• About the Author,  Musings

    Staying Focused with the Flora App

    The Flora app was one of my favorite productivity tools before the pandemic. After a year of use, it’s now my favorite tool to help me track my time and stay focused in other ways, too. And now I’m using it to help me navigate the increasingly foggier days in self-isolation. I started using the Flora app back when I was still in college. I was looking for a free alternative to the super popular Forest app, and Flora drew my eye with its focus on flowers over trees. Not to mention that it had the same functionality, more or less, and it had overall positive reviews on the app…

  • About the Author,  Interesting History

    Scheherazade Reincarnated: Why I Write Historical Fiction

    You may recognize the painting. It’s Ferdinand Keller’s Scheherazade and Sultan Schariar. You will almost certainly recognize the story—or, rather, stories—behind the subjects of the work. When people ask me why I picked this image to wallpaper all over my website, I ask if they’ve seen the 1992 Disney animated classic Aladdin. Most of the time, the answer is yes. Even if it isn’t, I’ll sing the first few lyrics from one of the Genie’s songs and watch their eyes light up with recognition. The second line in “Friend Like Me” from Disney’s Aladdin alludes to one of the most well-known frame narratives ever. It revolves around a young woman…