Worthy of the Week

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Hey all! Sorry I missed the post last week, as you may know I’ve been sick lately. But here is this Friday’s Worthy of the Week, a weekly breakdown of things worth sharing. If you like what you see, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 Check out the others here

Inspiration

These beautiful, haunting, surreal photographs.

   

The second two are by Kyle Thompson, who is a phenomenal photographer and artist, and more than worth looking up.

Issues

This week has been one of tragedies. Two huge celebrity deaths, Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall, and the ongoing violence in Ferguson. I think it is so important that we let Robin William’s death and suicide bring to light an often avoided topic–mental illness, depression, and suicide. I have heard many different reactions to this, varying from celebration to damnation, saying he made a weak, selfish choice and left his family behind. But I think a lot of people with that reaction have never experienced anything close to what it is like to wrestle with depression. For them, and everyone else, I have this video. I’ve also heard it compared to those who jump out of burning buildings–they don’t want to jump, but it feels like the only alternative to being burned alive, but the people on the ground don’t understand unless they have been in a burning building themselves. And this video captures something I think is so hugely important for how we deal with and talk about his death. Regardless of how you feel, he was an amazing man who touched so many lives, and it hurts my heart that he was in so much pain he saw no other option.

Words of Wisdom

Being sick and stuck in bed this week, I really felt this next one. I love books because they give me freedom, even if I feel stuck in this sick body.

INSTANT DOWNLOAD Mason Cooley Reading Quote by artkeptsimple

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Worthy of the Week

Untitled23

Hey all! Thanks so much for stopping by, here is this Friday’s Worthy of the Week, a weekly breakdown of things worth sharing. If you like what you see, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 Check out the others here

Inspiration

I thought I’d share some awesome art I found while searching inspiration for Nightfire. Hope you enjoy 🙂

from-chaos-inka-and-tea-on-watercolour-paper-c2a31400abstract_wildlife_painting_wolf_hunt_by_texas_arti_6d69550123b7aadcae81a473becac78b images (1)

Issues

You may have heard of the relatively infamous “Proud Whopper” from Burger King (if you haven’t, check it out here). Basically, it’s a whopper wrapped in rainbow paper, with the phrase: “We’re all the same inside”. I love the idea. Some people are criticizing them for being fake activists, and actually not being helpful at all, but I think it’s a nice gesture. I mean, they’re still a corporation. I think this is a great way for them to get involved and show support. It’s under “issues” because I am disgusted by a lot of the reactions (seriously, read them) I think it’s ridiculous, in 2014, people are boycotting BK because of rainbow paper, calling it the “fag burger” or “sodomy burger” (also thought one rebuttal was particularly hilarious, that straight people are a lot more focused on gay sex than actual gays are. It’s true, though. There’s so much more to it than that). Anyways, I won’t get too ranty. Go check it out, and see for yourself. BK: 1 Humanity: -1

Words of Wisdom

I absolutely love this quote. I think it captures my writing style, and writing itself, so well.

Writing inspiration from Walt Whitman and Figment

Worthy of the Week

Untitled23

Hey all! Thanks so much for stopping by, here is this Friday’s Worthy of the Week, a weekly breakdown of things worth sharing. If you like what you see, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 Check out the others here

Inspiration

keep the wild      Art print nude abstract signed Lustre reproduction by Aja ebsq "Femme 28" - 8x10

Issues

So you may or may not have heard about the controversy this week, over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the “Hobby Lobby” case. Basically, the Supreme Court ruled that companies could deny employees birth control because of the company’s religion. So A: yet another legislation (passed by all men, only one sided with women) regulating women’s bodies, while there remains no legislation regulating men. B: companies allowed to force their religious beliefs on their employees (doubt they’d have the same reaction if it was Muslims forcing employees to cover their hair). And C: companies and sex cells (not even fertilized eggs) are people and have more rights than women. How can you not be upset??

My favorite tweet on the subject: “we have literally arrived at the point where we let party supply stores tell women what to do with their bodies.” – @lawblob Also, if you think we are overreacting, watch this video. It might seem like a small thing, but it is part of decades of fighting for women’s rights, and this is a huge step backwards. It also opens to the doors to all kinds of claims and rights violations on the grounds of “company religion”. Since when is that a thing?

