Saturday, June 14, 2014

island kids

We went to the ocean during the first week of June and it was beautiful. I'd say summer is off to a good start.

Honestly, I didn't expect us to go on a family vacation this year, but we did, and now I'm in love with Oak Island, North Carolina. The rickety wooden pier, our adorable little condo, the nighttime walks, the dolphin sightings, the crab-chasing and the jellyfish-avoiding, the romping around historic downtown Wilmington and devouring fresh local seafood and everything mermaid and turtles and sandpipers and carefree and spontaneous.

three of my four sisters
yours truly - happy beach person :) 
michaela under the pier
Maria to me: "take a picture of us in these hats to prove to our friends we're not prissy city slickers."

"The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but over." 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

long live.

I should tell you about that one time I went to Michigan for six weeks and worked on Marilyn Burn's costume team for a local high school production of Beauty and the Beast. The time when 'because I knew you, I have been changed for good.' The time I soul-bonded with dragon-slaying, death-defying people, most of whom I already knew but now mean the world to me. The time I turned 21 and stamped the word fearless on my heart and was given a vintage blue typewriter and ate copious amounts of sugar and tobogganed on a homemade track and skinned my fingers at a Krav Maga class and sanded and mudded and painted people-sized enchanted objects and was called Katniss and had dance parties in the car and heart-pumping quick changes backstage and watched more movies than I can remember (Marvel superheroes forever and ever, amen) and saw Broadway's touring production of Beauty and the Beast one night in Detroit and shouted/blew kisses/shed tears because I was so uncontrollably-stinkin' proud of everybody. . . my "sisters" and everything they are. . . and the high school kids, who were not only ridiculously wonderful and greatly appreciative but also knocked my socks off with their record-breaking talent. 

Yes, I was changed for good, God is SO SO SO real, and He knew exactly where I needed to be (He knows where I need to be, always.)

me with naomi, belle's understudy

And can I just take this moment to say how important PEOPLE are? They help you to come alive and believe again and turn perspectives upside down and find missing pieces. So grateful for the people who have filled my life this year. 

meghan + michaela

"When can we do this again?"  ♥ 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


3.2.14 --
I did some thinking in church today. I should have been listening to the sermon but my heart was so filled with all that's happened this past year. I'm grateful to be turning 21 this weekend, thankful winter is ending, thankful for Him bringing me out of a long, sad, fearful dry spot (aka, 2013) and bringing me growth and newness and amazingly beautiful dragon-fighting, death-defying people and the release I've been praying for and for crowning me with the desire to be FEARLESS. 
I'm so excited about life right now and Jesus is real, real, real.

3.8.14 --

Today, I turned 21. It was full of friends, cake and chocolate covered strawberries, and my parents gave me an antique 1950's blue typewriter.  And this turning-21 thing? I'm ready to take on whatever hits my path. To dangerously beautiful, radical, wild levels. Let's do this.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


michaela, marissa, yours truly

:: reading The Hunger Games. finally. i haven't even finished the series yet but guys, i'm hooked.
:: friends, cupcakes, games around the table. i love my local people. i love that we can be ourselves around each other and talk about anything from chickens to God to The Lord of the Rings to hilarious childhood mishaps.
:: watching the Olympics. i'll admit i'm obsessed with figure skating right now. i kinda sorta might know everything about my favorite ice pair/dance teams. this is probably awkward. maybe i should watch skiing and snow boarding to get some balance and because um, i want to snowboard someday... 
:: warm food on cold mornings. why does this make me so happy? gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds... yes. happiness.
:: i went wild over cake this week. giant pieces of absolutely beautiful, decadent chocolate cake. hey, with three family birthdays in one month, you give in at some point. and besides, there was cheesecake between the layers, and it's hard to turn down anything involving cheese cake, so yeah, i went wild with it. 
:: raw spirulina chips. they are soooo good. (wait, did i just say something about chocolate cake?)
:: longer days, waking to bird song, sun on frost. the only thing that can happen now is Spring. 
:: loosing yourself, finding yourself again... or not. being human is weird.
:: wearing two braids and fuzzy socks. cozy is always a good idea.
:: clear, starry nights. people ought to breathe in starlight more often. the world would be a better place if they did. 
:: jamming alone in your room, even though one of the ear buds is blown out. 
:: people will observe, guess, wonder, assume and settle for what they see. but that's all. seeing is not always believing.
:: freaking out because i have so many books out from the library right now but am leaving for Michigan in less than a week and don't have time to read them all.
:: the Disney Peter Pan sweatshirt i bought on Amazon. it's hideously tacky but i love it to smithereens. 
:: my twenty-fourteen word: fearless.

