One Kind of Courage

River Shore

“Of course we need art to explore the darkest recesses of our lives and minds, but we also need art to tell us why this world is worth loving and therefore saving. Praise too is part of any whole artistic and existential vision. Joy is one kind of courage.”
– Christian Wiman

Do you listen to podcasts? I’m mildly addicted. One podcast I’ve fallen in love with is The Habit Podcast, a conversation with writers about writing, produced by The Rabbit Room. Today’s quote appeared in episode 11, during Jonathan Roger’s interview with Karen Swallow Prior. I listened to the episode yesterday on my way to work, and it was exactly what my soul needed. That last little bit has stuck fast in my head⁠—joy is one kind of courage. Today, I choose to be brave. Will you join me?

A Familiar Place

My grandma has lived in the same house for as long as I can remember. A distance of 1,500 miles is no easy thing to traverse and sometimes, the time between trips is much longer than I’d like. But then I’m there again—darting up the back steps toward the kitchen, the pacific coast breeze playing over the garden, the scent of fresh-baked banana bread teasing my nose. Every knickknack and plate in its own familiar place. Jesus still leads his lambs. The clock chirps the hour. And suddenly a year feels like a few moments, a mere exhale. My grandma sings out a hearty hello and scoops me up in the biggest hug. I’m so glad you came for breakfast this morning!

The Rite of the Right Way to Write


What is the right way to write?

There are a few ways, so I’ll set you aright.

First, seize your right—tis your right to write

And tis right that it’s so.

Write the sound of the birds in flight

Copy the might of the failing light

And the vast, encroaching night

Record the squabbles and the fights

The lazy arc of the summer kite

And humanity’s enduring plight

The nightmares that give you fright

And the growing season’s blight

None are too trite: W R I T E !

I don’t care, gape and stare

Note them all, bad or fair

Listen to the sounds that blare

And the subtle creak of the rocking chair

In the town square

Or in your private lair

But above all dare…

Dare to write.

Writing is the right way to write

Seize this right, and make it your rite.



He gave me a typewriter

With clackity*clack keys

And a chime that rings

When I’ve gone too far

And need to



This sort of typing

Feels more like writing

Fingers flexed

Ink on the page

Uneven, imperfect

And glorious.


Strike the keys

Stamp each stroke

Hard or soft

It’s up to you

The writer, the typist.


He gave me a typewriter

With ribbons blackened

And linkages yellowed–

All things considered…

I suppose he really is a

Decent sort of fellow.

The Adventures of Piet


Katy wasn’t watching.

Usually she did.

Today she forgot…

Slip, tumble, and a gentle plop

Piet dropped.


Wait Katy, wait for me!

Came the tiny, yarn-like shriek.

Over books, under a chair,

To the door, and down the stair…

Hang on, Katy, here I come!

But there were many steps,

And not just one.


Jump, hop, skip,

Grab the railing tight

And  s l  i  d  e

But mind the puddle,

Jump aside!

Katy, where’d you go?

My stripy legs are a tad bit slow.


Is that the subway up ahead,

The subway that they always ride?

There is Katy, but she’s climbing inside.


Hurry, Piet, don’t be left behind—

I’m coming, Katy, just in time!

The doors hiss shut, but where is Piet?

There he is, by Katy’s feet.



Katy, startled, dropped her pen

And picked up Piet instead.

“Silly monkey… did you wander off again?”

Mind the Walk

Three months… far too long. But I’m back from my summer hiatus! To say this summer has been zany would be the understatement of the century. I graduated from Tarrant County College and transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington. Did lots of drafting, outlining, and character sketches for my book. Took a trip down to Corpus Christi. And got engaged to my best friend. It’s been a lovely whirlwind of a summer.

Now that the spring semester has concluded, I’m excited to share some of my writing excerpts from Creative Writing with you! This particular one was doodled in my favorite stairwell nook on the TCC SE campus. And as always, thanks for taking the time to read. It’s so lovely to be back again!

When walking, there are really only three kind of people: those who gaze at the ground beneath their feet, those who keep their eyes fixed straight ahead, and those whose glance flickers from side to side.

Those of the first category are usually fewer in number—they drag about from one place to the next, only noting the gray pavement beneath their feet and the shoes they happen to be wearing that day. Stoop shouldered, hands thrust deep in their pockets, the weight and cares of all the world bearing down on their bowed heads.

The second group is driven, even impatient—no time to turn aside. What is to be done must be done and not a second later than it ought to be done. They couldn’t tell you how many seats are at each table, nor describe the muddied stains spread out before the door, or even the state of the garden next to the walkway.

But the third… ah, the third. Many walk briskly, but their eyes are not fixed ahead. Their gaze sweeps to and fro, taking it all in, and noticing each tiny detail. They could tell you tales about the muddy footprints caking the walk, spin yarns about swirling leaves and scraggly branches. They could relate the history of the rust stains beneath the old metal window frames. They could tell you about the table shades; about each creak and wobble in the wind, and how they sway like so many top-heavy mushrooms. Ask them about the people crossing the walkway… because it is they who notice those around them.

mind the walk

Internet Dependent


Lake at Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus.

