Wings With Leaves

Once upon a time, I woke up in bed with my boyfriend, and I kissed him and snuggled with him and I probably sucked him off, I don’t really remember the exact details of this particular day.

But as time wore on and I rolled around in bed or walked around the house, it became clear that I needed to take a shower. I didn’t smell great, my hair was a greasy mess, and it was time to get clean. But I kept putting it off. This is not a problem I’ve had my whole life, just something that’s developed over the last few years, where I keep procrastinating about taking a shower for so long that I go a few days without one.

Finally, my boyfriend told me he wasn’t going to kiss me anymore until I took a shower. I tried pouting and acting cute, but finally he said that’s enough, and with both of us laughing, he marched me over to the bathroom, opened the door, dragged me inside, and took me fully clothed and put me in the tub, then closed the shower curtain and said don’t come out until you’re clean.

It’s a really sweet memory, and it’s one that I love.

Writing is a little bit like taking a shower. It is utterly essential for me, and if I go more than a few days without doing it, my brain gets all foggy and unfocused and lethargic, and I just keep saying things like “I’ll do it tonight,” or “I’ll do it tomorrow morning, right now I’m going to play Pokemon.”

I came to the realization a couple days ago that there has probably not been a single day at least in the past few years that I haven’t thought about what I should write that day. There have been times when I sit down to write and I’m just not feeling it, so nothing happens. But more often what happens is I just jot down the central idea of whatever it is I’m thinking about in my notes, and never get around to writing in my blog.

This blog is my journal, as well as my notebook for stories, poetry, and everything else. It’s my home. If I died tomorrow, this blog would be the thing I consider to be my legacy. As such, I really ought to fill it with more stuff. There are plenty of poems I’ve never shared, pieces of stories I’ve never posted.

This month is November, and every year something called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, takes place. Anyone can participate. All you have to do is challenge yourself to write a novel by the end of the month, at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. Usually you can set yourself a word count to write every day (fun fact, the current word count of this blog post is 482 words), but people do different things. Every year I consider participating. After all, I’ve been working on a novel, mostly in my head but sometimes in my notes or on “paper,” for several years now. But my novel isn’t the kind of thing that I could write in a month. At least, not that one anyway. But there are other ideas banging around my head, ideas about boys falling in love, about sex gods who go around causing mischief, about a modern world where magic exists, or even just about telling the story of my life.

A big problem for me is the constant feeling of not having achieved anything. I’m twenty-seven now, and I’ll be twenty-eight in another six months. My life is still not where I want it to be. There are things that worry me, things that haunt me, things that I want to say out loud or write about but I can’t, other things that I need to write about that I’m not ready to. There are so many things to say. What I always wished is that I’d written more over the years, so I could go back and read about what I was thinking on a particular day.

And that’s what this is. I realized the little story about my boyfriend putting me in the shower would be a good way to start a blog entry, and here it is. I brought up NaNoWriMo because I’d considered the idea of kind of half-participating by writing, not a novel, but in my blog at least once a day. I don’t know if I want to do that yet, but I do know that I need to start writing regularly again.

A common piece of very important artistic advice I like to repeat comes from Kesha, “You have to give yourself permission to suck.” And I think what that means is that sometimes you’re going to feel inspiration, and you’re going to sit down and try to turn that inspiration into something beautiful. Sometimes you are successful on your first try. What is likely to happen in my case is that I feel inspiration and I sit down and try to turn it into something beautiful, and I find that I’m too rusty, I haven’t been practicing enough, I don’t know HOW to express that inspiration in a good way. I sit down at the piano to try and channel my inspiration into a beautiful song, but I’m still stuck on the last song I was playing, I haven’t been practicing how to move around the piano and play something new, and I’m stuck, and I can’t get my inspiration out in the way I want it.

So sometimes you have to write disjointed stream-of-consciousness blog posts like this, so that when inspiration strikes, you can sit down and write something REALLY good. You have to keep exercising your muscles, otherwise you won’t be able to… wait, there was an athletics metaphor but it got away from me. See what I did there, I pretended I’m so dorky that I don’t get athletics. Well actually I don’t but that’s not the point.

I’m fat. I’m creative. I’m pretty. I’m scared. I want to adventure. There are so many things about me that I want to express, but I have to keep writing if I want to be able to write anything decent. And maybe this is as good as a first step as any. Maybe I’ll write more tonight, or maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow, but as of this moment I’ve written something today, and now my day off isn’t wasted.

Maybe I can keep pushing myself, and keep creating, every day, something little, until a moment of lightning strikes me and I create something big and magnificent and beautiful. And then people can see that I’m worthwhile, that my mind and my heart are worthwhile, that there is something in me that is worth loving and appreciating. Because I think what’s we all want, especially writers. Writers want their ideas to be loved.

Here is something I created today that I’m proud of: every day, I write down something in my notes on my phone. Usually it’s just a line of dialogue, or an idea, or something to remember later. Yesterday’s line in my notes was “wings made of leaves.” That means someone having wings where the bones are like tree limbs, and the feathers are like leaves. Today’s note hasn’t actually been written down yet, but it’s a quote, a quote from a character I don’t know yet. In the little scene that played out in my head today when I thought of it, I was speaking with the voice of River Song from Doctor Who, but I don’t know if and when this line will appear in my own writing. The line was this: “A grown man trying to fight death is like a child trying to fight growing up.” It means that death is a natural and beautiful part of life. At least from one perspective it is. I’m still afraid of death. But this is something that a character might say, to argue with another character. No, actually, it would be to argue with me. I think writer’s have characters just so they can argue with themselves. And I think that’s beautiful.

