New Words For A New Year!

Happy 2015!

Let’s hope it is, right!?! I know I am hoping so.

I know Brave was a big song last year, but I think it’s a good places to start in this new year, right here at the beginning, on day one. (more…)

Thursday’s with TED Talks

Have y’all ever been on the TED website? Ever watched any of their videos? They’re called TED Talks and I love them. I find them informative, inspirational, and educational. I see different points of view on all sorts of subjects. I like that. A 20 minute video while I’m on the treadmill and I’m good…and I’m often left thinking, my brain moving.

So, I thought I’d post some of my favorites on Thursdays.

This one is Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. It’s about muses and genius and since I blogged about my Last Minute Muse yesterday, I thought it was worth watching again, and this time, sharing.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

~lissa

A Little Maintenance

I have a lot of coffee stuff. A lot of coffee beans. Filters. A grinder. A couple French presses. A drip coffee machine. An espresso machine. A Keurig, and a travel K-cup machine that I take to conferences with me. I have scoops and a frother and syrups for lattes and miscellaneous other accouterments. There’s a basket which holds a lot of the stuff and I don’t even want to go into how many coffee mugs I have.

The point is, I’ve accumulated a lot of coffee paraphernalia. It’s something I love: Coffee. And I’ve spent this morning cleaning out, throwing out, organizing everything to make it all work a little better. I’ve soaked parts, re-washed a lot of pieces… Removing oils so there’s no rancidity and giving everything a fresh start. It is a new year, and all.

I’ve been doing a lot of this the last week or so. I’ve played in my home office, cleaning it out, organizing, trying to make it feel a little more conducive to writing and working rather than the catch all from the last few months.

All of this is maintenance for the brain and the spirit, too… This cleaning out of the cobwebs. This rearranging of spaces and places. I love fall. The changing of the leaves, school supplies, the weather cooling down, football season. But I love winter, too. Especially starting the day after Christmas. By New Year’s night the tree is down, the holiday stuff is in the garage and back in closets, and I’m ready to declutter and clean out and start over. Spring cleaning takes me 3-4 months. LOL… I have to start early!

But, something in this whole process, not only clears out my office and my house and my coffee basket, but it also cleans out my mind. It gives me somewhere fresh to start and gives me a great boost for wanting to write. It wasn’t that long ago that I went through a period of time where I didn’t want to write and wasn’t sure I would ever write again. That was only 3 years ago. so, time and movement helps, cleaning out, finding projects to get the creative gears churning. The trick though, it making it last through the year, through the dog days of summer when everything is heavy and laden with heat and humidity (ice coffee really helps, though).

For now though, I’m relishing this bit of maintenance, this bit of energy, this bit of spark… It makes the coffee taste better too. This is how I tend to celebrate and welcome the new year. Well, this and the last of the college football season 🙂

When do you start Spring Cleaning?

~lissa

Music Monday

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallYeah, I know. Pick your jaw up off the floor. This is the 4th day in a row for me blogging? I know I’m just as surprised as you, but hey, I’m trying.

So yeah, let’s talk music. I’m all over the place. Classical to screamin’ metal. I’m very particular and yet I’m not. I like the familiar, but I’ll try something new on and every now and then I’ll find something that doesn’t give me a headache.

I started going to live concerts when I was…young. 10 years old or so… I was hooked. I’ve been to every kind of show you could imagine. I’ve seen world renowned classical and jazz and gospel stars to the baddest bad boys of 80’s glam rock and everything in between. Some I’ve seen more than once, some I’d kill to see again.

Music plays a huge part in my writing, too. Both have been a part of me since I was a kid. I didn’t attend a normal high school but rather an arts high school and in the midst of us were the guys in local bands…long hair, smoking, leather, guitars, gravel laden voices, bad reputations. Oh. My. God. Though that was more than 20 years ago, I’m still obsessed with the bad ones, the naughty ones, the nothing but trouble on their minds ones.

And I saw enough concerts when RATT, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Poison, Cinderella, Kiss, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Guns ‘N Roses, Skid Row, etc… from the ages of 14 to 18 that… Yeah, I my head was filled with naughty, sex, hard rockin’ tattooed guys that… I never quite got over it.

So when I write, the music has to be there. And I’ve written books listening to different types of music. Usually one type or one particular artist or one particular album/song plays over and over until the book is finished. Music is also how I can write on multiple books at a time. Different genres of music put different ideas in my head and make me feel different emotions. I hope, when the books are done, that those pieces and parts have come together well.

For these latest releases, the most recent to the one coming at the end of the week, different music was listened to during the writing of…

Keep It Together was written with the help of the music by Miranda Lambert, primarily her latest album, Four the Record and the song, Mama’s Broken Heart…

And Trouble In The Making was helped along by Nickelback’s Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good…

I don’t have a choice but to write with music. It fuels the story. It fuels my thoughts and ideas and emotions. It sparks something that doesn’t let go until the last words are written. The books and scenes in my head are extensions of me and the music that I listen to, that I grew up with resonates in a way that is impossible for me to ignore. It goes much deeper than simply needing something to inspire. It flows through my veins like nothing else.

When the music is gone, it’s likely the stories will be too… Let’s hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.

Do you have a favorite band of all time? What was our first concert? I’d love to know… And in exchange, I’ll be giving away a copy of Keep It Together or Trouble In The Making on Saturday to one of the commentors.

~lissa