Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Monday, December 24, 2012

This is me at 8 months. I've come a long way from tearing books off shelves, and reading in my birthday suit---okay, maybe not.
 
My mother would line my crib with these cardboard picture books that would fold up like an accordion. She would buy them for a quarter at the thrift store, and I would coo over the images of the sneaky mouse hiding in the boot, in the roll of toilet paper, or behind a stack of blocks. "Where is mouse?" she would say. I couldn't speak yet, but perhaps I was already imagining the trials and tribulations of that mischievous, little creature with beady eyes and mohawked fur. Or maybe I was mouse; uncouth in getting caught.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Good Men Project

I've been following these guys for a couple of years now and the uplifting articles they write about men being upstanding, honorable men. I am happy to share today that they have picked up one of my personal essays:

http://goodmenproject.com/families/i-write-for-the-man-who-cant/

Monday, December 10, 2012

for my eyes only.

At the beginning of winter, around the time people start thinking about the colder season coming and the indoor hobbies they'll be taking up, someone started a converstaion with me about keeping a journal. They expressed to me how they were often discouraged by the subject matter or voice in which they wrote, and how they felt as if they didn't have much to say. Or if it so happened that they were to leave behind their journals, to be read one day by others, they were worried that no one would find them interesting.

"Have you ever gone back and read something you've written, and been tempted to change it?" They asked me.

My response was: "I've ripped out pages, but I've never actually altered my words or thoughts in any way. I'm recording my personal history, and just because I change or grow as a person, doesn't mean my earlier thinking was wrong; it's just the way I saw the world at that time. I like to see my progression. I still go back to my older journals every now and then and borrow ideas. I take good notes."

"Well, then how do I journal better?"

look into my eyes, tell me what you see
This question stumped me for a minute, because I never really thought much about how to craft a journal entry before. I'd always seen it as an informal, free-flowing exercise for the mind. A scared place where I could dump out my ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and not be judged. It wasn't supposed to require drafting, or even a heavy focus on grammar. It was for my eyes only, and an outlet for me to express my true-self. I'd been doing it regularly since I was twelve.

So, to consider that others may eventually read my journals and be uninterested by them, felt strange, because I was never attempting to write for an audience in the first place. This sounded downright invasive, or voyeuristic, and I didn't want to have to consider this hypothetical situation of protecting my secrets from future public analysis.

The only advice I could give this person, was to think about journaling as if you were writing a letter to yourself twenty years from now. What would you want to remember? What details of the day stood out most to you? How did an event or an experience make you feel? How did it change you? What new knowledge did you gain? Is there something specific you're trying to work through? What does it mean to you to love life? Why another person would want to read my deepest, darkest ponderings, could only be to get to the root of my psychology. And frankly, god help them if that's what they want to read into or remember me by.

But I know I have come across a few epistolary collections over the years, and have flipped through the pages of Anais Nin's diaries, wishing I was as eloquent in my solitude. Recently too, I have found that I am not keeping up with the daily accounts like I used to, since I have discovered how much more rewarding it feels to put everything into the construction of fiction. I started another novel last month and get anxious as my days wind down, just so I can back to the latest scene I've been working on.

