Tag Archives: creativity

Not Broken, But Blinding. We are.

1 Sep
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr and Pinterest. Click the image for a link to their origin. So very unbeta’d–all mistakes and typos are mine. Lyrics, unless noted, belong to Marcus Foster. Playlist and GIVEAWAY INFO at the bottom.

In my time I’ve melted into many forms

From the day that I was born,

I know that there’s no place to hide

*drawing in deep breaths* So I wasn’t planning on writing today. I was acutely aware that I had only posted one Musings essay in August but I found myself unwilling to post another MOO until I was content with the quality. I wasn’t about to throw something up on WordPress simply because it was due. Suddenly, August passed by in a rush and I have no idea how that happened without my notice. When we last conversed, I told you that I had some ducks to get in line: Stuff for The Magical Little Practice and some training courses for Red Cross Instructor Certification. I also spent some time in my hometown for several days assisting my mother with some renovations on my childhood home (which provoked some memories long dormant and locked away), and I squeezed in visits with childhood friends, as well as a couple Cyber Soul Sisters @Robkris13 and @Mari. I also had a brief but surreal afternoon and evening with the lovely ladies from the KSIBTU Crew which included the luminous CC (@KstewsBtrThanU), the gorgeous artist Jamie (@JHiggs86) and my fierce August Birthday Girls Iris (@Just2cuSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr). But I had planned to be back before now to check in with you all.

A gift from @robkris13 via Comic Con: The stunning display of Follicle Issues Trading Cards!

Here’s the deal: In addition to all those wonderful events of the last month, I have been taking steps to complete a separate writing project that was proposed to me three weeks ago. So when I returned from my visits and completed my Certification courses last week, I tried to gather the energy needed to focus on my new task at hand.

No dice.

I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, but I’m seriously wondering if I should be assessed. I definitely am a tireless champion of PROCRASTINATION, a habit that may never be broken because I’m constantly enabled in it. I was on the verge of despair these past few days, beating myself up over an unreasonable deadline I failingly tried to enforce. I elicited my tired and true writing tricks: Listened to inspiring music; read provocative books and stories; organized my office supplies 🙂

A color-coded map of mah head

Today was that self-imposed deadline. Which means that last night I was a hot mess, and not in the complimentary way. So I didn’t quite have a Dark Night of the Soul, but I had a few moments resembling it’s bleak cousin Melancholia. And Melancholia whispered knowingly to me: “You are in over your head, Chica. You’re not ready for this. You don’t really want this. You’re not good enough to do this.”

For .0234 of a second I believed it. And I felt relief. Like finally I could acknowledge the truth, and now everyone could see it and I didn’t need to swagger around the room anymore in an act of bravado.

And then…I listened to the song that was playing on my speakers…It was one that I featured on this week’s Inspiration Playlist and had listened to maybe fifty times earlier. And yet, I didn’t hear it until last night in that insular moment. You can hear it on the playlist for this essay. Or click it for the YouTube:–>Illuminated

Suddenly my eyes are open, everything comes into focus.

We are all illuminated, lights are shining on our faces. ~Hurts

HURTS

While soaring to HURTS‘s ethereal melody, I found myself hashing out a rambling email to my friend @DeeDreamer16, a soul who also at this very moment is taking the risks to pursue her bliss via creative expression. I hadn’t given thought to the mundane or tedious when I began describing for Dee the post-it-pocalypse of my living room, so I forwent proper grammar, punctuation or politeness. I must have repeated about four times “I am beating myself up, NOTHING is done!” before a funny thing happened. I felt my shoulders dropping from my ears and my breaths growing deeper, slower. And I was writing. I produced full sentences about how I used procrastination as a shield to intercede between not my fears of failure but my fears of success. How I often leave things to the midnight hour because I want to challenge my boundaries and perhaps create my own obstacles.

I wanted someone to call me on my bullshit. However, by the time I hit “SEND” to Dee, I realized that the one person who needed to call me on my bullshit was …me. We are our most brutal critics and the most cunning of wall-builders. And that’s just plain ole exhausting, and I had enough on my plate thank you very much. So I went to bed, nursing my broken and bruised fragments, but lighter than I’ve felt in many days.

When I opened my eyes this morning, what greeted me? Resplendent Synchronicity.

We. Are. Blinding.

It has been weeks since we’ve seen our Reigning Other Queen. In the midst of unconfirmed sightings and speculation, our fierce Snow White was pictured at the Playstation Launch in London, emerging from a maze (a video game simulation?) within proximity of  one Mr Theo Hutchcraft, of (oh hell yeah), the band HURTS…. Seriously, of ALL the people Kristen could have been near? “Well,” the voice-no-longer Melancholia whispered to me…”We are illuminated. We are good. We’re so bright, we’re blinding.” 

But I had not recovered enough to truly be prepared for how the rest of this day would unfold. 

Click this pic to view Marcus's Music Video feat Ms Stewart

A personal favorite of mine, Marcus Foster, is a bluesman, singer-songwriter, poet, guitar player, master sculptor and childhood friend of Mr Robert Pattinson. This glorious morning he debuted his music video for the single ‘I Was Broken’. And the stark, raw, beautiful song of familiarity featured a video spotlighting a quiet, haunting and ethereal young woman, who despite appearing fragile and tenuous, is in fact, the polar opposite. Marcus’s lyrics hold such simple brilliance. We are not shattered, at least not indefinitely. And Kristen’s presence in this video brought me to tears. Compelling and mesmerizing…I cannot seem to break the spell.

But I will stand here till the end, I know that I can take the moon

Haunted by the things I've made

I wasn’t going to write today. I was a bit battered from my own encounter with that insistent wench Melancholia in the late hours of the night. But when my eyes opened this morning, I was inundated with such joyful motivators to still push forward, I simply could not stay away. The exquisite @DeeDreamer had responded to my late-night confessional in the form of an email, and we chatted into the morning about the risks and benefits of pursuing Bliss and the power of synchronicity–when we say “I’m ready”, the Universe has it’s way of supporting us.

So what if I didn’t make my deadline today? It was a completely unreasonable limitation to place on myself, I realize now. Was it not enough that I’d successfully completed my training courses for Red Cross and I’m now a Certified Trainer with a respected and effective humanitarian organization? I have the capacity to teach and share some of my knowledge as a therapist with people who go out onto the frontlines in response to disasters and tragedy. I have the opportunity to go out to the East Coast and work with the survivors of IRENE personally, like I did in Joplin. How incredibly privileged am I?

Well you walk these lonely streets that people send, people send.

There are some wounds that just can’t mend, I do pretend, pretend

I was broken, for a long time.

But It’s over now

Am I not incredibly grateful that my Sister PUSS was granted the opportunity to see a world-renowned specialist for her immune-deficiency illness on this very day? Am I not blessed with the most incredible friends and supporters of Otherness in my every day life? Its incredibly fortifying to see that the Army of Others is as widespread and present as it is. Represented by you incredibly gifted MOO READERS, in the Featured Rebel Royals; in Poet Warriors like Marcus and Robert and …Kristen Jaymes StewartIs it not extraordinary that there is a splendid woman like Kristen Stewart to turn to for a model of resilience and strength?

This morning I hadn’t planned on writing. But I acknowledged and welcomed the kinder, gentler way that I regarded myself. I know I hadn’t experienced some existential crisis of self these past few days, but my confidence and focus certainly wavered. And sometimes, we have to deconstruct the working whole, examine and focus on the little fragments, pieces and cells of a project before moving forward steadily and with certainty. We are resilient beings. We are extraordinary creatures. We may feel broken at times, but that’s over now.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others are beatific pieces of The Whole.

Embrace Your Other.

* * *

A/N: The lyrics (other than those as credited to Hurts’s ‘Illuminated’) featured throughout this essay belong to Marcus Foster and his song ‘I Was Broken’.

A GIVEAWAY! A GIVEAWAY!  Looky at what the Mail Lady brought me today….My extra ordered copies of W MAGAZINE!!!

I have 2 copies to give away to anyone who leaves a comment on Today’s Essay with an answer to at least ONE of these questions:

1. How have you reassured yourself to finish a task that you once viewed as insurmountable? How do you bounce back after these dark moments? 

