[Disclaimer:  I get soooooo frustrated by the way Xanga takes pictures with brilliant colors and dumbs them down into faded, cataracted, and depthless shots.  I promise you these pictures are much more vivid in real life!]

I went on an excursion last weekend, accompanied by my ever-lovely, fun and fascinating buddy Mari Ellen.  The destination was a tower on a hill nearby…and the purpose was photography.  You see, I’ve been trying to take photos of all the places featured in my upcoming novel in order to post them on my upcoming website, and this particular landmark is featured in one critical scene.

Of course, our trek might also have been vaguely motivated by Mr. Teacher Man (aka. Mr. Bryan) who saw me hanging out of my classroom window several days ago and suggested that if I let down my hair, à la Rapunzel, I might actually snag myself a man.  The few men we crossed as we walked toward our destination quickly put any of those fantasies to rest.

It was a beautiful winter day, chilly and clear, and though my latest attempt at a no-carbs, no-sugar diet made me so weak that I looked and sounded, to quote myself, “like an asthmatic heifer running a marathon”, we did reach our destination, and I did take the pictures I’d gone for.  (And in my weakened state, huffed and puffed and pretty darn near blew the tower down!)

Welcome to Sausenberg…a local site whose walls have probably witnessed WAY too many embarrassing (and probably reprehensible, illegal, and scandalous) BFA memories! 

It looks innocuous from the outside, but once you step into the darkness of the tower, it can become a bit treacherous.  I was grateful for the few, narrow windows that punctuated the darkness with welcome slivers of sun.

But the spiral staircase was beautiful…

The top of the tower provides a bird’s eye view of the ancient walls on the perimeter of the mountaintop.

I briefly thought of letting down my hair, like the tress-blessed Rapunzel, but I figured anyone able to reach my not-so-long locks would have to be roughly twenty meters tall, and that would make him just plain inconvenient for fun stuff like…you know…kissing.  For those of you who find yourselves gagging at the thought of a “teacher type” kissing, uh…get a life. 


How German is that countryside??  Gorgeous…

BUT on to more self-absorbed things!

It’s time for yet another informal census on potential titles.  Please pick your favorite three, in order of preference.  I’d love as many opinions as possible! 

1.  The Sameness Paradox

2.  Shards of Shell

3.  The Twoness of Birds

4.  Fragments of Birds

(Yeah, there’s a theme here!)

5.  The Mushroomness of Fear

Or offer any alternative ideas the above inspires!

I’ll be back shortly with some of the world’s WORST poetry written by some of BFA’s BEST poets…on purpose.  It’s worth checking back here in a few days!


  1. The photos are AMAZINGLY gorgeous!!!  We do live in such a beautifully enchanting place!!!  May we never take it for granted even as we become old ladies trying to do harmony to an angry fast paced country song…hehe!  Your article you wrote was written in true fabulous form and I still like Shards of Shell!  Love you and see ya tomorrow and the next day…hugs and love…Dolly

  2. Number 2–“Shards of Shell” is the best title, hands down! ~ Sarah (kent) Butterfield

  3. Awesome pictures!!! I loved them!
    1. Shards of Shell
    2. The Sameness Paradox
    3. Hm. . .I have bird phobia

  4. i’m with lauren. i would pick a book off the shelf with either of those titles. although i’ve been saying Shards of Shell over and over again outloud and find it’s almost tongue twisting. So maybe I would put The Sameness Paradox as my first choice. oooh…i’m so excited for the book! 

  5. Personally I like the bird themes…but I would definitely leave the mushrooms off my list.

    1. Shards of Shell

    2. The Sameness Paradox

    3. Fragments of Birds

  6. “the twoness of things”

  7. The picture thing isn’t just xanga. You need to edit your pictures in the sRGB color space. You’re probably using the Adobe color space, and when you upload to the web it changes from Adobe to sRGB, which results in color/vibrancy loss.

    Oh, yeah. Cool pics! =]

  8. Since there really isn’t much more of a choice, Shards of Shell will do.  I guess.

  9. 1. Shards of Shell

    2. The Sameness Paradox

    These I would pick up – but it’s close! Good luck choosing! 🙂

  10. yeah i got the note………..sorry about that…………….im becoming somewhat senile (speaking of…… i have a good story)

    um………..taelyr and i and…………. Kristof? (only thing is that hes a junior- and due to PROFILING its harder to get him out of the dorm…….and……….any other names?………

    yes you have to take part in this too…………..being social isnt being social if you dont have a choice (dont ask………it’s the anesthetics……..im kinda incoherant right now)

    ok…so they are only in my toe……….but it sounded good

    dont die…..

  11. hey………it was only like 2 others i think…….or just one…….i dunno

    T, K, A, was M there? and i think a girl was………but i dont know if she took it seriously

    i dunno………we’ll discuss this tomarow or something

  12. I like the “Fragments of birds” best.  Having no phobias, and difficulty with tongue twisters-we all know I don’t have time to slow down my speech enough to get one out- and agreeing completely with Mari Ellen that the mushroom thing just lacks well-hotness. 😉 

  13. I still like The Sameness Paradox and I like Fragments of Birds as well. As for a third choice… hmmm… I like The Mushroomness of Fear, but I think it’s only because I like mushrooms…

  14. Possible alternatives: Pieces; Pieces of One; Fragments; Fragments of Flight; Seashell (or Seashore) Soliloquy; Beaches; Beach Shards
    Then there’s the combination bird/shell theme tied into sand dollars: http://www.legendofthesanddollar.com

  15. 1. Shards of Shell

    2. Fragments of Birds

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