Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

10 Things I'm Loving Lately | October '18

10 Things I'm Loving Lately | October '18


September got away from me and I missed 10TILL. I’ve decided it’s for the best because this means the next one will be in December and can be a Christmas edition; but until then, fall needs a little appreciating! Here are my favorites from the last few months:

  1. Historically, I’ve always preferred taking photos to editing them; mostly because I’ve never had the patience to learn the best programs for it. Since working at RightNow, though, I’ve picked up a better sense of Lightroom from coworkers and Skillshare. Once I got over a brief stage of general frustration that photos would not instantly look like what I wanted, I settled into the process, and have honestly started enjoying editing. I’m still learning a lot, but having fun doing it.

  2. While browsing a store during one of my recent trips to Houston, my dad bought me this amazing pair of hammered silver, shoulder-dusting earrings. “These are weird but they’ll look cool on you,” he said. I’m super picky about my jewelry, but I have to say, he nailed it. And they make the most magical sound whenever they move, like wearing lil windchimes on my ears. (Made sustainably, too!)

  3. Some cooler weather! Cooler being extremely relative, but listen — in Texas, anything beneath 80 feels like a small miracle after summer. I’ll take what I can get.

  4. I’ve always been a sort of silent observer on Instagram — following so many interesting people and appreciating the work they share with a simple, anonymous-feeling “like.” I’m not sure why I’ve been so shy to use it in an actually, well, social way; but recently, I’ve made more of an effort to try and strike up conversation with other writers/photographers/makers who inspire me and let them know so. The result has been a few little “Instagram friends,” and it’s been really gratifying to edge onto the fringes of some artistic community using the platform.

  5. I preordered Jay B. Sauceda’s new book A Mile Above Texas at the first possible opportunity. It arrived at my office this week and I got emotional when I cracked the spine for the first time, which only one of coworkers noticed and kindly ignored. (Texas, man. It makes you feel things.) The photos are even more gorgeous in print, and the layout of the book is phenomenal. Major props!

  6. Having time to read again. When I was writing Don’t Stop & Paddle Hard, just about every second of free time I had went to writing words, not reading them. I missed my books, and it’s been awesome to come home after work and just curl up with a good one. (There are a few that I’m dying to put on this list, but I’d better save them for the next Stack…)

  7. Help, I can’t stop listening to Universal Sound by Tyler Childers.

  8. Walking. This sounds funny, but I’d been feeling anxious over the past couple months, and a friend recommended I try to take at least one good walk a day. Not a run, she said — just a walk. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person in a lot of ways; I’ve always figured that if I’m walking, I might as well be running. But I’ve tried to follow her advice, and it’s become one of the happiest things for me. It’s a practice in slowing down. It gives me time to really notice things. I don’t listen to music or podcasts while I go, since I don’t need to distract myself from, you know, burning lungs; and since I’m not a sweaty mess after taking one, I can squeeze it in just about any time. For someone who’s usually moving at a fast pace — and usually accompanied by a lot of noise — it’s nice to just… walk.

  9. My best friend brought it to my attention that Trader Joe’s now carries cotton wax wraps! Picture many heart-eyes emojis here.

  10. Journaling. I’m an on-again, off-again journaler — I prayer journal nearly every day, but do a pretty bad job of just writing down what’s going on in my life and how I’m feeling about it all. Lately, though, I’ve been taking the time to do it; just because I feel like this is a season of life I’ll want to remember in more detail later on. It’s been such a nice way to decompress and process decisions. I should make more of a habit of it!

Your turn, now — what are you loving lately?

254 | Fannin County

254 | Fannin County

254 | Grayson County

254 | Grayson County