Words of Wisdom

As CampNaNoWriMo started this week, I am learning yet again the value of my peers in the writing community. All of you, you are great. 🙂

Collaborate.

Worthy of the Week

Untitled23

Hey all! Thanks so much for stopping by, here is this Friday’s Worthy of the Week, a weekly breakdown of things worth sharing. If you like what you see, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 Check out the others here

Inspiration

Art, as always. I think these pieces speak for themselves.

Breathless,Fine Artist Portrait Painting, Artist Study with thanks to Artist Danny O' Connor, Resources for Art Students, CAPI ::: Create Art Portfolio Ideas at milliande.com , Inspiration for Art School Portfolio Work, Portrait, Painting, Figure, FacesPassions- twilight 7005  Rikka AyasakiSaatchi Online Artist: Yuliya Vladkovska; Mixed Media, 2012, Painting "One sweet goodbye"  Want this for my home!

Issues

This week, I watched Lee Thompson Young’s funeral tribute on Rizzoli and Isles. It’s been a while since he passed, and he was in the rest of last season, so this was the first time being confronted with it. Wow. I was surprised by how much emotion I had for someone I had never met. Even worse, it was so hard to understand. For those of you who don’t know, he committed suicide. He was clearly successful and had a bright future ahead of him, and was much loved by his costars and everyone around him. But that’s the thing: suicide doesn’t make sense. Depression and mental illness don’t make sense. They are a chemical imbalance–there is no logic. And sadly, I think there’s still so much stigma. Hopefully, his death will show people that they are not alone in their struggle, that it is okay to not be okay, even when it seems like you should, and that there is always help and people who care.

Words of Wisdom

This week I’ve spent some more time sick and in bed, more time with emotions and feelings that I don’t know what to do with–and as always, I can escape to my writing. There is something almost magical about how healing books can be.

Reserved Item for butterflywishesllc by farmnflea on Etsy, $15.00

Worthy of the Week

Last week was the very first Worthy of the Week (check it out here) and I am going to try it again. I am going to keep doing it, until it becomes a thing (it will become a thing, dang it) Feel free to join in, and if you leave a link in the comments, I’ll be sure to stop by! 🙂

Inspiration

As I said in this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, boyfriend and I are looking into mission trips, especially to Nepal or India. I have my heart set on India. I think it is such a beautiful, vibrant place with a rich history, culture, and people. And, elephants! Here are three India-inspired art pieces that caught my eye this week.

Elephants loupgarouMixed Media Portraits by Stéphanie LedouxCS Lawrence: blue eyes - collage -mixed media portrait

Issues

If you haven’t heard of the #YesAllWomen hashtag by now, I don’t even know what to say to you. You need to go look at it right now, especially if you are a man, and spend some time reading through the posts. Though it has received some criticism, I think it is powerful, and beautiful. It has allowed women all over the world to unite, to find the courage to speak up, and to share their stories. It has started a conversation that is long overdue, and I hope all the attention it has gotten will mean some real changes ahead. The recent response tag, #AllMenCan, is also worth checking out. The genders need to work together if change is going to happen.

Words of Wisdom

Maya Angelou was a woman larger than life. She was an inspiration, a role model, and a world changer. The world would be a better place if we could all try to be a little more like her. Out of all her beautiful, wise words, these are some of my favorites:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

RIP Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

Worthy of the Week

Hey all, so I have been playing around with this idea for some time, but haven’t figured out quite how to execute it. So, this may fail miserably, but I thought I’d try it out 🙂 I didn’t want this blog to be just about writing, but also life and inspiration, and I wanted to be able to share some of the things that matter.

I decided I’d try sharing a quick breakdown of some things I found during the week, in three categories: Inspiration, Issues, and Words of Wisdom. With so much plain crap on the internet these days, I’d like to take a moment to share some things that are worthy of sharing. And if you like this idea, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 So here it is, the very first Worthy of the Week!

