Emerald street literary festival

Oh so where do I start? It was an unexpected but very welcome text from a friend with an invitation to go to a literary festival. I had no plans. I like books. It’s fun to spend time with friends. However, it ended up being way more than that; it was inspiring.

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A day out in my Neighbourhood: Barnes, London

One thing I really love about London is there is history everywhere you look and pockets of almost-hidden things to do. For the Scot’s birthday, we discovered some history in our neighbourhood and went back to one of my favourite places in the city to get a little fresh air and some peace.

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London at night

An anniversary and an accidental photo

It’s been seven years this month since I moved to London from my little (cheap) studio apartment in Pittsburgh.  It’s an anniversary that is getting scarily close to double digits. I found a photo I took on Waterloo bridge, about a year after I moved, and I feel a very strange sensation.

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Pennsyvania Winter

Snow, barns and two continents

I was sitting in the back of my parents car on my way home from college for some holiday or another. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and have seen more fields and farmhouses in all kinds of weather than I could count. One of the more memorable times involved watching grey-green clouds slowly swirl and rotate in the sky above my school bus, listening to the roar of thunder and the bus’ engine speeding up to get out of the storm. For some reason on that day, the scene outside the window struck me as particularly beautiful. It struck me as a moment worth digging my camera out of the bottom of my backpack filled with mostly unopened chemistry text books.  It struck me as a scene worth, nearly 10 years later, to still have on my hard drive. Maybe at the time, it was all the changes going on; the moving away, my utter disinterest in what I thought for years I wanted to study that prompted me to capture a moment. Maybe I sensed this scene is very different to where I would end up. Maybe it was just the aesthetic factors: the brilliant white snow, the red barn glowing in the pastel winter light or an accidental yet pleasing composition.

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5 elements of the best travel writing

You may have gathered, I read a lot. I read rather widely, but one of my favourite topics is travel. As I’m on my own writing journey, I thought about what elements take centre stage in the best travel writing. What makes the best writing different from the just sort of interesting writing? What makes a story one that I can’t put down and then, when I have to, I rave about it? What should I aspire to?

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