2. What do you think of Marcus’s song I Was Broken? Of the video featuring Ms. Stewart? 

3. Have you experienced Synchronicity before? When you needed a nudge or confirmation most, in what form did it reveal itself to you? 

*Musings has it’s own FACEBOOK PAGE now! Check it out and join me for discussions and the sharing of pictures, books, quotes, videos and ideas of Otherness where we’re not limited to a measley 140 characters.

*GINORMOUS Thank you to my friend @DeeDreamer16. You have NO idea.

*GRATITUDE to my Good Reads Girls who give me unconditional support and cheerleading even when I go rogue.

*To Puss. You’ve got this, Sis. You’ve GOT. THIS.

PlayList For Today’s Essay:

Illuminated ~ Hurts

Don’t Die in Me ~Mirah

Outloud ~ Dispatch

Letters To Muses (and Whoa, W)

11 Aug
A/N: This is unbeta’d per usual. Please forgive me the typos, grammatical slips and bobbles. I do not own the images featured in today’s essay, and I try to embed the links to their original owners/creators . Just click the pics…Bowing down to Tumblr and my newest addiction inspiration Pinterest.

Dear loveliest Rebel Royals and Majestic Misfits,

I have become a big filthy liar…yet again. Last time I said that I’d return to the Musings format that included both What The Fangirl Learned  as well as feature a new Royal Rebel in this post, and that is simply not the case today I’m afraid. Nope. Not when I woke up this morning and was greeted with such epic goodness in the form of a new joint Kristen and Rob interview for Breaking Dawn as featured in Entertainment Weekly (aka The biggest Twi FanGirls aside from @JoshuaHorowitz). 

As you already knew, since a lot of you are in a different time zone than I, EW included a 7 page spread in this Fall Movie Preview Issue (there are other movies released this Fall, not that you would know it) featuring the much-sought-after-though-rare joint interview with our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her always illuminating partner Robert Pattinson. One of Kristen’s biggest supporters, director Bill Condon, also discussed insight and thoughts on the filming process.

I won’t rehash the interview with you all, firstly because I don’t have the magazine in my paws at this moment and I would like to comment and respond to something concrete (I’m all tactile and shit); and secondly, because this time tomorrow, you all will have probably already read, memorized and maybe created a gorgeous Tumblr edit featuring your own very favorite quotes from that interview. So this is me merely letting you readers know that I think you’re super-swell, and I’d like to ask you for forgiveness for not posting a timely Musings nor one that highlights the topics I had hoped to discuss with you. We can savor the lovelieness of the EW pictures and article together, though mmkay? I figured you’re all cool with it. Especially after glimpsing sputter-inducing pictures like:

Edward, LOOK at your HAWT new wife! And you're playing CHESS?

And zingy exchanges between Kristen and Rob such as:

Kristen: Now that I’ve seen parts of it [the final movie], Jacob and Bella’s chemistry in this movie is better than it’s ever been.

Rob: [Faux-glares at Stewart]. So uncool. 

Rob and Kristen, I mean, Edward and Bella enjoying a stroll

Kristen: [On finishing the final filming of the saga] It was oddly emotional the first time I got to set and saw everything and everybody.

Rob: Yeah, you were really sweet when you first showed up.

Kristen: Oh, shush. 

They would go on to “shush” each other, and speak of marriage and relationships and machinations of “chewing” through the brutal, bloody childbirth scene….It’s a fantastic interview. One of their very best in recent memory. Comfortable, light, playful and teeming with intimacy and admiration. Great enough to prompt me to rethink my topic of discussion for today’s essay.

I figured I would speak about the risks and benefits of participating in the work we love–our life’s work–as prompted by observing the joy and pride Ms Stewart invests and reciprocates within her own craft. As we witnessed her confident enthusiasm at Comic Con last month,

and rejoiced along with her when she arrived in London to begin production of Snow White and the Huntsman;

I  planned on discussing with you about how we can ensure such delight and pride in our own chosen paths and professions; to explore the tremendous courage it takes to embark on a new project as Kristen is, and to revisit our own steps taken to pursue our true bliss. Are you doing what you would like to, versus what you’re expected to do?  Are you settling? Are you taking the steps on the path that feels most fulfilling to you? It has been awhile since we’ve talked about following Bliss, hasn’t it, friends?

courage to be creative=following the bliss

My friend and fellow bliss-pursuer, @DeeDreamer16 linked me to an incredibly relevant blog post at–>> InOverYourHead.net . The author, Julien Smith, contemplates whether being lackadaisical is a major indicator that we are not following our bliss, not practicing and enacting our Life’s Work. Smith wonders if our nonchalant way of viewing our daily tasks in fact makes us useless. I gotta say, I tend to agree. If we’re not at least somewhat daunted by our goals, then why have them at all? The minute we become complacent with our surroundings, we lose the edge, the motivating elements that push us onward, towards the finish line…onward towards risk and and perhaps satisfying, glorious rewards that may include self-confidence, monetary security, a compassionate connection with others, meaningful personal relationships, pride in doing something for yourself, a contribution to humanity.

#bliss

I want to tell you, you Unconventional Beauties, that I’m pursuing a couple of projects for the Magical Little Practice and in some of my writing…and I’m absolutely quaking in my Chucks. I guess I haven’t grown too comfortable, as I feared I might when I was laid off from BastardNation two years ago. I’m a bit relieved to recognize  that I have not become useless and rote, while I easily could have. I’m freakin petrified. So I guess I’m on the right path after all.

Kristen, our Warrior Rebel, is moving onto her first high profile role since wrapping The Twilight Saga. She is stepping from the familiar perimeters of her co-stars (including her “never confirmed but obvious boyfriend” ~EW …WAT) and crew, from a character she embodied and inhabited for four years towards some unchartered territory. She is playing Snow White, Ms Badass Royal Rebel herself. She is shedding the comfortable skin of Bella Swan Cullen and embracing a new (literally) set of armor. Princess Snow is steadfast, precocious and full of conviction. She also, per Kristen’s report, is terrified. Except that instead of succumbing to the fear, Snow White is channeling it, using the uncertainty or doubt as kinetic fuel for her limbs and for her voice…She emerges empowered, confident and beautiful….and not at all surprisingly…This summer, so is Kristen Jaymes Stewart.

So here, my Other Warriors, is the reason why I cannot write anything more today about following Bliss and why I cannot find the words to illustrate my lessons learned as a fangirl…or why I cannot introduce another Royal Rebel this week. Because Kristen Stewart, our extraordinary and staggeringly stunning Reigning Other Queen, has arrived by way of a truly royal carriage: W Magazine. The photos and interview dropped online today, and after I picked myself off the floor from a dead faint, I realized I had absolutely no words. NO WORDS with which to construct a proper new Musings. And I’m typically a wordy, wordy bitch. So I sign off my letter to you MOO Readers requesting your forgiveness… but something tells me you don’t really mind. If you’re even reading these ramblings anymore. Because, yeah. Kristen looks fucking phenomenal. And she appears poised and ready. to. go. That’s all we really need to know right now.  That and how great I think you all are. You serve as my muses every day…just as our Reigning Queen does.

I would like to articulate to you one day soon how honored I am that some of you have chosen me to be a sounding board and guide as you pursue your own blissful endeavors. The talent you possess knocks my socks off. I will tell you as much personally if and when I get the chance…Until then, check you at the bottom for a couple of announcements, my Lovelies. Take care of yourselves and each other. Continue following the Bliss and embracing your Other. xo, KJ

And I fucking love the way you growled and sneered just a little bit there in your declaration of love, Ms Stewart. Anyhoo, the following letter is just a note of appreciation to The Muse Kristen herself..a muse for me, for MOO, for the masses….

