Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Time to Fly!!!

It's Wednesday, I spent the morning doing yoga to calm my nerves and drinking soothing tea...

Yeah right! I wish!

I actually spent the morning reorganizing my suitcase. Once I had that done...I broke the handle to my carry on. Who did I call? My mother! Mom to the rescue! We spent the afternoon searching for a new carry on suitcase, tracking down a Bank of America that could convert my US dollars (USD) to British pounds (GBP).

Once we had those shenanigans was off to the airport! I'm so surprised that I didn't cry when I said farewell to my mother. She was supposed to be here with me. It has been a dream for both of us to travel to London. Alas, things didn't wok out this time. There is always the next!

So, I made my way through the check in line and to my gate. I was super early, and decided to give my phone a little charge. What luck! I headed over to a free outlet and met the loveliest, most interesting, artist while charging phones. See, this is already the beginning of a lovely trip! 

Cheers! I'll see you in London! 7 hours! Hooray!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Preparing For An Adventure of a Lifetime!

It's Tuesday...the day before I leave for my epic journey to England.

I've dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl watching British television shows with my mother. I spent my childhood immersing myself in classic British
literature and writing little stories about lords and ladies in the countryside with large manors and lovely accents. Now, I've managed to align myself with the perfect opportunity to visit the country of my dreams. 

I will attend the World Fantasy Convention, where hundreds of agents,
editors, publishers, and fellow authors like myself will gather, learn, and network. I will promote my debut novel, The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld
and seek out an agent or publisher for my fantasy trilogy, Rise of the Flame! Not only that, but I will immerse myself in the British culture.

I didn't book a hotel, I decided to go the path less traveled. It may seem like a scary path, an uncertain path, or perhaps a dangerous path. 

But I never said I was a girl frightened easily. No, I write about heroic women that make their own paths, choose their own destinies, and hold their heads high in the face of adversity!


I make is sound like I'm entering a secret criminal ring of some sort. No. I'm actually just going to couch surf. I couch surfed a bit during my stay in South Korea. 

It was one of the best times of my
life, and I met some incredible people that became lifelong friends! 

Now, instead of shelling out more than a grand on a hotel room, I've decided to stay with hosts. I found a few lovely Brits that are willing to let an author stay with them free of charge.'s not exactly "free." I will shower them with my fun personality and cheer.
Couch surfing is a culture exchange. So, while I think the Brits are totally awesome dude, they think people from the states are pretty cool too. 

Everybody wins! 

Here's what you do. You sign up on their website, add photos, a bio, etc, and become verified. Then, you search for hosts, check their verification, and references, and send a couch surfing request! 



Just use your common sense and check out your hosts. I only send requests to people with lots of positive references. I also pen pal them for awhile to become acclimated with their personalities and gain a certain comfort level. 

Now, I won't literally stay on a couch. Ha! Most hosts offer spare bedrooms, which is what I'll be enjoying on my stay with 4 different hosts! I'll have a new host each night pretty much. I cannot wait to share the stories with you all. 

Nonetheless, while I pack...and repack
my bag, I think of what fun it would be if I had a friend to tag along. Once again I make my way to a foreign country...all alone. But then I think about it. I'm not all all alone at all. You all are coming with me! 



Stay tuned and I will share this entire experience with you. I'd never leave a friend behind. Join me!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Food Truck Friday (Charlotte, NC)

This Friday I decided to venture out to Food Truck Friday, a delightful gathering of foodie folks in a field surrounded by food trucks with tasty, yet, affordable offerings. 

Charlotte, North Carolina, is an up and coming city with so much to offer. Food Truck Friday is one of those lovely events that seem to catapult this Southern city into the same realm of culinary exploits of New York City or LA. I personally haven't eaten street food since my journey to Seoul, South Korea. Food Truck Friday, at the corner of Camden and South Tryon, across from Phat Burrito, goes beyond street food. Think gourmet on the go! 

I like that! 

Not only did I get a chance to sample the scrumptious cuisine, but I decided to showcase a few of the incredible chefs behind this food truck sensation. I flashed my best smile, and asked the chefs to grant me an interview. Two of them were gracious enough to speak to an up and coming fantasy author with a secret obsession with good food. 

What was the result? 

A spectacular look at what drives these amazing men and what their patrons might not see. These chefs are taking food to another level, and I was thrilled to learn a few of the secrets!

The Plated Palette specializes in southern fusion. Self-taught chef, Joe Tull, is the owner of this remarkable food truck. From Fort Mill, South Carolina, Tull previously worked in the airline industry and just this May, he decided to try his hand at pleasing people's palettes. 

What's the verdict? 

Can he do it? 

