Tag Archives: writing

Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

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Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

Do you remember the early days when you were locked away in your room learning the guitar or piano and finding out there is no such thing as B-sharp? It was your continual curiosity that piqued your interest in becoming a musician in the first place. And if you are moving on to that next stage where you are trying to create your own music and writing songs, it’s important to get back to that metaphorical head space where you were curious. But it’s also important to get a good physical space in which to create, so here are a few things to think about:

Learn From The Best: The greatest thing about being a songwriter is that you have thousands upon thousands of people to get inspiration from and you can spend countless hours learning from others. You could spend your time reading books and listening to other artists to help you keep fresh when you are in a creative lull. If you are ever feeling dry, it’s very likely because you’re not assimilating enough inspiration.

Create a Space Conducive to Songwriting: If you haven’t got somewhere that you can tune out the world, you’ll be lucky to get any semblance of songwriting completed. But it’s also vital for your practice that you have somewhere where you can be free to experiment in a place that’s your own, but also be surrounded by a constant source of inspiration.

A good place to start in your space is with the classic vinyl records that are clearly pointed out to be a superior listening experience (which we all know deep down). It’s important to be surrounded with the right materials. New Order’s recording studio had a poster on the wall with a lot of old film titles which ended up being the basis for a lot of their songs in the 80’s including Cries And Whispers. So if you have the right environment in which to create, with adequate inspiration from books to posters and, yes, records, it will start you off on the right foot.

Throw The Rule Book Away: Thom Yorke (by way of Tom Waits) said that it was the ignorance of certain instruments that made them more infinitely fascinating. Noel Gallagher has been using the same 4 chords for 20 odd years but is still able to make them sound like new. So sometimes it’s important to unlearn what you have learned to free you up. If you are bound by structure, it can be inhibiting in certain ways, which is why it’s important to be able to make mistakes and play a bum note because you are in the experimental stage.

People place a lot of pressure on getting things right the first time especially if you’re in a band, but even a band like Genesis (love them or hate them!) made the vast majority of their later songs out of studio. The musicians were freer with each other by this point to experiment. Your own worst critic will always be yourself and when it comes to songwriting and creating the right atmosphere in which to do it, it’s important to create this space inside of your mind as well as in a physical location.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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A Welcome Letter To Spring

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A Welcome Letter To Spring

Hi everyone and welcome, welcome, welcome to my Think Spring guest bloggers series. This six day extravaganza was created to help everyone shake away the blahs of winter by celebrating all things spring. From creative writing and spring cleaning tips to the perfect soft spring time makeup looks, this series has it all. To kick start the fun, this series will start out with A Welcome Letter To Spring by my dear friend, Tanya, over at TanyaTales. Her blog will help take your imagination to a new level and I encourage everyone to check it out! Now, let’s get to it:

A Welcome Letter To Spring:

Dear Spring,

In truth, I know it has only been a year since we have been apart and though I know you have only just returned I fear that soon you will depart. A year may not be long in the grand scheme of things but it has given me a chance to reconsider what each month you offer me brings. I look upon the long and difficult year I seem to have ahead of me and see not tasks or challenges but the four seasons of which there will be. The winter, the autumn, the summer and not to forget you. For spring is the season which starts the cycle of life brand new.

Each seasons in the year presents its own role within the family and you, young spring, know your role as the bringer of life and vitality. You are a fresh start, of that I am sure, and act as a constant reminder that when god closes a window he opens a door. You are my favorite of all the seasons and this letter should outline all of my reasons. While most choose to ignore your friendly and gentle breeze which causes the grass to shiver slightly and shake the high standing trees, I chose to see only the good for us you do and although it isn’t acknowledged by many it is appreciated by us few.

The way you dress giggling children, hooded and footed in rain boots and coats as they jump in puddles pretending to be pirate boats as across the sea they float. While you, dear spring, watch on quietly not seeking attention or feeling need to gloat. Your breeze fills their sails and creates new tales of which they will play out. Untold tales of undiscovered lands and shores which glitter with multi colored sands.

But as children grow into young teens your spring days are suddenly given very different means. It offers new tales of bright and blossoming love in the time old image of flying white doves. Fluttering through the sky their feathers floating to the ground as they fall around us without making a sound.

Your days they bring images of fluffy yellow ducklings breaking free from the confinements of their shells and brings pictures of babies, pure and innocent, taking their first breath and telling worried mothers that they are alive and well. As fresh air fills every newborn’s room with clean and fresh scents of flowers in bloom and your unpredictable April showers rain down on young birds chirping in the early hours. As dams are built by busy beavers, message of your arrival spreads in the form of hay-fever.

