Pulling Back

Hello everyone!

This is a quick note to inform readers that I will be pulling back a lot on the day-to-day function here. I’ve been doing it for a while now, but it may become more pronounced as I move on to a brand new blog and a new writing job that is likely to be full-time. I’m not shutting this down or disappearing, I’m simply re-focusing and re-branding. If you are interested in the new blog, please let me know directly, via private message. I will not be advertising or promoting it here whatsoever.

All I will say about it is that it’s something that makes me a lot happier. It is a place where I feel comfortable to be myself without being judged, and without petty bullshit. It is what I originally envisioned for myself, but probably did not have the foresight, design abilities, or patience to think through at the time.

I’m not dead, I’m certainly not blind, and I’m not unaware of a lot of the bullshit that has been going on. Silence is profound, because it means that bullshit and those that spread it is all the proof you need of who those people are, and never proof of who I am.

I will continue to post that which I feel is relevant here, that which people have been enjoying for quite some time. I thank everyone for reading, and I look forward to continuing with those of you that come with me on my new journey.

Respectfully Yours,

Lisa

10403713_775873122435389_8003474384444745224_n

How Much Does Music Influence Your Writing?

How Much Does Music Influence Your Writing?

As a writer, I get asked this question quite a bit. As I work on the first four novels in what will be, at the very least, an eight book series, I do have a playlist I refer to when I am researching.

I have eclectic taste in music. It may or may not be the kind of music you like to listen to, but it’s truly all over the place. For book one, I have a 500 song playlist on my Kindle Fire. I listen to it at the grocery store, the nail salon, at home, in the shower, etc. I have the same playlist on my phone. Some songs really speak to the individual characters, and others just set the tone for the world in which I have created. I have a similar playlist on my computer, but apparently due to some cross over repetition, there are less songs in that particular playlist. That, or I never bothered to update it when I switched over to the new laptop. Since I tend to access it via my cloud, that’s probably why.

Do specific artists influence my characters? No, but a few songs are like theme music for them. I have that moment where I think “Ok, so and so is on the page.”, as if Elvis just walked into the building. But again, there’s such an eclectic mix that I’m listening to Halestorm one minute and something classical the next. I always have my music on shuffle, always. I cannot listen to it any other way, and much like bad TV, I will often skip over songs obsessively until I find precisely the one I want to listen to. At certain moments, a song is often on repeat.

Unlike many genre writers, I do NOT have music playing when I am writing. It’s irritating and distracts me from the task at hand. When words are playing out in my head, the music has to be paused, muted, or shut off completely. But prior to that, I often have something on for long, or short, periods of time. It just depends on the mood I am going for and whether or not something external is influencing my brain in the moment. It also depends on whether or not I am writing in the midst of a migraine, in which case, I want it as silent as possible and might actually be writing silently in a notebook with a pen.

I do not have individual playlists for each of my characters. I have songs that intensely remind me of them, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Because I have eclectic taste, I do not feel the need to weave a ton of music into my work. In book one, I think exactly two bands are mentioned in total. No music is mentioned in the beginnings of the other novels, but that doesn’t mean that won’t change.

The protagonist is, much like me, a music lover, but she tends to use music in the same ways that I do in her daily life. That wasn’t intentional, it just sort of flowed that way. Some of the other characters, if this wasn’t for book purposes, would have some pretty epic songs involved with their appearances if this were being written for television or movie purposes. Because the characters themselves have both visual, mental, emotional, and musical impact. I can’t describe it any better than that. The protagonist, perhaps, is a bit more meditational, a lot more internally verbal, yet still strong and influential.

My current musical influences as I write, at the moment, for different reasons, are The Band Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Miranda Lambert, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Snow Patrol. A very odd grouping indeed. Trust me, this can, and will, change on a dime.

Are there specific artists influencing your writing? If so, let me know who in the comments.

“How Much Does Music Influence Your Writing?” is copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

pleasedonot

People have no idea exactly how serious I am about this!

Photo credit to M.J. Rose. If you haven’t read her books, I highly recommend them. 

 

We’re Not…

We’re not speaking, and I don’t know why.

On my side I understand it very clearly, I have been betrayed and have nothing to say.

On your side are a plethora of excuses, born out of fear.

