rock candy

Saturday, August 30

The cobwebs are pulling his mouth down,
sand has settled in his cheekbones, speckled
his face, a fractured mirror surrounded by

the memory of youth. Hot summer sidewalks.
Skinned knees. Ice cream cones. Sticky rock candy
now transformed to whiskey and cocaine.

Everything burns him like guitar strings
snapping against calloused fingers, iron
lowered into the flames of premature age.

Pretty lies dusting his murky charisma,
cigarette smoke and ashes curl and veer
through his dripping hair and down my back,

sparking on my spine, ripping me up.
Everything is numb and everything kills
him, but nothing can put him in the soil

faster than the bass line tearing him apart,
screaming his name until the world is dead,
torn open by the drugs that kill him.

via *

red cars

Sunday, August 24

The strings are cut, my nails are trimmed
and every day my hair grows inch by inch.

The red balloons drifted through the
April clouds, pulsed with the atmosphere

and popped before an unfamiliar God could
push them back down to Earth, to my arms.

Each fire engine siren grabs my still protruding belly,
screams into my ears like I screamed

on the bathroom floor as the tile
bloomed scarlet beneath me. I run.

To feed the demons, to shush them and
to obliterate the remaining fat that

grew with the early springtime bud.
One more mile. One more sprint.

One more inch to pull myself through
until my heart stops breaking.

via *

Dear Stephanie Perkins

Friday, August 22

It's been too long since I've had a book to gush about. A book that filled me up, made me it's prisoner, made me squeal like an idiot and made me believe in love and words. A book that sparks my insides and moves me to write and to read and to smile and to UGH very loudly.

Stephanie Perkins you win again. 

Last year I read Anna and the French Kiss swiftly followed by Lola and the Boy Next Door. I shared some thoughts on those two books here but to echo the sentiment a bit, these books moved me so much. These characters are just so alive and so beautiful and broken and unique. The way Stephanie writes is just electric and so full of love. You can feel this woman's passion and love for words and her characters soak through the pages.

She writes how I want to write. I love when you can tell an author loves their characters and I think Stephanie Perkins takes the cake there. I can almost feel her squealing with me when the characters kiss and getting frustrated with me when her characters aren't together. I like that I can feel how much love and care and attention each character gets. I like that the characters become my friends and that they are Stephanie's friends too.

I devour her books also. It's been a good summer for reading but good GOD I was not ready for the majesty of Isla and the Happily Ever After, the last book of her sort of, interrelated series. I don't want to give anything away by way of plot but here's the low down. Isla is shy and has always loved Josh, a broody hot artist who can't seem to focus on much. After a very awkward (and literally awesome) first official meeting over summer vacation, their school year in Paris becomes a lovely jumble of romance and sorrow and GUYS I COULD NOT.

One of the best parts of these books is that they truly transport you to the landscapes that they take place in. In Anna, you are swept away to Paris and you return back to Paris in Isla after some time in New York and some even more delicious time in Barcelona (STEPHANIE PERKINS I CAN'T WITH YOU). But one of my favorite experiences was reading Lola while I was in San Francisco last week. I mean, holy wow it brought the book to life in bursting colors. I drove through the Castro and picked the houses I though Lola and Cricket lived in and loved in. I bought some crazy dresses in the Haight and felt my Lola showing. She knows San Francisco and she paints each city she uses so lovingly and so beautifully.

My favorite line of Lola
I could gush about the intricacies of her books forever, how much I love the boys she writes (PS STEPHANIE PERKINS YOU ALSO SUCK BECAUSE I CAN'T PICK BETWEEN THE THREE OF THEM HOW DARE YOU), and how beautifully she writes her women. I can see pieces of all of them in me and that makes reading her books very fun and also very revealing. These girls have their faults and there are times when reading them revealed mine and I got so uncomfortable for a minute, but then so inspired. Like Isla for example. She is so hard on herself and she focuses on her past and Josh's past so much. I was so frustrated reading that until I realized that I do the exact same thing. Her books always seem to reveal me. It's because her characters are so damn realistic. It might seem easy to dismiss these books as easy to read or mindless romance but HOT DAMN do they get heavy and real and raw.

Stephanie Perkins is the writer I want to be and her words always wake me up when I need them to. I have been in the worst writing rut of all time. I feel like I have creative ADD. I sit down to write, feel so jazzed to be writing, and then I just can't. It feels empty and useless to try. I feel like I have nothing to say and no words to say anything. But her books excite me. They make me feel love and they make me feel a love of love in books. That feeling of getting so sucked into words that you cannot stop, you cannot and will not put it down. I want to write a book like that and Stephanie Perkins makes me feel like that type of writing is possible.

