The Creative Lifestyle
Itâ€™s all about pockets
The tale continues
From The Fabulous Ms. Connie
Editor’s Note There’s been a lot of stuﬀ going on in the world lately. E’rybody gettin’ shot, folks mad about all the things and, quite frankly, people are restless. I think it’s about time every one chilled out for a bit. Maybe if we took a little more time to build a communal attitude of appreciation and respect, the world would go ‘round just a little bit slower. Maybe then people would see that the only thing to be afraid of is losing hope. Maybe they’d see that everything’s gonna be alright. And maybe, just maybe, we’d all get along. But what will that take? More violence? More hate? Not at all. Just time and a bit of love, plus some patience, of course. All we really need is each other, because that camaraderie is what makes us unique. We all fit in like a big messed up puzzle because each one of us has what everyone else needs. So remember that, and don’t forget to laugh with somebody today. There ain’t enough of that to go ‘round. Kindlingly, Samuel Reese
Editor-In-Chief Samuel Reese Administration Emily Reese Music Columnist Matisse Resident Photographer Connie Schneider
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Tanglewood ................â€Ś....................... 4 The story continues.
The Creative Lifestyle .............. 9 Finding inspiration on a time budget.
Ear Candy .............................................. 16
Our regular music column. Filled with rambling insight, blatant speculation, and sometimes music.
Tanglewood Part 2
Daniel popped up a lot after that, appearing by her side and bugging her while she sat on the stoop of the building and tried to stay cool. This August was hot, and their wheezy window unit barely kept the living room cool. Their street, tree-lined and situated to funnel breezes, usually stayed tolerable. Daniel refused to come inside, but Alex managed to talk him into coming with her to the bookstore sometimes. They would sit, side by side, and she showed him all the books she’d already read. The owner frowned at Daniel the first couple times, clearly suspicious of the grubby boy, but Daniel always left his books just as pristine as Alex did. He wasn’t Myka, but Alex liked him. After three whole months she’d found a maybe-friend and even if he was a stupid boy it was better than nothing. A couple days before school started, Alex sat on the building’s stoop and unwound from a wonderfully fun day of school shopping. She only got one new outfit this year, and the usual pencils, notebooks, and stuﬀ like that. Last year Mom bought her five new outfits, and even though she had fought with Mom over them – mom wanted dresses and Alex wanted jeans – Dad had been there to joke with her when they got back, and make Alex feel better about disappointing Mom. This year, they had the same fight, but Dad wasn’t there. Mom had always wanted Alex to be a girly girl. But dresses were stupid. People expected you to be ladylike when you wore dresses. This year, Mom had huﬀed upstairs with a “really, Alex, you could try.”
By Erin Turner
And Alex sat on the stoop, feeling rotten. She heard footsteps, and looked down the street to see who it was. A couple people jogged down their street regularly and sometimes they waved at her. One, a nice man named Mr. Booth, gave her peppermints sometimes. It was okay, because he was their superintendent, and not a boogey man. To her surprise, it was Daniel. She hadn’t seen him for a while. “Alex!” he called, “Look out! He’s coming!” Daniel shouted as he ran past. “What?” she asked. He didn’t sound scared, exactly, more like excited. She walked to the corner, where he’d stopped to let a car pass. “Who’s coming?” Daniel looked at her like she’d asked if the sky was green. “You don’t know?” He started across the street. “Know what?” Alex looked both ways and followed him. “Daniel!” “Come on!” he said, stopping at the garden fence. She caught up to him. “Where are you going?” she asked. “In here.” He gave her a grin and then vaulted over the fence and into the garden. “Coming?” He turned to go. “Wait!” Alex called. “How did you do that?” Though Daniel was taller than her by a couple inches, the fence still came up to his shoulders. And it had pointy spikes on top. “You just – “ he paused, looked at her, and frowned. “No, just come this way.” He slithered between overgrown bushes and the fence until they came to a gate. He pushed it open just a tiny bit, and Alex slipped through before she really thought about it.
“Awesome!” he said. “Hold on. We are totally trespassing! We should leave.” Daniel shrugged. “Not really. Besides, don’t you want to see this place?” “Well…” Alex drew out the word. Not fair. He knew she was obsessed with this place. “Sure. Fine.” Daniel grinned and grabbed her hand. “Awesome. Let’s go before he finds us.” He pulled her deeper into the garden. From inside, it seemed even bigger than it did from her window. There weren’t single trees, there were clumps of them. The lawn, with its knee-high grass, ended in a pond that Alex hadn’t seen before. And she couldn’t see the other end, of either the pond or the garden. “What is this place?” she whispered, not really knowing why. The garden felt like the library; someplace everyone automatically knew they should be quiet. “It’s called the Tanglewood,” Daniel said. “It’s not exactly a wood,” Alex retorted. Daniel gave her a funny look. “Wanna bet?” They took another step and then the lights went out, like someone had turned the sun oﬀ. Alex screamed. Something brushed her hand and she jumped away, flailing in the darkness. Then, just as suddenly, the lights came back. Daniel slipped his hand in hers. “It’s okay. I forgot how freaky that can be.” “You forgot.” Alex repeated, feeling less scared with his hand in hers, like when she was little and it had been Dad’s hand. “What? I do it all the time! It’s no big deal.” “So, why’d it do that?”
