There are two images I want to share with you today. Both of these should be on your mind. Every day. I’ll admit negative thoughts sometimes get the better of me and slow me down. It’s something I need to work on. Something I’m sure we all need to work on.

There is always at least one thing to be grateful for each and every day. If it helps, write down one thing you were grateful for at the end of the day – regardless of whether it was bad or good.


Every one has dreams. I’m currently working (maybe struggling is a more accurate description) on accomplishing some of my biggest ones. Prove the doubters wrong.


Happy Tuesday!







Let’s Do This!

After a few months of chaos, the day has finally arrived for Novel Treks to officially kick off! In the last three months, I have completed a bucket list while saying farewell to the lovely city of Chicago (and judging by the weather, I made it out just in time) and made the long drive west to colorful Colorado!

I am looking forward to sharing my adventures – in both the real and literary worlds – with you all. To give you a sense of what to expect, I want to explain my current vision and plan for Novel Treks. Every Tuesday you will see a post for PositiviTuesday. This is an idea I cam up with a few months ago which I began sharing with my closest friends. The concept, as you may have guessed, is simple: giving or receiving positive messages through the day – no mater how amazing or terrible the day may seem. The length of these posts will vary – a quote or original writing may be your reading for the day. Sundays will be Short Story Sundays. I will select one or two short stories and provide my review(s). These will be shorter posts with the intention of encouraging you to explore a new author or genre. Other than these weekly posts, you will see a smattering of book reviews, monthly photography roundups, and personal posts of my latest escapades.

In addition to the ‘regular’ posts mentioned above, I will be planning challenges, read-a-thons, and giveaways to get you all involved :). These posts and events will require a bit of preparation, but start looking out for them in mid- to late spring!

I hope you enjoy these chronicles and find some interesting reads along the way! If you would like reading recommendations or have any review requests or general feedback, please feel free to leave a comment here, email noveltreks@gmail.com or follow me on social media (links below).






Happy New Year!

Novel Treks is now two months away from official launch! I wish I could have started earlier, but, again, big changes are happening. At this point 90% of things are finalized and I officially move to Colorado on Valentine’s Day! Once I’m settled in I’ll really be able to hunker down and ensure I am prepared to give you all something that will actually be interesting and worthwhile.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I know I am looking forward to some big changes (#1. Move west!). I used to get caught up in the whole “resolution” business, and, like 98% of everyone else, I gave up on my resolution within a week or two. This year, I’ve decided to only make goals (listed at the bottom of this post). I’ve broken them into various categories and have made them ongoing as well as one-time goals. I am excited to get started! I also purchased Keri Smith’s Imaginary World of ______ which essentially prompts you in creating your own fictional world and boosting creative juices. I’ve never attempted something like this before, but I think I am going to enjoy it. Like everything else in my life right now, I just need to stick to it. I feel I have been jumping around from one thing to another over the past three months without accomplishing anything. Maybe it is because of the move and I don’t want to get “attached” or too deep into things while I have so many other thoughts filling my mind. But no more excuses! It’s time to focus and truly start making the difference I keep telling myself I want to make.

In December a few co-workers and I volunteered at a school here in Chicago for an organization called RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). We read to students (pre-K through 2nd grade) and helped them pick out a book to take home. For many of the students it is the first book in their home. It was a fantastic morning that I wish could have gone on forever. I worked with the pre-K (ages 3-5) and they were such darlings! The excitement in their eyes when they were choosing books (and then showing them off to me) simply made my heart smile. The experience has lead me to already begin the search for places to volunteer in Colorado. I will be a reading tutor with Reading Partners at a local elementary school and I hope to volunteer in the classroom for CPCD (Community Partnership for Child Development). I truly believe that these organizations along with new scenery and adventures will result in a wondrous 2015 and I can’t wait to share these experiences with you!

Without further ado, my 2015 goals:

1. Lifestyle

  • Save for new car down payment
  • Volunteer a minimum of 6 hours per week
  • Meatless Mondays
  • Use Duolingo to practice Spanish every week
  • Significantly reduce, if not eliminate, soda consumption
  • Attend at least one photography workshop/class

2. Travel/Outdoors

  • Learn to ski and/or snowboard
  • Visit the Grand Tetons
  • Visit the Great Sand Dunes
  • See (and photograph) the Milky Way
  • Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Hike at least one 14er
  • See the Grand Canyon

3. Reading/Writing

  • Read Les Miserables — I don’t care if it takes all 365 days. Finish it.
  • “Win” NaNoWriMo (50,000 words)
  • Maintain Novel Treks blog and gain at least 150 followers
  • Read at least 24 books (6 of which must be classics)
  • Maintain book club and add at least 2 new members

4. Food/Entertainment

  • See a concert at Red Rocks
  • Try at least one new, local establishment (bar or restaurant) each month
  • Visit at least 4 Colorado breweries
  • Attend Great American Beer Festival

What are your goals for 2015?



Welcome to Novel Treks! As you’ll see on the About page, this blog has been created to give you reviews on books as well as provided stories from the great outdoors of Colorado (and beyond!). The official launch of Novel Treks, including the first review, is set for March 2, 2015. Life is pretty busy with this move halfway across the country coming up so quickly! On launch day I will include a more detailed intro about what to expect from Novel Treks! I sincerely hope you enjoy reading my updates and encourage you to follow this blog!


Twitter & Instagram: @noveltreks