On her blog she has talked about battling depression. About how hard it is to write through it sometimes. I feel that pain so so much. Brains are assholes. Brains tell you you can't write or that you shouldn't or that people won't like you. And when that happens, bodies and words shut down. On one of her posts about depression, I left a comment for her about how much she inspires me. And guess what? She responded to me! :) She said "Thank you, Em. I'm so sorry that your brain is mean to you, too. I'm glad you're fighting it! Keep writing. I can't wait to read YOUR book someday. :-)"



ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was dying when that happened last year. And something more, I know she means it because she is just the nicest.

I know this post is all over the place but in the end, it has one purpose. Thank you so much Stephanie Perkins. Thank you for your books, your characters (particularly the boys but... how can I pick between the three ugh), your hope, your words, being you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me my writing back.

I cannot wait for your next masterpiece.

Flashes of the Bay

Tuesday, August 19

If you've been following my Instagram, you'll know that I just spent a wonderful week in San Francisco with my aunt, who is my favorite human on the planet. I have been feeling so stifled in SLC because of school and some recent drama of the heart. But that salt and sea air, those cookie cutter houses. They brought me life back and I feel so reenergized. That city has such a life and such a history and little did I know, my family has a large part in that history. For instance, my Great Uncle Tom once drove UP Lombard Street, the famously crooked and famously one way down street. God bless the drugs he was on that made him a legend there. My great grandmother also tended to frequent Haight Ashbury and played leapfrog with her friends in the streets from bar to bar. I'd like to think my great grandmother and I would have gotten along very well.

So here are some shots of my trip. Please do enjoy :) PS. This is a very large photo dump. Not sorry at all.

Leaving SLC accompanied by the sun
First stop, of course, City Lights Books
And what I bought there.
Midday Italian sodas stop
Cheese plate break at this fabulous establishment. 
Up to Telegraph Hill
View from Telegraph
The first of many houses I fell in love with 
Crossing the Golden Gate to my Aunt's home. I wish traffic would have stopped on this bridge.
Second day highlight: Ferry boat cruise around Angel Island.
Take me to the water. Leave me with the ferry boats. 
Ma tante et moi.
I discovered a love for sailboats on this trip.
Possibly my favorite picture from the trip. I do love Golden Gate. 
Palace of Fine Arts
My aunt lives right near the bay. This was during our walk to see Super Moon. 
Beach day at Muir Beach! Aka The Day My Sanity Returned 
The surf is the best place to be alone in the world.
Cheese tasting in wine country
View from the top of Lombard Street
If the person who lives in this house on Lombard Street chances upon this,
I will marry you for this house. 
The Haight. My heart. 
Same offer of marriage goes to the owner of this house. 
My last day was spent largely at the De Young Museum. A dream 
My favorite piece in the museum.
Spectator- Speed of Light by James Rosenquist
The view of the city from the top of the museum. Kill me. 
Now, the Painted Ladies are quite beautiful but... 
I'll take their neighbors down the street. 
I visited the house used in Mrs. Doubtfire on Steiner Street and
left a note for Robin Williams in his vast memorial there.
San Francisco Port- my true last stop.
View from the Pier.
The Cupid's Span sculpture.
The arrow found my heart and left it in the bay
Big ups to those of you that made it to the end of this post. I took hundreds of pictures and these are just scraping the surface. But I wanted to get it all out in one post, one beautiful post I can stare at whenever my heart stops beating. I love this city. There is truly nothing like it. Thank you, dear hearts, for sharing this little piece of my trip with me.

PS. This is also my 200th post. :) Here's to many more.


Monday, August 18

I want my break from writing to be over. Hello. I was tired and then I was sad and then I was dangerously close to happy and then I was even sadder and then I was lonely and then I went to San Francisco. And I left my heart in that bay. It was so nice to be in the ocean again and I refuse to let it be that long before I get back to the ocean again.

I have a lot to tell you. I have a lot to show you. I have so many stories and words and poems sitting in my head finally. Now I'm that good kind of tired that comes when you know you have a big journey ahead of you and you just got done with a big journey. And you need a rest but you would rather venture on. I'm that kind of tired.

I listened to this song as the plane took off for home and it gave me some life back. I'll see you all so soon.