You would be right in that reaction, for I do not take kindly to betrayal, lies, or passive aggressive bullshit.

I have found you weak, I have found you unworthy. I have found you lacking in all things that matter.

Being polite and civil to me will only get you so far.

The simple fact is, I have no need for you any more.

There is no forgiveness to be had. So fly away, and please don’t ever return in my direction.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Feelings

Feelings

Have you ever sat down to write something, only to realize that you have nothing to say? By “nothing to say”, I mean nothing nice to say, nothing of consequence, therefore, you know within the deepest part of your soul that the best thing to do is keep your mouth shut and keep on keepin’ on, until, eventually, that ugliness in your head passes and you can once again write something nice. We all visit blogs for humor, inspiration, to escape our own lives, but not to visit someone else’s bitterness. If a person has a valid story to share, that is completely different, because I don’t perceive that as bitterness, I perceive that as “Hey, this is what I’ve been through.” Life experience is, sometimes, extremely negative in the living, but in the survival? We can look back on it and say “I made it through the darkest, ugliest, most brutal shit, and I’m still here.”

Of late, I really haven’t wanted to discuss a whole lot. Mostly because I am dealing with some very heavy, dark, brutal shit. My Fibromyalgia pain has escalated to a point where I cannot handle it any more, and I feel like each day is a battle for my life. That seems dramatic, but when you live with this son of a bitch day in a day out, having someone say you don’t have it, that you don’t suffer, and that you’re “perfectly fine” is God damn insulting.

Sometimes you can pick up little tidbits on my mind-set or mood based on the things I post when I am not writing, and other times you can’t because I might simply be feeling the need to be quiet. Not every song is indicative of my mood, but sometimes they are.

May, on a whole, is a dark month for me. It is riddled with loss, and from start to finish, I am reminded on a daily basis of each loss. It makes it tough to get out of bed each day and conduct myself in any kind of manner. In fact, I will probably be M.I.A for parts of this month because I just need to get back to myself. I need to take a step back and remind myself who I am, how far I have come, what direction I am going in, and re-set my goals. I need to deal with the pain I am going through, both physically and emotionally, and either go it alone or go through it with the support of good friends. Honestly, I’m used to doing everything by myself when it comes to emotions and hard shit, so when I have support, it’s often hard for me to adjust to it. It’s been a long time since I’ve had people I can rely on no matter what. That is no one else’s failing, it is merely the result of a lot of lies, abandonment, neglect, and the end result: Anger. I am not the kind of person that can remain sane, smile sweetly, and pretend people haven’t done horrible things to me. I’m not good at being fake. I don’t eat bullshit politely with a knife and fork and ask you to pass the salt. It’s not in my nature. I can be the absolute best friend you’ll ever have in this world, or the single most venomous person who will ever deal with, and it all depends on how you treat me. I try very hard to be supremely fair, but I’ve reached that point where my patience is severely limited. Idiots need not apply.

So, if you’re feeling like I am being neglectful here, please understand that it’s time for me to focus deeply on self-care. I cannot bring you quality and share my projects with you if I am unable to focus and create. I will absolutely be around, but not in an immense capacity. I will still read what everyone writes and posts, I will still comment, and I am reachable by phone and e-mail, and via Facebook, but beyond that, for now, I’m out. I’m drained. I need a break.

62352_375123302623512_558357610_n

Sweet Little Surprises

I haven’t written anything in a while, as I have been plagued with the severe exhaustion and agonizing pain that is Fibromyalgia. Every single day has sounded like a good day to sleep. No amount of sleep has seemed to be enough for my body, and the pain has been excruciating to the point where I’ve been pretty distraught. Unfortunately, I have had an onslaught of appointments during all of this and had no real time to truly rest or focus.

In the midst of all this, I have had great support from a select group of friends. I am going through something seriously awful in my personal life and these friends are trying to help me navigate it, to the best of their ability. It’s one of those things where you cannot say thank you enough because you get to see people’s true colors.

It’s amazing how sometimes, through all the trauma and awfulness in your life, little surprises pop up and you’re in awe of the thoughtfulness of the gestures. I have been on the receiving end of some really sweet, thoughtful surprise packages and here I share “my stash”.

