I’m feeling like a broken record.
I haven’t written much of anything. And what I did write took me in a direction I didn’t like and I deleted it.
I thought about pretending I wrote, but don’t feel like that would be very nice.
I feel like I want to do anything –ANYTHING-- but write this book.
And I can't quite figure out why.
How I am feeling:
Jealous of my other SpireSpire people who seem to be doing much better than I. (and I’m started this whole thing, sheesh..)
Stupid for doing this in the first place.
Also, pretty sure that I’m dealing with some major seasonal depression. Come back to me, sunshine!
I gotta get me one of those dang lamps or something.
Okay, not completely. I've been going gentle on myself, realizing there are some things in my life that are making me cranky . So thus, I'm focusing on what I find fascinating about writing--research. Yes, I am that big of a nerd. It's gentle, I have insatiable curiosity for it and after letting my imagination percolate for long enough, eventually it wants to start producing again.
So, that's where I am.
French is going quite well, and I'm making progress, as usual. It's getting easier and easier to grasp for me, which is a really encouraging piece of this whole endeavor. I think immersing myself in vocabulary and language has turned on the gas and made a little pilot light in my brain start to grow a little brighter. An interesting thought occurred to me this week over Thanksgiving: why don't I write anymore? It's not that I don't have things to say, or good ideas to write about. I'm definitely not one of those people who just writes because she has to for a class. When I was writing more frequently, I even was able to have an article published in the Orlando Sentinel earlier this year. So, I've taken on another project this past week--not another *challenge* or difficult undertaking, but something to get me thinking creatively again.
I would definitely never consider myself to be a wordsmith, but sometimes I wonder if I write differently than other people. I almost never have a problem finding things to say--writer's block is a rare occurrence in my head. My creativity does not seem to apply to the actual "origin" of the material, if you will, but rather in its arrangement. The part of writing (and speaking, for that matter) that I really enjoy is in the sentence structure, the varied word choice that's available, creating the picture that is already in my head and turning it into a pleasure to read. I slave over things like flow and rhythm, rearranging and editing and altering until I think it "sounds" lovely to read or hear.
I've actually begun writing another blog. Some may think it's silly and absurd, but I've started blogging about one of my cats. My cat, Fidget, is a fuzzy piece of work and he constantly keeps me on my toes. He entertains me daily, and those experiences have been really fun to put into written word. I would love to keep writing just for fun, and I have a good feeling that "Fondly, Fidget" will continue to expand over time. I still feel a little rusty at free-style writing, but it feels good to be able to stretch my creative writing muscles again. Once I have a good archive of blog material, I intend to start converting those written pieces to French as an intensive practice exercise or a sort of exam.
If anyone feels like following an additional blog, feel free to check out http://fondlyfidget.blogspot.com/
A tout a l'huere!
Finally, I can greet you guys with a success instead of a failure. I stayed up until 10:30 recording the remainder of the instruments on a Monday night, and posted the video at 2:15 the following morning, following a night of nonstop work. That day was insane though; I had been packing for my trip to Tennessee throughout the afternoon, amongst other various chores that had to be done. But I completed it. Here it is.
It was really nice to complete this song because it marks the beginning of another sub-goal: to record an EP by the end of the year. And although that was good to begin, I now have more projects to complete. The next difficult thing to complete actually cropped up a couple weeks ago. The man whom I borrowed the mic to record Divide with, Ben Thomas, asked me to arrange a Christmas song in my own style to potentially play at one of my church Christmas services. So, goal: arrange and record a Christmas song in the next couple weeks.
Thanks everyone so much for being so supportive of Divide, it took a lot of time and effort from everyone involved, and to that I want to thank my musicians.
This post is quite short, but I need to go promote the dickens out of the new video on facebook right now. See you next week!
Courage is doing what your afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared.--- Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
There are two kinds of adventures; those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won't. --- Rabindranath Tagore
There would be nothing to frighten you if you refused to be afraid. --- Gandhi
This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure. --- Winston Churchill
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. --- Walt Disney
Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog. ---Mark Twain
A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of courage. --- Sydney Smith
It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. --- Erma Bombeck
There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire. --- William Congreve
And finally my favorite---
There's no substitute for guts. --- Paul Bear Bryant
I found these quotes on my daily surfing adventures through the web (who says "surfing the web" anymore? *Raises hand*) In someways I hoped they would better convey the words I've been energized/prompted to feel since a happening earlier this week. Come with me on my story time adventure!
