam. This place had special significance because I was able to visit the Anne Frank House and it was also featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which is coming out in theaters this June). It’s crazy that I visited Indianapolis AND Amsterdam within a year of reading John Green’s book.

We saw Wicked in London. It was quite spectacular and I loved it.

We saw Wicked in London. It was quite spectacular and I loved it.

Overlooking London from the very top of St. Paul's Cathedral. My mother had warned me that it would be a lot of stairs...and it was A. LOT. OF. STAIRS. It was quite a work out. But the view was more than worth it. SO worth it.

Overlooking London from the very top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. My mother had warned me that it would be a lot of stairs…and it was A. LOT. OF. STAIRS. It was quite a work out. But the view was more than worth it. SO worth it.

I've been fascinated with this building ever since my first visit to London. The Gherkin (as it's fondly known) is such a glorious structure. I got to the base and toured the art installations that were placed around this area for the 2013-2014 year.

I’ve been fascinated with this building ever since my first visit to London. The Gherkin (as it’s fondly known) is such a glorious structure. I got to the base and toured the art installations that were placed around this area for the 2013-2014 year.

We took a bus ride around the city to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, I had desperately wanted to ride the London Eye, but it was closed for construction the entire time we were in London. I was still able to admire it from afar though.

We took a bus ride around the city to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, I had desperately wanted to ride the London Eye, but it was closed for construction the entire time we were in London. I was still able to admire it from afar though.

One of the best museums I've been to. Such a glorious set of buildings and gardens. Every angle was interesting and engaging. I could have spent days at the Getty Center. So. Good.

One of the best museums I’ve been to. Such a glorious set of buildings and gardens. Every angle was interesting and engaging. I could have spent days at the Getty Center. So. Good.

I loved seeing Frank Gehry's design. He's a fabulous architect and I enjoyed exploring the exterior of this building.

I loved seeing Frank Gehry’s design. He’s a fabulous architect and I enjoyed exploring the exterior of this building.

This was absolutely the BEST FRENCH TOAST I have ever had. It was some sort of egg brioche that was then covered in frosted flakes and came with a vanilla bean sauce that was heavenly. The fruit was also a fantastic touch.

This was absolutely the BEST FRENCH TOAST I have ever had. It was some sort of egg brioche that was then covered in frosted flakes and came with a vanilla bean sauce that was heavenly. The fruit was also a fantastic touch.

My friend took me to this lights exhibit outside the LACMA. It was fantastically cool and I loved it.

My friend took me to this lights exhibit outside the LACMA. It was fantastically cool and I loved it.

One of my loves: the ocean. Even though the water was a little bit chilly, I couldn't help strolling in the water.

One of my loves: the ocean. Even though the water was a little bit chilly, I couldn’t help strolling in the water.

This was on my journey up the California coast, I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and got to this beach just in time to watch the sunset. The view was glorious.

This was on my journey up the California coast, I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and got to this beach just in time to watch the sunset. The view was glorious.

Chinatown in San Francisco. I wandered down the streets before most places were open and it was nice to walk down the streets without very many other people. The emptiness was strangely soothing.

Chinatown in San Francisco. I wandered down the streets before most places were open and it was nice to walk down the streets without very many other people. The emptiness was strangely soothing.

Yes, I am a tourist. And it was my first time seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. How could I not take pictures from every angle? I also walked halfway across before getting cold and tired and heading back (I had been up since 5:15am and it was already around 3-4pm when I got to the bridge. I was ready to rest.)

Yes, I am a tourist. And it was my first time seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. How could I not take pictures from every angle? I also walked halfway across before getting cold and tired and heading back (I had been up since 5:15am and it was already around 3-4pm when I got to the bridge. I was ready to rest.)

Andrés Neuman was the featured guest of the 2014 Puterbaugh Festival sponsored by World Literature Today. I got the chance to photograph the events and I was also invited to the photoshoot for the magazine cover. It was so cool.

Andrés Neuman was the featured guest of the 2014 Puterbaugh Festival sponsored by World Literature Today. I got the chance to photograph the events and I was also invited to the photoshoot for the magazine cover. It was so cool.

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with my masters in Professional Writing. Next step: NYC and getting a job in publishing.

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with my masters in Professional Writing. Next step: NYC and getting a job in publishing.

Slanted Reality

Slanted reality - looking at the world from another direction.

Slanted reality – looking at the world from another direction.

I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. Here’s a picture I took the other day. I’ve been wanting to try out some of these experimental puddle/reflection/abstract pictures and so yesterday when it rained, I seized my chance. I know I looked weird crouching on the pavement, moving my iPhone one way and then another, but I wanted the perfect angle. A couple of cars drove by, and I wished they’d slow down so I could cheerfully wave my hand and tell them I was in fact, not insane, just a photographer. Still, I like how the photo turned out.

Indy Bound!

Well, the car is packed with everything I’ll need for the next two months. (Or at least, everything I could POSSIBLY think I’d need this summer. Including a gazillon pairs of shoes.) Hopefully I’m not forgetting anything. I can’t believe how fast this snuck up on me. Time sort of shifted from being ssssoooo faaarrrr away to beingrightaroundthecorner. Crazy how that works. And it’s only just now sunk in that I’m actually leaving tomorrow.

I’m excited to explore this new city. I’ve never been to Indianapolis. I visited their tourist website to get a gist of what they have to offer and I’ve even made notes on what I want to visit…including a comprehensive list of food trucks I’ve got to try. When in rome, right? A girl’s gotta eat – why not be a macaroni and cheese food truck? (Seriously, how can I resist that?!)

I’ll also try and post some photos while I’m there. I’ve brought my camera and I’m ready to capture the sights. Plus I’m sure I’ll want to keep a tally of the places I visit and write about my experiences. Most of all though, I’m excited to be working as a publishing intern for PEARSON.

Hello Indy summer!

Also, if you have any suggestions for things I should do while in Indianapolis, please let me know! I’m always open to suggestions!

My Morning Commute: Snow Edition

Morning CommuteCall me a winter person, but there’s something remarkably refreshing about a brisk, cold walk through a snow enveloped land. Something about the crisp air and the seemingly damp & dreary atmosphere makes me reflective.

I feel Narnian.

I want to curl up and write a novel.

I could dismiss all my responsibilities and traipse through the snow for the perfect picture.

But the back of my mind tells me I can’t. It stomps the rampant thoughts and ideas whisking through my head. It brings me slowly back to reality. My duties. My work. My commitments. And then I console myself by marveling at the landscape. Taking in every last morsel of winter and wonder. It’s what I’ll store in my head as I work. What I’ll do come back to eventually.

A promise. Soon.

Parallel with the Sparrow

Seeping Light

I watch the shadows change dark to grey and then finally yellow as the sun sets. It’s no use. I don’t want to try any more. I will never fit in. That was proven at dinner. I have no grace and my manners surely don’t match those of my cousins. I know my Aunt is trying. She even gave me this grand room. The furniture is swathed in colors and textures I’ve never seen before. Velvet is in abundance. But there’s one thing I want more than anything else.

My old life.

I can’t help but feel stifled here. The one thing my Aunt got right was the birdcage near the window. I know she meant well, giving me a pet to call my own. But I can’t help imagining my life parallel with the sparrow. I too am captured in an elaborate cage with a view of freedom, but with no means to escape.

What I’ve been doing all these past weeks…instead of blogging.

To say I’ve been waylaid by life as the sole means for my lack of posts would be cheesy and cliche. That’s why I’m switching around the wording.

Of late, I have been rather busy with the holidays and such, so I must apologize for my lack of posting.

Doesn’t that sound posh.

Okay, but really…I have been busy. As long as you count sleeping in and reading books busy. (Which I do.) But I figured since it’s the New Year and all – I should do the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions post where I try to shame myself into being better at things.

  1. I resolve to write more frequently on my blog[s].
  2. I resolve to exercise more.
  3. I resolve to make better eating choices.
  4. I resolve to read a gazillon books.
  5. I resolve get an internship in NYC this summer.
  6. I resolve to write a novel.
  7. I resolve to buy less shoes…even if they are on super sale.
  8. I resolve to travel and take photographs.
  9. I resolve to be more disciplined in my writing.
  10. I resolve to actually check back on my New Year’s Resolutions sooner than January 2014.

That last one may be a bit of a stretch. It’s embarrassing to say, but sometimes I forget entirely about my resolutions as soon as I’ve posted them some place. It’s like my brain says, “Whew, glad you got that out of your system, let’s go back to that sleeping in business.”

And then for summary: I had a great winter break, thank you for asking. I saw friends + family and it was a nice bit of relaxation. I saw THE HOBBIT and rather enjoyed it. I bought myself a Nikon D3100 and am so far in love it’s not even the least bit funny. I successfully completed NaNoWriMo in November and now have a very lackluster novel to revitalize (it just needs some tender love and care…then it’ll be a decent novel.) and I’ve also taken quite a bit of photography with that new camera. Now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things as school starts next week.

Cheerio!