Truly Open Once Again

I awoke with this song in my head:

I haven’t a clue as to the why, but it’s possible that my subconscious is trying to tell me something.  Take a midnight train?  Head east?  Listen to more Harry Connick, Jr.?  Sounds like a plan since I do love me some Harry.  When I was nineteen and working as a nanny in Connecticut, my employer gifted Harry’s album 20 to me.  It wasn’t instant love, but I was curious enough to pick up Blue Light, Red Light, which was an excellent album.  However, it was his introduction of funk in She and Star Turtle that made me fall head over feet and the sound solidified his spot in my eternal music rotation.  Apparently, not everyone loved his newer sound because I don’t think he’s returned to it, which is a shame because he quite simply kicks ass.  See?

In other news, after many moons, my creative dry spell is officially over.  As of late, I have been a brainstorming, creating, writing freak of nature.  My desire to create has returned with a vengeance, namely after setting some things straight in my life, for all eternity.  I haven’t felt this good in seven years.  For real seven years, not an exaggeration.  Physically, I’ve felt and looked a bit better than I do at the moment as I’m currently a solid five (seven?) pounds heavier, I need an updated hair style, and I just had my wisdom teeth removed, but I haven’t been this happy- this mentally and emotionally free and light and clear- since the time frame between my break-up with K and meeting my ex.

I’ve had fleeting moments when I felt pretty good and thought that maybe I was on my way to returning to my old self, but there was always a maybe lurking under my skin.  It was never over and done for good.  Maybe it will work out.  Maybe things will change.  Maybe.  Let me tell you, maybe can drive you insane and keep your mental and emotional well-being swirling in the toilet for years.  I’m proof.  I discussed this with a friend who said she felt the same about her ex, and, as in my situation, one day it just hit her: she was done and that was it.  After that moment of clarity, she felt as light and free as I do now.

Seven years ago, when I felt this fantastic and open to whatever/whomever the universe would deliver unto me, I was dinking around in Las Vegas

you wouldn't believe the story of that night... or perhaps you would after seeing this pic
you wouldn’t believe the story of that night… or perhaps you would after seeing this pic

with the aforementioned friend and met one of the best men I’ve ever met in my life.  Gorgeous, charming, sweet as pie, intelligent, funny, and man could that Canadian deliver a kiss.  Zowwwie.  So I’m thinking, if I finally feel now as vibrant and alive as I did then, I should be able to attract someone like him again, right?  (Yes, Michelle!  Of course you can! is the correct response, by the way.)

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t need all that jazz in my life to feel good.  I feel ridiculously crack-happy right now, hanging out with my friends, playing with my kid, and once again delving into the world of writing.  In fact, Alison Sudol’s face in this video- especially at 2:18-2:20- demonstrates how I feel.

The thing is, I’ve been without all that jazz for so, so long now (you honestly have no idea) that I want it.  Oh man, if I described the thoughts that are taking over my brain, I would need to block this entry from the innocent eyes of children and upstanding Christian readers.  There’s a difference, though, between thinking you need something in your life and wanting something but knowing you’ll be happy without it.  That being said, I would rather be alone and this content for the rest of my life than to end up in another relationship like the one I last exited.

So, my focus is on my family, my physical/emotional/mental health, and completing and revising some creative writing projects, but my heart is wide open to love.

Truly open once again.


My 2012 Music

I love music.  Music fills my car and my daughter bounces and sings in the back seat.  Music fills my home, especially in the mornings when my son isn’t around to wake up.  Music is frequently in my head as I wake up in the morning.  I tap my feet to a tune in my head as I make coffee.  I shake my backside a bit while I lather shampoo through my hair.  I almost always have a tune bouncing through me.

In my opinion, 2012 was a good year for music.  Maybe it’s because I was ready for some new sounds.  Some of the tunes I love are upbeat and make me move.  Others are stripped and authentic.  And some, I could swear the songwriter was spying on my life, stealing bits of my soul.

Some of the artists I found on my repeat cycle this past year:  The Lumineers, Grouplove, Ed Sheeran, Alabama Shakes, Trampled By Turtles, Passion Pit, The xx, Ellie Goulding, Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Metric, Alex Clare, Lavender Diamond, Devil Makes Three, Of Monsters & Men, Black Prairie, The Head and The Heart, The Naked and Famous, Walk the Moon, along with long loves Elbow, Muse, Rachael Yamagata, Ben Folds, NIN, The Black Keys, Jack Johnson.  My secret guilty pleasure:  Fun.  Don’t judge.

I plucked some songs that grabbed me this past year.  I know most are well-known, but here they are nonetheless:

Young Blood by The Naked and Famous.  I adore their original version, but this stripped-down version is gorgeous.

Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran.  His music is lovely.  I sink right into it.

Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding.  Empowering.

How Do You Ruin Me by Black Prairie.  Just listen.

Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men.  They are going to be huge.  “Mountain Sound” is another great song, but I posted this one because it’s the first I heard.  Plus, it’s one of Maya’s favorite songs.

Stubborn Love by The Lumineers.  I was going to post Ho Hey, but I already did in a different blog entry, so how about this simple, beautiful tune that I frequently listen to…

Anna Sun by Walk The Moon.  The lyrics remind me of a crazy night in Iowa City long, long ago.  Oh, the story I could tell.  Great night.  Great song.

Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now by Lavender Diamond.  Ethereal sound.  I can’t stop listening to this song.

Tongue Tied by Grouplove.  Just a fun, fun song.

I Ain’t The Same by Alabama Shakes.  Hells yeah.

Home by Phillip Phillips.  I like it.  I just do.

I would have to say this is my pick of the year:

Madness by Muse.  I’ve loved their music for nearly a decade, and this song completely sums up a relationship I had with someone.

Those days have passed and now we’re rolling steady into a new year.  I’m excited to see what rolls out in 2013.

Did you have a favorite from 2012?  A new band you stumbled across and now love?

Ready to Revise

I love music.  Nearly all kinds of music, really.  It’s frequently a melody or the lyrics within that inspire me to write.  Music can set the mood for my writing session.  Create a pace for my story to trot along to.  When I sit down to work on a screenplay or story, music is always present.

This song was my inspiration for the book I’ve been tinkering around with:

I started the story nearly four years ago.  I was listening to this song before work one morning, and as I was strolling down the clinic hallways, bringing the clinic’s rooms to life and preparing them for patients, I was humming the tune.  Typical day back then.  As I walked down the last hallway, an entire scene- the “call to adventure”- smashed into my head.  Apparently, it even appeared as if something actually whacked me upside the head because I stood in a daze for a moment and a coworker asked if I was okay.

I wrote down everything I could remember in case I forgot it (though to this day I recall the entire scene with clarity) and dove in from there.  I worked backwards.  Who was the grandpa and why does what he says matter?  How did the couple veer off track?  Who is the thief?  Why in the hell do I now have a squirrel in the story?  And a talking cat?  Wait… what?

Ideas dropped into my lap and I flew with it.  It was easy.

At first.

But, you see, I was in love at the time, too.  Heels over head, madly in love with a man with whom I’d had an on/off long-distance relationship for over two years at time.  He was moving back West and wanted me to be in his life.  Every day.  All the time.  “You’re so stuck with me,” was his expression.  Silly me.

Apparently “stuck” was not the case.

Flash forward four years later.  I could go into detail with regards to our demise, but I won’t because it has no bearing on my current story.  Plus, it would only make him look bad, which, if I wanted to be a total bitch, would serve me well but I would rather leave it to karma and move on…

I started the book while I was in love with a man.  After everything that happened during these years with him, I couldn’t touch the story.  I wasn’t able to play with my characters without breaking down.  I would try to sink into it, but it would spin me into a near-depressive state instead.  It was an unfortunate scenario because I honestly believed the story to be absolutely lovely and unique.  I loved it.  I wanted to fall back into it,  but there was a part of me that wasn’t ready.

I moved on (fiction-wise) and wrote a screenplay.  I finished it earlier this year and set it aside for some “simmer-time” if you will.  Meanwhile, I became absorbed in some other things.  Like, life.  Work.  Living with a two year-old.  Trying to stay in shape and eat healthy.  Yet, like every other writer, the keyboard called to me.

I decided to give the story another shot because it was always in the back of my mind.  It whispered to me.  I couldn’t let it go.  When I played with it this time, it was almost as if the past didn’t exist.  I was– I am– truly free.  An interesting consequence is that I believe my story will be more believable now, which is ironic seeing that it takes place in an alternate sort of universe.  I think I can better convey the characters’ emotions thanks to my past circumstances.

However, my screenplay revision is way past-due.  I want to re-write until it’s gold. I mean, it’s not Oscar-worthy, but every single person I’ve talked to about it, anyone I’ve emailed a synopsis, all of my elevator pitches have come back as two thumbs up.  Every single one.  Does that mean it will be a success?  No.  But it does mean I’m on to something.  I need to shape it, mold it, give it some love.  Which means placing my darling on the back-burner for a while.

On that note, I’m gently tucking my lovely story in for a nap and moving on to the screenplay, which means a change in music.  My music selection will be sliding to more of a garage band rock sound.  Cool.  Steady beat.  Heavy on the guitars.  I don’t know if it’s common to have your music change like that.  My music for the dramedy/love story has been a sort of alt rock/alt country collection I guess.  I don’t know. I leave you with the last song I heard during my story play session, a song I adore: