Stories that Stick Review

There were stories in this book that certainly stuck for sure. Kindra Hall breaks everything down into a condensed format.  This book was read over a short time span of 5 hours. If I were a marketing teacher, I would highly consider making this part of my classroom material. However, this is a must for any creative who feels as though they are in a lag.

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As someone who has had marketing roles, it is often a challenge to be a “story collector,” but it’s a vital part of storytelling. I loved how Kindra told a story about how she asked questions to get better answers. This is important because sometimes you’re not going to tell your story, but the story of others.

Even though research was used for this book, the content was written where it was easy for the reader. The statistics flowed into the story that Kindra was telling.

Kindra mentioned the Apple holiday commercial of the kid that made the slideshow after being on his phone the whole time. I thought this was quite interesting because it was a story with a twist. However, I wish Apple would have done the same in the AirPods commercials. It took me two years, to learn that when you take out an AirPod, it pauses the music. What’s the story of everyone’s life when they go to the gym and they run into everyone and they have to pull out their earphones? The music keeps going. Apple didn’t communicate a good enough situation for the need for the AirPods. Even though this was shown for a brief second in the 2017 commercial with the Marian Hill song “Down” It didn’t fully tell the story for me to say “take my money.”

My favorite part was the top four reasons why the founder’s story is often not told. The big one was how we often feel as though it was repeated. This is quite a common one considering that I feel slightly the same way when I introduce myself and I forget to tell people that I’m a triplet. Yes, a founder’s story is quite different from a fact, but it’s quite similar.

*Reviewer received an advanced copy of the book by the publisher Harper Collins

A Night at the Americana Honors and Awards

How I got to go

My luck for winning random things, I guess you could say began when I won a VHS of Hook in 4th Grade. I want to lie and say I shouted “RUFIO!” when I won. However, I was speechless when my request for Margo Price’s song “A Little Pain,” was the winning request for tickets to the Americana Honors and Awards. Thank you Lightning 100’s Noon Request Lunch Hour. Trust me this station has introduced me to many new artists. Before moving to Nashville, I heard Sheryl Crow endorse the station.

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What I wore

My first thought was “what do I even wear to an award show?” I had never been to one at all. So I Googled photos from the past AHAs. The search results were: Margo Price had on an awesome dress, my girl Emmylou Harris was wearing a blouse and slacks (okay she can do whatever), and Alynda of Hurray for the Riff Raff well she had on a suit that looked like it was designed by Manuel. I know that most artists wear clothes you would be surprised by the price tags even if it looks simple. I didn’t want to spend money so I decided to go through my closet. If you do happen to go and you have a pair of jeans with a top that looks like Free People, you are good. After all, Don Was wore flip-flops with a cowboy hat and a suit.

When I found a cream Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock dress in the back of my mom’s bedroom closet at my grandparent’s house in middle school, I wanted it. It was what Emmylou Harris would wear in the 70s. My mom wore it to a dance. Personally, I wanted to wear it to a dance or have it in senior pictures. It was obvious it wouldn’t look right. However, Americana Fest, yes it could work. With the thrift stores in East Nashville, the dress had to work. IMG_4138.JPG

I paired it with a pair of Madden Girl heels, tassel black earrings by Valerie Blanche, a Kendra Scott bracelet, a barrette my mom had in the 80s, and my mother’s Onyx ring, which has an awesome story for another day. Also because the dress would show everything, I had to get a slip. I ordered a Kate Kasin cami dress on Amazon. It is the same one I wore to the art crawl this weekend. It did make me feel like Carrie Bradshaw on the Sex and The City Intro.

Trust me I enjoyed getting ready. I used this night as training for awesome make-up on myself for my sister’s wedding next week. However, I rarely wear red lipstick on top of winged eyeliner, which that will be absent at her wedding. I freaked out when the queen, Margo Price had her hair up in a half updo like me. IMG_4129.jpeg

The Show

Now let’s talk about the event. If you ever go to AHA, try to attend the event early. There were people still going through security when we were seated and the show started. When I walked in, I noticed Alejandro Escovedo. I was in shock and I politely introduced myself to him. I then took a picture with him. It wasn’t the greatest with the lighting, but you cannot be picky when running into an artist.

