The Worst Kind of Writers Block

You’re onto something, you know it. It’s vague, it’s on the brink of becoming something interesting you can sink your teeth into, and the plot bunnies are just hopping all around in your noggin. So what do you do next? Write an outline, of course! And once you put pen to paper, or finger to key the ideas just start pouring out. Before you know it, your vague plot bunny has become a full-fledged plot forest full of singing Princesses and woodland creatures woooo.

You still don’t quite have eeeeverything worked out: The character bios need a bit more fleshing out – in fact, they need a lot of fleshing out because mainly you just have your major setting, plot, conflict and resolution all setup. But you figure, whatever! I’ll just start writing and the characters will write themselves!

…Haha…hahahaha….haaaa….

Nope! You rewrite scenes over, and over again, just trying to lay out one thing dialogue-wise so you have a stepping stone to another scene, and hope that the characters will come alive somehow. I’ve read that works, in fact, a few writing friends said that’s how they do it, but that just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been stuck on this idea I am just right on the edge of starting and the one thing stumping me is good characters, that can make good dialogue. Also, a good way to get the ball rolling on this stupid thing! No no not stupid I love you plot bunny don’t leave meee.

I was hoping that writing this post would get me out of my writers block in this phase of my plotting, and it sort of did! Right when I got to the bad characters part of this, I realized “Derp! I have character development sheets!” so I will go fill some of those out for my central characters and see if that helps me at all. Though, I also think I need a more…hmm, less cliché plot? Right now it’s very Supernatural meets Georgina Kincaid series and I want it to be a lot more than…paranormal monster of the week type of stuff. Back to the drawing board, I suppose! Well, only partially: I do have a lot of ideas written out on a word document I can add to, so hopefully I can make something cohesive out of that chunk of plot progression outline I’ve written down so far!

But for now, onto character biography making! Weeee~

Have any good ways to break out of writers block? Or websites for writers, too, I love those. Link or say so in the comments!

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It’s Interesting How Your Tastes Evolve

When I first got into making jewelry, I had a very specific goal in mind. I wanted to use only natural gemstones in my pieces, and use them to make elegant, Victorian style necklaces, rings, and bracelets. For the longest time, I did this – and, although I did make some pretty pieces, my workflow eventually got stagnant, and I stopped making pieces all together. Enter my very long jewelry making hiatus.

During said hiatus, I researched different techniques (and still do). Part of the reason why I stopped creating was because all I had was beading wire and was just…stringing things. I had bought some 20 GA wire, sure, but really I just bought it because I had joined some Facebook groups that said to get some. Get it for what? To practice of course! Practice what? What I thought was wire work at the time – wire wrapping raw gemstones! So I used the wire for that, and exclusively that and also got bored. As I’ve stated in an earlier post, it just wasn’t what I had wanted to do with my jewelry designs, so got tired of it super quickly.

In my mind, I had this really narrow field of what stringing was. I thought that all it was, was using bead wire, putting stones on it, and using crimps to close the piece off. Yawn! It wasn’t until recently that I realized that stringing is a whole set of techniques entirely: bead weaving, pearl knotting, using ribbon, using leather cord…it’s a very diverse set of techniques you can use to make very artistic, elegant pieces and I find, you can really explore with it (with beadweaving especially) because you’re sewing the piece together and you can just go to town with either a really geometric, or really free form design. I also realized, after exploring beadweaving and ribbon etc, that using beads other than natural gemstone beads really flexes your creativity. Recently, I’ve been exploring the world of Check glass beads and Swarovski crystals to eventually buy and use in my work. Check Glass beads in particular really have an awesome range of different shapes, sized, and hole counts in their beads you can have a ton of fun with! And don’t get me started on the color selections – they all sound so sparkly and pretty (well from the descriptions of the colors I read, anyway, have to have someone look at them sometime and tell me how they are haha).

I guess, this is my long winded way of saying, it’s interesting how your tastes evolve over time. After you’ve spent time working with materials, feeling your way through projects, and trying to figure out what you need to make things flow creatively the way you want them to so you don’t get massive headaches along the creation process, it’s easier to open your mind to new things. I know I would have never thought when I started making jewelry that hey, I will use these glass beads instead of gemstone beads, and they will look just as pretty as the gemstones! No, that thought had to come to me after using gemstone beads, and seeing the pros and cons of using that bead in my work. Same with stringing: I thought it was a super basic technique, and the way I was initially doing it was. But now, after seeing the different things you can do with different stringing materials, I see stringing in a new light, and am ready to embrace those techniques and all of the pros and cons they have in store for me.

What about you? You ever find a better alternative to something crafty you were doing? Say so in the comments!

Singing Technique Interspections

I’ve been doing two practice sessions a day as of late – I used to do two, but went down to doing one because two of the particular technique used to wreak havoc on my throat. I was a bit worried that I was hurting my cords, hense dropping it down to one 20 minute session a day. Recently, however, like I said earlier, I’ve been doing 2 sessions of practice because well, my Mom wanted me to lol. So at night, I’ve been practicing with operatic technique, and then I practice with a technique called speech level singing (SPL). I’ve read a lot about combining techniques for varied results, and just didn’t realize how much of a difference it did make. Like, I’m able to hit higher notes than I used to with operatic technique, and yet when I can’t hit a note properly with operatic technique, I can switch to SPL and make it sound fuller and smoother. It’s really interesting to me, because for so long I was like “I only need one technique ugh” when I’ve red in other places that SPL is good for certain genres, while classical or opera technique can be used for other genres. It’s useful to have both, and it’s actually been pretty fun to work on perfecting both (though I will never admit that lolol).