I guess if people had a choice between understanding me through my journals or through the writing that is meant to be out there, I would like to think they would learn more through the latter. One's capability and intellect, of course is derived from the flawed version first and foremost, but don't we all want to be remembered for the best representation we can put out there into the world? I know I do. And why do we applaud those who tell-all, when all it does is lessen or weaken the imagination?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Right before Thanksgiving I took a nice, nine-hour trip to the emergency room, after having prolonged going to the hospital over the weekend, and losing many hours of sleep in the process. However, by Monday morning I knew I hadn’t any choice but to go.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced an E.R. on a day close to a holiday, but I can say from experience that it is a mad house. The elderly with no next of kin, are dumped on the drop-off curb alone by inconvenienced neighbors; young men, beaten and banged up, argue with their parole officers over who is to blame for getting dragged out in the middle of the night; and then there are the real emergencies like heart attacks and gunshot wounds. It’s depressing to say the least, and you can understand my reasoning for not jumping up to check myself in.  
My problem was only slightly severe compared to the man in the next room, who seemed to have the understaffed orderlies running around like chickens with their heads cut off. He was from the Congo, understood minimal English, and he needed a blood transfusion quickly despite the road block of him having AIDs. I could hear the RNs on the phone all day, trying to get translators to come in and explain to the man the procedures they needed to perform. Of course everyone was on vacation already, and no one could be bothered for an immigrant.
I could hear his breathing machine and heart rate beeping like sonar through the thin, sheet rock wall between us, and in the longer stretches of silence I held my breath, hoping it wasn’t his last. I felt bad asking for anything that took away from the attention of his care. My white blood cell count was unusually high, due to a sharp stabbing pain in my lower abdomen, and I was being sent from one radiology room to the next with little to no explanation.
And in the midst of all this, all I wanted to do is get back home and work on a deadline. I was in the process of applying for a writing fellowship, and the due date was sneaking up on me. My health was just being a nuisance.
At one point I even said to the doctor, “I don’t want any pain killers in my system, because later I need to write with a clear head.” While I’m there writhing in discomfort on the examination table.
Of course she gave me a look, like I was the crazy one. But the message was passed from one shift change to the next: No drugs for the girl in RM 101. Just figure out what is wrong, and get her the hell out of here.
By the third attendant change, I had two (dare I say this? hunky) medical students giving me an ultrasound, and one of them started up conversation as the other rolled the instrument covered in jelly across my belly. I tried not to wince too much.

“So, I hear you write.”

I nod. “I’m in grad school.”

“What do you write?”

“I’m studying fiction, but I write other things too. Poetry. Essays—Ow, ow, ow!”

“That hurt?” The one with the machine asks me.

I fight back the tears.

“What do you suppose that is?” He asks his partner.

His partner shrugs, and they continue.

“Have you published anything?”

“Some, but I’m hoping to get a book out there soon.”

“Have you thought about self-publishing? I had this friend—”

I wanted to tell him I didn’t give a damn about what his friend has done, but I bit my tongue.

Instead I played the political angle: “I like the rejection.”

“Really?” He seemed a tad confused.

“In fact, I thrive on it. It’s just part of getting good.”

“Looks like a gall stone, but I could be wrong,” says the guy with the screen.

“We’ll write you a prescription for the pain, until it passes,” says Mr. Chatty. Then, “Good luck,” when he turns to leave.
 
Needless to say, I left the script and my Johnny behind on the gurney, as I made my way out of that terrible, sterile place. What a waste of time I thought, as I stopped by the Walgreen’s near my house for a higher dose of ibuprofen.
I made the deadline in the end, post mark and all, but what really surprised me was how comical the whole experience was. Not because I was subjected to the poking and prodding of undertrained personnel, but because there always seems to be someone who “has a friend” who’s self-published.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a place for self-starters in publishing, and that it’s an amazing day and age we live in where this is now an option in the industry. However, why I would never take this route is as personal for me, as the subject matter I choose to write about.

But the main reasons, which I would like to share here, are these:

1)      I like Rejection: I believe in it. It exists for me with the same weight as acceptance. Just like we shouldn’t give all the kids on a team trophies for participating in sports, a hierarchy built on success is completely necessary in the development of character. Hard work and skill (not just talent), should be recognized. There is a ladder to climb for a purpose. How far we choose to push ourselves is a statement of how driven we are. I want to feel like I’ve worked toward something real with a level of self-worth involved. And just because someone says, “You’re great, but I want to help you become better,” that isn’t the end all, be all—it’s another part of the whole big-picture experience of being the best artist and person one can be.

2)      If it’s that easy, I don’t want to: Is it really true that people want what they can’t have? Do we ever truly outgrow our self-serving tendencies? I kind of look at self-publishing the same way: as the easy way out. To me, it’s like saying, “If no one wants to represent me, then I’m going to put myself out there on my own, regardless of what others think of my work.” That’s all well and dandy, but those who opt to take this avenue, sometimes forget what this decision entails, which is largely a whole lotta self-representation. Because without a agent or publishing house backing you and providing you with professional marketing and publicity, the ball is in your hands, and getting your name out there rests almost entirely on your shoulders. Don’t forget it takes time to create anything worthwhile. Now double that time or triple that time, because that is how much more time you will be spending running the business of “You”. Not to say self-promotion isn't important, but I would rather spend 90 percent of my time honing my craft, than worrying about if my writing is going to sell.

3)      Let me tell you how good I am: Society doesn’t take well to braggers. It puts people off and leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Running your own business is about telling people how they should choose you over the other competition. On the other side of the coin, if you were to become represented by a publisher, their advertising and brand would be telling the public on your behalf how great you are.

Personally, I am a consumer who doesn’t want to be sold on anything. I don’t care if they are a big business or small, don’t tell me what I need. I’d rather stumble upon new interests on my own accord. For me it’s usually the book I pick up off a shelf of a used book store, it’s a suggestion from a friend, or it’s borrowing from the library after reading over the “staff picks”. I typically avoid reviews from critics. I don’t want to be told what’s “hot” or “trending”. My taste is subjective, everyone’s is. So, when you think about how you want to be “packaged” keep this in mind.

Like I said, how I approach the writing process is individual to who I am and my voice as a writer. I don’t believe there is a right way or wrong way to the acts of crafting or expressing, but in a world filled with so many options, choosing the best one suited for you, is possibly one of the most important pieces in representing your art to others.

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


"So we beat on, boats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past."
-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
 

 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Some ghosts have a lot to say about real things:


 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I’m thankful for my health, and for how far modern medicine has come to help some of my loved ones this year. For my safety and the safety of others, in this ever-changing world. For being able to keep my head above water, when there are those who are facing tougher times. For the beauty all around us; the kind that makes us stop and look and know the feeling of bliss. For the reminders that tell us we aren’t alone in this life. The laughter around the corner. The joy yet to come. How this day smells different than the day before, and how tomorrow I will be looking for another—scent, taste, sound, and sight—to appreciate. That there exist these things called mountains and trees, rivers and oceans—that I know different names to call them, and that there are words I still have time to learn. I’m thankful for my last year of my twenties; how far I have come, and how much more confidence I have gained, as I embrace womanhood. I’m thankful to know love and to be loved. The gift of life, and having been born out of the purest kind of love. I’m thankful for loss, because it has strengthened me, and because it has shown me to never take anyone or anything for granted. For my friends, new and old. I’m thankful for the simpliest of things, like: Willie Nelson’s music and the crescent moon. How the salt water tastes different here, and how bare feet sink into cold sand. The sound the shutter makes in a camera, and how light moves in mysterious ways. For coffee-talk and philosophy-talk. For things that are green, like me. For my belief in God. For my belief in Man. I’m thankful for my hopes and my dreams. I’m thankful for having something to say, but I’m also thankful for the moments when I don’t; when I can just listen. I’m thankful that I don’t have all the answers—that I’m curious enough to go looking—that I’m not afraid if I never find them. Happy enough to keep sharing. I’m thankful for “what is”. I’m thankful of the possibility of something more.

Bottom line: I want to be thankful, always.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Absurdity

It was one of those nights, living in the heat of the the moment, a mixed pinata of emotions ready to burst out of me---swinging, swinging, swinging with the pendulum of time. I had accomplished a goal--a big one--but I was both elated and sad, as I stared out the steamy car windows and took long drags from my cigarette. I could already see this city behind me in the rearview, I was blue thinking about when the day will soon come.
Art by Teun Hocks
"It's like jazz," you say. "Always chasing 'it' with your own interpretations." It made a lot sense why I still didn't feel fulfilled, even after coming so far.
 
There is something rather absurd about art, and I guess life too. It's hard to imagine that no matter what you accomplish, we will all eventually meet the same fate and there is the possibility that there is "nothing" at the other end.
 
Are we rushing to get it all in? Or are we rushing towards a larger emptiness?
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Man Vs. Nature

 
If you check out Thesaurus.com and look up the related adjectives to the word POWER, you will find that the first word listed is the word MALE.  But if anything can bring a man to his mercy, it is the omnipotent forces of nature.
 
"It's a blustery day today,"  as Winnie the Pooh would say. Just yesterday, I was admiring the brilliance of autumn dangling from the trees like a million bright burning paper lanterns, and piled up in yards in small hills the colors of cumin and paprika. Now the trees are naked, wild sticks against a pale sky. My street looks as though a parades been through, with leaves whirling around the pavement like marooned confetti. We are waiting for the storm to come. Our lives are put on delay, as we can't predict the outcome or fall out of what is to shortly arrive.
 