IMG_4141.jpeg My seats were on the main floor. Even though the Ryman is an impressive venue for the 1800s, you have to remember the engineering back then. There are posts that support the balcony, which can obstruct the view at times at the bottom when the artists move around. The one thing I was shocked by was the constant movement. The announcers are on the left side of the stage, then the stagehands are moving equipment around for the next performers. Also, the artists were leaving their seats and coming back constantly to present or perform.

It was really awesome to see how the awards were tailored to each artist. Buddy Guy’s award had polka dots. I really wish I could have seen the awards up close since I love looking at art to inspire me when drawing.

However, for all of these years, I did not appreciate the Milk Carton Kids, the hosts, enough. They created a comedic environment while presenting. It truly showed when the PA system went bonkers and they had to tell the audience that they would reboot the system so an honoree, Irma Todd could sing again.

Everyone knows that I love going to shows. This may not be Dave Ramsey approved, but I told myself while moving here, just try to go to one show a month, it can be free or you can pay it. My one show a month trick has helped me contain myself. I went from living in a small town to Music City. My list of artist that I want to see is crazy. Last night I can say that I finally got to see Anderson East, Don Was, Brandi Carlile, Lukas Nelson & the Promise of Real, John Prine, and Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats. Plus, the Ryman amplifies a good artist’s abilities. The show was truly like getting a buffet for all of the artists. I have missed Lukas Nelson everytime he has been in town so I was just gracious to hear only “Forget about Georgia.”

I saw a cute little girl in a green striped dress with pink earmuffs on when I realized this cutie was Mercy Isbell. I have so many expectations for that little girl since she is the child of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. I nudged my friend, Margaret, and said there’s Mercy. We were both in awe because we frequently share Jason and Amanda’s IG stories to each other. Yes, I expect kids to be curious, but that girl seemed to be fairly well behaved from a distance. It was precious seeing her point to her mom’s nose.

I felt conflicted cheering for all of the artists. I mean when you have Jason Isbell, Margo, and Brandi up for an award, who would you cheer for? However, it helped me enjoy the event more. Jason Isbell won 3 out of 4 awards, but lost to John Prine for Artist of the Year. Now I feel as though I’m great about finding great artists. However, I feel like I have missed a hidden gem. Courtney Marie Andrews is like a mixture of Joni Mitchell with Jenny Lewis. She sang back up for a few songs on Jimmy Eat World’s album Invented. She had a pretty awesome jumpsuit.

I’m still floored by my experience from last night. Also, let’s say I might have danced like Elaine on Seinfeld in my seat. The ending number was an Aretha Franklin Tribute with “Chain of Fools,” which was appropriate to end the night. This will be a night that I certainly will not forget. Americana Fest is still ongoing so

Americana Fest is still ongoing so there are more events everywhere. Margo Price will have a Meet and Greet at Third Man on 9/13 at 6 pm. Also, Emmylou is hosting Woofstock on 9/16, which has a pretty awesome lineup.

Ways to relive your childhood for Christmas

If there’s one thing I wish I could do, it is rant to a kid about how lucky they have it around Christmas time. They are off from school, they don’t have to worry about getting gifts, and also they have all the time to watch as many Christmas movies as they want multiple times. The saddest thing is that I have a short time frame to spend with my sister over Christmas. I’m furious that I have yet to watch The Santa Clause, which I watched all year round at my grandma’s house and I could care less about the sequels. While I sound like the Grinch, I have found a few ways to liven up Christmas. However, I found a few ways to make Christmas feel more child-like especially for a 90s kid.

Find a Christmas sweater with a pop culture reference – I speak fluent movie quotes. When November 1 arrives, you will see me wearing my Elf “Does Somebody need a hug?” sweatshirt that I got from Etsy. Now, I will wear this like crazy until Christmas. Yes, I am aware that this is way too big. It could not be returned because it was a holiday item. While trying to find the link, I saw that it was gone, but right now, I am trying not to buy the “All I want for Christmas is Steve Harrington” Stranger Things Sweater. Then again, I might own this sweater soon because I love Stranger Things and it has Steve with his bat.

