Nerdy Party, Writing

How Mood Affects Writing

I’ll be honest with you. I-am-cranky. There. I’ve said it.

And now I don’t even know what words are going to end up in this sentence because my fingers are just banging away without me even thinking, without me even caring about what comes out of this cranky mind of mine.

Now.

In the spirit of maintaining some of the glass half fullness that I believe to be a more accurate representation of me, I thought I might take this opportunity to gather in my little nerdy corner and make the most of this mood. To close my eyes. To breathe. To think all the lovely nerdy thoughts. And to have a little nerdy party.

You guys wanna come? We could hang out in the corner for a while, have a little chat about how language and tone indicate mood in a piece of writing? More specifically, we could analyse some little pieces of cranky me above, and try to dissect and plump up some of my cranky, writerly ways? (Omg. Fun, huh?)

Yes! Let’s DO this!

I suppose there were a few indications at the start of this little post of mine that may have given cranky me away.

Readers (ahem, humans) are creatures of habit, tradition, and pattern

In my experience, the sentence I’ll be honest with you often leads to something negative. So, even though the words themselves might seem kind of innocent—depending on the context in which they are being used—in this case, we all knew what I was really saying. (Hint. I am cranky!)

Example: ‘Omg, Brooke. I’ll be honest with you. These nerdy parties of yours are such mega buzz kills.’ (Sure, you guys. I know you secretly love them. Wink face emoji.)

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Impact. Start with a bang

In fact, if I was really serious about bringing a reader into my cranky world, I’d have completely chopped out the I’ll be honest with you, and gotten straight to the point:

I-am-cranky. Boom. Like a punch in the face.

Imagine if that was the first sentence? Right away the reader would have been invested in my story. They’d have been curious. By starting with the words, I-am-cranky…I may have raised their eyebrows, a little. I may have prompted them to say, ‘But Brooke. Tell us why!’

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Sentence length and flow

Humans really are creatures of symbolism and expectation, don’t you think? We often learn cool tricks without really even being aware we are doing so. One of those sneakily learned tricks is our ability to translate the flow of language.

You might have noticed my first few sentences were short and snappy, splattered onto the page like spitballs shot from the end of a pen? I suppose it’s dependent on many factors (such as culture or context) but often times, short sentences and singular words can indicate aggression. Anger. Hostility. (Ahem, crankiness.)

And then there’s the opposite side of the cranky coin. Long, rambling, breathy sentences. There’s something like one of those if you go back and have a look at paragraph two: a long sentence snapped in half with a single comma, delicately laced with the odd italic to really hit the cranky ball out to left field. (Btw. If we’re going to be really nerdy about it, bold seems a better way to emphasis angry words, to me. It’s just that italics is so much prettier, don’t you think?)

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Well! I hope you enjoyed my little nerdy cranky party. I sure did! In fact, have you noticed? I’m not cranky anymore! Just look at all the joyful exclamation marks a simple nerdy party can bring to this life of mine.

Yes. I really do think I should have more of these nerdy parties. Especially if I ever get the cranks up again.

Ps: Thanks for coming!

xx Brooke

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Arts

This Creative Life

Isn’t the world of creativity fascinating? For so many reasons, really. But I’ve always been fascinated by the unconscious aspects of the way we create, particularly how the unconscious feeds the creative mind, almost as if it is a direct channel from the soul.

What makes the whole thing even more fascinating to me is this: no matter how many times I am dragged away from my creative world—by the hustle and bustle of life, by lack of time, lack of resources—it seems that I always come back to it. Always. Like something bigger than me is in charge of this whole crazy shindig.

Over the years I’ve struggled with finding focus within my creative world, and I suspect that many creative artists might feel the same way. Because the thing is this: creative energy doesn’t seem to care how it gets out. All it seems to care about is that it gets out.

I feel an affinity to many of the disciplines within the arts—music, acting, writing, painting, the list goes on. And the choice as to which discipline to use in order to create (to tell that story of my soul, you might say) really doesn’t feel like a conscious choice at all. To me, the urge to create is exactly that. An urge. A push. A tug. It’s the magnetic pull to the piano, or the computer, or the scrapbook—and I get the impression that my only job is just to go with the flow and get swept along in the breeze of it all.

In my experience, this is such a hard concept for the rational mind to reconcile. Because the rational mind, the one I use to bring sense to everything, seems to crave control. It seems to be at odds with all the wonder that explodes so organically within my creative universe. It seems to want to make sense of something that simply cannot be explained. The imagination. I mean. How can such a wondrous, wondrous world ever be explained?

