Lyric Graffiti

Aside from the grammatical issues with this text, I felt I had to share it with my readers after my latest post. My friend Kyla and her mom went house hunting and found this written on a wall in one of the houses they toured.

Photo courtesy of Kyla Morris.

Photo courtesy of Kyla Morris.

The king is gone but he's not forgotten. This is a story of a Johnny Rotten. It's better to burn out than to fade away (than it is to rust). The king is gone but he's not forgotten."
- Neil Young
The king is gone but he's not forgotten. This is the story of a Johnny Rotten. It's better to burn out 'cause rust never sleeps. The king is gone but he's not forgotten."
- Neil Young

A Good Old Fashioned Musical Sandwich

I think it’s obvious to say that many published authors use other writers’ ideas when it comes to creating their own masterpieces, but there are more ways than just reading another’s work to churn an artist’s creative juices. I realized over the last year that I’d forgotten what truly inspired me.

That was until a few nights ago.

I had been itching for something, I just didn’t know what. I was feeling pangs of nostalgia but figured it had something to do with my career that never transpired. I decided to Google open mic nights in downtown bars to see if maybe it would fill the gap, but decided against it last minute; however, the idea of seeing good live music stayed with me.

Artwork photo courtesy of www.albertogonzalo.blogspot.com.

Artwork photo courtesy of www.albertogonzalo.blogspot.com.

Since I’d been listening to “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young over and over again for about a week straight, I finally ventured to some of his other songs in place of making a random appearance at a bar alone and hoping for the best. I mean, let’s be honest, when has it ever been a good idea to go to a bar alone? So I stayed home and did a Neil Young search on Spotify, and there on my computer screen appeared album after album. (Have I mentioned how much I love Spotify?) I started with his Greatest Hits. Every single song was gorgeous and brilliant! Why hadn’t I listened to more of him before?!

Within minutes, inspiration hit me like ingested espresso into the bloodstream. I was more alert, focused, and excited to write, so I opened the story I’d sent out for publication, found missing action in the beginning, and rewrote several scenes. Between the rewrite and the music, I realized I had quoted a Neil Young lyric in my story. Ironically enough, the very next song contained the line I’d quoted. My inspiration was being sung aloud and it only drove me to write/edit more.

Last week, a friend invited me to an open mic night at a bar downtown. Perfect! My answer was obviously, “HELL YES!” since I’d searched a few days prior. As soon as the music started (with its many varieties), I realized why I had been so dry of ideas and motivation. This was the part of me that had been missing. Do not be mistaken, I have absolutely zero musical talent–and the fact that I went on stage that night and spoke the intro to “Baby Got Back” made that very clear to the audience; but it is music that can take me anywhere I want to go, see anything I want to see, create anything I wish to create, and stir every type of emotion without the help of physical vision. Music is just a different way to tell a story. To me, it is sandwiched between watching a movie and reading a book. The presence of emotion is in the music while the heart of the tale is written in ink.

Photo courtesy of www.shanedar.com.

Photo courtesy of www.shanedar.com.

It took one night of new faces and old, reinvented music to bring me back to myself and provide what I needed for my writing. These moments make writing such a treasure; they inspire us while we are reading or listening or watching events happen around us. These moments become our experiences, which become our stories.

Of course there are plenty of other ways to get addicted to inspiration, but this is an example of my heroin(e) (See what I did there?). Getting ideas from great writers is part of being a writer. Sometimes we use certain language and ideas that, shortly after we’ve borrowed them, we claim as our own in a different way until we are reminded where they originally came from when we reread a book we’ve buried in the basement or listened to a song we’ve deleted from our playlists. It is also a good way to celebrate those artists who have had the experience first. Overall, it is the ideas implanted earlier that become buried treasures of inspiration later.

Writers are like musicians: They recreate stories that have already been told; and they both result in a cover.

Where do YOU find inspiration?

The Douglas Adams Guide

douglas adams

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Thanks to Google Doodle, I am reminded of yet another author’s birthday worth celebrating:

Douglas Adams.

 

hitchikers guide

Photo courtesy of www.american-buddha.com.

He died at age 49 from a heart attack but would have been 61 years old today. His most famous story was that of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” And as the Google Doodle article says, fans of the story don’t really know how to describe it so they respond with, “just read it!” I’ve had several friends say that to me when I asked them for book recommendations. When I worked at Half Price Books, I finally bought my own copies but still have not started it. Perhaps today is a good day to find myself hitchhiking into a humorous galaxy. I hope you will, too, if you haven’t already ventured.

 

Douglas Adams Google doodle

Photo courtesy of www.guardian.co.uk.

Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food."
- Hippocrates

The Successful Path in the Valley

nature's pathways mag

Photo courtesy of Naturespathways.com.

What I love about my hometown is how much it is growing into a bustling city, drawing in more people toward positive, healthy changes. The Farmer Market, for example, is filled with more organic choices, diversity, educated people on the importance of health and wellbeing, appreciation for local arts, etc.

One resource I feel that helps my favorite city continue to grow is Nature’s Pathways Magazine. I’d seen it multiple times at the tutor building I work in downtown, but always passed by to get ready for my appointment with my student. Well, shame on my journalism instincts. I’ve been missing out, and I wouldn’t have realized this if it wasn’t for my boyfriend dropping one in my lap last night. He does that on occasion if he finds an article that he thinks I might be interested in reading. But this magazine in its entirety made him think of me and my own lifestyle changes over the last year.

This magazine’s inspirational mission makes for a wonderful addition to our community:

“Nature’s Pathways is a monthly magazine and online resource that provides accurate, relevant information on living a healthy lifestyle via nutrition, fitness, personal growth, wellness, relaxation, and organic and green living.”
 

The magazines downfalls are few, but one important thing to note is that it’s written by advertisers who may be experts in their field but only share one side of the story. A few of the messages I disagreed with had to do with diet. For example, one of the articles pulled from the Metro Creative Connection (which, for starters, is some sort of creative service) said that diet soda is a better choice than regular soda if your kids just won’t give it up. But diet soda is  more harmful. If it’s not real sugar they are using like in regular soda, then it’s some processed form of it they use in diet, making diet the obvious wrong choice. But what the article should have said is absolutely NO soda. Kids need more water in their lives. If the kids need to wean off the sugar, try using creative ways to flavor their water by using organic fruits and herbs.

While I found a few articles I disagreed with, majority of them were helpful and informative. So for those of us looking to become a positive  impact in our society by being healthy citizens and good role models for our youth, mental and physical health is the best place to start, and most of the magazine articles are worth your time. Especially in a toxic world like ours has become over the last few decades (e.g., The food industry looking to save a buck any way they can, government regulating our food pyramid, technology distracting youth from an active lifestyle, depression and obesity rates at an all time high, increased pressure on adults to work harder for longer and children to advance in education earlier, etc.)

Nature’s Pathways is a great tool for discovering your healthy side, whether that’s through physical, diet, mental, spiritual, hollistic, or “going green” approaches. Hippocrates had it right all the way back in the BC era when he said,

“Let food be thy medicine
and let thy medicine be thy food.”

 

Courtesy of Dreamstime.com.

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com.

As Americans and citizens of our communities, it is important we seek our best selves by being educated on what being healthy and natural really means in today’s world without being duped by media or government. The articles written in Nature’s Pathways are short, simple reminders of how easily we can return to where we once were as a human race: healthy and happy.

Nature’s Pathways is a reminder of what success really means. I encourage all of my family members, friends, acquaintances, and readers to pick up a copy of this magazine and choose the areas in which you’re lacking and get back on the healthy track; if not to live a healthier life, then to live a happier one.