Favorite 6

Reign.

I’ve been watching Reign since it first came out on iTunes. Then, I suppose they weren’t sure how the show would be received, and I was able to buy the first season for $9.99 (before it premiered). I had high hopes for the show, and waited eagerly for its premiere. I was still in Hawaii, and Mom and I would talk about the recent developments during our weekend talks.

It seemed like the hiatus between seasons 1 and 2 lasted for a year, but happily Reign returned on October 2, and I have been happily awaiting each new episode (what torture it is to watch a show in real time!). I love the drama, the clothes, the jewelry, the history (and the liberties taken with it)…

I will always be a sucker for rich historical fictions, it seems.

Favorite 5

I don’t know that I’m ever going to know how to put this into words… But here goes.

On the first Sunday in October, I went out for drinks and girl talk with a friend from Grad School. I pulled out my phone to read something that she’d just posted on Facebook, and the first post at the top of my feed when the app opened was a post from the Brother-in-Charge of Little Portion. A place that I’ve been going to on and off my whole life. A place that I love. A place that is a home away from home. A place that still feels like my anchor and my lighthouse, even though I don’t go often anymore. A place that the Order has decided to sell.

I am shocked, saddened, angry, empty… I really don’t know how to feel. It all feels vaguely reminiscent of when a newspaper announced that Southampton was being closed. I can’t imagine living in a world where Little Portion, my favorite place forever, no longer exists.

Favorites 4

My favorite for this week is Papermate’s Inkjoy pens. The first time I used them, I thought they were delightfully strange. The body of the pen is triangular, and the pens are just the right combination of inky and smooth, with a good sized line. I love using these pens, especially when I’m doodling.

I tend not to use these pens when I’m writing, but when I do, I remember how great these pens truly are.

A picture of the pens, and also a picture of a doodle I did with some lyrics from Audrey Assad’s song “Even the Winter.”

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Favorites 3

My Favorite for this week is Teavana! In the past, the closest Teavana to me was in a mall that’s about a thirty minute drive from my house, which made it kind of difficult for me to enjoy my tea habit. In the last week, a Teavana has opened up in the mall 5 minutes from me! I am so excited!!!

I like straight teas, not sweet teas or fruity teas (they make me a bit queasy–probably from the medicating the symptoms without knowing the cause days) and though Teavana doesn’t have too many non-fruity varieties, the pure teas that they have are a great quality and rarely do they disappoint. The best part about loose leaf brewing is that many teas are good for several brews, actually coming into their full flavor on the second or third brew. My favorite tea in the whole world is a good jasmine tea. Teavana has a couple of beautiful jasmine teas. The smell of a good jasmine tea is intoxicating, and drinking it is divine. I also love a good, strong green tea that tastes like dirt/grass :)

In Hawaii, once we moved into the yurts, I used to walk home at night and there was mock orange and some wild jasmine near our yurts, and by the time I got from the fence to my bed, I’d feel drunk, and I’d get into bed with my head swimming. Jasmine is truly the best scent ever.

Enjoy a good cup of tea today! I’ve already had five.

Favorites

Monday came and went, and I completely forgot that it was Monday! So, it’s Wednesday, and here’s my Monday post…

This past Thursday, I was blessed to be able to attend one of Audrey Assad’s Death, Be Not Proud concerts, with Bellarive opening. I had front row seats in Molloy’s Madison Theater, which was very nice! The concert was a bit too loud and much too bright for the headache I was rocking (it was on its second or third day), but it was such a wonderful gift and exactly the sort of thing I’ve been needing lately.

The DBNP Tour is a farewell tour of sorts for Audrey Assad, as she’s moving her career in a different direction, under the new name, LEVV. I am incredibly excited for the next chapter of her career, but I’m sad that the first of her worship concerts I attended was on her farewell tour.

If you’re interested in listening to some incredible, high quality worship music, definitely check out Audrey Assad’s Fortunate Fall (a full length record), Death, Be Not Proud EP, and her O Happy Fault EP. Her first two albums, The House You’re Building, and Heart, are great Christian pop albums. Lyrically and musically, Assad fills a hunger that I’ve not had filled by other Christian artists.