My lights flicker as I write this, my house is shaking, and as the sun sets I know I will soon be turning on the kerosene lamps. All this technology in our hands, will become obsolete. We will resort to an earlier way of living, prehistoric and inconvenient for most. Fortunately, as writers, all we need is a pen and some paper, and a little light for our eyes. Better than a Slinky, this will keep us occupied for hours.
 
What this storm also puts into perspective, is the welfare of our fellow countrymen and women. In most cases, there are others who have it worse than we do, and as we are scrabbling with our own self-interests-- water, batteries, food, etc--- lets keep in our thoughts and prayers that we are all susceptible as this hour. Whether you believe in God or you don't, there is something out there, just outside our windows and bigger than ourselves.
 
And one last, quick thought on our political state before I shut the laptop down for the night (I know we are all sick up to our eyeballs with the campaigns), but as Clinton put it so well in a interview he did with Fox News (2006), the president in office will always be at the mercy of natural disasters. He must prove his strength for his country, but the true test is his ability to show humility and compassion in times like these. This is a well-timed test, I'm certain.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Time Trap

As Vonnegut would say, “I’ve been trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”

I always start a fresh year thinking I have all the time in the world to accomplish the things I set out to do. By spring, I’m impatient as hell and stir-crazy because my initial undertakings are not lining up the way I hoped. And as summer presents to me brighter days, this is when I retreat inward, trying to wrangle into submission my doubts or insecurities, and just get on with it (whatever that ‘IT’ may be).
Then when the New England fall begins to show signs of drying out from the sweat of summer heat, I find that I’m at the most insularly, I become a ghost among my friends, and my biggest aggravation comes out of not having enough time or brain power to keep going at the pace I have been.
Winter is time to wrap up, and start looking toward the New Year. Halloween is right around the corner, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. These months are usually a smudge on the calendar of lights, decorations, and family gatherings. The holidays give us many excuses to celebrate what we have already done the better part of the year, pat each other on the backs and put our feet up until we must get back to it (whatever that ‘IT’ may be).

What this year has shown me is that it is time to restart my clock now, rather than wait until January 1st when everyone else does.  I’m not thinking about this in terms of being ahead, but what I am aiming for is giving myself enough time to find a long-term balance and rhythm, so that I’m not going out of my mind questioning “WHY?!” from the stress of self-imposed ambitions.
It’s time to start a new book. It is time to put into action all the things I have learned up until this point, because I love doing it; not because someone is telling me I have to. It is time to graduate to a new level. It is time for a new direction. And it is time begin again.

Monday, October 8, 2012

es·tu·ar·y/ˈesCHo͞oˌerē/

Noun:
The tidal mouth of a river, where the tide meets the stream

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The ultimate form of expression is bringing to the table topics that only one or a select few have the guts or wherewithal to voice aloud or speak their minds openly, despite what others may think. Or there may be others who share similar beliefs, but because such thoughts are deemed taboo in their society, there needs to be the unconventional one who isn't able to accept the way things are, who then steps out from the quiet crowd and voices their opinion. The precursor to revolutions and transcendance, sometimes even higher consciousness.

Two newish songs on the map, dealing with the deep subject matter of individuality and thinking for one's self:


 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An excerpt, as of late:


by Nathan Oliviera
"Painting puts many things in perspective for [him] and when it comes to producing, he believes the senses and mind are best evoked under complete solitary freedom. All the stimuli he absorbs over the course of a couple hours or even the extent of years, is bottled up like a kid catching fireflies; only to later tear off their wings and spread their luminescent pigments, with the trembling tips of his fingers. It sounds barbarous, but that is just what it is when he unleashes the incubus within; the white hot noise that pulls at his most-prized organs or lacerates him into a disciplinary focus. "


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

 

"We live in the mind, in ideas, in fragments.

We no longer drink in the wild outer music of the streets--

we remember only."

- Henry Miller

Monday, July 30, 2012

a pilgrim & progress.

