Friday, September 26, 2014

{This Moment}

 A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.

Recap of this week on Not Intent On Arriving:
Writing Elsewhere:
  • Nada!
And thus continues another week of craziness! I hope you have a wonderful weekend - I'm spending much of mine in Westchester, and getting ready for my trip to Colorado next week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Olivia M. Howell

Olivia M. Howell has been writing stories in her head long before she knew the alphabet. I found her via Better in Real Life, where she wrote a really beautiful piece on her relationship to her grandmother and to the sea. Born and raised on the North Shore of Long Island, where she currently resides, Olivia spends her days with her husband, Eric, and son, Weston. When she's not writing about the trials and tribulations of new motherhood, she is tutoring Latin and history. Olivia is also an avid quilter, paleo cook, and fan of moving living room furniture around on Saturday nights.

Olivia M. Howell; Dreizen; Howell; Huntington; Long Island; Olivia; baby; may;
Olivia M. Howell
Who are you? I'm Olivia, a 29 year old new (can I still use that term if my son is one?) mom, and writer from Long Island. I was a Latin and ancient History teacher for 6 years before making an incredibly hard decision to stop teaching and fulfill my dream of being a mom and writer. I'm also a quilter at heart, and a staunch lover of the Paleo lifestyle. As a lover of sociology, I tend to see the world inside-out, and analyze it all!

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? I can be found all over the 'net these days! My main blog is the one I run with my sister, Genevieve--The Lovely Sisters. I'm also a contributing writer for Rookie Moms, Hint Mama, Long Island Mamas, and Smart Mom Co. I also guest blog in many places. The Lovely Sisters, which started out 5 years ago as Lovely at Your Side, is a Long Island based lifestyle blog, featuring crafts, DIY, paleo recipes, and now, motherhood.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I've always been a writer at heart. When I was just a little girl, I would write stories in random journals. I have shelves worth of journals from my childhood and teen years. Blogging came about in many ways; I actually had a small blog in college, then I graduated and entered the online dating world and blogged about that (that was an anonymous blog, but had a huge following!). In the summer of 2009, my sister and I wanted to start a project together, and Lovely came about. It's our internet brand and persona now!

Why do you write? I write because I have to write. The words build up in my head like a storm cloud, and then they all just fall out on the screen (or paper). Writing, like sewing, is my outlet. It's how I express my inner thoughts. I'm also a very open person, and I love love love helping others (especially new moms and pregnant women!), so I hold nothing back. Life is just too short to hide demons.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? I'm always inspired by women who are running against the wind. I'm inspired by women who speak up! I guess no one person in particular inspires me, but the thought process of those who have been down, and worked their way back up is unbelievably inspiring to me.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Oh man. Right now I am seriously hankering for an all expense paid trip to a fantastic resort--Puerto Rice, California, anywhere warm! I would love to hang out with my son in the pool, drink pineapple slush drinks, read books during his nap, and enjoy huge dinners with my husband. But, as an ancient history lover, I would love to go to Greece and Rome someday!

What is your favorite place on earth? My favorite place on earth is my grandmother's house. It's always safe and smells delicious. Also, she watches my wild son and forces me to eat when I am there, so I can't complain about that.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I am fascinated by women writers; everyone has such stories to tell, and it's wonderful that Kristin is highlighting some of these women! Thanks so much.

For more info about me, you can see my website, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Wanderings - A Weekend of Culture in NYC

Oh my goodness, what a crazy few weeks it has been! And it's not slowing down this week, either, so I'm afraid posting will be light. But hopefully I'll have some recaps up sooner or later for all the fun things I've been up to. Until then, some photos! (Many of which you'll have seen already if you follow me or Late Night Library on instagram. Sorry, devoted followers. You'll have a real post one day soon, I promise.)

Thursday was Battle of the Books and it was awesome.

Friday I finally had a moment to myself. I spent it drinking tea, reading an entire coffee-table book, and watching The Killing before falling asleep at 10pm. It was the highlight of my week. Possibly the highlight of my month.

