Virtual Tour Revisited

A few weeks ago I posted a virtual blog tour about my creative process and nominated a few other bloggers to do the same and post their responses today. Vernette, from Vernette Out Loud, and Julie, from The Indecisive Eejit,  were able to accept the nomination.

In her response  Venette talks about her many interests and some of the challenges she is working on. She is a very talented blogger with a lot to share. I love reading her stories and recipes, and I love her strong voice in all her writing. If you have a spare second today, why not jump over to her blog and check out her fantastic work!

Julie’s response is full of the humor and wit that I love about her work. Her perspective on life and the things that happen is wonderful fun to read. I love her voice and her way of telling a story. If you’re looking for some humor or something to brighten your day, The Indecisive Eejit is the place to go!

I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do!


Virtual Blog Tour

Several weeks ago WoollyMuses nominated me for the Virtual Blog Tour, naming August 25 as my posting date. Unfortunately, I missed the date so my post is one week late.

There are three rules for the tour:

1. Compose a one-time post which is posted on Monday (date will be given to you from whoever passes on the tour)

2. Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.

  • What am I working on?
  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • Why do I write/create what I do?
  • How does your writing/creating process work?

3. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers. Get their permission first, give them rules and a specific Monday to post.


Before I begin I would like to say, I am very honored and happy to have been nominated. Thank you WoollyMuses for thinking of me!

Creative Process

1. What am I working on?

At the moment, I am working on a little of this and a little of that. Three months ago I started a daily journal post which keeps me pretty busy in between teaching classes. Every week I also post a feature called Everyday Trifles, which usually highlights photographs from in and around Yeosu, South Korea, where I currently live. Outside of my blog I am gearing up for a month long trip around Southeast Asia before relocating back to the United States. Once I am settled, I hope to start working on compiling my best photography and writings from this last year, mostly as a keepsake.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmmm…this is a hard question for me. I think the biggest way my work differs from others is that I do not necessarily focus on one thing, so I do not really have a clear-cut genre. My blog is all about bringing together stories, both fictional and memoir with photography and tid-bits from life. Because the majority of my work on this blog comes from the journal posts, it changes every day depending on how I’m feeling and what has inspired me each day.

3. Why do I write/create?

For almost as long as I can remember I have been creating something: stories, paintings, drawings, photographs. Writing and creating are simply what I do, they are part of who I am. As a kid stories and art were a way of self-entertainment. Later, as a teenager and on into university, creating was cathartic and a way to de-stress. Today, writing and creating are both of these things.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

Most of the time I see or hear something that gets the creative gears turning in my head. It is rare to find me without a notebook and pen, so anytime I stumble upon something that inspires me, I jot it down. I’ve found that often my work comes from the simple day-to-day happenings around me and that once I start writing or taking pictures, the creative side of myself takes over, guiding my hands and thoughts. In the last few months I’ve found that creating a daily post has really encouraged me to keep my creative process working all the time. I am always looking at the world around me for the next story or photograph.


I would like to nominate the following bloggers for a Virtual Tour post on September 22:


Sweet Fiction by Blake

“You Must Suffer Me to Go my Own Dark Way”

The Indecisive Eejit




Daily Journey Journal #44: Inspirational Blogger Award


Last week during a particularly stressful and exhausting day at work I happened to glimpse at my blog reader during a short break and noticed a new comment waiting for me. That comment, from Ronovan at RonovanWrites, changed my whole day. He had just nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I was and am so happily surprised by this nomination. Ronovan is a fantastic writer and to be nominated by him is an amazing honor and compliment. Thank you so much Ronovan for the nomination and all the encouragement in your comments.

Award Guidelines

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
2.List the rules and display the award.
3.Share seven facts about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated
5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

I’m going to share my facts in a journal-style, and as such, I apologize ahead of time for the continued discussion of rain. Rain is playing heavily into my life right now.

Seven true facts about me (as of this moment)

