Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Project 365 and I Go to Philly

Life. Wow. You're really awesome right now. Thanks for letting me live you. Anyway, since I last posted, I've gotten settled into a cozy life in Connecticut with great people there. Just as I decided I might spend the rest of my year here alternating between downtown New London, the beach, my apartment's many amenities, and working at my fabulous host site, up out of nowhere came my Pre-Service Orientation.

So I'm in Philly now, hoping to see the Liberty Bell in moments of downtime.

Check out my pictures from this last week. I can't believe all the different opportunities/adventures I'm having, and I can't wait to share them with you.

 Day 22: The centerpiece for my kitchen table. I'd had my eye on this cake tray and cupcake set for months before it finally went on sale.

 Day 23: Surrounded by Chinese lanterns, by words, by the rain outside, I found home.

 Day 24: A shot I took from the New London pier, while waiting for the Caribbean festival to start up. Side note: I'm not a fan of Caribbean soups...

 Day 25: One of my neighbors and I went to the church service at The Salvation Army. I enjoyed the people there, but I found the service was too topical for my level of spirituality. I think I'll keep church shopping to find something that delves a little deeper. But I'm so glad for the Salvation Army's existence. I know it helps many people in many ways.

 Day 26: Waiting for the Amtrak to whisk me away from home to Philly.

 Day 27: SWIMMING! And wearing my first free AmeriCorps shirt! 

Life's good. 

I'll see you next week with further updates. Until then--and always--may peace and blessings go with you in your lives, wherever you may be.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

T. M. Goeglein and the Release of COLD FURY 2--FLICKER & BURN

Looking for a great back-to-school read?

I have the perfect one for you, plus a book trailer!

Check out FLICKER & BURN by one of my favorite authors, T. M. Goeglein, the second book in the COLD FURY series.

Find out more about the book here!

Project 365--Second Update

So much has happened since the last time I posted. I apologize AGAIN for missing last week's post, but I'll make up for it by posting twice today.

First, I want to update on Project 365. I'm still going strong and had to pick and choose between the billion pictures I've taken since the cross-country road trip started.

To catch everybody up, I moved from Missouri to Connecticut to be sworn in as an AmeriCorps VISTA. The journey to that point has been fantastic so far. Here's the photo proof. ;)

 Day 10: The weather couldn't have been worse on the way out of Missouri.

 Day 11: Me and my awesome grandpa. He's in the middle of building a log cabin with his bare hands!

 Day 12: Our first sign of Niagara Falls!

 Day 13: And the Falls themselves. The most amazing sight so far in my life...

 Day 14: My apartment! They gave me balloons. And yes, we did suck the helium out of them...

 Day 15: Watching fireworks on Ocean Beach. It still hasn't sunk in that I can WALK to the beach whenever I want.

 Day 16: Times Square in NYC! My favorite store was Grand Slam.

 Day 17: My first train ride. I should have brought a book since it was dark out. Instead, I posed for pics. ;)

 Day 18: My fellow AmeriCorps VISTAs and I went to a combat training center where we zip-lined over 2000 feet, tight-rope walked, rope climbed, and orienteered. It was AWESOME and so are all the people I spent time with!

 Day 19: My apartment is starting to come together. You can see what's closest to my heart even though we're far apart.

 Day 20: Christening my apartment with my blood! My overly-concerned neighbor asked me if I have a cutting problem. No, I just have a problem with my screen door.

Day 21: I still don't have Wi-Fi, so I'm at Bean and Leaf at this very moment. I'll be back tomorrow for their poetry open mic night.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wednesday, Two Days Late

I kept a promise.


In California, I ended up having limited access to Internet and limited time to even think about the web. While there, the world inside a screen no longer mattered and the colors in the real world had never seemed so brilliant. That was my trip. But still, I apologize for posting two days late.

This was the second time I’ve been to San Diego this year, but on this trip, I got to experience so much more than just the historic Gaslamp District. I spent time on Coronado Bay and saw the great Hotel Del—I swam in the ocean there. It was freezing, but so totally worth it. I spent hours in Birch Aquarium, videoing the seadragons and meditating in front of the kelp tank. I saw a sunflower starfish for the first time and had my finger nibbled on by a hungry anemone. Then I went to one of the many stables and smelled that unique and precious horse scent I’d been missing for several years. It was like coming home.

The promise I kept I made back in 2010. I told my great-aunt that I’d pay her a visit like I used to as a kiddo. We played Scrabble (with our own rules), I played the piano for her, we napped together with the wind chimes outside on the porch, and we went on walks with her puppy in the evenings where I learned that you can eat the sour pears that grow wild on the succulents.

I met a smart, sweet guy in a little dive bar my third night there. We talked for hours about Eastern culture and his experiences this past year in Japan. He reminded me how much I love studying linguistics and languages. And best of all, he reminded me that there are still a few good guys left. Even though we’ll be coasts apart, I hope we can keep in touch.

Doing Project 365 has never been so easy with all the traveling that I’ve been doing. Below, you can see the pictures from the last 9 days. I’ll have more coming in next week’s post.

Day1: The awesome cake at my going away party/critique group meeting in OKC.
 Day 2: The best writers a girl could ever know.

 Day 3: Running to my San Diego plane at DFW.

 Day 4: Swimming in the ocean at Hotel Del Coronado.

Day 5: Getting eaten by a shark at Birch Aquarium in San Diego.

 Day 6: Playing Scrabble with my great-aunt by our own rules.

 Day 7: Waiting in Chicago to go back to KCMO.

 Day 8: Spending time with my godfather before I leave for Connecticut.

 Day 9: Riding in a car seat at 1 am with the girls. That's how we roll.

On the book front, the agent who requested DEAD DOLL told me the manuscript wasn’t for her agency, but NOT in a form letter. She was very encouraging and expressed the project simply wasn’t for her. I’m glad for her honesty and timeliness. Now I can move on to other submissions and find the right home for my book. I edited 132 pages on the plane and continue to submit the poems in my first book of poetry every week.

I’m still reading DRINKING: A LOVE STORY, which is at times wonderfully revealing and at times terribly tragic. I’ll be forever in debt to my aunt in Oregon who recommended the book based on my past experiences with an alcoholic. I’ve taken a pause from WATERSHIP DOWN and started THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, which I’d recommend to anyone—whether they’re Christian or not. On my way to Connecticut this next week, I’m going to start the last two audiobooks in the FIFTY SHADES series. I need something that’s a combination of mindless and engaging to brave the 1500-mile road trip.

What are you reading these days? Fill me in on great books I can bring to Connecticut.

I’ll see you next week. By then, I’ll be officially moved to the East Coast!