Dear Kristen,

I don’t think you quite understand the profundity of power you hold. You have stricken myself and other extremely eloquent and erudite friends/bloggers/writers/artists/Intellectuals/KristenSupporters/OtherSupporters completely wordless. Stunned. And it’s not just because of the loving, yearning dynamic you and Robert exhibit in those Breaking Dawn/EW pictures nor the glam-vixen beckoning to us from the cover of W. Arguably, this new photo spread and interview (plus screen tests, please, pliss can we see the outtakes of this otherworldly shoot??) for featuring photographs by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; and Styling by Edward Enninful (bowing down) is your most spectacular to date. You invoke the spirit and ferocious beauty reminiscent of Bardot, Hepburn (Audrey and Kate), Fonda, Priscilla P, and Jackie O with your piercing, cat-lined, green eyes and tousled, voluminous bouffant; the leather, the fur, the pillow lips…

This is the most glamorous and unabashedly sexy version of you I’ve ever seen, but I believe that you have reached this pinnacle of smolder due to the collaboration of external assistance–your makeup artist and hair stylists are genius–with your luminous inner facilities. You are congruent and authentic. You are kind, but reserved; sensitive but guarded; Strong but not impenetrable; confident but not arrogant. We’ve watched you grow more comfortable and sure-footed in your own capacity to communicate your truth over the years, and it’s that quiet certainty that you exude that pushes you beyond the barriers of “lovely”, and into the realm instead of  resplendence. 

You tell W Magazine in your extremely cool and captivating screen tests what you were conscious of; your moment-to-moment awareness while growing up:

“I have….that so-called boyish quality was something that I was deathly self-conscious about when I was younger. I was, like, No, I’m a girl. Actually, I’m still embarrassed to say that.”

Uh. Yes. Yes you are indeed a girl. An astonishingly accomplished and genuine girl. You’re an excellent role model for anyone seeking an authentic guide…and an inspiring ambassador for #Other.

You said that upon filming your final, final scene for Breaking Dawn,

“I felt like I could shoot up into the night sky and every pore of my body would shoot light.”

I promise, you could…and you do. Thank you for providing some light, Kristen. Because now…You’ve sparked a whole new movement. Your supporters are pioneering, fierce, ambitious, genuine, confident, sensitive and uniquely gifted warriors, just like you. And we’re with you all the way. Keep going, Your Majesty, keep going. In awed gratitude, KJ

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others exude light that can spark a new movement.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION(S):  Are you taking the steps along a fulfilling path? Are you settling? Have you recovered long enough from the shock of the W shoot and interview to share your reactions? 

A/N: I’m pursuing a couple of personal projects and business plans these next few weeks so I don’t think I will be able to write another full-fledged Musings for a little while. Quite possibly I’ll be back around Aug 23rd, but if Aug 28th rolls around and you haven’t heard from me, don’t panic. I’m leaving tomorrow for my hometown, to spend time with family, participate in some renovations and stroll down memory lane (could be traumatic, actually). I also will be seeing my gals from the KSIBTU Crew to celebrate Iris’s birthday in person. I will hopefully spend some time with my Cyber Soul Sisters @Mari and @RobKris13 as well (and maybe see Rob and Sam at the grocery store as they re-stock the kitchen?). Plus, I’ve some Red Cross projects I’m participating in, as well as an exciting writing adventure about which I’ll hopefully be able to elaborate on with you soon. Take care you gorgeous rabble rousers, and I’ll see you in a few weeks. Where we can talk Good Reads, Ramadan, the late Amy Winehouse, Sam Bradley, Cancer Bites and of course..Kristen Stewart and Otherness. Yours, xo, KJ

Shoutouts and SqueezieHugs:
My lovelies: @Kate_Suena and @MyCleverAlias
My sounding board and constant-cheerleader: Bouffant
My Aussie Posse: @Ophelia2010, @Justice_Aussie & @Mel452        
To sparks in the dark and my muses for words: @107_yroldVirgin and @TeamSmella23         
It’s my friend @TheRainGirl4’s BIRTHDAY tomorrow (Aug 12)!  Go and wish her love and schmexy thoughts for inspiration, and check out her fics: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2185580/
PLAYLIST FOR TODAY’S ESSAY: 
Head Full of Doubt ~ Avett Brothers
The Funeral ~ Band of Horses
Gray or Blue ~ Jay May 
The First Day of My Life ~ Bright Eyes

The Risks and Benefits of Expression & Introspection

10 Mar

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Greetings, my fellow Majestic Misfits! Before I dive into this week’s essay, I wanted to mention a couple things. Firstly, please accept my apologies since I did not post this weekend as I had hoped to and even purported that I would. Some of you know that I’m recovering from a 3-week long flu-bronchial something-or-other and I’m still dodging bouts of tiredness, especially since I’m back in full-force trying to build a clientele for my tiny psychotherapy practice. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give such explicit statements such as: “Musings will post this weekend”. Instead, I’ll rely on the posting schedule I have always had…Thursdays are meant for updates, whether weekly or bi-weekly. However,  if something comes up, I’ll let you know, as I have lately, when I’m running behind or if I need more time (like today). Cool beans?

Secondly,  a sweet friend *waves at @JRollin5* advised me last week that because she catches MOO updates on her phone, she doesn’t benefit from the music playlist each week. In fact, she didn’t know that there was a playlist! I may have to release Volume 2 of the MOO Mixed-Tape Love Letter soon here, because oh mah gah, if anything has been present these past weeks, its been THE MUSIC! A few of you have asked me what influences the playlists for each week, and my answer is: these songs are either connected to the Featured Royal Rebel or the theme for the week–often times, both. I listen to the same playlist while I’m writing the essay and I find the songs often inform the tone of the whole post. Plus, our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reports music as essential, and her musical sensibility is genius. And we celebrate Kristen’s sensibilities here in Otherland, so….

Then there’s this: *cue soaring heart*

The Fairest of The Fair

Perfect segue into the check-in with our Royal Beauties. Last week was a glorious week for those of us keeping an eye on the happenings of a certain pretty, Rebellious Partnership, yes? In last week’s Muselet, we were still acclimatizing to the newly released Vanity Fair in which Rob posed for legendary photographer Annie Liebovitz. While the pictures were beautiful (awaiting more OUTTAKES , pleeeeease!) the interview portion, though not including any unknown information, left me feeling unsettled and wistful. I also felt the “journalist” who conducted the interview (allowing for faulty “facts”) operated with an agenda. She even asked the tired and unoriginal question pertaining to his relationship with our Other Queen, Kristen, after she wrote a sneering paragraph scoffing at other interviewers who have tried to obtain the same information (“Oprah couldn’t even get it out of them”). Well, her exclusivity-seeking fell short, and when she showed up on something like seven Entertainment News shows hooking interest about Rob’s non-denial denial she revealed to me just one more person clamoring for a piece of the magic. The very folks that Rob and Kristen need protection from.

Well, opportunistic writers aside, luckily there were other bright spots in our Rebel Royals’ week. Rob still shared a glimpse into his insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as his personal experience of living under a microscope.  And we were reminded that his new movie is going to be …well, gorgeous. Gorgeous in all ways: cinematography, set design, costumes and story. I am still trying to pick myself up from the floor where I had fallen due to the new Water For Elephants screen caps and the official trailer for the movie: Water For Elephants International Trailer Holy Jeebus. Distract me, distract me!!!

Its not even funny anymore. I flatlined weeks ago.

Now let us please, please, pretty please talk about our Majestic Kristen’s spectacular news of the week shall we??  After months of speculation and weeks of the curiosity operating at a fever pitch, it was announced by the film’s producer that our own Majestic Misfit Kristen Stewart is going to play a Rebel Royal Original, Snow White, in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman opposite the insanely beautiful Other Rebels Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. People may have been skeptical. I am not one of those people. I screamed in delight when I heard Kristen was considering the role of Snow. Ok if it is too hard for you to envision, let’s break it down:

One extraordinarily beautiful girl:

Who is known across the land as being kind and compassionate. Also known to be an animal lover and a bit of a goddess in the kitchen. Loquat Pie anyone?

She’s next in line for the throne (there’s your Royalty), but she has many, many detractors and critics fueled by jealousy and insecurity. Members of her own family send henchmen after her for Goddess’s sake! Forced to hit the road and kick some ass (not to mention defy the age-old gender stereotypes of the hapless, helpless woman awaiting rescue), all while sporting fierce fashion wear? She ain’t your grandmammy’s Damsel-In-Distress, yo. Who ELSE could portray such a Rebellious Beauty? No One. This Is KRISTEN’S ROLE.  In this medium, our Queen of Unconventional Beauty will model for a new generation what it means to defy decrepit gender roles and also respond to the women-against-women destruction in our society and in this fandom. On your knees, kids. Bow down to what could potentially be a great thing.

Risks & Benefits

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” ~Chekhov

Kristen is reportedly fielding numerous incredible projects, unsurprisingly. Her reputation for professionalism and the brilliant embodiment of the characters she plays (Read: The Runaways,The Cake Eaters) is paving the way for what could be an astoundingly deft and unique career, not to mention one of longevity. Her confidence and focus on piecing together her career plan is not lost on her partner Robert. He admires her propensity towards clever role choices, and also exudes the sense that he is testing the waters for his own path. Which is normal and expected. He’s only 24 for goodness sake. Typical twenty-four year olds are just outside of completing college or are experiencing the glories of jobs and internships. Rob and Kristen have been handed cash and fame and are being hailed as having “hit it big”, but they’re not even a quarter of a century old. It’s a lot of pressure. Knowing and pursuing what “we want to do” is stressful (even when it’s a good stress, stress is still stress), daunting and potentially disheartening. I sense a little overwhelmed-ness from Rob when I read that VF article. These very valid feelings could be there for him, but I still am wary of the VF interviewer’s not-exactly-supportive influence on the story. Regardless, I understand those feelings well.  And in questioning my career path and goal for this world, I recognize there is the risk of discovering I am not exactly happy or actually doing what I had initially set out to accomplish.

I just need a moment of quiet...

Luckily, Rob is blessed with several gifts and he has the capacity to explore many avenues in which he can utilize them. He is granted versatility and really, opportunity to soar. He could be a musician, songwriter, movie producer, screenplay writer, and he has dabbled in all of these fields already. But for him to declare aloud that he feels limited to representing a sparkling vampire for the next ten years indicates he’s aware of the long-term effects prompted by his particular profession, and he’s questioning these effects. Is it enough to discourage him from exploring his other talents? I hope not. I hope he pushes forward and pursues all of his interests, refusing to be pigeonholed.

Yesterday I met with a new client for an assessment appointment at the Magical  (though flailing, is still magical in its intent) Little Practice. One of the forms, among the confidentiality agreement and consent for treatment forms discussed in an intake appointment, is a form outlining the Benefits and Risks of Therapy. This concept, of the risks involved with introspection and discovery serves as a cautionary moment. Because, as the Chekhov quote above notes: we must do the work that comes with living authentically, creatively, expressively. Work on art, work on life. And it might not always be pretty.

Have you found this to be true? When you decide to participate in inquiry and introspection (whether it be to look for a new job, pick up a new hobby, start a new relationship, or start receiving therapeutic support), and specifically self-improvement and career aspirations, do you feel that rush of reactions? Excitement for the adventure; or, anxiety and grief in stepping away from the familiar; joy at exploring a new project?  Are loved ones in your life discouraging your leap of faith or change in direction? Or are they cheering you on with well-wishes of, “do whatcha gotta do, brother” ? The point is, not all feelings and emotions in reactions to a confrontation of uncertainties of goals are pleasant. I tell clients that as they embark on their journey of self-reflection and mental health improvement that it often gets darker before the sunrise. It can be intimidating to look in the mirror. Introspective folks might experience feelings of resistance (which is synonymous with fear) and may employ all sorts of creative strategies to sabotage our own plans.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. I am re-evaluating and gathering courage to jump back into the job market after a near-two-year hiatus. “WHAT??” You may screech.Wellllll…I have’t been able to sit down with my musical engineer to record the demo I had planned for last fall. But I have become a small business owner and tried my hand at becoming an independent practitioner as a therapist despite the abysmal state of this economy and the stigma attached to mental health improvement. But  for one, it’s a tedious, time-consuming process to build regular clientele who are willing to talk about their emotions (quirks eyebrow. I get that), and for another,  people don’t have any money to pay for services. Suffice to say, my little practice is on the verge of extinction, six months after opening day, and I still need to pay rent, and buy all the Top Ramen N and I consume for sustenance. While N is flourishing at work and fast-becoming the It Boy in his restaurant chain, I am a handful of weeks away from discontinued unemployment checks. Bottom line: This Other-Queen-In-Training has gots to get herself a J-O-B.  At least until the practice picks up steam, or until HRH Kristen contacts me and takes me up on my offer to help build the Halfway House Network…

Oh there is resistance, my friends. There is a cannonball sitting in my tummy. I am unsure. I have faith I can move forward but I also feel the fear. I have identified myself for the last decade as a psychotherapist who whole-heartedly pursued the requirements to become so. But after the disillusionment of BastardNation, I lack the confidence and desire to return to the corporate world. Fortunately, I, like Rob and Kristen, have been blessed with aptitude in a few areas: I can teach, I can create and perform music, I can babble and type these ramblings out to share with you kind folks…but can I do something with these skills? Am I brave enough to do something about it? After numerous pep talks via friends from around the world (Countless gratitude to @Kate_Suena in Canada, and my Aussie Besties @Ophelia2010 & @Justice_Aussie, along with my Cyber Sisters) I feel that I can. But…not gonna lie, you guys, there could be a resurgence of EMO-KJ with all these warring reactions of joy, exhilaration, frustration and insecurity. But perhaps I can look forward to donning a new work uniform soon?

Let the healing...begin.

Featured Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter

While I’m not exactly speaking about reinvention, I have no problem encouraging it. At the very least embrace the idea that your uniqueness and colorful choices on career, clothes and the people you choose to surround yourself with can be your defining characteristic…Like this gorgeous Rebel. British actress Helena Bonham Carter, or HBC as I’ll refer to her occasionally, is the pinnacle of interesting and unconventional. And she does not care how she is perceived. She does not care how odd or unusual she presents, and perhaps that’s why we remember her…revere her…adore her.  We know her as a Queen already, on so many levels, and in many of her film roles (Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts). It’s only natural that she’s featured on Musings’ Other Homecoming Court.

Helen’s first brush with acting occurred when she was sixteen years old, performing in a television commercial. She reports no formal acting training. She began her career when she entered herself in the British Acting Directory Spotlight with her winnings received from a writing contest. As she has stunning charisma, it is not surprising that Helena comes from a family of a prominent political background. HBC’s paternal great-grandfather H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister of the U.K. (1908-1916)  and her paternal grandmother Violet Bonham Carter was a famed political orator. Helena’s mother’s lineage is also impressive: her maternal grandfather was a Spanish Diplomat who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War, her maternal grandmother was a Baroness and her great-aunt was a famous French Philanthropist. Her great-uncle, Anthony Asquith is Hollywood Royalty: he was the director of the films Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Ernest. Truly she’s a Royal who defies convention, the epitome of Royal Rebelliousness.

Her royal blood lines might not be as well-known to this generation, because we’re already preoccupied with her rule on film screens. An actress since the mid-1980’s HBC has appeared in over 60 films and made almost 30 film, television and radio appearances. The ingenuity by which she’s crafted her long and respected career cannot be denied. She has portrayed several twentieth-century “corset queens” beginning with her roles in Lady Jane GreyWings of The Dove (For which she earned an Oscar nomination along with SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nods)  and Howard’s End. But her remarkable versatility is what resonates strongest with her admirers. She has played Don Johnson’s girlfriend on the 80’s iconic TV classic Miami Vice, as well as Queen Elizabeth in the her most recent success, in the sublime and inspirational The Kings Speech (for which she was nominated for her second Academy Award, and for which she won a BAFTA). Somewhere in between those roles she has participated in such memorable films like A Room With A View, Twelfth Night, Fight Club, Frankenstein, Mighty Aphrodite, Harry Potter Movies 4 through 7, and four of her partner Tim Burton (And fellow Majestic Misfit)’s films including: the surreal (and my fave) Big Fish and the awesome Sweeney Todd.  HBC’s mother Elena is a psychotherapist (*fist pump in solidarity!*) and Helena has paid (and may still) pay her mother to review scripts with Helena to uncover the “psychological motivation behind a character” before she decides to take a role.