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Moon Glowtion Now I don’t know if you remember the Art Stuff line from Bath and Body works, but it was awesome. It was lotions that left a blue, pink, or green tint on your skin, it had an overwhelming fruit scent, and it was full of glitter. One year Art Stuff released a holiday collection called Twinkle, Twinkle, which the scent was light. My sister and I got mad when we used each other’s lotion or roll on body glitter of Twinkle, Twinkle. I am 98% sure this is the formula. Who is to say that with 2000s trends slightly creeping into fashion we will see body glitter all over at the club and on the red carpet, but right now I am in obsessed with this lotion. However, I just get pure joy where I think of my sister and I playing with our Caboodles makeup cases around 4th grade.

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Buy Something Peanuts-related- Step one: go into a Hallmark Store or “Google Peanuts Holiday Items,” then step two: let your heart be your guide, and step three: make a purchase. This is the cartoon that never ages. So I had been wanting a nativity scene, but I ran across several factors. They are usually fairly large and also they can be pricey. So while attending ICE! by Charlie Brown, I found this Peanuts Nativity Scene by Kurt Adler in the gift shop, but I bought this on Amazon. It’s precious and plus the star lights above the baby Jesus played by Woodstock. However, I get such joy looking at it. Yes, they have the small tree and I had wished I had gotten it before I had found my tree at Nordstrom Rack. However, I’m glad I found the nativity set.

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Get a Great Christmas Picture- Okay so I’m a triplet and we had an annual tradition of Christmas Photos. Either before or after church my mom had us take photos on the stairs with a roll of film. We were outfitted in clothes probably from Storybook or Talbots. There were obviously some bad ones too, but it’s good looking back at the memory. However, aside from the dresses that have to be ironed, you need a good picture of yourself in a festive manner. Luckily my apartment had an awesome professional photographer take pictures of residents. My friend Elizabeth and I snapped a great one in front of the Nashville Christmas Tree Lighting. It’s a good thing to look back on each Christmas. Yes, Elizabeth was with me before in the sweaters.

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Break down and buy that Christmas Movie- I will not lie that I’m furious about the fact that I have Amazon Video, Hulu, Netflix and HBO GO, but none of them offer good holiday movies. If you are like me, then you probably hate Hallmark Movies. I know we have tons of choices when it comes to watching shows on demand, but around Christmas time let me tell you we are just as bad as our parents hoping we get to see Frosty or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer once a year on CBS. Now I have watched the Grinch, but I could not see Home Alone so I just bought it. The older you become Kevin is more of a child and you see the awesome abilities behind John Hughes. I even enjoyed the behind the scenes features were on iTunes Extra. Now I don’t have a tv, so I bought it on iTunes. Now I bought Hocus Pocus 4 years ago on iTunes because I could not watch it in college and I have watched it every year. Just a heads up for next and if you do have a DVD player, Target has great sales on Christmas movies for Black Friday and the following Saturday.

Attend a Christmas Event- Luckily I live in Nashville and I would highly recommend Charlie Brown by ICE! at the Gaylord Opryland. Trust me you will be happy once you enter the room of life-size sculptures. Just try to keep your phone warm in a glove because it will die like mine did due to the cold. Also, there’s a Charlie Brown dinner theatre at the winery at the Fontanel. I enjoyed attending the Nashville Christmas Parade earlier this month. It truly felt like “It’s A Wonderful Life” when Santa came through the parade.

Just roam and look at Christmas lights – Yes, I know this sounds cliche, but if you live in Nashville just gather some friends and just walk around Opryland with drinks. I have had friends that haven’t been to Opryland to see the lights, but it is something to see. I’m not going to lie, I snubbed my nose to the idea of a touristy place, but it is amazing. Plus, the plants around the Gaylord Opryland Hotel are beautiful. So maybe wherever you are, just go with a best friend and walk around parks and hotels where there are Christmas decorations. I wish I could walk around and admire the Christmas decorations of the Palace Hotel, Westfield San Francisco Centre, and Union Square in San Francisco. My family went to San Francisco four years ago around Christmas time and I remember the beauty of the lights.

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There can be joys about the holiday season. I was glad when I saw the Gap commercial with Janelle Monae. I wore striped rainbow colored sweaters all the time as a kid like in the commercial. Plus, it reminded me of the Gap commercials of the boys and girls singing and dancing to covers. It’s up to you to make Christmas lively. I had to take a picture in front of The Diner in Nashville because my grandpa made a tree out of lights like how it is on the building on the side of his house. Who knows I actually might adopt a habit of watching The Santa Clause in July so I can say I saw that Christmas movie this year. In the meantime, if you want me to tell your kids how lucky they are with their time in Christmas or life in general, let me know so I can rant. However, I mean it out of pure love.

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Right now I have to tell you about the most fabulous, groovy bell bottoms

 

I will not lie. I think of the beginning of “Baby Driver” where we are introduced to a good kid with a huge knowledge of music and he has to pay a huge debt to his boss, who is a monster (on screen and off screen) when I wear these jeans. The song is a great setting for the movie even though bell bottoms were not present in the movie. However, it is a perfect song that makes me happy about what I’m wearing.

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But for real let me tell you about bell bottoms. I have had these in my closet since my birthday. Sadly, I was afraid to wear these jeans because I thought they were too daring for me. Of course, a few things happened since I bought them. I moved to Nashville where the range of style is different from the armies of bachelorette parties in matching Cricut shirts and boots, 90s style Guess shirts, designer everything, and girls wearing Molly the American Girl doll glasses. Bell bottoms might not be as daring as some of these options, but I feel as though it’s a classic style that is stigmatized as a trend. However, the secret is you have to style them right.

I have had bell bottoms when was another trend many years ago. In 4th grade, I remember having a pair of baby blue bell bottoms with a glittery sheen. It was something Lizzie McGuire would have worn. In high school, I remember getting a pair a silk lined Miss Me bell bottom jeans after Katie Holmes wore them. Of course, those trends are distant.

I think they should stay. Mine are high waisted which gives a retro feel. Plus it works great with your shirt tucked in. There’s just something awesome about the way it pulls off with a solid top. Now I do need to find an awesome belt to wear with this. However, I just know this is something I will wear more often. I paired it with Diane Von Furstenburg cat-eyed sunglasses I found at Nordstrom Rack and a Cloth and Stone shirt from TJ Maxx.

 

Now I ordered these jeans from J. Crew and they were on clearance for $34. I will admit I was scared when I saw all sales were final. I would like to provide some alternative options. Now J. Crew does have a lighter wash available in the Ashbury flare jeanGap has a pair for $70. If you want to go for an extremely edgy look I would recommend these frayed bottom bell bottoms from Free People. The bell bottoms are very wide.

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My sister came to town and we did get touristy.

 

I feel as though the only way shoe that works with a pair of bell bottoms is one with a heel that provides height and structure. Plus, this prevents the hems from being stepped on and really looking like a tattered mess. My favorite platform sandal is Bushnell by OTBT. However, I opted for the Vionic Rory Bootie in Taupe. These boots are comfortable however I was an idiot and I didn’t wear socks because it showed through. Well, after a day of roaming around in Nashville in these shoes my toes hurt the next day. However, what I did for work the following week is fold an ankle sock over where it only covers half my foot. My heels were fine, which is a miracle considering I have worn flat boots and my heels have been in pain. At work, I have had no problems wearing the Vionics because they provide orthotic support. Plus, the taupe goes with everything.

 

If you don’t feel like wearing bell bottoms yet, let me show you a safe option for everyone, Women’s Textured Skinny Ankle Pants by A New Day. These might be worn weekly like the bell bottoms I had as a kid from Target. I have fallen in love with the A New Day line from Target for my work attire. There was no question that I had to get these textured pants. These are guaranteed to make you dance like Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face” when she is in the skinny pants and black turtleneck. They are edgy for going out, yet great for the office.  I wore them twice within one week of purchasing these pants because I love them so much. Plus, it is great for upcoming holidays parties. Also, I must add they are stretchy, which is great for being around holiday food.

Bell bottoms will be a permanent addition to my closet. However, my advice for the world is this just wear the bell bottoms because you can rock it and you will not look weird. Just say “Lord can’t help it baby got her blue jeans on” to motivate you to wear these things. Plus, you will feel awesome and may you have this Jon Spencer Explosion song stuck in your head if you opt to purchase a pair.

 

Literature In A Hurry

There are times in our lives we have to look back and say, “In a way, I don’t blame myself for giving up an activity, but it could have helped me.” I’ve heard it many times from artists and musicians. Yet you have probably asked someone why did they take a break from such a wonderful gift. The past year has been quite evident of that with my blog.

Here’s a little round-up of what I have done since I blogged like a crazy person.

  • I began a quest to move to Nashville. That was a success.
  • I landed a job in the health communication. That was a success.
  • I finished my master’s degree, which was also a success.
  • Also, I planned tons of gatherings with my two favorite childhood friends at home. It was a success considering I live far from them now.
  • My blogging life…oh that was a complete dumpster fire. That falls into the category of “I wish I could have worked on it and it could have helped me.”

literature in a hurryFor every success, you have some flaws. For me, that was staying on schedule with my blog that I had neglected. I also wanted to change my blog name. It took me forever to come up with a new name, which came from one of my favorite movies. However, the name depicts my life as a young college student, a graduate student, a young life-long learner, and whatever stage in life I am. However, this name is a reminder that no matter how fast my life is I always have a story to tell.

My purpose is to be a storyteller whether it is through my blog, pr, digital drawings, photography, and my daily life. I have been blogging on and off, tentatively, or whatever you would like to call it since 2010 when I was a freshman in college. Yet I have friends tell me “you need to blog more” or “you depicted Mississippi State so well in the BuzzFeed list and you could blog about anything.” It’s good to have encouragement, but things must happen on it’s own time. However, a break allows you to regroup and most importantly focus on what matters to you. So even though I’m starting back up, I know I might stop. I know I need to show off my talents.

There are many categories of blogs, but I’m going to be the crazy person all over with different topics from product reviews to thought-based blogs. Plus, it’s obvious I love food so there will be blogs about restaurants and my own recipes. I’m not hiring a photographer for this blog unless a friend wants to take good pictures of me or I hand off the phone for a snapshot. It will reflect my life in a hurry and it shows a real glimpse into my life. Plus, there are blogs that make people feel bad, which serves as a reminder that they cannot afford 5 Vince sweaters, have enough designer purses, or they are not living the right life. I just want people to read my blog and think, “Yes, that’s what I’m going through” or “Oh I needed to hear that.”

I’m going to be honest and say most of my wardrobe is from TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Target, or sales. There’s nothing wrong with that because it shows I am creative with my resources. I think I dress pretty good although I get to that point where I’m like “People probably think my black tassel earrings from Valerie Ochs that I got at the Old Orchard Barn Sale in Sikeston are the only earrings I own.” Seriously, I’m going to miss going to the sale this weekend and that’s one of the few downsides of living away from home. However, I have tried other earrings with tassels, but these are so light.

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Pictured with my Valerie Ochs earrings. I’m surprised my hat didn’t go into the Cumberland River because of the wind during this shot.

Now on my Instagram posts, I have made posts that should have been blog posts. Accessing my website isn’t as fast as posting something on IG. So I am going to include the hashtag #LiteratureInAHurry on some of the posts. Plus, it’s fitting because I had to share my feelings about going to Becca Steven’s “Love Heals” book signing and the loss of Tom Petty on IG.

When I moved to Nashville I had two weeks where I went to work, to go home what was supposed to be my long awaited haven and I worked on my master’s. My zeal was beyond stupid once I finished that paper. So I drove to treat myself after my last paper, I drove down to 12th South for Five Daughters Bakery. While driving, I thought well this is it. It’s time to not only make an impact in this city I dreamed of moving too, but fulfill my purpose whether it be volunteering or contributing to the field of communication.

On that drive, I told myself I need to write creatively because in high school I did want to major in English.   that was about two months ago and it has taken me this long to get myself back into blogging. Don’t get me wrong I love working in public relations. Plus, I had concentrations in journalism and broadcasting as well in undergraduate. The problem is you often have to leave creativity at the door or it is often forgotten about it. Yes, it has taken me awhile to get started, but here I am. So here’s my shot.