Inspiration: I am constantly inspired by art, whether for writing or art of my own. I could easily post a hundred different photos for this, but here are three beautifully haunting pieces that stood out to me this week.

collage by Carme Magem,Saatchi Online Artist: Jaeyeol Han; Mixed Media, 2012, Painting "Hidden Violence, Notting hill, London 2011" #artundercover guru.....by M.A. Wakeley ......mixed media on canvas

Issues: You will find that I am mostly passionate about women’s issues (which arguably, are not issues for any gender, but humans as a whole). I will try to switch things up, but I wanted to start with something that really matters to me.

There is undeniable a gender gap in our own country (the US) but it is shocking to realize just how horribly women and girls are treated around the world. They are garbage–less than garbage, less than animals, less than dirt. I had always been aware of this, but it was on the edges of my awareness, distant and far away and it didn’t really affect me. Then I watched the documentary Half the Sky, based on the book of the same name, which highlights major women’s issues around the world, intelligently using celebrities to raise attention. If you haven’t seen it, it is free on Netflix, and you should go watch it. Right now. Seriously, it will change your life, whether you are a woman or not.

Girl Rising 39 (2)              Half the Sky movie poster (2012) poster MOV_da079446

Words of Wisdom: These words really struck me, as I have been trying to live more intentionally, and make the most of my good health. I find myself using my health as an excuse pretty often, instead of challenging and putting myself to go out there and do more. In addition to the Summer Bucket List I mentioned last week (which we’ve already crossed off four things, and had a blast!) I am planning trips this summer (camping in Hill Country, then Huntington Beach to visit cousins) as well as possible mission trips for next year (my heart is set on India).

So I leave you with these two nuggets, from none other than Rumi.

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget Safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

Rumi Said...

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

How to Fall in Love (Again)

Every writer started because they fell in love with a book, or a story, and they couldn’t rid themselves of it. We have spent hours and days and even years carefully sculpting these characters and worlds and stories. We have breathed life into them and watched as bit by bit they start to breathe and walk and talk on their own. We have laughed and cried with them. By the time we are finished, they are so entwined in ourselves they are truly a part of us.

And then we send them out to the world for the first time. Terrified, like parents sending their kids off to the first day of school. We love them more than anything, but will the world be as kind?

Then there is critique, and we have to reevaluate them. Change them, rearrange them, delete them altogether. We scrub and scrub at our story until it is gleaming and our hearts swell with pride again.

Then comes the dreaded query. Letter after letter pleading with agents to fall in love with these characters and stories the same way we have. If they could only give us the chance, we know they’d love them just as much. But they don’t see what we do. Rejection letter after rejection letter, and even weeks waiting with no response. And when you talk about your story, you talk about it in terms of pitch and word count and plot arcs. Is it marketable? Can they sell it?

And this is just the beginning. Let alone if you become published and have to do revisions and line edits and have it picked apart and editors and publishers telling you how it should be. You watch them suck all the life out of it and it becomes nothing more than numbers and marketing and profit margins.

When we are faced with this, it is hard not to fall into the pit. As I am entering the publishing process seriously for the first time, I find myself distancing from my story. It becomes a business, a product. Which it has to be, if you are going to turn writing into a career. But sometimes I get too caught up in all of this. I get too critical of myself, feedback, my own writing. I forget why I fell in love with the world and the characters I created, and can only see all the flaws that people have picked out. I found myself doubting my story entirely. Would anyone really want to read this?

I think writers are self-conscious creatures, more than most professions. How could we not be? We are having parts of ourselves judged and critiqued, for our job. That’s scary. And it can hurt sometimes too.

But I think the most important part, for those of you like me who are turning their passion into their career, is to fall in love with your story and writing all over again, every day. It’s like a relationship. When you stop dating your significant other, stop being romantic and silly and forget why you fell in love with them in the first place, it falls apart. Date your book. Tell it it’s beautiful, buy it flowers. Read it all over again and remember why you fell in love.

When I was doubting my book, I went back and started reading bits and pieces of it. Pieces I had almost forgotten about. And it was like reading it, and falling in love for the first time. I rediscovered my world and my characters and they just came back to life and all I could think was, Wow. How did ever get tired of this?

Writing is a business. But it is also an art, a passion, a part of you.

Even as it becomes a business, don’t ever forget that little kid who first picked up a book and fell in love. Write for that little kid, not for the hundred other voices trying to tell you what to do.