In 2009, HBC was named in the  Times’ as one of the Top 10 British Actresses of All Time . Not too shabby, eh? Perhaps the fact that she can wear mis-matched shoes and constantly top fashion magazines ‘WORST Dressed’ List is meant to truly illustrate how this talented, cool, unaffected beauty embodies Rebel Royalty at its finest. She has reported often that she is tired of the labels as “Prim Edwardian” and instead wants to “shock people out of it”. I simply adore her insistence on living her life her way, despite cautionary advise or the blue blood lineage. She doesn’t match shoes when on the red carpet. She hasn’t married her long-time partner Tim Burton, and she does not live in the same home with him, even though they have been a couple for ten years and have two children together. Instead she and Burton live in adjacent residences, connected by a hallway. Awesomesauce.

Offenses of Otherness:

Successfully balances independent projects with blockbusters.

Does not adhere to industry standards of “fashion”. She creates her own.

“I’m the kind of actor who has ventured into escaping from me.”

Ahhh well, we’re wrapping up today’s Musings on the risks and benefits of taking the leap towards introspection and reinvention. Rob became a little introspective in his Vanity Fair interview and it could possibly be the key to his liberation. Kristen, our Reigning Other Queen knows she wants to be an actress and the film projects funneling her way imply, at least to me, the potential for Greatness, despite the fact that she’s taking on yet another iconic role of which she will single-handedly redefine the antiquated standards attached to it. Pfft. She can do it for a Disney character. She schools us on how to question and pursue change daily.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

She’s back in Vancouver with her friends and colleagues from the Twilight Saga, and even though she has HottieBodyGuard and Agent Security Blanket John, she is proving day in and out how stealthy she can be. Her focus, as Robert says, is on her career trajectory as an actress, as it should be, because girlfriend is goood at her job. She reports knowing she wanted to be in the business ever since she was a little girl, growing up on sets where her parents (TV producer father, screenwriter-director mother) worked. Our Reigning Queen has the ability, like our Featured Rebel HBC, to lose herself in a character, becoming almost unrecognizable. We did not see a trace of our Valley-girl KStew beneath the heavy eye liner or shoulder pads in The Runaways. Nor did we see her in the battered but resilient Mallory of Welcome to The Rileys. However, if our girl wants to write or produce or compose screenplays, as she has said in the past she’d like to try, I can’t see anything holding her back from exploring those avenues as well. Her ability to be versatile, open and courageous reminds me that there is possibility for longevity and fulfillment in anything.

Offenses of Otherness:

Does not desire celebrity nor fame.

She does not adhere to industry standards for “fashion”. She creates her own.

“When I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”

All right my lovelies….We talked about the beautiful stills and trailer from Water For Elephants and about the fantastic news that our Queen Kristen will actually be Queen-in-training Snow White on the big screen. We talked a little about the beauty of versatility and the courage to question ourselves and our paths. We talked about job hunting (which I don’t think Kristen nor Rob nor HBC will struggle with) and the resulting emotions that come from doing the introspective, clarifying work…emotions of elation, as well as melancholy and irritability. But that’s ok, whatever it is, however it presents itself. We all still hold our spots on the Homecoming Court for Otherness.

Helena is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that to work on their art, they work on their lives.

Embrace your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION: How has it been for you to embark on new journeys? Have you met resistance? If so, from whom?

A/N: Thanks to JRollin5, MyCleverAlias, Possum Besties Jai and Aai, and my CyberSisters Bellsy and Cheermom and to the always present and brilliant Bouffant. Thanks to Katie for hooking me up with texting abilities. Thanks to my family Puss and Monkey for taking me to the museum  to see the butterflies and the piranhas (in the A-Ma-ZON).

Sending love and light to friends struggling this week: EACNM, BELLSY-BAI, LISA, CHEERMOM…and my dear IRIS ADRIENNE.

I donated to two fandom charities this week for causes near and dear to my heart. Wont you join me?

FandomsFightTheFloods and the charity Take Back The Night through the Fandom For Awareness Against Sexual Assault.

Next week I hope to contribute to the Fandom Against Domestic Violence and Fandom Fights Mental Illness.

See you next time, loves. xo, KJ

Gropage & Giveaways: Awareness and Artistry

13 Oct

Hello my dearests! Happy Wednesday to you. Today is just a Musings Moment, not even a full-fledged Muselet or Memo…Just a moment to announce the Kathryn LeGrice Print Giveaway Winners of  last week’s post. Also, I want to address a few points that I think are essential to all of us…

Firstly, HAPPY OCTOBER!! This is my favorite month, not only because it’s my birthday month, or because it’s the first full month into the Fall Season (my favorite season). It’s a fantastic month because it’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. That’s right, friends, I cannot outline the importance of self-gropage for early detection. I have always existed in this world with an awareness of how rampant, devastating, life-altering, and shattering cancer can be.  Unfortunately, I am willing to guess that you all have been exposed to cancer in one form or another-via family, friends, coworkers, and/or your own encounters, no matter your age. Breast cancer does not effect just older women. The women I’ve known who have experienced breast cancer or a cancer scare are as young as 21 through 65. It effects men, young women, families, friends, YOU.

Ladies, if you’ve got ’em, feel ’em up. Do your self-breast exams, get your Mammo-hugs, encourage everyone you know to do the same. Early detection is the key. Go. Go feel yourself up.

Secondly, I want to let you know that you all blow me away. Serio. I am stunned every single day with your comments, tweets and emails to me. Last week was no exception. The courage, the insight, the honesty that you all exhibit bring me to tears, bring me to my knees. I know I say that Musings’ Readers are the most brilliant and brave of all the people out there, but I am saying it in all sincerity, YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Not surprising, since you are KStew and Rob fans. I couldn’t even reply to the comments this week because I felt no words would suffice. Please know that I read all of your comments and thoughts, and I love that you all are interacting with each other a bit, providing support for Fellow Misfit Rebels…You truly are magnificent souls. BRAVE. I bow down to you in humbleness.

During a time when Date Night with Rob and Kristen spark in-fighting and obscene rumor mongering, plus a few Twitter wars, I see you guys staying above it, staying out of it, and concentrating on the bigger picture…WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. This common admiration we share for OTHERS, and our OTHER QUEEN KRISTEN and her MAJESTICAL MISFIT PARTNER ROBERT  is what brought us together in the first place, and I applaud you for remembering this. I know it gets noisy out there. It gets petty, gossipy, immature, and downright vile.  There are far more positive things to be focusing on right now…Like, the upcoming wide release of Welcome To The Rileys:

Or awesomely happy talk show appearances:

And tapping into that neglected creative part in you, leading to authenticity, dancing in the bubbles:

Know that your warm sentiments and compliments for Kathryn’s artwork has been passed on to Kathryn. She is humbled and stunned at your reaction. She wants you all to know how grateful she is for your words. I urge you to continue peeking into Kathryn’s website: http://KathrynLeGrice.com to watch for her new works. Last week, I showed you three prints that the lovely Welsh Ms LeGrice contributed to Musings as a reminder to all of us Others to keep pursuing our endeavors, no matter the naysayers, the doubters and critics (those include the inner critics, especially). Commenters automatically entered their names in for a chance to win one of the three prints…

 

Bryant Park

 

 

Central Park

 

 

San Francisco

 

I counted your first comment if you left more than one, and I did not include a commenter who asked that I withdrew her name from the drawing to give the chance to someone else to win. (Hi, Fi. You’re so generous, it’s ridonk). Thank you. So, here are the winners of the Kathryn LeGrice Artwork Giveaway–A Reminder to Pursue Creativity:

Part 1: The Integers

Generate  random integers (maximum 10,000).

3

Each integer should have a value between  and  (both inclusive; limits ±1,000,000,000).

1 thru 19

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

12

15

3

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

The winners are: (12) APRIL , (15) NHESS_V, (3) MISTY

Winners, we will get in touch via Twitter and/or email. When we do connect up, I ask that you number your preference of painting (which is signed by Kathryn and presented in a lovely matte frame) from one to three.

