Well, friends, 2015 is coming to an end. I hope that its closing is going well for you and that 2016 will arrive even better. For me, 2015 was a very positive year, with a lot of growth and good change in most areas of my life, including my writing (as I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post).
I imagine you’re seeing many year-end lists at this point. I’ve always enjoyed those types of lists, so I thought I’d add to the bunch and make one of my own. I’ve chosen a few of my favorite posts I’ve made on this blog, and have added some comments to share with you why they are my favorites. And, since this is a blog greatly inspired by music, I’ve included a list of the albums I listened to the most this year (though they weren’t all released this year). I hope you enjoy.
Let me know about your lists, too. What were your favorite posts this year, from your own blog, this one, or someone else’s? What were your favorite songs/albums/bands? Let me know in the comments or through the “Contact” page.
Cheers to you in 2016!
Out of the Woods: In which a girl flees. When I write I usually listen to music and have at least some sense of what I want to say or what emotion I want to convey. But with this piece I tried to turn off my conscious mind and let my unconscious do the talking. I put earplugs in to have it as quiet as possible and started writing without thinking. I even looked away from my computer screen so as not to be influenced by the words appearing on the page. I wrote the first 350 words like that and then went back to add the ending and to edit. So, I really like that this story came purely from what was inside of me, without any filter, and that I’m still not sure what exactly I was talking about.
I Can Change: In which I’m inspired by Brandon Flowers’ enthusiasm. This was the first piece I wrote specifically for this blog, and it’s a reflection of me mustering the courage and will to start on my journey with writing being a crucial part of my life. I was nervous to publish it as the opening of my blog because it’s quite revealing. But I’m very thankful that I took that first step, and I’ll always have a soft spot for this piece that was that first step. I also really like that the inspiration of music and its positive role in my life was evident in this post.
My Weakness: In which I float away. This is a post in which I was strongly influenced by the song (Moby’s “My Weakness”), rather than finding a song to fit the post after the post was written. I like that the story can apply to various scenarios in my life: relationships I could leave or cling to, my relationship with God I could continue in the same way or change, versions of myself I could continue or change. And I like the imagery of the water next to the city, which is a reflection of my favorite part of my favorite city, Chicago.
Staring at the Sun: In which we wait for a reality. This was the first post I wrote that is completely and blatantly about spiritual restlessness and questioning. Writing has been a huge help to me as I try to figure out my spiritual life, and this is perhaps the most overt piece I’ve written about it. Also, “Staring at the Sun” is simply a great song. I like to think U2 wouldn’t mind it being paired with this type of post.
In the Gathering Gloom: In which he and she meet. I was feeling stuck one day and was looking for writing ideas online when I came across the Daily Post’s prompt “Creepy.” It was meant to be a photo challenge, but as I don’t do photography, I chose to make a written response. As soon as I had the idea of “creepy” in my head, the story came quite easily and quickly. It was the first time I wrote from two different points of view in the same story, so I like that it was stretching for me in that way. I also think it’s one of my best examples of the song adding to and reflecting the story I’ve paired it with.
To the Streets: In which I make my way back. This story is a reflection of when I was at the very bottom of the clinical depression I dealt with for years. I felt a heaviness and darkness in this story, so I like its juxtaposition with the lightness of The Killers’ “Sam’s Town,” especially this lighter piano version.
In the State We’re In, We’ll Not Go Far. This was the first full-on poem I posted on this site. I was very tentative to write in this form, as it’s harder for me to evaluate my writing in poetry because I’m not very familiar with that genre. So I was proud of myself for stretching and being brave in posting it.
Copper-Leather Wings. This was the first installment in my series of posts made up of exactly 317 words. I like that it was very fantastical in the blending of a woman with the image of a bat. It’s probably the most unrealistic character I’ve created, and I like her for it. I also like that I don’t know where that imagine came from; she just popped into my mind.
A Sad Case. This was another of my few poems, but I felt surer about this one as I wrote it. I like that, while most of my posts are inspired by music, this post was partly inspired by a work of art, one of my favorite paintings from Dali. I was glad to be able to take a different form of artistic inspiration and give it a creative, written response.
Away. This poem was heavily inspired by Alice in Chains’ “I Stay Away.” Allegedly, it was written after one of late-lead singer Layne Staley’s stays in rehab. Thankfully I don’t have that experience, but I like the idea of getting and staying away from a place that one perceives as threatening and finding a safe alternative elsewhere. I also tend to return to themes of water and light (something that has been a discovery for me, as it’s not deliberate), and this poem is full of those two references.
- Alice in Chains — entire catalogue from when Layne was still around
- Brandon Flowers — The Desired Effect
- El Vy — Return to the Moon
- Flagship — Flagship
- Florence + The Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
- Interpol — El Pintor
- Lux Lisbon — entire catalogue
- Moby — Everything is Wrong, Innocents
- The National — Trouble Will Find Me
- Smashing Pumpkins — entire catalogue
- The Smiths — entire catalogue
- Tori Amos — Little Earthquakes