I’m working on a new project, and I’m in the constant-search-for-inspiration mode. The good news is, for me, inspiration is super easy to come by. That doesn’t make it any less valuable, of course. It just makes me a lucky writer. And a grateful one.
Of the many things that have inspired me in the last few days — 194-song playlist that will change everything, the bolded font in the newest issue of SPIN magazine, a few YA books on kids in bands, one book of Chinese Mythology, a memory of Portland and Voodoo Doughnuts, Kathy Ireland (or was it Cindy Crawford?), and cherry Lifesavers, to name a few — I found myself on The Black Belles’ website at about one this morning. 
You know The Black Belles, right? I actually didn’t (I’m ashamed to admit) until my friends invited me to a show a while ago and I turned them down. I think I thought they were someone else. The Black Lips? Or Black Angels? I guess I like the Black Lips. I probably like a lot of “The Black ______” in the mad world of indie rock, come to think of it. The Black Keys (OBVIOUSLY). The Black Lips. The Black Ghosts. The Black Angels. The Black Bullets? The Black Belles. Oh and then The Broken Bells, for “bell/belle” confusion… I don’t know why I said no. I actually like almost all those bands. Whatever the case, it turns out I was stupid, and it was a killer show, and Jack fucking White was in the audience and… well. I love him. A lot.
Ah well. We all make hugely regrettable mistakes, don’t we? But I digress.
Whatever the source of my insanity that night, it has been reconciled and I super love them now. See that photo? Those girls are the best. Those girls are inspiration in tangible, inhaleable (is that a word?) form. Those girls live in Nashville, Tennessee, rock hard, and are so so so so so so so much cooler than I can ever hope to be. Plus, they’re one of Jack White’s pet projects. So. There’s that.
So, yes, on the topic of inspiration…  Of course I am inspired by their music. Their look. Their general badassery. But last night, I was inspired by the bios of each artist on the band’s website: 


Shelby Lynne.
Born and raised in sunny California. Unfortunately.Spent childhood indoors, doing seances. Alone.Kicked out of girl scouts for poisoning cookies. Allegedly.Began playing drums. Hard.Expelled from public school for performing exorcisms on fellow [unwilling] classmates.Attended all-girls reform school; met Olivia Jean & Ruby Rogers.Formed dark alliance.
Hobbies & interests: Stealing. Cheating. Secret Societies. Serial Killers. Russian Tragedies. Shark Attacks. Blood & Guts.




Ruby Rogers.
Ruby, an atypical Mississippi belle was largely ostracized by her peers due to her unusual taste and appearance. Ruby learned at an early age to amuse herself and be what some consider a loner. Her family encouraged her musically since childhood. Her propensity for dark, heavy music & love for early rock and roll led her further into alienation. A lover of the arts, she enjoys literature, comic books, drawing, and film photography. Due to her affinity for nature, mysticism, tarot, herbology and astrology, she was rumored to be a practitioner of witchcraft.
Upon her mother discovering a dead bird in her purse & her negligence of playing well with others, Ruby was sent to boarding school.However, that is where she found others just like her.


Olivia Jean.
Olivia Jean is a creature native to Detroit, Michigan. Years ago in Detroit she began a solo surf band named “Idee Fixe” to conceal any suspicions towards her exercises in witchcraft and voodooism. She has since migrated to Nashville, Tennessee to be with creatures that share similar interest, otherwise known as The Black Belles. Olivia Jean is a notorious creature that’s feared throughout the world and she generally has a bad reputation for being very aggressive and highly venemous. Her bouffant and hat weaken the use of her ears and morals, therefore when threatened she will display aggression with a set of signals that warn of the possibility of an attack.WARNINGS: If you come in contact with Olivia Jean do not operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery within the succedent 24 – 48 hours.SIDE EFFECTS: Many people who come in contact with Olivia Jean may experience serious, sometimes fatal side effects. Nausea, vomiting, headache, unusual changes in body temperature, vertigo, and slurred speech are very common. If you experience any of these side effects contact your doctor hastily.




