Musical Mondays: We Are Giants

mm-we-are-giants

When I discovered YouTube, my music taste changed completely. I still listen to a wide variety of genres, though. I’m the type of person where my music taste ranges from, “you’ve gotta listen to this!” to, “please don’t judge me.”

The majority of the artists I listen to now I found through YouTube. They’re mostly a cappella and violin. Two things I never thought I would ever really be interested in, but they’re amazing and beautiful.

I started Musical Mondays to showcase songs that inspire me. Songs that inspire me to keep moving forward, stay positive, be the best I can be with what I’m passionate about, and most of all, just be me and be happy.

We Are Giants is an inspirational song by Lindsey Stirling and Dia Frampton. It’s a song about taking risks and standing up for what you believe is right. You be you and live your own life.

There are no steps to turning writing into a full-time career. You have to be passionate, determined, hard-working, and learn to be a little patient. You don’t necessarily have to go to school or even have experience, but the publishing industry is tough. Even if you make it, it’s not guaranteed to pay the bills.

We Are Giants encourages taking a chance, taking a risk. Just do it. You’re not just some small writer trying to make it. You are a giant who is going to be seen and heard. It may not be today, but it will happen.

I hope the song has some meaning for you. Below is the music video and below that are the lyrics with my favorite lines bolded. Enjoy.

Lyrics

Do you feel like you’re second-hand?
Do you feel you’re afraid to stand alone?
Cut away every safety net
Live your life so you won’t regret the road
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giants
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
Raise your flag, let your voice be heard
Put your heart into every word you say
All your failures’ a cornerstone
Build a house with the things you’ve thrown away
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are

What did you think of the song? I hope it inspired you as it does me. Let me know in the comments below!

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Musical Mondays: I Will Make It

I’ve decided to start something a little different on here.

I love music. Music is a form of creativity just like writing. So, every once in a while I’ll have a Musical Monday where I discuss a song I love and that has been inspirational to me.

This won’t be a weekly series. I can’t even promise that this will happen every month or even every other month. It’s just something special I’ll share once in a while as new, inspirational songs pop up.

Musical Mondays: I Will Make It by Yungtown featuring Garrett Williamson

Though I can tolerate some songs and artists, I’m not that into rap music. But Kris and I love watching a YouTuber named Yungtown. He talks about video games a lot and he also writes and raps his own songs, which are also about video games.

He’s probably the only rapper that I can truly tolerate and listen to all day long.

He posted a music video a little while ago featuring another great artist, Garrett Williamson.

This song is called, “I Will Make It.” It’s about being who you are, doing what you’re passionate about and what you love. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. You’re amazing and unique.

This song really speaks to me especially because of my writing. Every once in a while, I have one of those days where I don’t think I’ll be able to make it as a writer or my writing isn’t good enough or that everyone else is so much better than me, so why would anyone enjoy my writing?

There are a lot of doubts that go with pursuing a writing career (or any career, really).

I wrote my first novel in 2009 thanks to NaNoWriMo. That’ll be seven years this upcoming November. I’ve been writing original novels for a very long time. And since then, I’ve completed at least five first draft manuscripts along with various poems, short stories, and children’s picture books.

Yet, nothing is ready. I’ve queried a few pieces here and there, entered contests, and nothing has come from any of them.

It takes a lot of time, determination, and hard work. I will get my chance sooner or later. And if I don’t, I’ll keep working at it because I love writing and I love this community that my blog has built over the past few years.

This goes for all of you, too. If you haven’t made it yet, you will. All in due time.

I listen to this song every time I get down about my writing or anything else I’m trying to pursue. It speaks a lot of truth and is a great pick me up.

Below is the music video. The song ends around the 3-minute mark, even though the video itself is about six-and-a-half minutes. Below the video is the lyrics and I’ve bolded my favorite lines.

Enjoy! And I hope the song will have some meaning for you.

Lyrics:

This goes out to the people who are thinking of giving up
Listen up each of you are sounding ridiculous
Get out of the rhythm of living with doubt yes it’s difficult
We cannot allow these articulate

Visions twist what we know clear
When we hold fear, it screams loud making it delectable to listen to
Interesting isn’t it, realism is our best defense
Our foundation so we won’t get disappointed or discontent

Like what’s the point of dreaming big or even trying
You don’t who I am, they won’t care if I quit
My friends are fortunate, talented, and flourishing
I put in so much work, will I ever get my chance?

