Saturday Night Playlist 2/11/17

Everyone has different music they prefer to write to. I generally like upbeat music when I’m getting started, and then softer and calmer music once I’ve gotten into my rhythm. If it’s a project I’ve been working on for a while I typically will make a playlist specific to those characters or the plot that matches the mood and the tone of the piece.

I’m starting to make Saturday Night Playlists, short playlists of about a dozen songs to carry through the weekend. This week’s consists of my personal choice to get started writing a new project (which is exactly where I’m at now). I chose songs I’ve recently discovered that have an upbeat, fast paced rhythm and optimistic messages to hopefully jumpstart a productive Sunday!

  1. Control, Natalie Taylor
  2. Faultlines, HEARTWATCH
  3. Good Times Go So Fast, Steven Roth
  4. Wild Ride, High Dive Heart
  5. We Are the Dreamers, Youth Warrant
  6. Don’t Look Back, Grayson Matthews ft. Tim Moxam
  7. Sanctuary, Allie X
  8. Summer Forever, Bahari
  9. Moscow, Autoheart
  10. Lit, Noirre
  11. Sanibel, Harbour
  12. Lost At Sea, Empty Houses

Do you have any recommendations of music you like to write to?

November Goals & To-Do List

Where did October go? I swear, some days I was writing the date down and I would have the urge to write September. This month flew right by (and I barely accomplished anything I wanted to whoops).

My main priority for November is finishing my NaNoWriMo novel (obviously) and that’s already going to be a challenge considering November is traditionally a busy month. I just started a new part time job so in the midst of training at work, juggling a new schedule, and preparing for the holidays, I need to make sure I stay sane somehow.

November Goals

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in the upcoming weeks.

Read More »

Last Minute Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Raise your hand if you’re a procrastinator! πŸ™‹

I went pumpkin picking on Tuesday. I came home with three pumpkins. I did not question it.

My friend Irene and I are planning on carving these pumpkins this weekend. For the rest of you who have yet to carve your pumpkins in preparation for Halloween on Monday, here are some of my favorite ideas.

The classic Jack O’ Lantern face.
Definitely easy and recognizable, with endless ways to make the face creative and unique.Read More »

The Thing About Finding a Niche No One Talks About

I can’t really tell you when I started blogging.

In high school I had a tumblr before it was really popular (anyone remember the days of tumblarity?) and went on to make DOZENS of tumblrs. Seriously dozens. Every time I got bored I would start over. It was pretty therapeutic actually to start fresh.

I made a WordPress account a while ago under the name The Late Aubade. It was the name of my second main tumblr account and I loved it so much that I wanted to move it over to WordPress and use it just as my writing. Guess what? That never happened. It doesn’t even have one post.

With The Seal Spot, I was determined to make blogging into a process, with a schedule and set deadlines. I don’t have this blog to profit from; my motives are mostly to get me writing regularly and to eventually develop some sort of portfolio I’m proud of.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like it’s really doing it from me.

If you look back at some of my first posts, I’m all over the place. I talk about writing, about photography, about travel, about books, literally anything. I like it. I’m writing a journal, just for me.

Then I started reading up on blogging, and one of the main things people talk about is finding your niche. Taking one topic, one audience, and really fine tuning your blog to suit that audience.

Ok, well here’s the thing: finding that niche is really freaking hard.

Finding Your Niche

Remember in middle school when you sat with your friends at lunch and all of a sudden maybe a year later you realized that each table had a label? Each friend group had a theme, a common thread holding them together as friends?

Personally, I never really felt like I had a distinct label growing up. It hasn’t changed much as I got older. My personality and my interests span across, through, between, around, in and out of labels. I don’t think it’s fair to label myself.

I read blogs about writing and think “I should write that.” I read blogs about baking and think “I should make that.” I read blogs about travel and think “I should do that.” Where do my boundaries stop?

Recently, I tried to dedicate each day of the week to a different part of my life. This was helpful in the beginning because I felt like I allowed myself to reach deeper and not get so stuck in a niche. I could talk about what was going on in my life, what was affecting me, what I was interested in that very moment.

And then I started running out of ideas.

I drafted lists of blog posts ideas, I googled blog post ideas, I went back in old notebooks and highlighted old ideas. And kept moving.

And then I noticed two things:

  1. Either all of my topics were essentially the same (i.e.: how I was struggling to make friends out of college)
  2. Or I wasn’t excited to write about them. At all.

By boxing myself into categories, I realized that I was constricting myself toΒ have to write about that one topic and I didn’t have any wiggle room.

So where is my niche? What is my blog about? Where am I going?

I’m not really sure.

I know I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo now so my blog is probably going to focus on writing a lot more this month. Will it stay that way? Part of me hopes so because my writing life is one of the biggest parts of my life, but I’m not going to promise anything.

