23 January 2014

I've moved!

Hey there!

If you're reading this, it means I have an update for you.

Due to some BIZARRE technical problems (I've still not figured out what happened) I've had to move my blog from Blogger over to Wordpress.

You can still find me at www.milesfromordinary.com or follow along on Bloglovin'.

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Project 365: Week 3

This little dog really is a girls best friend.
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I always feel a bit prickly when someone compliments me on my appearance. Twice I had someone mention to me that the self portraits I have been taking for this project have been "beautiful". I just don't see it and am not sure I ever will. 
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Still plugging away at drawing.
And for a dog who hates having her photograph taken, I am amazed at how many times she ends up photobombing a shot.
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There has be a lot of writing going on lately.  There have even been nights I've woken up from a dream and grabbed my phone to make notes. It's an odd feeling, having all the words trapped inside me again. But a good one knowing I'm able to get them out and give them a bit of life. 
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One of my favorite drawings from my sketchbook. 
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This is where the magic happens.
Writing. Reading. Photo editing. Breaking my blog.
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My daily wears. 
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22 January 2014

Read: Riveted & Hollow City

Riveted by Meljean Brooks
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam.

This is the third book in the Iron Seas series by Melijean Brooks. Iron Duke, the first book in the series I love. The second book, Heart of Steel wasn't too bad. But this one was a bit of a struggle. I've made a rule that I can't give up on a book until I've read at least 150 pages. If I didn't have that rule, I'm not sure I would have made it through this one. It took that long for things to get even remotely interesting.

Annika and David were both likable characters and was nice to see a male lead character show some insecurities for once. The plot was good. Lots of twists and turns although towards the end I found myself thinking, "Of course that just happened."

 Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.

I refuse to say I was disappointed in this book.

But it wasn't what I expected.

It took a LONG time to get into the story because the first half is essentially just a group of kids running away from the bad guys. The second half of the book is more running away from bad things but with some resolution.

I think had I read the first book again before picking up the second, I would have enjoyed it a bit more. It is still well worth the read though. Just read the first book first otherwise there are way to many holes that might leave you wishing you'd never started read it.
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20 January 2014

Music Monday: Willie Watson

I have a soft spot for traditional Americana music especially when it comes from Willie Watson.

Keep It Clean

The Hills of Mexico

We're All In This Together

19 January 2014

Sunday Confessions

School Daze // There are no two ways around it. I HATE the class I am taking this semester. Basically the next 6 weeks of my life will be me working 40 hours at my job (which somedays I also hate), come home and do 2-3 hours of school work for a class which is covering the same stuff I do EVERY DAY AT WORK. So basically, I get NO time off from the job. No bueno.

Snow Flakes // I'm a bit obsessed with them really. The real ones. Not the ones you see adorning Christmas decor. This weekend I grabbed my camera and went hunting for some to photograph. They are elusive little buggers, but once you find one, nothing really compares to how amazing they really are.

Flaked 2.0

Book Intelligence // Do ya'll ever start a book but can't bring yourself to finish it because you aren't sure you are intelligent enough to read it? This is my world right now as I try and finish reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. To say I'm just not "getting it" would be a total understatement.

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16 January 2014

Project 365: Week 2

I am rolling right along with my 365 project. Focusing on the simplicity of photography and everyday life, even if neither are all that "exciting" in the traditional sense of the word.

I always thinks self portraits are a bit "weird" in that I'm not entirely sure they are the most accurate photographs of ourselves. We pick the ones we like best. If you've so inclined you can fix your flaws in photograph, adjust the lighting so "it's just right". I feel like at times they are the representation of what we hope we look like instead of what we do look like. 
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There are days that call for a bottle of really good wine. This was one of those days. 
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I adore this hair clip as a decorative piece rather than actually wearing it in my hair. 
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I'm trying to look beyond the flaws of things. Trying to find the beauty in the simplicity of everyday.
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A very tiny sampling of my ever expanding "to read" pile. It really has gotten out of control but don't anticipate reducing it any time soon. 
12/365 2014.01.12

I bought these signs while on vacation in NYC last month. I absolutely love them. I just need to find a home for them in the house. 
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Someday I'll pick up my mandolin and play it again, I just know it!
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15 January 2014

Happy Sweet Sixteen!

Yes. I am a pet owner who celebrates their pets birthdays.

Today, is Sadie's sixteenth birthday!

