Music Mondays: Part XVIII

Summer’s here, and I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping in lately — which leaves me time to stay up late, pushing through the night to write. Today, I bring to you two of my favorite peaceful, late night music playlists to write to. Soft and simple, calm and lulling; I hope that these mixes bring you solace and creativity at all hours of the day.



Happy writing! 🙂

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Music Mondays: Part XVII

Today’s theme: surrealism across genres!

A piece of writing is surreal when it is disorienting and dreamlike — kind of like a fantastic hallucination that feels strangely familiar yet undeniably alien. It transports you to a place that you can picture, but can never in your wildest fantasies imagine existing.

When I think of surreal literature, I think of classic writers like Edgar Allan Poe and modern authors such as Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami. Each of these writers practices his crafts in very different genres — from poetry and dark fantasy to science fiction and magical realism.

The following two playlists follow different moods, different tones, different genres. But both are rooted in the surreal, the otherworldly not-quite-thereness that captivates so many readers and writers.



Happy writing!:)

Music Mondays: Part XIII

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

― Anaïs Nin

The process of writing is colored by perceptions and realities. We connect what we write to what we know, to faraway memories and distant possibilities. Without reading, these hidden truths remain hidden. Here are two playlists that just might help you unearth some hard truths: slavery and heresy.



If anyone is interested in these playlists and wants to know the full track list, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.

Happy writing! 🙂

Music Mondays: Part XI

Today’s theme: high adventure and forbidden romance!

What’s a legend without a long lost love? A hero without a passionate love affair? A romance without a little danger? Today I’ve compiled for you two of my favorite dragon-slaying, paramour-rescuing music mixes. Both start with a piece from the extensive Final Fantasy soundtrack, and both go together like time and tide, sand and surf, dawn and dusk…macaroni and cheese? Eh, you get the idea.



If anyone is interested in these playlists and wants to know the full track list, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.

Happy writing! 🙂

Writing: The Early Bird

ideas wake me

I feel like we hear a lot about the writer who works into the dead of night, scraping out word after sleep-deprived word until the morning light creeps through her window.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of the stereotype. It is currently 1 a.m. as I am writing this and I haven’t even eaten dinner yet.

But I think there’s a lot to be said for the proactive early bird, who wakes ready to write. I think — and this is shocking, coming from me, the ultimate night owl — that they might actually have a brilliant thing going for them.

I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.
— Ray Bradbury

I am an incredibly unpleasant person in the morning, so of course it was a good idea for me to try out this waking-up-at-a-reasonable-hour-and-actually-being-productive thing. Yeah…maybe not. The first day I snoozed through the alarm and had barely enough time to get myself ready for school, let alone make time to write. The second day was the same. And the third. And the fourth. And the — you know what? Let’s just skip ahead a week.

Finally, finally, I forced myself out of bed at the bright and beautiful hour of 5 a.m. On a Saturday. Ugh.

I had a plan that I was determined to stick with. No coffee. No food. No checking my phone. No email or social media. No distracting, click-bait websites. No leaving my room. And absolutely no rolling back into bed.

That last one was the toughest.

I moved to my desk, drank the glass of water I had placed there the night before, and opened my notebook. That’s right; I went at it the old-fashioned way. Ol’ pen to paper, the hearty handwritten word. At first I found it foreign, trying to process my waking thoughts onto a physical page.

I wrote random thoughts, micro observations, pieces of half-remembered dreams and broken poems. Honestly, it felt like word vomit.

But then I settled into something tangible, an almost-narrative that was unlike anything I had written at night. I can’t even describe what made it distinctive. It just felt different.

I felt clear-headed, my words felt clean-cut, my writing felt straightforward and on task. I still had the dark blanket of night to block out any unwanted senses, but I also had the unhindered mind of someone who had just gotten her full eight hours and was ready to seize the day.

There’s something about waking up and writing without letting the stress of the day sink in yet that makes you hyper-aware of your thoughts. You become conscientious of what you have not yet started, thorough with what you have already begun. When you write at night, the day’s strain has already piled on top of you, and you write with it bearing on your back. And while this can allow for incredibly creative, inspired, and meaningful works, it’s not the same as waking and writing with nothing but the raw, original word.

So, what have I learned from this? Will I change my night-writing ways? Eh…probably not. I mean, the time’s now 1:30 a.m. — so there goes that prospect. But I do think everyone should at least give it a try, and I want to carry with me the concept of waking up with ideas rather than irritabilities. I enjoyed this little experiment. And now I’m going to sleep.

© 2016 Stellular Scribe
If you’re interested in my illustrations; get this design on a t-shirt or another product at Redbubble! Thanks. 🙂

Music Mondays: Part X

Spring is a month of transition. If you blink, you might miss it. It only takes a few seconds for a bud to blossom, only a moment for an egg to hatch. It’s dead and cold and then it’s alive.

In a way, spring doesn’t happen unless you catch it.

With these two playlists, I hope you catch it. That moment of clarity, when what you write becomes more than what you say; it becomes what you mean.


I would argue that life is most
rife when all is still, because
quiet itself can be such a thrill —
take that moment when your
heartbeat skips, or in the
shuddering seconds of
a passing eclipse, like when
a forgotten dream settles
in splendidly and you’re
left suspended
in serenity.


Oh Rose, will you wake from your slumber?
Oh Rose, will you climb from the dirt?
There are shadows approaching;
they darken the sun —
Oh Rose, find your root, take the world.


Here’s to spring! Happy writing. 🙂

Writing: Architects and Gardeners

 I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners.


planting panel 1.png


The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up.


planting panel 2.png


The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows.

 

And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.

 

~ George R.R. Martin

 

Illustrations by © 2016 Stellular Scribe
If you’re interested in my illustrations; get these designs on a t-shirt or as stickers at Redbubble! Thanks. 🙂