story of a girl.

Today I want nothing less than a life full of chasing that breathless buzz of starting the kind of book that makes your skin prickle and chest tighten in anticipation. 

I want the passing of years to feel like the turning of pages, when I'm just as excited {and maybe more} to reach that final chapter as I was reaching the fourth, the fifth, the sixth. 

I want my story to be occupied by the most affecting, passionate, maddening characters whose spirits inspire me to read their stories, as well, for all periphery characters have their own book somewhere just waiting to be opened and explored. 

I want my story to make me laugh, gasp, hurt and cry and smile, to smile most of all, because even the smallest smile is a promise that things will get better if you can only work up the courage to keep reading.

When I finish the book, I want to know that reading it was worthwhile. I want my heart to be full. 

I want to be happy with the ending.

And when it's over, I will abandon my story on a shelf in an endless library, to stand silent and content in the midst of my own little heaven.





Snow yesterday and then 60 degree weather today? Seriously, Kansas weather, I have had enough of your shenanigans. I would like to at least have a LITTLE spring before summer arrives...

But that's probably too much to ask.

You know, it's amazing how something so seemingly delicate is at its core so hardy. These poor daffodils have been frozen, snowed on, poured on, blown over and trampled, and yet {while a little worse for the wear} they are still standing and blooming bright as ever. Whatever's been thrown at them in the last month, they've taken it in stride {er, well, in firm rootedness?}. It's nice to know that not everything is as fragile as it may appear.

In other news, only two and a half weeks of school left...



two years of this being a thing.

I don't know what feels weirder: 

The fact that I've been sharing my personal life with complete strangers on the Internet for two years, or that it's only been two years of me sharing my personal life with complete strangers on the Internet.

Or that one year ago today, I was on a train alone heading to Munich, you know, just killing time until my parents would meet me in Paris.

Or that Monday I bought a one-way ticket to New York City. {Actually, this makes me feel less weird and more like I'm having a severe panic attack.}

Or that yesterday I threw on a coat I hadn't worn in a while, only to find a stone in my pocket that I had picked up last February from Loch Ness. {Okay, obviously I hadn't worn it in more than just a while.}

Or that, looking back, I wonder whether I am any closer to understanding myself and what I want out of life than I was two years ago.

It's strange; when I started college, I thought I knew all there was to know — about me, about the world, about everythingAnd yet now, only a few weeks before I graduate, I've never felt younger and more naive and more terrified than I do at this moment.

In these past couple of months, I've taken up a sort of mantra, turning it over and over in my head when I close my eyes to go to sleep, when I get in my car to drive to school, when I sit at my computer to start my homework, only to be too caffeinated and unfocused to concentrate. Or maybe it's a prayer, although whether to God or to myself or to some really unpunctual fairy godmother, I couldn't say. 

But then again, it doesn't really matter whom it's to, or if anyone is listening at all. Somehow I feel better simply concentrating on the echo, as if repetition makes everything a little more true than it was before.

"Just let it turn out okay."

"Please let it turn out okay."

I'm not exactly sure what "it" is. Life, I guess. Or perhaps it's just me. 

But for some reason, I am desperate to convince myself that it will. That it will, ultimately, turn out okay. I suppose if I'm going by precedent, I have no reason to doubt it. 

I mean, the last two years definitely didn't turn out so bad. 

Please let the next two, three, ten turn out okay, as well.


whew. definitely won't be doing that again anytime soon.

Oooooh. Ahhhhhh

A new layout. 
A new header. 

And it only took me 72 freaking hours of single-minded obsession instead of doing what I should have been doing: namely, preparing a 30-minute presentation I'm supposed to give on Saturday that I'd quite honestly rather wish out of existence.
It's a little absurd how much work it takes to redesign a website — and that's with all of Blogger's help. Of course, as HTML code and I are only distant acquaintances, I probably took twice as long as someone more experienced with, you know, that newfangled computer gadget thing. I'm starting to rethink the whole "digital publishing" direction in which I was hoping to head.

And now I've got to give up my life until I finish preparing to be booed out of the symposium this weekend for talking about young adult literature when my friends are giving speeches on topics such as "Effects of Incident Radiation on Monarch Caterpillar Development," "Identifying Factors Affecting Student Transition from Primary to Secondary Education in Selected Developing Countries," and "Herbal Remedies in 20th Century Slavic Folklore."

Oh dear. It looks even worse written down. I'm going to go bury my head in a hole now.

Wish me a swift and painless death, my friends.


under construction.

I'm currently eviscerating my blog layout.
To Build Books and Castles will be functioning again soon.

I hope...


spring has kinda sorta sprung.

So it appears the pear tree blossoms have finally, well, blossomed — which, while aesthetically pleasing, means that the campus is ripe with the smell of parmesan cheese and dead fish mixed with vomit.


