Little Snowflake!

Winter’s coming, lol. Had to. It’s been a long few months since I started back at work after the lockdown, and I’m about ready for a nice Christmas. This year things are weird but good and I have two weeks off work to write, play music, and spend time with my parents. 

My musical creativity has already been flowing with my violin practice and more piano practice. I’ve dipped into playing my flute, but I’ve had this weird cold for like a month, so I don’t have the breath for the flute right now. Don’t worry, it’s not Covid, I got tested to be sure and was negative. Anyway, back to winter and music.

It’s this just the cutest little winter/Christmas song ever. I love to play it for my little students, and we spin around like snowflakes.

Anyway, I decided to make a score of it just from fun. It took me a few hours to get the right notes along with a more-or-less ok-ish left hand. But I’m proud of being able to take a simple song and translate it into notes musicians can read. 

Here it is on Musescore where you can hear the synthesizer.

Or download it below. It was just for funsies, but it made me feel super creative.

Feature image by Jill Wellington at pixabay.com

Creative Dissociation!

My wonderful instruments.

I can lose myself in writing so much that time vanishes and, suddenly, it’s lunchtime or time to go to my day job. I’ve been very in and out with my writing pages of fun new revisions or crickets on my WIPs depending on the day or week. 

After a mostly calm summer, things have been escalating in my life again. With COVID issues affecting my family and my job, it’s been a rough autumn and not a great start to winter. My family have all been ill, and my mum tested positive for COVID, which is weird since my dad and I are negative. Luckily, she’s doing well compared to what we feared if either of my parents got COVID. So that’s a fantastic silver lining, and she hopes to be better in a week or so.

This is when I need creative outlets like writing, music, blogs. They help me zone out for even a short time a bit like meditation.

I rediscovered this in music, too. I’ve had my keyboard for a year now and love playing it. I still play my flute and try to learn new tunes occasionally, but last month, I got a violin. 

My MC from Out of Ashes plays violin, and I figured it would be fun to learn. I’ve only learned a little from YouTube videos, but I’m doing ok-ish, and playing some simple things that sound a little like tunes. 

With all the busy days and extra work, I’ve found it hard to get into writing on weekdays, but music, I can play for fifteen minutes to an hour and just let myself go. It’s also useful from a writing perspective to actually do what my MC does. I’m now a huge fan of classical string instruments, and The Piano Guys are on my car playlist. I found them a few years ago, but have been listening to them more to inspire my piano and violin, even though the string instrument is cello. I found some fun tunes that I’m working on. 

This is something I struggle with on the flute because of the top notes, but I can play the basic (and I mean basic) version on piano just fine and can play a little on the violin. But it’s still super inspiring to try and play beyond that simple version. It’s slow going, but practice makes perfect.

It’s always great to have multiple creative pastimes if you’re that way inclined, even if some are just for fun. Creativity is what you need it to be. For me, it’s fun, a distraction, a future career, a little self-validation, and mostly a necessity because I just can’t live without it.

More Inspiration?

Yes please. 

I admit I get overloaded with inspiration. Just the other night I had an awesome dream that prompted a future novel. I didn’t spend too long on it because I didn’t want to distract myself from Out of Ashes. But Fae and Foe (working title) has been on my mind for a while now, and a full story idea hit me. So I got on Scrivener and spent a morning hashing out initial ideas and finding images.

It got me thinking about my first novel inspiring dream for Starlighters. Over time, I’ve found lots of things that inspired me further. Mostly music and images that I instantly connected with on behalf of my story and characters.

Enjoy…

I love Epic Music World’s compilations. Not only is it awesome music to write to, but the images prompted me to find an amazing comic and digital artist.

Ghostblade is a fantasy comic by Wlop.

Here’s the link to the full gallery. https://www.deviantart.com/wlop/gallery

There’s even some gaming images on there, like KDA’s League of Legends track and Final Fantasy XV images.

I can’t rave about these artists enough. The imagery and music combined just brings out the best of Starlighters, because somewhere along the way, we all have the same inspiration.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get Wlop’s work on my book covers. I know I would if I could. 

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Writing!

opened music sheet book on top of upright piano
Photo by Louis Smith

I’ve already talked about Fantastic Inspiration for your writing, but what about when you’re actually writing. 

My Inspiration playlist.

There are lots of conflicting ideas and opinions when it comes to sounds around you while writing. Music, TV, low coffee shop muttering, nature, or silence. Either way, we all need the right background noise, or lack thereof, to help us focus. They set the right ambience to let our creativity flow and boost our inspiration while we in the “zone”.

