5 Autumn Staples for the Weary Writer

It’s that time of year again, the season of colorful leaves and walks in crisp fall air and bleary-eyed writers stabbing wearily at keyboards in a mad attempt to pound out a novel in a month. The struggle is real, my friends. The struggle is real. If you’re the unfortunate friend or family member of…

Planning a “Workation” on a Budget

I curled up in an overstuffed armchair with a mug of my mostly-milk Mexican chocolate brew, editing an Appalachian-themed historical novel in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Fifty pages later, I set aside my work for a jaunt to the stunningly gorgeous Lily Lake outside of Estes, Colorado, to stretch my legs, enjoy the…

Explore: The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina. The very name makes me think of lighthouses and bird cries, the salty tang of sea air and the mysterious rhythm of murmuring surf. The Outer Banks is a regional term for a collection of barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of North Carolina famed for its dangerous ports…

Explore: Northern England and Scotland

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful and fascinating regions in all of the U.K. is the “Border Country,” a colloquial term for northern England and southern Scotland. I had the immense privilege of living for almost three years in this rugged, yet picture-postcard region. I find many foreigners labor under the conviction that…

Photo Essay: Spring at Botanica

Botanica: The Wichita Gardens is known for their extensive tulip beds and flowering trees that put on a real show on the odd lucky springs when the Kansas winds don’t blow the blossoms away. For the first time in several years, I had the chance to grab my camera and take a stroll around the…

Standing in their Stilettos

I drive the strip after dark, neon lights flashing through the car window and yellow streetlights spotlighting girls at every bus stop and corner, illuminating stilettos and short skirts. Looking at these girls, beautiful painted faces clearly visible from only a couple yards away, I do the only thing I can do—I look at them…

Mexico: A colorful neighbor

I’ve traveled all over the world, but I’d never been to Mexico until a few weeks ago. Though most of the trip I saw the grittier side of the country due to my job filming a ministry to immigrants and trafficked persons, I still had a few opportunities to enjoy the beauty of this historic country. Plus, I…

When Life’s Up in the Air

Have you ever just felt like your life’s completely up in the air? This decision depends on this outcome which is dependent on this other unknown factor. So many uncertainties and unknowns and factors far outside of your control that you feel like you’re treading air and getting nowhere and yet falling at a tremendous…

The Inconvenience of Opportunity

We left the massive ship sleeping along the quayside in Sri Lanka at 11 p.m., driving 45 minutes through Southeast Asian traffic to get to the Colombo airport for our 3 a.m. flight. It took a four to five hour eternity to fly from Colombo to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. An hour and a…

Life on the Wild Side

I sit curled on a rock at the dimly-lit watering hole, the thick blackness of the African night settling over me. It’s silent except for the far-off cough of zebras and the quiet lapping of a pair of hyenas come for an evening drink. They pad away as silently as they appeared. A shadow flits,…

Tricycle Taxis and the Land of Pagodas

The heat could have peeled paint off a house. Fried a quail egg on a rubbish-covered sidewalk. Boiled whole chicken feet in a pot of oil. Sweat snakes down the curve of my back and dampens my palms as I switch a tripod case as tall as I am to my other shoulder. The clamor of…

A Wintry Walk in Carlisle

One of the benefits of life being a bit slower in winter is the opportunity to have a bit of a wander around Carlisle and discover its hidden jewels, including many hole-in-the wall local restaurants and cafes. This particular morning I woke up to snow blanketing the ground and turning Carlisle into a fairy-tale village….