This week my husband and I ventured our way to London! It was such an exciting trip! I was excited! It was exciting! Did I make the excitement clear??? Our itinerary for the day was to catch the train, eat at Chipotle (the only one in Britain), tour and explore the Tower of London, eat dinner, get drinks, and see Legally Blonde at The Savoy Theater. However, somewhere in between dinner and pre-show drinks, we stumbled upon a treasure in Covent Gardens that rearranged our itenerary a bit.
This was our unexpected stop in the road. Every Thursday night from 4-8pm Covent Gardens holds a sort of open market for anyone from small businesses to individual people who just set up a tent to come sell foods and "sweets." The picture only shows some of it- but this place was packed OUT with vendors. The smells were unlike anything I've ever smelt before. As you walk past a vendor you smell her intoxicating aroma coming from cakes and sweet breads and its as if she is the only vendor in the world. THEN you take a few more steps and there is a vendor with a pot as large as four wheel barrows filled with bean and chorizo stew and its as if your nose and your mouth are all of a sudden working together for some ultimate plan.
So while my nose and my mouth were plenty happy, I come to my purpose of this post- the pleasure of ears full of music. Everywhere around there were musicians. Sounds of a lonely slap guitar to an accordion were being blissfully thrown through the air. However, as we walked around one sound pierced the night with more clarity and beauty than all the others. Here is a very short video of what we heard and saw that night-
After she finished and we were walking away my husband rhetorically and nonchalantly says- "Don't you wish you had enough guts to do that." To sing inf front of hundreds of total strangers with a bowl out for change in front of you. To do what you love no matter what instead of taking the easy and less fulfilling way out. To display your beautiful talents a mere 3 blocks away from West End (the Broadway of London). Yes. My "guts" would take some other form of display but, yes.
It made me think: what does having that much guts look like in my life?
I'm still working through that but I know that spirespire has something to do with it- for all of us.
Because I'm a nice Shay, I'm posting Christian's newest video (the one he's been working on for the past month.) It's DONE and we're so proud of him!!! However, he is corralled down in Tennessee with what sounded like a zoo of young children and no internet.
So watch it!
It's freaking great. Seriously. Also, it is taking all of my maturity not to post the video of Christian the Lion. Ahem, here you go.
Okay people. I must first apologize for-
1) Forgetting to post last week amidst all the fun-ness surrounding my trip home to IL...
2.) Being so late in posting today.
The truth is, I dont have a ton to post from the past two weeks. I've had 2 weeks of vacation that I chose to take to come home and spend time with my family and friends (including a brief visit with Shaytaki, the one and only...lovely.) It's been wonderful......well except for the fact that all my friends I am hanging out with, included trips to different restaurants. It's hard. Cause even if you think you order well, it's still probably realllly bad.
I have a feeling I have a gained a little bit of weight back. And I'm annoyed by it. However, ready to get back on it hard core starting the day I get home. I'm obviously going to try and watch it for the rest of my vacation, but lets be honest: It's Thanksgiving tomorrow, and my mom is pretty much the best cook alive.
In this battle of diet vs. food-FOOD WINS.
And I'm okay with that, and I'm not going to feel guilty either. I'm going to enjoy my food and then go back to hard core when I get home. Because let's be honest. I have a serious goal and I am DEAD SET on getting there. And I believe I will.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and in light of my goal for SpireSpire, I'm going to go ahead and say that I am VERY thankful that the one thing I am not happy with about myself is something that is EASILY changeable! That's something to be very thankful for.
And I am. Now let's eat.
Usually, I feel like I have to weed down what I want to say. I have too many ideas. Ha! I should have written them down. This week, I feel as though I have a collection of thoughts, none of them profound or long. (I say this, and will still probably write a full post easily…I love me my words.)
