From the Basement

August 9, 2010

On Inspiration

Filed under: Writing — jeannablue @ 1:56 am
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Today, I tripped down memory lane, writing wise. I spent a few hours downtown this afternoon at two of my old haunts. Two years ago, when I worked downtown, I’d walk to the Acoustic every day for lunch – sat at the same table, eating the same thing, writing non-stop for an hour straight. It was marvelous. I’d trained myself to do that; that hour was my writing time. I was able to write there today – I did a few exercises from The Art of War for Writers, which is great inspiration. Then I went to a coffee joint I’ve been frequenting for over ten years. It’s moved locations once and changed owners several times (it’s currently a raw food place/coffeehouse), but the coffee’s still decent. Its current location is in a former auto repair shop, so it’s got high, open beam ceilings, wood floors, and a counter that extends for more than twenty feet. I parked myself on a couch, watched the cars go by outside, listened to the writing music from two years ago, and relaxed.

Lately, I’ve been remembering how important it is to soothe the soul. Sometimes artists get so wrapped up in approaching our art like a job that we forget the value of inspiration, of sitting back and just nourishing our creativity. For me, that means not reading to learn craft. It means reading Jennifer Crusie or Elizabeth Peters, not Jhumpa Lahiri and Margaret Atwood (I still learn from Crusie and Peters – I just enjoy their stories more than literary prose). It means watching Little Women and Lie to Me (for some reason, that show really gets my juices flowing). It means trying not to get too addicted to youtube watching my favorite performances from So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol – there’s something about watching vibrant young performers pursuing their passion and all-out going for it every single week.

It means remembering that life is to be enjoyed, and even if art is our calling, it’s not our burden. Trust our Creator, trust the talent we’ve been given, buckle down and do the hard work, and freaking enjoy it. Life is short. It’s so short. Let’s not get lost in needing inspiration – but let’s not shove it, either.

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June 29, 2010

Gilmore Girls & Coffee

Filed under: Uncategorized — jeannablue @ 3:23 am
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In my family, people tend to pair off and have certain shows or movies that are special to a particular relationship. My dad and I had The West Wing, and then we had 24. My sister and I bonded over Charmed. And after I left for college, my mom and sister fell in love with Gilmore Girls. Consequently, we own every season. I’ve never really watched the show, partly because it feels like theirs, but I was bored today so I watched the pilot. I forget how enjoyable the show is – the dialogue sparkles and goes at the speed of light. But by the end of the episode, I realized there was another reason to watch the show – a far more important reason.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, well, let’s just say that I am a coffee lover. I drink it anytime. All the time. I have a half a pot in the morning and a half a pot before bed, and if I’m feeling really inspired, I have one in the middle of the afternoon, even in the summer. All this to say, Lorelei Gilmore is an inspiration.

Note that Lorelei has raised her daughter on coffee. Like Rory, I never stood a chance. If your mother was giving you coffee-flavored ice cream when you were 2 and buying you lattes and mochas when you were 10… well, you’d be writing this blog.

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