Browsing Category

Monday Muse

Monday Muse

Anias Nin

Anias Nin at work in Los Angeles, 1963

Anias Nin at work in Los Angeles, 1963

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anias Nin

I’m not gonna lie, I first heard of Anias Nin through a Jewel song. Yeah, that’s right, I actually still have a soft spot for Jewel, but that’s a story for another time… Right now, let’s talk about the iconoclastic Ms. Nin. A prolific diarist, novelist, and writer of erotica, Nin’s self-reflective, deeply honest prose is remarkable for the way it all at once captures the essence of her era and the influential literary circles she ran in while remaining timeless. I mean, isn’t it uncanny how her words above ring so true today and yet you could probably imagine them having been written back in the Elizabethen Era as well?

One of the things I find most striking about Nin is that she survived childhood incest and grew up to become a pioneer of female erotica — talk about taking control of your narrative and rewriting your own story. Not only this, but her entire body of work is filled with incredibly eloquent messages of women’s empowerment, serving as a reminder that the written word can be all at once titillating, entertaining, and inspiring. I think she was a pioneer of the #metoo movement before it had a hashtag. May we all be as bold as Anias this week and always. xo

Save

Save

Save

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Oh, Meryl

Meryl on the set of Sophie's Choice

Meryl on the set of Sophie’s Choice

“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.” -Meryl Streep

PS: I’m just getting home after 4+ months producing a badass TV series in Canada. Can’t wait to tell you more about it once I catch my breath {and catch up on what feels like a lifetime of needed sleep}. xo

Photo via Pinterest.

Save

Save

Save

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling mixing prints and birds like the pro she is

When I think about the kind of woman I want to be as I move into the next stages of my career, lots of amazing role models in television come to mind, but no one quite inspires me like Mindy Kaling. Not only is “The Mindy Project” one of the most watchable shows out there right now, but Kaling is a bona fide #girlboss who unabashedly demands competence from everyone she works with and never apologizes for what she wants. As someone who spends a bit too much time making sure the people around me are happy and feel heard, I could certainly afford to channel Kaling more often. As she puts it: “I love women who don’t ask, ‘Is that okay?’ after everything they say.” You know what I’m getting at, right..? Is that okay?

On a purely creative level, I must also note that Kaling inspires me because her writing manages to all at once keep it real and make me feel good about the world I live in. I think her blend of harsh honesty and optimism is actually what makes the universe of her TV show one that viewers both want to watch and then crawl into, and, on some levels, I think that little universe also improves people’s lives. If I just aspire to create TV worlds like this, I think know I will do pretty well for myself.

Photo via Pinterest.

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Judy Garland

Judy Garland singing whilst leaning on books in "Strike Up The Band"

Judy Garland singing whilst leaning on books in “Strike Up The Band”

I used to dream of being Dorothy Gale from Kansas — not so much because of L. Frank Baum’s prose, but almost entirely because of Judy Garland. She had such grace, charisma, and, oh, that voice. With a four-decade career, three Grammys, and some of cinema’s most iconic movies under her belt,  couldn’t we all afford to channel a little Judy in our everyday lives? Sure she had her demons, but most complicated people who are worth knowing do. While as a child I particularly adored “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” as an adult I’m drawn to John Gorka’s bittersweet song about the dichotomy of stardust and strife in Judy’s life. It’s called “Heart Upon Demand” — give it a listen and let me know whether it also tugs at your heartstrings.

Photo via Pinterest.

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton, backup singer to the greats

Merry Clayton, backup singer to the greats

How many people can say they performed in front of Mick Jagger while wearing hair rollers and one month later had a hit song? Merry Clayton is decidedly the only siren with those bragging rights, and while her vocals on the Rolling Stones classic “Gimme Shelter” are probably her most recognizable recording, I think the most notable thing about her is that she’s lent her voice to hundreds of famous tracks in which it actually goes unrecognized. Continue Reading

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe at The Ambassador Hotel in NYC, photographed by Ed Fergeinst (1955 )

Marilyn Monroe at The Ambassador Hotel in NYC, photographed by Ed Fergeinst (1955)

If you’ve met me for a split second or spent even a couple minutes perusing this blog, then you know I have a more-than-mild obsession with Marilyn Monroe. This infatuation began in high school when I was a curvy girl who hadn’t quite grown into her woman’s figure. In an attempt to accept myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin, I began researching vintage fashion and old-Hollywood actresses; and, slowly but surely, all the magazine clippings of Kate Moss on my wall began being replaced by photos of Marilyn, the queen of curves and coy smiles. I immersed myself in her movies and biographies, and even read numerous conspiracy-theory books about her death, all secretly with the hope that if I surrounded myself with images of this hourglass-rocking woman who was so undeniably sexy and beautiful, I would eventually start viewing myself that way… As a knockout and a powerhouse of femininity that all the mean girls who called me “chubby,” “fat,” or a “heifer” simply couldn’t compete with. I’m not saying I ever quite succeeded at seeing myself solely in this bodacious, positive light, but Marilyn got me close.

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits, Monday Muse

Eyes Off You

Maya Angelou photographed by Taylor Jewell

Maya Angelou photographed by Taylor Jewell

I was not a fan of Maya Angelou when I first read her work as a persnickety pre-teen who had an inexplicable distaste for memoirs, but in the years since her words have often touched me in moments when I’ve been in need of inspiration and reassurance. Upon second reading, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings became one of my favorite books, and what woman amongst us has not somehow been moved by her poem Phenomenal Woman? Of the many Maya Angelou quotes filling the interwebs today, the one I find most moving right now is…

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

-Maya Angelou

In fond (albeit sometimes fickle) remembrance, I am feeling very grateful for Maya Angelou’s turns of phrase on this day. I hope she inspires you in a similar way as well.

Image source: Pinterest.

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits, Monday Muse

Dolly Does It

Dolly Parton performing with her guitar back in the day

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

-Dolly Parton

Have I ever told you how much I adore Dolly Parton? Embarrassingly enough, this infatuation started while watching an episode of American Idol several years back in which the contestants performed only songs that Ms. Parton wrote. As a Yankee, I was astounded by how many of the songs I actually knew and was further blown away when I learned Dolly has written more than 350 songs over the course of her career. The more I found out about this iconic singer/songwriter, the more I yearned to be as prolific as her in my own work and emulate the quality of poetry she has brought into the world (albeit through my own art form). Whenever I ask myself the million-dollar question of how exactly one goes about doing this, I recall one of my favorite Dolly quotes: “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

I love how this turn of phrase asserts that the very act of trying is brave. Furthermore, thinking about this concept coupled with Parton’s bounteous body of work reminds me that I need to create bravely and do so one heck of a lot. This quote is particularly inspiring to me now, as I’m bouncing back from a sleep-deprived weekend at the Burbank International Film Festival (where I sadly didn’t end up winning best screenplay). It sounds a little too optimistic to be true, but right now – with Dolly’s words to guide me – I’m patting myself on the back for putting my work out there, throwing all my energy into new writing projects, and scheming about all the things I will bravely try to do over the coming year. If we try repeatedly and keep creating new things, after all, we’re each bound to land on a hit song one of these days…Are there any artists or public figures who inspire you in a similar way? Are there any ways you’ve bravely chased down your dreams of late? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

Photo from The Bluegrass Special via Pinterest.

You might also like: