Friday, January 12, 2018

Inspirations and Oddities - Second Friday Post - January 12th

Hey everyone!

So it's been an incredibly hectic start to the new year here! It seems like it might be late February before we can get "caught up" and then I will be taking off 12 days early in March to go home for a visit which will, of course, put me way behind again I suspect. *sigh*

It's best to just keep the focus on the day in front of you when it all feels a bit overwhelming and that is usually what I prefer to do anyway. Sometimes though I can't help but look ahead and it's never a good idea really! lol

So then, deep breath. . . and let's focus here and now and I'll just take a treasured moment with a cup of coffee and a date and almond pastry to share with you this month's inspirations and oddities! :)

First, and I could spend an entire blog post on this one, is an Irish animated film that we watched recently called "The Song of the Sea".

Song of the Sea follows the story of a 10-year-old Irish boy named Ben (David Rawle) who discovers that his mute sister Saoirse, whom he blames for the apparent death of his mother, is a Selkie who has to free faerie creatures from the Celtic goddess Macha.

This film, every frame of it, is entirely hand drawn, a rarity in this modern age of digital and, I believe, it is part of what makes the film so breathtaking. This had been on our "to watch" list for a few years and we almost removed it because we rarely seem to take or make the time in any one evening to watch a full length movie. 

I am SO glad we watched this though!!! Now that I'm infused with the beauty of Song of the Sea, I have to say that this is one of the most visually stunning animated films ever made. It's awe-inspiring and filled with absolute magic. 

One of countless beautiful still-frames from "Song of the Sea"

Now, as I am always looking at the natural world for inspirations for my written stories I thought I'd share a few links to some of those wonders that I have yet to figure out what to do with but which will remain on my list for the future. :)

How about a world that has "glass" katydids? Ohhh, that would be OUR world! :)

Glass Katydid

I've heard of luminescent jellyfish and have seen many photos of them. . . but never saw one in action in the deep!

Halitrephes Jelly

And one more. . .

The reality of the prehistoric world of dinosaurs gets more interesting all the time!!!

Duck, Duck, Duck. . . Dinosaur?

And lastly, I've mentioned before that I have been quite taken with the world of RPG's of late. What began with Gary Gygax and the original Dungeons and Dragons over 40 years ago has become a force again in our world with a resurgence today and it seems to only be growing and expanding in it's creative influence. So a shout out to Wizards of the Coast who achieved a rather impressive feat. Topping MANY best seller lists this past month with their release of "Xanathar's Guide to Everything".  Amazon, USA Today, Detroit Free Press and on and on. . . it's already the most successful D&D related book of all time and what makes it more amazing is it sells as a "non-fiction" book because it's a rules and world primer! Only in D&D my friends could a non fiction book about a fictional game world become a best seller! :)

RPG's are creating a whole new generation of storytellers and I find so much inspiration in the way these stories are collaboratively told. The sci-fi/fantasy genre is only going to grow in the coming years which is great news for all of us who love the places they can take us.

Hoping your week ahead is INSPIRED and at least a little ODD!!

Thank you for reading!


  1. Hi Nicolas :)

    Gosh, I feel the same as you do, I feel like I won't catch least for the rest of the month. There just seems to be so much to do...which I find crazy because I'm retired (due to medical reasons) and Alex works from home...I don't know how I did it before when I commuted and worked at an office!! But you're moment at a time. I am writing a "to do" list for myself so I can cross everything off and my time frame is OPEN.

    That movie frame is spectacular. I'm a fan of the hand drawn animation, which you're right, probably went out with Bugs Bunny in the 50's or 60's. Digital has it's good points though.

    I had to look up RPG's. I think the last time I played a video game was in the early 1990's. I had a Sega and the only game I had was The Lion King lol...and I got stuck on the first section of it because I couldn't figure out how to get Simba to jump over a waterfall! I gave up back then lol. I did however, very much enjoy pinball in high school!

    I'm a sucker for underwater creatures. That jelly fish video is spectacular! Thank you for sharing that with me today. I think I will move just like her today! Slowly, gently and gracefully!

    1. Rain, I suspect it's a different sense of time we gain as we get older and that, hopefully, we've learned to take a little more time for self-care now. :) I can rationally tell myself "Well, we cook every meal at home, read more than you did 20 years ago, and have twice the active creative pursuits which are also your livelihood." But I find myself wondering the same though. . . and I think it's just that I am so much more aware of time and it's passing, that the scales, by any account, have tipped past the halfway point of my life.

      Oh I have memories of old video games like that too! Home games that I got lost in for hours and yes, some that I just could not get the hang of. And the old video arcades as well. What a world apart those were! From the bright lights outside into a cavernous shell that was, as I recall, lit by just the glow of the screens for the most part.

      And PINBALL!! Haven't played on a good old fashioned one in years. Much like video games the modern designs just seem lacking and cold to me. I am so fond of the old wooden bodies, well worn paint on the decks from the metal balls, The ring of real bells and the "chuck" of reacting bumpers and how you could really employ a good bit of oomph before they would TILT on you!

      I'm so glad you liked the jellyfish video, I though it was so striking! Moving like a jellyfish is a very good goal!!! How did that go for you?

