Hello, 2015!

10299922_10152448988573386_4155779792611196313_nI can’t believe how fast 2014 flew by. It’s been quite a year. When I think of all the things I’ve done, all the obstacles I’ve faced, and all the places/friends I’ve visited, it’s overwhelming.Through all the ups and downs I’ve always felt immensely blessed. God has truly seen me through one heck of a year. Here are just some highlights from 2014.

January:

  • I traveled to Europe for a study abroad trip and visited Budapest, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and London. I absolutely loved my time in these cities and long to go back.

February:

  • My beloved Abuelo passed away. I can’t begin to describe how much his love and support shaped my life. His influence is so present in his children and grandchildren and I strive to have a faith as strong as his.

March:

April

  • Said goodbye to my sister who moved to Japan to teach English. Funny to see that out of the two of us she would be the one to move to another country. But I’m so proud of her and how much she’s challenged herself and grown.

May

  • Successfully finished writing/editing my novel, passed my defense, and then graduated with my master’s degree in Professional Writing.
  • Moved out of my apartment in Oklahoma and said goodbye to my roommate of 2 years.
  • Also said goodbye to the longest place I’ve ever lived: Oklahoma with 6.5 years.

June

  • Moved to Indianapolis, IN.
  • Started my second publishing internship with Pearson. (I also interned with them last summer) It was great to return and work as a Project Editor Intern.

July

  • Had one of my Buzzfeed posts promoted to the FRONT PAGE of their website: 18 Quirky Literary Items You Can Buy On Etsy.
  • Said goodbye to my childhood pet lizard, Kevin, a Blue Tongue Skink. We were tight for 12 years and I was sad to see him go, but I rehomed him because of my uncertain job/living status.

August

  • Moved to BROOKLYN, NY.
  • Started volunteering for the Floating Library, a pop-up literary and public space exhibition. I helped launch their Twitter/Instagram pages. I met so many awesome people during my first few months in NYC because of this experience.
  • Joined a fabulous new Church, Liberty Church, started setting down roots, and embraced a new community.
  • Had a second Buzzfeed post promoted to their front page: 16 Gloriously Zany Temporary Tattoos.

October

  • Started a temp job as a Video Assistant for Pearson. It was awesome to be working with the video team again.

November

  • I scored a ticket for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and got to be on the show.
  • Met Neil Gaiman. He was as delightful in person as he is on twitter.
  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma for Thanksgiving – saw all of my extended family, well, all that were in the country.

December

  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family.

This year has been one for the books. I can’t believe how blessed I am. I had so many wonderful opportunities to see old friends and make new ones. I also traveled SO much this year and that was awesome. It was also a hard year with lots of goodbyes and tough decisions.

I’d probably say the most drastic/biggest change this year was my decision to pack up everything I could carry in my sedan and drive across the country to move to New York. But as tough as that decision was, it’s honestly been one of the best and I’m so excited to see what 2015 brings in this new city.

Here’s to the new year!

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Life in the Big Apple

As you may have gathered from my post title, I am writing this from NEW YORK CITY.

I did it!

I know, I know. I’ve been saying for YEARS that I’d move to NYC, but I’m not sure how many people thought I was actually serious. (I’m actually not sure how serious I was at some points.)

But I decided after grad school it was time to take the plunge. So I sold all my furniture and my car and got some roommates and moved to Brooklyn.

And it already feels like home. I love this city.

But I’ve been playing a game with myself. Kind of keeping a mental tally of things to check off that are quintessential New York.

  1. I’ve seen rats on the subway
  2. I’ve seen clearly DISEASED rats on the subway (nothing like a good ol’ flesh disease to brighten your commute)
  3. I’ve accidentally missed my stop because I was too involved in my book
  4. I’ve had to plan an alternate route home because there was construction on my line
  5. I’ve run into someone I knew in NYC (seriously, how cool is that? NYC is huge!)
  6. I’ve eaten some NYC favs: Momofuku, Junior’s, Shake Shack, Roberta’s…
  7. I’ve spent hours roaming Central Park
  8. I’ve successfully given directions on how to transfer to another line on the metro
  9. I’ve seen multiple film productions on the street/metro
  10. I’ve had a shared connection with a complete stranger on the metro

But I’m excited for this new venture and all the changes it will bring. There’s so much to explore. And, of course, I’ll be updating here with my adventures and misadventures.

View from Brooklyn Bridge Park of the Manhattan Skyline

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.

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!

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!