I’ll let you onboard the thought train and we’ll see where it ends up.
1.) And I hope Christian doesn’t make you all wait ALL THE WAY to next Sunday, but he has finished the song he was working on, and it’s awesome. The sheer amount of work he has put in, the amount he has stretched himself on this project and the way it turned out makes me really really proud of him. I’ll let him post it up here, though. I don’t want to spoil anybody’s fun…
Here’s the deal, I think. (And I think a LOT, lemme tell you.) I went to go see Spoon River Anthology directed by my dear friend, muse and sounding board—the brilliant Kellee Stall. I don’t use any of these terms lightly. Kellee is one of my favorite people to talk to, a veritable bubbling fountain of ideas, and they’re all knock-your-socks-off thoughts. She manages to walk the incredibly fine line of high concept, challenging art and yet it is both accessible and purposeful. (And I have seen abstract art to the tune of people playing tambourines while folding laundry onstage…this is not that.) After watching the show, I just wanted to sit in the theater and soak in what I just seen and what it meant to me. Spoon River is an absolutely fascinating piece, done frequently in college acting programs; a collection of poems-epitaphs of the men and women who died in the fictional town of Spoon River. Basically, it distills down the person to the event or thought that formed them the most in life. Also, it reads like an old-timey gossip rag.
The end of the show ended with film-style credits of the students in the play sitting on a chair in the river reflecting a gorgeous sky. The sunny finish juxtaposed to some of the darkness that occurs in Spoon River got me thinking. If I distilled my life down, what would I be saying? Then all of a sudden, I realized, hey, wait a minute, I got taken on a journey into self-reflection here! Without my knowledge or permission!
Good art does that to you. It sneaks in sideways and leaves you flat. You go to see a play, and bam, you’re thinking about what you want to do before you die and wondering if you’re focusing on the right things.
And afterwards, I got to sit and soak in pure uninterrupted conversation with dear friends for a couple of hours, and in one of those conversations, up came the topic of SpireSpire and my book (Hi Missy! Hi Matt! Hi Rachel!). I always cringe when people ask me to describe what my books about because its fantasy fiction, and being a rational adult saying things like “And then she has powers she didn’t know about, and there’s different races on earth now, and magical beings…” even with the acceptance of Harry Potter/Twilight et al. it still sounds ridiculous coming out of my mouth. Second of all, it’s an entirely new world and takes a bit of explaining to get the concept of who the characters are and why their races affect the story. I wonder if J.R.R Tolkien was embarrassed to be like, okay, there are these elves and they’re good with arrows and these dwarves…(gosh, see, that still sounds cooler.)
However, it made me realize something in the telling. Even if I feel silly telling it, I love my story. I love the details. It’s powerful, strong and compelling. It has the ability to take people on a journey. It makes me happy to tell it. Writing it out just the next step in the scheme of things. I think I need to tell it more often. It reconnects me to the large picture vs. just the piddly chapter that I’m wrestling with. It’s worth telling.
So. I’ll try and put it into a paragraph or so. (Ah! This is difficult!)
It’s about 3000 years in the future on earth. After a human war escalated into nuclear war, humans decimated the earth with bombs and caused the extinction of thousands of species, and they themselves were nearly wiped out. 3000 years in the future, the earth is still shrouded with the ash clouds locked in the upper stratosphere. The Creator decided that humans needed help in learning how to balance their lives with the life of the planet and with their fellows on earth, so he created a second group of beings called the Elementals. The Elementals were to act as shepherds, teaching and guiding them into balance.
As the human population regrew, and the pockets of surviving humanity began to join with one another, they began to consume the earth and struggle for power again. So the three oldest Elementals decided create three new races, (The Raia in the North, a beautiful and intelligent race; the G’hin in the West, who have animalistic characteristics and the Shadows in the East, the strongest of them all) and placed in them an ancient hatred. They would grow and begin to keep the balance, but not through peace as the Creator intended, but through war. If one race became too strong, the others would declare war on them and bring their population down.