Tina NoGood.
Born Christina Norwood. Was not always a bad seed. She grew up in Nashville, TN, where she attended private schools and studied classical piano at a prestigious conservatory. She was elected freshman class president of the all-girls prep school she attended. However, she spent most of her presidency in detention and was later kicked out for vandalism. Since then, she has strictly been up to no good.
Tina met the Black Belles on a dead moon night. They bonded over a love for killer heels and leather. Tina was inducted into the group during a candlelit midnight ceremony the following night. Since then, the girls have been playing music and growing ever–paler in Olivia Jean’s attic.
 When Tina is not playing music, she can be found slashing tires, breaking bottles, kicking over trashcans, starting food fights and making boys cry. Her interests include the supernatural, the occult, shenanigans, pranks, and general mischief.

Tell me you don’t love these girls already. Here’s the thing about a bio like this. Maybe it’s 100% true. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s totally false or maybe completely understated and we can’t even begin to comprehend the crazy shit they get themselves into. It doesn’t matter. This is what they put forward to the world. That look. That story. They own it.
You have to own your story too. The one you’re living, and the one you’re writing.
That’s what your characters should be. Do I think believable, relatable characters are important? Absolutely. They’re a cornerstone in the foundation of great storytelling. But do I think that a character who is off the wall, or unpredictable, exaggerated, or somewhat insane is therefore not worthwhile? ABSOLUTELY NOT. They’re very important. If they fit, have a place, and make your story world that much more fuckedupamazingandahhhmagic then DO IT. Go to these places. Find REAL PEOPLE like them. Find your inspiration in the oddest of places. And let yourself get lost.
For me? These bios made my mind reel on something I was already super excited with. And that’s what matters the most. Trust me.
And Black Belles? Shelby Lynne, Ruby Rogers, Olivia Jean, and Tina NoGood? Thanks. I owe you one. And hey! If you would like your real-life selves to be immortalized as badass characters in my otherwise fictional series? You let me know. I’ve got a place waiting.
(You think I’m kidding.)
April 3, 2012 theblackbelles.com

I’m working on a new project, and I’m in the constant-search-for-inspiration mode. The good news is, for me, inspiration is super easy to come by. That doesn’t make it any less valuable, of course. It just makes me a lucky writer. And a grateful one.

Of the many things that have inspired me in the last few days — 194-song playlist that will change everything, the bolded font in the newest issue of SPIN magazine, a few YA books on kids in bands, one book of Chinese Mythology, a memory of Portland and Voodoo Doughnuts, Kathy Ireland (or was it Cindy Crawford?), and cherry Lifesavers, to name a few — I found myself on The Black Belles’ website at about one this morning. 

You know The Black Belles, right? I actually didn’t (I’m ashamed to admit) until my friends invited me to a show a while ago and I turned them down. I think I thought they were someone else. The Black Lips? Or Black Angels? I guess I like the Black Lips. I probably like a lot of “The Black ______” in the mad world of indie rock, come to think of it. The Black Keys (OBVIOUSLY). The Black Lips. The Black Ghosts. The Black Angels. The Black Bullets? The Black Belles. Oh and then The Broken Bells, for “bell/belle” confusion… I don’t know why I said no. I actually like almost all those bands. Whatever the case, it turns out I was stupid, and it was a killer show, and Jack fucking White was in the audience and… well. I love him. A lot.

Ah well. We all make hugely regrettable mistakes, don’t we? But I digress.

Whatever the source of my insanity that night, it has been reconciled and I super love them now. See that photo? Those girls are the best. Those girls are inspiration in tangible, inhaleable (is that a word?) form. Those girls live in Nashville, Tennessee, rock hard, and are so so so so so so so much cooler than I can ever hope to be. Plus, they’re one of Jack White’s pet projects. So. There’s that.

So, yes, on the topic of inspiration…  Of course I am inspired by their music. Their look. Their general badassery. But last night, I was inspired by the bios of each artist on the band’s website: 

Shelby Lynne.

Born and raised in sunny California. Unfortunately.
Spent childhood indoors, doing seances. Alone.
Kicked out of girl scouts for poisoning cookies. Allegedly.
Began playing drums. Hard.
Expelled from public school for performing exorcisms on fellow [unwilling] classmates.
Attended all-girls reform school; met Olivia Jean & Ruby Rogers.
Formed dark alliance.

Hobbies & interests: Stealing. Cheating. Secret Societies. Serial Killers. Russian Tragedies. Shark Attacks. Blood & Guts.

