December 19, 2012

Reinventing Work

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is that it's a perfect opportunity to reflect on your year and start thinking about improvements you can make for the next year, in all aspects of your life. Arguably, one of the most important things that we as a society can collectively improve on is our work ethic. In 1949, William Reilly wrote a book entitled How to Avoid Work, which discusses the long-debated issue of passion versus conventional, "safe" careers. I find it especially apt for the time of year, because it gives me a few things to think about as we move into a brand-new year, brimming with possibility and opportunity. Here are some gems from his book.
To my mind, the world would be a much pleasanter and more civilized place to live in, if everyone resolved to pursue whatever is closest to his heart’s desire. We would be more creative and our productivity would be vastly increased.
Altogether too much emphasis, I think, is being placed on what we ought to do, rather than what we want to do.
For you, life can be a succession of glorious adventures. Or it can be a monotonous bore.
Take your choice!
The following snippet is perhaps my favorite because it speaks to every single one of us. I can't begin to count the number of times I've used lack of time as an excuse not to do something. I think we can all benefit from learning a little about how to use our time!
The next time you feel that you ‘haven’t the time’ to do what you really want to do, it may be worthwhile for you to remember that you have as much time as anyone else — twenty-four hours a day. How you spend that twenty-four hours is really up to you.
(via Brain Pickings)

December 02, 2012


Even though it's December (hooray!), I still thought it would be fun to continue posting a few more of my poems from the November PAD challenge. This one is from Day 29.

White walls.
White lights.
Bleach. Disinfectant.
Linoleum floors
that squeal under wet shoes.
Machines hum
in hypnosis.
This ward is a jungle.
Bones wait, fluttering,
wings ready.
You are breathless.
You wrap your cold fingers
around her warm ones,
stare at charts and graphs
like you know what they mean.
Clock. Rain. Chair.

November 29, 2012

"Rinse and Repeat"

I toss a prickly weed across the grass.
Dirt sinks into my fingernails,
runs itself deep between skin and keratin.
I stack memories in the hole in the ground,
lather them into the postwar cavity.

You are easy to wash away.
I dig my fingers under another thorny vine,
pull apart its roots like strands of hair.
The sky grays over my head.

November 25, 2012

"In the Heart of Winter"

*taken down*

"How to Listen"

I really like posting these PAD poems. This one is from Day 17.

When I was in fifth grade,
my teacher taught us to listen.
We had to hush impossibly
while she played cassettes of Maya Angelou,
Bill Cosby, even Randy Travis.
She told us to pay attention to the way they sculpted language.
It made me cry every time.
We'd watch from our seats,
carefully waiting,
and when the words tumbled out
like butterflies bursting from their cocoons
we were quiet
and we listened,
silent but restless,
fluttering our wings.

November 24, 2012

The Power of Quiet

Those of you who know me well (or follow me on Twitter) know that I'm a proud introvert and, therefore, a big fan of Susan Cain, who's done probably more work than anyone else in championing the benefits of introversion. She gave a highly-celebrated TED Talk earlier this year, and her book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" (long title, I know!) has been buzzed about a lot.

The video above, which is an animation of Susan's RSA talk, is an absolute gem. (via Brain Pickings)

"The Truth About Love"

PAD Challenge Day 24.

What was it about her?
Why not the waitress at your favorite diner
or the girl you bumped into at the supermarket?
I learned early on that you crave the impossible,
but there you stood, eyes focused like a telescope,
when you turned and said to me,
She's the one.
How did you know?

Was it the way she smiled at you
on the street? Was it the way she laughed
till her eyes sparkled, like she'd never been allowed to laugh before?
Or maybe it was the way she grabbed you by the shoulders,
spun you around,
and said,
Look at me,
and for the first time, you didn't hesitate.

November 23, 2012


This poem is from today's PAD Challenge.

Did you think I could forget?
The way each word slipped out
like an unforgiving secret,
stealing a dirty glimpse of air
before dissolving into ash.
The way you spoke
made me think you were lost,
spitting up poetry from your frothing lips
as you stumbled
through each thick, slow day.

Time runs deep.
You wrap it around your cuts
like a bandaid,
a savior,
protecting yourself from the memory of
the night you called and begged Help me
and I didn't come.
I pretended I didn't know your name.
Should I have told the truth?

November 03, 2012

November PAD Challenge!

I am so excited to be participating in the November PAD (poem-a-day) challenge. We're on day 3 already and it has been so much fun! It's not too late to join in. For daily prompts and more poetic camaraderie, visit Poetic Asides.

October 26, 2012


The long summer quickly dissolved into temperatures that stung cheeks and seeped into floorboards, the wind ripping into town like a circus. Everyone knew it had been a strange year, with strange seasons.

On this particular morning, as it did every weekday, the faded school bus creaked its way along the road, sinking every now and then into potholes before lifting itself up and continuing on as if nothing had happened. You and I stood there, cracking leaves under our feet.

Behind foggy windows, small faces peered out at us, at the greenness that seemed to go on forever. It was like being lost in one giant party—meeting each trunk, saying hello, and forgetting about each other in an instant.

And so it unfolded in the frozenness of the morning, as we stood among the trees shedding their coats. We unzipped ours and pretended we were just another pair of them, human dendrites in a field of giants. As the groan of wheels and tired faces disappeared into exhaust, we sat in stiff leaves and lost ourselves in the bed of our fallen summer.

September 24, 2012

My birthday!