Look that path is a different one
If you walked that then that is who you’d become
Usually, an opportunity will swoop ruthlessly from our reach
As a reminder to be the best you that you can be

No matter what they say
I’ll still find my way
I’m gonna stand my ground

No matter what they do
I won’t let them get through
Ain’t nothing bringing me down cause

I will I will
I will make it today
Nothing nothing
Nothing will stand in my way
I will I will make it and find the open door

With each measure and task, we develop a path
But instead of glancing ahead we’re stuck rubbernecking our past
conversate with the hatred, concentrate on complaining
Constantly complicating each thought till they’re all entangled

Creating a situation where creating becomes painful
and each operation feels like we’re creatively disabled
and we cradle impatience our priorities decompose
Aligning with complacency our anxiety grows

Redefining our soul solidifying a home
Assembled entirely out of unrecognizable stones
By and by scrutinizing our by-product thoughtfully
Stuck following unconsciously, but do you wanna be a wannabee?

When you can be the one who reaches farther than a lot of these
People who only wanna piece of stardom like astrology
So stop pondering your significance and promise me
you’ll stop comparing yourself especially since are unique

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Inspiration Station: NaNoWriMo Playlist

IS NaNo Playlist

If you’re like me you can’t work well when there are too many people talking.

I can’t read if someone is talking. I get too distracted by what they’re saying. It’s hard to write when people are talking because then my fingers end up typing their conversation as my ears become in tune with their voices.

However, I don’t necessarily like it to be silent when I work.

I go to my local bookstore every week to get some work done and sit in the cafe. It’s always busy. They are always a lot of people there. However, everyone’s voices blend in together that I don’t actually hear anyone speaking. That is, unless they’re sitting right next to me talking directly to me.

Even then I still don’t hear them sometimes.

On days when I can’t go to a cafe or my bookstore, I use a website called Coffitivity. It has a range of coffee shop sounds on a loop for you to listen to while you work.

I also listen to instrumental soundtracks including:

–Harry Potter
–The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
–Sherlock Holmes
–Batman

Those movies have wonderful scores and if you enjoy video games and listening to The Legend of Zelda soundtrack is great as well.

Then there’s also YouTube. I listen to a lot of YouTubers (mostly because of the video games) so if you enjoy that then you’ll love to listen to Smooth McGroove. He recreates various video game music in a cappella.

There’s also Taylor Davis who recreates video game, anime, and movie soundtracks with her violin. She also has a range of original songs as well.

Lindsey Stirling is last on the list. She too plays the violin and has a lot of original songs. She also does a few covers herself.

Music is a wonderful thing. I think it really stimulates your brain and gets your mind flowing with energy. As long as it’s not a distraction, it really does help when you’re working on a project.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

May: Playlist

Music
Via Pinterest

 

The #YearOfHappy challenge for the month of May is to have a dance party by yourself or with others and then share your playlist.

My playlist is far too long. I listen to a lot of music and it’s a wide variety of genres, too. So I’m just going to share with what I’ve been into recently.

I’ve never been one for music; I’ve always enjoyed it, but I never fully understood it. I’ve been listening to a lot more instrumental music lately and because of that I’ve been getting a whole new appreciation for it; especially the instruments.

I’ve always wanted to play an instrument and now I want to more than ever because of people I’ve discovered on YouTube.

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but I found a guy named Smooth McGroove on YouTube. He does a cappella covers of video game music.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I do enjoy his cover of Cornered from the Ace Attorney games.

Through him I found a lot of other YouTubers who focus on video games (not necessarily singing) and it’s become a hobby of mine and Kris to watch check for new videos every day. We’re a little late, but we’re finally addicted to YouTube.

Then Kris discovered Taylor Davis. She’s a violinist who does covers of movies, tv shows, video games, you name it. She also has original songs which are fantastic.

Again, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but one song I absolutely love by her is Gerudo Valley from the Legend of Zelda video games.

Most recently, through Taylor Davis, Kris and I discovered a man named Peter Hollens. He also does a cappella. He does covers from pretty much anything; especially from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. He also does a lot of collabs with his wife, who is also a fabulous a cappella singer.

One of my favorites from Peter is his cover of I See Fire (originally by Ed Sheeran) from The Hobbit movie.

So, there you have it. My top three favorite singers at the moment. Sorry to throw so many links at you guys, but I thought that would be better than throwing a bunch of videos at you. This way you can go on YouTube and explore their channels yourself.

I highly encourage you to do so because they’re all so wonderful. You might discover something new, too. I certainly did.

Why Blank Pages Stay Blank

This is a short story that I had to write for my English class a few semesters ago. This short story is 100% true. I love to write and I wanted to show my professor that because she knew that I have been planning on getting published soon…hopefully. So I went nuts trying to figure out what to write. In the end, I decided to write about my experiences of trying to figure out what to write. In other words, I wrote about everything I did before I started the actual assignment. So, here it is and I hope you enjoy.

