thoughts

SOME THOUGHTS…

Hello, my dear readers!

It is so good to be back into the normal operations of this blog! As I said on last week’s Friday post, today we’re going to be diving into my heart rather than poetry or writing. While that is the focus of this blog, I do like to give you guys some insight into what I’m thinking every now and then.

Here are five random things on my mind right now, courtesy of my brain. I hope you enjoy, and that you share your own thoughts with me in return! ❤

IMG_8311.jpeg
Mountaintop model, hmm? Yeah, probably not! (Mauna Loa, Hawaii // July 2019)

1. “ROUND AND ROUND” BY GEOWULF IS STUCK IN MY HEAD

I have been listening to this song by Australian dream pop group Geowulf for the past few weeks now. It’s pretty introspective, and it’s got a good beat. But we writers tend to gravitate toward the words we see and hear, and that’s what makes Geowulf’s song stand out so much in my head. With lines like “I’ve been running, running from myself” Geowulf asks its audience to contemplate what we’re running from.

Check out the song.


2. KINDNESS IS NOT GIVEN BY ALL

A few days ago I ran into someone whom I hadn’t seen in years. This person had once been a good friend of mine, but we eventually grew apart after an unfortunate confrontation. Just for fun, I decided to drop by my old school, where I happened to see her. I exclaimed her name, genuinely excited to see her, but she realized it was me, said a curt hello, and kept walking.

My heart hurt after this rudeness. Yes, we hadn’t left on the best terms, but her blatant disgust with me hasn’t dimmed in the past few years, which is ridiculous. To think that we’d once been good friends, had parted due to a civil confrontation, and moved on with our lives… And yet she was still acting as if we were seventeen.

The thing is that people are not always going to like us. There are jealousies, mistakes, and petty feuds. It’s how friends become enemies, and allies divide into factions. Though I was upset at first with the rudeness, I considered a few things and realized I’d rather share kindness and receive rudeness than share rudeness and receive kindness.

Hopefully one day I will see her again, and she will be more receptive towards me. Time will tell, especially when one lives in a small town.


3. MY BEST FRIEND AND I WILL BE REUNITED IN ONE WEEK!

Though you will be able to read into my summer updates post on Friday, I do want to say that I’m about to head back to school in California for my final semester of college. While I am not excited for classes, I’m definitely pumped at the thought that my best friend, Miss Givenchy, and I will be back at it again in one short week. 🙂

We’ve been separated for four months, and though it doesn’t feel like it has been that long, it is about time to be reunited once more!


4. PRAYING FOR PEOPLE IS PRETTY COOL

All right. Some of you are going to read this and cringe, but I’ve got to be honest with you guys. As a Christian I’m pretty vocal about my faith, and it’s gotten me through so many things. So I’m going to be as honest on this blog as I would be in real life.

This past summer my church started a program that’s pretty cool, and I think it’s something you guys should do in your own lives. The “Who’s Your One?” initiative is a chance for you to pray for one person in particular for an amount of time you choose. It’s pretty simple: Pick someone who needs some prayer, and spend a few minutes out of your day in thought for him or her.

Some of you are irreligious, but I’m telling you: Praying for somebody else is amazing. It’s not about you; it’s about the person you’re praying for, and to put positive energy out there is exactly what this world needs right now! 🙂


5. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO CORRECT THEM

A few days ago I was flying my airplane. I had to take park it in a very tight spot, and I was alone in pushing it back. Now Cessna 172s are not super easy to navigate (on the ground at least), and I’m a sponge when it comes to strength. So there I was, a noodle of a girl trying every maneuver possible to move this airplane off the taxiway, when I heard a pop! and my heart about burst and popped too.

I looked down and saw I’d broken a piece off the horizontal stabilizer in my attempt to move the airplane. Somehow, despite not having the strength to move my plane, I’d had the strength to break a piece off it.

Not my smartest move, not by a mile.

