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My S.M.A.R.T. Goals for 2016

My S.M.A.R.T. Goals for 2016

New Year’s Resolutions! I still remember doing them for homework in the second grade, only to inevitably lose the piece of paper and forget what it was I meant to change. So this year, I’m writing down some S.M.A.R.T. goals.

If you haven’t heard of it before, S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I admit I’ve been partially inspired by a fellow freelance hustler Raye Rice. Her goals are so shiny and beautiful, I wanted to make a few of my own.

My word for last year was joy. My word for this year…Continue Reading

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15 Things that Happened in 2015

15 Things that Happened in 2015

2015 has been full of change – most of it very good! Here’s my year in review.

1. I launched an anthology in London!

I finished out my role as co-editor for Bath Spa University’s Class of 2014 anthology, Beautiful Lies! It was amazing to see the book come together, and to watch my classmates connect with agents and publishers on the big night.

Iceland

2. Sarah and I drove the Ring Road in Iceland!

In five days, we rounded the majority of the island. With our trustworthy steed (aka car) Thorny the Bold, we traversed unpaved roads, braved mountainsides, and had…Continue Reading

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Dear Dad: Ten Years Later

Dear Dad: Ten Years Later

Dad and me at the Eagle and Child in Oxford, England! (2014)

It’s my dad’s birthday today, yay!

Since I’m away from home and didn’t get a proper gift (whoops), I thought I’d dig into my old blog archives and see if I could find a post I wrote in March 2005. My dad’s love language is words of affirmation, and I remember him sharing this to Literally Everyone after I posted it the first time.

I was fourteen years old when I wrote this, so it’s pretty sappy and dad-worship-y. (Disclaimer: My dad isn’t perfect, surprise! Though he’s still pretty cool.) But I still think it’s neat (and telling) that a fourteen year old girl meant everything written below with…Continue Reading

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Origin Story: Writing

Origin Story: Writing

I thought I’d take a little trek down Memory Lane via Sentimental Highway and talk a bit about my writing journey.

My family has a home video of me at age three telling a story in an unintelligible Southern accent about pink dogs (my mom translates in the video, which is the only reason we can understand it now). So basically: I’ve been telling stories since I could talk.

Growing up, Dad read to me and my siblings every night—you know, the light stuff like Lord of the Rings (three times between the span of me being 7-13) and Once and Future King. After he’d tucked us in, I used to lie in the top bunk of the…Continue Reading

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Color in Afghanistan

Color in Afghanistan

Short piece I wrote for funsies/World Nomads recently.

When I told people I was going to Afghanistan, they looked at me like I’d gone mad. I was twenty-one, 5’2”, and grinning while I said it.

Our Afghan driver took a small group of us outside Kabul one day, to the valleys around Istalif. Freed of the city, our dust and dung coated lungs began to work again.

“Are you sure we should do this?” my sister asked in harried Pashto when the paved road became a dirt path became a rocky riverside became an actual river.

“Yes, yes!” he said. “It’s worth it!”

We emerged at the base of a canyon and tumbled out of the car. On our…Continue Reading

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A Year Abroad: Scrapbook Highlights

A Year Abroad: Scrapbook Highlights

Among other things, my family has given me the Hoarder Gene. Thus whenever I am traveling, I collect scraps (tickets, maps, miscellany) to store away forever. After I studied abroad in 2012, I wound up with a whole box of various bits and pieces, and little idea what to do with them.

In spring of 2014, as I neared the last six months of my time in Bath, England, I happened upon a charming photo album on sale at Paperchase. In retrospect, I think it’s actually meant to be a wedding album, but at the time I had two thoughts: 1) Hipster paper, and 2) Cheap!

I began my first for real scrapbook in an attempt to justify keeping all…Continue Reading

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Graduating BSU + Valedictorian Speech

Graduating BSU + Valedictorian Speech

About a month ago, I had an email from my course leader for the MA Writing for Young People, Julia Green. She told me that I had been selected as valedictorian, and asked if I would be able to make it back across the Pond for graduation. I had composed a very gracious reply that basically said I couldn’t possibly afford it, but before I hit send I walked downstairs to tell my mom, figuring she would probably be pretty excited.

Our conversation:
Me: I had an email from Julia Green.
Mom: [on phone texting] Mhm.
Me: She said I’m valedictorian.
Mom: [on phone texting] Mhm.
Me: But I probably can’t go because it’d be a lot,…Continue Reading

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