HONY: The Feel-Good Page of the Summer

Forget cats with funny facial expressions and phrases ripped from self-help books then slapped on Pinterest pics, if you want a daily dose of feel-good in your Facebook newsfeed, then you need to like the page Humans of New York. 

Photographer Brandon Stanton spends his days roaming New York City streets, interviewing strangers and taking their pictures for his site and Facebook page, HONY – as the cool kids call it. In Stanton’s own words, here’s how it began:

My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With hundreds of thousands of followers on both Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.

Everyone has a story, but there’s something about New York City, which prides itself on its diversity, that makes HONY more compelling than it might if it were based in any other city in the country. Just scroll through the site and you’ll see mocha-colored skin next to white, parents holding brand new babies next to faces lined with age.  The page is a great reminder that everyone has had a struggle, a dream, a disappointment, a love.

You can’t help but fall in love with these people via a snapshot of a moment in time in their lives and an answer to a simple question like, “What advice would you give to a large group of people?” or “What was the saddest moment of your life?”

And don’t even get me started on ‘Today in microfashion.’

Today in microfashion

In October, Stanton will release a book of his HONY photographs. I already preordered a copy and you should, too. And in the meantime, make sure you follow the site and Facebook page.

Humans of New York

Photos Used With Permission From Brandon Stanton

Roommate Wanted: The Sharing Space Series Book One

It’s official: Chloe Brooks is having the worst week ever.

  • Her roommate has just moved out with no notice, leaving Chloe little time to find a replacement
  • The pressure is on at work as she vies for a big promotion
  • And she just caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman

She doesn’t need any more complications, but that’s exactly what Chloe gets when Patrick Murphy shows up on her doorstep.

Life is good for Patrick Murphy.

  • He has an agent who can help kickstart his acting career
  • His relationship with his best friends has never been tighter
  • And he’s saved up enough money to finally move into the city

Now if he can just find a place to live…

There are many reasons why they shouldn’t be together: They’re both focusing on their careers, Chloe is coming out of a nasty breakup, and is it ever a good idea to date your roommate?

Roommate Wanted Cover

Roommate Wanted is the first book in the Sharing Space series, a contemporary romance about an interracial couple who ignore all the reasons why they shouldn’t be together to focus on the one reason they should: love.

Roommate Wanted will be available for Kindle devices in September 2013. A new volume will be available every 2-3 weeks.

Smexy is a Thing

While having lunch with an editor friend at Bridgeport Brewery, I asked what she was working on. She replied, “A series of smexy books.”

She then proceeded to fan herself with a napkin.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, smexy is a mix of smut and sexy.

I read 50 Shades of Grey last year, along with millions of others. How could I not? Between the allegations of plagiarism and personally knowing two women who were reading it, but afraid to admit so in public, it was unavoidable. While it did have many flaws, I saw the appeal. The parts meant to tap into what it feels like to take part in a dangerous attraction hit their mark. Not being familiar with the erotica genre or the BDSM lifestyle, I couldn’t speak to the book’s authenticity there. It didn’t, however, entertain me enough to read the next two.

But watching my friend fan herself was quite an endorsement so when the Blurred Lines series by Breena Wilde became available, I bought volume 1.

Holy shit. I guess I should stop saying that I don’t like this genre, because I couldn’t put these books down.

Blurred Lines

WARNING: This series is intended for adults. It contains all kinds of sex and bad words. The author is not responsible for pregnancies or sexual encounters which may occur as a result of reading these books. Personal note: If one of these books is the last thing you read before falling asleep, you may have naughty dreams. About Jon Hamm. You’re welcome. Mild spoilers below.

The Blurred Lines series follows a prostitute named Cadence. She’s one trick away from leaving the life behind when she mistakenly spends the night with the wrong John. That capitalization isn’t a mistake. Her john is named John and she spends the night with the wrong John, a famous actor, when she was supposed to meet John Zane, a rich movie producer with some serious kinky tendencies. What results is the dirtiest sex triangle you’ll ever read.

Each volume is a super short read and only 99cents for the Kindle. A new volume is released every two weeks and there are currently four available.

Make sure you follow this blog as I’ll be giving away a full set of the series when it’s available. You can follow the author here.

In the meantime, check out volume one and watch this video.

Stuff & Things

A lot has happened in a year.

I started a business with a friend. Then lost that friend and closed that business. As it often goes with friendships made through, and fed by, social media, when they end, people choose sides. Before I even knew I needed to be recruiting, I lost several more.

Good riddance.

I kept the ones who mattered most.

This all happened while I was driving across the country with my husband and children to move to Portland, Oregon. I did this to keep a job I’d held for almost three years, working from the comfort of my suburban Atlanta living room – often times in PJ bottoms, always without a bra on.

So, now I work in an office in Portland’s Pearl District: a hip locale of warehouses turned office spaces, breweries, coffee shops, homeless hipsters or hipster homeless, and cyclists who give zero fucks about where you need to be. There are dogs in our office, a keg, a fully stocked kitchen, a slackline (look it up), and whiteboard walls. I get paid to be on social media ALL DAY LONG. Well, actually, that’s what I got paid to do before I moved. Now, I attend meetings, pitch ideas to the VP of Marketing, and I’m trusted to manage projects with budgets in the six-figures.

At some point when I wasn’t paying attention, I got a career. (And I lost over 50lbs. Fuck.Yeah.)

I go to work with awesome, inspiring people, and I’ve only not worn a bra to the office once. We have Game Night once a month and friends come over for food, drinks, board games, and LOTS of laughter. And somehow I got lucky enough to make a girlfriend who actually like, seeks out my company, and will meet me for lunch or coffee during the week. Those are the days when I practically skip back to the office, rejuvenated by her amazing smile, our laughter, and conversation. Oh, and my son is 5 and headed to kindergarten, and my daughter is 14, headed to high school. EEK!

And while all of that was/is happening, I started a website. When I was left with my previous venture all to myself, though I still loved the idea, my heart just wasn’t in it. Too many good memories with people who turned out to be bad for me and felt I was bad for them. And, to be perfectly honest, I went into it as a two-person thing. Without the other person, I realized I had no desire to write about fruity cocktails, Pinterest recipes, and the many ways you could wear a scarf. Nor did I have the desire to find others who wanted to write about that and manage them.

A dear friend helped me realize that I did not have to be stuck doing anything I didn’t want to do. I truly could do whatever the fuck I wanted. And I wanted to write about the TV shows I loved, and that my friends loved, movies, gaming, comics, and all the other things that made me proud to call myself a geek. So, that’s what I did – and Project Fandom was born.

And it has been a blast.

So, hopefully you understand, those of you who have been waiting for the next Twin Prophecies book, why it has taken so long. I put it on the back burner to start something that didn’t work out, but ended up giving me so much more. And I am ready to finish. And even bring you something new, but more on that tomorrow. The Twin Prophecies: Origins will be available by Christmas. Just in time for the holidays and start of a new year, of new beginnings.

The Twin Prophecies Origins

A few weeks after the loss of friends, when I still did more crying about it than being angry, I finally listened to a conversation my now ex-friend had had about me. One thing continued to stick out, even weeks later.

“I hope Nina gets her shit together.”

I don’t think about it as much as I used to, but when I do, I laugh. Maybe it will enter my mind when I’ve completed a conference call in which I negotiated a contract, or when I’m making plans with my co-workers, or when I’m being high-fived by the VP of Marketing for a job well done, or I’m gazing at Mt. Hood while driving through my new state, or I’m considering climbing a mountain with the other ladies in my office (yes, a real mountain), or I’m laughing so hard that my face hurts because I’m sitting around a table with my family and amazing friends, or I’m cuddling with one of the office dogs in the middle of a workday, or I’m exchanging emails with the producer of a hit TV show and upcoming movie to secure a kickass prize to give away on Project Fandom.

I laugh, and I think, I may not have always known it, but my shit never stopped being together.