A reintroduction, a re-entry, a review, a renewal

Oh, hello. Some of you might know me as Victoria McGinley. Remember me? I used to blog here regularly—for many years, in fact. I shared my favorite style finds, music I loved, and the occasional essay about my life.

Then I fell off the face of the planet for an entire summer, and it feels necessary to reintroduce myself to you. Because the truth is, I’m a different person now. That is to say, without even realizing—

In the last year, I died. Or at least, part of me did. View more

Image Credits:

All images by Victoria McGinley, taken on the island of Geoje, South Korea

Book I Loved: The Island of Sea Women

The first time I read a Lisa See novel was also the last time I’d read a Lisa See novel.

In 2017, I devoured her book The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and recommended it to everyone I knew. She’s been writing for a long time, so it is no great surprise that Lisa See is an incredible storyteller. But all the same, there’s just something so addictive about her work: historical fiction novels, often focused on female friendships, featuring women who are resilient and strong and undeniably courageous. It’s basically my perfect mix for a literary escape!

After finishing Hummingbird, every six months or so, I’d check in on Amazon to see if her next book had been published.

Late last month, I hit the jackpot! Published in March, her latest book The Island of Sea Women tells the story of two dear friends living on Jeju Island in mid-century Korea.

Have you heard of Jeju before? If not, don’t worry. Up until last year, just a few months before I left for Korea, I hadn’t really either. View more

That time we bought a house

Well, a condo, really. The best part? No moving involved.

I’m not exaggerating when I say the last three weeks have been some of the zaniest in recent memory. Maybe cosmically, something shifts for me this time of year—I sail out of the doldrums and into fresh waters that always seem to usher in the new.

When last I updated you on our latest housing drama (something of a theme around here, it seems), we’d been notified we needed to move out of our beloved condo by the end of our lease term on April 30, as the owner wanted to sell it. Despite asking for a list price, an extension, any willingness to negotiate with us at all—we got nowhere. Part of the problem was everything had to go through our contact at the rental management company the owner uses to manage our rent payments, maintenance requests, all that stuff. Figuring it futile to try and reason with representatives who ultimately had no say in the matter, and were also unable (or unwilling) to put us in direct contact with the owner or his real estate agent, we decided to move on. After all, the clock was ticking—we had less than a month to find a new place and move!

Within a week of the initial notice, we were lucky enough to find and sign a lease on a new place—in our same building! As a condo building where most units are owned, this felt fortuitous. The new place was smaller than ours, with a completely different layout which would necessitate putting some of our things in storage. But we felt grateful to have found something so quickly, and which would make the move as pain-free as one could hope.

Good stuff, right? We put down our security deposit and the first month’s rent, and breathed a small sigh of relief.

A week went by. Then, things got weird—no, wild! View more