Ruby Rogers.

Ruby, an atypical Mississippi belle was largely ostracized by her peers due to her unusual taste and appearance. Ruby learned at an early age to amuse herself and be what some consider a loner. Her family encouraged her musically since childhood. Her propensity for dark, heavy music & love for early rock and roll led her further into alienation. A lover of the arts, she enjoys literature, comic books, drawing, and film photography. Due to her affinity for nature, mysticism, tarot, herbology and astrology, she was rumored to be a practitioner of witchcraft.

Upon her mother discovering a dead bird in her purse & her negligence of playing well with others, Ruby was sent to boarding school.However, that is where she found others just like her.

Olivia Jean.

Olivia Jean is a creature native to Detroit, Michigan. Years ago in Detroit she began a solo surf band named “Idee Fixe” to conceal any suspicions towards her exercises in witchcraft and voodooism. She has since migrated to Nashville, Tennessee to be with creatures that share similar interest, otherwise known as The Black Belles. Olivia Jean is a notorious creature that’s feared throughout the world and she generally has a bad reputation for being very aggressive and highly venemous. Her bouffant and hat weaken the use of her ears and morals, therefore when threatened she will display aggression with a set of signals that warn of the possibility of an attack.
WARNINGS: If you come in contact with Olivia Jean do not operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery within the succedent 24 – 48 hours.
SIDE EFFECTS: Many people who come in contact with Olivia Jean may experience serious, sometimes fatal side effects. Nausea, vomiting, headache, unusual changes in body temperature, vertigo, and slurred speech are very common. If you experience any of these side effects contact your doctor hastily.

Tina NoGood.

Born Christina Norwood. Was not always a bad seed. She grew up in Nashville, TN, where she attended private schools and studied classical piano at a prestigious conservatory. She was elected freshman class president of the all-girls prep school she attended. However, she spent most of her presidency in detention and was later kicked out for vandalism. Since then, she has strictly been up to no good.

Tina met the Black Belles on a dead moon night. They bonded over a love for killer heels and leather. Tina was inducted into the group during a candlelit midnight ceremony the following night. Since then, the girls have been playing music and growing ever–paler in Olivia Jean’s attic.
 When Tina is not playing music, she can be found slashing tires, breaking bottles, kicking over trashcans, starting food fights and making boys cry. Her interests include the supernatural, the occult, shenanigans, pranks, and general mischief.

Tell me you don’t love these girls already. Here’s the thing about a bio like this. Maybe it’s 100% true. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s totally false or maybe completely understated and we can’t even begin to comprehend the crazy shit they get themselves into. It doesn’t matter. This is what they put forward to the world. That look. That story. They own it.

You have to own your story too. The one you’re living, and the one you’re writing.

That’s what your characters should be. Do I think believable, relatable characters are important? Absolutely. They’re a cornerstone in the foundation of great storytelling. But do I think that a character who is off the wall, or unpredictable, exaggerated, or somewhat insane is therefore not worthwhile? ABSOLUTELY NOT. They’re very important. If they fit, have a place, and make your story world that much more fuckedupamazingandahhhmagic then DO IT. Go to these places. Find REAL PEOPLE like them. Find your inspiration in the oddest of places. And let yourself get lost.

For me? These bios made my mind reel on something I was already super excited with. And that’s what matters the most. Trust me.

And Black Belles? Shelby Lynne, Ruby Rogers, Olivia Jean, and Tina NoGood? Thanks. I owe you one. And hey! If you would like your real-life selves to be immortalized as badass characters in my otherwise fictional series? You let me know. I’ve got a place waiting.

(You think I’m kidding.)

March 15, 2012 millionsmillions
Philip Roth, Deception (via millionsmillions)
February 4, 2012 misswallflower
Franz Kafka  (via musingsinfemininity)

(via musingsinfemininity)

See, I look at photos like this, and I can’t help but think
There’s a story in there somewhere. I know it.
Don’t ask me how or why. But these inane, random, inanimate objects… they speak to me. A writer’s parseltongue, if you will.
Do you see it too??
February 1, 2012 airows

See, I look at photos like this, and I can’t help but think

There’s a story in there somewhere. I know it.