After finding a mechanic and reporting my error, I took a deep breath and thought to myself: Okay. You found the man responsible for repairs. You’ve offered to pay for it. You’ve done the paperwork. You’ve beat yourself up a bit, and there’s nothing more to do.

Sometimes our mistakes are big ones. Sometimes our mistakes are small ones, though they can feel much bigger in the moment. Whatever it is, we must remember our response to our human error is just as important as what we’ve done. Nobody’s perfect, and everybody should know that by now. 🙂

And guess what? We learn from our mistakes in the process.

DSC_0870
Why not post a random picture like this? (Somewhere in Chile // November 2017)

YOUR THOUGHTS!

Now it’s your turn. What are some things that have been on your mind lately? If you don’t want to share in the comments below, I challenge you to find a piece of paper and jot down five things that you can’t stop thinking about. 🙂

Thank you guys for being part of this blog. It means the world to me! I know I say that all the time, but it’s true.

Until next time,

-K. ❤

cropped-image-1.jpg

 

Advertisements
thoughts

5 SUMMER OBJECTIVES

Hello, my beautiful and wonderful readers!

You guys are constantly inspiring me in so many ways. I love reading your posts and comments, as you are part of a community that challenges my writing and storytelling in amazing ways. Thank you for taking a chance and reading these posts!

Now that I am back home in my emerald nook of Tennessee, I’d like to share some objectives with you that will pertain to my summer. While I have a few ideas jotted down, I’d ask you guys to consider thinking of your own objectives. With summer approaching, a new season is upon us. Before we know it, fall will roll around, and then winter. (The opposite is true for you guys on the opposing hemisphere, and whether that is a good thing or not is for you to decide.) However, what I’m trying to say is: It’s time to make some goals, and stick to them.

So, without further ado, here are some of my missions for Summer 2019.

IMG_6813.jpeg
Is it Bigfoot? Is it Katie? Who really knows? (Random Utah mesa // April 2019)

1. WRITE AT LEAST THREE NOVELS

If you were with me last summer, you may remember that I challenged myself to write five books within the span of four months. Somehow I completed this task through a strict daily quota system that put my brain and wrists to the test. I promise I do not write this with the intention of bragging; we all have different paces that work for us. I did this challenge because I knew college was coming, and I cannot write (or write well) when I am at school. Since writing is my passion, I knew I had to expel as much creative energy as I could in a short amount of time, and it worked.

This summer I am going to tone it down a little bit. Five books in four months is a cool personal goal, but I understand that the quality of those books may not be the best, as each completion was a race to finish. Therefore, I’d like to slow down a little bit this summer, and focus on certain stories I want to tell.

  • Church Boy is a (somewhat religious) romance novel that will be out by June 1. I am currently writing this novel, but it won’t take me too long to finish. I am super excited to see your reactions, as this book will be a return to my roots.
  • Book that matters: While I am not sure what this book will be yet, I write one book a year that I keep to myself. These books are my best ones, and I am afraid to share them with the world, as I truly want to send these to literary agents and get ’em published. (I should make a blog post on this soon.)
  • Maybe one more romance: Romance books are the easiest for me to write. On good days I can crank out over three thousand words, as I know exactly how to tie things together between my lead characters. Therefore, when I’m under a time crunch, romance books are the perfect way to expel my creative energy and have some fun in the meantime.

2. COMPLETE MY INSTRUMENT RATING (flying stuff hehe)

I’d be remiss not to mention my other love. Now that I’ve completed my private pilot rating, I’m onto the next step: My instrument rating. This will take a few months, and I should be done by the time summer is over (although I don’t want to speak too soon, as I am the queen of terrible weather). We’ll see how it goes, but I’m aiming to fly as much as I can in order to build hours and gain more flight time.


3. PERSONAL GOALS

Well, I don’t want to get too explicit when it comes to my personal goals, but I have a few things I want to work on this summer. Miss Givenchy, you may or may not remember what I am talking about, but I’ll be a little cryptic on this one for now.