So those are today’s contributions to my future work, today’s small ideas that can be planted and blossom later. A wingspan made of wood and wings, and a voice speaking about death. Today isn’t wasted. It never is, but this way I have a record, this way I have something concrete, this way I’ve done something, this way I’m taking a step toward the life I want to have, one where I’m a writer and a musician and I’m surrounded by love and support and I’m not afraid of where I am or where I’m going. A life that I can love and believe in again. A life as good as anything I’ve felt before, but much, much better.

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Discoveries, Inspiration, and a Refreshed New Outlook

Over the past few days my life has changed a lot and I can’t precisely describe how, but it’s wonderful and I’m so happy that it has. It began with a song, and I wonder just how many time in the course of human history change has begun with a song.

The song is called Hide and Seek, and it is a gorgeous piece by Imogen Heap, a genre-less UK singer/songwriter/musician/producer who I discovered shortly after hearing the song. I was scared at first, because the “middle eighth” of the song is sampled in a Jason Derulo song that horribly desecrates this incredible piece of music (not only does he have the audacity to alter the pitch and rap over it, but to add insult to injury he sings ON TOP of the melody). I thought that perhaps this was a local artist who’d done this and simply added more to the song, but I was pleased to learn that it was Imogen Heap, whose presence I was aware of, and I recognized her voice, but I didn’t know it was her yet. I have since investigated and found that Imogen is a pretty awesome person, she has a series of 40 vBlog entries on YouTube, and she’s just so fun to watch. A very bubbly, down-to-Earth, friendly personality. As for her music, I’ve only heard a bit so far, and from what I can tell she’s very unique, and I like that. Particularly since she can make an instrument out of absolutely anything that makes a sound.

Back to the story, I heard Hide and Seek, and it took a few times before it really began to seep into me. The beautiful harmonies and raw emotion of the song are overpowering, and after listening to it a few times I really began to fall completely in love with it. So, very early in the morning (because I had not yet gone to sleep the night before), I was inspired to write a poem, and I actually got two from it, they are related I consider them sort of companion pieces. But these two poems were very intense for me to write, and perhaps not for the first time in my life, but the first time in a while, I pulled the poem out of my soul. It gave me a feeling of resolution of some things in the past, a feeling of hope, and perhaps that’s why I feel so rejuvenated.

I spent the weekend with my boyfriend, Nathan, and he is feeling a little under the weather, so I tried to take care of him best I could. His father and I made a trip to Wal-Mart and at Nathan’s request I picked him up some cold medicine and cough drops along with some things I got him with a gift card he got for Christmas. The best moment of the weekend was when I cried in front of him, which I haven’t done in a long time, and it felt wonderful and freeing and we had such a nice romantic perfect moment. I look forward to plenty more of those in the future.

With the discovery of Imogen Heap, I have really reevaluated myself as a musician and I am pleased to announce that I feel musically reborn. So I think I’m going to perhaps put a couple finishing touches on all my old stuff and try to record an EP, really just to have a record of my old songs so they won’t be forgotten and so I can move forward musically.

I recently quit my job at Subway and I’m sure that’s had no small part in this new rejuvenated outlook of mine. When I was still working there, however, perhaps a few weeks ago, someone came in with this big painting of a rose in his hand and tried to sell it to us, but I really liked the picture and wanted to get it eventually. He gave me his information and even told me he’d give me a discount, but I felt like I’d been flirting with him or liked him or some such (my mind has been working like that for quite a while, always searching for infidelity), so out of guilt I threw the information away. However I remembered the website and after a brief googling figured out the spelling and found it: artguyz.com. The painting of the rose is there, along with tons of companion pieces, which I have to say is both awesome and pretty smart, because I find art with companion pieces to be very attractive as far as buying them goes. Anyway there was some pretty cool art there, I’d suggest going and checking it out. And I’m sure they can make more prints of each piece, but if they only have one of each, don’t buy the roses!

And right before I came here to write this entry, I discovered Stephanie Valentin. Well, I’d actually already seen her do some digital art of Lady Gaga and so I searched around and found it again, and it led me to her website. From what I can tell she’s also a musician, and I think it sounds pretty good from what I’ve heard of it, but I’ll get back to you on that one.

So, it’s 4:00 in the morning and I need to get some sleep so that I can help clean up the house we’ll be moving into soon, but my mind is too filled with thoughts of music, paintings, and hanging them in the house I hope someday to own with Nathan. So goodnight everyone out there in WordPress world, I hope you all have a wonderful coming day, and I recommend checking out the above mentioned artists to see if you find them as unique as I do.

Imogen Heap – http://www.imogenheap.com

Art Guyz – http://www.artguyz.com

Stephanie Vantin – http://www.stval.fr

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to tell you guys about etsy.com! I learned about it from one of Imogen Heap’s vBlogs, it’s this website with all kinds of handmade stuff. Search for Lady Gaga or Imogen Heap, you’ll find cool accessories and stuff. Also, if you haven’t before, check out the song Beautiful, Dirty, Rich by Lady Gaga and the music video. I find it pretty cool and unique.

Etsy – http://www.etsy.com