Thank you all so very much for participating and sharing a little piece of your selves and your creative journey with us. I will be back tomorrow with my regular Thursday Musings…I haven’t narrowed down the topic just yet, but I imagine it will involve self-reflection, love, creativity, bliss-pursuit and Kristen Stewart. I know, shocker, right? You are absolutely adored by me. In the meantime, GO AND SPREAD BREAST CANCER AWARENESS, PROMOTE THE GROPAGE. Also, please continue to take your risks, remain open (in mind and heart) and continue to celebrate the EMBRACING OF OTHER.  See you tomorrow. Much love, KJ

*A/N* This week’s and last week’s drawing results were obtained through the usage of RANDOM.ORG-Integer Generator.

A Creative Life IS Personal

7 Oct

“Our creative dreams and yearning come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity” –Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

It is quite the decision to explore creative possibilities, pursue a life of authentic expression. Whether it’s unconscious, or a hard-won battle after years of not pursuing  your desired life, it still is a decision that we make. Or is it? Social psychologists note that we are governed and motivated by our desire for approval of society and of our own personal societies (our families, our culture, our ethnicities). Do you find yourself hiding your talents because you fear disapproval from your “society”, in essence denying your Otherness?

Reigning Other Queen Kristen Jaymes Stewart and her Partner-in-Otherness Robert Thomas Pattinson are very aware of their peers’ and industry’s hopes for them. Fortunately, both Kristen and Rob were blessed in their supportive surroundings and families who allowed our Rebel Royals to explore their own aspirations. Supportive, encouraging environments are more likely to produce individuals who are confident in following their natural path, even if considered unconventional (Other). Kristen reports that despite growing up on movie and television sets, she did not believe she’d be an actor. She imagined she would write and possibly direct, like her mother. And this is just one more reason I love her, and personally elect her to be forever Queen:  Though she did not anticipate being “famous”, she reportedly practiced signing her autograph because of her love of pens.

We could be office supply besties...maybe?

Both Kristen and Rob have stated their interest in many avenues of creation such as writing, directing, producing, musical composition and performance. They are fortunate to be able to make a living on their art, which they love. Kristen says:

“[On acting] I love it because I love to tell stories. I like being in movies that have a great story. Acting is such a personal thing.

So that is the base of Musings today. Are we telling our stories, making it a personal thing? Do you love what you are doing? Are you interested in living creatively, and have you actively made choices to support your authentic, creative life?

Free to Be

You all know of my decision to live PLAN A, after Dancing In the Miracle Bubbles, and getting the boot from my unhappy existence in PLAN B-for-BastardNation. I can acknowledge that psychology is a realm in which I have some skill, so it makes sense that I would try and make a career out of it. But was I happy? Was I feeling creative? I realized:  I, like the social psychologists I referenced earlier, was one of the folks allowing my peers and environment govern my decisions.  I found myself submitting to the fear of disapproval, and in Western society, that can mean, fear of “not making a lot of money”. Well, I tell ya, after playing piano and singing in choir since I was 4 years old, and then studying sociology in college, I knew I would not be a monetarily wealthy gal. My mother was only partially placated when I told her I was attending University for psychology instead of music. Again, I asked, is this what I want to be doing? In choosing to focus on disproving Freud’s archaic and misogynistic thoughts re: psyche, I put my musical composition, my singing, my heart’s soothing on hold, denying a facet of who I am, essentially voiding my right to carry my Other Card.

In the inspiring and brilliant Zen and the Art of Making a Living, author Laurence G Boldt cautions readers in not becoming “trapped” playing a role of someone else, simply to gain approval. The minute we begin hiding our humanity and acting only as our societal ROLES, (be it Students, Actors, Doctors, Teachers, Parents, Engineers, Accountants etc), we have become inauthentic and to a degree, less happy. So there I was, playing the role of Psych Student, only partially fulfilled and lacking a creative outlet. The creation of Musings has led to dams bursting, and I find myself writing every singe day. And yesterday, with the release of the Musings On Other Musical Love Letter to which I contributed a musical collaboration of my own, I took another step to reclaiming what is naturally mine. Reconciling the fragments to become whole.

Pathway towards

Pathway towards wholeness

My “manager” Kathryn, has a similar story to mine. She was a computer programmer in Wales straight out of University. She was good at her job, happily making a living, was able to contribute to comfortable living with her husband Keiron, also a computer programmer and Undercover Artist. Things were all right. But Kathryn really only delegated a small amount of time, if any, to her creative expression–in her case, painting–and this only contributed to the restless feeling lurking in her mind and heart. It would take her a period of contemplation and consulting with her family and husband, but Kathryn eventually decided to spend more time painting, if anything, because it soothed her and gave her a creative outlet when work, family, life became a bit noisy. Today, my dear friend has her paintings on walls of galleries and she just officially launched her website and business See Musings’ Sidebar: http://www.KathrynLeGrice.com . She is no longer a computer programmer, and she and her husband live here in my beautiful city in California, teaching, writing, painting, looking after their nearly-two-year-old son. Keiron is about to have a book on cosmology and philosophy published, and Kathryn is enjoying increased interest and inquiries into her artwork. She recently sold a painting back in the U.K., and was able to travel to New York City to meet with more of her Muses.

Bryant Park

In honor of Others following their Bliss, and taking the risk to live creatively, I am featuring three Kathryn LeGrice paintings here today. Kathryn has generously donated them to Musings to remind us Others to continue  pushing the boundaries and seeking wholeness. We should not deny or hide our gifts and contributions simply because we think society or family or peers will judge us and disapprove. I am giving these 3 prints away to Musings readers who comment today and tell Team Other a little about how he or she is taking the steps to living genuinely, and embracing  Otherness despite any judgment…

Central Park

This is only tiny sampling of Kathryn’s work. I encourage you to visit her stunning website and witness her interpretations of Paris, New York, Wales, and  San Francisco, as well as her paintings of missions, churches interiors and landscapes. She may have been a spectacular computer programmer, but I believe her decision to embrace her neglected creative side was her liberation. She truly is an Other pursuing her bliss. And now bliss is pursuing her.

San Francisco

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: JESSE EISENBERG

Firstly, I’d like to wish Jesse a belated Happy Birthday, as he turned 27 on October 5. The wonderful  New York City-based actor is currently on a world tour promoting his new movie, the brilliant The Social Network overseas. He grew up in a family of entertainers: his mother was a clown and his sister is the former child actress Hallie Kate Eisenberg. Jesse was a teenager when he debuted on Broadway as an understudy in the production of Summer and Smoke .After TV roles in Get Real and movie roles such as Roger Dodger and  Cursed , Jesse earned rave reviews and award nominations for his portrayal of Walt, a teenager struggling in the after math of his parents’ divorce in the indie-drama The Squid and the Whale.

Some filmmakers would say that Jesse’s “breakout role” was in Zombieland in which he and Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone (oh yessss) sought a land free of zombies post-Apocalypse, but I personally disagree. I say that Jesse stole my heart as James Brennan, the virginal college graduate looking forward to traveling abroad for the summer, only to wind up working at the amusement park  called Adventureland. The movie? Oh, that would be  Adventureland, starring our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. This movie was pre-Twilight and coined by many critics among the Best Movies of 2009 (to which I must concur).

He chooses offbeat and typically awkwardly (Team Other’s favorite characteristic) sweet characters in his films, and he, like his friend and co-star Kristen, seamlessly vacillates between smaller independent projects including theater productions and better-known films. He received positive reviews for his portrayal of a Hasidic Jew roped into dealing Ecstasy in the film Holy Rollers, and is now enjoying overwhelming acclaim for his characterization of Mark Zuckerberg, the genius co-founder of Facebook in the film The Social Network. In interviews, the soft-spoken, polite fellow from Queens and New Jersey, is often humble, unassuming and complimentary of his co-workers. In addition to acting, Jesse is interested in writing for stage and screen. He’s laughingly referred to himself as “not your typical leading-man type”, and I must say, that makes him all the more interesting. An Other after my own heart.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Can seamlessly and successfully move between smaller projects, theater and big-budget films

*Is articulate and unashamed of displaying his intelligence

*Is humble and quick to downplay his success

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Kristen is twenty years old, but has been acting for over a decade and has appeared in over twenty movies already. She was raised by her parents John and Jules, both of whom work in show business. Kristen’s father is a stage manager and producer, known for working on televised shows like Ryan Seacrest’s On Air and currently with George Lopez Tonight, alongside world-broadcasted events such as The Academy Awards and The Emmy Awards. Kristen’s mother Jules is a script supervisor and director. On her childhood, Kristen says:

“I never wanted to be the center of attention. I grew up watching my entire family behind the scenes and on sets. They were crew. I never sought out acting”.

