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Composing Beauty

Ingenuity, I love that word! It has such a nice ring to it, and such a deep meaning (at least to me). I view ingenuity as an essential skill in creativity, and creativity/ingenuity an essential skill of surviving in this new, digital age. I find it fascinating that one can create a job or a career for themselves where there was nothing before. In today’s day and age the opportunities for money making are endless. One of my inspirations for this exact thing is Lin-Manuel Miranda, internationally famous composer of Hamilton, In The Heights, and a member of Freestyle Love Supreme (who, I’m sure, has many more credits, both famous and not, to his name).

I’m absolutely enthralled by his tenacity, skill, perseverance, and his genius. He literally put himself on the map in the entertainment world. He created something brilliant using just his brains, skills, experience, and a pencil and paper. Not only that, but it’s given other artists the opportunity to be a part of the beautiful, caring community that he’s created throughout this process. He’s even changing the world and peoples’ lives by using his works to support causes that he cares deeply about. That, to me, is ingenuity. It”s creativity. I could write many, MANY more paragraphs about my admiration for him as an artist and person, but I’ll get to that in a later post because I could write a novel on it with my ability to go off on tangents and daydream (although that is not a bad thing).

With technology we have the tools to create new things every day. Heck, this article is new right now. It is not a masterpiece of an article, but it’s being created now, in the moment, and shared. Nowadays we have all kinds of opportunities for financial success, we just have to use our ingenuity to build on them. For example, in the past we couldn’t write something and automatically earn money  within a moments’ notice. Now we can. We couldn’t write a book and have it published on amazon without going through the proper book publishers outside of the company and then selling it…but now we can self-publish books and sell them online. We couldn’t automatically create a video of ourselves performing and broadcast it to the world, thereby gaining fame. Now, we have stars who got their start doing just that on youtube. The opportunities are endless. When you think about it, once you open up your mind and heart to creativity so many ideas can come pouring in, and you just have to work tirelessly at them, with all your passion and heart, to create something that you truly stand by. You don’t even have to create for others. Create for yourself, and your passion, care, tenacity, strength, and genius will shine through and you will find your own success by using inginuity.

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RDP Wednesday: Sibling

Today’s word…sibling…what to say about sibling? I didn’t expect that this word would be something I’d be writing about. I guess I would start by saying that family comes in many forms. Although sibling means that you are connected by blood as a brother or a sister (and I have 4 that I love dearly), I think that friends are also family that you’ve chosen. My best friend, for example, is more than a best friend to me.I call her my sister from another mister, and her daughter calls me her aunt. We talk for hours on end, probably even more so than I talk with my actual family. She and I are so tight-knit, I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. She’s been there for me through all of my ups and downs, my happiest moments, and the darkest times. She will be a part of my entire life. I love her so much! So yes, by definition siblings are biologically related to you, but in my opinion family is what you make of it. She is part of my family even though I only met her when I was 20. Here’s to hoping that each any every one of you gets to have a best friend and confidant as fabulous as mine (raises glass and cheers’s the daylights out of yours, too)!

Ragtag Daily Prompt Sunday: Surprise

Surprise! I love surprises! Do you? I’m curious! Just this weekend I received a wonderful gift from a very special love in my life! You see, I’m an artist living in NYC and loving it, but I miss my roots, too! I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, so I’m an outdoors girl, too! It’s so beautiful there…and here, too, in different ways. Well…recently it was my birthday…and he surprised me with the BEST gift of all…a trail ride in the Shenandoah Valley!!!!!!!!! I haven’t been on a horse in over a decade. I’m not even a regular rider, or anything, but I LOVE them. I LOVED IT! IT WAS MAGICAL! HE WON MAJOR POINTS FOR THAT ONE! The horse was amazing, so gentle and responsive to my commands. The guides were incredible (seriously, River’s Bend Ranch, they’re awesome), and the experience was excellent! We took a ride by the river, through the forest, and loved every minute of it! He won major boyfriend points with that one. The sweetest thing: he’s not an outdoorsy guy himself, but he knows how much I love the air, the mountains, the animals, etc., so he planned this whole day trip (zipcar, lunch) and everything and then surprised me with the bday gift! Such a lovely guy, and I feel so blessed to have him. Plus…this isn’t the first time he’s surprised me with something I wanted so badly…he surprised me with Hamilton tickets for our anniversary…so he’s definitely amazing!

