Tag Archives: Words to Live By

Spark Change in the World

Glühwendel_brennt_durch“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”
― Tupac Shakur

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Tasted, Devoured or Chewed and Digested Thoroughly?

Beautiful_Books“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
― Sir Francis Bacon

Are there books you devour?  A genre you can’t resist tasting?  An author whose work you digest thoroughly?  Until, I get into a book, I can’t tell which one it will be.

Right now, I really want to devour Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but I keep having to put it down to be a responsible adult…I don’t like being a responsible adult.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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This Is A Different Thing All Together

Cover of "Skeleton Crew"

Cover of Skeleton Crew

“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”
― Stephen KingSkeleton Crew

This is such a wonderful description of a short story.  I could not resist sharing.  Before I discovered Fragile Things and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman I didn’t own many short story collections.  Sometimes I would stumble upon really good ones online or I’d pour through collections from college for favorites, or maybe I’d borrow an anthology from a friend.  However, I didn’t seek out short stories the way I do novels.  Well, that is just not going to work anymore

 

Cover of "Fragile Things: Short Fictions ...

Cover via Amazon

These days time is the most valuable commodity, and I don’t know about you, but I always seem to come up a little short.  In the wake of things-that-must-be-done, novels go unread, memoirs lie abandoned, and works of art “in progress” gather dust.  I know, the fault is no one’s but my own.  The to-do list is largely voluntary, and I don’t regret doing any of it.  The opportunity for a great experience is hard to pass by, but it comes at a sacrifice of those things that relax, steady, and recharge me.  Short fiction has become a solution to fill my need to read, learn, and continue to increase my skill as a writer.  So, I’m branching out…again.

 

I’m in the middle of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, but I’m almost finished reading it.  I’m going to need a little help to keep me going.  Who do you think writes good short stories?  Any favorite collections?

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

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Captain Jack Harkness…I’m Not Surprised. Are You?

John Barrowman

John Barrowman (Photo credit: paulafunnell)

A news story on the radio this week covered people singing in the car.  Apparently, people really like to sing along with Journey.  Personally, I sing along with everything…whether I actually know the words or not.  I sing a lot.  It doesn’t matter if there’s music playing or not.  Sometimes I get weird looks in the grocery store, but who cares.  Then I saw this quote from John Barrowman.

 

“I’ve always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.”
― John Barrowman

Thanks Captain Jack.  I agree!

 

‘Til next time,
Jessica

The Healing Power of Music

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley

 

Sheet music.

Sheet music. (Photo credit: jonisanowl)

 

Music is, without a doubt, a balm for my soul.  It sweeps me up and can impact my mood for the entire day.  There are songs or artists that I turn to when I need to get my head on straight, when I’m doubting myself, when I want to celebrate life, when I’m so angry I can barely see straight…you get the picture.  Certain songs can make me smile, no matter my mood when it comes on.  Amanda Palmer’s “Ukulele Anthem” is one of these, Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried”, Fun’s “Some Nights”…I always sing along (and occasionally dance) when I listen to them.  Right now, “Ukulele Anthem” is buzzing around begging me to get it stuck in someone else’s head.  I’m sure I’ll oblige it sooner rather than later.  (My nephew is due a phone call…I’ll get hung up on when I sing it to him, but it will be worth it!)

 

Lately, I’ve been talking with people about music, asking for recommendations mostly.  There are a lot of new artists I’ve discovered, established artists I’m really delving into for the first time, exploring genres that never appealed to me before, and relying on old favorites to recall a certain mood or feeling…or just because.  I don’t know what I would do without Spotify giving me the freedom to explore a bit. (Although, oddly enough, I rarely use their discovery feature recommendations.  It isn’t that they aren’t good.  They’ve been pretty decent when I have clicked on a recommendation.  I don’t know.)

 

Discovering music through recommendations by people is one of my favorite ways to do it.  It keeps me listening when I might have switched to something else, because I know that there’s a reason so-and-so likes this song.  Sometimes, I find a new favorite.  Sometimes, not.  How do you find new artists to listen to?  Send me some of the songs you love to listen to.  Maybe they’ll find a place on my next playlist.