Also amazing, and a new favorite is Bellarive! I was able to meet them and have them sign one of their albums after the concert. I was so impressed and so moved by their set that I purchased both of their records after the show. I am so hoping that I will be able to see Bellarive again, and soon.

A Roundup of Favorite Things

I’ve decided that on Mondays, I’m going to post one of my favorite things here. It may be writing related (and probably will be, because I have an office supply addiction), it may be a quote from a book that I’m reading and love, it may be a book that I inhaled and want to share an opinion on, or it may be something entirely random.

Because this will be a new feature, I’m going to start off with several favorite things.

The Seven Year Pen.
I bought my first two Seven Year Pens at the Strand in New York City–my best guess is that I bought them in 2012, and used them in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. By the time I left for Hawai’i, I’d purchased a third, and I have 5 of them now. I used two of them in grad school (about 10 years of ink–I finished the second pens’ initial ink cartridge while in Hawai’i), and loved them (I have since refilled them both and keep a supply of replacement ink cartridges on hand). Basically, if you’re a writer, these won’t last for seven years, but even if you have to replace the ink cartridges, which cost about $2 each, twice a year, it’s still much more environmentally friendly than endless disposable pens. And it feels very writerly to have a refillable pen. Also, these pens are adorable! But if one happens to get lost, you won’t want to cry for a year, because they’re very affordable (as long as you don’t lose them too often).

These Anglican Prayer Beads I made (small plug, but I truly adore these and will be sad when they find a home)
I love labyrinths and spirals, so when I was able to buy a bunch of spiral beads and labyrinth medals, I knew that I’d be making quite a few prayer beads with these elements. I made 5 sets of spiral and labyrinth prayer beads with mixed finish beads (gold, bronze, silver–you can see them here) that I absolutely loved, and one day I was looking through the beads at Michaels and found a card of the same beads, except they were all silver. I decided to make a set with the all silver beads, and I fully expected them to be kind of boring, but I found that they might be my favorite set of prayer beads currently in the shop. They have a serenity that the other sets don’t have because they are monochromatic.

Diamond Candles.
I have six of their candles. I first found out about them when I was in graduate school, and I’m still buying them because I love them so much! We burn candles in our house almost every day, but the smoke from traditional candles sometimes bothers me, so I went looking for non-toxic and environmentally friendly candles. I stumbled upon Diamond Candles and bought one thinking that it would be a terrible candle–because why else have the gimmick of the ring inside?–and was delighted to have been proven wrong! My favorite scent is Enchanted Forest, and my most recent purchase is Black Raspberry Vanilla, which makes me hungry!

Celestial Love by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Especially this section:

“There need no vows to bind
Whom not each other seek but find.
They give and take no pledge or oath,
Nature is the bond of both.”

All of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (and also the movie, which I’ve seen many times), which I’ve already talked about, but just know that it is still one of my favorite things.

If I Stay and Where She Went, by Gayle Forman, because they made me cry and I still think often of them, even though it’s been about a month since I finished them.

Recent Things

When I was taking a workshop in Novel during my MFA, my professor said that I use the word “thing” too frequently. It wasn’t just the word ‘thing’, it was ‘anything’, ‘everything’, ‘something’…

I say thing instead of shit and I call everything shit.

Anyway, in the last few months, I have launched an Etsy shop, had my room flood, had to throw out more than half of my belongings and furniture, dealt with unexplained and worsening symptoms, written a few memoir sections, and written my first fiction chapter in almost a year. It’s been quite busy!

I have really poured myself into my Etsy shop, and it has been a wonderfully creative time. I am so proud of the products I am offering for sale, and I can’t tell you, after this past year, how wonderful the opportunity of creating and of being creative without pressure has been. This is an opportunity that I have cherished and am cherishing. It makes me feel like I am still a person who has something to contribute to the world, and it allows me to feel productive during the many days when I am simply too sick to write.

Making prayer beads is something that I have done for myself (and sometimes as gifts) for about five years now. I am perpetually marveling at how no experience is ever wasted; a sentiment we heard frequently in the anti-thing class. It’s true. I hope that you will check out my shop, and follow it on social media. I hope that you will share it with your friends. I hope that it will be a blessing to you. I hope that one day soon, my writing will be, too.

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