  • A certain August date
  • Readjust to Tennessee life
  • Branch out more
IMG_6823.jpeg
We’re back at that random Utah mesa, but this time in color (April 2019)

4. LESS TIME ON PHONE

While I was at college I spent way too much time on my phone. Instead of picking up a book or writing, I was on my phone, consuming pointless information that does my brain no good. Though I’m getting better at restricting my phone usage, there is definitely still an addiction that cannot be good for my body. Therefore, I’m going to limit my time on the phone. This will not affect my blogging capabilities, as this blog means the world to me, and I enjoy reading your posts so much. ❤


5. MORE WATER

Here is another important goal for my summer. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I love Diet Coke, but I drink way too much of it. Though I am drinking more water in the present, I want to consume even more. As a twenty-one-year-old, I still battle acne, and when I drink more water, my skin is not as prone to annoying pimples and whiteheads. (I cannot believe I am admitting to this on my blog right now haha). But it rings true: More water, healthier skin! Healthier everything, really.


YEAH!

What are your summer goals? Your goals for this approaching season in general? Though some of you are not big into strict guidelines, I do think jotting down a few things would help you approach your life in a different way. These things don’t have to be super life changing (but they can be!). These goals just need to help you become who you want to be. 🙂

Therefore, I’m super excited to hear your updates, and to update you on my life too. We have so many things to look forward to, even when we think we don’t. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox for now.

Until next time,

-K.

IMG_6812.jpeg
I did not ask to be this cool. Wow, I am such a weirdo. However, a certain thanks is in order to my photographer and sweet poppa Lawrence, who traveled with me two thousand miles to ensure I’d make it home alive. Next blog post will be on my favorite stops on our journey from California to Tennessee! 
updates

CHAU, JUNIOR YEAR!

Hello, my dear readers!

As this post goes live, I’m traveling the American West on my way back home for the summer. It’s going to be a five-day journey, and a lot of miles are going to be put on my poor car, but I’m sure I am having fun.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a college student, and I have just finished my junior year. While this school year was great in certain ways (I became a pilot), it was also pretty tough in others. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top takeaways from this year and do a little reflecting!

DSC_0121
When you realize school is finally done (Malibu, CA // April 2019)

1. I WENT TO SCHOOL TO STUDY CREATIVE WRITING, AND I’M LEAVING TO BE A PILOT.

While I will one day offer my thoughts on creative writing courses, I am going to stay mum for now in favor of a diplomatic approach. However, I will say that I decided to attend my university for its creative writing program, because I thought it would be a great way to hone my craft.

Needless to say, I had a revelation last fall, and I decided to drop my major to a minor, graduate a semester early (so this December 2019), and get home as soon as possible in order to become a real pilot (a pilot who gets paid hehe).

This year has only reassured my decision. While I enjoy certain aspects of college, I don’t enjoy the fact that I have to take classes that relate nothing to my major or minor. Since all I want to do is fly now, it is hard going to class sometimes and trying to show a lackadaisical interest in Philip Roth or Tobias Wolff (no disrespect, they’re good writers).

Flying is expensive, and I appreciate the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue this career. However, if I could go back in time, I would have decided to pursue an aviation degree instead of following a whimsical dream like becoming a published writer that I can achieve just as easily in Tennessee. (More on this to come, I promise. I just want to make sure I’m graduated before I give my full opinions.)


2. HUMANS ARE WILD.

This year has been tough on the relationship side of things. Some friendships have soured, and other friendships have grown. In the toughest moments, you really discover who has your back, and those who don’t. However, I think this all relates to the amazing biodiversity of humanity, so to speak. We are all so different, and our personalities and ethics are exposed in what we do and how we do it.

But just imagine if everything went right according to plan, or people did exactly what we wanted them to do. Sometimes the hardest things happen so that we can see the truth, and it’s true that the truth can hurt us. But eventually our skin thickens and our hearts figure out what they really want, and that’s a pretty spectacular feeling, to look back and realize you are stronger because of the damage you’ve survived.

