Music to Write By: Writing from a Place of Joy

Writing from a place of pain is incredibly valuable. Writing can be release, personal therapy, a way of overcoming a struggle or trauma. At a few times in my life, I’ve written from a place of sadness or pain, and the writing has helped me.

However, I write best when I’m happy or relaxed. Joy, exuberance, or contented peace are usually more inspiring to me than sadness or pain. Not that I always have to be a good mood to write (it’s about discipline, not just feelings), but being happy certainly helps to boost my creativity.

Music is one of my greatest sources of inspiration; and so here I’m sharing some of my favorite “happy” tracks. These are pieces of music (mostly instrumental) that fill me with joy and help me to get into writing mode. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Writing and Blogging Updates

For the past two weeks, I’ve missed my normal Wednesday blog post.

I’ve blogged regularly for about five years now, posting once a week, and missed maybe three or four weeks during that time. After missing two weeks in a row this past month, I resolved anew to be disciplined with my writing and my blogging, regardless of circumstances.

My circumstances haven’t been bad – quite the opposite, actually. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you might have seen the occasional tweet about me being in the process of moving. Back in April, I quit my part-time job, packed up my books, said goodbye to my parents and the city I’d grown up in, and moved across the country. I’m still not fully sure why I did this, but I did. And so far I haven’t regretted it. Continue reading

Inspiration for the Week: Music to Write By – AO Music #MondayMotivation

Do you listen to music while you write? Do you listen to music to calm your soul, or boost your energy? This tranquil, inspiring track might just be suitable for all of the above! Enjoy!

Let me know how this music inspires you this week!

Summer Reading List Ideas

With Memorial Day (in the US) coming up this weekend, this marks the official start of summer. Many people are putting together their vacation ideas, and along with that, their summer reading lists.

So here’s my take on the summer reading list. I’m not offering specific titles, but rather ideas about what kinds of books to put on your list. If you have a goal to read 5 or 10 or 50 books this summer, then how about some variety and unexpected items? 

A classic. You know, one of those 19th century tomes that people either love or hate. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or not, there’s usually a reason those authors and their books are now considered classics.

A new book. Maybe even a hot new bestseller that just hit the shelves. I believe that old books and new books are equally valid, even if the genres, subject matters, and writing styles are wildly different. Continue reading

Music Review: “Asha,” AO Music

The world music group AO Music is back with another superb album of high-energy sounds and enlightening vocals. The group’s name – AO – means pure light or all colors in ancient Polynesian, and “light” and “colors” are good words to describe this music.

As always, the incomparable Miriam Stockley leads the vocals on nearly every track. AO co-producer Richard Gannaway contributes to several songs, along with the voices of children’s choirs from around the world.

In a bit of a departure from their recent albums, many of the songs on Asha are in English – like “Love Knows the Way,” “The Wildest Dream,” “Where in the New World,” and others. AO has liberally used vocalese for many of their songs in the past (vocalese: made-up phonetics, open to personal interpretation, that fit the rhythm of the music). While there are still vocalese lyrics to be heard on this album, many of the songs are in English, Zulu, Polynesian, Scottish Gaelic, or a blend of languages. Continue reading