Saturday, I tried to go for a 13 mile run and ran 3.5 miles with Roger instead. We do what we can, right, guys? God, marathon training is a thing I need to get on like woah. Anyway, we went to buy smoothie goodies, and saw our first decorative gourd display at the fruit market. It was glorious.

Then I went to a Puppets and Poets workshop, met some awesome people, felt super inspired, and then came home and didn't write the thing I am supposed to write. I got this, guys. I just got it for Tuesday, not Saturday, is all.

Then we partied down at the Africa Center, where they had a special edition concert as part of the Festival-in-Exile.

I'm sorry, Malick Sidibé

And after the long evening in heels (how do you do it, Kate?!), I spent Sunday rocking the LNL booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival, which was a total blast. As usual, Roger and I spent too much money picking up gorgeous books around the fair, but I'm so excited to read over them, and to receive my first copy of Lapham's Quarterly - one of my favorite journals around!

And then, as if no time at all had passed, it was Monday morning, and back to the grind. I'm writing this on my lunch break, and let me tell you - I have A LOT to do before I head out of town to Colorado on October 1st.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 19, 2014

{This Moment}

 A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.

Recap of this week on Not Intent On Arriving:
  • Oh goodnesss, things were a bit sparse round these parts this week! Luckily, that gave all the more attention to our great Writer Wednesday, Michael S. Hodson.
Writing Elsewhere:
  • Last night was my first major event for Late Night Library, the Third Annual Battle of the Books! It was a lot of fun and I'll have a recap up soon, but in the meantime, have a look at some of the pictures we captured on Instagram. It was a great night!
I hope you have a beautiful weekend! This is another busy one for me: tomorrow, I'm attending a workshop for a conference I'm hoping to be involved in, and on Sunday I'll be manning the LNL table at the Brooklyn Book Festival. If you're around, please drop by and say hello!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Michael S. Hodson

Michael S. Hodson is an attorney who, in December 2008, took off on a journey to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, he made it all the way back home, but decided to keep going. He writes about his incredible adventures at Go, See, Write, and as you'll see below, he also captures them in vivid photography and video. I couldn't be more thrilled to feature him today!

Michael S. Hodson - Go, See, Write - Typing

Who are you? Former lawyer turned permanent traveler, blogger, and video maker. I was an attorney in the States for about 10 years before I closed down my practice and set off at the end of 2008 to circle the globe without using a single airplane. Sixteen months later, I made it back home, turned back around and just kept going.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Remember, you're in a hot tub with them on a clear cold night, stars twinkling above you. They want all the details. If not, tell the hot-tub-stranger about your writing in such a way that makes them urge you to get an online receptacle for it. I can be found in a few places. My website is here:, my videos can be found here:, and I do some extra photography on my Instagram channel:

Describing my work. Well, it has changed quite a bit over time. When I set off on my round-the-world, no planes quest, I was mostly concerned with my plans to write a book about it. Then I realized the book business is a horrible one, I trashed that idea, and started working more on my blog and photography. The photographs I was just taking for fun during that trip became more and more important to me and I started working with some pros and improving my shooting and editing techniques. Over a couple years, that evolved into my current fascination with the power of video, which has absorbed me. It is hugely time intensive, so I haven’t had much time in the last couple years to write much, which I partly regret, but perhaps I’ll get back to it a bit in the next few months. In short, how would I describe my work? It is a work in progress. Literally. Seeking to learn and improve every day and hoping that perhaps some of the things I communicate, by written word, by photograph, or by video, somehow gets through to you and brings a simple simple to your face.

Michael S. Hodson - Go, See, Write - Namibia
Michael in Namibia

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I’ve always done a bit of writing, since I was a lawyer for about ten years. Like I said above, the main reason I started the blog was that I wanted to write a book about my travels, so the blog originally was a way to keep family and friends updated about my travels and also as a note keeping device. I’ve always been a sporadic writer though. I like it, but I don’t love it. I do love video, because it is so complicated and you can do so much with it. I’m still in the early stages of learning how to do things with my cameras and in the editing room, but every day I shoot is a fun one.