I don't have television. I was raised without it and turned out fairly okay, without really missing what I was never accustomed to in the first place—but that's aside from my thought process tonight. At work, a sports bar and tavern with large, flatscreen TVs illuminating every corner of square footage with its quick, schizophrenic imaging flashing constantly in the background and foreground, I sometimes catch myself absorbed in the evening news. Usually when this happens, I have to pull myself away for fear of the doldrums which I know will ensue, if I think too much about what I'm being told is happening in the world, and what is actually happening in the world. For me, its important to make this distinction, so I don't get too caught up in the propaganda the media likes to spin, to sway public thought and opinion.
 
But then again, ever so often, there is that one story that makes you stop what you are doing, in my case sanitizing dirty glassware, and listen to what is unfolding for somebody, somewhere else. This was the story of Gray's General Store in Adamsville village, Rhode Island. Open for 224 years and owned by the same family for over seven generations, the store permanently shut its doors this past Sunday. Not only was this a heartbreaking report to hear, what further burdened me was that the reason for the store's closure, was due to a big-box superstore coming into the neighborhood and taking away their long-standing business. Gray's just couldn't compete with the lower-priced, China-made products of Bigger, Better, Plus and being no longer financially sustainable, hung their CLOSED (for good) sign in their windows. Hearing this, I teared up.
 
Maybe I am being overly-sentimental, but I'm not ready to "progress" in this way. I will stick my heels in (and barefoot at that, so I can still feel the soil) and not budge. I will give up the technologies and the conveniences if I have to, to support certain ideologies that shouldn't be replaced or forced out. There isn't anything more refreshing these days, then when someone tells me that they haven't subscribed to the bandwagon that so many others are so happy to jump on. Like yesterday, I met this guy (pictured left), from Juno, Alaska who was on a road trip down to a little town outside of Birmingham, Alabama, to work on a sustainable farm. Not only did this lift my heart a little, but the fact that he called me from a payphone (yes, they still exist) after I had offered him a place to shower and refresh before he got back on the road, made me happy to know that there are still people out there who don't support the monopolies and corporate enterprises, who are surviving quite well while the rest are jockeying to get ahead, or like me, just trying to keep up. It may be the old, simpler way of doing things, but simplicity and community may be the points we've all been missing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lowell.

I've spent a lot of time in mill towns. My grandfather was a foreman for Bethlehem Steel Co. by day and jazz musician by night, and my mother and her siblings were raised among the neighborhoods and alleyways, just steps from smoke stacks and the pits, in brick row homes built by Germanic and Dutch immigrants. When I was 10 we moved to the suburbs just outside Pittsburgh, another city with the stigma of being a "dirty steel town with polluted rivers." Which couldn't have been further from the truth, since by the 90's the mills in both Eastern and Western Pennsylvania had been shut down for well over a decade, and had really been making efforts to clean up their acts by promoting their ball fields, parks, museums, festivals, and restaurants. By the time I left in 1999, Pittsburgh was seeing the beginnings of a revival and "blue-collar", "white-collar" it didn't matter anymore, it was a place to take pride in.

When I was first introduced to Lowell, Massachusetts about five years ago, it instantly reminded me of where I had grown up, only a few years behind. I was given the warnings initially: "Don't be walking around those neighborhoods, it's not safe" was the common attitude of Southern NH residents, or anyone from Boston Proper. However, like all cities that are diverse--ethnically and culturally--and have a long-standing history for employing immigrant laborers; there is the funk and the bright side. But in my opinion, these are the things that really give character to a setting.
Lowell has been changing too, in a similar way to other "forgotten" industrial hubs. Every time I turn on the local radio station, I hear another ad for Lowell Festival This, Lowell Festival That; their minor league baseball team, The Spinners; or their luxury lofts that have become most-appealing to artists and musicians alike, trying to escape high Boston rents. Not to mention, this is the birthplace of Jack Kerouac, and Edgar Allen Poe and NY Times journalist, Jimmy Breslin are said to have spent quite some time working around here. Then of course there's Mickey Ward, whose rise from the streets to the ring has gained public notoriety since the film, The Fighter. It's definitely the kind of stomping ground, where you don't have to go far to find inspiration. It is usually sitting in a doorway, on a bench, or waiting for the bus. Just make sure you smile when you pass by though, because you won't meet people as authentically honest, as the people who have been living in Lowell and remember it from the days "Before".
 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

putting it out into the world.