Oh spring, you may not offer the hot and relaxing summer holidays but you bring back stolen light in a warm spring blaze. You wash away the winter snow while placing glistening dew on the green grass which glows. You put back the leaves which autumn took away and by the time the year reaches May, our windows are graced with bright pastel colors and beautiful leaves which takes out the anguish every time you make me sneeze.

Oh spring, if I am only sure of one thing it is that, I am most definitely glad that you have come back.

^^^ Thank you again to Tanya for such a beautiful post to start the Think Spring guest bloggers series with. Tanya offers new pieces of creative writing on her blog every Friday at 7 PM so definitely take a look if you like the piece that she wrote special for lifewithlilred. What images comes to mind when you think of spring? What is your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition

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Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Welcome to another week here on lifewithlilred. If you’re a faithful reader of my blog, you might have gathered a few things about me throughout the years. Two of them being that I love to read and that I refuse to not finish something that I start. This second Lil Red Fun Fact rings especially true considering that I’m reading the literal Worst Book Ever. Let’s discuss:

My mom brought me home Maestra by L.S. Hilton from the library. I read through the synopsis on the jacket and inspected all of the rave reviews from authors and the like on the back of the book. Many were comparing it to Gone Girl and saying how the lead female character, Judith, was similar to Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth is one of my all time favorite fictional characters and TGWTDT will always remain one of my favorite book series, as well.

I knew that this Judith lady would never live up to the love that I have for Lisbeth but I was willing to give the book a shot. Unfortunately, after the first two pages of Maestra, I knew that I was in for the worst reading experience of my life. Even more unfortunately, those two pages read damned me into having to finish the entire three hundred page book. Fuck me, right?

The premise of the book – an art gallery employee gone rogue was nothing that impressed me. It seemed desperately unoriginal and you could tell that Hilton was trying really hard to channel her inner Gillian Flynn and Stieg Larsson to no avail. I could get past this bland story line if the writing was actually good but the novel didn’t even have that going for it. And there was also one major issue…

This book is legitimately like reading pornography. Judith is very in touch with her sexual side and spends her free time going to parties designed for people to have a romp with complete strangers. The writing goes into specific/explicit detail about sex, sex, sex and then falls into the dull lull of a high schooler’s attempt at writing something edgy.

So we learn that Judith is a straight up sex junkie. This is all very well – if she were smart. This is where I start getting angry. Lisbeth Salander was able to overcome every obstacle in her way because she was intelligent as hell. Judith just uses the fact that she’s willing to have sex with anyone to get out of the troubles that she thrusts herself into.

See the difference? One is smart. One is a slut, for a lack of a better word (I know that I’m going to get some backlash for that!). So for people to compare this Judith character to Stieg Larsson’s genius Lisbeth just seems like a slap in the face to an amazing book series/character. Maestra has easily been the worst book that I’ve been essentially forcing myself to read in my life. You know that Hilton is a poor writer when her erotica is better than the actual story. -_-

If you’re in to reading a really shitty book with some porn thrown in for good measure – read this book. But if you’re in to reading about intelligent, cool, innovative, and truly edgy female heroins then do yourselves a favor and stay far away from Maestra. Crack open a copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, instead. You’ll thank me later.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition! What is the worst book that you have ever read? What’s your favorite book? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Liebster Award #4

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Liebster Award #4

Hi everyone and happy Thursday! I was so excited to have been recently nominated for my fourth Liebster Award by my friend, Annette, over at nananettie1969! Her blog is fantastic so much sure you check it out and give her page some love. Lifewithlilred has been receiving a lot of award nominations lately and it is so very much appreciated. I love making these posts – they’re so much fun! As always, there are some rules that come with these awards so check them out and then let’s begin:

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to them.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers and present them with questions of your own.

Q & A:

What is your favorite song?

“Beautiful Day” by U2. So much so that the day I turned eighteen I got lyrics from the song tattooed on my shoulder.

What is your favorite color?

Black and red.

What inspires you the most?

People who work really hard and people who use their time and talents to help others.

What genre do you write?

Oh, a little bit of everything. I’m not tied down to one specific genre. If anything, I just like to write about my day and what’s going on in my sub par life. 😉

What is your pet’s names if any?

Gem is my family’s Golden Retriever and Winston is my sister’s little Yorkie and Shih Tzu mix that we babysit sometimes!

Do you have kids?

No kids! I don’t want children nor do I like them that much.

Do you have a sign or symbol that represents you?

Uhm…not really. Well, actually…Does a cigarette and a lighter count?

What do you like to blog about?

Like I mentioned earlier, a little bit of everything. I like writing about beauty and fashion as well as movies, music, books, and school. You never know what you’re going to end up reading next on my site!

Where would you like to visit?

I would love to travel all over Europe!