I love spring.

Nothing makes me miss England more than endless drizzle and that perpetual moistness lingering in the air, which coupled make every step outside feel delightfully like taking a bath.

But hey, let's get real, any kind of weather that saves me from the constant snowpocalypse that was Winter 2013 is all right with me. Now that the school year is winding down, I'm starting more and more to savor my time left on campus, which come May will be one of the prettiest places you could find in the Midwest. As much as I'm ready to leave and start a new adventure, I have to admit:

I will miss Lawrence like crazy.

It's my own little oasis of weird in a white bread state. And no matter where I go, I will always be a Lawrence girl at heart. I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do without The Mirth's bottomless coffee and Silas and Maddy's lemonade sherbet and the seemingly infinite stacks of Watson Library {where I'm fairly certain you could hide a body so it would never be found}.

But let's not get sentimental now. I can't even bear to think of goodbye just yet. I still have another month. And I will be taking advantage of it. 

Happy kinda sorta spring, everyone!

By the way, two posts in one week.


confessions of a sucky blogger.

I know.
I know.
I've been basically the world's worst blogger for about nine months {or about two years, depending on how you measure "good"} now.

And it's not because I've grown tired of this. Or you. Or writing in general.

And it's not because I've run out of things to complain about.
Trust me, that's definitely not it. 

It's more that I {more or less} literally have no original thoughts left.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I have become an early 20-something statistic.

All I think about anymore is:

1) How I really want to be back in Europe right now instead of suffering through yet another Western religions class. {Seriously, you would not BELIEVE the ignorant, asinine questions asked there on a daily basis. I look around that room, and I see the future of America. And I weep.}

But mostly that:


No exaggeration. This is what my life has been reduced to: semi-daily panic attacks when I'm not busy dying a slow and agonizing intellectual death in the classroom.

So to keep myself from completely melting into a puddle of coffee and fear and ruining my computer keyboard, I've backed off a bit this year from airing my crazy to the rest of the Internet.
{Also, I've been thinking it's better that I keep my opinions about my religions class to myself. I'd have to change my site's rating.}

As I'm SO CLOSE to graduating and either getting a lot more exciting or a lot more pathetic {I swear it's somehow possible}. Here's the deal. I'm going to try to blog as much as I can this summer about the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, but only part of my blogging will be here. Life in New York, paying for food in New York, finding an apartment in New York, not getting mugged in New York — all of that will be here. As for the school- and publishing-related updates, I'll be making a special section on my blog, The Pervasive Random {which yes, I have utterly ignored this year}. I'm hoping I'll soon be able to redesign this site, as well. 
Because right now I'm hating pretty much everything about it.

So bear with me, people. Interesting things WILL be happening soon. 
{Whether these things will involve me living the high life in Manhattan or begging for change on some dirty Brooklyn street corner, I'm not exactly sure.}

All I am sure of now is I'm cursed. Whenever I wear my rainboots, it doesn't rain, and then I have to lug these weights around on my feet all day. 

Live long and prosper, folks.

See you {hopefully} soon.


jazz, booze, life, joy everywhere nowadays

God, I love the city life.

I just want to surround myself with the tallest buildings and the busiest sidewalks and, of course, the best restaurants open all night long {because I definitely need 24-hour access to all-you-can-eat Chinese food...}.

So a trip to Chicago was pretty much the greatest birthday present a girl could ever ask for {or be surprised with, in my case. I love my parents}.

I spent waaaaay to much money on the best possible things {40 percent off spring sales, guys}, ate waaaaay too much food {and then ate some more}, saw my favorite painting in person {and now own a wall print, a mug and a stack of sticky notes commemorating that momentous occasion}, and was almost accosted by a member of the Blue Man Group {this is why I don't go to haunted houses, folks}.

And that's not to mention The Book of Mormon, which was hands down the funniest musical I've seen in my life. Just saying, "Salt Lake City isn't an actual place. It's an idea. A metaphor."

But of course, nothing I saw in Chicago was better than getting to experience it all with my mama. There's no one in the world I have a better time with than her. 

So all in all, spring break in Chicago turned out to be the perfect cure for the mid-semester doldrums.

Or at least it gave me a brief respite from thinking about thesis presentations and taxes and loans and subleases and the fact that will have no steady source of income in a month and a half.

Naturally, I returned to griping and grouching the second my feet touched down on Kansas soil {or, you know, Kansas concrete}.

But, let's face it: 
If I didn't, I wouldn't be me.

Apparently people who live on the 25th floor get to look out on this kind of view every day. Unfortunately, I don't see this in my future.

And can we just take a moment to appreciate the magnificence of this masterpiece? I mean, seriously. How could anything be so lonely and so inviting all at the same time?

Title song: "Nowadays" — from the Chicago musical


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