Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Disclaimer: This may not be suitable for kids.

RED from RED on Vimeo.

Dan Haring tweeted a link to this video today, and I loved it so much I just had to share. The directors Jorge Jaramillo and Carlo Guillot evoke so much with music and color and pack so much story into just a few minutes - it drew me to the edge of my seat, and I teared up in a public place.

Note: It's definitely a Grimm sort of fairy tale, which means blood and violence in the darkest woods. Two minutes in, it gets rather gruesome. You've been warned...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Five - the Pacific Northwest Edition

My travels have been epic this month! So epic, in fact, that I haven't had enough time to sit down and handle email, let alone blog.

Today, that changes. Today, I update you on my life and travels. With pictures. :-)

1. At the end of February, I left Healdsburg and drove north to Eureka in Northern California. Why Eureka? a) it has an awesome name. (That was seriously and non-ironically a contributing factor.) b) Redwoods. There are parks with redwoods both north and south of the town, and I've wanted to see some redwoods since I was a kid.

And beaches!! You drive north, the highway curves, and suddenly the whole Pacific Oceans is spread out glittering below you. And you can stop and check out the pocket beaches like this.

2. Then, I drove north to Portland on March 2 on a wet and rainy night. I held out less than 24 hours before I drove downtown to visit Powell's and the main library. I doubt that surprises anyone.

This is the library. By sheer chance, I parked right across the street from it.

I also took advantage of a gloriously sunny Sunday and went to Washington Park.

3. A week later, my friend Arielle and her boyfriend Zack came out to visit me and see Portland.

She is the epic planner of all things vacation, and thus began the food tourism. It was too delicious for us to remember to take pictures, but I managed this one before I gobbled the rest of it down:

SO tasty. Totally worth the long line.

Wine tourism at Oregon Wines on Broadway.
I was the designated driver.

Arielle also wanted to go to the Grotto, which was extremely cool, but slightly creepy on a gloomy, rainy day. I cite this photo as evidence:

This is the elevator, btw.

But it was also very pretty.

We also left Portland and saw some cool stuff:

The Oregon wine country!

Multnomah Falls!

NOTE: Visiting the Pacific Northwest has taught me to recognize 50+ shades of GREEN.

Then they went home. I had an extra day between dropping Arielle off at the airport and my Seattle plans.

4. On Wednesday, I drove north again. (Basically, the last couple weeks have been a springtime migration North, like a bird.) It was a rainy day all the way from Portland to Seattle - giant trucks throwing up spray on my tiny MINI Cooper, like someone throwing buckets of water on my windshield. Honestly, it was some of the hardest driving I've done on this trip. And you know what? I can't imagine how the settlers did it!! When my car slid a bit, my thought was this: how did people do this with a covered wagon??

But now I'm here, staying with my friend Maria. We worked together in New York, and then she came out to Seattle to work for Amazon. Her apartment is full of books - four bookcases and stacked up on the edges of the spare room. Obviously, she's my kind of girl.

This is what Seattle looked like at dinner this evening.

5. Despite my multiple visits to Powell's, I've only gotten a chance to finish one book this past week:

I read a lot of Katherine Applegate's Animorphs series as a kid, but I usually don't like books with animal characters. I actively avoid them, to be honest. But I heard too many glowing reviews about The One and Only Ivan, and I had to pick it up.

It was SO good! I inhaled it in one day. It's one of those books that breaks most of the rules about plot and pacing, but it sears itself into your heart. I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reading on A Dark Day

So, yesterday was kind of a bleak day. For no real reason.

The Japanese Garden in Washington Park,
which I explored on the gloriously sunny Sunday.

Sunday was awesome. Portland was warm. It was sunny. It was like spring. I walked around Washington Park and wrote ten pages of a fun, unpublishable project completely unrelated to The Ever Afters. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Then yesterday hit with a case of the Mondays. It was raining, like Portland has been known to do (I've been in denial about the amount of precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, but I think that cured it). I drove around and got lost and tried to visit a cafe I found on yelp, but it was mysteriously closed. I watched my phone for emails and didn't get any.

Like I said, no real reason.

But I was in such a funk. Kind of overwhelmed by life, and wondering if I had made a terrible mistake. Kind of wishing that I hadn't driven across the country for the adventure of it, I wanted to be home. Well, I wanted to be someplace where someone I know could give me a giant hug.

I have a point, I promise. I'm not just complaining.

And then, 9 o'clock rolls around. I shut down all my freelance work for the night, take a shower, and can't decide what to do. I decide to read a chapter of Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland, go to bed early, and hope tomorrow would be kinder.

I bet you know where this is going now.

Highly recommended on all fronts. :-)

Yeah, I stayed up reading until the wee hours of the morning. I finished the book. I was giddy with how much I enjoyed it. The pure, unexpected joy of reading something for pleasure, getting caught up in a story totally removed from my own.

Somewhere between Chapter 3 and the last page, my mood had totally reversed. I was no longer worried about finding a place to live, or finding another job, or when I'm going to find the time to get my website up, or what exactly my personal marketing plan for Of Giants and Ice should be. I wasn't even too concerned about what I was doing with my life. The future made me feel hopeful. I was glad to be where I am, life-wise, and locale-wise, and totally excited that my college roommate will fly over to visit me on Thursday.

Now, I'm not totally sure why this happened. Maybe it was just a cause of the Mondays; maybe they eased as soon as I read straight into the wee hours of Tuesday. But I also hadn't finished reading a book for fun for almost two weeks, which usually only happens when I'm under deadline.

Is it possible to be addicted to reading like some people are addicted to exercise? Like, did my body not get its weekly dose of book endorphins???

It's possible. After seeing how many books I read last year, I decided to read FEWER books this year. In 2012, I wanted to do more living than reading (mainly because I feel like the opposite happened in 2011). With my road-trip adventure in place, this turned out to a goal that was easy to achieve.

But I guess last night was a reminder - Don't lock yourself in stupid policies. Read if you freaking want to read. It's one of your favorite things.

In other news, it looks like this today:

Gorgeous, right?