I find music is the best when I’m writing. Empowering, emotional, raging. Whatever I need to get the right feeling for the scene. I prefer instrumental when I need to concentrate on the writing itself, but anything goes when I’m brainstorming. I have playlists for each book/series plus a general “inspiration” playlist. I have YouTube and Spotify playlists, but I sometimes like to take a pause and watch one of the videos to the music on YT. Each chapter has a link to the music I felt most inspired it as I was writing. I even name my chapters based on said music.

But I get the appeal of other sounds, too. 

Coffee shops are fun to get that feeling of a “writer” based on what many people think we do all day. Writing and coffee tend to be strongly associated. So why lose yourself in the puffs of steaming coffee machines and casual humming of conversation. 

TV might just create that sense of distant sound without setting any kind of mood. I have the TV on right now for background sound, but my main focus is on this post. 

Silence. I can’t do silence. I can switch off the artificial noise and just listen to the world outside. Birds tweeting makes me feel in touch with nature and is great for when I’m writing about connections to magic just like how I feel with nature sometimes. 

Don’t forget the soundtrack to your writing, whatever that entails.

Gifts in the Pages!

As a writer, I leave many pieces of myself in my work. It’s what connects me to my writing as an expression of myself rather than writing to a formula. As a reader, I like to find pieces of authors in books. It makes it far more personal if I believe writers leave these as little gifts for others. There’s no better gift than giving yourself. 

It’s what us artists do. We throw ourselves into our work and give it to the world to experience pieces of our creativity and imagination and emotions. Visual art, literature, music are all ways of expressing this. One is no less expressive than the other to the right audience. But all move us one way or the other.

My bookshelf probably says more about me than my clothes do. Modern and classic books. New and old from my childhood. Even educational books from when I was studying. These pages all sparked knowledge and imagination. Each one says something about me or left something with me as I read it. They are literary gifts to be cherished and looked after unless the cat decides to scratch the cover. Meh, nothing I couldn’t stick back, and luckily not my more cherished books. 

I’m still discovering my musical emotions and pouring them into the amazing pieces that inspire me to play my own renditions. 

The above videos incorporate many amazing art forms like music, animation, and a fantastic story behind the images. It’s one of my many inspirations that combine my favourite things. 

Dancing is one of the most physical forms of expression. You use every muscle to convey any emotion you want, and when you dance to the right music, there’s no limit to what you can express.

I could go on all day about the many gifts I receive every time I read a book, listen to my favourite music, and watch a beautiful dance. And I want to give gifts through my own writing and music. My point is that the gifts in art stay with us, immortalizing ideas and imagination for others now and in the future. That’s a big gift to give to the world.  

What gifts will you give?

Fantastic Inspiration and Where to Find it!

white and gray digital device on blue denim jeans
Photo by Alexandre

Real life. Write what you know, right? If you have your own story to tell, or someone else’s, then do it. There might be some issues on telling other people’s stories so be sure to check out how to go about it like changing names, locations, minor details for example. But people can inspire in a good way and encourage you to write something more personal.

Dreams are one of my biggest inspirations. Most of my ideas come from dreams. Then I have more dreams about it and use those too. I put a lot of myself into my books, but the initial inspiration always starts with a dream. 

Books are a good once you know what kind of story you want to write. Or maybe they already inspired you, in which case, you’re good. But read the books most like the ones you want to write. Read different genres to get a bigger view on the world of literature and how some genres overlap. Read anything and everything that you think you might like, then use all that inspiration to mould your own story.

Images are great once you have a story idea and want to develop your characters and world whether realistic or fantasy/sci-fi. I recommend deviantart.com for amazing portraits, landscapes and fun fantasy characters and worlds. Maybe even make a map to help with locations or town locales. 

Legend of the Cryptids - Snow Convoy Secrecia adv.
One of my favourite inspirational images from Legends of the Cryptid
Jewel
Also this from Ghost Blade graphic novels. 

Music. OMG. I can’t write without it. Even before I rediscovered my love for playing music, it’s always inspired me. I even have a character who plays a little violin in my novels I started over two years ago. She represented my past love for the flute and piano but how I just stopped playing because of other priorities. So I wrote about music long before Out of Ashes, which was inspired by my redescovery of music.

I made different playlists depending on what type of scene I was writing. I’m glad I did, because now I have chapter names based on that music, and I’ve shared a couple on my novel pages on this site.

This is an amazing playlist when brainstorming or outlining. But when actually writing, I’ve always preferred instrumental. 
Try Two Steps from Hell for amazing battle music or some high seas or just gentle uplifting music for any book.

So no matter what inspires you, there’s always something that drives our twitchy fingers.