The Latest — Aug. 28

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Life & Lifestyle

This summer, as they all seem to, came and went in the blink of an eye. Since it was my first away from home and what was my routine comings and goings in California, I made sure to keep it as full as possible by planning trips and hosting visitors.

A packed calendar made this season fly right by (how have I already lived here for three months?!), though I did experience a little lull at the end of July and beginning of August. I happily found some repose in that quiet time, jumping into reading, writing, and a bit of art.

Here’s some insight into what I’ve been up to during this little summer interlude:

Reading

I can’t not start these posts without bringing you up to speed with the reading I’ve done. I think it holds me accountable, ensuring that I sneak some words in no matter what the medium might be.

If you happen to be an early follower, then you might be familiar with the quick post I wrote up waaaay back in the beginning of A Thousand Candid Words. It’s a list of recommended reads, and it also dives a little deeper into my relationship with books growing up. Through the years, that relationship has only deepened. And I hope with these little updates I can help strengthen that relationship for others as well!

In my last “Latest” post (read here), I touched on the fact that I had just started the book Ghosted by Rosie Walsh but wasn’t too sure of what I thought of it yet. I have since finished it and, if we’re being honest, didn’t love it. I liked it enough to get through it and continue reading, and was curious about how it was going to end. After all was said and done, I felt like it was a bit drawn-out for what was at the core of the story. There was one big twist that even caught me off-guard, however, so for that reason alone I’d say it could be worth it for others!

I also started and finished Will You Won’t You Want Me by Nora Zelevansky, and though it had no real life message for me to to take away and carry along, I ate it up. Quickly, too. It was incredibly well-written and didn’t try to be anything other than what it was — the perfect guilty-pleasure read. I kept it close by as I spent cool mornings on my balcony, sizzling days by the pool, and quiet moments right before bed. I had no trouble picking it up instead of reaching for the TV remote, and that is as good a sign as any that I genuinely enjoyed reading the book! Highly recommend.

Since finishing these two, I’ve started All We Ever Wanted by Something Borrowed‘s author Emily Giffin. It was a recent gift from a friend who likely saw the word “Nashville” in the summary and promptly sent it my way. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far I can tell it’s going to be a juicy read (sensing a theme with my summer reads?).

Watching

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Done and done. I know I’m not the only one with a general distaste for Netflix originals, yet this one was seriously refreshing. This is one of those rare rom-com-style films that made me feel all the feels. The story is about as heartwarming (and sometimes heart-wrenching) as they come. And the actors clearly have chemistry, something I didn’t feel with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (another Netflix original that I was excited about, but that unfortunately let me down). To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will definitely be watched another time (or 100 times) before summer is over — and then will continue to be on the roster well into fall.

Also, I’ve been a sucker for Making It with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. It’s like the DIY crafting version of Top Chef. It’s charming, funny, and the contestants are very likable. It also takes some sudden turns by touching on somewhat heavier topics, too (concerning LGBTQ and POC). Prepare to shed a tear as competitors are eliminated each week.

Writing

About a week ago, I reconnected with a college friend via FaceTime who was hoping to gain some insight into the world of copywriting and how she could effectively begin the job application process, her ultimate goal being to dive completely into writing (aka get a 9-to-5 in content, while also writing fiction on the side). That conversation re-sparked my own passion for writing fiction on the side, so I’ve focused more on that since we chatted. It has been so refreshing. I truly have never felt creative drive like this before.

It’s writing that is purely the result of thinking . . . of anything, really — like a conversation, an experience, some type of situation — and imagining how it might play out. It’s so exciting to write again like that, but it’s also extremely personal. I might not ever show anyone what I’ve written. Or it might be the catalyst of something great. We will just have to wait and see where this journey leads!

Quick Hits

This pause in the craziness of summer came to an end when one of my dearest friends got married (MARRIED!!!!) to the love of her life in Northern California. I hopped on a late flight out of Nashville and landed in San Francisco, where a friend picked me up and we made the 2.5 hour drive to the small-yet-character-rich town of Calistoga in wine country. It was one of the most beautiful evenings I’ve had in a while. And though it wasn’t home, it was great to be back in California for a bit. Here are some pics:

The very next weekend, my dad flew in for a few nights. I hadn’t seen him since he dropped me off at the airport back in May, so it was some much-needed father-daughter time we were able to spend together. We drank ourselves silly on Broadway on Saturday night after eating too much BBQ, followed by two more mellow days and evenings (very necessary).

On the Calendar

Closing out the summer is a visit by two friends from San Diego the first weekend of August, then an extra-extra-long weekend spent at home for a friend’s wedding! As much as I love it here, I’ve been missing the comforts of Southern California (including but not limited to my pup Pearl, having both my parents in one place, more temperate weather, the Pacific, California burritos, my besties, and my parent’s couch). It will be so nice to have a little bit of SD out here for a few days in the form of my gal pals, then be able to spend five long days in SD itself.

M

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