12.03.2017

Be an Outdoor Athlete or Just Look Like One


An updated draft of something I wrote a while back. I want to sent it to a glossy outdoor magazine, but I don't think their advertisers would appreciate it.

11.17.2017

My Favorite Street


Al's Den McMenamin's Portland, Oregon
It amazes me how little is said in so much of today's travel writing. In addition to showing the reader next to nothing about a destination, much of the writing sounds forced and corny. On one hand this is depressing but on the other, it gives me confidence in my ability to produce a publication-worthy travel story.

I mimicked a cliched travel article a few weeks ago (http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/2017/09/laramie-travel-piece.html) and when I stumbled across this article in the in-flight magazine during a recent trip, I knew I had found my next exercise.

Mike and I gallivanted off to Oregon last weekend to spend time with his family in the shadows of Mt. Hood and catch up with my friend Jim Bergman. 

 

10.20.2017

Bozeman Graffiti Wars

Bozeman Graffiti
More on development & updated photos from Bozeman's graffiti scene...

A while back (http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/2017/01/paradise-ruined.html)I wrote a piece about graffiti around Bozeman. The post specifically highlighted markings that have appeared on the apartment building and quartet of little white houses in a prime location on West Lamme. Recently, I passed by during a run and my curiosity was piqued once again. Upon returning home from my run, I went to the all-knowing Google to find out what’s going on. Below is what I discovered…

10.03.2017

My Path to Musical Maturity

The latest work from my writing class. I took two posts from this blog and worked them into one. Great feedback from my class resulted in this piece. Your feedback is welcome.

9.30.2017

Exploring an Under-the-Radar Gem: Laramie, Wyoming




Mimicking the Cliched Travel Article

One good writing exercise is the imitation exercise: find an article in a magazine and mimic its style on a different topic. Recently, I came across a city profile in a popular travel magazine and decided to use it as the starting point for my essay. The author of the original piece works in the restaurant industry and is a judge on one of television's well-known cooking programs. The article didn't provide too many concrete details nor did it make a compelling case to visit the city. But if you're a star in the culinary world I guess that gives you authority to write in a well-distributed publication, even if you don't say a whole lot.

As I read over what I wrote, I will say I have succeed in mimicking the flowery language found in the original piece. I can't say I have created a journalistic masterpiece, but it was a fun and easy exercise. At some point, I will rewrite this story with more concrete detail and less travel-writing fluff.

9.24.2017

Braided Essay - Antelope & Gymnastics

In my writing class last week, one of our exercises was the braided essay. We were instructed to pick a wild animal and an experience we are proud of. We were then given four minutes to weave these two seemingly distinct things into a playful essay that connected them. Many of us found the topics we choose were connected even if we didn't know it at the time. I chose antelope and gymnastics, and had so much fun with the exercise that I decided to expand upon it here. 

9.08.2017

Concluding the Bozeman Development Series




Photos & Five Questions to Consider

Wow! My series of posts on Bozeman development has caused quite a stir. Thanks to re-posting by the Save Bozeman group, my most recent piece (http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/2017/09/bozeman-touring-midtown.html) quickly skyrocketed to a top-three spot on my most popular posts list.

My intent was not to take a stance about development. Rather, I aimed to get people to take a realistic look at what’s going on in Bozeman by taking a walk around. While some might think Bozeman is being“ruined” or getting “too fancy,” examples of everything from ramshackle to ordinary are out there. Bozeman is still a lively mountain town retaining a distinct character, and things are far from being ruined.

I’ll conclude my series with a few thoughts to ponder and several photos to enjoy.

9.06.2017

This is Bozeman: Touring Midtown


Abandon City Center Inn, Bozeman, MT
As downtown and the west side of Bozeman continue to develop at an alarming place, development in other parts of the city is slow to flurish. Thus is the case with Bozeman’s latest urban revival area known as Midtown. Talk of revitalization has been in the works for years, but things are progressing slowly. In this post, we'll take a look at plans for Midtown and take a short tour of the district and the surrounding area.

8.24.2017

Eclipse Stories From Alcova, Wyoming


Eclipse as seen from Alcova, Wyoming - That's WY
Thanks to the foresight of friends, I had the great pleasure of taking a five-day road trip to watch the Great American Eclipse of 2017. I had the luxury of viewing it with the knowledge, comforts, and convenience of modern times. A device no larger than my hand provided a soundtrack that further shaped the atmosphere for the event. The sense of wonder was palpable, yet I couldn’t help but think about how it must have felt hundreds of years ago as the sky mysteriously darkened. I was amazed for sure, but imagine my surprise was nothing compared to what our forebearers must have felt.

It was a “So this is Yale” moment and one that far exceeded my expectations. My friends and I agreed it was a primal experience, whatever on earth that means. Simple colors like orange, black and white took on intense, otherworldly dimensions. It almost seems foolish to try to describe the eclipse, but I’ve jotted down a few thoughts for posterity’s sake.

8.13.2017

Eclipse 2017: Must-Have Provisions

Wyoming Eclipse 2017
Sometimes it seems as if getting a group of folks together can be a major undertaking. Hang wringing and dithering prevail. Something as simple as meeting up for a beer after work becomes a hassle and many times doesn’t happen at all. Other times, intricate plans fall into place seamlessly and a posse forms with minimal dawdling. Thus is the case with the upcoming eclipse.

8.04.2017

Little Free Library Bashing

Little Free Library - book depository
A while back, I wrote about Little Free Libraries here: http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/2015/08/sharing-reading-recycling.html. Since the original post, I have discovered seven more book depositories bringing to Bozeman total up to ten. Interestingly, half of these have been discovered since May! Revisit the original post so you can find out more about the new locations!

During the same time, I also learned that some people are opposed to Little Free Libraries. I find this hard to fathom but two articles were brought to my attention. You can find them below. Check them out and feel free to contribute to the conversation.

7.28.2017

Revisiting Bozeman's Roots & Contemplating Development with an Alley Tour

I first jotted down some notes on this topic in March and delays during a recent flight allowed time to revisit it. Summer is a busy time for building and reminded me the issue of how Bozeman grows is a heated one. I'll post this now rather than waiting to get my thoughts perfect. Feel free to add your thoughts (And photos) to the conversation.

7.09.2017

Independence Day in Fireworks Crazed Bozeman

Fireworks Crazed Bozeman - 'merica
While it is a bummer to realize that I didn't go on a memorable adventure as I usually do over Independence Day (Read about my July 4 explorations and thoughts on the holiday by clicking here to see a list of posts: http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/search/label/Independence%20Day it was still a good day. I was once again reminded that while others dream of Montana and hope to visit, I am fortunate to call Big Sky country my home.

Mike and I spent a pleasant day in Big Sky and took a quick hike to Beehive Basin, a beautiful place but one we've been to many times. Nothing new or hugely inspirational but the walking time got me thinking about the firework situation in town. I've been meaning to write down thoughts about this topic for a few years now and the lack of big adventure to write up has given me the chance to record my musings.  

7.03.2017

Book Review: A Little Life

As I've said before, it is hard to find time to write in the summer. The great outdoors and perfect Montana weather compete for my time and often win out over solitary time with my pen and my thoughts. With that in mind, I've set a challenge for today - write one book review during my lunch break from work. Here are my thoughts on Hanya Yanagihara's novel, A Little Life.

6.15.2017

Travel Sketch: An Unexpected Surprise Above the Amalfi Coast


Sentiero Degli Dei, Path of the Gods' Italy
Although Italy’s Amalfi coast is well on the beaten path, hidden alcoves await those willing to go just a bit further afield. Bomerano, high above the sea is a surprising gem Mike and I discovered during our recent trip to Italy. We planned to walk Sentiero Degli Dei, Path of the Gods', from Positano on the Amalfia coast. Rather than take a bus back to Positano at the end of the thru-hike, we decided to spend the night above the sea before taking another path down to the coast the next morning. We randomly reserved a B&B in Bomerano in the Agerola Valley and were in for a pleasant surprise. With fewer people, cooler temperatures, and affordable food and lodging, it was a welcome change of pace from the coast. Here is an assortment of reflections…

4.25.2017

Writing Prompt & Rambling Thoughts on Reivnention

I'm in the middle of a six-week writing class. Each session, we participate in a number of writing prompts with one of last weeks' prompts being, "Tell about a time you chose to change something about your use of language." I had a great time with this short exercise and decided to expand upon the theme in this post.

4.13.2017

Dinner with the Democrats

Got the autography, missed the photo op    
Montana's Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner
Keynote Speaker Cory Booker

4.07.2017

The Bus Lady Astrologer (Fiction)

Bus Lady Astrologer

Here is my latest work of fiction. The story was workshopped in my writing class this week. I received thoughtful feedback and now have many ideas on how I'll continue with the story. Your feedback is welcome.

3.27.2017

Who's Reading This Blog?

I love seeing where my readers are from. Here is a list of people who checked out my blog last week.

I always enjoy taking a look at the stats and am pleased when surprising countries make the list - ones that I have no obvious connection to such as Finland and Russia.

This is a call out to folks reading this post. In the comments section below, please leave your country and how you discovered this blog.

3.25.2017

Nature Meets Urban Vibrancy in the Big Apple

Highline, New York City
 An Evening in New York City

(I started this blog post in November and am just getting around to finishing it up.)

3.21.2017

A Plethora of People & Flavors

MSU's International Food Bazaar Delivers Diversity

Montana State University International Food Bazaar
A review of the Montana State University International Food Bazaar

3.17.2017

Coming Back to Bozeman (Fiction)


Coming Back to Bozeman, play & short story.
In 2010, my one-act play Coming Back to Bozeman was included in the Equinox Theatre One-Act Play Festival. I thoroughly enjoyed watching two actresses and one director bring my play to life, and I was pleased to see that it was very well-received by the audience. 

My latest writing project was to convert the play into a short story. It was a daunting challenge at first, but once I settled into writing the words flowed out of my pen.  A few revisions and tweaks are still needed (Probably a few typos to be fixed), and your feedback is welcome.

3.03.2017

The 21st Birthday Party (Fiction)




Another piece of fiction. Feedback welcome

2.16.2017

Lifestyle Apparel – Part Two


The Shoes

In a recent post, (http://annvinciguerra.blogspot.com/2017/01/lifestyle-apparel.html) I talked about lifestyle apparel. While I poked fun at the concept, I was honest enough to admit to owning a fair bit of it. However, until last fall I had never owned a pair of lifestyle shoes and couldn't fathom why I would want to. Practicality got the best of me and I broken down and bought a pair. Here’s the story and the product review…

1.27.2017

Lifestyle Apparel – Part One


The Concept

1.06.2017

Paradise Ruined

Photo #1
Letting Graffiti Tell the Story


As with most posts in this blog, this is a work-in-progress. I plan on posting photos of other works of graffiti as I find them.
  
What follows is a series of photographs depicting the graffiti that is popping up around town. These messages are on the mark when it comes to our feelings and the way we talk about growth.