- anna

Monday, January 27, 2014

"hi, my name's Anna, and I like warm hugs"

the cold never bothered me anyway.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

behold, all things are become new.


I've held my breath for this moment since July rains, waiting for that season of aliveness to start, praying things would change. I held it throughout autumn, and still no change. Winter dropped white gifts in the corners of my little world, and finally, as the calender pages diminished, I found it easier to let out a few tired, hopeful breaths as a seemingly endless year ended. Now I can breathe in full again, happy to hold twenty thirteen instead of my breath, stuff it into a box and throw away the key.

2013 was the year the locusts ate. Some of the broken-off, molded pieces still find a home under my pillowcase, behind my eyelids, in the grass cracking through melting snow. But I'm no longer holding my breath. It's over and gone I'm never going back, not ever. And I'm glad, so glad.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Clouds, Lake and Trees Landscape

skies exploding
storm clouds seething
etching black turrets 
across the horizon
rumbling secrets
locked and buried
in castles of cloud
and arrows of lightening.
honeysuckle-sweet dawn
breathes life onto lakes dreaming
under pulsing blue skies
riding towers of aspens
spilling the last drop of
bottled up dandelion wishes
blown ripe and lemony
by elfin winds.
dusk sighs and deepens
over water drunk on lilac
reflecting back
jeweled stars 
and firefly lamps
pricking dark chambers
beneath pines
where sight and sound
croon as one
and the sky collapses
into night.

© anna olivia ||
 photo via

Monday, July 1, 2013


I've had this wild, gleeful tickle inside me because summer is finally here. There's tiny fairy-ish lights high up in the trees where the fireflies emerge in secret from the density of leafy dusk. There's thick yellow heat in the air and warm, earth-smelling, prickly, knee-high grass in the meadow behind our house. There is green, green, green, everywhere. I love the color green. It matches my hair and makes the whole universe sing. 

yours truly

There were a lot a "first-of-the-season" this month: first fireflies of the season, first s'mores of the season, first rodeo of the season. I should probably stop right here and tell you ahead of time just how obsessed I am with rodeos. It's kinda out of hand. 

oversized ice cream cones.
chaps and cowboy hats.
big (BIG) trucks.
barrel racers.
me, standing on the very top bench of the bleachers, cheering.
hundreds of fireflies in the fields while driving home.
super moon.

This month, I drank tea like it's going out of style and played for hours with the twin three-year-olds I nanny with my sister. I worked on my novel a bit, and even though I didn't get very far at all, just taking the first step tasted of accomplishment. I got itchy and mosquito-bit legs from tramping in the overgrown field behind our house and not even caring because I get to listen to endless bird song and try to make friends with the deer. I read down to earth books set in summertime about magical golden days and little acts of bravery and never growing up, not ever. I believe in books like that. 

This month, I fell a few feet deeper into the murky waters of needing God more than anything and my bones screaming to love more. Love people. Love God. Love my life the way it is. Get up off my feet and get real, get right...but there's so much to learn, so much lacking, so many why's, so much life to live that's just not being lived, so much to love and at the same time, so much that's just totally unlovable. It's endless, it's tough, it hurts, but it's growth, and it's good. 
life is completely imperfect and wondrously beautiful. 
shine on, summer.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

begin again

So maybe fireworks haven't gone off or bells rung or cannons blown for my return. But after a year and a half of bloglessness, I have officially reentered this happy little world and I'M THRILLED. To be honest I'm not exactly sure why I stopped blogging once upon a time - but I just want to thank every single one of my followers for sticking with me through thick and thin even while my blog was one empty boring blank and for your excitement at my return. I love ya'll. This place wouldn't be what it is without you. Hugs distributed. :)

"Share your life, and fined the finest joy a man can know. 
Do not be stingy with your heart. 
Get out of yourself and into the lives of others,
 and new life with flow into you. 
Share and share alike." 

