the book heart: no. 4 (young adult fiction)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013




So this is not so much a post about a specific book, but a tribute to the young adult books that live in my heart. Sometimes people scoff a little bit when I tell them I read young adult fiction. But I do. And some of it is among my favorite fiction around. 

Maybe it's because I actually am closer in age to the characters in these books. Maybe it's because I've been lucky enough to discover some authors who use language in such beautiful ways (Kristin Cashore, hello.) Or because some of these books helped me through high school and then through college. (I am having my very own Jessica Darling post-college aimless panic attack.) Or because they make me laugh and cry without pretension. Or because they're riveting and exciting and have characters that are deep and real. 

I suspect I will be reading this genre long into adulthood, and I will be happier for it. It's true, there's a lot of bad young adult fiction. But also, there is a lot of bad fiction in general. Just like everything, there are a few diamonds hidden in there. These are some of mine. 

What's your favorite young adult book?

(The book heart is a place books go when they move you. It’s a place for you to keep all of those books, all of those plots and stories and all of those little moments. This is a series chronicling the books that have become a part of me. I hope you'll enjoy, and that maybe these books can become a part of you as well.) 

a montana weekend & thoughts on adventure photography

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I just got back from a weekend spent (mostly) in a car, driving to Montana, for AJ's wedding. It was a quick trip spent with a few of my closest friends. A little blur. But a lot of laughter. A lot more on AJ's wedding later, that is a whole blog post in it's own, especially since I did the photographs. 



Some thoughts on photographing while on a trip: (Or photographing at all, for that matter.)

I've spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of photographing while you're on an adventure. Because, on one hand, you will be documenting the adventure. But on the other, you might be missing out on some moments because you're too busy trying to stand a camera on a random pole in a field. I've set the scale and written my lists and looked inside my head and heart. And for me, it is worth it to photograph these moments.

I sometimes worry people might get annoyed that I spend more time behind the camera (or behind the phone, in this case) but I am glad to have collected these moments. And yeah, it may be a little bit of a process getting four people in a one hand-held selfie. But I'm really glad to have these pictures because honestly, there are very few pictures with all of us in them. There are many images from this tiny three day span, there are a million more moments that were left unphotographed. And I cherish those just as well. 

europe in photographs: pt. iv

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paris, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

Lisbon, Portugal

new home

Wednesday, September 18, 2013



I'm terribly sorry things have been so quiet around here. My life, since getting back from Europe, has been crazy. Which is mostly to do with the fact that Steele and I have been still living out of a suitcase. Finding a home proved more difficult than we anticipated. Our plan changed a few times and the story is a bit wearing and silly, so I'll spare it. 

The above images are a few peeks from our new apartment. I am so grateful to have this place to call my own. (Well, mine and Steeles :) Though we were lucky enough to have friends to stay with while we looked, I could never shake the feeling that we were essentially homeless. Having a home, having a space that's my own, is something that's really important to me, and something I'll never take for granted. 

Our apartment is a one-bedroom apartment in the NE quadrant of Portland. We've never lived on the east side and are looking forward to exploring and finding our own places and personal landmarks. One of the worst things about feeling "homeless" was that I felt like a visitor in my own city, like I didn't belong. There was nothing to ground me. 

For now things are still in boxes, the floor needs to be mopped, that dratted cable cord is just running through the living room. But I am so happy to be here. 

europe in photographs: pt. iii

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kings Lynn, United Kingdom

Marseille, France

Calais, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

Genova, Italy

Marseille, France




the book heart: no. 3 (the infinite tides)

Saturday, September 7, 2013



Okay—I’ll be honest here. I bought The Infinite Tides (by Christian Kiefer) because I liked the title. Also, it’s about an astronaut.

But it truly was my favorite kind of book—the kind that is not necessarily plot driven, but character driven. Not to say that it’s boring, far from it. There’s enough backstory and beautiful imagery and wonderfully real secondary characters to keep you interested.

I had a tip-off from the author himself that this book is filled with circles. (He emailed me after reading my first book heart post, in which his name is mentioned, craziness?) But even without his tip-off, it’s true. Circles are there in the winding streets of suburbia, the blue-green sphere of the earth, the movement of moths and birds and humans, and the ever-present arc Keith Corcoran is making above the earth as he relives his moment in space again and again.

Keith Corcoran is a guy weighted by gravity. And grief. And is paralyzed by his inaction.


Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

I read so much while we were in Europe and since we've been back, hardly at all. I really want to make it part of my routine though. Please please let me know if you guys have suggestions for books! I'd love some new blood.

(The book heart is a place books go when they move you. It’s a place for you to keep all of those books, all of those plots and stories and all of those little moments. This is a series chronicling the books that have become a part of me. I hope you'll enjoy, and that maybe these books can become a part of you as well.) 


europe in photographs: pt. ii

Friday, September 6, 2013

It should be noted that these images are not going to be in chronological order. They are together because, somehow, for some reason, they belong together.

So without further ado, I bring you, part two. (Ignore that rhyme. :)

Dover, United Kingdom

Genova, Italy

Genova, Italy
Lyon, France


Genova, Italy

Lyon, France

Genova, Italy



europe in photographs: pt. i

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I have to say, I'm quite glad I decided to shoot film. Though it's taken me a little longer to post these than it might have, the sensation of getting to see all of these images appear, in a packet of prints, and again on the computer screen, has been a joy. Like peeling off paper to find a little gem. It is crazy how film transports you back through time. I really do think the amount of time that passes between making the photograph and seeing it does something wonderful to the memories. They feel more pure that first time I see the image... a feeling I'm sure will disappear as these images become things looked at again and again throughout the years. But still, something worth noting. 

The images below are just a sampling. There will be many more parts to come. I will refrain from writing a giant story about each image, and instead let you just experience a few moments from our trip. 

Chicago, USA

Kings Lynn, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

Paris, France

Paris, France

Dover, United Kingdom

Dover, United Kingdom


summer adventure no. 3: film

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I wanted to take another adventure, swimming, or hiking, or something. But instead I have for you 30 seconds of aimless wandering around this city that I am homeless in. Homeless in the least menacing way of the word--that is, I have a roof over my head, just not a home. Steele and I have been house hunting for about three weeks now with increasingly bad luck.

It's a strange thing. Portland has in the past felt so mine. Like it was completely my city, my place to inhabit. But not having a home really throws that feeling. I end up wandering around, no place to really go, sort of feeling like an imposter in my own city. It is wearing, to be honest, and a lot of August has been spent overwhelmed and sad.

But there have been good things too. I have gotten to reconnect with all of my people here: Julia, Ali, Molly, Ruby, Nick. And my brother visited on his way up to school, and it's pretty hard to be depressed around Brandon because he says ridiculous things like, "I love a good female vocalist. Just a girl and her piano."

So I made this tiny video even though it is disjointed and short. These Summer adventure films make me really happy and I think I will continue them into fall. Fall adventures, and Winter adventures, and Spring adventures! That is just a tentative commitment to myself.


_____

 if you missed the other installments, here's summer adventure no. 1 & summer adventure no. 2