for the Creatives

Pirate queens get a happily ever after too

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I would love to hear a feminist analysis of this, but I don’t think I’m studied enough in feminist theory to do it justice. But the themes of this tale are still true of all us dreamers.

Here I continue my analysis of the story of two queens and how their dreams correlate with us dreamers 🙂 You can read part 1 and part 2 also.

Sidebar: Delilah couldn’t let us all be pirates without her! #DelilahTales

Don’t forget: listen along with the full playlist free on YouTube here.

Surrender

Tiernan approaches the Queen, requesting that he trade his life for Grania’s so she can go to her child.

She who has all

Queen Elizabeth is shocked that he loves Grania enough to sacrifice himself, and she accepts his offer. “I who have all / I have nothing compared to the dream she holds fast in her heart.”

Imprisoned Grace on the other hand sings, “I will survive for the day / when I see once more / both the man I love / and the child I bore… / I who have naught / I have all.”

Success in your dream isn’t always what you think it is. Don’t lose sight of what’s important – the people. the passion. the vision. 

The Sea of Life ❤

Grania returns to an Ireland in shambles. She gathers the people of Clew Bay who set sail in the Pirate Queen for England to plead with Queen Elizabeth.

A wonderful lullaby ❤

Woman to Woman

Grania pleads to Queen Elizabeth as a woman.

  • I ask for dignity, no more.
  • Your leaders plunder [Ireland] for greed. My child goes hungry every night.
  • All of our crops get sent to you. How long before we starve outright?
  • Sadly the men you put in charge despoil us everywhere they go
  • and disrespect our women so, to me, the most egregious crime.

She urges Elizabeth to instead of fighting her woman nature, to use it in her role as Queen. A lesson that Grania has well learned by now – her most powerful moments as pirate being through her identity as a woman.

Grania came to appreciate her womanly nature and use it towards her dream, even as a pirate. Perhaps the strongest dreams are those which find a way to marry two disparaging ideas. 

In real life, this is a historic moment where Grania and Queen Elizabeth actually speak in private for 2 hours, what about no one knows. “Who knows the truth that we may glean / Neither as chieftain, nor as Queen… / woman to woman, face to face.”

Queen Elizabeth releases Tiernan and gives Grania her lands and ship.

Finale

Okay, NOW the happily ever after. Kinda 🙂 Tiernan and Grania are reunited at last.

What did Grania learn through her journey? “I fought my wars on land and sea, / to be a woman strong and free. / I should have learned at journey’s start, / no woman’s free who ignores her heart.”

Should Grania have not married Donal for the clan truce? In retrospect, probably, because really that truce didn’t last long. But she fought for her dream, and ya can’t change the past, only the future.

You can’t change the past, only the future. You learn, you grow, you correct your course. And your destiny can’t escape you. 


 

If you “can’t” realize your dream because of some part of your nature, maybe you’re exactly the person to achieve the dream YOUR way. Your destiny involves both who you are that cannot change AND who you want to be.

That’s all the pirate-y stories for now 🙂 Go out there and kill it, Pirate Queens! Make your destiny, one risk and one sacrifice at a time ❤

Hey, for inspiration and to remind yourself who are truly you, dress up as a pirate and send me a pic of your costume. I’ll be sharing my photo session with you next week!

for the Writers, Musings of a Creative, Showcasing other Creatives

The story of how I became a storyteller

Today I am stoked to welcome my creative friend Maggie to the blog. Enjoy her post and share your own storyteller journey with us in the comments 🙂 


 

mags2The story of how I became a storyteller goes all the way back to when I was in first grade. Life was easy back then. Days were filled with coloring book pages and thinking blocks, both which helped light way to my passion for creativity. It didn’t take much to amuse me in those younger years. I would sit in front of the doorway of our house, battling harsh sunlight and racking my brain for the perfect solution to an imperfect array of building blocks. It was there where I constructed the first of many masterpieces. And it was there where I used to proudly gather pastors and patrons under the safety of makeshift sanctuaries. When I was not playing church, I could be found scribbling away my free time. Occasionally, if the mood and temperature was just right, drawings of helpless horses and terrifying wolves would come to life.

These are my earliest memories of visual narration. While there inevitably must have been more instances in-between, it was not until my fourth grade year that I really reunited with my roots as a storyteller. In a new town with some new friends, I strung together countless episodes of a recess superhero saga. I was featured as “Ice Princess,” a kick-butt heroine who welded magnificent powers similar to that of Disney’s Snow Queen.

mags1Later that year when my days were not as filled with Frozone imitations, I found myself able to pursue other activities such as jump rope and church picnics. This is how, in short, I met one of my long-term running best friends. We instantly bonded over Littlest Pet Shop, and together configured names for hamsters and lizards alike. It was not long before we decided to take this obsession with small animals to a whole new level. Together, we crafted a story inspired by an episode of Pet Stars, one of the most interesting and entertaining shows at the time. Perhaps even more unique though, was the story we produced as a result of the series. It centered around a dog who could do math and used his abilities to tutor those in need. One of his primary pupils was his owner, the ever-troubled and renowned actor, Josh Hutcherson.

Fast forward a year or so. I had dropped stories of ridiculously cute celebrities and division-doing dogs. I exchanged them for two starkly different twin sisters and a set of handsome, case-cracking brothers. Crime-fighting protagonists and justice-serving plots came easy to me. All-too-easy, if you ask me. Considering my obsession with Franklin W. Dixon at the time, it was really no wonder. His writing was fresh and cool, and I was young and naive and didn’t care much if my stories were just like his.