  1. Running is my magical remedy for almost anything. As I mentioned in a previous post, a typhoon is raging somewhere close to where I live in Korea and it has brought on an onslaught of rain, grey, fog and wet. Running, while more difficult and less appealing in the rain, has become even more essential for me during the last few days of melancholy weather as it supplies me with smiles, happiness and endorphins, all of which make me a more positive person. Today was the first day I was able to get out to run in a small window of relative dryness since the weekend and it was much needed.
  2. I detest rainy, grey weather. And I mean, detest it! While it can make me feel more inspired and creative, I have to battle the depression that sets in after three days without full sunshine. Today is day four of such weather and it has been a rocky day emotionally.
  3. I love drinking coffee out of glass jars. There is something so simply marvelous, so comforting in drinking that bitter brew of energy while the heat slips through the glass and into my hands. It makes me feel calmer, more open to the things happening in life (even the rain) and relaxing. Sipping coffee in a glass jar allows me to just slow down and think.
  4. I love stories about India. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to visit India and while I have not made it there yet, I hope to one day to visit the colorful world of the novels I love so dearly. Yesterday I spent the majority of the morning  escaping to the India captured in the pages of The Mango Season, by Amulya Malladi, while it dumped rain outside.
  5. New things are addicting to me.  Especially when they aren’t things I have previously considered doing. The idea of starting something new or doing something out of the ordinary fills me with such excitement that I want to stop everything else in my life to do that thing. In this moment I am filled with a sense of excitement because I found out today that we will have our first vacation at the end of the month. A and I are seriously considering going to Taiwan to meet up with a friend and now I am so excited that I just want to buy a ticket and hop on a plane right now. What could be better than a trip?!
  6. Fog is fascinating. Maybe it was growing up in a place that rarely saw fog, but I love watching the clouds creep down the mountainside or hover around the top. Yeosu is right on the coast and yet it is mountainous which means that on any given day, rain or shine, there is a strong chance of fog playing on the hillside. (And, to find a positive of this typhoon, there has been some awesome fog watching the last few days).
  7. Honesty is inspiring. Sometimes being truthful, especially about how I feel, is difficult for me. I am always torn between wanting to tell the truth, yet remain tactful and keep all those around me happy. Often I will bite my tongue instead of saying how I feel or telling my honest opinion, Being honest makes me feel lighter and likewise, I love when people are honest about themselves, especially about what is happening with them on a personal level.



Recently I have begun to follow so many new blogs and I have not yet had time to explore all of them. As such, I will start my nomination list tonight but add to it at a later date!

  1. Writing in Whispers ~ Oyinkan Braithwaite is an amazing writer and her blog is full of inspiration, from her stories to her poems to her fantastic how-to posts. I like her voice and the energy in her writing.
  2. Because I can… ~ Pavanneh writes with such an honest, unique voice that reading her work is a true pleasure. She is an incredible part of my blogging community and I enjoy our conversations here and there.
  3. Millie Anne Lowe ~ Several weeks ago MillieAnne started a series of short stories called The Serial Killer of Bush Street which I have become addicted to. She is a fabulous storyteller and a master at hooking readers.
  4. Lyrallya ~ Lyrallya’s 365 Day Journal Challenge was the inspiration for my own 365 journal challenge. I like seeing her posts pop into the reader every day and the way her journal entries mesh with the other lovely content on her blog.
  5. A Girls with a lot of Gut ~Leslie has already been nominated for the award and while I am just now beginning to explore her blog, my first impression left me in awe. Her honesty, openness, and the community she is building are beautiful.
  6. Eden’s Captures ~She has such gorgeous photography and I love the layout of her blog.It is quite visually stunning.
  7. Food Like Cake ~ What could be better than a blog full of amazing, mouth-watering baking recipes complete with beautiful pictures? I can’t wait to have an over to try out some of Chloe’s recipes.


For now, I am going to sign off as it is nearly 1 a.m.! Thank you again to Ronovan and to all the amazing bloggers out there that I am so fortunate to have met, connected with or stumbled upon.



Liebster Award Rounds 2 and 3…and 4


As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. This is true for both beautiful happenings and those rather unpleasant ones. Thankfully, today it is wonderfulness that is pouring (as well as actual rain) in the form of three very kind nominations for the Liebster Award. Thank you so much Romeo, Charity and Angelique for your nominations. I am super psyched to be nominated again and answer your awesome questions.

Here are the basic steps for the award:

  1. Thank the nominating blogger(s)
  2. Give 11 facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions he or she asks
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award, preferably bloggers with fewer than 500 followers
  5. Ask these bloggers 11 questions
  6. Let these bloggers know that you’ve nominated them

Because this is a three-time nomination post, I am going to try to put some things together for the sake of time so as to pass along the nomination baton more quickly. Thus, we shall commence!

1.  Giving Thanks

Thank you again to Romeo, Charity and Angelique. I am so glad that we have connected and I love reading your blogs. You all have such great perspectives on life, wonderful writing voices and so many interesting posts. Thank you, thank you. It is an honor to be nominated by such great bloggers.

2. Eleven facts about me

  • The longest I have ever lived away from my hometown is 7 months, as of yesterday
  • Growing up, my little brother had pet hissing Madagascan cockroaches (dozens of them)
  • I am terrified of cows and I do not get along with farm animals  in the least
  • I have been a vegetarian since I was 16 years old
  • My first solo trip across the world was to Karanga, Tanzania three weeks before my 19th birthday
  • I met my significant other on that trip and we spent the following 4 years dating long distance across the United States
  • Oceans freak me out because they seem to never end (where is the mountainous horizon?!)
  • I did not really learn how to read until I was 12 years old
  • My parents are divorced and my dad has remarried
  • Despite the divorce, my parents (all three) get along wonderfully and we usually spend holidays together
  • Folk is my favorite genre of music

3. Questions from my nominators

From Romeo

Beach-side or river-side?

River-side, for sure! Rivers are far more peaceful I think because beaches tend to be a bit to crowded for my taste.

You’re  stuck on an island with a box – what’s inside the box?

Hopefully tons of sunscreen and a collection of good books! I’m rather fair skinned and burn at the slightest hint of sunshine, it seems. But, if I have to pick one or the other, I would pick books as boredom is something I just can’t handle.

Do you regret your first kiss?

No, not at all. It was awkward, to be sure, but worth it. It was right before the state cross country meet and filled me with such a high that I had an amazing race.

Have you ever been in love?

Yes! I fell in love in less than two weeks and that love is still there almost five years later, binding us together as we wander through life’s adventures.


From  Charity

If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?

I would use scissors to cut a length of ribbon from a spool to tie around the pizza box before delivering it in its gift-like glory  (this is something that happens in Korea all the time and I like the gesture).

Do you believe in Bigfoot?

Yes! The world is full of strange, wonderful things, so why not Bigfoot?

If you had to choose one candy to describe your personality, what would it be, and why? (note: I am not asking for your favorite kind of candy. I am asking for a type of candy that represents your personality.)

I would probably be Pop Rocks, as I find Pop Rocks to be a really weird candy and more than one person has said the same of me (the weird part, not the candy part). And, like Pop Rocks I am prone to making random noise just because I can.

Of my blog posts that you’ve read, which one is your favorite?

I really like all of your posts. One of your recent ones made me laugh and that was In Which My Socks Need Marriage Counseling.


From Angelique

What would you do if you only have 24 hours left to live?

With only 24 hours left to live I would do yoga, take a super long run, come home and take a bath, then eat as much chocolate, ice cream, pizza and smoothies as I possibly could.

What is your most prized piece of knowledge?

My most prized piece of knowledge is that no matter how hard a situation is, it is always possible to overcome it- you just can’t give up or give in.

What will you be doing the day pigs fly?

I’ll be doing math problems for the rest of my life.

What were you in your previous life?

Without a doubt, I was a squirrel in my previous life.


4. My nominees

5. My eleven questions

  • What is your favorite subject to photograph/write about?
  • What is the best book you’ve read in the last year?
  • Cats or dogs or…?- which one is the better companion for you?
  • What is your favorite vacation spot?
  • What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
  • Toes socks-good or bad?
  • How many languages do you speak?
  • What is your favorite part of humanity?
  • Oreos- original or double stuffed?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • Best part of doing the Liebster award?

To my nominators, thank you again. And, to my nominees, have fun!

The Liebster Award

liebster-award1It’s the end of a rather busy week and what a lovely end it is! Yesterday I was so kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by analinden. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Here are the basic steps for the award:

  1. Thank the nominating blogger
  2. Answer the 11 questions he or she asks
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award, preferably bloggers with fewer than 500 followers
  4. Ask these bloggers 11 questions
  5. Let these bloggers know that you’ve nominated them


So, without further ado, here it goes!

1. Thank you so much Ana Linden for the nomination. It was very kind and definitely made my day. I enjoy reading your writing  and especially enjoyed your recent Driving Miss Shy-Part 1. Thank you for the fabulous stories.

2. Here are my answers to the 11 questions.

  • What three places describe you best?

Mountain trails with not another soul in sight

Wide open plains with wind whistling through the grass

Big, blue skies as far as the eye can see


  • There must be an author or book close to your heart; would you like to share this information with us?

Like many people my age, the Harry Potter books hold a special place in my heart. As a kid, I loved stories, but reading was a whole different story. For years I was in remedial reading, lagging behind my classmates. And then, the year I turned 11,  my mum read the Harry Potter books to my little brother and me. I loved them so much that I was more determined than ever before to understand the words dancing on the pages before me. By the time my twelfth birthday arrive,  I had gone from hardly being able to read to reading like nobody’s business. Harry Potter was my gateway book to the wonder of reading.


  • What is your dream destination, that mysterious place you always wanted to visit?

Hmmm…this is a hard one for me. I love traveling and want to visit anywhere and everywhere. In the next few months I will visit Japan and hopefully Thailand, Cambodia, Micronesia and China. For as long as I can remember, however, I have wanted to visit India. So many of the novels I love are set in India and some of my favorite authors call that great land home. The rich, colorful world their words paint have made me yearn to see it with my own eyes all the more.


  • Where did you spend the nicest vacation?