Why do you write? Given how little I have written in the last couple years, that is a damn good question. I’ll answer this way, because now I write, I shoot photography, and I produce video. Why do I create? I create because it makes me happy. I’m satisfied when I do something really well. And I’m even happier when I improve. To go back to talking a bit about video, I look back on some of my first videos and cringe a bit, but I realize that if I hadn’t taken the step of making those and publishing them, I wouldn’t have gotten better. I’ve yet to make a video I’m completely happy with. And that feeling keeps me going, because in the end, I want to be the best.

Michael S. Hodson - Go, See, Write - Photography

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? There are so many good bloggers and travelers out there. A few I like are: and and

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Wow. If you have a lead on a possible client for me to shoot video for that can make this happen… shoot me an email. Right now, I think I’d choose Antarctica. Such good possibilities for video there, I’d love to give it a few weeks of my time.

Michael S. Hodson - Go, See, Write - Bungee Jumping

What is your favorite place on earth? New Zealand. And I’m headed back there next month for the first time since 2010. Can’t wait.

Michael S. Hodson - Go, See, Write - Cigar

Anything else you'd like us to know? About me? Hmmmmmm. I love a good cigar and a good bottle of red wine, so if any of your readers want to meet up and immediately impress me, they know what to bring. I’m also a completely obsessed sports fan (my teams in respective sports are the Chicago Bears, the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Blackhawks, everything University of Texas, and FC Barcelona). One of the few things I regret about a life of permanent travels is that it is tough to watch the sports I love. The other thing I miss is having a big kitchen, with all my cooking gear. I do miss cooking. Other than that, my life isn’t half bad.


Friday, September 12, 2014

{This Moment}

 A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.

Recap of this week on Not Intent On Arriving:
  • This Monday's Weekday Wandering post was all about playing kubb in Prospect Park. Related cute story: My boss also loves kubb, and had a mini set on his desk that I mentioned during my interview for this job. When he hired me, he bought me a little one, which now lives on my desk. Have I mentioned before how much I love my job?
  • On Tuesday, I posted my completely untimely Christmas quilt project that I made for a dear friend's wedding back in August. I wish I had more photos of it. It's not perfect, but it was made with love and I think that's the most important thing.
  • This week's Writer Wednesday was Charles Bane, Jr., a wonderful poet from Florida.
  • On Thursday, I posted some of Roger's lovely photos from his recent trip to Côte d’Ivoire.
Writing Elsewhere:
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If I can keep the incredible productivity I've had going at work all week moving through this weekend, I think I'm finally going to start blasting through my to-do list!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dispatch from Côte d’Ivoire

My partner, Roger, spent three weeks in Côte d’Ivoire in July, and I'm excited to share some of my favorite images from his trip here. If you have any photos you'd like to share in my "Dispatch From" feature, please email me and we'll get them posted!




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Charles Bane, Jr.

Charles Bane, Jr. is a poet, poetry advocate, and the author of two books, Love Poems and The Chapbook. His first book of poetry came to the notice of past U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall and they corresponded for a year before the letters were donated to The Paris Review and University of Michigan. He notes that he is married to a beautiful, third-generation Southern cook, and has one son who is a gifted painter, making him "essentially the luckiest man who has ever lived."

Charles Bane, Jr.

Who are you? I'm the author of Love Poems, my second collection of poetry. I also created and write The Meaning Of Poetry series for the Gutenberg Project, which is essentially a history of poetry in the West. I'm at work on my next collection, The Ends Of The Earth which I hope to have completed by the fall of this year.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? I'm not on social media because I think it's a time drain, and addictive. I'm very fortunate in having a publicist and my wife, of her own choice, is on Twitter and posts my new writing. I'm grateful to Ann. The public can find me on my website, here: and I hope its design draws in the reader to look more closely. I can be emailed through its contact page. I take technology on my terms. It's an amazing way to submit work to a global audience, but I don't own a cell phone because it interrupts my writing.

What inspired you to start writing? When did it happen? All writers say they started as children; it's a cliche. But I was an early poet with enormous support from my father , who sent in my work to a journal when I was twelve. Past Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur—who I'm not comparing myself to—was published at eight. Poets are different from fiction writers. Poets recognize the sound of their voice quickly and young.