There are not too many things I am totally sure of in this world. But what I am sure of is this: every single person in this whole wide world has a unique imagination. And every single creative artist sets their imagination free like nobody else in this world. We all see the world differently. We all live in the world differently.

What a lovely creative mess that’s all bound to make.

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Life

The Wonder of the Universe

This world of ours is filled with magic. I’ve always believed it, because, quite frankly, there have been some things in my life that have defied any sort of rational explanation, no matter how hard I’ve tried to make sense of it all. Coincidences so coincidental they would put even the most wrinkly-lipped skeptic into a permanent state of bewilderment.

Yeah. The universe, hey? What’s with all the quiet nudges? The ones that have us turning left, when we’d only ever thought to turn right? What’s with all the giggles? You must have heard them; those funny little universe giggles, the ones that stop us in our tracks and ask us to wonder a little more.

Remember that time the phone rang and you just knew it was your Mum because you’d been about to call her? Or the time your toddler sneezed out all the goopy things—in the most public of places, not a tissue box in sight—and there just happened to be a tissue in your jacket pocket, even though you didn’t put it there? (Cough. Me, yesterday. How dearly I love you, universe.)

You must have wondered, just like I do—what’s it all about? And what ‘box’ do we put all the wonder into when it starts to wobble about within these very rational minds of ours? I’ll be the first to say it: I don’t know. I don’t know the questions, I don’t know the answers. But I’ll never stop wondering about it all, that magic that spills through the cracks of life, often when we need it most.

So. What do you think? Should we just shush up our rational minds for a bit and just fly with all the magic that happens? Should we just do that? Today, tomorrow, whenever the universe wills it, so?

I think we should. I think we totally, and absolutely should.

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Life

The Dreamer in Me

It’s a world for thinkers, isn’t it, this one we live in?

A world where everything has a name. A world where everything and everyone has a reason to be. In this thinking dominated world, it’s all about the boxes, isn’t it? You know the ones—you’re hovering over one right this very minute, trying to decide if and how these words will fit into your life. By the end of reading this, you should know which box this little blog post of mine belongs in. And for the real dreamers among you…you knew from the very first sentence. Didn’t you?

I should probably explain this idea of ‘boxes’ from my place in the world as a creative person—a musician, an actor, a writer, a dreamer—because I’m betting there are flocks of my kind out there, who glide along on the surface of life, happy enough to go with the flow, but feeling, somehow, that they are a bit of an imposter in this big old world of thinking and doing.

When I was in my late teens, I looked at the world and I just knew my wide-eyed dreams didn’t quite belong. Every face I passed on the street seemed to live under a blanket of grey, dead eyes going about life like it was just something that must be done, without question, without…colour.  Was this what I had to look forward to? Dreams all wrapped up, locked away behind the curtain of responsibility? Right then and there, in my sparkling seventeen-year old wonderland, I closed my eyes tight and I swore to myself. This will never happen to me.

I’ve thought about that moment so many times over the past fifteen years or so. Because guess what? That promise I made to myself, the one that gifted me a life of floating in the breeze, of spreading my wings wide and flying into the setting sun—I smashed it to pieces. This thinking world smashed it to pieces. Sucked up the dreams. Spat me out on the other side all shiny and nice and ready to please everyone other than the person that mattered most in my life. Me. I know when it happened, too. It was around about the time I joined the work-life crowd when I bundled everything I was into neatly labeled boxes and became a responsible adult. And right before my very eyes—without me even knowing it was happening— my lovely little dream world was trampled flat.

For those of you who’ve come to know me via this blog, or my old one, you might be surprised to hear that my dream world ever went anywhere—since I very definitely have been plonking bits and pieces of it into these little bloggy worlds of mine, for a few years now. But yes. It did go somewhere for a time.

Well! Quite happily, and for no particular reason, it seems like I just might be back. All of me. Because after all these years of thinking that my ‘boxes’ needed to be packed in the same way as everyone else’s boxes…I’ve finally given myself permission to say this:

‘Dear world, I am a dreamer. I always have been, and I always will be. So, you can take your serious thoughts and angry eyes away from me, because giggling and sunshine is just what I do. And I will do my very best never to forget that again.’

creativity magic paper text

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 31. The Land of Darling

Come with me to the land of darling.

A place where night-lights watch over sleeping babes.

A place where laughter skips ’round the edge of the world, looking for a new soul to leap into when the time is right.

The land of darling.

You just never know what magic we’ll find there.

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You’d have been there before, I’m sure.

The last time you laughed.

The last time you cried.

The last time you tripped over a boot in the hall…

The very boot you couldn’t find last week.

Darling, hey?

Darling can be so many different things.

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Which is why I’m sad to see this day come.

A sweet kiss goodbye to the darling that’s flooded 31 of my days.

