The Beauty of “Weird” Music

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According to some people I like weird and unusual music. This is true, I like a lot of non-mainstream music. I listen to steampunk, dark music, symphonic metal, celtic folk, indie rock, musicals, Japanese, instrumental and any other sound which catches my fancy.

I was thinking about why I love many of these genres today and decided the root of it is because they makes me think. For me good music teaches me something or gets my mind working. I’ve learned new words from steampunk songs, history and folk lore from celtic folk, and delved into the depths of human emotion and motivation with indie rock and alternative music. I love instrumental because it offers no restrictions except for the mood of the sound and allows your imagination to take off. But the common thread is it gets me thinking and challenges me.

What’s some of the unusual music that you guys like? I’m always on the lookout for new music (;

~~Lady of the Pen~~

The Gift of Boredom

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In today’s fast pace society we rarely have time to be bored. There’s always something going on, something to do, something to watch or listen to. We avoid boredom and silence like the plague. But we forget that boredom can be a gift, it forces us to get creative. Forces us to think outside the box. When I was a child boredom fueled my imagination. There are few things as horrible as being bored when you’re a kid, so you make things up, you build things, and you imagine new worlds, anything to keep boredom at bay.
I’ve found that a little boredom is good for my creative life. It can be hard to take time to sit down and thinking about my writing, but a few hours of repetitive cleaning at work can really stir up my creative juices. A long walk gives my brain the silence it needs to work problems out, and come up with new ideas, long drives usually send my mind wandering in interesting directions too.
We need to allow ourselves the chance to slow down, to be bored and let our brain do its thing without a lot of over stimulation.

~Lady of the Pen~

Searching for Truth Through Fantasy: Madeleine L’Engle

This is something I came across the other day that I thought I’d share. It’s a talk Madeleine L’Engle gave discussing fantasy and how it point to truth. She also discusses her faith. I have great respect for the woman, she knows how to be real.

Influences

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I believe that many of a writer’s greatest influences come from their childhood, especially those who write fiction. For me it started with my mom reading to me. She read “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” to me–and did a great Gollum voice. I read many books on my own as well and was especially fond of Tamora Pierce’s books when I was young, I remember being excited that girls could be cool too and have adventures.

I spent a lot of time in our woods surrounded by massive big leaf maples that could easily be a part of Middle Earth or some other grand fantasy realm. This was the perfect place to create an active imagination. I played countless imaginary games with my next door neighbors in those woods and later on, when they moved away, I walked the woods alone, with a machete and acted out stories in my head. I remember trying to write a couple of stories when I was 12 or 13, they were total ripoffs of Lord of the Rings and quickly died, though they’re entertaining to read now. I didn’t truly get into writing until I was 15. By then I knew I could no longer play imaginary games. I still tried from time to time, because I hated to let that part of my childhood go, but I’d quickly become bored. I couldn’t do it any longer and I mourned that loss and that’s when I turned to writing. I started a bad fantasy novel about a dutiful street guard, a mischievous thief, and a mysterious elven warrior and her flying tiger and their quest to save the kingdom of Dragoon from a deadly manmade plague. And 40,000 words and a year later I actually finished it. Since then I’ve continued writing pretty regularly. I’ve done NaNoWriMo for five years and written several short stories. But all my writing traces back to my childhood and my mom reading me Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and playing games in the woods. I believe that most writers write because they fell deeply in love with books as a child and they’re not willing to put that world of imagination aside. Maybe we can no longer loose ourselves in imaginary worlds like we could as children, but we can still try through the words we write and the stories we create.

The Mysteries of the Creative Process

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There are many frustrations for writers, or anyone else in the creative world. We see the world differently, often finding beauty and richness in the strangest places. There’s also an odd ability to partner happiness and contentment with a sense of melancholy. I, for one, love old things; buildings, forests, books, they make me happy, but I also feel sadness because nothing lasts forever and I hate to think of something so beautiful passing away. These mix of emotions seem common for creatively minded people. It is our gift and our burden to see the world from a unique prospective and try to share it.

Another part of the burden is that nothing is ever as pure and perfect as it is in our mind. While it’s only a thought and an idea it’s perfect and world changing, but much is lost in translation. More than the audience will ever know, but the creator of the work knows and must learn to be content with the dim reflection of their initial idea that comes from their mind into the real world. Writing can be maddening and frustrating, but it’s so rewarding. After all I get to spend my life questing for stories. Finding fragments of plot and setting here and pieces of inspiration there. It fills the world with endless possibilities and makes me thinking of ever experience both good and bad, both beautiful and ugly, and even the mundane as possible materiel. Nothing is wasted. Everything is just another ingredient that goes into the creation of something new. Despite the difficulties, the feelings of self doubt, the fear of wasting time and that what you write doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love stories. I love creating them. And I love the idea that someday my writing might inspire someone and ignite a love of writing in them. I’m not sure who I’d be without writing and I don’t intend to find out.

~~Lady of the Pen~~