Weekly Word: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go though the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. ~ Mildred White Struven

The process of transformation

The process of transformation

Blood To Blood’s heroine, Angel Brown, goes through epic struggle in order to pursue her dream of becoming a singer.

As I wrote about her struggles I thought of my own life challenges and the conflict my friends were experiencing. There is no way you can go through life without encountering what Iyanla Vanzant refers to as “The Valley.” During those dark times, you discover what your soul is truly made of.

The dichotomy is amazing: on one hand you don’t want to experience the pain (who does?), and on the other hand the pain, heartache and hard knocks are exactly what makes you stronger, more brilliant and takes you to a level you otherwise wouldn’t be.

Kelly Clarkson says it nicely in her song “Stronger”:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone


Lyrics | Kelly Clarkson lyricsStronger lyrics

The fire of transformation happened to Angel, me and I’m sure you can tell a story or two about your own personal trials.

Just remember once you get on the other side of the tunnel, show your gratitude and say thank you to that hardship for helping you become the butterfly you are today.

My Muses: Death Cab For Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”

Death Cab, like Radiohead, is one of those bands that I play all the time to the point that I wonder if it’s healthy for my son.

To give you an example, one day we were driving along the countryside in Dekalb county (Georgia, Atlanta area). It was a bright and sunny day, and as always iTunes was piping through the stereo. Death Cab’s “I Will Possess Your Heart” was playing. And my 5 year-old was singing it verbatim.

I realized that this must have been the thousandth time he’d heard this tune, and for a moment I wondered if it was normal, after all it’s a pretty intense song.

But then again, what is normal? I recalled the dark and hyper-sexualized songs I’d grown up listening to and never caught the real meaning until I was in college (some even later, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” I had absolutely no idea that was about reaching orgasm until the new millennium, but I’d never seen this banned version of the video either, eewww!). I figured he’d be fine as long as I continued to balance out the Death Cab with Backyardigans, The Wiggles, The Muppets and less dark, more family-friendly bands like Coldplay and U2.

This particular tune has a play count of over 300 in my iTunes. That was after my computer crashed and wiped out my play counts. It’s right up there with the most popular songs from my Blood To Blood playlist, but ironically it’s not on that playlist. Nonetheless, I crafted a good amount of Justin’s interior monologue while listening to it:

I imagined Justin saying these lyrics, or something like them, in his head whenever he spent any time with Angel:

How I wish you could see the potential,
the potential of you and me.
It’s like a book elegantly bound but,
in a language that you can’t read.
Just yet.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.

There are days when outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass,
and I long for this mirrored perspective
when we’ll be lovers, lovers at last.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.

You reject my… advances… and desperate pleas…
I won’t let you… let me down… so easily.
So easily.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.

That’s *so* Justin. Wow. Now that I’m thinking of him again, I need to run and write some more of the Justin story I’ve been working on.

Blood To Blood YouTube Playlist

My trusty Blood To Blood YouTube Playlist includes tunes scooped directly from my iPod playlist, and served up via YouTube. These are the videos to some of the artists listed in the official Blood To Blood playlist. One of these days maybe I’ll be able to pipe everything directly from iTunes, but in the meantime, this little playlist feature on YouTube is kinda cool.

Anyway, I played these artists and their songs hundreds of times while writing Blood To Blood. Many of them are connected to specific scenes from the book. Hole’s “Violet” for example is for when Angel feels her new powers for the first time as she runs through the Maine woods with her family.

Featured here are:

Hole A photograph of the band HOLE playing a concer...
Coldplay
Cee-lo Green Cee-Lo
Metric
Muse
Nicki Minaj Nicki Minaj
Robin Thicke Thicke
Gordon Lightfoot (yep, you read that right) Gordon Lightfoot
Ramsey Lewis feat. Earth Wind and Fire Ramsey Lewis
Deathcab For Cutie Death Cab for Cutie
Carlos Santana feat. Everlast

I hope you enjoy these tunes as much as I do. These are just a few of the songs I wrote the book to, and I look forward to sharing more.

Blood To Blood YouTube Playlist

 

 

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Hello world!

I’m a writer, a mom and an avid music lover. Not necessarily in that order, depending on what day and/or mood you catch me in. But I am always a mom. And always will be a writer. And will always love music.

And I will forever *know* that life is magic. Know that it is a spell weaved by us and those around us. I will always know that we can have and be whatever it is we believe we can be.

I know this for myself and I know it for you.

So something here on this blog will always relate to something above. One of those passions listed just now. These passions comprise who I have chosen to be. And who we have chosen to be is all any of us really are.

So here are some quick and dirty facts about me:

  • I’m obsessed with angels.
  • I’m obsessed with some of my characters. Some are angels.
  • I like almost any genre of music.
  • I’m a strict but fun-loving parent.
  • I like to save money but I like quality.
  • I believe that our thoughts create our reality.
  • I am a die-hard romantic loner.
  • I want to share my ideas with as many people as possible, and hope they will gain something from it.
  • I have to force myself to go to sleep 89% of the time.
  • I  can’t remember a time when I didn’t write Fantasy or Science Fiction.
  • I am starting work on a novel based on an idea I had when I was 6 years old. Can’t say much about it now, but when you read it you’ll see what a strange childhood I had.
  • I sometimes fall asleep with my face in my laptop.
  • I would like to meet Adam Levine and am trying to figure out a way to put him (or someone really like him) in one of my books.
  • I am 5’2 3/4″.
  • I could care less about my weight. It’s how I feel that’s important.
  • I drink at least 3 cups of green tea everyday.
  • My mom was a medium.
  • Coffee gives me the runs.
  • I really really want to read much more than I do now.
  • I am jealous of writers who effortlessly spout new, bleeding edge names when asked “Who is your favorite writer?”
  • I like bullet points.
  • My favorite book of all time is still The Hobbit.
  • I was raised on the following: Dark Shadows, Lost In Space, 80s music, Creature Double Feature (Saturday back-to-back B-movies aired in Boston and usually starring Godzilla), and endless daydreaming.
  • My current workplace will be the setting of future writings.

At any given time I might start talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. Please bear with me as I continue to work out the details of my mind. Thanks for visiting.

Ifè Oshun