"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Photography Project: 2016 Calendar!

Proof_DeskCalendarOn a whim, I decided to pick 12 of my favorite photos (13 including the cover) to create a 2016 Calendar for family and friends as a token of my appreciation for their support of my photography, writing and RV travel adventures.

It’s a beach-themed calendar, with a mixture of island flowers, beach birds, and “painting with light” using the reflection of colorful restaurant patio lights in the marina waters at night.

Proof_BookmarkIn addition to wall calendars and desk calendars, I also tinkered around with two-sided bookmarks.

Eventually, I would love to have something like this to offer for sale, with maybe a variety of themed calendars from which to choose.

But for now, I’m pleased with the project and the feedback.

Now, on to the next creative adventure!


November 2015 – A wonderfully productive month!

November ended on a such a high note that I’m just now coming down off Cloud 9 to write about it!


First, there was #NaNoWriMo.

My story was Validated at approximately 8 p.m. (Central Time) on Mon., Nov. 30 with an official Word Count of 50,231.

11302015_WinnerWhat does this all mean?
My new Young Adult/Middle Grade Action/Adventure novel is now a tangible “rough draft” after only 30 days!

Writing an average of 1,667 words a day helped get the story out of my head and on to the paper (well, computer screen).

Unfortunately, it’s far from being “done” but it’s further along than it was 30 days ago. There are still several months of work ahead to revise, edit and polish it up, if I so choose.


Then, there was my photography.

The night before hitting my NaNo goal, I helped host the booth for the local Shutterbugs photography group at a “Keep Port Aransas Beautiful” benefit.




During the event, I visited with some amazing artists and intriguing locals, and several of my prints sold!  I donated all my proceeds back except for $1… to recognize the first sale of my renewed photography passion.

I also spent several hours during the month of November teaching myself how to use/work the fundamentals of Photoshop. It’s a massive program, and there is so much potential to create true artwork with my photography. Each week in November, I spent a couple of hours learning and applying a new technique for that week. Slow and steady wins the race, right?


November was a good month. It was incredibly, wonderfully and productively busy, but it was also over way too fast.

Luckily, December is promising to be just as rewarding!

Hope your November was equally as amazing and blessed,


‎NaNoWriMo‬ Update – Midpoint 

‪Yesterday (11/15/15) was the half-way mark in the National Novel Writing Month challenge, aka NaNoWriMo, for writing a total of 50,000 words of a first draft in the month of November.

I’m excited to say that I’m ahead of the game with 28,431 words at the end of 15 days!


Many thanks to my NaNo Home Region for hosting online “Writing Sprints” almost every night. The writers in my group have logged more than 1,200,000 words collectively in just 15 days. Amazing.

Will I ever publish this book for others to read? Hopefully!

But the goal of this annual international writing challenge is to get our butts in the chair and the story on the page in 30 days.

I am optimistically confident that I’ll reach my word count goal before the end of November.

To all who are participating in Nano this year, I wish you the best of luck in finishing your story, too.

Write on!


NaNoWriMo 2015 Is Here!

‪Ever dreamed of writing a book?

National Novel Writing Month (‪aka NaNoWriMo‬ or NaNo) is here!

This annual world-wide event encourages writers of all levels and all ages to get your fanny in the chair and crank out 50,000 words in 30 days.

No editing, no revising, and no judgement – simply get the words out of your head and onto paper or Word doc.


You can write the suggested 1,667 words a day, or you can write 5,000 words once every few days; it’s completely up to you.

The finished product is the satisfaction that you did it (victory!!!), along with a tangible rough first draft that you can then revise, edit, rearrange and clean up during the month of December.

For info or to get signed up, visit www.nanowrimo.org (If you do, feel free to become my “Writing Buddy” at amyo1027.)


  • Title: “Ten Dragons & The Angry Mermaid Queen”
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • YA Category: Upper Middle Grade
  • The Goal: 50,000 words by Nov. 30th
  • The Reward: A full rough draft of a book or novel, with a splash of satisfaction, pride, and victory.Dragons

Write on,


#MondayMotivation motivates me!