Why Blank Pages Stay Blank

 

            There is a scent of freshly brewed coffee in the air. I can hear the scolding hot liquid pouring out of the machine and into the cup. I can see the steam from the cup rising high up into the air only to vanish within seconds. My head still, I follow the steam with my eyes as it keeps going up and up and then gone. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the light dimming. It’s my computer screen going on the screen saver. I tap the mouse and the computer comes back to life with a blank Word document staring back at me. I stare back for a moment, but the coffee maker begins to spit as it tries to squeeze the last of the coffee grounds out. Finally it stops and the room is silent.

I stand up from my chair, causing it to make a high-pitched squeak. I pick up my green, oval-shaped coffee mug—my favorite mug. I hold it with both hands wrapped around its body smiling at the warmth it surges through my fingers. Dipping my nose towards the mug, I take a deep breath and let it all out in a sigh. I love the smell of coffee. I slightly blow on the surface of the coffee to cool it a little before I take a sip.

Staggering back over to my noisy chair, I place the coffee on the edge of my desk and take a seat. I run my fingers over the black, thin keys of my laptop. I look at the screen and stare at the blank page staring back at me. It says nothing to me so I say nothing to it. I look back to my coffee, which is still steaming. It amuses me, watching the steam. The screen goes dark. I tap the mouse a second time and I swear—blank or not—it was glaring at me. I frown, knowing that it wants to be fed with words. It needs to be fed.

I stare at the keys as though they will start to type on their own. “Well, what are you waiting for?” I say to the keys irritably. I don’t get a response, which is typical. I tap my fingers on the keys without actually pressing down hard on them. I bob my head up and down. I love the sound the keys make when they are hard at work. If only I could make them work for real. Then I could listen to that beautiful sound. It’s almost like music to me. That makes me wonder…what’s on the radio?

Getting out of my seat once more, I walk over to the radio sitting upon the counter next to the coffee maker. I push the button to turn it on and I hear one of my favorite songs. I smile and bob my head more than I did when I was playing with the keyboard. I notice the screen goes dark. I rush back to my computer and tap the mouse once more. My laptop wakes up right away and continues to wait patiently for me to get to work. I sit down and position my fingers on the keys. I prepare myself physically and mentally before I begin to write. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I smell coffee. I forgot about that. I take a big gulp of my preferred drink and turn my attention back to the blank page in front of me. Before I can type just one letter, I notice a small icon blinking at the bottom of the screen.

I have new e-mail. I love receiving e-mails. It makes me feel important. I click the e-mail icon and look at what I have in my inbox. Spam…spam…spam…oh, look—a coupon to my favorite store. I certainly want to use this coupon, but when does it expire? I look up the deadline and then I remember. I have a deadline. I exit out of my e-mail and get back to the blank page that has been pouting for about an hour now. Taking one more sip of my coffee for courage, I begin to type on my tolerant laptop.

I smile at the screen proud that I have written my name. This makes me feel a little productive. I began to start something. But then I begin to get a little hungry. I get back up and enter the kitchen. I rummage through the refrigerator and all the cabinets, yet I can’t seem to settle on anything that I want. I notice the computer screen goes dark once more. I walk calmly back over to my laptop, tap the mouse, and glare at the screen. I know that it goes dark only to get my attention. It wants to annoy me. It’s taunting me.

I stare at my name and the blinking cursor. I pout, knowing that I should have had a lot more work done by now. I sit down and position my fingers once more. I look over to my coffee and take a deep breath. The room is still scented with coffee. I look over to the radio. The music is still playing. I look back to the screen. The Word document is still up. The cursor is still blinking. The page is still blank.

I enter twice and tell myself that there will be no more distractions. I have my coffee. I have music playing. My e-mail has already been checked. I click the underline button for the title and then I pause. What is my title? What am I even writing about? My shoulders go limp as I realize that I was farther behind than I thought. I rapidly tap my fingers on the keyboard lightly in anticipation. I close my eyes waiting for my brain to think of something.

Giving up all too quickly, I put three question marks in the spot where the title should be. I enter twice more and indent once. Then I am back at square one. I hold my head in my hands as my elbows rest upon the desk. I shake my head. I have no title, I have no story, and I have no muse.

The screen goes dark. I slowly lift my head, glaring at my computer, and move the mouse slightly. The blank page looks sad now. It has no words, it has no ideas, and it just has nothing. I glance at the question marks and then I stare at the cursor as it blinks. Even though there isn’t anything there and there isn’t anything to do, the cursor is still at work blinking away. It’s as though the cursor can’t seem to stop blinking. It needs to work. It has to work. It loves to work. It will stop at nothing. The more I stare at the blinking cursor, the more I start to think about this writing project. And then it finally hits me!

I will write about a personal experience. I will write about the truth. I will write about something that most writers have trouble with. I back space a few times and delete the three question marks. I type in, “Why Blank Pages Stay Blank.” And then—after so long—I begin to write.