Warning: Rambling Post Ahead… Proceed With Caution

This post is very overdue. I started off the year on an overly ambitious note, and I realize that now. Between taking five classes, working almost full time, and just life in general, something had to give… and unfortunately, for this semester at least, that something was blogging. As this semester wraps up, I look forward to blogging on a more regular basis once again, but until that time, a regular schedule seems doubtful. I have been writing over the last few months, even more than I was writing in previous months, but I just haven’t been editing and posting the content. The reason? It’s all homework at this point. That’s right… I’m taking Creative Writing as an elective class this semester, and it’s my favorite course so far! (Sorry Biology, Trig, and Accounting… but not really). So stay tuned and please bear with me. Life has a habit of being busy and unpredictable. That’s a poor and overused excuse, but it’s true. And now to the chase: this post itself is actually part of a school assignment for my Mass Communication class. Our most recent chapter covers the Internet, and how it has forever altered communication as we know it. Our professor asked everyone in the class to do a brief blog post on all the ways we use the Internet in our daily lives. So here goes… a walk through the day of a technologically dependent college student.

.  .  .  .

I’m only on my first cup of coffee, and already logged on to the Internet. Monday through Saturday, every single morning, I update the blog for ReRun Consignment Boutique and post on the Boutique’s social media. As I get ready for the day and pack my bag for school/work, I listen to The Briefing by Albert Mohler, and then Pandora. At work, I rely heavily on the Internet as I research retail prices and values of different clothing brands. On the college campus, reliance on the Internet is even more obvious–right now, I’m camped out in the library, hooked into the campus network. Professors post content, materials, assignments, quizzes, and even exams to Blackboard. Emails fly back and forth between professors and students about classes, material, and due dates. And at the end of the day, YouTube is usually inevitable, as is Facebook. (For those of you who are of a similar nerdy/geeky bent, be sure to check out Sci-Show, VlogBrothers and Vsauce). As a writer, I enjoy reading writing prompts and articles on Pinterest. Brain Pickings also has some excellent insight for creatives. And if I mentioned by name all the personal blogs that I regularly read, this post would run far too long.

.  .  .  .

So there you have it… for those of you who had any doubt, I really am a sleep deprived, technologically dependent college student. Unfortunately, the Internet saturates nearly every waking moment of my day. What do y’all think about our dependence on the Internet, and technology in general? Personally, I think it’s a good idea to take a break sometimes. In fact, this summer I’m planning on doing a weeklong technology fast (with the exception of work-required technology of course). I like the idea of disconnecting for a short amount of time. What do y’all think? Will you join me? Just as an experiment–we can all log back on and blog about the experience afterward. I wonder what kind of insight could be gained by a technology fast, especially for writers?

Wednesday Wisdom: Ernest Hemingway

Celebrated my birthday this last weekend…

He pulled out the box from a hiding place behind the sofa,

and my heart skipped a beat–I’ve seen old typewriter boxes before.

I opened the mysterious box, and this was the paper

queued up in the 1950s Remington typewriter.

IMG_3723Isn’t it an absolute beauty? He knows me so well!  🙂


And after having typed on this marvelously noisy beast,

(at odd hours, much to the annoyance and amusement of my family)

I now better understand the beauty of this quote by Ernest Hemingway:


“There is nothing to writing. 

All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  


The Color Green

Monthly Musings! By way of introduction… we discussed imagery in Creative Writing last week. My professor brought up an interesting point: ours is a very visual society, and as such, we writers tend to rely heavily on visual descriptions whilst underwriting the other senses. An interesting idea for sure, and it demanded a little more digging.

.   .   .   .   .

A sensory exploration, for those overly burdened by sight.

“Gorgeous… absolutely beautiful. Everything is so green!” My cousin gushed in excitement.
I turned my head at the sound of her voice. “What does it look like? The color green?”
Silence. I waited. Then footsteps. Crackle-snap; the crunch of pebbles and broken twigs. My cousin climbed up beside me on the rock. “Well… I suppose it looks the way it smells. Here.” She thrust something leafy in my hands.”
It was sharp, minty, and fresh. I breathed deep, but could still feel my brow furrowing in frustration. “How else does green look?”
My cousin took my hand. With slow and careful movements, she slid down the rock, and I followed. We walked a little ways, until the ground grew soft beneath our feet. “Here… touch this. Green looks the way it feels.”
I knelt down beside her on the grass, running my fingers through the lush carpet. “Does green only feel like this?”
“No.” She laughed. “It also feels like this.”
A fresh, new leaf—there was still a trace of sap on the stem. I smiled a little smile, at last understanding. “Alright… but what does the color green sound like?”
“We’re in the perfect place. Just listen.”
We sat. A gentle breeze, as if hearing our beckon, whispered through the little valley. It shivered through the treetops, tossing and rustling the leaves. It played through the grass, caressing each blade, and set the whole meadow murmuring.
“And what does green taste like?” I asked, as the breezed died down.
“Hmmm…” My cousin rummaged in her pack. Her metal water bottle thumped against a book, and there was a soft ping as her pen struck the bottle’s side. “Green, green… ah!” Triumph. “Here… this is the way green tastes.”
Hard, smooth, round. I sniffed it. An apple. I took a bite, savoring the burst of flavor. Not just any apple, a Granny Smith. It was crisp and tart.
“What did you say?”
“I said, ‘this is the way green tastes’.” She replied, puzzled.
“No, no. Before that… back there, at the rock.” I pointed.
“Oh. I said ‘everything is so green’.”
The breeze picked up again—full and fresh. I breathed deeply, and thought about leaves, grass, and apples. I imagined whole hillsides laden with their scents, sounds, textures, and tastes. “Yes, you’re right.”
Even though I couldn’t see it, I knew there was a smile on my cousin’s face.
“Everything is so very, very green.” I continued. “And it is beautiful.”
We sat in silence for a time, just enjoying green. “Do you know… you have green eyes.”
I smiled wide, for the first time in a long time. “Thank you.”