 

Current Playlist (a.k.a. musical obsessions)

 

  • Ukulele Anthem – Amanda Palmer
  • London Calling – The Clash
  • Drunken Lullabies – Flogging Molly
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
  • One Day Like This – Elbow
  • Makin’ Whoopee – Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman
  • I Want You, But I Don’t Need You – Amanda Palmer
  • Some Nights – Fun
  • Day For The Dead – Zac Brown Band
  • Lola – The Kinks
  • Speed of Darkness – Flogging Molly
  • Tessellate – Alt-J (Actually just this whole album)
  • You & Me – Caroline’s Spine
  • Bother – Stone Sour
  • Cocaine Blues – Johnny Cash
  • At Last – Etta James
  • I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  • Weather To Fly – Elbow
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons
  • Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
  • Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  • Strong – London Grammar
  • Piano Concertos – Mozart

 

Actually, I just switched to Chopin’s Mazurkas…

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica
 

 

 

 

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Let Your Imagination Fly

Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)

Plato’s Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m big on using music when I’m…actually, pretty much all the time.  There’s a soundtrack to my life, and at any given moment smart odds are I’ve got a song in my head.  It is essential to my whole creative process…thing.  Whether it is writing, painting…refinishing furniture (that’s this weekend’s project), music just gets me in the right head-space, and keeps me going.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination

and life to everything.”― Plato

Exercising, don’t forget it then.  It is definitely a requirement then. (Oh, I started training for a 5K…day one there was running, at least.  It was a decent start.  Okay, fine it was a start, anyway.)  I need it when I’m cleaning too.  Dancing and cleaning can go well together…just watch out for the breakables and that duster…there have been…incidents.  Cooking and music are a perfect combination. (Yes, I may have been caught dancing in the kitchen while cooking breakfast…it was a good song!)  Don’t try to tell me you’ve never used a spoon as a microphone…actually, please tell me I’m not the only one that does that…please.

I’m always on the lookout for artists I’ve never heard before.  My current playlist is filled with musicians I’d never really listened to before last year.  A lot of them aren’t even new, just new to me.  Help me fill my playlist with more new-to-me music!  Who do you like right now?  Do you use music to get moving, creating…cleaning?  (Seriously, if there’s a secret to making cleaning enjoyable, I’d love to hear it.)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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That Which Cannot Remain Silent

English: Woodburytype of Victor Hugo

English: Woodburytype of Victor Hugo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

Maybe I have Victor Hugo on the brain because Mycroft had to take his parents to see Les Misérables.  Who knows.  What I do know is that this quote is oh, so true for me.  Whether it is joy or pain or anything in between, sometimes music is the only way to release the emotion we cannot find words for.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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The Stopping of Time Itself

“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.”
― Aaron Copland

Music has filled my mind lately, and today, I was thinking about Aaron Copland’s compositions.  I’ve loved his music even before I knew who he was.  A portion of Copland’s Rodeo appeared in a commercial (one of those “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” commercials, I think.)years ago.  My high school band played one of his pieces (maybe Appalachian Spring?) and he’s stuck with me since.  Appalachian Spring is one of my favorites, and I couldn’t tell you if it was because I’ve played it or because Simple Gifts has always been one of my favorite hymns to sing…who knows.  The internet coughed up this quote for me, and with the way music has permeated my life lately, it seems very appropriate!


Eloquent Pacifism

Malala Yousafzai didn’t only leave John Stewart speechless with her comments on pacifism during her appearance on the Daily Show on October 9, 2013.   Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, this young woman is an advocate for education, and was shot last year by the Taliban in Pakistan for it.  This brave young woman began began speaking out at 11 when the Taliban began attempting to limit or ban girls from going to school in Swat Valley, where Malala lived, in Pakistan.    She is the youngest person to ever be nominated for the prestigious award, and while this year’s Nobel Peace price went to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I  just have to say that when I grow up, I hope I can be more like Malala Yousafzai.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


I Live My Daydreams in Music

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
― Albert Einstein

Today is Friday….thank you, thank you, thank you!  The week is at an end, and (if you couldn’t tell) I am grateful for this little fact.  This week has felt like it has lasted forever…music has saved (what’s left of) my sanity this week…mostly…kind of?

This quote made me think…If money were no object, how would you fill your days?

Happy weekend!
Jessica