sunflower fields

This week is graduation for my senior and a handful of my Digital Journalism students, and I am waxing emotional.

There are so many words and feelings welling up that I don't know which ones to tell you. I have my heart so full right now of anxiousness for my son to finish up his coursework on time. I have a heart full of pride that he is finally getting through this chapter of his life—it has been challenging. And this heart is overflowing with wanting things to slow down, so we can savor the success for awhile. 

My students. Oh there are some of them who have really taught me so much, and a few of them who I would be privileged to become their friends. There are memories of learning from and with my students that make it difficult to think about them not being in my class next year. It gets me a little teary actually. And I keep thinking about how I wish time could slow down a little with these seniors as well, so we can savor these final moments. 

As I contemplate the future for my son and students, I recall driving to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport in the backseat of my brother's car being amazed by the nearly endless fields of mammoth sunflowers. It was stunning. Such a radiant and glorious sight to see. I think what made it so memorable as well was how there were so many fields of them too. Not only were there so many flowers that they seemed to stretch on forever in a field, but more and more fields of sunflowers would come as we drove. It was cheerful and surprising. 

The radiance of the graduates is like those sunflowers. They are shining now, but the opportunities they will have to shine further will continue to pop up as they go along their paths. They will surprise us, and we will continually want to see how far they go with things. We will want to remember every success now and moving forward, so much so that we will eagerly watch the horizon until we can't. 

I will be watching for wonderful surprises from all of them. 

wrapping things up

It's almost the end of the school year, and I am astounded by the rate at which time flew. There have been some very long days and weeks; however, it all seemed to slip right through my fingers.

I'm feeling pretty nostalgic actually. This week will wrap up the last class for the Digital Journalism elective that I teach, so my teaching and grading is coming to a close faster than my social media directing, which never ends pretty much ever. But seriously, teaching this Digital Journalism course has been so good for me. I am good at it. Most of my students are glad to be in my class. The curriculum is student-driven to an extent. And we have a wonderful time learning.

When a class is really effective, the teacher learns more than the students, and I have certainly learned a great deal. I have seen in myself a good teacher, someone who cares, knows what they're doing (most of the time), and teaches by example. This year has helped me grow in confidence, and it is due to the caliber of students that I have in my class. Such good people. Such kind and ready to learn people. I couldn't be happier with how the year went.

And we just won't even get me started on how gorgeous the yearbook turned out. Seriously, that thing is so clean, so fresh, and so wonderfully perfect. My students gave of their talents and worked so hard. And then I went in and proofed it to perfection. What a fulfilling experience!

Next week, when the last day of school happens and we have our end of year party, I will be sure to tell my students about what they gave me. What a gift I've unwrapped.

National Poetry Month 2017 Top Ten

All thirty of my poems for this most recent National Poetry Month were hard won in the writing of them. I cried and laughed and let myself hope. I wrote as real as I could without exposing myself to more hurt. So here are the top ten reader's choice and a few poet's picks to honor my hard work of growing as a writer and person because of it: 

it's a good thing

closed windows

I must admit that I am glad National Poetry Month is over. I love it generally speaking, yet I hated it this year.

To write poetry—true poetry from my heart—when I wasn't feeling ready was truly the challenge. It wasn't the every day for thirty days part; it was the write about things you hope and wish for and don't like and don't want. Writing so much truth takes a lot of pondering and choosing, and it was so hard for me.

As I was thinking about what to even slice about today, I wanted to stop myself. I have cried so much in this space. I don't want that anymore, but you know, it just keeps on flowing. People talk about how it matters which garden you tend—gratitude or ingratitude—joy or sadness—that determines what you see around you. And I believe it. However, I do know that dandelions and Russian thistle like to take over no matter what you do. So I can tend my joy garden every day with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, but it won't keep away the invasion of the weeds on rainy days/weeks. That's just the facts. But I don't give up, and I guess that's the true positive in all this and maybe a small miracle.

Another thing, every time I talk about stopping writing the truth, I get an absolute tidal wave of support. And I thought about that too as I was pondering what to slice about today. It encouraged me actually. It made me want to write something happier than how I see things today. That's why I wanted to tell you about my gratitude, even if it's about being grateful for poetry writing being over for awhile.