Daniel shrugged. “I dunno. Hunter says it’s like walking into a dark room, like one of those ones in your world with the automatic lights. Only it takes a minute for the lights to work.” Alex concentrated so hard on understanding she almost missed his words. “Hang on. My world?” “Uh, yeah. We stepped through a door. To the Tanglewood.” He said it casually, like he’d just told her they’d walked into the bookshop. “Come on, we need to move.” He tugged on her hand and they walked into the woods. For the first time Alex really looked around her. A little thrill of excitement and fear ran down her spine. This was definitely not the garden anymore. This wood was dim, a little, the setting sun slanting through the trees and making everything sort of goldenish. She looked up, searching through the gaps in the trees for any sign of the city, like in the Public Garden where the tall buildings peeped over the treetops. All she saw was sky. And this wood felt diﬀerent, somehow, than the normal woods where she went hiking with Myka’s family once. She couldn’t explain it, to her it looked just like every other wood, with trees stretching to the sky and leaves carpeting the ground and tangled clumps of vines dotting the floor. But it was diﬀerent. I’m finally getting an adventure! she thought. Just like the stories. All this whizzed through her head as Daniel continued to pull her through the woods, not following any obvious path but definitely knowing where he was headed. Suddenly, he stopped, putting a finger to his lips. Alex swallowed her question and listened with him. At first she didn’t hear anything, but then she caught a small rustling sound, like the squirrels
bounding through the fall leaves in her old backyard. Then she realized the problem with this forest – it had no sound. No birds singing, no little squirrels running around, nothing. And if there weren’t any animals… Crack! The sound rang through the forest. Alex jumped. Daniel clamped his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. He leaned in close and whispered in her ear. “Run!” She clung to his hand as they whizzed through the forest, dodging trees and thorny brambles. Just when Alex thought she couldn’t run another step without collapsing, a tiny cabin came into view. A low hedge, just knee high, circled it, and Daniel jumped over it without breaking stride. Alex didn’t. She caught her foot in one of the branches and fell with an oomph, rolling into the yard, which had no grass, only more leaves. “Sorry,” Daniel mouthed, pulling her up and hurrying her to the scarlet colored door. It gleamed in the weather-worn wood of the rest of the cabin, the only break in the shades of green and brown that permeated the forest. Flinging it open, he pushed her through and slammed it behind them. Erin Turner is a writer from Cumming, Georgia who is currently a student at Boston University. In her spare time she rides horses and visits Narnia. Visit her on her blog at hiddenfiremusings.blogspot.com because that’d be a cool thing to do. ✤
The Key To A
Creative bLifestyle y Christina Adleman There are many diﬀerent types of people in this world. We all think and feel and exist within the confines of a human mind, heart, and body, and each of us, in some form or other, is creative. Ultimately we were made to be creative. It's how we‘re wired. There are some of us however, that contain above average creativity. We are the right brainers. The poets, artists, photographers, musicians, and still the list goes on. These are the people that thrive on beauty and emotion. Whether pain and sadness, or infinite joy and love, we find ourselves driven from deep within to capture and preserve such things of this world. Constantly we are searching for new material to feed the ravenous muse inside our minds!
As a result, the mind of the creative being often suﬀers from several chronic illnesses. Boredom and busyness. The continual search for something new and inspiring in a world so often full of bland routine leaves us drained of the creativity that we claim to nurture and cherish so dearly. Honestly, the easy way out of this would be to find a secluded cabin deep in the mountains in some foreign country and sequester ourselves away from the world and its busyness. This however is not possible for most of us. Jumping up and leaving the world behind sounds good in theory, and in theory it might procure for you the magnum opus of your creative journey, but it simply isn't feasible. Maybe you're the classic soccer mom ferrying your three kids and all their friends to one game after the next with no time in between to devote to the
Ultimately, we were made to be creative. It’s how we’re wired.
metaphorically dusty word document that contains your incomplete but prized novel. Perhaps you're the teenage kid swamped with so much homework and SAT prep that you can't remember the last time you let your fingers dance along the fretboard of your guitar. Or maybe you're the indie college girl with a dozen vintage Polaroid cameras lining your shelves who barely has time to figure out what she wants to do with her life. No matter who you are, if you can relate to any of the issues above, know this: you are not alone. So what are we to do as we float stranded in a busy scheduled world so unappreciative of our inspiration hungry minds? How are we supposed to unlock the creative lifestyle we so desire? Well, first of all, we cannot expect ourselves to magically become any less busy! Excuse based procrastination won't get you anywhere. If you want time, you'll make time. That's the simple truth of it.
That's the simple truth of it. Doing what you love requires work. A lot of work. Especially if your work is creativity based. Therefore the first step is deciding if what we do is worth to us, even if it's never worth anything to the world. So, is it worth it to you? If the answer to that question was no, dear reader, I will politely excuse you from reading the rest of this article, for it will prove quite useless to you. If the answer was yes however, keep reading. I want to reveal to you the grand secret of pockets. No, no, no, don't look down at your jeans! Not those pockets. What I'm talking about are time pockets. Yes, we live the stressful world of the microwave generation. We want it now, fast, and easy. Sadly, this isn't how creativity works. It is slow and hard. But although your busy schedule may seem packed from dawn till dusk, I guarantee you there are a few time pockets in between that you don't even know about. What about those fifteen minutes you spend in in the shower every morning at 6am before work? The coﬀee break at work? The thirty minutes between your World History class and your Biology course? Or the very best of all, what about those
fifteen to twenty minutes right before bed? Even though our lives may seem impossibly busy, I guarantee you that somewhere inside your day is a time pocket like the ones listed previously. Time pockets will look diﬀerent for each person, but they are there. The hardest part is taking the time to look for them! Once you find a time pocket or two in your day begin using those times to brainstorm. Let ideas come to you, and allow at least that small amount of time to be only about creativity. Scribble out the next five lines to your budding screenplay, snap a few artful photos of whatever object happens to be closest to you. Whatever it may be, don't count it out. These small beginning steps are the key to the creative lifestyle. Because once you have mastered the art of time pockets you will begin to discover something: it's no longer a chore or a strain! You will begin to relish and look forward to those moments of creative liberty in your day. When this begins to happen you will probably
begin to make even more time for your craft. Perhaps even devoting a whole Saturday to your work. The hardest part of the creative lifestyle is laying the foundations. Once we have cleared that nasty part of it out of the way our brains will have become wired to make time for what we love. A word of caution though: do not attempt to survive on these time pockets as a flourishing, creative person. They are the key, but they are not the answer! The answer is diﬀerent for each person, and you will have to discover for yourself what that means for your life. You can't write your novel in the shower, but you can plan the next chapter. You can't compose the next hit song while on a coﬀee break. Most likely it's just not going to work like that. But with time and patience, we will learn what it means to develop those strong foundations for our creative life, and hopefully you will make the eﬀort to branch them out into every part of your week. So the rest may not be all smooth sailing, but cheer up all ye fellow right brainers; there is hope for our kind yet! ✤
Some where inside your day is a time pocket
Ear Candy We Interrupt This Program...
Everywhere we go, music follows. At a restaurant, in the mall, even in our homes. It’s rampant. We are a musical culture, and it shows. But when’s the last time you sat down and just listened, focused solely on what was playing? It’s been a while for me. Now, when’s the last time you sat down with a good album? Nothing else going on, no work, no school, just sitting in front of your stereo and listening through the whole thing. Yeah, been a while on that one too. Why is it so easy to divide our attention among so many other things, yet so diﬃcult to focus on just one? Maybe we’re just an ADD generation. You’ve heard it thousands of times from your parents, your teachers, your televisions. But maybe it’s not that, not quite anyway. We are just about the most overstimulated generation to ever live. With smartphones buzzing in our ears, notifications all up in our faces, and advertisements constantly vying for our attention, it’s hard to just relax. We’ve gotten too good at divvying up our minds and we’re spreading them too thin. Eventually, we’re gonna overdose on society, and it won’t be pretty. You wanna be so strung out you can’t see straight? I don’t. So what do we do? There’s only one cure for overstimulation and that’s termination. If we didn’t have so much to
focus on, we wouldn’t focus on so much. Yeah, so it’s a little tautological, but the principle is the important bit. Granted, it’s not easy to just drop everything. School can’t be ignored, phones are (sometimes) necessary, and it’s impossible to walk outside without being bombarded by pulp. Yes, pulp. But the fact of the matter is that, with a little practice, we can cut the dissidence out. Because when it comes down to it, our favorite things deserve a little more attention. Records deserve to be played, stories deserve to be written, and art deserve to be created. So let’s shut down those iThings, and take some time with the things we love. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Matisse, buddy, this column had just about nothing to do with music!” and you’d be (mostly) right. So, to make it up to you, here are my current top five songs; at least, as long as my attention span lasts: Demon Kitty Rag - Katzenjammer Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Skip James One Horse Race - Tom Vek Venus In Furs - Devotchka (Velvet Underground Cover)
and finally: Portrait of Tracy - Jaco Pastorius
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