After a talent scout caught Kristen’s performance in a grade school play, she found herself playing non-speaking roles in films such as Thirteenth Year and The Flintstones. She was ten when she landed roles in high-profile films such as  The Safety of Objects and Panic Room. She essentially has been a working actor for over a decade, and blowing our minds with her fierce honesty and uniqueness the entire time. Kristen’s musings on expression:

“But in terms of creative outlets and expressing yourself, acting is just the most extreme version of that that I’ve ever found. It’s like running, it’s exertion.”

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Prefers to not be center of attention

*Vacillates seamlessly & successfully between small indie projects and a block-buster franchise

*Views acting as just one creative outlet, not as a vehicle to further her lead-actress status

Because Kathryn and I have decided to take a chance on Plan A and walk the path of more resistance and more bliss, we are Other.

Because he turned down enrollment into New York University to take a small supporting role in an indie film project, Jesse is Other.

Because she views acting as a personal pathway to betterment of self and her craft, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.

JESSE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS DO NOT SEEK OUTSIDE APPROVAL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

 

A/N: You can enter in the giveaway drawing for one of Kathryn’s beautiful paintings above by leaving a comment answering this QUESTION:  What steps are you taking in your life to make it, like Kristen says, “personal” ? How are you ensuring that you have a creative outlet, or a means for expression?

A Revelatory Year (And a New Home!)

30 Sep

*Any images on this site of Kristen, Rob, the Featured Royal Rebel, and movie production are not mine. My images come from Kstewartfan.org, Google Images and Photobucket. The Indo pics and the MOOQ domain, however, are mine*

WELCOME TO THE NEW HOME OF MUSINGS ON OTHER QUEENS! Dear friends, new readers, O.G. readers, KStew and Rob supporters, Team Other mates, and pursuers of Bliss and Creativity: I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me while I’ve ventured out into this somewhat unstable territory of public rambling, and I am so pleased to share the new digs with you. Buff has been working extra hard to bring the pretty, and CC is my Archive-Transferring Goddess. She’s a Pioneer as she just brought her brilliant site KStew Is Better Than You (KSIBTU) over to this blog host a couple days ago to a vey warm reception. So change your bookmarks, kids, MusingsOnOtherQueens has it’s own domain!

I. OWN. IT.

Today’s essay will be a vintage Musings essay complete with a Featured Rebel Royal annnnnd the official commencement of the Musings On Other Soundtrack Giveway, a.k.a., KJ’s-Old-School-Love-Letter/Mixed-Tape-To-The-Extraordinary-Readers-and-Followers-of-Musings! So kick back, relax, grab a cold one (you know somewhere it’s 5 o’clock!), because I’m a wordy bitch, and today is like Opening Day, so watch out! Stick around after the essay for a few more…um..words, if you would be so kind.

The moments that seem to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped your life now~~ Joseph Campbell

A year ago, September-October-ish 2009. Where were you? In Cali, where we really don’t have seasons to note the months passing, only the fact our street lights flicker on earlier in the evening than they did previous evenings, the weather was unseasonably warm, much like it is this year. A year ago, Musings did not exist, I was in my first month of unemployment after leaving BastardNation, and I was still flitting around entertainment sites seeking snippets of news about Kristen, having not yet officially convened with the ladies I now refer to as my Sisters & Readers. Our Other Queen Kristen had finished her summer portraying another Rebel Queen in The Runaways and was in Vancouver filming Eclipse.

Our first glimpse of The Wig. The WIN in this pic? BILLY. BURKE. #TeamCharlie

Where were you when the first pics of Eclipse surfaced? Did you cringe or defend The Wig when you first laid eyes on it? Were you like me, and just so happy to see Kristen and Rob and Billy mother-freakin Burke after a torturous summer severely lacking the Stewie, that you didn’t really care about The Wig? Were you still kinda riding high, because after all the vicious rumors and stories attacking Kristen and Rob, images like this burned in your mind still?

Closer much?

A year ago,  I was a somewhat lost lurker on the blogs and gossip sites, slowly making connections to fellow Kris and Rob fans simply by joining in discussions on comment boards and not willingly admitting I had a problem. A Robsten problem. By the way, only this and one other time will I refer to Rob and Kristen as one entity, because I detest the idea of labeling (see last week’s Musings) and its support of losing identity and individuality to a brand. But let me tell you why I finally admitted defeat and recognized that I was deeply fascinated by Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson. This time last year, I was in Bali, Indonesia. I was going to N’s homeland for the first time since we’d been married, a year and a half earlier. I was going to hang with the in-laws. Sample amazing food. See beauty through the lens of a culture on the other side of the planet. I had two and a half weeks in island paradise, and got to visit one of the Seventh Wonders:

Borobudur

Balinese market = Coexistence

One guess as to what I did when and if  (because in 3rd-world countries, Wifi isn’t always readily accessible) I had internet connection at the hotel at night. YUP. I would google the latest news on Eclipse filming and Kristen and Rob sightings.  From Bali, you guys. Though I was in a beautiful, impacting land of color, coexistence and spirituality, I still wondered when we’d see pics like THIS:

Whoops! This wouldn't come for another 6 wks, but it's so so good to see!

I snapped out of my K&R Reverie when West Sumatra, Indonesia, maybe 700 miles north of our location, experienced an Earthquake of 7.0 magnitude, sparking tsunami warnings. My poor friends and family tried frantically to contact us via any channels they could: emails, Facebook, phone (despite the 14 hour time difference and the astronomical calling rates). We were unscathed, unaware, but for several dreadful hours no one back at home in The States knew this. Nothing like a Tsunani scare to shake one out of a YouTube-induced ORD (Obsessive Robsten Disorder), hmmm? *And that was the second and last time I’ll refer to that “nickname”, but BIG W00T to The ORD Society*

Googlesearch Family: Tsunami Indonesia. Googlesearch KJ: Kris & Rob. Eclipse.

What a difference a year makes! What were you all up to last year? Who were your friends? Where were you working? What level of awareness did you have regarding your own level of ORD? Kristen and Rob were ensconced firmly in Vancouver, staying in the same hotel together in adjoining rooms (we later learned this from their interview with Harpers Bazaar). They had survived a brutal summer apart on different coasts: she was in L.A. portraying the bad ass and brilliant Joan Jett to Dakota Fanning’s Neon Angel Cherie Currie; he was filming Remember Me in New York.

I was floating around homeless in every sense of the word, since I was moving back to my childhood home while I regrouped from the tragedy (read: MIRACLE BUBBLES) that was the lay-off from BastardNation, and about two months away from finding a place with Sisters & Readers in the K & R world. My time in Indonesia was meant as a cleansing experience before I returned to the reality of my fucked-up situation: I needed a job, I needed to move back to my soul’s home, I needed to break away from inethical managers, and I needed to return to living soulfully and creatively.

Dancing in the bubbles was the Best. Decision. Ever.

It was a difficult year for Kristen, navigating the pitfalls of fame, a long-distance relationship, publicly, with a partner who is equally well-known and sought after. The success of Twilight brought her opportunities to participate in movies about which she cares deeply (The Runaways, On the Road), but work and Vultures, trash-talking media hounds and spiteful bloggers constantly plagued her, still plague her. But that time, a year ago, much like my despair in the aftermath of BastardNation and The Layoff-turned-move, helped inform and shape current fortunes and successes for Kristen. She has wrapped her work in the already-legendary On the Road, and is enjoying a little break in filming with Rob before embarking on the 6-month journey of filming Breaking Dawn. And I, have launched a magical little practice and have created Musings which has brought me countless blessings in the form of close friendships and daily inspirations.