The nicest vacation I’ve ever had was last year during my final spring break of university. My mum, my brother, his girlfriend and I climbed into the car and drove almost 16 hours south to the Grand Canyon for the week. We spent three days on the trails, taking in the glory of nature and soaking up the warmth before heading back to our still frozen tundra home. This trip is especially dear to me because it is probably the last with my mum and bother for many years to come.


  • What historical period would be best suited for your personality?

Caveman era? Medieval castles? Renaissance artistry? Hippies in the 1960s? While all those eras are intriguing, in all honesty, I can’t imagine myself living happily in any other historical period. While equality, rights and fairness are still subjects of discussion regarding their reality in the lives of women, in no other time would I have the wonderful freedoms and choices I have today. I am 23, living abroad, unmarried with my significant other, writing, teaching and taking pictures. In the past, these things just wouldn’t have happened. So, as much as the fictionalized and glorified medieval times intrigue me and the renaissance artists inspire me, I know that this historical period is where I belong.


  • Do you identify yourself with any artist(s), and if so, with whom?

I’m not sure I really identify with any artist so much as with an art style: Renaissance Impressionism. Monet and van Gogh are two of my favorite artists.  While living in France I was fortunate enough to visit the Louvre and see both of their works up close. The brush strokes, colors, styles, and emotions of the paintings are just beautiful to me. When the chaos of life swirls around me, I try to imagine it cast onto canvas by their hands.

  • What nice memory from your childhood would you like to share with us?

Some of my greatest childhood memories involve my grandfather, who moved to my hometown when I was nine, simply to be closer to us. He lived in an apartment one block away and every day after school he waited for me and my little brother. Almost every afternoon for four years we spent a couple of hours hanging out with him, eating cookies soaked in milk, playing card games or dominoes and talking. When I think of childhood it is his face I see most strongly.


  • What’s the greatest satisfaction you derive from blogging?

When blogging, my greatest satisfaction comes from being part of a community with shared interests. I love seeing other people’s work, reading their stories and visiting the places they’ve captured through the lens of a camera. Their work inspires me and the comments on my own work are a great source of encouragement. Thank you!


  • What are three of the most important principles you try to observe in life?

Three of the most important principles I try to observe in life are: being grateful, having compassion and remembering to smile. The first, being grateful, is a daily practice for me. Each night before sleep, I jot down one thing I am grateful for, one thing that made my day great. These small moments of recording allow me to reflect on all the amazing people and happenings in my life, even if they are as simple as sharing a good cup of coffee with my significant other.

The second principle, having compassion, is important to me because it is a path to happiness. As a teenager, I was struggling a lot and in an act of desperation, began reading books about happiness, as I seemed to have forgotten how to be happy. One of the books I read was the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness, in which he says compassion is essential. It helps us understand difficult situations and can allow for a breath of perspective in all situations. I’ve kept this lesson close to my heart and employ it on a nearly daily basis while dealing with issues at work.

The third principle I try to observe is to remember to smile. I read once that it takes more muscles in your face to frown than to smile and that by simply smiling you release endorphins and can bring about a wave of happiness. On gloomy days or in hard situations, I actively remind myself to smile and little by little, that wave of happiness helps to bring about some light to any struggle.


  • Do you like to plan everything or are you a spontaneous person?

Alas, as much as I would like to be a spontaneous person, I am undoubtedly a planner. In the last few years I have become more spontaneous, but my natural instinct is always, always to plan. Nonetheless, I seem to enjoy days and moments best when I don’t plan every detail and instead let life take its own course, leading me down new paths.


  • What do you prefer: a good book or a good movie?

Nine times out of ten I prefer a good book to a good move. Books take me deeper into other worlds and hold my interest for far longer than movies. However, there are days when I want nothing more than to be a bum and curl up on the couch to watch a good move, full of action, heroes, heroines and a sprinkle of drama.


3. My 11 nominations are:

  1. Drawing With Light~
  2. A Day In the Life~
  3. Oliviare~
  4. Because I Can~
  5. She Writes~
  6. Sabethville~
  7. Thoughts With A Side of Coffee~
  8. Duke Stewart~
  9. Spirit Grind~
  10. Words and Other Such Dilemmas~
  11. Forgotten Correspondence~


4. And here are my 11 questions. Have fun with them!

  1. What is the best part of being a blogger, writer and/or photographer?
  2. When you are reminiscing with friends, what is your favorite story to tell?
  3. What is your favorite place in the world?
  4. When you are looking for inspiration where do you search?
  5. Are you a morning person, a night owl or somewhere in between?
  6. What animal best represents your personality?
  7. What is the best book you have read in the last year?
  8. How would you characterize your relationship with your parent(s) while growing up? Did this change?
  9. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
  10. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
  11. What is the most listened to song in your music collection and why do you like it?


5. I’m looking forward to reading your posts! Happy blogging and happy weekend!