I hadn't written anything substantial as far as poetry goes for a few months or so, as I explained before this past month's writing challenge began, making it a real feat. I'm truly amazed that I didn't give up because there were a couple of days in there (actually like three or four) when I almost didn't write anything. The sense of abandonment and isolation that I have pricking at my heels all the time kept demanding to be heard. It kept spilling onto the page. And I just hate that. It's all normal feelings. So many justifications for all of it, so I know I'm not some insane person or something. But it just feels bad.

All of this said, I think it's like a miracle to not be writing poetry today. It feels like a breath of less toxic air. I am not sure if/when I will write more poetry. My heart just hurts, and I don't know if I can write about it like that anymore. I guess we shall see. Right?

now or never

Gently now the rain does fall, gently now
Reach for an umbrella now, gently now
Across the miles, their thoughts entwine, gently
Now the time has come to say goodbye gently, now


It's alright to shine
When you have something to say
That makes the world brighter
Sing out and let us all hear

You can do great things
When you put your heart into them
The world is at your feet
Waiting for you to shine like its never seen

Open your heart—let go of fear
Tell us what you want to say
Show us how you'll make your way

For my son on the day he completed his Eagle Scout project—for this day and as he graduates high school and begins adulthood.


Going round and round, talking, talking.
Saying one thing, but you know you do and feel differently.
Acting like nothing is wrong when everything is.
Hoping for things to get better.
But they don't.

The facts are ugly. 
Who wants to be around passive aggressive 
Back stabbers. 
Who feels safe when judgment lies in wait
On loved ones' lips. 

The judgers always pointing fingers.
When what you really need is love 
And a helping hand, support, some effort.
Ostracism by those who say they love you is the truth.

Get a grip. 
Negativity only hurts you. 
It never teaches anyone a thing 
Until they're ready to really look at
You, there in the corner with nowhere to run.

So you run your mouth and do your best,
Crucified for everything they deem a wrong turn,
When all you want is to make a positive 
Difference that will last— that will make life better
Even though it doesn't, I guess. 

Holding onto the best feelings possible as loved ones
Do almost everything under the sun
Other than show genuine love,
Knowing you won't run,
Knowing you are in a corner. 

parallel lives

That's a thing you don't see much of anymore
But it exists.
It exists just as much as the rejection that kills it off.

This is what happens to love that isn't made new
Every single day.
It will happen to even a great love if not cared for.

From the tattering woes of the world
We live in.
It can and will make a difference.

She will be loved
She will find her way
He will love
He will find his way to her
Even if it takes a lifetime of love
Walking side by side
Loving in degrees and layers and stages
Intersecting hearts can and do bend parallel lines
Always close but never touching
Until one day it all connects and makes sense—
And they kiss, never to part again


All of the friends I've lost
Make a heap of heartache
That is insurmountable

If I take every one
With all the memories and happy times,
It kills me fresh, anew, like when things broke

No one else is allowed
To misunderstand me or leave
Because I need peace in this heart

I need comfort and love
Like anyone else
Who knows my worth

memories and moments

Within minutes, a memory can make you
Want to throw things
Want to break things
Run away
Reach out
So many things

All it takes is allowing yourself to feel

The time we spend together
And tomorrow

Making our lives worth living
For the ups and downs
And everything in between
Are what loving and learning is all about
And it's all about finding us

all of this and more

Arms around me in my loneliness
A friend when feeling friendless
Hope when hope is lost

Understanding in my confusion
A brother who reaches out forever
Truth when surrounded by lies

Hands to follow in my ignorance
A Savior when I fall and always
Love when solitude is an enemy

My friend, brother, and Savior, Jesus Christ
Reaches me when I have nothing
Comforts me and loves me—shelters me


A theme of sorts comes off the page
Hitting me like a wall of wind
Blasting me to the past
So I can be in the moment long ago
So very long ago

When I thought someone would love me
For who I am and what I dream of
Longings that lead me toward adventure
And happinesses yet discovered
So many memories to cherish

Remembering is a type of loving
Holding onto the best parts of you
Letting go of the rest consciously
Because the rest doesn't really matter
When you think about the gift of presence

Conscious choosing to spend time
Making memories yesterday, today,
And hopefully forever
But who knows how that will go
Until the last fork is fixed

As we walk together always
Or we go our separate ways
Choosing all along the way
To be us or let go of who we are
And be others we no longer recognize or remember


Some words break your heart
Double worse for all the
Subdued wishes
That swirl about and get
Scattered by the wind

Pieces of you
Flecks of sunshine
Like the glint of broken glass
On the asphalt
After a crash

But that melody—that sweet song
Left playing in my heart
Never to skip
Never to stop
I'll always have it playing on repeat

Until you remember
Who I am
Where I belong
Who you are
And that you belong here—forever with me

false imprisonment

We trap ourselves, don't we?
With all the boxes and fences,
The walls and

Our minds get stuck somehow
Believing that the only way
To be happy is
Status quo.

