Thursday, August 18, 2016

I've Moved and Revealed My Identity

I've finally come to confess who I am. Maybe I should never, but I'd LOVE for you to join me for the fun at I talk books, travels, foods, and faith.

This space of web is still special to me.

That's why it's here. Call me sentimental.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Books

A friend asked me to give him a book suggestion recently. Yeah, that was a hard one. For the most part, I really hate when people ask me for book suggestions or even my favorite book. It's like asking me to choose a favorite tea cup from a collection that you've carefully chosen and loved throughout many years aka Impossible! So this friend modified his request saying, "give me your top ten books."

I'm still thinking to myself: That's impossible, but then I opened up my Goodreads account and started scrolling through my books and I found some treasured titles. So in no particular order except in the order that they came to my mind are some titles below.

Hinds' Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard
~ this book really fits every Christian's walk with Christ and I felt that I could relate super well to the main character Much-Afraid because I feel that I live most of my life in fear (even if people call me brave).

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson (this is not a romance at all)
~ a powerful story of redemption and radically living out Jesus' love

Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers
~ a tale that weaves together different generations and the deep influence we can have on each other.

The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd
~ this book woke me up to a lot of the assumptions that I made about America and how most of them aren't true. it made me think and question the world around me a bit more.

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
~ a girl around our age who is living in Africa with her 8 or so adopted daughters. her life challenges mine, but I also needed to realize that I am just as called to my life here and now as she is to her own life. we are just serving differently.

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
~ a daily devotional that writes God's voice in first person. It's so nice to feel that He speaking personally and lovingly just to me.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
~ this lady is one of my favorite writers because she is real. In this book, she talks about the art and struggle of writing. I've scribbled notes in the margin and one of my friends has, too!

Succulent Wild Woman by SARK
~ this book title might make you raise your eyebrows, but for me, it helps me be happy to be me. It's a fun book with colorful fonts and personal stories.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
~ I read a lot of books and this one is short. But just like The Screwtape Letters, it really left a lasting impression on me about what the separation of man from God can look like and how chilling it really is.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
~ This book is a very special one to me. There's a God story here. But the true beauty of this book is that it is poetic prose that focuses on the significance of walking through life with a deep and sometimes desperate thankfulness.

It's terrible to narrow down years of good experiences with amazing authors and classic stories. I mean I didn't even mention The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia or The Great Gatsby or the Lord of the Flies or the books written by Fanny Burney, Robin Gunn, Rachael Phillips, Sandra Byrd, Deborah Raney, or Jane Austen. But you see, I decided to choose not necessarily my favorite books but some of the ones that have had the most impact on my life.

Also, my current reads are the following: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and The Cup of Our Lives by Joyce Rupp.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hobby: Letter Writing #2

Quite a while ago, I posted about a favorite hobby of mine--letter writing. There is something so entirely magical about stringing words together for another to read. Seriously, if I could make a living off of writing letters, I would do it. Anyone interested in paying me to write letters? Pretty please?

Now I've found a couple of different option for my other letter-lovers. Of course, some of these may not be your thing.

If you're like me (a narcissistic letter writer), then perhaps volunteering to write deployed soldiers might be the thing for you. Since they're so busy, they rarely write back but they're in need of the escape of letters. So if you like writing, this might be the thing for you. But don't be surprised if you get a letter back!

Or if you're okay paying a bit of money ($23 if you're from the USA), you can buy a subscription (3 issues in a year) to The Letter Exchange. It's a type of magazine where letter writers can write listings to attract particular types of correspondents. Some people choose to role-play or find a fellow writer to critique their work. It's a unique idea and I'm hoping to buy a subscription myself soon.

And then, if you're interested in some instant penpal action, you can check out Penpal World. You can start out with a limited profile where you can get in contact with 3 other penpals. If you find it's to your liking, you can upgrade your membership for a "low" cost. I haven't been able to find the cost anywhere, though. But a limited profile would probably give me more than enough people to talk to.

And if you don't like what I've found for you, then do some of your own googling exploration! There are some cool opportunities out there for people who know how to look!

May you have many letters in your future!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What to do....

Recently, I've been wondering if I should discontinue my use of blogs since I haven't been very good at blogging recently.

I've been doing other things.

That's no excuse.

I'll show you some things I've been up to.

1. I turned 23 years old.

2. I call myself a basement-dweller since I've been renting a bedroom in a basement from a family--a great family by the way.

