Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling · Writing Prompts

#wildwoodprompt #amwriting Avoidance

My friend Serena is the most awesomely creative person I know! She has weekly writing prompts and this one just struck a chord. What is life like after the grand adventure is over?

This scene will be part of the epilogue of The Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling. She’s done in Avalon fighting elves and saving magic but what does this mean for herself and her relationships?

(Rough unedited draft)

Sebastian stood at her mirror staring at the new person looking back. It had been three weeks since the return from her adventures in Avalon and the rigors of those battles hung off her more ragged than she might have liked. In the stories Gran used to read her the hero returned in a blast of glory and pomp–not sliding into her old life quietly as if nothing were different. Everything was different. Her father was returned to them–married even, to her mother in a truly beautiful ceremony. They were a family now. Perhaps that was what felt so strange. All her life she had been accustomed to making her own family of her friends, colleagues… Nicholas…

“Oh, Nicholas.” The extra heavy pang caused the words to whisper out of a rueful smile. This was perhaps the biggest difference–something that she could not pinpoint and it made her heart heavier for that. Their dance at the Raven Queen’s Victory Ball created more questions than it answered.

“Tap tap?”

Sebastian whirled around to see an all too familiar face grinning at the window. While still impish as always, Nicholas too bore a weight on his features of everything he had seen and endured.

“You startled me!” She slid open the casement. “And one of these days you will have to use the door like a proper gentleman”

“But should I do that what will we banter about every time I visit.” The words so often repeated with every visit, for the first time ever, made her feel less comfortable than it should have. She turned back to her dressing table and began gathering her books in her bag.

“I must get going. I am to show Father all the new sights of the City. ”

“Aye.” Nicholas sat on the edge of the window and swung his legs in a charmingly childish way.

Sebastian’s hand reached for the door knob. “Bas, I’ll wait for ye as long as ye need. And I don’t take offense to ye avoiding me!” Those words swept across her and she felt the ragged weight of everything lift ever so slightly. She turned and gave a smile still heavy but a little lighter around the edges.

Nicholas grinned, and saluted as she slipped out the door.

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Composers · Film Scores

#music #MusicMonday Bruno Coulais

In the past few years my music consumption has slowed–as in, my ravenous search for new composers and musicians has slowed. I still have a 40 minute commute so music is ESSENTIAL to keeping my sanity (and it keeps my girls happy!) However, occasionally without even trying I come across a wonderful musician and I fall madly, deeply in love.

One such artist is Bruno Coulais whose soundtracks for Book of Kells and Song of the Sea are beautiful, haunting and all those other cliche adjectives you would use to describe pretty music! Ha! Really though, his music is otherworldly but built on solid rhythms that drive the melodies. He is a prolific French composer but his grasp of Irish tunes and melodies and nuance is fantastic on these two scores.

I am so thrilled I came upon these as I watched these movies and would recommend these for anyone wanting soothing yet driven writing music with a dark edge to them.

I hope your Monday is going swell! Hooray for caffeine!

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Reminiscing · Writing

#amwriting Why I Don’t Nano Anymore

So I missed Writing Wednesday–oops! But I wanted to write this article because it’s very important to me as a writer, an artist, and general human being. I’ve been asked a lot why I am not doing NaNoWriMo anymore and while children is a part of the reason it is not wholly the reason. So here goes!

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month takes place during November and encourages anyone and everyone to throw inhibitions to the wind and put words on paper. It has been embraced by writers of all kinds, ages, and backgrounds and in many ways is a brilliant program. Schools have adopted it as a way to get students excited about creative writing which is probably my favorite thing about this idea. It builds communities of writers where they didn’t exist before and gives people courage to try something new. These are all spectacular things about NanoWrimo!

However, like everything, there are downsides to this idea and viewpoint about writing which it has taken me some time to realize. For many, myself included when I participated, November became a month of pure anxiety to meet that 1667 words a day to meet the 50,000 word quota. I know there is a lot of wisdom out there about how any words are better than no words at all but for a selectively competitive perfectionist it was a nightmare on my mental health that I masked with a veneer of “this is fun”. Granted, there were parts that were fun–the year I met empresscats three times a week to Nano and we ultimately won!

But looking back these months were filled with anxiety that hurt work, personal relationships and ultimately didn’t result in work I was overly proud of as a whole piece. For a lot of people deadlines like these work beautifully for getting the work done. For me it’s mostly word salad with a few good plots and characters that I then never touch again. I just don’t work that way.

It is also the WORST timing for me personally. November is our month for finessing craft goods for Christmas sales. That leaves little room for–you know, laundry and eating food let alone writing. And really The Fall as a whole is just bad for me. All that to say, if it works for you–that is wonderful! If it doesn’t I’m happy to talk through your process to find what might work better! I know for me I am a long distance runner as opposed to sprinter when it comes to writing.

To all, happy writing and creating however that takes shape!

General Music Stuff · Popular Music

#MusicMonday Feeling Good the Bassnectar Remix

I love remixes. When it takes something classic and nostalgic and flips it on edge with futuristic synergy it gives me the chills every time. I guess you could say this remix in particular represents the dual sides of my personality: vintage and low key, and hyperactive dance crazed. Retro futuristic some call it.

One of my favorite singers is Nina Simone. Her voice is silk velvet in crimson–soulful with an undertone of cold steel. Add to that my favorite dubstep remixers Bassnectar with their impeccably timed beat drops and syncopated grooves on an old classic and you’ve got a honey dripping popalicious remix that never fails to make me… feel good! Ha!

Art by https://poodlefuzz.tumblr.com

Inspiration · She's Crafty!

#woodworking My Husband Builds Things!

My husband is an amazing wood worker!

His attention to detail and artistic eye constantly amaze me with the things he creates. Whether it is as seemingly mundane as some shelves for our craft shows or as brilliantly designed as the birdhouses and swords and shields it is always well thought out.  He is patient in his design and execution where I am much more of a fly by my pants sort of painter–we do have to work hard to coexist with our different outlooks on crafting but in the end we mesh pretty well!

If you want to see him in action please check out his YouTube Channel! Even if you aren’t a woodworker yourself it is pretty entertaining!

I hope you have a great weekend! Woohoo!

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Did I mention my husband ALSO does amazing paint jobs?! Because he does–that is all painters tape!

 

Writing

#WritingWednesday : Writing and Boredom

I just haven’t felt in the mood to write lately, and I suspect it is a mixture of things: general life craziness, working on more visual art projects (my brain just can’t seem to do art AND writing at the same time!) and boredom with my writing projects.

I was listening to The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack with my Littles last night after trick or treating and the song What’s This came on. Hearing Jack’s wonder and enthusiasm for something that happens every year and can feel a bit mundane was exhilarating. That’s when it hit me. Writing is hard because you are working on this project for the long haul–and, at least for me, it is very easy to grow bored with a project. This would explain why I have at least a dozen works in progress that I flit back and forth between and very few finished products. If you the writer don’t have joy in your work how will the readers? I am sure that most of the time when I get bored with a book it’s because the author has too–it bleeds through into your writing and your work.

I’ve lost the joy in my writing projects, and according to Marie Kondo (a lifestyle and decluttering wizardess!) If something doesn’t bring you joy you shouldn’t keep it. Granted she is mostly talking about material possessions but I think this idea of joy can be, and should be, applied to creative projects as well. So that being said, I need to revisit my projects and just like Jack, discover what makes me joyous about each of them or let them go as something I am not going to spend precious energy on.

I think that will be my goal for November so that in December I can start planning out 2018 with a fresh wave of enthusiasm and joy!

 

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