SAM_0154   SAM_0155

This sweet little package arrived via UPS and totally made my day. Mally Beauty had been holding a 100,000 Fan Giveaway on their Facebook page. I entered, left a comment as to why I use Mally’s products, and never thought anything of it afterward. Then, out of nowhere, I get this adorable set of eye liners and a nice little note as a gift. I was so touched (I also have to mention that Mally personally responded to me when I sent her a thank you. That is the epitome of class!). The colors are Caribbean Sea (kind of like Emerald Green meets Teal), Milk Chocolate, Royal Purple, Midnight Black, and Silver. If you’ve never used a Mally product before and you love make-up, as I do, I highly recommend starting with Shimmer, Shape, & Glow. You’ll feel like you belong on a Red Carpet in less than a minute. These liners are a fun treat. Also, for all you animal lovers out there, Mally does not test on animals whatsoever. In fact, she’s the owner of two rescue dogs that she adores. You can now find her products nationwide at ULTA.

 

SAM_0164

Prior to New York Fashion Week, Kate Somerville Skin Care had a contest to win this Save Our Skin package. Kate has some seriously amazing products and as a fan of ExfoliKate, I tried entering the contest, to no avail. I sent the company a message to let them know there was a problem with the contest page. They told me they were working on it. After the contest ended, I received a message letting me know that they had saved one of these packages for me and just needed to know where to ship it. They came to the right place, because that is just plain good Public Relations. The package was beautifully wrapped and contained all of this:

SAM_0165

24 Hour Pimple Punisher on the bottom (Yes, I still get the occasional breakout. This stuff is nice and has already cleared up a few breakouts I had before the package arrived!), above that is CytoCell Eye Cream (I’m a religious user of a different brand, but this one is very nice.), to the right in silver is a product called DermalQuench Liquid Lift (I’ve been using this on and off and I see a difference in how sculpted my face looks. Might be the product, might be the weight I just lost, who knows?). In the middle are two of Kate’s self-tanning towelettes, and on the left is my beloved ExfoliKate. For the record, the ExfoliKate usually costs about $350 a year, with the assumption that you’re using it 2-3 times a week, so anytime I can get a small one, I’m thrilled. I returned the last full size tube I bought because $200 (which included tax and shipping) was a hefty price to pay, and I decided to stick with a gentler product for the time being. However, I am thoroughly enjoying this lovely little box from Kate Somerville Skin Care. There’s a reason this stuff is so expensive, the ingredients are high quality.

 

SAM_0180  SAM_0184

SAM_0181

My other surprises included this awesome little package from Dove Dark Chocolate. I received this with no knowledge whatsoever that I had won anything. Inside is a coupon for a free bar of their chocolate (free chocolate is never a bad thing!) and two special Nicole by OPI Nail Polishes in two different shades called Better After Dark (lighter shade on the left) and Promises In The Dark (darker shade on the right). I am really into dark polish right now, so I am going to enjoy wearing these. 🙂

SAM_0185  SAM_0186

The biggest shocker was one I received earlier in the year and absentmindedly forgot to share. It’s from Tria Beauty and is a Laser Hair Removal device. Not only did I win this in a fan giveaway, one of three they offered, but I also got to choose which of their lasers I wanted, they even sent me an additional message to ask if I wanted it in a special color. For me, this was a HUGE gift to receive.

This laser happens to be their top of the line device, and I can attest to the fact that it is much faster than the one I already owned. I’ve been a fan of their products for a few years now, and I do still use the previous laser even though it’s much slower. The results are amazing, so long as you are fair to medium complected and are removing light brown to black hair. This laser is not yet FDA approved for redheads or blondes, but I am sure they’ve got one on the way. This company has amazing advancements not only involving hair removal, but also involving skin care, so keep your eye on them, and don’t be afraid to follow them on whatever social media platform is your favorite.

Life has truly felt like absolute torturous HELL at times, but every once in a while, I get a really sweet surprise and it helps me see that my hard work and sacrifice is noticed by a much Higher Power than anything here on this plane of existence. These are the little things that make me smile, apart from my tiny little minx, my Goddaughter, my best friends, my friends on a whole, and the fact that I am forever reaching towards the light at the end of the dark, long tunnel.

I hope you have sweetness in your life too, in whatever form it may come in. Let us all count our treats and blessings. 🙂

*I am not a paid advertiser of any of these products, merely a customer.*