What do you like to indulge in?

Cheap wine, new shoes, and really good skin care products.

What type of food is your favorite?

I like all types of food, I’m not picky! I’ve been a vegetarian for a very long so any style of food that gives me a lot of options is always preferred. I just recently had some fantastic Indian food with a few of my friends at a restaurant called the Saffron Patch and I can’t wait to go there again. Otherwise, I like Italian, Mexican, and Chinese food a lot. I also will never say no to Taco Bell EVER.

If you could give a million dollars to charity what one or ones would you choose?

Anything that involves helping animals – whether they be in shelters, on the verge of extinction, or just need extra love and care. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like animals and I despise people who hunt.

Why do you blog?

I’ve always loved to write and enjoyed journaling a lot when I was in high school. Lifewithlilred is kind of like my online journal. I also really enjoy interacting with all of my readers in over one hundred and fifty different countries!

How many followers do you have?

Almost 2,000!

My Nominees (I’m only doing three):

My Questions For You:

  1. Would you rather have a relaxing beach vacation or something more adventurous?
  2. Where is your favorite place to shop at?
  3. How old were you when you started wearing makeup?
  4. What colors of lipstick do you like to wear?
  5. Acrylic or natural nails?
  6. Manicures or pedicures?
  7. What celebrity would you like to spend a day with?
  8. What did you dream about last night?
  9. When you were a child, how would you answer the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up”?
  10. What is your favorite article of clothing in your wardrobe?
  11. If you could raid one celebrity’s closet, who would it be?
  12. What is your favorite kind of junk food to snack on?
  13. Favorite candy?
  14. Favorite non alcoholic drink?
  15. Favorite alcoholic drink?

Thank you so much again to Annette at nananettie1969 for nominating me for my fourth Liebster Award and congrats to my nominees! How would you answer some of the questions that I asked my nominees? What are some of your questions for me? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Psychic Experience

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Lil Red’s Psychic Experience

Whatsup everyone and happy Thursday! So a very interesting occurrence happened today that was just too wild not to write about. I went to visit my dear friend, Neva, at her nursing home and while we were hanging out I had a run in with a psychic. Allow me to explain.

^^^ This bands name is Psychic Friend so including their music seemed appropriate!

So yes, Neva and I were hanging out and one of the residents approached us. His name was Doug and after Neva introduced us he asked what I do. I told him that I was in school and that I was really into writing. Without skipping a beat, Doug immediately said “you’re a blogger”. Taken aback I replied with, “How did you know that?!” He then began to tell me that he was a psychic medium and told me that he sees great success for my blog in the future. After telling me of the success that lifewithlilred has in store for me he regarded my clothing because as usual I was dressed pretty formally for an every day occasion. Doug told me that he could see me walking around on Fifth Avenue in a pair of expensive knee high boots and then told me that I was definitely a writer in my past life.

While Doug and I were having this talk, Neva was growing impatient and wanted to go back to her room. So we headed back to headquarters after I hugged my new friend goodbye. After a lovely visit with Neva and her friends I said my farewells and got back into the Little Red Love Machine to go home. As I was driving for the next five or so minutes all I could do was think about Doug and everything that he said to me. It truly made my day so I just had to turn around and thank him – I honestly wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself if I didn’t. So I turned my whip around and went back into the direction of the nursing home and reentered the building in search of my friend.

Once I found Doug’s room, I knocked on the door and told him that I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye and thanking him one more time. Once again, he told me that I had good things in store for me and that he could sense my talent and energy from across the room. He told me that I was a 19th century European writer in my past life and then began to tell me what my past self was life. Doug told me that I could gamble with the best of them and out-smoke and out-roll a cigar better than any man. He compared me to Emily Bronte countless times and said that my creativity is something that should never be contained. The entire time I was thinking about just how wild and cool the whole situation was. I don’t know if Doug got the idea of me being a European from the purse I was carrying that dons the British flag on it but hey, I’ll take it. I also found it intriguing that he mentioned gambling, considering I’ve had a few recent trips to the casino. The cigar smoking part was also very fascinating to me because I smoke cigarettes now. Weird!

Doug and I talked for another fifteen minutes or so before we parted ways. He told me that he was leaving the nursing home tomorrow when I said that I would stop in and see him next time I visited Neva, so I was SO glad that I turned around and saw him again. My gut feeling to turn my car around and talk to him was spot on and I’m beyond thankful that I got to spend some time with Doug. Psychic or not, he made me feel genuinely good about myself and I felt obligated to return and express my gratitude to him. I can only hope that our visit with each other made his day just as much as it made mine!

So there you have it, my psychic experience for the day! Has anyone ever had a psychic reading before? How accurate was it? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah