Musings

My writing space

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Several months ago, I was tagged in a “Show Your Writing Place,” meme that was circulating around.  Although my space has been set up for several weeks in my younger son’s room, I haven’t written the post until now.  This picture shows the incense I burn in the morning for my meditation before I start working. The penguin cup was a Christmas present from my younger daughter. When it got chipped, I converted it to a marker/pen holder.  My fountain pens, with various color inks are waiting for me.  I do indulge in colored paper as well, especially when planning or mind mapping, which I am doing here.

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The left side of the desk has my pencil holder, my cases for my fountain pens so that they can travel from work to home without injury, and a stack of loose paper for reminder notes.  Given my ADD, I stick the notes in the clip on top of the little silver holder, plunk it down in the middle of the desk, and hope I see it. It’s not fool-proof, but works most of the time.

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Despite my recent shift to minimalism, I still have my little ceramic boxes from decades ago, which now corral small, pesky items. The top shelf also holds my parents’ wedding picture. My mother passed away last April after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.  I like to see my parents in a much happier time. My phone and bluetooth speaker are missing from this picture, but I find music essential for writing. The middle shelf has some of my craft books and a box of fountain pen ink. The bottom shelf holds my younger son’s books, since it is still his room when he come home on school breaks.

What does your writing space look like?  Do you have objects nearby for inspiration or solace? I’d love to see, if you are willing to share.

EM

Misfit Magic

Theme for April: Take a Risk

Every so often I will hear a song that unlocks the door to a room I’ve kept closed and hidden from thought for years.  Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway has lyrics that uncovered the little misfit girl I used to be, especially in these lines:

Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed I could break away

As my theme for April, I am going to

. . . take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

Happy Julian Calendar New Year to everyone!

Renegade Reflections

Music as Trigger of Memories

    Theme from The Onedin Line/From the Ballet Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian

Note: I have tried for more than an hour to fix the formatting.  I stopped in order to preserve some of my hair. My apologies!

My parents listened to classical music when I was little.  With such a background, I easily found a job in a classical radio station when I was in graduate school. I did have a minor problem, which I never shared with the station, because although I knew hundreds of classical pieces, I had never learned the titles or composers. I found myself seeing a list of upcoming titles, which meant nothing to me, but being awash with memories when I heard them.  Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake all broke into hidden, locked rooms, transforming me into a four-year-old. At times, I was so moved that I had to leave the booth.  Once I knew how to find these sounds from my memories, I became obsessed with having the best orchestral copies I could find. I still have many that provide solace, calm acceptance, and quiet joy.  A few pieces, like the video at the top of the post, are tied to television shows or movies.

About a year ago, a friend of mine mentioned the theme music to The Onedin Line; much like my radio station experience, I couldn’t recognize it by title, but once I heard it, I was thrown back to the days of snuggling under a quilt in the overstuffed chair to watch the show. The music retains the power to give me goosebumps and bring tears to my eyes.

When I was young, we only had one television.  While my parents ceded control on Saturday mornings, overcome by four children, my father was the sole arbiter of what we watched in the evenings. Therefore, I grew up watching the evening news and a handful of shows that met my father’s rather high standards, one of which was The Onedin Line.  A BBC production, shown on PBS in the Atlanta area, the show follows the rise of a shipping line and the founding family from 1860 to the mid-1880’s.

Television has often ruined some favorite songs for me by using excerpts, or worse, new words to the original music, to hawk everything imaginable. So far, my favorite older themes have escaped, perhaps since they are based on, or use, classical music. 

Marcel Proust wrote that the scent of a madeleine brought memories, but I  have the strongest memories with music.  Have you found music that you had forgotten, entwined in your memory?

Have you had a favorite song or television theme used for the dark side, forever tarnishing your enjoyment of it?