Highlights from Yellowstone National Park


This gallery contains 23 photos.

From June 29th through July 3rd, I went to Yellowstone National Park with one my best friends and another friend of hers (whom I now consider my friend as well).  It was the first time in quite awhile I’d really … Continue reading

Old Town Charm in Brenham, Texas

About two hours north-west of Houston is the small town of Brenham, TX in Washington County.  According to the brochures and signs, Washington County is known as the “birthplace of Texas,” where the Texas government first formed.  There is an astonishing amount of history in the area, as well as an old plantation-turned-museum, and several vineyards, and two lavender farms.

But we (my mother, brother, and I) went to Washington County for one very good reason: ICE CREAM.  For Brenham, TX is the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, a company that some people will not be familiar with (as it is regional and has not yet reached the coasts or the northern-most states), but if you live in the South or Midwest, you know the wonders of Blue Bell Ice Cream. And Brenham is where it began, and where it is still headquartered.

We’d heard that the Blue Bell creamery gave tours, and so during my mother’s short vacation we decided to make a day-trip of it.  The tour was a lot of fun.  Seeing the inside of a creamery, with the huge tanks of ice cream ingredients, the frozen-over pipes, the actual ice cream being cartooned and stored… It was all pretty cool.  But the best part was, of course, the free sample of ice cream at the end.  I got peaches n’ cream.  DELICIOUS.

Sadly, photography was not allowed inside the creamery (understandably), but here are a few photos from outside the creamery, where they have a beautiful little courtyard, and an ice cream delivery truck, circa 1920s that still runs and is occasionally taken out for a spin for carnivals and parades.

courtyard outside the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery

the founders of Blue Bell Ice Cream

the girl and cow that make up the logo on every carton of Blue Bell Ice Cream

my brother and I in front of the 1920s ice cream delivery truck

After we had finished the tour, however, we discovered that Brenham also has an historic main street district, with antique shops, cute cafes and restaurants, a couple bed and breakfasts, the Washington County Courthouse (which also meant lots and LOTS of lawyers offices), and the FIRST paved road in Texas.  So we had to go check out it.  My photography leaves much to be desired, but I still think the photos are better representative than any description would be, and so, and give you:

Brenham, TX!

Washington County Courthouse – I LOVE this building, seems somewhat Art Deco to me (though I’m definitely no expert)

We’ll DEFINITELY be going back. The antique shops alone made the trip well worth the gas.  And there are some more restaurants I want to try out.

‘Til next time, folks! Have a good day!

Places of Inspiration: Old New Castle

As some of you may know, I spent all last week visiting a friend in Delaware, and as such didn’t get any writing done.  It was a time for me to focus on my friend, who I hadn’t seen in three years (though we talk regularly online), and it was a time to recharge a little.  So, no, I didn’t get any writing done.  But I did keep my ideas percolating in the back of my brain, and I also gathered inspiration from unlikely places.

It’s fascinating to me how many random places you can gather inspiration from.  Big Cities, Little Towns, Museums, etc…  For me one of the big ones this past week was Old New Castle in Delaware.  It’s the old town section of New Castle, right on the Delaware River, filled with beautiful old Colonial style houses and government buildings, etc.  I took a ridiculous number of pictures.  It was just such a beautiful town, and it was a gorgeous warm-with-a-cool-breeze kind of day.  And as my friend and I walked around (with me clicking pictures maniacally) I realized I really want to write about a setting like this.  And when I do write about it, I want it to be more than just a setting – I want the town to become practically a character in its own right.

Pictures like these will, I hope, make that a possibility:

In what kinds of physical locations do you find inspiration?  Do you collect photos for future reference, or do you mainly rely on places you remember, or places you live in?  Any cities/towns/places in particular that you’d like to share with others?

As a side note: As it is the first of June, here are my major goals for the month:

1) Finish my demon hunter WIP, tentatively titled Midnight’s Knife

2) Start first re-write for Midnight’s Knife

3) Read 4-6 books as part of #ToBeReMo (To Be Read Month), which was started by Suzan Isik. You can read more about it here: #ToBeReMo is Back!

See ya folks on friday!