photo : national geographic
The Kink's, "Summertime" just came on and it is an eery arrangement for the mood I'm in. This latest tragedy in Colorado, puts a multitude of things in perspective for me. I am both saddened and disgusted for and by my fellow mankind (and womankind). It seems as if not enough months or years can pass before we are witnessing another horrific event. There is no time to heal--to let victims and their families move on--when another reminder presents itself, admonishing us that perhaps we have become too trusting, too angry, too inhumane. I too question the capabilities of others, not necessarily how great they can become or how much they can achieve, but what will that trigger point be where they'll snap--unleashing all the pain and turmoil they have been keeping inside, all at the mercy of the innocent; the unsuspecting. What makes a person go this far? How do we live among others without always being suspicious? The pedophiles, the murderers, the thieves-- they don't go away. They will always exist, and if its not a blatant act of brutality, it is methodical, provoked, secretly executed; never seeing the light of justice.
I do not have children, (honestly the thought of it scares the hell out of me), but I give so much credit to those who have decided to. I watch my friends and old acquaintances (in this Facebook-age), hold their babies so close, with so much joy in their being, so much hope in giving their kids good, safe upbringings. I alone, have to watch my steps and actions every day, whether it is just stepping off the curb and walking across the street, or interacting with a complete stranger. These are the days we live in. We take chances often, consciously and unconsciously. We probably have more faith than we should. Being white, American-born, English-speaking, I am very much aware of the "bubble" in which I'm part of. I also have first-hand experience with violence--thankful each day to have survived--more than just survived, flourished-- turning my life into something worth fighting for; that I would never take for granted or throw away on poor decision-making or judgments.
There is the school of thought that the lessons are everywhere; in everything we do and experience. There is also the belief that everything is random, uncontrollable, a constant flip of a coin or roll of the dice, where all we can do is pray for that thing we call "luck". No matter what one chooses to believe, we need to remember that we are in this together; no matter of race, our creed, our religion. What we decide to put out into the world--our energy, our offspring, our teachings--it affects us all.

Jean-Luc "GOD" on Criticism.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ego and Id.

A friend of mine who is a chef, likes to joke with me from time-to-time about my
writing pursuits,

"Cookbook, Sarah. Have you written that cookbook yet?"

I've worked around restaurants for almost 15 years, I enjoy dabbling in the culinary arts, and have a deep appreciation for those who do it better and for a living. Life without my taste buds would be quite bland; for it is a basic need to eat, but it is a pleasure to enjoy food.

What makes me hesitant however, to translate my passion for the edible to the page, is my ego. When writing loses its magic, its allure, its power for me, will be when it becomes so much about "me" and "my interests" that my focus shifts. The written word has always been an essential part of my life, not unlike the vittles of nutrition, but where is the line between quality work in the craft and subject matter? When does one overtake the other and become too much about the Ego or Id? Too much about you and less about the art? Or is there no division at all, since the art can't exist without the mind from which it came.

Ironically, I am introducing this topic on a blog, which is just another forum for self-glorifying subject matter. But more so, Freud was actually dying from cancer of the "oral cavity", when his daughter gave her blessing to administer the morphine that finally ended his life.

C'est la vie!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In a pinch.

Usually, I curse having to carry my cell phone on my person night and day, because then its harder to make up excuses for not answering. Sometimes I "forget" this pocket device at home, particularly when I get into one of those moods where being disconnected is a good thing for all around...

However, today was one different kind of day, because I was actually thankful for having my mobile. I'd been walking around Portland, snapping photos and working on some sentences, but this city can sometimes be a busted box of cartoons with an adrenaline drip, and it is as easy to get sidetracked with the side shows, as it is with the wrought iron fences, white-washed trimmed houses, and the quaint boutiques. So, as I was distracted people watching, getting a coffee, and perusing used bookstores, the battery for my camera drained. I was bummed, because a friend had joined  up with me to meander with their camera too, and here I was with a disabled shutter, stuttering about the "should haves" and "could haves"-- I was a 30 min walk from home, and it looked like it was going to rain. In attempt to capture the last of the "golden hour," I pulled out my trusty phone and prayed for a little mercy from the photography gods.

I've learned my lesson about not leaving home without a pen/pencil, now I may have to resort to technological measures...