Oh yes, sir or madam. He surely can! I tried his famous London broil and cheese sandwich with a side of corn and edamame salad. Holy Moly! It was delicious. The London broil was super tender
and the bread was grilled to perfection. The corn salad with edamame is the definition of "southern fusion." The corn was fresh and the edamame was an excellent touch.
I truly enjoyed my foodie experience with The Plated Palette and look forward to frequenting them whenever they are at Food Truck Friday, or when they serve lunch to the people of uptown Charlotte on weekdays!

After nibbling on a half of that yummy sandwich, I still had room for more! I strolled over to Belly Backers and tried my mother's order of brisket and Parmesan fries. 

Who could say no? Not I! Let's just taste buds were not satisfied with only one bite! Alas, I had work to do, and more food to eat. 

Therefore, I made my way to Root Down, a food truck specializing in Creole, southern food, and street food. With my charms and grace, I somehow got the amazing Chef Dano Holcomb to agree to take time out of his busy night serving up flavorful local finds to speak to me. Hooray! 

What a find! 

Chef Holcomb was such a pleasure. Chef Dano Holcomb had always been into food and the males in his family ignited a passion within him to learn all that he could about cooking.
Once a soccer coach for 15 years, Holcomb decided to follow his dreams and pursue a career in the culinary arts. After Katrina, Delgado Community College, was one of the few schools open to train aspiring chefs. After attending their culinary program he went on to work for a few notable chefs such as Frank Brigsten's of Brigsten's, and Aaron Burgau and Marcus Woodham of Restaurant Patois! 

I was thoroughly impressed. Not only does Holcomb have the training, he uses local and regional ingredients in his cuisine. How does a little local rabbit and duck sound to you? Sounds divine to me! Their most popular dish is a pulled pork and pimento cheese pecan smoked sandwich. Whoa! They differ from others because they don't use mayonnaise, but pickle juice...that they make themselves!! They aren't about cutting corners. No way. Root Down also makes their own Boudin, a popular creole dish, composed of Cajun rice and sausage put into ball formed and...wait for it...DEEP FRIED! 

You had me at Cajun rice! 

I tried a new addition to their menu, which is the pork loin and collard greens. A burst of flavor and the perfect amount of crunch from the fried pork loin, and the collard greens had a tangy vinegar taste that surely delighted my taste buds. The collard greens also had tons of pork floating around, blessing the concoction with its smoky flavor.
These guys are from Statesville and come to the Food Truck Friday in Charlotte a couple times a month, but you can also find them at the Davidson Farmer's Market in Lake Norman.

If you ever find yourself in Charlotte, North Carolina on a Friday, you can find Food Truck Friday set up year round, rain or shine! My tiny tummy couldn't get around to trying everyone's food, but I will be back again. It was pretty cold on that October night, but that didn't stop people from bringing their dogs, bundled up children, and folding chairs and camping out in the center of the field that the food trucks are set up upon. And guess can buy beer and spirits from the local Common Market and enjoy your libations on site! Just don't try to take them off the property. No bueno!

For more on The Plated Palette:
Telephone (803) 818-7106

For more on Root Down:
Creole, Southern, Soul, Streetfood
Telephone (704) 881-3819

For More on Charlotte's Food Truck Friday:
 1616 Camden road
Charlotte, North Carolina
"A gathering of some of Charlotte's best food trucks. Offering different styles of cuisine. Trucks will change from week to week depending on availability.Alcohol available from The Common Market and may be consumed on the lot but not taken off property."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Welcome to Puerto Rico! Bienvenidos!

Yes, this post is super late! Better late than never...right? This past June I took a glorious trip to Puerto Rico. I explored her rainforests, pretended to be a Sports Illustrated model on their sandy shores, tried their delicious food, and enjoyed their vibrant culture and community! Let's take a look at some of my pics, shall we? Of course we shall! Vamos! the beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ohhhh, what is that you're reading? Someone is not afraid of a little shameless book promotion! Ha!

 Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Enough of the Sports Illustrated model shenanigans! We want culture!

 That's the beach...but it's a start!

Wow. I stumbled upon a parade of some sort. Ohhhh...I see what's happening. We're getting closer to this culture I promised. Let's go a little further!


It's...dinner time!! Hooray!'s party time!!

Looks like a bunch of posing to me...but if you say so!
 Ohhh. Beads! Ok, I was honestly disappointed with the nightlife in Puerto Rico. Perhaps its because I was directed to the wrong area. I cannot be sure, but the night ended pretty early.

Do you like my pigeons? They sure do like me!

This is where the pigeons hide. I see you, Pigeon!
Looks like we've reached El Yunque rainforest. A truly beautiful sight!
I give you...water...falling!

Hellllooooooo! Can you hear meeeeee?

Wow! What a view!

I think there's a ghost in that tower. Do you see it? *shivers*

And now, it's time to put on some shades, enjoy the sun, and relax...

Well, that was fun. 

Next time I will be bringing you video! Tune in when I return from England on November 9th. I hope you enjoyed my pics from Puerto Rico. It was a lovely place, with even lovelier people. 

Have a lovely day!