Posts filed under Writing

Spring round-up: Home is where the adventure is

Six months in Doha? Impossible. I've spent the time:

Exploring Dubai (where my first Ski Dubai experience ended in an hour of me going around the ski lift):

Catching up with this talented rising musician who's performing at The St. Regis' Vintage Lounge:

Boot scooting at a Texas A&M Qatar fundraiser, where I wore subtle amounts of burnt orange.

Wandering the Museum of Islamic Art's Marvelous Creatures exhibit ...

... which wasn't nearly as trippy as witnessing Carnival in Venice ...

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Celebrating my first Easter without family at a local church, where the kindest strangers helped me and a friend out of a sitcom-like parking mishap.

Crashing the British Embassy's birthday party for The Queen:

Surviving my first sandstorm (and subsequent trip to the ER for a swollen eye).

Quadrupling my knowledge of sports with my first handball game, equestrian competition, tennis tournament (at which David Beckham made an inexplicable appearance) and club "football" match. I'm as surprised as you are:

Searching for ways to channel my overseas experiences into writing (stay tuned), and coercing my Houston editors into letting me write from afar, including this profile of a savvy local boutique owner and this defense of my favorite movie of 2014:

Being enamored with this guy's insanely good solo album:

Applauding this parody that smartly tackles rape culture:

Coveting these:

Missing this:

Digging this (unbelievably, May 25 marks 10 years since this creative force won "American Idol"):

Anticipating a trip to this fascinating country next month.

Standing by my best friend of 15 years on her wedding day, and getting ready to join the festivities for another in a few days ...

... and feeling humbled by new perspective, new challenges and new friends, one of whom anonymously gave me this oddly endearing housewarming gift (identify yourself!):

*Post written to the sultry tune of Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," the non-controversial song that sparked the most ridiculous non-controversy earlier this year. 

Following my arrow

  Photo by James Joel Harris

Photo by James Joel Harris

In the four years since I launched this website to kickstart my freelance career, I’ve had the privilege of writing alongside some of the sharpest, most creative people in Houston and elsewhere. They continuously inspire me and humble me, and sometimes they even let me call them friends.

Over the past few months, I've been working with a fantastic local web designer to redesign this site. I had hoped a fresh site would give me a boost of motivation - that it would energize me to expand my freelance network, explore new forms of writing and grow as a writer. But not soon after we perfected that lovely Houston skyline above did I receive an offer from my company to really grow. In Doha, Qatar.

I could write about how grateful I am that this opportunity not only came my way, but did so at such a pivotal time in my life, when, in true millennial form, the questions have seemed to outweigh the answers. I could reflect on how touched I've been by the sweet send-off my friends and family have given me these past few weeks. But writing about my personal life has never been gratifying to me; instead, the most fulfilling way to express myself has always been through the things I choose to write about and the way I choose to write about them.

I write about people because they’re my favorite puzzles to solve. I review songs and albums because the best music elicits in me the purest emotion. I dissect those silly, wonderful, entertaining pop culture nuggets because, strange though it may sound, to a varying degree they all help inform and challenge my convictions about life. My favorite writing experiences are those that force me to think critically about that unexplainable glue that binds us as human beings - and in turn, I learn more about myself.

So that’s my plan for the next two years in Qatar: Show up, work hard, absorb. Look for that glue and find new ways to write about it. Grow. And, as this ballsy chick from Texas would say, follow my arrow wherever it points:

*Post title inspired by Kacey Musgraves' recent quirky tour stop in Houston. She covered "No Scrubs" - need I say more?

Posted on October 11, 2014 and filed under Writing.

Winter round-up: It's February?

The only things I remember from this whirlwind of a winter are a trip to NYC (for a Communications Executive Council conference and Paul Rudd), buying my first home, and ringing in what’s shaping up to be a pretty sweet year.

Somewhere in between, I did some writing:

I hope to be back in writing mode as soon as I figure out this whole homeownership thing. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with:

Happiness don’t drag its feet.
  • This new (to the U.S.) beauty:

And this overdramatic but partially true New York Times post on the end of dating. Funny and sad, no?

Nashville Scene’s 13th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll

It never gets old - I’m thrilled to be a part of Nashville Scene’s annual Country Music Critics’ Poll for the third year in a row. Ninety-three journalists and bloggers from across North America submitted ballots and shared their perspective on the state of country music in 2012. I can’t say I agree with all of the final rankings, but to be in the company of those who write for The New York TimesRolling Stoneand Entertainment Weekly is something surreal.

Better yet, I’m humbled that one of my comments was chosen to run right alongside theirs:

Check out the full coverage below:

Posted on January 17, 2013 and filed under Music, Writing.

Summer round-up: Music, wine and eighth birthdays

It’s been a lovely, chaotic summer – the best kind. Here are a few gems that caught my eye (and ear) over the past month or so:

This wine:

…from a winery on the outskirts of this incredible city:

(I spent a little over a week in Switzerland, Florence and Venice last month. Needless to say, it was an inspiring trip.)

This anthem from the Zac Brown Band’s action-packed new album,Uncaged (give it a listen and you’ll understand what I mean):

This funky, new-ish song by British group Graffiti6:

This kick ass and deserved title that Houston just nabbed. And yeah, we already knew we were the coolest. Why?

I’ve never seen a city where people blend more gracefully than Houston.

This surprisingly moving performance by tenth place finisher Erika Van Pelt (at the Idols Live concert I caught in Dallas):

This crazy-cool local band that I was jazzed to interview for Houston magazine.

This Kelly Clarkson cover of my favorite band’s breakout single:

…and finally, this wonderful milestone that Country Universe –my country music home– recently hit. I couldn’t be  more grateful to have found my way into the CU family three years ago.

Posted on August 3, 2012 and filed under Round-Ups, Music, Writing.