For the past few Mondays, I’ve posted inspirational and motivating quotes along with some of my favorite photos. These can be found at both my Facebook page and Twitter account for @OnTheGoWithAmyO, with the hashtag #MondayMotivation.

I take great care to match the photo with an inspirational quote; it’s almost therapeutic. Plus, it’s a fun way to kick start the week on a positive note!

This is today’s Monday Motivation:


Thought you might also enjoy some of these previous Monday Motivation posts:







If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, I’d like to invite you to Like/Follow @OnTheGoWithAmyO for #MondayMotivation and other fun posts.

Otherwise, I’ll blog them as a collection like so every 1-3 months, for your enjoyment.

Feel free to share!

Make it a great day,



Sea Turtle Release!

It was a packed beach on Mustang Island for the sea turtle release this morning!

Staff and volunteers from the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at UT Marine Science Institute released 6-9 large rehabilitated adult sea turtles, and three sea turtle hatchlings.




One turtle (pictured) apparently had a chunk bit out of him from a shark, but luckily he got away.


Members from the local Coast Guard were also on-hand to assist in the release.

It was a wonderful opportunity to bring awareness to the wonderful work the ARK does to rehabilitate injured and vulnerable marine life, and then return it to its home in the wild as soon as the animal is healed/recovered.

Many thanks to the staff and volunteers who coordinated this event, and to those who cared for the sea turtles until they could be returned home.

Swim free!


Happy Halloween!



My canine model & traveling buddy Sofie-Darla was a good sport during our “photo shoot” this morning.

She was paid handsomely in treats for her time and effort.

Behind the scenes: Her sticking her tongue out at me was a pretty good indication as to how she really felt about the Costume Photos idea!


Happy Halloween from me, Sofie-Darla, & the Kitty Crew!


Following “A Feeling” – Saving A Life

Do you ever just *feel* like you’re supposed to be someplace, and even though you initially resist, you go anyway, only to realize there was definitely a reason for your being drawn there?


Earlier this week, I went in search of a new location to take photos of the full moon rising.

First stop was the Marina, but I didn’t like the view of the horizon. Next, I drove to a pier, but it was too crowded.

Instead, the “feeling” led me down a deserted side road with a great view of the horizon, but after setting up my tripod, I kept hearing rustling coming from down in the gaps of the large red jetty rocks. Upon closer inspection, I spotted a scared, injured trapped seagull.

Fortunately, the renowned wildlife rescue facility on Mustang Island was just up the road, so without hesitation, I ran to get help.

The professionals came quickly, and it was an easy catch for them. They said the injured seagull’s wings were sorely battered, where s/he had probably been trying to get out of there all day. Luckily, they expect the seagull to make a full recovery after some TLC & rest.

There’s no doubt “Intuition” led me to that deserted spot this evening, and there’s one lucky little bird with one heck of a guardian angel.

After all, angels have wings, too.

By the way, here is one of the photos I got of the full moon, complete with a pelican may have witnessed entire rescue scene.



Yesterday, I cast my first-ever Absentee Ballot!


Even though I’m on the road and living the RV Life, I’m grateful for the opportunity to make my voice heard.

Proud to be an American!


Throwback Thursday

‪#‎TBT‬ ‪#‎ThrowBackThursday‬
Big Thicket National Forest (near Livingston, Texas)
March 2015


Upon my return to Deep East Texas in the early Spring of 2015, I enjoyed exploring the Big Thicket National Forest during a weekly ritual I call my “Sunday Morning Gratitude.”

This focused quiet time allows me to reflect on my blessings, express thanks for the special people in my life, and stand in humble awe of God’s majestic creation.

One morning, I took a back road and ended up at this place. It was so breathtaking and grand, yet incredibly still and silent.

A perfect setting for reflection and giving thanks for abundant blessings.

Hope you have a blessed day today.


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