Even if it hurts us.
Even when it hurts others.
We just don't learn to take
Care enough.

As we lock ourselves away,
Our hearts and minds
And even our bodies at times, we believe
Our lies.

I'm not hurting anyone. 
I'm happier this way.
I don't need anyone. 
No one cares anyway.

And other such nonsense.

The truth is that love does conquer all—
If we let it.
When we let it.

How much longer will you sentence
How much longer will deprivation be
Your cellmate?

You could have something like
A soulmate
Someone who actually cares.

No hiding.
No lying.
No fake.
Just real.

When will you love yourself enough
To stop building brick and mortar
For your heart?

The judge and jury is you.
The warden is you.
The parole board is you.
The heart waiting to love and be loved—is yours.

picking myself up

I am afraid to dream again
Nothing I ever get my heart set on
Comes to stay

I let myself get stuck in the clouds
For too long and now I can't
Find my way

You make me so happy
I let myself be happy
I let myself dream

Only to wake up to nightmarish days
Where no one cares I'm ripping
Apart at the seams

And then I look around
Abandoned and alone
I pick myself up

Choosing joy
Choosing to carry on
Without you without anyone
But me to love

Tears stripping me of pride
Breaking my dreams like glass
Slivers festering forever

I go on
With my companion
The fear of never being loved


Words can remind us of
The forever we have in our hands
A song can take us to
The story we once shared
Light filtering through a window
Tells us what we want to hear
That life is short yet glorious
And we must draw close
If we are to make a life
That is written with love
And care and happiness
Rekindling and reshaping 
The us that we hold so dear
Each day, bright and clear

I remember

When there is nothing more I can do
For myself
By myself
To help myself

When life overwhelms and underwhelms

When nothing is working
No matter what I do to change

When no one seems to understand
Or care
Or believe in me
Or want to stay around

When my heart is

When the sun doesn't seem to shine for me . . .

I remember the One who made life possible
I remember my God and Savior
I remember Jesus Christ

And I let in the love and peace
He offers to me
Until again I feel seen

Because of Him
There will be enough
To get me where I can rest
Where I will be loved and free
Because of who I am
A daughter of God divine


A strong word for strong situations: illegitimate
Stabs like a knife in your back if you stop to think about it
What gives any word the power to strike?

Our actions.

What makes anything illegitimate?
The things people do or don't do thus
Creating incongruity.

Big words preceded and followed by
Big actions
Sometimes bad actions
Usually with big and bad consequences too

A ripple effect
Ruining and resetting
The chain of events needed
For all the good to come to you

Because it will
But you have to keep your face to the sun
And set aside the things causing
Incongruity and
Illegitimacy of heart.

my real self

My light rejuvenates in the sun's brilliance 
Despite the clouds that hang on 
In winter's dark months
Soaking in all I can—learning all I can

Hope burns away the darkness
Faith, devotion
Allowing myself to remember

Proving that the light will win 
Lead me to a smile
A tender mercy 
A perfect brightness

My eternal self—my real self—who I am

without an us

Heartfelt words softly spoken
Fell upon the ground
Wanting for a home to know

The warmest wishes left to cool
And no one there to notice
The bread baking coming to a close

Ever gently, the meter is dialed back
On effort and attention
This flame is slowly dimming

With no one watching over
To keep the coals from suffocating
Life goes on without an us

And the keeper of the keys
Doesn't even seem
To realize what is being lost


falling           apart
as the hours tick
past like money


the drain.

picking up the
p i e c e s
faster than
I lose my energy
for doing so.

 knowing that
my story is not over.
And it will never be over
   even once I find a place
to call home for this heart—
my beautiful, precious,
 giving, eternal

master the arts

Write me a story I never want to forget
With words between each line
Whispering of love returned, intertwined

Paint me a picture I can't ever unsee
With colors and textures that touch
Grasping my heart with their purity

Sing me a song that becomes part of us
With notes sung daily, clear and true
Keeping our cherished hearts ever in tune

so much

Running out of words,
For grief and sadness
Take so much;
They steal so much;
They ask too much.

The heart heavy laden
With love and hurt
Can only let in
So much.

Fainting with grief 
Tells the story
She can't tell.

Careworn and fainting.

Writing my heart out.


Hit by dry lightning
and all I could do
was keep walking,
Barely able to get out
the word no 
as my legs
carried me through.
Floating down
the road in disbelief
and misunderstanding.
Next thing I know,
I'm walking down
the street and then walking
down a sidewalk
and onto a patch of grass.
Without realizing it entirely,
I stood in the warmth
of summer talking
about a rift
in my universe
That would not be left gaping—
if I could help it—
if he would help it too.


Standing aside watching the world go by
Without her
Taking in all the excitement and joy 
As a bystander

Once a participant 
Cast off
Set aside
Walked off the field on her own accord

To join in on the sidelines 
At times
When it doesn't hurt too much
To watch everyone 
Playing without her
Trying to make cheerleader worth as much

To no avail.

be real

Glitter on roses just showered by rain and sun
Comfort from a cup of homemade soup
Wishes made on stars and dandelion tufts
Hopes and dreams come true for me and you

Silence that speaks the volumes of a life well lived
Hearts that care for longer than a one-act play
Words written on scented paper making sense of all of it
A love that entices and reminds you to stay

A soul strong enough to hold fast to faith
Vision that sees to the center of eternity
Happiness that is reflected in my eyes and face
Strength to accept gifts from synchronicity

my heart's song

There is a song in every person's heart
That can only be heard by a select few
The melody is always playing
Always calling out for home and meaning
I hear your song and want to be in harmony
With you forever in tune

You hear my song too
Or at least you did
I can't quite tell yet
If you just turned the volume low
Or if you snapped the receiver off
Completely letting go

My song is on full volume
As I dance and weep my way through
This life ever changing its tune
Someone, if not you, will hear my song
And sing it back to me
When I forget the words

There is a song in every person's heart
And mine will always have a few notes
Written in because of you


To write for the sake of writing
Seems like no writing at all
Yet I find myself finding words
As I write my way onto the page
I find a tear in the armor
That was forged to keep me
Safe from all the pain
Of writing about nothing
As if it were something
Yet when I stop to let myself think
Nothing was always truly something
And still is—
Something so real you can taste it
Like cool lemonade
On a warm summer day
Something so real you can feel it
Like the velvety smoothness
Of your voice echoing in my heart
Something so real you can see it
Even if you don't want to
Something so real it cuts like a knife
Because reality wasn't enough.

homespun love

porch sitting as the sun rises—or sets
with hands held and hearts warmed on high
(visions of a homespun love beset
my waiting, bated heart in need of a home)

simple in its tendency to bring a smile
unsophisticated, plain and simple truth
a love inestimable in worth spanning time
comforting tenderness seasoned with ruth

blanketed with understanding
peppered with sweet wanting
created by two willing hearts
stitched together by each other—for each other

each day spinning, spinning
with purpose and care
always working to be winning
a homespun love, both honest and fair

accoutrements of war

Silent apathy
Holding back
Omitting the truth
Doubt unjustified
Hearing only what you want
Putting walls up to keep real love out
Leaving without saying goodbye

Being there. Simply being there.
Caring about their dreams
Loving them through their flaws
Holding yourself tightly
Instead of lashing out
Giving more than you receive
Yet somehow you receive more than you give
Even when it hurts everyone
Telling the truth
Because you want to be believed
Telling the truth
Because you want truth too
Telling the truth
Because somehow you know they deserve it
Offering trust unearned
Listening, truly listening
Speaking straight from the heart

upon meeting

I love a man 
who is a boy 
who keeps giving 
pieces of love 
to too many 
while stealing 
my girlish heart 
in a way 
that I know 
I gave it freely 
upon meeting him, 
my darling

finish line

The end of yet another Slice of Life Story Challenge, and I am still alive. It is amazing.

Honestly, I still don't see how I found things to write about. I don't see any real brilliance. And yet, somehow, I am proud of myself for not giving up, and in that, I find a glimmer of brilliance.

It takes energy and strength and a whole lot of light to shine the way I do. When I don't feel like I can go one more moment all alone and imperfect—making so many mistakes with no one to support me—I am met with tender mercies. This month has been filled with many of them. So many I can't even tell you. Others' slices, comments on here, texts from various friends just when I needed to feel seen, being invited when I was lonely or sad. So many more examples even. And it all kept me going.

Writing is oxygen to me, so it is strange to feel strangled by it while also being freed. I will continue striving to find my new voice though because I know that this finish line leads me to my goals. Every writing challenge I meet and complete gets me where I want to be.

That said, I invite all to come back for poetry every single day in April. It should be interesting to see what I can muster.

And one more thing—thank you. Thank you for reading my words and offering so much support this month. I needed every read, every comment, and every share. It kept me going. I owe this success to all of you.

shifting blame

We all do it but most certainly not on purpose—except for major jerks. When situations arise and we can't get things right, it is natural to look for a reason and solve the problem by leaving it where blame lies. However, the way our minds work doesn't always give us the truth. Our self-preservation kicks in, and we are looking everywhere except at ourselves.

Children do an excellent job of shifting blame. They don't want to see how their lack of self-discipline is why things aren't working out for them. They make the problem all about how the parent(s) hasn't gone along with their last-minute demands. This same generalization can be applied to the student-teacher relationship. It just has assignments and participation on the table. And no, I am not freshly traumatized or anything. I do not know what would make you think that. 

Adults do this blame seeking too. Like children, we immaturely fall into the old game of looking everywhere except at ourselves to find who/what could have done/gone differently. It's almost like a disease of the heart if we don't stop though. It can get so out of control that we end up flat out lying to ourselves, and that is a great disservice to everyone around us. A great deal of pain and bad relationships ensue. We have to take responsibility for how we affect others, or we won't ever have better outcomes.

Even still, there is a flip side to this train of thought. Sometimes we take on too much blame. Sometimes we take on blame that is not ours whatsoever. That is shifting blame as well. And none of it is good for us.

I am guilty of both types. I do count one of my finer qualities as working very hard at rooting this out of me though. As soon as I find myself in error, I do all I can to make things right—even if it means I have to swallow my pride and apologize to people who are unforgiving. I just do it anyway. It's on the other person if they don't want to forgive after I've done what I can to make it right.

Shifting blame is a natural response, but it is possible to rise above it. In truth, it is imperative that we do if we are to reach our potential to love ourselves and others more fully.

Keeles in Concert

As I read comments on someone else's slice of life, I was reminded of this song called "Angel Lullaby" and immediately thought of my extraordinarily talented aunt and uncle singing the duet when I was a child. 

I grew up heading to Santa Maria, California near the central coast's Pismo Beach often and a time or two to Springdale, Utah just outside Zion National Park for these family talent shows my mom and her eleven siblings and all their children would put on in my grandparents' community. Everyone would sing or dance or do a comedy act and such. I still remember my Uncle Curt doing his funny stuff. I'll just say "Edelweiss" has always been more special to me when remembering his primitive beatboxing methods coupled with my Uncle Sam's innocent singing and was over the top hilarity. 

When I was around twelve or thirteen years old, I sang "On the Good Ship Lollipop" with two of my closest cousins with makeshift giant lollipop props made from cardboard we cut out into large circles and wooden sticks my grandpa had made. We had matching dresses and ginormous paper bows—quite the musical number.

Rehearsals seemed to be all day. You'd see aunts and uncles singing and playing the piano and children playing and singing and practicing on the stage—and others running around the church where we'd perform later that night.

I remember my mom. Singing. Playing piano. Being a musician. She was so wonderful. She'd laugh so much, and not a foolhardy load of laughter that is empty, but one that signified her joy.

And all of this has made me miss my aunts, uncles, and cousins, my grandparents and my parents, and all the delightful opportunities that were provided to us in such a unique and talented family. My grandparents really set a good example of how a family should work together.

My Aunt Becky and Uncle Sam sang this song in such a way that has impressed upon my soul. I wish there were a YouTube video of them to share, alas this recording will have to do. I hope it brings a smile to your face and some peace to your heart as it does mine.

uncomfortably numb

Transition is like my new home. Never able to really settle in and get comfortable, but I'm always too blessed to feel anything but guilty whenever I complain and call my life crappy.

I still do though. Y'all know this fact all too well. Me and my ragging about not being able to write while I am writing. It's kind of pathetic actually. And I must laugh at myself. It is required.

The thing is I like feeling things. I like being able to laugh at myself, my jokes and others' truly stupid humor. I like being grateful and showing my appreciation. There's something so healing about focusing on what's helping you grow—even if it's some of the stuff that makes you cry or want to kick junk. I don't like being upset though. It wracks my soul to have so much to be genuinely sad and grief-stricken over while still striving to get over it and keep going with joy in my heart. I keep at it because I know it's possible. More than possible even, it is readily available as soon as I get over the hard things.

So while I still feel "unable to write" a lot of the time lately, I am not going to allow myself to get comfortable with this sensation.

a few more days

If I hadn't written every day, I would tell you I didn't know where March went. It has flown by even with the daily task of writing these slices feeling like a big challenge. I mean, there are only four more slices, and then it's over. Crazy stuff.

I am proud of most of the slices I wrote. Because of all of the writers I've been reading, I have felt more inspired than I have in a long time, and that made all the difference. I do wish I hadn't had that day when I forgot to write and had to post-date the thing, so I could mark the events that caused me to run out of time. But overall, I am pleased with my work. But there's more to consider.

After Slice of Life is over, April arrives with National Poetry Month. That has been just as much cause for concern as these slices—if not more. Poetry must be inspired for it to do its work and to be simply decent to read! I do not want any of you faithful readers to want to poke your eyes out!

Since I haven't blogged any real poetry in several months now, I decided to begin jotting down draft work. Every time I get even a pinch of inspiration or sentimentality, etc., I stop and write as much as I can. I don't necessarily have the whole idea down, but fragments are better than nothing, and I can always develop the ideas. Another thing about this is I don't have ANY photos set aside as inspiration, and I typically use photos to support my poetic notions. I just can't seem to allow myself that luxury (I did break out of my photographic famine a few times during this slice fest, so that felt like real progress.). But who knows how it will pan out with poetry I haven't even figured out how to accept and set free for public scrutiny.

So many thoughts. When all is said and done, these things I've discussed are small potatoes. So small. However, they are important to me as I try to develop my talents and live artistically.

Here's to the few days left of this slicing party and moving onto bigger things such as writing poetry and end of the school year stress! Oh yeah!

Seeking to Become - March 2017

 Today, I am thinking about how education opens doors of opportunity but also how it can close others in the process—depending upon our choices.

Throughout my college education (and even still), I checked myself for feeling as if I am too grand or above others. I would pray for humility and understanding. I didn't like what I'd seen so far of people who decided that their faith was nothing the more they learned of secular things. I did not want to become faithless as I sought to better my lot in life.

When I was searching the scriptures for a quality to cultivate, this scripture was the one that stood out most:
"But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God." 
2 Nephi 9:29
These words speak to my soul. It reminded me of when I would pray to be humble in my learning. We are taught to learn all we can, for knowledge and our family are all we take into eternity with us. The clothes we wear and house we live in and car that we drive won't be coming with us—just what we know and our family.

That scripture tells me that there is nothing inherently wrong with being a know-it-all even, so long as you know you don't know it all. Christ's example of learning, teaching, and sharing with others in humility shows us how to go about gaining our knowledge. We must not forget by whom we are able to learn, grow, and enjoy life itself.

I hope you will join me in seeking to become more like Jesus Christ in the aspect of how we use our knowledge for good—for ourselves and in serving God.

pulling all-nighters

Or A Word to the Wise

It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I pay. 

You'd think I would figure out how decidedly messed up I get after staying up all night and hence figure out how to intelligently stop the harmful practice. But, no. I am a glutton for self-punishment. One thing I must admit is I know how to have fun. This can be quite an accomplishment. I can't remember the last time I could honestly say I was bored—there are just too many important, entertaining, and valuable things to do 24/7. Maybe I see things like this because I'm from Las Vegas. Who knows.

Reorganizing and deep cleaning projects are a catalyst for lost sleep, as well as work that I truly enjoy and writing and so forth. More of my nocturnal habits include watching movies, reading books that are too good to put down, so they do the opposite of putting me to sleep, and photo editing.

My latest and greatest source of joy and lost sleep is my volleyball hobby. The people there have become such a happy part of my life—and a torture. We stay up way too late! Another funny thing actually is some of my favorites have come up with a nickname for me: Angry Laura. I wonder if they've secretly been following my rants on Twitter.