Tag Archives: Artists

Creativity according to Elizabeth Gilbert.

24 Nov

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talk: Your Elusive Creative Genius

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”

“In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real.”

“Your treasure – your perfection – is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”

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Tuesday’s Tunes: Fiest.

17 Apr

I heard Fiest on my Ingrid Michaelson Pandora station last night, and she reminds me of Adele and Ingrid Michaelson mixed together. Leslie Fiest, known professionally as Fiest, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, and learning that makes me love her even more. I’ve always been drawn to artists who write their own songs because I feel like they are closer to their music and regard their music as a true part of who they are, in terms of helping their listeners to feel to true passion that they have for their music.

Have a listen to this song by Fiest and let me know what you think. 🙂 [Sidenote: I also just love the out of control, but amazing dancing in this video. It makes me laugh.]

Tuesday’s Tunes: Lyric, An Asheville Local.

3 Apr

I love that Asheville is home to many talented musicians and artists. Since I’m a lover of music, it’s just another reason why I feel like Asheville is the perfect place for me. One weekend in February I was in downtown Asheville, and I came across the band Lyric playing out in front of one of the Asheville restaurants. Instantly, I was captivated. I joined the rest of the group that had already formed in front of Lyric and swayed to the music. After a few songs, I began to realize that the lead singer, Leeda Lyric, sounded a lot like Tracy Chapman. A few moments later, the band played Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” and I was not disappointed. Have a listen to one of Lyric’s own songs, Tell Me Why, and let me know what you think of the band.

Sunday’s Song: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.

18 Mar

Sorry for such a late post today. It’s been a busy day of spending time with my best friend, Skidmore, in Virginia and then driving back to Asheville. So a long day to say the least! Since I’m pretty tired, I thought I’d just share a song with all of you.

I’ve chosen “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. Enjoy! 🙂

Thank All Of Your Writing Mentors.

14 Mar

After yesterday’s blog post Does Music Help Your Writing generated so much feedback, I thought I’d stick with the topic of writing for today’s post as well. However, I don’t want to focus on just writing, but mainly how certain people have impacted your writing…and the different ways that they have helped you broaden your writing experience. I’ll start with some of the writing mentors I’ve had over the years.

  1. My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Trish: Though I enjoyed writing before I took Mrs. Trish’s English class, the belief in my ability grew when I entered her classroom. Not only did she encourage me to keep on writing, she helped me realize that I could use writing as an outlet, as a way to escape when reality became too painful. She was also the first person (other than my parents) who told me that I had “a gift.” Hearing that from someone other than my parents was a huge turning point. I remember when I let Mrs. Trish read the first article that I ever got published (Writing To Survive). She cried, telling me how proud she was of me and how she knew that one day I’d truly impact the world with my writing. I didn’t remember some of the great advice she gave me until reflecting on what I gained from her in terms of my writing, but I know that she was the one who first really supported me (besides my parents) in my love of writing. To this day, we still keep up, but not as much as I’d like since college keeps me busy.
  2. A previous co-worker, Mike: In my junior year at Salem, I interned at the Columbia Star (and wrote the article “Writing To Survive,” mentioned above). One of my co-workers there, Mike, had a huge impact on me and my writing. I interned at The Star for three weeks, and while I was there, Mike was constantly picking at me. Not in a mean way, but in a way that solidified our mentor-mentee relationship. When my internship was over, Mike wrote me a letter (that is still one of the most honest portrayals of what it means to be a writer I’ve ever read) and gave me Stephen King’s book, On Writing (which has been extremely helpful through the process of writing my book). I met Mike back in 2009, and I’m happy to say that we keep up a regular email correspondence, which I’m grateful for. He is one of those writers who I know will give me completely honest feedback on my writing. He knows what I’ve been through, and so he also knows that I can take the criticism, especially since he also points out that the criticisms he gives me come from his heart since he wants to see me grow as a writer and a person.
  3. My AP English teacher, Dr. Cahill: Between my internship with The Star and the start of my freshman year at Wofford College, I took a hiatus from writing. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have people supporting my writing. Dr. Cahill is one of the teachers that I’ll never forget. She loves what she teaches, and she makes that known to her students. Though I didn’t do much personal writing during my senior year (since I had so many other responsibilities like college applications and being the editor-in-chief of my school paper), I still had support. For every literary analysis that I wrote in AP English, I went to see Dr. Cahill in order to get her feedback before turning in my final draft. Though she knew that I was an anxious student, she always made a point to try to lift me up. I remember one day when I was in her office she said: “Amelia, you’ve got to believe in yourself a little more. You’re a great writer. Can’t you see that?” It was in that moment that I realized how hard I was being on myself as a writer. To this day, I’m still hard on myself in terms of my writing, and I think it’s something that all artists face when trying to express themselves. However, having Dr. Cahill point it out to me was an important realization in terms of growing as a writer.
  4. My Freshman English teacher, Dr. Cox: Beginning in August of 2010 (my freshman year at Wofford College), Dr. Cox had a huge impact on me. She’s a writer herself, and one of the truest writing professors that I’ve known. I remember one specific assignment we were given during the fall semester of 2010. The assignment was to write a short story in which we held a specific belief and then over time our position/opinion changed regarding this particular belief. I put a personal spin on my story. I wrote about how as a kid I thought that I only had friends because I thought they pitied me. This opinion changed when, in seventh grade, I befriended my first true friend, Lauren. She showed me what it meant to be a true friend, and she helped me realize that I shouldn’t automatically jump to the assumption of pity when it comes to friends. Anyway, Dr. Cox helped me so much with this story. After a short conversation with her after class, I realized that she knew me better than I knew myself. I remember the end of that conversation because Dr. Cox said: “Amelia, writing isn’t true unless it costs you something,” and I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget that. In my case, this meant showing my vulnerability to Dr. Cox as well as my English class, and I was scared. However, I got positive reactions from my classmates, and on future writing assignments I noticed that my classmates were sharing stories that were more personal for them. One day, I came out of class smiling because after having numerous classmates share personal stories, Dr. Cox pulled me aside and said: “It’s because of you, Amelia. You broke down the wall of fear that people had built around their personal experiences and made it known that it was okay to share them.” That is something that will always stick with me because it’s a reminder that my words have the power to impact others around me.

I have no idea where I’d be without these 4 people. Well, yes, I do. My writing wouldn’t be as developed as it is at this point. I wouldn’t have grown so much over the last few years. Thankfully, I still correspond with all 4 of my writing mentors, and every day I am happy to have their support and love. As writers, we all need guidance, whether we care to admit it or not. As it turns out, the people who guide us may be some of the most influential people in our lives, because they’ve taught us not only what it means to express ourselves, but how to look within ourselves to find our true inner voice. I know from experience that it can take a while to find your inner voice, but once you’re able to find it, a strong and life-long connection to creativity, and ultimately, to ourselves and those around us, emerges.

Tuesday’s Tunes: Ben Harper.

6 Mar

Even in the face of all that I’ve overcome, there have only been small moments where I’ve viewed myself in a positive light. However, when I look at Grace (a young girl I know who also has CP), she has so much joy and love she’s portraying. She fights so hard, even when things get really tough. She runs head first into life, instead of giving in to the fear or pain. She’s fearless.

This past Thanksgiving, I was introduced to “Fly One Time” by Ben Harper. Here are the lyrics:

Inevitability
It’s pounding at my door
screaming for more
In a world that owes you nothing
you give everything, everything

And now I’m caught in between
What I can’t leave behind
and what I may never find
So fly one time
Fly one time

Standing at the edge of your life
at the edge of our lives
Don’t hold on
There’s no fighting back the years
So hard to unlearn fears

Now you’re caught in between
what you can’t leave behind
and all that you may never find
So fly
Just fly, just fly one time

I see you so clearly, so clearly,
up so high
I see you up so clearly, up so clearly
up so high, so high

Now you’re caught
Now you’re caught in between
what you can’t leave behind
and what you may, what we may never find

So fly, so fly, one time
So clearly, so clearly, so high
Fly one time
Just fly one time
If you fly one, one time

For me, this song is a reminder to go after your dreams, or simply live, as much as you can. The desire to “fly” is within every one of us, but some of us keep our wings tucked while others attempt to soar, even if they know they’ll fall eventually. Though I never know how to react when people say I’m courageous or strong, I see where that assumption comes from. They hear about all I’ve been through, and they’re amazed that I’m as happy or bubbly as I seem to be. But you know what? I’ve met some kids with Down Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that causes delays in mental and physical development, and they are some of the happiest kids I’ve ever met. It amazes me, but at the same time, I understand. It’s so much easier to be happy than to give in to the pain, fear, and hard memories that can lead to unhappiness. So, maybe I am fearless. But if given the chance, wouldn’t you rather fly and fall instead of keeping your wings tucked away and simply never knowing?

Tuesday’s Tunes: Hope For Me Yet by Marc Broussard.

17 Jan

So, I’m a big music person. My favorite artist recently, Marc Broussard, was introduced to me by a friend. I’m especially excited because Marc Broussard is coming to play at The Orange Peel in Asheville on February 10th. I can’t wait to hear him play live. It’s going to be amazing!

Here are lyrics to one of my favorite songs by Marc Broussard, called “Hope For Me Yet”:

I could bless the water
But it wouldn’t turn to wine
Paint a picture of the sunset
Hanging there in your eyes
But it’d just be some compromise

I could write a million verses
Every word you’ve heard before
Steal some of Dylan’s best
But it’d leave me wanting to say more
Cause there’s so much more

Baby if you could love someone like me
There’s no end to the possibility
Hopes and dreams push away the pain and regret
But loving you just lets me know
There might be hope for me yet
Hope for me yet

Sometimes when I look back
I don’t even know myself
It blows my mind to think that I’ve found grace in someone else
Baby your grace is something else

Baby if you could love someone like me
There’s no end to the possibility
Hopes and dreams push away the pain and regret
But loving you just lets me know
There might be hope for me yet

For a man who’s done nothing
I’ve been blessed with so much more than I deserve
I’m smart enough to know that I’ve been handed something
Can’t put a price on what it’s worth

Baby if you could love someone like me
Theres no end to the possibility
Hopes and dreams push away the pain and regret
But loving you just lets me know
There might be hope for me yet
Hope for me yet
Hope for me yet

I don’t know what it is about this song, but I just love it. I think it’s the mixture of the beat and the lyrics. Either way, it’s great.

Have you heard any new music recently that has spoken to you or that you’ve just really enjoyed?