IMG_3961.jpeg
A trip to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 2019)

3. SET YOUR GOALS, AND STICK TO THEM.

While I tend to think my generation is comprised of a bunch of lazy, privileged kids (I hope no one considers me like this), there are certain individuals who really inspire me with their tenacity and drive to get things done. These people should inspire us all to set goals and stick to them, so that we can accomplish great things. We shouldn’t strive to be average; we should do everything to the best of our ability, and feast in the positive results from our hard work.

For my writers out there, this can be harder said (or written) than done. We grow sluggish when it comes to our writing, because there are a million other things we could do. Really? This is an excuse I’ve used a hundred times, and it’s a terrible one. Therefore, we’ve got to inspire each other to keep up. Some people should consider finding an accountability partner, someone who will make sure you’re doing what you should be doing. Some people do this when it comes to their faith, but I think some of you guys may benefit if someone else monitors how much you’re writing so that you’re really diving into your craft. (If you’d like me to help, I’m more than glad!)

IMG_6307.jpeg
One goal from my year was seeing John & Martha King, two of aviation’s heroes at the Women in Aviation Conference 2019 (Long Beach, CA // March 2019)

4. DON’T LET OTHERS TEAR YOU DOWN.

There is no doubt that people will disappoint you, but you can’t let them tear you down. You deserve 100% to be heard, respected, and valued for your opinions and beliefs. I’m sure some of you who are reading this are struggling with the inability to use your voice, and this breaks my heart.

In the past few years I’ve had to speak up and stand up for myself in some tough moments. One time was against a terrifically rude American woman in an Argentine airport who slandered my friends for their political beliefs (honestly this would make a great blog post). I’m sure you all have countless experiences like this, and the truth is that we all want to say what we want to say, but sometimes we can’t bear what others have to say.

Therefore, I urge you to be yourself. Don’t tear others down, and don’t let others tear you down. People will come for you, especially if they see you as a threat, but you must be willing to respect others, while respecting yourself at the same time. Though I have always been someone who hates conflict, I do believe in my heart that we must be humble but strong.

And in all you do, be yourself.

IMG_6260.png
Toro y Moi, a music superstar

5. GOODBYES ARE PRETTY AWFUL.

IMG_6547.jpeg
SWEET MISS GIVENCHY!!!! A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN SOUL!

Another thing I’ve learned this year is that goodbyes are pretty awful, but they don’t always have to be. One friend mentioned this to me, and I think it’s pretty good advice: It’s not a goodbye; it’s a see you later. This kind of logic may seem ridiculous, but to me it helps when I go months without seeing my closest friends. Though college has its downs, it has its ups too, and I’ve met some of the best people through my California years.

When we recognize that goodbyes can be see you laters (okay, this is a terrible phrase, I apologize), then we have something to look forward to. A goodbye may seem final and concrete, but it doesn’t have to be. Though relationships change, the truest ones remain no matter the distance or length of separation.

Who knows if this advice is helpful or not, but it seems okay in my mind. 🙂


WE’RE ALL GETTING OLDER.

But that’s okay. Think about all the good things that have happened in your lives. I’m sure you have countless memories that would astound everyone you tell, and that’s an amazing realization. If you’re reading this, you’re blessed with the most magical gift, and that is life.

It’s our choice how we live.

Enough ramblings from me. I’ve got a road to drive down. 🙂

Until next time,

-A SENIOR IN COLLEGE, K.

KG

updates

WHERE HAVE I BEEN LATELY?

Hello, my dear readers!

I promised I would admit why I have been incognito lately, and this post is going to answer that question for you. Truly I have missed blogging over the past month, and I am super excited to get back into my two posts a week schedule. I have some interesting ideas for future posts, and I’m excited to share them with you.

However, I thought it would be best if I give you a little update on what I’ve been up to, and then we will resume with normal posts on Friday.

So, where have I been lately?