It’s been hard. I’m not going to lie.

But I look at all the darling that’s come from it and…

Well.

There aren’t really any words to describe that kind of wonderful.

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And so, we come to the final curtain.

The bit where we all hug and giggle, and I say:

It’s been super nice to meet you. Super nice to share the darling of my days.

I wish you a million more darling days of your own.

Because darling happens all the time to those who open their hearts wide enough.

And now you know what darling looks like, how it feels…

I dare you to catch it and fly.

You know you want to.

Lots of love,

xx Brooke

box business celebrate celebration

The darling blog of May

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 30. Life

Guys.

What happens on the days that darling says NO.

Today is not your day for darling things.

No way.

No how.

WELL!

Let me tell you what happens on those days.

You get out your headphones and you go straight to the nearest musical explosion of wonderful.

That’s what you do.

THAT is what you do.

So!

In honour of this perfectly cruddy day…

We close our eyes. And we listen to this.

Because surely nothing could be more darling.

Except maybe a cup of tea.

Bottoms up. xx

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The darling blog of May

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 29: Dance.

Dinner time arrives and the darling of the day is yet to find me.

Yet to whisper its sweet melody into my ready ear.

But…wait.

Darling, in an instant?

Music blaring from the iPod dock.

The story of my youth—

The eighties in a splash of pop and rock?

YES!

Absolutely yes.

And then it all begins. The hopping, the bopping.

The chopping, the stirring.

Dinner for fun, singing as I go. (Of course!)

And the little boy I made? Well. He’s all wide eyes and wondering…

Has Mum finally lost it?

Is this the moment her scrambled brain says…

Meeeeeeeep. Booooooop. POP!

Nope. Mum hasn’t lost it, Son.

She’s just…

A little bit in love. 

With the eighties and all its wonderful SOUNDS.

Because darling is a good eighties bop along.

And darling is the way it makes you feel.

photography of a woman listening to music

The darling blog of May

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 28. Me Time

Darling is the wife, the mum, the daughter, the friend who says:

Tonight is my gift to me.

Tonight it will be only me.

In a cosy room.

With candles.

Tea.

Chocolate.

And music. (You know I’d never forget the music.)

Yes.

Darling is tonight.

The night I’ve stolen from the world.

Taken.

All for myself, for no particular reason.

You’re welcome me.

You are very, very welcome.

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The darling blog of May

 

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 27. Friends

Darling are the life-long friends.

And darling is the way they come and go so effortlessly.

How they delight me so with their laughing words and ways.

How they play all the strings of my heart, like a symphony deep in the blue of me.

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All of the wonderful things they are—

The words, the smiles, the love.

What I wouldn’t give to fold it all up, that wonder.

Wrap it in a bundle of the fluffiest kind.

Open it whenever the world spins me a wet-cheek day.

An angry sky day.

A day that goes something like this…

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Friends.

Darling, darling friends.

I hope they know how I adore them.

That the days, the weeks, the months we spend apart sink them deeper into the guts of me…

Where I’ll love them all the more, need them all the more.

Like sunshine. Like chocolate.

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And so another day comes to an end where I fall into bed with a grateful heart.

Grateful for darling friends.

The kind who accept me for every crease, every crack, every quirk.

So beautiful is my world, while you’re in it, dear keepers of my heart.

And so beautiful it always will be.

xx Brooke

 

The darling blog of May

 

 

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 26. Days Like These

Dear world—you’ve really gone and done it this time.

Just look at all the sun-drenched wonder you’ve strung about my life today; I mean, really.

What is it that you do to me? How is it that you fill my heart with so much glitter and starlight?

And you don’t even seem to try.

Darling, darling days, like these.

That’s how.

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What a gift this day was for the little boy who swung, and slid and jumped.

For the toddler girl who ran and ran and ran, like the cutesie bubble of dynamite she is.

For the Dad who sipped coffee like liquid gold, and lifted his face to the warmth of the sun.

What a gift it was for me, too.

And probably for the fairies. (Don’t tell me you don’t believe in fairies, now.)

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Autumn does this to me, you know.

Takes my heart in her hand and rings it like a hand-bell.

Shakes me up in a cup of her magic dust—cut from the moon and the sun and the stars…

And leaves.

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And more leaves.

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Who knows what that magic is, dear world. I bet you don’t even know, yourself.

But it’s just so beautiful.

And gentle.

Like a breeze that fills the air with the song of the birds.

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Darling days.

Never did I think they could be so sweet, but here we are, once again.

A day so darling and bright.

A day to fill this heart of mine to overflowing.

It really has been that darling.

And…maybe a little random, too.

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The darling blog of May