:: I've grown up a bit since my last post in December 2011. I think you'll find Storia a very different place than A Secret Life of Daydreams (er, how many blog titles did I have? Roman Holiday? Ooh La La? The title Storia is permanent, I promise.) I love hearing from people and I demand all you lovely folks try to comment on my blog as often as possible. Oh, of course, everybody's crazy about getting blog comments. But this is why I'm crazy about them: because as I begin again, my blogging goal is not based on getting the hugest following or being the most popular blogger in the history of ever. Quite simply, my goal is to get to know people, hear about their lives, and share a bit of mine in return. If you find anything relateable or even debatable in my posts, let me know - comment! Let's be friends. :) 

:: Also, a small disclaimer. As regard to anything I post on this blog: it's very likely I'll not have the same thought, feeling, or opinion five years from now. I'm constantly changing - the way I write, think, perceive life; constantly developing  sharpening, stretching. So don't hold anything against me in the near future. :) Also, my blog is only a taste of my personal life. There is a lot inside me and in my world and existence that you don't know or ever see. Please don't base you're entire opinion of me from what you read/see on my blog. That's one of the things that bugs me big time about online networking: the insufficiency of truly knowing others, and those who really care vs those who are only curious.

:: Why the name Storia? Storia is the Italian word for story. I'm in love, madly in love with stories. I crave them. I thrive on beautiful words. I clasp books to my chest and act out my favorite parts and find myself breathless too often over my favorite parts. But not just the stories in books, but the stories behind velvet theater curtains and in hometown cinemas and in the songs in my playlist cue and in the stories living and breathing in the people around me. I want to climb into every soul and between the pages and become all of them. And I do, everyday. But I still can't get enough of a good story. So I read them, I write them, I collect them like shells and listen to the sea through their porcelain voices. But the story of my life is my favorite. The word story best describes me, and that's why it's the chosen title for my blog. Here you'll find one fleeting, foggy glance into the looking glass. One flaming shard of a dragonfly's wing. One drop in the mighty blue ocean. One star in infinity. One soul in a million. One open porthole into my life - my story.

"What, after all, is romance?  It is the music of those who make the world turn, the people who make things happen. Romance is the story of dreams that could come true and so often do. Why do men ride the range? Go to sea? Explore the polar icecaps? Why do they ride rockets to unknown worlds? It is because of romance, because of the stories they have read and the stories they have dreamed. Some have said this is the age of the non hero, that the day of the hero is gone.  That's nonsense. When the hero is gone, man himself will be gone, for the hero is our future, our destiny."  
-Louis L'amour

> > > Last but not least, a special thanks to the whimsical and writerly Bree Holloway for the darling new design!  

Here I begin again
Viva la vida.

Monday, May 20, 2013

the good things

People that have left, even if unknown to them, a hand print on your heart in one way or another. Maybe they've forgotten about you. Maybe you haven't even met them yet. But you'll never forget them anyway. 

Stories. The ones that make you cheer and cry and ache and shiver. The stories behind velvet theater curtains, in the hometown cinema, in your playlist cue, in the next batch of books you're ordering from the library. The stories in your head. Pretending to be in every one.

Playing out perfect life scenarios in your head. 

The turrets of warm, windy, green tress outside. And every single hidden doorway into Wonderland you can find among them. 


Dancing alone. With no partner. Just you and the rhythm, letting the music move you and take you around the room.

Now has anyone seen my shadow...

p.s. STORIA is coming soon! for real. :) just celebrating with a small teaser-post. cheers!