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No One Mourns the Wicked…

…Except everyone in the audience, like my mother who was sniffling throughout the second act (Hi Mom!).

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Last Friday, my mother, a good friend, and I all went to see the musical Wicked. It was utterly amazing! I’ve listened to the original Broadway cast soundtrack before and fell in love with the music, but I hadn’t seen the play nor read the book.

(Has anyone read the book? Let me know what you thought of it!)

Listening to just the music, I never realized the depth of the story and themes of discrimination, love, and good and evil. Glinda (formerly known as Galinda with a “ga”) and Elphaba both spiral towards their ultimate roles as the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West. Each of them reach towards their dreams of finding love and doing good for the world, but circumstances skew those dreams as the women desperately try to hold onto them. As the bittersweet end draws near, their dreams aren’t quite realized, but there’s still that hope that everything will be okay as they continue to move forward.

Honestly, it reminds me of how Rachel and I are moving forward with our lives right now. She’s completely focusing on her writing, blogging, and an internship with a publicist right now, which is what she’s always wanted to do, but still sometimes feels as if she’s not moving fast enough. I have a day job that’s wonderful but isn’t fulfilling creativity-wise. Both of us feel a bit stuck where we are, but we’re doing our best and have some big plans for ourselves.

Seeing these two amazing young women — both the actresses and the characters — in Wicked go after what they want, changing and growing with each other along the way, gave me a renewed vigor for what I want out of my life.

So, let’s belt out some “Defying Gravity,” and let it motivate us to keep going!

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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Home

 

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The Roses of Success

The other day Rachel and I actually sat down and watched a movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, and Lionel Jeffries, it was a musical fantasy live-action movie revolving around a family and their magical car released in 1968. Dick Van Dyke has always been a favorite entertainer in our household, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a fun movie to rewatch every once in a while.

One of the songs in the movie is called The Roses of Success, sung by Lionel Jeffries as Grandpa Potts and a chorus of eccentric inventors. The whole point of the song is to embrace failure, to never give up despite set backs, to be thankful that you’re moving forward enough to figure out what doesn’t work on the way to figuring out what does.

It resonated more with Rachel and me at our ages now than it ever did when we were younger. We’re both working on getting our writing off the ground, both with novels and blogging, as well as our networking with good friends aiming for similar goals. It was an uplifting song, one that was perfect for this fun, even if silly, movie. I hope that, if you haven’t gotten the chance to see this classic movie, you do one day!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Home

 

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Writing Mindset

c3f26bc113fe997c78cb2264f9cd42751My post yesterday was generally about how inspiration and hard work go strolling down the road hand-in-hand. However, I’m the type of person who enjoys having a bit of background noise to keep my mind focused on my work.
(Perhaps inspiration should become synonymous with keeping your concentration when it comes to creative projects? It’s a thought.)
My Spotify is usually playing, either blasting through my laptop’s speakers or my Amazon Echo and making the windows shake. Generally my music is instrumental, violinists or movie and video game soundtracks. If I’m in the den, I don’t mind sticking on an old movie, something that I don’t have to pay much attention to. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is also a favorite, considering the amazing soundtrack is a bonus! Of course, Rachel and I are also YouTube geeks, and I have no problem having a few favorite playlists going all day while I write.
Rachel and I tend to spend Saturday mornings writing at our local Barnes and Noble and, considering we know most of the workers, we have no problem inquiring about the music that they play. Usually we approve of the store’s music taste, but there have definitely been times when the music was strange enough to throw me out of the writing mindset.
Isn’t it funny how something as mundane as background music can throw off your work groove? On the flip side, there was a particular Saturday where every song evoked the perfect emotions for Rachel as she was typing away scene after scene — and Rachel is the type to work just fine in silence.
How does everyone else keep their inspiration flowing and their concentration solid?
 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Home

 

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Going After Inspiration

How does inspiration tend to hit you?
Do you have a certain playlist of music that you put on to get into the writing mindset? Perhaps you have several playlists saved for different scenes of your stories, to set certain types of mood. Maybe you’re the type who is able to stick on a favorite movie, letting the familiar lines serve as comfortable background noise as you type away. Or are you the type of writer who needs noise-cancelling headphones to work in complete silence?
Perhaps your inspiration is trained to turn on at a certain time or place. Six o’clock in the morning at the desk in the den. Ten PM on the sofa in the living room. Two thirty-six in the afternoon on your bed with your favorite pillow behind you and your laptop resting on your legs.
Or maybe it’s not the inspiration that allows you to write a blessedly easy two thousand words in a sitting… Perhaps it’s just you pushing through the imaginary writer’s block, saying to hell with waiting for so-called inspiration.
Does your hard work come from inspiration or does your inspiration come from hard work?

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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Home

 

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Current Playlist

Presuming you listen to music or background noise while writing, what’s on your current writing playlist?

Lately I’ve been obsessed with a mashup called “Pop Culture” by Madeon. I first heard it when a YouTube video called Fan.tasia was going around on Tumblr showcasing the song with Disney movie clips. It’s pretty mesmerizing to watch if you haven’t already!

Also at the top of my writing playlist is Lindsey Stirling’s new album Brave Enough. Some of my favorite songs are “The Arena,” “Mirage,” “Something Wild,” and “Those Days.” Music videos for “The Arena” and “Something Wild” are up on her YouTube channel, and are absolutely brilliant!

So, what are you listening to? Or are you the type to have certain playlists to fit certain moods or genres that you’re writing? Perhaps you’re the kind of writer that has big-ass noise-cancelling headphones?

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Home

 

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Break Writer’s Block

Having trouble reaching your word count for the day? Here are some ways to beat that pesky writer’s block:

  • Go for a walk — a change of scenery can get those plot points moving
  • Turn up the music — the music can stir up ideas for new scenes
  • Turn off the music — take a deep breath, relax, and empty your mind in the quiet
  • Read a good book — great writing can spark your own writing
  • Read a bad book — then go and rewrite it into something better
  • Switch writing styles — try longhand if you’re used to typing, or vice versa
  • Coffee — stay awake and write with new-found energy
  • Doodle — sometimes we just need a different outlet for our creativity, whether it’s drawing, dancing, or singing
  • Switch P.O.Vs — try writing in the point of view of another character
  • In the Middle — start writing in the middle of a scene rather than writing in a linear style
  • Write anything — even if it’s, “I don’t know what to write.”

How do you get rid of writer’s block?

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Home

 

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Turn Up the Music

How many of you write with background noise? How many of you create soundtracks for your novels?

I’m one of those types of writers who does her best work while listening to music. Usually it’s instrumental, maybe film or video game soundtracks, but I do okay while listening to music with lyrics too. Whenever Rachel and I write, one of our favorite musical YouTubers are usually on in the background. Some of our¬†favorites are:

There are also plenty of sites that promote white noise or showcase user-made playlists of all kinds. Coffitivity and 8tracks are where I generally go to click play. There is also the brilliant ambient-mixer that showcases audio atmospheres, such as scenes from nature or even movies and games.

What about you? What kind of music do you like to listen to? Or do you need silence to work?

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in Home

 

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