Today was my fifteenth birthday! I can scarcely believe it myself; the time has gone by so quickly. Reflecting on the last year of my life, I'm so proud of some of the things I've been able to accomplish and I can look back on being fourteen with a great deal of pleasure. I couldn't be more excited to jump into my fifteenth year of life.

July 16, 2012


Four hundred and fifty eight destinations cross
under glimmering neon signs
and the bass that thumps through your heart

Stumble in.
We'll welcome you
into our bubbly room of swaying walls
and sloppy smiles.

Look out the window.
The night closes in upon us,

July 08, 2012

June press roundup

I'm just catching up with blogging, so I thought I would share some of my interviews and "press clippings" (how fancy does that make me sound!) from the past month. 

For the Redmond centennial poetry project, mentioned here, one of our local newspapers (the Redmond Patch) did a feature story! You can check out the full interview (plus a cameo from yours truly) HERE!

The above image is a screenshot of an interview I did in preparation for the Digital Family Summit (see my recap of it here). You can read the full piece right HERE. And, as I mentioned in the last couple of lines...

yes, book #2 is being written as you read this. :) 

July 03, 2012

What have I been up to lately?

I realize I've been noticeably quiet for the past few months, and therefore it's necessary for me to check in on what I've been up to. I got involved in a project celebrating Redmond's centennial through poetry, and we worked on writing ekphrastic poetry through April and May. We had our final culminating event on June 9th at SoulFood Books in Redmond, which was a total blast!

after the event with Redmond poet laureate Rebecca Meredith

I re-started my Twitter page, which I abandoned back in 2009. I also wrapped up my freshman year of high school, and I'm happily enjoying my summer!

One of the first things I did to kick off my summer was catch up on sleep. Almost immediately afterwards, I started packing, and on Thursday we flew out to Philadelphia for Digital Family Summit. It was my first time in Philly, and I absolutely loved my time there! As I previously mentioned, I was a part of a three-person teen panel titled "Growing Up Digital" (the subject matter is pretty self-explanatory, I think!). Being a part of this panel and meeting such an incredible variety of people was such a treat!

View from our hotel room

Walking through downtown Philadelphia

Our wonderful panel!

The fabulous Stephanie Schwab (one of 3 hardworking organizers!)

The stage in the gorgeous Sheraton ballroom

June 25, 2012

Digital Family Summit!

I'm so excited to speak at the Digital Family Summit in Philadelphia this weekend! I will be part of a 3-person panel on Saturday, June 30 ("Growing Up Digital"). You can check out the full schedule at!

May 16, 2012

Collaboration 3

I love doing collaborative poems, and I especially loved doing this with the fabulous Holly of Eating a Tangerine. We wanted to do something less structured than poetry, but still with a flow to it -- something that maybe felt more like a train of thought. Here's our attempt. Enjoy!

May Day:
lights turned to heartbeats in the
night-wide ceiling...

inexplicable dead flower petals on the floor when I wake.


breath of a cold memory,
falling across my lips --
& outside, the world slips by:
broken photo frames, shattered laugh,


dead roses and facts, a childish
axe before I park my own

head in some liquid


the air is cold
but i do not
b r e a t h e

i blush daydrops into the windows
of cars as i pass by:
destruction part deux.


and all lean with lowered lids
our faces into
the sun


searching for something
else behind light
erasing shadows
from the corners of our eyes


late light running along behind the trees,
behind the train's windows.
"I've never ridden this train before dark before."
my fingertips here under your eyes are words. I promise.
(tastes something like soju,)
promise me you'll listen, tired as you are.


a story behind this madness.
leave the glitter behind and open the window,
the wind is a free child tangling our hair.


in the atlantic -- am I
swallowed by the sea
or wearing it?


the neon lights dance,
spreading into a wasteland of
gold and silver.


under a canopy of electric
lights and
skirts, reading and rereading,
for the memories my eyelids carry,
A Prayer In Time Of Trouble

April 14, 2012


Under the fading peach of the sky,
buildings glimmer
with ochre shadows:

the color of late-night visits to the diner
and sweet, sticky air.

City falling into delirious semi-sleep,
we collect fireflies in our hands
and feel the rustle of wings
against our fragile palms.

The lady in the striped apron
wipes down the counter,
mopping days of grime onto her towel.

Open your hands
and watch dancing lights
fade into fluorescence.

April 09, 2012

Just a thought

It's interesting to note how quickly the world moves. Before you can get settled into one thing, you've moved on to the next big craze, and companies crash and burn before you can say "MySpace." I started blogging in 2006, and for the next three or four years, blogs were the main way to get and share information. Now, though, the people I know who used to visit blogs often (including myself) have switched over to Facebook. Social networking is the way to go.

I think this says a lot about how temporary everything is. Every new product gets its 15 minutes of fame (or shame) before fading into the black hole of forgotten fads. Even the things that you think are popular, that you spend your money on, that you waste hours on...who's going to care five years down the road?

February 14, 2012

Published over at Hobble Creek Review!

Hello everyone! I just wrapped up my first semester of school here, so things have started to calm down for me. It was a wonderful treat to have an acceptance over at Hobble Creek Review (, where I have two poems published in their current issue (Issue 1, Vol. 6)! Click on over to read them, and let me know what you think!

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

January 01, 2012


tiptoe forward,
reaching through the dark --

we light up the sky
but we can't see ahead.

I hope the new year surprises you in all sorts of wonderful ways. Happy New Year!