Don’t ask me how or why. But these inane, random, inanimate objects… they speak to me. A writer’s parseltongue, if you will.

Do you see it too??

A LucyLikesLinus guitar! Ah, Johnny Rockout. How excited I am for that.
It’s all right. One day, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Promise.
February 1, 2012 airows

A LucyLikesLinus guitar! Ah, Johnny Rockout. How excited I am for that.

It’s all right. One day, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Promise.

January 29, 2012 alanwatts.com

Alan Watts (via neil-gaiman

)

(via neil-gaiman)

January 28, 2012

A serious question, followers. When I talk to AMAZING Nashville writers and KidLit-(t)ers tomorrow, which hair do I do? (Or, rather, does Mary do?)

Messy I’m-too-cool-for-you-and-totally-didn’t-plan-this-the-night-before, Zooey flowy curls, or 60s Cher straight and badass? Hmm??

January 27, 2012 themillions.com

Bradford Morrow in conversation with Edie Miedav. (via millionsmillions

)

(via millionsmillions)

I saw this post and had to reblog. This represents a personal philosophy of mine. I don’t believe in boredom. I don’t believe it’s something that really exists unless you, yourself, are boring. And if you’re boring? Do something about it.
If I were left in a silent room with nothing but a typewriter (I’d say computer, but you’d point out how much else I could do on said computer), I’d find this exhilirating. If I sit still long enough, waiting on delayed flights or watching people in doctor’s offices, in elevators or traffic or other fundamentally boring places, I come up with characters. I come up with stories. I pretend that person loves that person but they’re in a terrible fight. I wonder if they guy in the corner has powers. I make. shit. up.
And it has kept me from being bored since I was a tiny child. People ask me constantly how I come up with ideas for stories, how I keep coming up with enough ideas for a five-book series, how I seem to never be afraid of writer’s block. I don’t believe in it. There are always more things to make up, always more questions to ask whose answers (or lack thereof) will spark an idea. And from that idea, there comes creativity. And once you’re a creative person, you’ll never be bored again. Well, that’s not true. Once you’re a creative person, you should never be bored again. If you are, then you’re deliberately keeping yourself from being entertained, and whose fault is that?
But it doesn’t just have to be writing (or songwriting— if not writing a character, I’m writing a rhyme and a melody). It’s just anything that inspires you. Make something. Wonder about something. READ something. Do SOMETHING.
Sorry, kids. Boredom doesn’t exist unless you want it to. Unless you’re choosing to be boring. There are too many ways for you to occupy your brain for me to believe the problem of boredom — that is, nothing to entertain your brain — exists.
But that’s just me.
January 27, 2012 airows

I saw this post and had to reblog. This represents a personal philosophy of mine. I don’t believe in boredom. I don’t believe it’s something that really exists unless you, yourself, are boring. And if you’re boring? Do something about it.

If I were left in a silent room with nothing but a typewriter (I’d say computer, but you’d point out how much else I could do on said computer), I’d find this exhilirating. If I sit still long enough, waiting on delayed flights or watching people in doctor’s offices, in elevators or traffic or other fundamentally boring places, I come up with characters. I come up with stories. I pretend that person loves that person but they’re in a terrible fight. I wonder if they guy in the corner has powers. I make. shit. up.

And it has kept me from being bored since I was a tiny child. People ask me constantly how I come up with ideas for stories, how I keep coming up with enough ideas for a five-book series, how I seem to never be afraid of writer’s block. I don’t believe in it. There are always more things to make up, always more questions to ask whose answers (or lack thereof) will spark an idea. And from that idea, there comes creativity. And once you’re a creative person, you’ll never be bored again. Well, that’s not true. Once you’re a creative person, you should never be bored again. If you are, then you’re deliberately keeping yourself from being entertained, and whose fault is that?

But it doesn’t just have to be writing (or songwriting— if not writing a character, I’m writing a rhyme and a melody). It’s just anything that inspires you. Make something. Wonder about something. READ something. Do SOMETHING.

Sorry, kids. Boredom doesn’t exist unless you want it to. Unless you’re choosing to be boring. There are too many ways for you to occupy your brain for me to believe the problem of boredom — that is, nothing to entertain your brain — exists.

But that’s just me.

The shelves say it all.
January 25, 2012 airows

The shelves say it all.