Sunday, September 25, 2016

linger / / fall artist

most days, artists just want to dip their hands in the paint and never wash it off

it's a kind of therapy, almost

not almost

it's seriously deep therapy

swirling the colors around on your skin until they sink in and color your soul again

everyone needs something that makes them feel alive

there's something about the paint dried on your fingers, stuck to your fingernails, that's just...celestial

i like to imagine that when God created the world, He never washed His hands of the paint that formed our outlines, He loved us so much

that the paint from our souls still lingers on His beautiful hands, and that every day, He looks down and smiles at them

just as i do.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Unexpected Inspirational Qualities of Country Music

So somehow, my country radio, which I listen to in the car sporadically, has inspired me to write again.

After 6 months.

And mind you, this is my W.I.P. Labyrinth, the high-fantasy, combat-heavy, dystopia book.

Not your typical country picnic, yeah?

I'm not questioning it very much right now, though.  I just wrote over a 1000 words in an hour, after being unable to write more than a few hundred for the last half year.

So usually, I listen to battle soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, Narnia, etc. for this kind of writing.  I mean, you kind of need intense music when writing intense scenes with your mythical Minotaur beastie, right?

Now, I'm not one of those people who are violently opposed to country.  I listen to it every once in a while, even sing it sometimes.  I like it for certain moods.  BUT.  I don't think I've ever used it for writing.  

So now, after having a such a productive writing session while listening to the same country song on repeat for 72 minutes, I'm left wondering why it was so effective. 

(By the way, the song was "Doin' What She Likes," by Blake Shelton.)  ;)

What is it about country music that can work so well for writing?  I've come to a few conclusions. 

1) Country music tells a story, too.  

One of my favorite things about country music is that it tells a story, possibly more than any other genre of music is known for.  Each verse contributes to and develops the plot.  The chorus is dynamic, often changing by the end.  There's a change of emotion, twist at the end, realization - something that makes it dynamic.  

So perhaps this helps my writer brain get into the storytelling mood, too?  It's basically like listening to a 4-minute plot model condensed into a few verses passionate about trucks, drinks, and women.  A great example, really.

2) Country music has real emotion.

Those country haters out there may disagree. But honestly, these lyrics hold a lot of emotion.  There is clear desire  present in every song.  The singer is obviously motivated, has a goal, regrets something, etc.  In my case, the emotion in the song made me want to write a scene with those emotions in my own story.  I'm not even sure how it came into my head, because I haven't thought seriously about Labyrinth for a few months, or even tried to work on it.  But I just found myself being able to connect to the emotions in these songs, even if I hadn't experienced that truck myself.  And then somehow, I was thinking of my characters and for the first time in forever (SIIIIIIIING MY FRENS, LET IT GO AND JUST SIIIIIIING), I wanted to play around with them and write something.

-   -   -   -

...Is it even grammatically legal to have a list with only two things on it?  Oh well, that's about all I can figure out about it at the moment, and I think it gets to the heart of the situation.  I have no idea if this new inspiration will last beyond tonight, but I'm grateful for it right now, in this moment.  I've been trying to worry less about the future lately.  Months without writing inspiration has made me realize I shouldn't force it.  Sometimes it goes away for a while.  

And then sometimes, it just pops back up again, out of no where?  (Honestly, I haven't been believing that myself lately.  I've been started to wonder if I should even be trying to write books at all.  It's hard to go without inspiration for that long.)  But apparently, it really can just come back "just like that" sometime.  

So if you're waiting around for inspiration, that's just fine.  It's lovely.  Keep waiting for a while.  Bake some cookies while you wait, or something. But don't give up on a dream.

Dreams are precious things.  

~Sincerely, your dream
Keep dreaming, my friends, and listen to country music.  

Or at least, consider listening to a completely different genre than what you're actually writing.  See what happens.  ;)

(P.S.  This country music is amazing.  One night alone and it inspired 1000 words on the WIP and an 800-word post.  xD  10/10 would listen on repeat again for 5 million years.)

Are you a country music fan?  No?  Has anyone else had a heavenly break-though with country music, or am I a lonely penguin in this cruel writing world?  What do you usually listen to when writing?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A (Probably Unnecessary) Post on My Guest Post Experience!

Is it bad self-promotion to call your own post unnecessary?

OH well.

I've just written my first guest blog post.  Very interesting experience.

First off, I knew from the start, although the amazing Hannah White gave me at least a month's notice, that I was going to write it either last minute....or late.  Sure enough, last night, minutes before the deadline, I messaged her like, um hey oops I'm a terrible person please don't kill me but....

Of course, Hannah's so awesome she couldn't be angry, but I was like, darn, I've done it again.

Then I got a burst of inspiration and went and wrote something TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I'D TOLD HER ORIGINALLY.

Then I titled it this absurdly long title that honestly broke all the title rules.

My transgressions so far: late, lying about topics, offending the Title Fairies....yikes.  Bad start, Caroline.  This guest post stuff is hard.

I believe I ended up making up for it by writing a killer post with the fuel from my rare burst of inspiration, so that's great.  The endeavor wasn't totally in ruins.

A few things I learned from my first guest post?
1)  Do it before the night before.
2)  Give yourself freedom to write about what you need to at the moment, when the inspirations.  Don't tie yourself down to a topic unless the person has specifically gotten you to write on that thing.
3)  Have fun with it cause BLOGGING'S AWESOME.


(Notice there's nothing about titles in that last.  I obviously learned no lessons there, 10/10 will keep making necessarily long titles and laughing at the protestors.)

Where to find this long-fought-for labor of genius?

Hannah White's blog, !


My utmost thanks for your patience.

Hannah writes about writing, faith, etc......very much my bloggy twin.

And now that I've told you what a terrible guest poster I am, anyone want to exchange a guest post or two? :)

Stay tuned!


PS - tomorrow I will officially adult!!!! Woah. That's the first time I've ever typed that and it's really weird. ##18

Have you ever guest-posted? Any *interesting* experiences?