1. PRIVATE PILOT (finally)

The past two months have been devoted to studying anything and everything related to becoming a private pilot, and I can say I am official! I had to take a five hour check ride in order to secure this status, and it was intense to say the least. However, it feels so good to be done, and I’m very, very happy. 🙂


2. SCHOOL

As a college student I am (unfortunately) taking a bunch of classes that seem pointless at times. While I love learning, I’d rather be studying things I feel are useful (such as flying). As the school year wraps up, the amount of homework grows exponentially, and so I am in the midst of papers, tests, and presentations. That’s okay, though, because summer is just around the corner!


3. WHAT BOOK SHOULD I WRITE NEXT?

While I have some projects I am working on, there hasn’t been a book idea that really stands out to me since I finished my latest book, Yours Truly, in February. I attribute this to the busy schedule of college and flying, so I am excited to get back into the normal grind of shuffling between projects.


SHORT AND SWEET.

I know this is a baby post, but I did want to update you guys on this big news and explain where I’ve been. I’m still eager to share my viewpoint with the world, and you guys have always been so supportive of that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Look for an upcoming post on Friday.

But until next time,

-K. ❤

IMG_6134.jpeg
Find the beauty wherever you are. (Malibu, CA / February 2019)
updates

A WHIRLWIND OF A WEEK

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I almost (ALMOST!) forgot about my weekly blog post. That being said, I’m back in the game and ready to share some thoughts that have been nagging at me in the past week.

After escaping the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, I flew home to Tennessee this past Sunday afternoon. I am thankful to be home, to relax and regain peace in my life, and to take some days to recover from the stress of this gnarly November.

Though I am quite cryptic in nature, I want to be honest with you all and go over the things that are tearing me up right now, even though I know I am safe and loved and cared for.

So here we go… In chronological order.


ONE PERSON

Who knew one person could have such an effect on you?

Not to be too cryptic on this front, but if there’s one thing I’m learning, it’s that just one person can change how you really feel, both in the best of ways and the worst. While I try not to be too analytical, I can’t help but regret certain actions and revel in them at the same time.

Ugh.


BORDERLINE SHOOTING

On the evening of Wednesday, November 7, thirteen people lost their lives at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. One of these thirteen souls was Alaina Housley, an eighteen-year-old freshman from my university, Pepperdine. It was a senseless act of violence that shook the entire United States, and it destroyed the peaceful atmosphere of Pepperdine.

My freshman year, I went to Borderline countless times with friends, because it is primarily a line dancing club. It was a place to bond with friends, attempt to boot scooting’ boogie without the professionals stomping all over you, and get a little country music through your veins.

But now I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering of Alaina’s family and the other Pepperdine students who managed to flee with their lives intact. I cannot understand how a place like Borderline is not safe anymore, that college kids cannot even go enjoy dancing without the worry of violence seeping in.


WOOLSEY FIRE

On Friday, November 9, I received an evacuation alert from Pepperdine due to the Woolsey Fire wreaking havoc upon the Santa Monica Mountains. The fire that had started near Westlake Village, close to the already-reeling Thousand Oaks, had jumped into our neck of the woods.

Only thirty minutes after receiving this alert, I stumbled outside with a backpack and my flight bag to discover smoke rolling over the mountains. Terrified, I hurried to my car with two friends and fled to San Diego, while most of my friends remained on campus.

Fortunately, Pepperdine was the safest place to be in Malibu, and though the flames would make it onto campus that night, it was the miraculous effort of firefighters who saved the school and protected all those college kids in the process. Though the fire was nothing less than alarming, putrid smoke followed its path, leaving those who stayed in paper masks.

The following morning, Saturday, November 10, the rest of my friends got out as quickly as they could because the air quality was so poor. Eventually, I was reunited with some of them in the safety of my friend’s San Diego home.

On the morning of Sunday, November 11, we received another alert that school was canceled until November 26. Five minutes later I booked a flight and was home to Tennessee by midnight.

The status of the fire now is on the upswing. The last time I heard, the Woolsey Fire is 60% contained and will be fully extinguished soon. Though hundreds of homes burned down and two lives were lost to this specific fire, there is much to be thankful for, especially the way the community pulled together to save the thousands who lived in the areas affected by the fire.

