A Blog a Day in May

The Skin Of A Woman

I am a child of the water. And I

float

in all the whispers

of me.

When the wind catches on my bones,

shaking me into fright,

the earth holds me

until I am calm.

Until I am

delicate and strong, until I am

all that I am,

beneath the skin

of

a woman.

A Blog a Day in May

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Written

I’ve just deleted it all.

On purpose.

Five whole paragraphs of the BEST thing I’ve EVER written.

We do that sometimes—us writers of words.

When ‘the force’ flies through us with alarming ease and grace, and we just know this is the one…until it’s not.

Because we’ve just read it all back.

And it’s not.

No.

Nopey, nopey…no.

Ah, yes. This creative life of mine.

What an absolute bloody shemozzle.

photo of woman smiling while siting on stairs and using white smartphone
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A Blog a Day in May

A Friend Of Convenience

Her art is a friend of convenience.

It absorbs her.

It turns her delicate into raw and beautiful scenes of naked flesh on linen.

It turns her hard into lashings of angry black with no recognisable form.

The artist removes the brush from her mouth and strokes, one final touch of pink and she’ll be satisfied.

But she won’t. She’ll never be satisfied.

Because she is an artist.

And an artist, she knows, is always a work in progress.

An artist—a passionate, heart dwelling artist—will always be full of too much life, and never full of enough.

This is what living has taught her.

This is her reason for art.

woman sitting on brown stool
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Music, Song Writing

Song Writing: The Broken Heart of the World

Song Writing. It’s the mash-up of my two great loves: music and writing. In fact, to be truly romantic about it, I really must confess that songwriting is also a mash-up of my heart and my soul.

I’ve written about my love of music before but the fact of the matter is— I’ve not written about it enough, and shame on me.

Because music is life.

It’s one of the most powerful universal tools we have available to us, and it should be celebrated with all the pom poms held high. Or, at least, I think it should be celebrated, and I dearly hope you’ll agree.

I know I’ve been banging on about that word lately: humanity, but I’ve come to think that it’s the sharing of our most human moments that brings meaning to these lives of ours. And here’s where music comes into it. Music lifts us, doesn’t it, it connects us? It’s our chance to link broken hearts and say, ‘You too? Doesn’t matter. We’ve got this.’

Song Writing—as with many of the creative arts disciplines— is cathartic. For me, sitting in front of that lovely little electric piano of mine, putting my inner world to music… it’s like writing a journal. It’s therapy. And it is the only energy I’ve ever felt that so closely resembles the feeling of ‘home’.

But ‘my baby’ (yes, that’s what I named my electric piano, lol) is getting old. What happens when she finally says, ‘No. I will not play for you, today, Brooke. I will not play for you ever again.’ Gosh. I can’t even think about it.

So, I’ve decided to write all the heartbreak out of me before it happens, turn my impending pain into a heartache that others can relate to: the demise of a great love. So! Let my therapy be yours. Let’s do this broken heart together, shall we?

 

My Forgotten Love Song

Music and Lyrics by Brooke Cutler

 

I know that I can live without you

But do I want to try?

My everything is breaking

And you’re the reason why.

 

I took your song for granted

I made you play my life

Now every minute’s burning

With every twist of the knife

 

But I know life will go on

And to me, you’ll just become…

My forgotten love song.

 

(I have posted a video of me playing this song on youtube for you to have a listen to, just for a bit of something different, a bit of an interactive blog post of sorts! Please, feel free to check it out!)

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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.

umbrellas art flying
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The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 22. The Garden

Once upon a time, there was a garden.

And this garden—

Well.

It was the most magnificent garden in all the land.

Because, in this most darling of places, every day was a new season…

autumn blooming blossom bright

And every day was more beautiful than the last.

Everyone thought so.

Even those who could not walk the shady path with their own two feet.

Especially those who could not walk the shady path with their own two feet.

bloom blooming blossom blur

But there was darkness in this garden, too.

Darkness that bled up the roots of the trees.

Darkness that wandered and swayed and crept along the weeds,

gobbling up all the gentle hearts that lay open in its wobbly path.

brown wooden spider formed statue photography

Most were afraid of the darkness.

But the girl.

Oh no, the girl was not afraid.

The girl would never be afraid, for her heart was as golden as the sunshine.

And golden hearts (as everybody knows) need not be afraid of the dark.

adult air beautiful beauty

For the girl, each new day in the garden was beautiful.

So full of charm.

And grace.

And daffodils swaddled in polka dots…

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And magic.

Magic lived in that garden too, did you know?

Well. You do now.

And the girl…she was the master of every little trick.

Every little miracle.

person holding clear glass ball

So, next time you wander the brightest day…

You might think of that girl.

Of her garden made from all the darling things.

And you might wish that you were there with her—

Two dreamers, marveling at all the lovely things.

Yes. What a sweet dream that would be.

close up of tree against sky

The darling blog of May

The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 17. Kill Your Darlings

It’s a phrase that makes my arm hairs stand up every time I say it, every time I think it. Kill your Darlings. Who would do such a thing? Who would even think up such a horrid plan? Well…writers, that’s who. And today— on this most darling day seventeen— I thought it might be nice to chat a little bit about what it means to Kill your Darlings.

I really could not tell you where the phrase Kill your Darlings came from. If I’m to believe the darling brain-dump that is the internet, then, apparently, the phrase was coined by American writer, William Faulkner, who said, ‘In writing, you must kill your darlings.’

Now, you might be thinking: Gee whizz, Brooke. That was a man with some real anger issues. Well…yeah. You may be right (because you know how much I love words, and who on earth would put the words ‘kill’ and ‘darling’ in the same sentence! Omg. I can’t even.)

But. The whole idea behind his grizzly phrase— I totally get it. And it really is a necessary evil when it comes to crafting a story that will make both writers and readers all shiny and jolly inside.

Traditionally, the phrase Kill your Darlings means that, in order to make your work great, you will need to leave your ego at the door. Ego is a me thing, after all, not a we thing (and books and stories should be all about we things, don’t you think?) That means smothering the ego. Deleting any sentences, paragraphs or words that make you smile but probably no one else.

When I’m writing, my little ego minions often step in with a standing ovation, a spirit-fed stoke of my writerly fire. And these tiny little ego minions…well, I kind of think they’re awesome. Because when they do come at me with their sweet words of encouragement—their little yellow arms waving giant pom-poms to celebrate all my wonderful— that’s when I know: this little ego fed darling just may need to meet the trash can. I flag it. And then, more often than not, I kill it.

I also have a wider idea of what the phrase Kill your Darlings might mean.  Yes, I absolutely agree that the ego fed darlings of my work must be killed from time-to-time, particularly if they jar with the story, character or voice. But I also think the phrase is a good one to remember during the overall editing process—the finished draft is done and now, like Dumbledore’s Phoenix, it must die to become beautiful, once again. Unnecessary words must be cut and ego fed sentences must be well and truly buried, because in writing…less really does seem to be more.

I know, I know. Why would you do something so vicious to one of your darlings? How could killing it possibly make things better? Well. Here’s where I admit the truth. I don’t know how that magic works. All I know is that whenever I Kill my Darlings…they become better.

Now, where is that red pen of mine?

close up of multi colored pencils
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The darling blog of May