Featured Rebel Royal: James Franco

He’s been a Freak and Geek, James Dean, Spiderman’s Bestie, a loveable Stoner, a politician’s gay lover on screen and in films. And he is a recurring character on soap opera General Hospital as well, though I have no idea where he finds the time between his 12 other occupations. Additionally in 3D life, James Franco is a director, a writer,  painter and grad student, poised to begin  his Ph.D. in English at Yale this this semester. A California native, James dropped out of UCLA in his first semester to pursue an acting career. He moved through acting school for a year and a half onto his first known role on the cult classic Freaks and Geeks, connecting him with future collaborators and stars Seth Rogan (Knocked Up), director/writer Judd Apatow (Funny People), Martin Starr (Adventureland). Though the show only lasted one year, despite critical praise and it’s small but devoted following, James went on to land the role of James Dean in the TV biopic about the late actor.

The comparisons began immediately

His most successful films to date have been through the Spiderman movies, where James portrays Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best friend, and tortured son of one of Spidey’s nemeses. Just as James reported feeling a restlessness within the film world, he decided to return to school, attending UCLA ten years after he dropped out the first time. Of course, as the Universe is funny this way, the moment he wanted to withdraw from the film world, his career began to blow up. The roles for Pineapple Express and Milk arose simultaneously, and James found himself in the thick of finishing his bachelors and masters degrees in literature and creative writing while witnessing his film career flourish. His professors, classmates and girlfriend all report James’ almost ‘reckless’ energy poured into all his creative projects and he would not sleep nor eat if people did not bring his food to him, and if he didn’t take cat naps throughout the day. His work ethic is admirable and puzzling to the Hollywood folks, which is fine by James, as he doesn’t listen to criticisms or concern doled out by peers. He lives in New York where he participates in painting, directing and writing short stories when he’s not filming movies or in California for General Hospital.

Amidst speculation on his activity level (Showbiz Folk usually have multiple avenues for expression, but James Franco’s dedication to so many different facets is impressive and mystifying, reports the New York Magazine interviewer Sam Anderson); his sexuality (about which he refuses to clarify), his love life (he’s involved with an actress he met while in acting school) and  his artwork (he recently showed his paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; he’s had short stories published to some acclaim), James Franco embodies the very spirit of Other Royalty. He simply cannot be categorized, and he is unapologetic about it.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

* Declines from clarifying speculation on his sexuality and love life

*Believes he can successfully finish all of his creative pursuits

*Does not crave celebrity or fame

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Well our reigning Other Queen has been vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks and her presence is missed, but understood. She wrapped work on the already-highly anticipated film adaption of Kerouac’s On the Road just this past weekend, and even though there were no pictures, we suspect she’s home in Los Angeles for a brief interlude before beginning pre-prod on Breaking Dawn. Our Stewie has perfected the art of Stealth which I am very pleased about. The girl needs her privacy, and she deserves a break from the glare and judgement of the gossip mongers who seek her failure of career and heart. In her absence, tabloids and bored “entertainment journalists” like to concoct ridiculous rumors such as jealousy and fighting between herself and other actresses (this week the featured catfight is with the lovely Emma Watson of  the Harry Potter films) . But I prefer to keep my eyes and ears open to the positive answers to the rumor-mongering. Last week, @pinklove24 compiled several (not all mind you, because Girlfriend has an impressive amount of Covers under her belt) of Kristen’s magazine covers into a lovely collage of ROYAL GORGEOUSNESS:

A Pretty Good Year Indeed, Ms Stewart

Also, the buzz around Kristen’s new movie Welcome to the Rileys is growing louder as the film prepares to be showcased at several film festivals in the approaching month. As more film critics view the movie, more accolades and awards-whispers trickle in for our girl. A UK entertainment journalist claims, “Not only is there life after Twilight [For Stewart] but it appears that the best is yet to come from the actress”. And Giovanni Argonaut, producer of Welcome to the Rileys says simply, “Kristen is heartbreaking in this film…worthy of awards”.

A year ago, our Other Queen covered her dyed-black shag with a Bella Swan Wig (that didn’t look as bad on film, honestly), and navigated the flood of attention, doubt and criticism because she chose to accept a role in an what became an extraordinarily popular film franchise…and she chose to keep the company of a certain London Boy. We watched her evolve from a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy girl promoting Twilight to a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy woman navigating the promotion of New Moon and Eclipse. However, she exuded assuredness and an awareness of boundaries more than she had previously. And she had several new film projects to which her name is attached. Next year at this time, when we check back, we may find she has several awards to further endorse her growing confidence and talent.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Does not clarify or pander to questions regarding her personal life

*Believes in pursuing many avenues of creativity: music, writing, acting

*Does not crave celebrity nor fame, though fame craves her

Because he is considered mystifying and brilliant, though sweetly eccentric and odd by his peers and journalists, James Franco is a beautiful example of a Majestic Misfit.

Because she makes great effort to withdraw from publicity, celebrity and fame, even while her star is set to explode even further than it already is now, Kristen is our long-time and probably-always-will-be Reigning Queen of Other.

KJ’s OLD-SCHOOL LOVE-LETTER-MIXED TAPE-TURNED-CD

music=Love

So here are the tracks on the Musing On Others Soundtrack aka KJ’s Old-School Love Sonnet To Otherness. The song order is not quite set in stone, but the tracks chosen, barring any complications, are accurate. I realized I play at least 3 songs every essay and I couldn’t fit all the ones I wanted here, but perhaps, if you all wish so, I’ll make a volume 2 of Love Sonnets for Others. If the track information changes, I’ll let ya know next week, most likely Tuesday, when the 5 Reader-WINNERS are announced. To enter in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this page (not on the About KJ or Twitter pages) with an email or twitter name by which I can reach you.

1. Dig–Incubus

2. Addicted to Love–Florence + The Machine

3. Hallelujah–Jeff Buckley

4. Crucify–Tori Amos

5. Soul to Squeeze–Red Hot Chili Peppers

6. The Devil’s Tears–Angus & Julia Stone

7. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)–Pixies

8. It’s a Fire–Portishead

9. Not Afraid–Eminem

10. The Shining–Badly Drawn Boy

11. Wake Up–Arcade Fire

12. Over The Rainbow/Wonderful Word–Iz

13. Never Tear Us Apart–INXS

14. Joyful Girl–Ani DiFranco

15. Acid Tongue–Jenny Lewis

16. Trouble–Ray La Montagne

17. **6th X–RW featuring KJ

** bonus track if I can get my paws on the recording, which I believe I can

If I can put more on there, I will. I’m not quite sure how many songs CDs hold these days, I’m spoiled by the expansive space of iTunes playlists unfortunately. But if I can add up to 5 more songs as I suspect I may be able to, I’ll  try to add in The Swell Season, Garbage, Paramore, B.O.B., Massive Attack, Lamb, Eastern Conference Champions among others.

Chucks and Tiaras Forever

Well, this was our first essay as an independent entity. You all deserve fist pumps and W00ts for hanging with me through this doozy of a ramble. Please take your time to explore the site and check out the links of OTHER SUPPORTERS, and BLISS-PURSUERS. There are 3 other pages aside from the Home Page displaying current Musings. ABOUT KJ, EMAIL & TWITTER, and ORIGINS OF MUSINGS. I’ve included little anecdotes and new information in all three pages. Leave comments and feedback on the essay but also on the other pages if you feel moved so. I am still in the process of transferring over old comments from previous posts, so don’t panic if you don’t see any old comments you’ve left. I also am building up a list of affiliates and sister sites to add to the link space on the side bar. Keep checking back as we continue to work on the site. As always, I love hearing from you, so please stop by and say hello.

James is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others emerge creatively triumphant

when faced with challenges.

Embrace your Other.

QUESTION: Where were you a year ago while Kristen was embarking on filming for Eclipse? How have you resolved challenges in this year to pursue the projects you desire?

A/N: Mad props to Buff for this feast for the eyes, and for powering through and finding away for me to bring you the music . BUFF, YOU ARE AMAZING…Big squeezes and squeals for my girl CC who is my Transferring Goddess and late-night cohort. Thanks to Bouffant for providing me with the James Franco source and for feedback on the site upon first glimpse. As always, thanks to my cyber Sisters & Readers for supporting me no matter the tangent I flit…I LOVE YOU MADLY.

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