My story begins with Cygna in the South, where what’s left of the humans has been cordoned off. She’s a deformed Raia (a race that prides itself on its beauty) and making her living in a side show with a circus. After being attacked by a Shadow and kicked out of the circus, we follow her journey to discover who she is and where she came from, along with Akuru (a G’hin) and his younger brother who is dying of a mysterious disease, and Elena, a displaced princess from the Raias, missing since the last war between Shadows and Raias.
So yuppers. That’s the view from 500 ft. Obviously, that's just the backstory and the very beginning, but there's a glimpse into just what I'm spending my time on.
French is becoming much more of an organic, living thing for me at this point. The structure is similar to that of Spanish which is nice and familiar to me. There are a few exceptions and some different accents that I'm still learning, but overall I feel as though it will be all downhill from here. I know the basic structure and feel, now the rest is all just practicing my verb conjugations and packing on the vocabulary words.
I have unfortunately failed at utilizing my French post-its this week, for a few reasons. One being the fact that the post-it notes are often descriptive of things that are actually not in my house. I don't happen to have apples at home right now, and I don't know anyone that has a bidet, quite frankly. There have also been a lot of things to think about in life this week, including school, work, holidays that are coming up and preparing myself for 4am Black Friday shopping with my Mom. I'm hoping to start toying with them in the next few days and find the ones that I think could actually be applicable to my house.
So, in short, I've got a good handle on this beast now, and it's just a matter of practice and memorization at this point. I'm feeling really good about this whole French thingie. =)
Irony plagues my Spire.
Last week, I changed my sub goal of writing and recording a song because no one had enough time to work on it and I never completed the sub goal. This week, I didn’t meet the revised sub goal because magically, everyone found time to record.
So my initial goal of having Divide complete by the time I leave for Thanksgiving break (Tuesday) has a good potential of being met!
By the way, I added more musicians to this project. Ha. As if 7 weren’t enough. I now have another vocalist (Jessie Scarzone, from my Arcade Fire cover video). And Chris Adams from The Afternoon Studios is still mixing the song. He’s actually in the process right now. Last night, after recording drums from 10:00 until 11:00, I sent him the tracks and he’s currently mixing away.
So there are only two musicians left to record: Joey, the first violin and Mike, the French horn. Mike I believe is on his way to my house right now, and I’m hoping to get a hold of Joey before tomorrow night, because that’s when I must return Ben Thomas’ mic to him. Yes, I borrowed many instruments and mics for this project, and I'd like to thank them here.
Bass- Chris Keckler,
Mic stand- Connor Boyle,
Other mics- Chris Adams.
And in all honesty probably other things I don’t remember.
Two weeks ago though, my dad told me he wanted to buy me a really nice guitar for my graduation present. So I’ve been looking at telecasters for a couple weeks now. Yay for less borrowing of equipment!
So, I’ll be creating a lot of buzz on facebook when this song is released, and if it is by Tuesday.
Goodbye!An addition: Divide has been completed and you can watch it here.
Wow! This is way past due. I never thought I'd be able to get a tardy on a blog, but nevertheless life always has a strange way of amazing me. All this to say, sorry for the lateness of this post.It's time to get my goofy on! Tomorrow I am auditioning for a movie! It's a sci-fi comedy about two friends who have to settle their differences in order to save the planet from an invasion! Yess!!! I love sci-fi! And I love friends... Anyway, I am looking forward to auditioning tomorrow. It's going to be a blast.Next up, and more importantly, I have my very first Zanies show in Chicago on Monday at 8:30pm! I would love if you all could make it as this is a very important show for me! I am so blessed to have this opportunity and I can't wait to make people laugh. If you want to order tickets please do so! You can CLICK HERE for ticket info!Anywho, I am really excited to see what happens because of this show. I really feel that the Lord is going to open up some more doors there and it will be interesting to see who I get to meet because of it. I have high expectations for
the turnout and for my material. I have been working on a lot of new material which is working out really well. We'll see if I use it or not. Woot woot!In other news, unrelated to comedy (possibly) I am deep frying a turkey tonight for Thanksgiving with my Dad! Let's hope my next post isn't about how I burnt down my Dad's house!Well everyone, thanks for reading. I look forward to telling you awesome news on my next post! Peace out!