IMG_5180
Woolsey Fire near Pepperdine University (November 9, 2018) This still feels unreal. 

SEPARATION ANXIETY

While most of my friends remained on Pepperdine’s campus that first day of the fire, I went to my friend’s house in San Diego, where we watched a special nature show, Earth’s Natural Wonders (not the typical college kid flick, that’s for sure), ate a lot of delicious food, went to church, and played cards. It was relaxing and a lasting memory. When we reconnected with our other friends, we felt even tighter as a group.

That being said, we received the phone call from school that Sunday, and suddenly we were all packed up and headed five directions. What was a moment of us being all together completely fractured.

Finding myself on a flight home in the middle of November was unexpected, and it affected my mood the first few days of being back, because my friends were all over the map. We are all over the map, and it felt so weird saying goodbye for two weeks when just days before we’d been going to concerts, playing video games, and gulping down horror movies. Luckily we have been able to call and do a group crossword or two. (Told you, we’re not normal college kids.)


GROWING UP

This little unplanned break has been, well, wild. I went from a wildfire to rain that shifted to snow. 80 degree temperatures in California dropped to the thirties in Tennessee, and I was shocked to see colorful trees from the autumn here in the South. Neutral accents melted into my particular lilt of Southern, and things seemed so strange…

I think I am able to understand my feelings of confusion and stress now that I’ve been home five days: I am growing up, and it hurts just as much as it excites me. I will be graduating college in a year, and then the real world’s going to knock on the door. My friends will be split up around the country, permanently, even though I know they will always be a phone call away. College will become a distant memory, and I’ll be responsible for my future. Who knows what will come then, but the worry has been sinking its teeth into my brain for a little while now. I haven’t been writing as much, considering the circumstances, and therefore this post feels long overdue.

This is a sentiment everyone goes through, if you get the fortunate chance. It’s not something we should complain about, since so many don’t get to walk in our shoes, but there are still ups and downs with this thing called life. Sometimes we can’t control our emotions, our feelings, what drives our souls, and that can be overwhelming.

That’s when I take a step back, pray to God, and try my hardest to clear my head. It doesn’t always work, so I’ve been doing all sorts of things: Exercise, working on a new book, listening to music (check out “Freelance” by Toro y Moi).

And I know that it will be hard to leave home when it’s time to go.

That’s where I’m at now: Torn between two worlds, one of which will inevitably win over the other.

IMG_8882
Mammoth Lakes (October 2018) I can’t believe this was already a month ago. On my trip to Yosemite National Park.

SPLIT.

I think this describes my mood right about now: I’m split over my future, split over my present, split right down the middle. There’s so much going on in this world that my days are slipping like sand through my fingers, and this can be terrifying, not having a way to stop what’s coming.

Though this may seem like a melodramatic post, I know things are looking up. From being home I am reunited with my one-of-a-kind family, hometown best friends, and overweight guinea pig. I get amazing work done here, including 800 questions for my written pilot exam and thousands of words for a new romance novel. Being home reminds me of who I am, truly, deeply in my core; it reminds me of what I was and how far I’ve come. It inspires me to stay true to my values, and not to wrap myself in the what-ifs of my life in California.

Home. A place some never get the chance to see again.

I pray for the family of Alaina Housley and the countless people who were displaced, injured, and lost their homes due to the Woolsey Fire. I cannot begin to imagine the severity of the Camp Fire in Northern California, where so many have lost their lives and livelihoods.

Therefore, it is times like these that should remind us all of the good things that we take for granted. I need to do a better job of remembering, because memory lasts with us much longer than the present.

Hopefully my next post will be a little more light-hearted. 🙂

Until next time,

-K.

 

IMG_4414
HOME! Fayette County, TN (Summer 2018) At this time of the year, the leaves are in full-blown glory: Crimson, vermillion, butter yellow, the whole nine yards.