I’ve been to the Galapagos and back.

Hello dear bloggy friends,

It’s been a while. All is well, I assure you, despite the four months of blog silence here. I am still here! I hope you are as well. Here’s what’s been happening:

• I went on a trip to the Galapagos Islands! My mom and I had always wanted to visit and this was the year we decided to make it happen. It was absolutely amazing, and seeing so much wildlife in such a pristine landscape was a life-altering experience. Highlights included snorkeling with hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, penguins, sea lions and rays; seeing giant tortoises grazing in the wild; stumbling over land and marine iguanas, and witnessing the mating rituals of all manner of birds. I’ve included a few photos here.

• I’ve been learning Spanish. Or trying to, anyway — I’ve been doing language programs in the car and teaching myself with a textbook. It’s become kind of a hobby, and now it feels strange to drive around town and listen to music when I could be learning Spanish instead. As you may know, I studied both French and Japanese in my high school and college years, but those have become less and less useful. I never anticipated living in California, where I could easily go a whole day speaking Spanish.

• I’ve been reading all kinds of great books this year, both fiction and nonfiction. More on that in another post.

• I’ve started running again, and I’m thinking about signing up for some kind of race. I’m hoping to harness the discipline required by working toward a running/fitness goal and apply it to writing. Also, running clears my head and inspires my writing.

• A story of mine was shortlisted for the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize, judged by David Mitchell, a month or so ago. Not a win, but I was still flattered to get that far. Onward.

I’m attempting to return to regular blogging…but bear with me as I get the kinks out of my schedule!