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After my uncle passed, I always felt like I was the one saving her when it was decided I would "adopt" her. No one, including the vet gave her much time---6 months to a year, maybe. That was 7.5 years ago.

She is the sweetest, most loving dog I've ever met. She's enthusiastically greeted me at the door each time I've come home from work, snuggles in bed with me when I've been sick and doesn't think twice about giving you her opinion when she doesn't feel like she is getting enough attention.

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13 January 2014

Music Monday: Larkin Poe

I feel like this may be a repeat, but I've been revisiting my Larkin Poe cds quite a bit lately and constantly hitting repeat when Word From the Wise comes up.

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12 January 2014

Sunday Confessions

Bangs // Deciding whether or not to cut your own bangs can be a risky decision. It's either going to turn out fantastically or you will be experiment on new ways to pin them back until they grow out again. Depending on my anger/frustration level at the time I decide to take a hack at my own hair, I've experienced both. But the one constant that happens regardless of whether or not the bangs "look good" is that I inevitably end up looking younger than I really am. "Why would that be a problem?" you may be asking. Well, I'm in my mid-ish thirties, not my early/mid twenties like everyone already thinks I am so looking younger is not really a priority for me right now.

Girls Night // Last night a couple of friends and I headed out to one of my favorite restaurants followed by what is quickly becoming a favorite local brewery for some good food, good drinks but great company. I need to start making an effort to have more of these. It is so easy to play hermit, especially when it is grey and gloomy and cold and wet all the time. Getting out and spending time with my friends definitely helps to alleviate some of that. Plus, we always have fun and provide entertainment for those who are lucky enough to be graced with our presence.

Stuart Smalley // I've been having a lot of Stuart Smalley moments lately. Reminding myself that yes I am good enough, smart enough and gosh darnit people like me. Even when sometimes it feels like I'm throwing punches under water, barely keeping my head above water.
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10 January 2014

365 Project: Week 1

I'm a day late and dollar short with my 365 project update.

I am happy to say that I've been having a great time with the project. I know it's only been a week, but that familiar feeling of diggin' what I am doing is coming back. Hopefully that'll last throughout the year.

Here is a recap of the first week of 2014 in pictures!

I bought this little sign when I was in New York last month. It's a great little reminder that no matter what is going on in your life, everything will be o.k. 
1/365 01.01.2014

I plan on doing one self portrait a week (a built-in 52 weeks project) this year. 
2/365 01.02.2014

A blank page. Always an intimidating thing.
3/365 01.03.2013

This little pup is turing 16 next week. That is 112 years old in dog years.
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One of my favorite corners in the house.
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Thanks to the Polar Vortex we had earlier this week, I spent a lazy day in bed reading, writing and crocheting.
6/365 01.06.2014

I bought this figure when I was in the Dominican Republic last March. She is one of my favorite souvenirs. 
7/365 01.07.2014
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08 January 2014

Read: Greywalker & Island of Lost Girls

As I do every year, I have set a little "reading goal" for myself. Normally, I really try to challenge myself and set the bar pretty high. But this year, I'm following the trend of what I've actually accomplished the last couple of years and have set my goal at 40 books for the year. I figure with school, work, my photography (which has all of a sudden become really interesting to people), there just aren't enough hours in the day to try and do more. Forty books seems like a good round number.

Onto the first reads of 2014!

Greywalker by Kat Richardson
When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.

I really don't know how I feel about this book. I really wanted to like it, but in all honesty it made my head hurt.

The concept of the story was really interesting, but the execution was a bit, shall we say, disjointed and confusing. It felt like there were chunks of time missing from the story which made it hard to follow. And when Harper, the heroine of our story would move between the "real world" and the "grey" it was a bit difficult to figure out just what was going on.

While there are other books in this series, I don't know that I'll continue on with the life of Harper Blaine, which is really hard for me to admit. Normally once I start a series I like to finish it, but this one just seems a little too far outside of my interest to stick with it.

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the troubling truth about another missing child: her best friend, Lizzy, who vanished years before.

Island of Lost Girls was a fast moving mystery focused around Rhonda. The story alternates between the present (when Rhonda sees a little girl being kidnapped by an adult-sized white rabbit) and the past (the summer her best friend Lizzy stops talking). There were a number of twist and turns in the plot that kept me saying "I'll just read one more chapter and then I'll go to bed" as the two stories intertwined. Parts of the book were a bit predictable which was frustrating, but it was still a fantastic read.

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Thanks for reading!

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