  2. Moving like the jelly fish went VERY well today! I have to do this more often because it's not VITAL that all housework be done in one shot!

    My gosh, the tilt...I remember my favourite arcade was a block from school, so it was easy to skip classes to goof off lol...every time I won, I heard that silly audio voice saying "we have a weener" lol...I'd love to have an old fashioned pinball game at home, I think I might re-become obsessed with it!

    That is one challenge I'm dealing with, the aging. I'm nearly 50 years old and I always claim I'll be around well into my 100's :) so I'm in my midlife I suppose. The first half can be forgotten for the most part and I'm living the life I enjoy now, but it's going a bit too quickly now. I'm trying to accept that it's out of my control and live in the present. I guess we all go through that at some point, thus the mid-life crisis effect ha ha!

    1. Good for YOU Jellyfish! I'm sure the other jellyfish have little worries about their undersea housework! :)

      Oh I would definitely get an old pinball machine if we had the space! I think I could justify it. lol Also an old skee-ball game would be very much at home in my world. That comes from my early childhood amusement park arcade days and right there with it would be one of those old fortune teller's machine. Oh wait. . . I should make the fortune teller in miniature!!!! How have I never thought of that before?? :)

      I try not to think about the time/life/aging dilemma too often. I want to get the most out of each new day and keep learning, growing, trying new things and putting beauty into the world every single day. My grandmother was very much like that and I suppose I take after her. She was into every craft/art you could name at one time or another. Right up into her 80's.

      It DOES go a bit too quickly Rain. Weeks fly by and they turn to months and years. Especially when one looks at the milestones along the way and begins counting the years since this or that. When you met, when you moved, when you went here or there, when you accomplished this or that. I like all of those sweet memories but perhaps that's why I gravitate to childhood memories so much, to me they feel timeless and yet so near, so "yesterday" and still so important. : )

  3. Yes, so much rushing. I have not succeeded in some of my daily goals as it is just too much pressure, unfortunately when I can’t do it all, I stick to more art goals than health goals. That has to change but it is so tempting to use that 15 min to paint instead of making some healthy juice for my lunch hour. Here if you don’t make your own food and bring it, there are not a lot of places to buy a healthy lunch.

    I loved all of your inspiring links. I will add the movie to my list of ‘want to see’. It sounds wonderful. And.....I am sure you will find a way to use the jelly fish and amazing glass Katydid in your work. They definitely are inspiring and interesting.
    Slow day here today; Jace and I are lounging in pj’s today because the snow is too deep to do much other than shovel! (And yesterday we had flooding due to too much rain! Weird weather). We are watching ‘Alone in the wilderness’ over and over because he likes the background music and the calm voiced narration! Enjoy your winter, hope it slows down a bit for you!

    1. Andrea, Well I understand the art first choice and I think, in other ways, the benefits are just as important. . . I just have trouble with the balance sometimes too.

      I would give ANYTHING for a snowed in day like that! What I miss most about the winters from the NE is the built in "excuse" days for just getting cozy! Here when I smell the scent of a wood fire or see the frost on a cold morning, I am taken back to those days and it's the snow that is missing! I suppose here with the winter winds and hail/rain storms we DO get a few "lights out" breaks but I miss the silence of heavy snow. . . .

      The Katydid especially intrigues me story wise. I am thinking of how the katydid is only translucent when young and then gains it's color as it gets older. It makes me think of people being more transparent/innocent as children and then growing "clouded" as adults. . . so maybe a short story about a group/tribe/fae folk that have idolized the glass katydid and the reverence for that clarity of innocence, perhaps keeping their "chosen", living representation cloistered and apart from all others so they never learn of the real world. . . hmm.

    2. That katydid idea sounds wonderful, and so in keeping with your own views, we do truly write ourselves I imagine!

      And yes, our snowed in day was quiet and peaceful. A smaller version of what it is like after having a baby..... I remember the weeks after having my children as closed in times where the rest of the world was forgotten completely! Memory smoothing away all the stress and worry of it all and leaving me with just the memories of sweetness and close family, and tender moments.

    3. Well, I wrote a long response but *poof* it is gone! :( The short response is that I think your experiences with your children are magical and so beautiful! I feel similarly about any day where i can close off the outside world and just create all day long, which thank fully is MANY days! I think that's what I miss about winter and the snow. It's a natural barrier keeping the outside world at bay. Also why I keep my phone off all the time and we have no TV. lol But even so there are still just certain times where it feels that magical and it's always some strange mix of elements that brings the feeling about. :)

  4. I'm behind in things too, but then I thought, maybe I'm not behind, maybe things are suppose to be this way. We are suppose to live in the moment. Not think about the past or the future, so I know everything will work out perfectly for you Nicolas!
    That movie sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing it! Big Crow Hugs!

    1. Thank you Stacy! I DO believe that too, most of the time. lol I also know though that I over-extend/plan/schedule way more than I can possibly complete so I accept that I am partly responsible for that feeling. Not in a "beat myself up" sort of way but in an "ok, reality check" kind of way! lol BIG crow hugs!!