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Life Update! New(ish) job, fiction work in progress, and some random recommendations! 

A beautiful bouquet of red roses sits beside a book, pen, and coffee cup on a white surface.

So I've been trying to make my website more accessible, and I'm slowly adding image descriptions to the alt tags in all the images. But when I saw my last blog post was called “Six Things I Learned in 2021," I thought, “oh, maybe I should write a blog post.” 

I sort of disappeared last year because I was unemployed and depressed for the last half of it. Just when I learned to accept the fact that having a day job didn't make me any less of a writer, my contract at AT&T ended two years earlier than it was supposed to. I got through the rest of the year by freelancing and borrowing money from my parents or my boyfriend. 

But then! In December, I got seriously the best job I could ever even imagine. 

I've been a member of Unity North Atlanta Church since January 2013, and the Unity movement is something I'm deeply passionate about. I've volunteered at my church as a worship team/ensemble/choir singer, I edited an anthology of poems and short stories about Unity North by the congregation, I've performed in several plays, I've done some random things like helping out with painting the Holy Grounds Cafe, and most recently, I've been volunteering in the booth to run the cameras for the stream. So it's safe to say I'm on board with Unity.

So one day, I was on Indeed, browsing the digital content/copywriting jobs, and I saw that Unity World Headquarters up in Unity Village, Missouri is hiring a remote digital content writing specialist. I made a loud, excited sound and scared my cat, Julian. I ended up getting the job. I've been working for Unity World Headquarters for just over three months, and it is (no joke) hands down the best job I've ever had. I get to spend my days creating positive content including a piece about some amazing women writers in the Unity movement as well as the spiritual meaning of tattoos and helping to “transform the world, one heart at a time” (as we would say at Unity North). 

(Yes, I also think it's kind of hilarious that I just stumbled on this job on Indeed.)

Next week, I'm going up to Unity Village for the first time for some onsite training, which I'm excited about!

As far as the writing goes, it may seem like I haven't had any news since I published my three books of poems in March 2021. (And that's… well, true.) But that's not because I haven't been writing. I just haven't been publishing. 

I've been working on an adult contemporary novel about my disability, SCA (and really, just disability in general), for what seems like forever although I am actually almost done. (I have about 85k words--I think it will end up being 95k or 100k words, maybe less?). I am going to pursue the traditional publishing route for this (I'm not so great with indie author marketing--especially for a book that's general fiction as opposed to a fantasy or science fiction novel) so who knows how long it will take me to get it out there in the world, but eventually, it should be out there. And maybe I'll get back to my vampires after that? 

I am no longer doing the Find Creative Expression podcast (which is still available on Spotify, Apple, YouTube, and other podcasting platforms although the actual site is no more) but I do really miss talking about art I like so I'm going to close out with some recommendations for you!

Movie: This is old news at this point but if any of you have not seen Everything Everywhere All At Once, GO SEE IT. What are you waiting for?? It won seven Oscars (including three acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture. I'm not always a fan of movies that win a lot of Oscars, but this one definitely deserved all of those. It was just a heartwarming film.

Music: If you never heard Once Twice Melody by Beach House (which came out last year), WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? Okay, well, Beach House is not for everyone. So if you're not into super mellow melodic dream pop with a lot of organs, guitars, and layers of sound, here's a Spotify playlist I recently made that's completely upbeat. (On the other hand, if you want to hear me obsess about Beach House and describe them with the perfect made-up word--mellow + emotional=mellotional--check out this old classic.)

TV: Lately, I've really been enjoying Poker Face on Peacock. The premise is basically a woman who has a supernatural ability to always know when someone is lying, and throughout the show, she has to solve many murders. But it's a fun spin on the murder mystery, the acting is really good, and it's just a fun show. Check it out!

Other: Anyone who knows me knows I love Beauty and the Beast. So naturally, I was pretty excited to check out the 30th-anniversary special. The whole program was pretty cool, but this performance of “Evermore” by Josh Groban is amazing, y'all. (Ironically, it's the only song they did that wasn't in the original animated movie but in the 2017 live-action remake.) I legit gave him a standing ovation in my living room (again scaring Julian).

Seven Albums I Fell in Love With in 2012 (even though two of them are EPs) 

 Well, even though we’re almost 10 days into 2013, I felt the need to write about my seven favorite albums from 2012.

Muse – 2nd Law

Everyone knows that I love Muse so I expected to love this album. While it’s still not my favorite Muse album, I really appreciate the way they experimented with dubstep in a way that was not annoying. Also, there are a few stand-out tracks that will really knock you on your ass, like the single, “Madness.”

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

This folk duo consists of two Swedish sisters, Johanna and Klara Söderberg. With their amazing vocal melodies and complementing harmonies and absolutely beautifully constructed songs with powerful storytelling lyrics, this album will take you on a journey.

Beach House – Bloom

This album is amazing. Everything Beach House has ever done is amazing. I want to have Victoria LeGrand’s babies. (Let’s just forget about the fact that that is biologically impossible and I don’t even want babies.)

Moonlight Bride – Twin Lakes, Moonlight Bride – Dead Language


Technically, these are two EPs, but I like to listen to them back to back and think of them as one album. Really, I think of Dead Language as the sequel to Twin Lakes. Moonlight Bride is a Tennessee band that has seriously not gotten enough attention. These two EPs are filled with catchy songs like “Lemonade” that have some pretty solid hooks to heartbreaking songs like “Open Waters.” I can’t wait to hear what Moonlight Bride will do next.

Stars – The North

Here’s another band I love. I must admit, though, I was a little disappointed with 2010’s The Five Ghosts so when I heard this album, I immediately fell in love. “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” is probably my favorite song of the entire year. This album has all of the great songwriting that made me fall in love with Stars.

Grizzly Bear – Shields

This was another highly anticipated album for me that certainly did not disappoint. If you liked the complex, mellow Veckatimest, you will love this album. Tracks like “Sleeping Ute” and “Yet Again” stand out for me. This album has a very nostalgic quality that makes me think of classic rock bands from the 1970s.

Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon

This was a new band I discovered in 2012. On the surface, this is a really catchy pop rock album. But when you listen more closely, you’ll discover deep, meaningful lyrics that point to themes of spirituality, especially on tracks like “The World is Watching” and “Remember My Name.” But “Sleep Alone” is probably my second favorite song from 2012.

Music I fell in love with in 2010... 

Alright, I know everyone is all listed out by now with all of the "Best of 2010" lists floating around. Also, I thought about it, and for me it's really hard to "rank" music. How can I compare one album to a completely different album? It's like saying "Which is the better fruit? Bananas or oranges?" Neither one can objectively be "better" although we may each have different favorites. So I thought instead of doing a countdown, I would just tell you about some of the albums that I fell in love with this year.

Beach House - Teen Dream

Teen Dream on

Beach House's website
Beach House on myspace

Of course, I have to mention this album. How could I not? Especially after I saw them live twice this year. (Ironically, neither show was in Atlanta. The first one was in Asheville, NC in late April. I drove up there to see them when their Atlanta show was sold out. The second time I saw them was in Athens at the 40 Watt.)

The first time I listened to this album all the way through, it was like magic. I completely fell in love with Victoria Legrand and her captivating vocal melodies, especially paired with Alex Scally's guitar, which weaves together with the organ so beautifully. This album took me somewhere, every time.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

The Suburbs on Amazon

Arcade Fire's website

Arcade Fire on myspace

I've been a huge fan of Arcade Fire ever since Funeral came out in 2005. I was a little obsessed with Funeral and Neon Bible, actually. So I was really excited about their 2010 release. But when I listened to the first few times, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't what I expected it to be. It didn't make me feel the way that those first two albums did, especially Funeral with it's longing and joy and childhood nostalgia. 

And then one day, I just sat down and listened to the whole thing, and I had a moment. I got it. It captures that suburban-9-to-5-sitting-in-traffic-this-is-almost-like-being-in-jail-but-we-don't-notice-because-we're-too-busy-drinking-lattes-and-playing-on-our-iphones feeling extremely well. But it still slightly irritates me because Arcade Fire doesn't have to punch the clock or work 9 to 5 day jobs. They get to play music for a living. I'm sure at one point, they understood the frustration, living in the sprawl, feeling trapped, but I feel like this album is really coming from an outside perspective. I still have mixed feelings about it in that regard. Nonetheless, I've come to absolutely love the music. Especially this song, which I've definitely listened to non-stop, on repeat, for at least a day or two.

Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle

Penny Sparkle on Amazon

Blonde Redhead's website

Blonde Redhead on myspace

This is an album I haven't seen mentioned a lot on the various best of 2010 lists, and I really don't know why. This album is amazing! The airy vocals and dreamy guitars will send you into another world as well. They remind me of Slowdive meets the Cocteau Twins. If you like shoegaze or dreamy music, you should definitely check out this band. I am really hoping they make it to Atlanta sometime soon so that I can catch them live.

UNKLE - Where Did the Night Fall

Where Did the Night Fall on Amazon

UNKLE's website

UNKLE on myspace

This is another album I haven't seen mentioned much, which I also think is weird. I became completely obsessed with this album when I was in Mexico. I've been a fan of UNKLE for a while, but it was really listening to this album that made me pay attention. I especially love the tracks that UNKLE does with The Black Angels (there's one on this album and one on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack, which is actually a great soundtrack.)

Check it out!

Dark Dark Dark - Bright Bright Bright

Bright Bright Bright on Amazon

Dark Dark Dark's website

Dark Dark Dark on myspace

If you like Regina Spektor or My Brightest Diamond, you must listen to Dark Dark Dark.  This EP goes from eerie to nostalgic to passionate to elated to longing all within the span of six songs. After I saw the band live at The Five Spot in October, I was hooked. Their live show was amazing as well. They had an incredible presence. (And who doesn't love accordions?)

So there we have it. Five releases that I absolutely fell in love with in 2010.

Releases I'm excited to hear in 2011 so far? Well, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li, Devotchka, and Adele are all supposed to have albums coming out in 2011. I have a good feeling about this upcoming year. :-)

Podcast - Music sharing March 2010  

1. "Skyscrapers" - OK GO - from the album Of the Blue Colour Of the Sky

OK Go Website
Buy the Album on Amazon

2. "Pray for Rain" - Massive Attack - from the album Heligoland

Massive Attack website
Buy the album on Amazon

3. "Soldier of Love" - Sade - from the album Soldier of Love

Sade website
Buy the album on Amazon

4. "Young Guns" - Moonlight Bride - from the album Myths

Moonlight Bride website
Buy the album on iTunes

5. "Silver Soul" - Beach House - from the album Teen Dream

Beach House website
Buy the album on Amazon

6. "Lately" - The Helio Sequence - from the album Keep Your Eyes Ahead

Helio Sequence website
Buy the album on Amazon

7. "July Flame" - Laura Veirs - from the album July Flame

Laura Veirs website
Buy the album on Amazon

8. "Slow Down Town" - Headlights - from the album Wildlife

Headlights website
Buy the album on Amazon