Inspiration for the Week: Story Prompt #MondayMotivation

Need a story prompt to get your creative ideas going this week? Where does this one lead?

Let me know how this image inspires you this week!

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Autumn Sky

Not much of a post this week. My favorite season, fall, is almost here. Well, technically, it arrived a week or so ago, but in my neck of the woods the leaves haven’t started turning yet and the weather is just barely starting to cool down at night.

I’m always inspired by nature, so I thought I’d share a picture I captured the other day. Enjoy!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Follow your dreams!

Follow your dreams!

 

What to Blog about when You’re out of Ideas

I’m sure this happens to every blogger sooner or later: your idea well dries up. It might be a long creativity dry spell, or maybe it’s just a temporary slump and you’re like “drat, I’m supposed to post tomorrow and I have nothing ready.”

Well, here are some handy tips to keep you going – or at least to help you fill in the gaps until your creativity springs gets going again. If you’re stuck for blog post ideas, you can:

Search the internet for “blog post ideas.” You’ll come across dozens of far more creative and influential bloggers than yours truly who have long lists of ideas, or fabulous tips for getting out of a slump. Continue reading

The Blue-Haired Writer Girl

If you’ve been on my social media recently, you may have noticed that I’ve updated my profile picture to show me with blue hair. Last year I took a big self-image leap of faith and dyed my hair blue. I found that I liked it, so I stuck with it, and at the six-month mark, I blogged about it again.

I learned a lot during those first six months. And now, this month marks one full year with blue hair. Continue reading

Observations from a Blue-Haired Gal

One of the keys to being a good writer is to be a keen observer of human behavior and life in general. No matter what genre you write, observations and experiences from real life impact your writing; and so the more you can observe – and think about what you observe – the better.

Ever since I dyed my hair blue, I’ve observed some very interesting behaviors from people around me. Nothing bad – and even those few who have said in one way or another that they don’t like my hair have still helped me by adding to my list of observations. I’ve even gone so far as to say, when people ask me why I colored my hair, that I’m doing research for a novel. In response to that, I’ve gotten blank looks, and someone asked me when my book was coming out.

My current look, as of my most recent color touch-up

My current look, as of my most recent color touch-up

Note: I’m not doing research for a specific book – I’m just doing research on human behavior, as I mentioned at the beginning. No matter what the response is to that statement, or my hair in general, it’s research. So thank you, one and all, for helping me to become a better writer!

Here are some of the most surprising things I’ve observed during the past six months:

“I wish I had the nerve to do that.” Countless people have said this to me. Some have said that they wish they could do wild things with their hair, but because of their job (usually a high position in the corporate world) they can’t. I can understand that. But what has truly surprised me is the number of young, “edgy” people who have said they wished they had the courage to color their hair. I have had people with tattoos or piercings say this, and also have had hair stylists and other people in the fashion industry say it. It took a lot of courage, yes, for me to initially take the leap and turn my whole head blue, but I didn’t realize how many people don’t feel that they have the courage to make a drastic (but still temporary) outward change.

Let it go! My hair is a bit more purple now, since my stylist used only purple dye for my last color touch-up. But for a couple of months there, my hair was a bright blue. During this time, the most common comment/question I got was: “Did you color your hair because of Frozen?” Um, no. Why? Last time I saw the movie, Elsa had blond hair. I eventually figured out that people were probably saying this because my hair was the exact same shade of blue that predominates the film – especially in the opening title sequence. Even after I figured out the reasoning, it still startled me every time someone brought it up. I even had – on more than one occasion – a random person come up to me and start singing “Let it Go.” Kind of surreal – it was like being a musical where someone spontaneously bursts into song. I’m the creative writer here, and even I couldn’t make this stuff up.

My Queen Elsa hair, apparently.

My Queen Elsa hair, apparently.

I’m more tolerant of other styles. I’d like to say that I never judge a person based on their looks, but I’m afraid that I have – probably more than a few times. We all try not to judge by appearances, but let’s face it – appearances are what we notice first. We make certain assumptions about that girl with the pink Mohawk and the lip ring, or that guy with the rat tail and wife beater. And even if our assumptions wind up being true to one degree or another, there’s still a human being under that clothing and hair, a person with their own unique strengths and dreams. I’m sure a lot of people make judgements about me (that they never would have made if I was still my natural blond). Because I can now see things from the other side, as it were, I try to be more outgoing and comment positively on looks I like or that are unique.

So this has been my diary of my blue hair! I’m enjoying the color – and the whole experience and everything I’m learning from it. Here’s to six more months as a blue-haired gal!

Six Months as a Blue-Haired Gal

Back in April of this year I took the plunge and colored my hair. It was the first time I’d done a whole-head dye job (aside from once or twice when I just lightened my natural blond color). And just to make sure that this would be a memorable experience, I colored my hair blue.

A few weeks ago, my hair had lightened to a lovely pastel blue. I often wear a hat outside on sunny days to keep it from fading faster.

A few weeks ago, my hair had lightened to a lovely pastel blue. I often wear a hat outside on sunny days to keep it from fading faster.

It’s been an interesting process of growth and learning. My hair stylist is amazing, I think she’s learned a lot, too. We’ve been on this journey together for six months now, and here are a few things that I’ve learned:

Even when bleached, blond hair is really yellow. When I was a kid, I had platinum-blond hair, almost white, but it darkened to a light blond when I was a teenager. Before dying my hair blue for the first time, my stylist bleached my whole head. She also added a little bit of purple to the blue dye. But even so, after the blue started to fade a bit, parts of it began turning green. Not a bad green – more like a teal or turquoise green, which gave my hair a mermaid look (which was cool). But I learned that yellow is apparently a very strong color. Even with the bleach and the purple, there was still enough yellow in my hair to turn some of the blue to green.

People will say things online that they’d never say to your face. Who knew that some people feel more confident hiding behind a social media profile? I actually haven’t gotten many negative comments about my hair, online or in real life. I’ve had a few people say things to the effect of “well, your hair sure is…different,” making it apparent that they don’t like it or don’t approve. Online, I’ve gotten more dramatic comments about how I look or asking why in the world would I do such a horrid thing to myself.

Note: I’m not offended by any of these not-so-positive remarks, and I’m certainly not giving direct quotes or pointing fingers. Anyone is free to dislike my hair, and to tell me so. I’m just making an observation that so far, most of my nay-sayers have not said anything to me face to face.

Overall, most of the comments I’ve gotten – online and IRL – have been positive and complimentary.

I went purple for the most recent color touch-up

I went purple for the most recent color touch-up

Adjustments to new things don’t always have to take a long time. But sometimes they do anyway. Within just a week or so of the first dye job, I was no longer startled every time I saw myself in the mirror. And now, six months in, I occasionally forget that I have blue hair, until someone says “I love that color!” and I’m like, “oh, that’s right, I dyed my hair blue.” But oddly, one thing that still gives me a start is seeing blue hairs in my hairbrush. Weird, right? I can handle my blue-headed reflection, but cleaning out my hair brush and seeing blue hairs in the trashcan is still strange. Truth is stranger than fiction, as they say.

Eventually I’ll go back to my natural blond, but I’m in no hurry. I’ve been loving this experience, and having fun with every new shade and nuance of my hair every time my stylist touches up the color. Here’s to six more months as a blue-haired gal!