 

RDP Monday: Dazzle

“Give em’ the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle em”. Any “Chicago” fans out there? That lyric was literally the first thing that came to mind when I thought about the word dazzle. Dazzle sounds sparkly, doesn’t it? It sounds glitzy, like the 20’s, at least in my opinion. It reminds me of themed 20’s parties, songs, dances, movies, singing, and general stuff of that era. It also makes me think about how I can dazzle people…or at least “dazzle” my own life. You see, I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m always thinking of ways to dazzle my customers at all of my jobs (yes, you read that correctly, I have several jobs). I’m a waitress, dog walker, house sitter, e-commerce store owner, and aspiring actress/singer. There’s a lot of room to dazzle there!

Thinking about the e-commerce store, though (millennialpets.org), I’m always learning and growing. I’m not particularly technically inclined, and that is an uphill climb for me…but I’m always learning and achieving and acquiring new skills. I’ve learned more about how the internet/tech works in the last few months than I have in a lifetime, and it really is a whole other world. All in all, I hope to dazzle my clients every day with awesome customer service, speed, accuracy, and products that provide tons of incredible memories! I also hope to have the skills of Broadway stars so that I can literally dazzle entire audiences every night one day. It will happen. In the meantime, keep on being you, you fabulous ragtagdailyprompt’ers! Have a wonderful Monday!

RDP Sunday: Rock

Rock has sooooo many avenues that come to mind when I picture the word. There’s rock music, there’s geological rocks, you can even describe someone as your rock. I gotta say, though, that the first thing that came to my mind is one of my favorite places on the face of the planet. It’s an area steeped in geological history that is overtly on display. It’s sense of magnitude and it’s enormity dwarfs you and makes you realize how massive and beautiful the earth is. It overwhelms you. It shows you Mother Nature’s strength. Curious what this place is yet? It’s in the state named for its red rocks…or, Colorado.

Glenwood Canyon is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever had the chance to visit. It’s beautiful, red, multi-layered canyon mountains/rocks rise starkly and abruptly for miles, the Colorado River to winding its way through them. One could stare up in awe just like a tourist in NYC, lost for words, for hours. You can see each layer of sediment displayed in the rock formations and how the earth grew and changed during each period. It contains three types of rocks: metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous, and many subgroups as well. The history of the canyon is long and detailed. The visuals are stunning, with the rock faces reaching up to 1,300 feet in height over the Colorado River. 12.5 miles of amazing. The height of these formations makes one feel like a spec…but a spec that gets to view all of the beauty that the earth has to offer. It is not a scary feeling, nor is it stressful. It is an awe-inspiring reminder that the earth is more powerful, vast, and fascinating than we often times remember. Rock

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RDP Friday: Security

Ya know, I tend to log in just when the day’s prompt happens to be perfect for me. Maybe it’s the universe nudging me to write? Who knows. I think the universe has a way of guiding us to what we need if we are truthful with ourselves. At least it’s that way for me. The universe has always brought what I want/need to me when I allow myself to accept it. So…today’s word is security: something I know a lot about, being an artist. It’s no secret that being an artist is not a very financially secure life. I think we all tend to feel it at some point or another, and how we deal with it is important. That’s actually part of the reason that I’m a part of the RDP community. I found recently that I needed to open myself up to the universe more, to find new pathways of security financially, so I’m feeling out what is right for me in this moment. Since I’ve opened up myself to the idea of e-commerce (on top of my regular job), I’ve been learning a lot about the world of the internet. I’m not sure if it will pan out financially, but even if not, I feel that the universe is leading me to the thing that will (and maybe this will be it, who knows, I’m just trying). I feel like I’m a step ahead of where I was beforehand simply because I’m learning and I’m not in the same place I was before. I’m on a journey. I like that. I like knowing that I’m taking strides. I’m not stagnant. I’m not stuck. I’m growing. I’m learning to let go of some negative ego assumptions. I’m learning to be more capable in ways I didn’t think about before. I’m learning that there’s many skills out there that I need to master to make it as an artist that have nothing to do with singing/acting, but they are creative. Security would be nice! On the other hand, as I said before, being an artist is very often an insecure financial life. I was told growing up that I should have a fallback career. I balked at that idea because I knew that by doing that I’d be telling the universe that that was more important than being successful in my dreams. I still think that. I’ve modified that thinking, though. I realize now that there’s no reason I can’t do both. I now put into the universe that I’d like financial security and artistic security. I now put equal energy into both. I find that the older I get I realize that I can have my artistic dreams if I find a way to financially support those dreams, too…I used to think that doing something to make money other than singing/acting was selling out, but now I realize that it’s a necessity (at this time of my life) that I do both. I think this period of learning and growing will benefit me in my career as a performer, I just have to see the silver lining…and maybe the silver lining will benefit my artistic career, too. Any artists out there feel the same way? What have you done to figure it out? I’m curious, and wish you all success!