This wasn’t a planned blog post. I was supposed to write a review on the Dirty 30 movie today. But every time I sat down to write it, I couldn’t. I was stuck. This post needed to come out, needed to leak out of my fingertips and onto the screen. That’s the type of feeling I want to have when I sit down to write something. The feeling that it needs to be here, it needs to be written.

It’s Finally Fall 2016 Playlist

My fall playlists always consist of some kind of acoustic music to ease me out my summer country urges. However I’ve been into a lot of really upbeat, pop-y/techno-y music lately. (I think it has something to do with the fact my CD player broke in my car forcing me to listen to the radio.)

A lot of the songs I listed have a very homebound, lovesick kind of theme going on, which I didn’t really realize but I like it 😊 The playlist starts upbeat and peppy, then gets into a more dancing friendly tempo, before slowing down into some mood music.

Fall 2016 Playlist

  1. We Will All Be Changed, Seryn
  2. Yellow Lines, Brendan James
  3. Good Together, The Runaway Club
  4. Just Like Me, Betty Who
  5. Say You Want Me, Lostboycrow
  6. Eighteen, Dive In
  7. Stonewallin’, Jane Decker
  8. Diamonds, Johnnyswim
  9. Another State, Tigers in the Sky
  10. June, After Dark, Elliot Root
  11. A Little Out of Tune, Joshua Fletcher ft. Madi Diaz
  12. Lovesick, Banks

 

How to Display Travel Souvenirs

How to Display Travel Souvenirs

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a packrat. When I travel, I hardly buy souvenirs but I always end up coming home with all my train and plane tickets, brochures, maps, and even sometimes receipts. I’ve become the pro of unpacking my stuff and figuring out what to do with all the knick knacks I’ve accumulated over the years.

Photo Albums
Nowadays everyone is a photographer. I’d rather spend money getting some of my favorite photos printed (because we all know everyone is taking them anyway) then buy some fancy souvenir that will collect dust on a shelf.

With the rising of digital photography, the lure of opening an album stuffed with photographs is a something reserved for nostalgic rainy days, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Print out some of your favorite shots and create a photo album for each trip to protect your memories.

Photo Books

If you’re ready for a new twist on an old tradition, consider making a photo book where you can design the layout and input your photos using a website. In return, this lets you have a collection of memory books with professional looking pages.Read More »

October Goals & To-Do

As September came to a close, I both dreaded and embraced the invitation of crisp, clean air. September was a weirdly productive month for me, which involved cleaning out my entire room, reading a ton of books, running consistently, practicing yoga more often, and staying social with my friends. I’ve been feeling motivated and I’m hoping my motivation will continue through October before the crazy holiday season heats up.

October 2016 Goals & To-Do List

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in the upcoming weeks.

  • Writing:Β Write two short stories, read at least five books, plan out my novel for NaNoWriMo, and keep on track with journaling.
  • Professional:Β Apply to two jobs each week (and hopefully land one!).
  • Home & Social Life:Β Cook more often (at least one new recipe a week) and sew something.
  • Health & Wellness:Β Run three times a week and practice yoga every day.
  • Miscellaneous:Β Open a savings account.

September Instagrammies

September was a wild month and it seems it went faster than anticipated. Most of my (personal) Instagram feed consisted of sharing fond memories of the summer in attempt to move on into the fall. Here are some of my favorites from the month.

Summer Camp 2016 Reflections

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Post-camp depression is a very real experience that I have undergo every fall. Leaving the woods and my best friends and having to remember to brush my hair and shower every day can be a real struggle.

This past summer I returned to my camp as the assistant camp director. It was a role in which I marinated on before deciding to ultimately apply. It was a good decision, but definitely came with it’s challenges

I love camp. I get the opportunity to be outside everyday, spend time swimming and doing crafts, building campfires, laughing with kids, hanging out with great people and being able to call it work. Being a counselor and later unit leader was one of the greatest professional and maturing experiences I’ve had; I was able to learn a lot about my work ethic and push myself out of my comfort zone in multiple different ways.

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As the Assistant Camp Director I felt pressed and challenged in a zillion different ways. I was lucky enough to get to camp a week before the other staff and two weeks before campers, but one of the unique things about being a staff member at a summer camp is that you really have to learn on the job. This is great because hands-on experiences are (in my opinion) the best kinds of learning experiences, but it also means the first two weeks or so are kind of sloppy.Read More »

Acadia National Park Gallery

As a way to ease myself back into the real world after camp ended, I took a week long vacation to Maine with some camp friends. It was my first time visiting Acadia National Park and I’m already planning my trip back. Here’s just a short glimpse of my time spent in Bar Harbor and Acadia.