Why do you write? It's a privilege to write poetry. The odds are very long that you will be read by the general public, who in the United States, have almost no interest in contemporary work. Few major houses, other than Farrar, Strauss and Giroux will publish it because of the small return. Publishing has become ever more conglomerate and focused on popular authors. Our public library system could be invaluable in subscribing to literary journals and purchasing titles from small presses. I advocate strongly for it. Poets should consider having their work translated into Spanish, for a Latin American market that reveres Neruda, Borges and Machado. In Spain, Cevantes' birthday is a national holiday. We should do the same for Emily Dickinson. Finally, classrooms should teach living poets whose voice is modern to pupil's ears.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? Thank you. I think that 2015 will be the Pulitzer year of the feminist, because feminist work is dominating contemporary poetry and Letters, through sheer gift. It's likely that Patricia Lockwood or Saskia Hamilton who've released new collections will win in 2015. I admire both, as well as Susannah Nevison. Major influences on me were Elizabeth Bishop and Anthony Hecht. I keep a copy of Milton's Lycidas by my bed, and Shakespeare.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I'm there. I live in South Florida. Thousands of birds stop here on migration. On my terrace I watch ibis, egret and heron as I work.

What is your favorite place on earth? The hills of Puerto Rico, away from San Juan.

Anything else you'd like us to know? Yes, I'm grateful for your interview.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crafting with Kristin - Christmas Quilt

I promise the alliteration in the title was purely accidental. At least it's not a pun?

Anyway, guys, I made a quilt! For my dear friend, Emily, and her husband, Taylor, to celebrate their marriage and for them to use during the holiday season. My advice to you is that if you want to make a Christmas quilt and you don't know how to sew yet and you don't want to feel rushed, you should start now.  Also, I am really not good enough at quilting yet to explain how to do it, so look it up or go to your local quilt shop, who will be so helpful. I LOVED spending time at ours, the City Quilter.

But I can give you a few details about what I used. They're pre-cuts called layer cake squares, and they were incredible helpful because I hardly had to measure anything. These are the ones I got, and I love them. They're called La Fete de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics, and they're a beautiful series of fabrics based on 19th-century designs. I love them and might just make a second quilt for myself out of them. The fabric on the sides is another of the fabrics, which I purchased by the yard at the City Quilter, and the back is one of their 108 inch backing fabrics. When I could make this easier on myself, folks, I made it easier on myself.

I "designed" (aka: picked out the fonts for) the monogram and date with Stix at Embroidery Place, and he did a really beautiful job at a great price, and very quickly, which I appreciated a lot with the wedding four days away and the quilt still just being a topper as it were. When I suggested I should get all of my dress shirts monogrammed, though, his assistant definitely thought I was a little crazy. But really, who doesn't want a monogrammed dress shirt? Anyway, Stix's contribution was clearly the nicest thing about the whole shebang. I love this little monogram.

And then, you know, I finished it the night before and then took photos of it as I was running out the door that morning.

This fabric is really lovely, and if you are more talented than I am, I bet you can make something really spectacular. For me, I'm just really proud I made something semi-beautiful for a couple that loves history almost as much as they love each other.

Have you ever made a quilt? Have you ever made a wedding gift? This was my first on both counts, and I'd love to hear other people's stories. What's the best handmade gift you've ever received?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekday Wanderings - Kubb in Prospect Park

This weekend was spent mostly inside, with a lot of sleeping and a few errands and one very lovely dinner party with friends. Since there isn't really much to report, I thought I'd post some of the photos from my impromptu vacation day, which I took on Wednesday last week to hang out with our friends Emily and James, who came in from Vermont for a few days.

I started the day with a very rough but very satisfying massage. (You know how it kind of hurts and kind of feels satisfying to foam roll after a long run? That's basically what this hour felt like. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly relaxing, but I am glad to have done it.) After that, I helped Emily and James find parking, and we had some delicious Turkish food for lunch before meeting Rob at Home Depot to make a kubb set.

After the set was made, we headed over to Prospect Park to play and lounge in the sun for a while before a wonderful Ethiopian dinner. I'm only sad that we didn't get to spend more time with James and Emily, but I can't wait to visit them in Vermont this winter!