RDP Friday: Baggage

Never was there a more perfect writing prompt for my day today. I know that on here many bloggers write stories, poems, narratives, etc., and they’re beautiful…but for me, personally, I feel much more at ease writing streams of consciousness blog entries. Maybe someday I’ll branch out into fictional stories; I used to love that! But…enough about that! Let’s get on to why the word baggage is perfect for today!

I’m traveling today. I’ve literally got baggage. I’m off on a fun adventure to Washington, D.C.! I’m on the bus, brainstorming about this entry, but trying not to brainstorm too much because it’s my mini vacation! Now, for those of you who don’t know, the trip from NYC to D.C. is not a long one. It’s about 4-5 hours by bus, and I do the trip rather frequently. I go to visit my boyfriend who currently lives there (but hopefully someday soon he will be back in NYC, which is where we first met). I haven’t seen him in a while. I’m ecstatic to jump into his arms and kiss him! He’s unique, funny, intelligent, and I love him madly! When I’m with him, I don’t feel so much “baggage” in the figurative sense of the word (but clearly I’ve got it….literally…when I’m with him, haha). When we’re together, both of our lives run smoother, are more free, and we’re always laughing. 🙂 When we’re apart, sometimes those things don’t come as easily. Although this is true, in a strange way I feel that this experience makes us stronger as individuals and as a couple. You truly find out what your heart is made of when you decide to live so far apart. It will only work if you find the person who helps you work through your past baggage and stays by your side emotionally, because you don’t have the ease of dashing to their apartment on a whim. It will also only work if you choose someone who is clear and good with their communication. Communication is key in any relationship, but especially in a long distance one. Talking about previous baggage and getting it off your chest and then seeing that person wholly support you and remain by your side, help you work through it and not run away: now THAT’s a keeper, no matter how close or far apart you live. 🙂

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RDP Monday: Note!

Note, that’s an interesting one! I’m curious to see what others write about when they think about the word note. I’m a musician and vocalist, so naturally the first thing that I think of is a musical note. I’ve always had an interest in playing around with music writing software, and recently a buddy of mine from my day job (thanks Michael!) told me about Note Flight, a free software for just that. Usually these things cost a large amount of money, but not in this case! You can always upgrade your subscription, but the ten scores that you get for free are enough for me right now. I’m having fun messing around with the program and you never know what sort of fun work may come of it. Music writing has always been on the back burner for me…and I don’t think it will ever become a profession for me, but…you never know…for some reason I always seem to come back to it…now, on that…note…haha, the traditional form of music writing has always been hard for me. There are quite a lot of rules that you should follow in order to write correctly (at least in a traditional music theory sense). As my music theory teacher from college has put it (rather hilariously) you should go by “What would Beethoven do?” If Beethoven wouldn’t do that, then neither should you for your school projects. Now, there’s one composer I seriously admire who uses the rules…and bends them knowledgeably…and I’m entranced by his work as a performer and an intellectual. I’d like to write like him some day if I do become a composer/lyricist. That composer is Stephen Sondheim, the genius. He has inspired so many artists to create what they have…Jonathan Larson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, these greats are my inspiration; all 3 of them. You can see Sondheim’s inspiration in their work, especially in Jonathan Larson’s musical “Tick, Tick…Boom,” with the song “Sunday” directly inspired by Sondheim’s song of the same name in “Sunday in the Park With George.” I could go on and on and on about the large and small nods to Sondheim in Larson’s and Miranda’s work, but that would turn in to a novel of a blog post. Perhaps I will revisit this exact topic later and continue with my thoughts on these 3 and my admiration for them and their work, but for now I’ll leave you with this: check out this recent interview by Lin-Manual Miranda with Stephen Sondheim. It’s entrancing. I’m almost never so enthralled for an entire article (ADD is tough), but these guys…they have and will always have my attention.

I can’t believe the simple word “note” inspired this whole post, but I’m glad that it got me going down the road of inspiration in the subject I have loved my whole life. I hope it does the same for you. 🙂