What about you: are there multiple singing techniques you like to use, and if so what? What techniques have been difficult for you to master? Post in the comments!

Mana Aeliria Skype Direction session Final Thoughts

Awhile back I mentioned I auditioned for a project in which I would be singing the theme song to a video game. Well, a few weeks later, I met with the game developers in a skype call so we could pretty much touch base with each other and talk about how they wanted the dynamics of the song and stuff to go. I’ll be honest, I was super, super nervous about doing this: I had never done anything like this before, and just the thought of being in a skype call with someone and having them hear me sing live was really intimidating (I don’t know why, because I sing live all the time anyways).

I was afraid for nothing! The experience was really chill and fun, and after the first few minutes where my nerves got a hold of me and hindered my singing a bit, I eased into it. After that initial point, and just being in the call and having some time to just uh, I guess talk to the developers for a while, all that fear and trepidation was gone. We hashed out all the stuff that needed to be hashed out, and now I can go on and record the song and I’m not afraid to bounce things off of these guys anymore because hey, the experience was fun and not at all scary once it got going! The skype directing thing was a huge reason why I didn’t want to audition for higher end projects: it was an unnecessary fear that really just stalled me in my tracks. I’m so glad I went for this though – and am glad that well, they didn’t post in the audition thread that they wanted to do a skype call, because then I might have not gone for it haha. But yeah, now that this step is done, onto recording the first version of the theme song! EEEE so excited to do this!

Original Song Preview – Moonsong video!

After all of my posts about writing my originals, a preview of one of them! This is the second song I wrote for, and it’s going to be part of an ocean/tidal themed EP coming out in September. I’d love to hear what you think about it in comments, and what you think the song is about! I had someone tell me what they thought the song was about and I found it to be really fascinating, so yeah feel free to share your thoughts on it!

I had a lot of fun shooting the footage for this video out on the beach, and my awesome video editor put this all together so we could have a preview of the EP up before it’s full release, so I hope you enjoy!

But without further ado…one of my originals, Moonsong!

Terris Magic Musings and Episode 1 Release

Story time! So, in 2013, I had a story concept. At first, I wanted to make it a modern, slice of life story but just couldn’t wrap my head around writing in the real world because I am more of a fantasy/paranormal/scifi gal. Well, after talking to my brother about wanting to make this concept and saying “It’s so hard to write in the real world for me though blarg” he said “Well, why not write the same premise, only in a fantasy setting?”

Ding ding ding!

So, we sat down and planned out the story. Plot, characters, the whole shebang. And thus, Terris Magic was born!

Then, the writing phase. I like to write all of my scripts like, every single one before producing and casting and all that jazz just because I don’t like having the possibility of getting writers block and leaving my cast hanging for months with no scripts. I prefer a send out a script a month method, get lines and mix sort of deal. In other words, I’d rather deal with my writers block in private, without the pressure of getting scripts out quickly! And writers block, I did indeed deal with. I started writing the scripts in 2013, and finished somewhere in…2014, or the beginning of 2015. But I was determined to not have this project die – I had let another radio play project die years ago, and I would not let that happen again!

SO long story short, I had to muster up the courage to cast this thing. Did so this July, got the lines from a very awesome, very reliable cast, and ta-dah! Terris Magic, Episode 1 was released this week! I couldn’t be more excited: It was such a challenge getting back in the swing of mixing radio play scenes since I’m used to mixing songs, and dealt with a lot of crashes, remixes of scenes, and general headaches. But in the end, it was totally worth it! Without further ado: Terris Magic, Episode 1, on it’s current home of soundcloud! Please let me know what you think via the comments!

Frustrations Lead to Life Lessons

This weekend has been a very audio mixing filled one. I mixed the first episode of my radioplay – which was a challenge in itself, but I got it done and it’s now up for listening so hurray! Then, I moved onto remixing the final original I was working on that I was talking about last week and…that one wasn’t so easy to fix XD

I think, this was the most challenging thing I had done. I had to bounce it off some friends a few times because my ears just weren’t hearing it the way theirs were – which happens a lot. But I really wanted this specific feel to it and it just wasn’t coming across the way I wanted it to. Honestly, I got uber frustrated, and had to step away from the mix for a few days. In enters both feeling mopy all weekend, and mixing my radioplay instead. After mixing some of the scenes for that (which were a challenge all their own, but that will be for another post) I felt a bit less discouraged over mixing in general and went back to the song. I’m glad I took that break, because what a difference taking two days off from hearing that thing did! My ears felt like they were hearing it for the first time, and I was able to fix what was wrong with it with fresh perspective. So, as of yesterday, the final song of my little original song project is done, Wooooo!!!

This project taught me a lot of important lessons. I usually just power through doing well, anything, and having to step back, be patient, and re-tackle a problem is not part of my nature at all and to say that it was frustrating, is an understatement. I really had to like, take deep breaths, step back and just force myself to not think about that song – which was far easier said than done lol. Tis why I had to keep my hands busy with mixing my radioplay, methinks.

I’ve learned so much from doing this project about myself, and about mixing. I decided to do this EP on a semi-whim – an idea just struck me, and I had the urge to do it with whatever means I had available to me, which is also something I’ve never done before (I’m usually like I need to get this so I can do this!). But with this project, I’ve learned that it’s ok to work with what you have, to make mistakes, and to fix said mistakes to get a nice end result for a song. And hey, it was tons of fun – no matter how frustrating some bits of it were!

What’s my next step? Why, tweeking some vocals on a few originals, of course! After that I will work on getting them released, EEEE I couldn’t be more excited! I shall keep you all posted on my progress as always 😉