3. I toured the Oliver Mansion on monday because I wanted to.

4. I finished my rough draft of a novel.

5. I'm in season 9 of Friends.

6. I've been reading LOTS of books. Here's one written by a friend of mine.
The Return of Miss Blueberry by Rachael Phillips
Find out more and Buy it!

7. And then I've been going to Von Strantz gigs. This band is awesome. Check them out on facebook! Or listen to some of their music!

8. Oh, yeah. And I've been dating some different men. Oh, do I have stories. Perhaps some of those will end up here.

So there you have it. I've been keeping far too busy and I haven't even mentioned the babysitting, nannying, house-cleaning, volunteering. And I've been thinking a lot about what kind of adventures I'd like to live. Maybe that will be a future post!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Captivation: Upcoming Writing Contests

Have I ever mentioned that I want to be a writer? I suppose if you've kept pace with me you've seen the telltale signs of my adoration of words strung together to create mosaics of story.

This afternoon I spent in the library pouring over writing magazines. I found many contests. So at the possibility of you beating me out and winning these contests, I'll share them!

Even this picture will take you to info on another writing contest. Deadline is in November!

Not Your Mother's Book
Consisting of real-life stories written by individuals 18 years and older, the series will not focus on death/dying, cry-your-eyes out sad selections, but only hip, fun, modern and very-much-today type stories that will entertain our readers.
word count: 500-2500

PNWA Literary Contest
12 Contest Categories
deadline: February 22, 2013
fee: $50 (nonmembers)
These can be book length and you get 2 critiques!

Crazyhorse writing contest
categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry
deadline: January 31, 2013
fee: $20 (includes a year subscription)

The 9th Annual Geist Postcard Story contest
word count: max. 500
a postcard that somehow relates to your fictional or nonfictional story
deadline: February 1, 2013
fee: $20

Catharsis Journal contest
topic: How creativity changed my life
category: short memoirs between 2500-10,000 words
deadline: March 15, 2013
fee: $20

So my fellow writers, grab your pens and laptops and get scribbling. If you're prolific, you could have a story to each of these contests! I'm hoping maybe I'll submit a story a month. I think my creativity and my budget might be able to support that endeavor.

"The book you want to write is the book you've always wanted to read." - Dylan Brody

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Captivation: Rest

Rest. It's often forgotten or over-looked or pushed for later, saying "I can rest when I'm dead." I've heard others say that phrase and I've even repeated it to myself.

We beg for simplicity. We try to remind ourselves to simplify--to downsize--to minimize. Then, the note gathers dust and life whizzes by.

We dream of finding rest and contentment in idyllic places--tropical paradises.

We like to pretend that our lives spin out of our control--not by our bidding, but by the fates of the universe.

But what if we took hints from babies.

They have got their priorities straight. We need rest. Yes, we can rest when we die. But I want to live life to fullest and that requires quality rest. Living fully includes resting fully.

So it's time to make a new list and live in a new way. And make room for rest.

In light of this, what are you doing today to rest?

I'm here writing this blogpost. I'm attending a friend's junior recital tonight. I slept late this morning and went running at lunchtime. I built in this day of rest into my crazy busy schedule because I believe God knew something about us when he modeled resting on the 7th day.

Happy Rest!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Captivation: Book Publishing

I ran into an acquaintance today who has been working at getting his book published. I do dream of writing my own book and getting it published, but there's a ton of work involved.

Currently, I'm in the lowest ranks of an editorial department. I do the brunt work and the busy work and the work that no one else wants to do. And I'm totally okay with that. It's nice to know that me working on that not-fun-work opens up the editors to doing the important stuff. So my work counts for something! And the priceless experience of knowing how a publishing house works.


Recently, I had the opportunity to read through the infamous "slush pile". This pile is the fear of every writer, but the true reality of the writer's life. A slush pile is the stack of unsolicited book proposals that an acquisitions editor receives. I read through 20 book proposals.


Two of the biggest reasons that these proposals were rejected:
- no platform (aka no place to self-market their book)
- wrong subject matter for our publishing house

What we can learn from this.
Please research the publishing houses that you desire to submit your work to, making sure that they publish your genre and be ready to self-promote! Personally, self-promotion puts a bad taste in my mouth, but it is necessary.

Helping a fellow writer out.
So you interested in reading about a new author with a new book that you can get on Amazon or Barnes and Noble's? Allow me to introduce you to The Eliot Papers. Want it on the Nook or Kindle?