Livin on Tulsa Time

Sorry I’ve been AWOL friends. Today was dissertation defense day. And I’m happy to announce that I’ve cleared the final hurdle. Dr. Charming Chris, at your service! I’ll be back here soon, I promise.


The Final Throes

Hemingway in the bath

Picture of Hemingway courtesy of, which houses awesome photos of celebrities in unexpected settings.

Hello my friends.

I am working on what may, potentially, with an extra dash of optimism, be my final dissertation draft. My road trip last week, combined with this final round of edits, is to blame for my lack of any real content around here aside from my one-pic-a-day (almost) project. This too shall pass. But I’m taking a short break at the moment to walk away, take a breath, and frankly, vent to you.

I’ve been working on this Ph.D. in some form or another for eight years. I’m on my 5th topic (topics 1-4 died unnatural deaths, each in new and interesting ways; in the most spectacular case, my data source was a company that went bankrupt and was sold, with the new owners disallowing my use of their newly acquired data. I was 150 pages and 3 1/2 chapters in).  And even with that aside, I’ve just now realized, or at least articulated, one of the biggest roadblocks in this whole process.

I am Hemingway, and my advisor and committee chair is Dickens.

To clarify:

(a) I don’t actually think I’m ranked among these fine authors in talent; I’m referring to writing style. Laconic v. Verbose. He and I embody the extreme ends.

(b) Yes, I know I’m not Hemingway here with you.

I do what I can to cultivate a conversational atmosphere around here. But in my academic and professional work, I believe that less is more, and that research-based writing should be complete, concise, and clear. His edits, while not inaccurate, are not me. Why use more words when fewer could convey the same information? Sigh. With each click on Word’s “Accept Change” button, I feel like someone is softly rubbing velcro against my brain.  Ah well, I suppose I’ll have a higher page count to brag about someday. To no one. Because really, who does that?

I’ll be in touch, provided the velcro doesn’t do too much damage. Meanwhile, I leave you with Hemingway’s 6 Word Story as a tribute to my favorite author and his terse talent:

“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”


Note: If you have, oh, an entire day to spare, click through on the photo or just visit They have curated a serious treasure trove of fantastic candid photos of nearly any celebrity you could dream of.


A Big Announcement and a Coupon Code!

Guess what you guys??  I have opened an Etsy shop!

OK, so it’s not the biggest news – that would be “I have finished my dissertation and am finally, after eight years and six or seven different topics, going to be Dr. CharmingChris!”

But in lieu of that, it’s pretty big news, and I’m very excited.  How did this happen?  Well, I am terrible at being idle. Really, really terrible at it.  And I’ve been holding off on promoting my full-time business any more than I already do until I graduate, because I don’t want client deadlines to interfere with grad school deadlines. But meanwhile, I’ve been having to wait two or three weeks at a time for my advisor to send me his rounds of edits and feedback.

~thumb twiddling~

That’s part of how this blog was born, in fact.  And it’s part of what drew me into Origami Owl. In my heart, I’m a businesswoman. Yes, I take a lot of pictures of flowers and gush about my dog, but the core of CharmingChris… well, if I see a niche and I know I have a talent to fill it, I am off and running. And as time kept ticking away, I realized I have another hobby (a lifelong hobby in fact, thanks to my folks and our holiday traditions) that could become a bit more than a hobby if I just gave it a shot. See, I stamp stuff. I make all of my own cards (and I send them too – it’s a big deal to me). I make our gift tags at Christmas. I have an obscene collection of stamps and paper. And I recently got it all out to play with the kids, and something clicked. I didn’t want to put it away. I was tired of twiddling my thumbs and I had a creative itch to boot.

So charmingchris creations has officially been born. And as a thank-you to you, my dear sweet blog readers, I’m offering you 20% off your entire order, no minimum.  Just enter coupon code CCGRANDOPENING at the checkout. I’m making more as we speak. I accept custom orders too, so send me your idea and we can be off and running. Ahhh. That itchy idle feeling is subsiding!


iPhoneography Monday Challenge of 2013, via Lens and Pens by Sally

I’m so excited!  Lens and Pens by Sally has invited me to participate in the iPhoneography Monday Challenge of 2013!  Nothing like a good challenge with deadlines to help channel that aimless creativity that keeps me from working on my decidedly non-creative dissertation.  This being the third Monday of the month, the theme is Black-and-White (it rotates weekly – check out the link above for more info).

Because I am actually trying to continue the dissertation focus for just a few more weeks of this (hopefully) home stretch, I’ll be dipping into my archives for these.  I do intend to use the weekly themes as an excuse to take new photos though… just not quite yet!  My one-a-day project is all I can manage at the moment! So without further adieu, here’s to my first Monday Challenge – Black-and-White.  These are from a trip to Florida in February, and come from the pristine, peaceful, and undisturbed Canaveral National Seashore.  I hope I’m not cheating by posting more than one. I have several more from this set to publish someday as well, but these are the only B&W that I captured that day.

Playalinda Beach - Weathered Fence

Playalinda Beach – Weathered Fence | Hipstamatic, Chunky Lens, Claunch 72 Monochrome Film

Playalinda Beach - Clouds at Dusk

Playalinda Beach – Clouds at Dusk | Hipstamatic, Kaimal Mark II Lens, Rock BW-11 Film

Playalinda Beach - Bird Flock Facing the Wind

Playalinda Beach – Bird Flock Facing the Wind | Hipstamatic, Chunky Lens, Claunch 72 Monochrome Film.
These guys were wild to look at. It was very gusty, and they were all in perfect sync, just standing on the beach facing perfectly into the wind. There’s a cliche in there somewhere about facing obstacles head-on, I’m sure. Perhaps I’ll publish a motivational poster someday.

Helper Dog

Bub is a helpful boy, but he thinks multivariate statistics are boring.

Sleepy Sunrise – One Pic a Day Spring 2013

Sunrises look brighter when you haven’t been to bed yet…

More Coffee

Long night ahead. #dissertation #coffee #allnighter #whydididothis #baddecisions #sosleepy by charmingchris
Long night ahead, a photo by charmingchris on Flickr.

Long night ahead. #dissertation #coffee #allnighter #whydididothis #baddecisions #sosleepy