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With my writing skills in check, I took the liberty to adopt yet another form of storytelling. In the simplest sense, this medium was play acting. My co-writer and I found ourselves continuously drawn to the idea of hashing out different scenarios in real-life. It was through these exercises that we were able to establish most of the credibility for our story as a whole. It felt risky and unnatural to embody the live’s of other characters. However, I found peace in knowing this was exactly the sort of thing the March sisters did in Little Women.

After a while the theatricals lost their touch as did the stories that formed them. Eventually, I let myself venture onto “greener pastures” (if you could call them that). It was here where I allowed myself to experiment with other fables; but they only managed to hold my attention for a small time. I struggled with developing full-on plots and fleshed-out storylines. For this reason I once again turned to a new medium. The philosophy I soon adopted read as follows, “If I couldn’t tell a story with words, I would do so using pictures.” As a result, photography became my new and improved mode of storytelling. Through the medium, I discovered editing as a niche of mine and used that skill to create fantastical images of my little sister performing mundane tasks.

I came out of the phase with a few mentionable awards and direction for my life study, but this was not enough to dampen my desire for the mastery of new things. In the spring of 2014, I put my thoughts online for the first time. Thanks to some pretty effective feedback, I have been an active part of the blogosphere ever since. Over the years, blogging has taught me an enormous amount, but I would argue that storytelling as a whole has taught me even more. If it wasn’t for long afternoons spent with friends on the playground, I would have never learned the value of imagination. If it wasn’t for mishaps in writing, I would have never discovered my love of photography. It was through these experiences that I realized the importance of not limiting yourself to one specialty. With constant experimentation and the desire to learn, one can readily produce items of worth. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t stop trying. Live vigorously. Accept failures. And maybe just, maybe you’ll create something amazing along the way.

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Maggie Schoepke is a Graphic Design Major and bonafide Japan-lover. She spends her time outside, preferably under the shade of a weeping willow and the appeal of a melancholy tale. When not having a good cry, Maggie enjoys pursuing art, writing, and above all, her Divine Creator. When asked what annoys her the most, she will probably reply with the tacky saying, “There are never enough hours in the day, but always too many days before Saturday.”

 

You can find more of Maggie’s musings at https://teatimewithsenpai.wordpress.com/ 

Mental Health

When You Don’t Recognize Yourself Anymore

Not good, not bad, just not me anymore, or a different me I suppose.

I looked in the mirror this morning and realized that I didn’t recognize that person staring back. Not just the figure. The person. Something in the eyes. Something in the thoughts.

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When was the last time I knew myself? I don’t know. But the me I knew isn’t the me I am now. And I’m not sure why. And I’m not sure if I’m okay with it or not.

Part of it is the changes around me, I’m sure. Adapting. When everything around me changes I can’t expect to stay the same. I can’t survive it all intact.

Another part is that I’ve lost time with the people who make me most myself – people I’m all me with. Too often I’m just a shadow now.

I’m spending time reintroducing the me I am to the me I know. Reconciling the two. Embracing what is good, finding what I’ve lost, dropping the junk I’ve accumulated. The bitterness. The fear. The walls. The death of things that should not die.

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Still, there’s some part of me that circumstances, relationships, and even I can’t change. We’re constantly changing as humans, but there’s some core identity that can’t be lost. I’m searching for that now. In writing. In doing what I love. In realizing that I’m not lost, no matter how uncertain I am. I’m right here, to find and to see for any who takes the time. Including myself. So here I am saying “Hello world.” And here I am saying “Hello me. Nice to meet you.”

 

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Mental Health

How To Be Okay…

 

    • Turn your ears off. Don’t hear what others are saying. Don’t hear the cries, the laughs, the shrieks.

 

    • Turn your light off. Don’t be too much. Don’t be too happy, too sad, too ambitious, too progressive, too opinionated, too emotional, too introspective, too loud, too quiet, too needy, too carefree, or too uptight.

 

    • Turn your heart off. Don’t feel. Don’t think about feeling. Care about neither yourself nor the world.

 

    • As soon as scientific advances allow, become a robot.

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Maybe being okay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Instead of being okay, try being:

    1. A fire. Burn hot, burn high, burn far. Infect everything in your path til you find all that is left is the most pure, condensed form of being.
    2. A sponge. Take it all in, everything you see, hear, feel, soak it up, then pour it out til the world sees where you’ve been and all that you’ve known.
    3. A dancer. Choose your music, choose your rhythm, and beckon others join.
    4. A mask. And then another. And another. Sometimes it takes knowing what you’re not to really know who you are.
    5. A hot mess. Try it if you need to. Find out who’s there for you in the end.
    6. A faerie tale. Adventure, happy ever after, mischief, augmented reality…Have it all.
    7. Nonsensical. We all need a little madness.
    8. An agent of change. Shake things up. Feel heavily, speak out, find your story, and live it to where you’ve made the world a little better.

Okay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Be more than okay. It’s okay.

 

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Musings of a Creative

Small Change for Great Change

I’ve never been one for resolutions. There’s too much pressure to achieve something huge, and I inevitably freak out then fail. But I do want each year to show marked improvement. Don’t you? To grow and change and become who I want to be, slowly but surely seeing the steps.

I do the New Year a little differently than resolutions of large goals. I can’t drop 20 pounds or finish a novel or some great feat like that. It’s too scary on a deadline. But I can change some small behavior.

The key is to find the small tweak to my life that creates a large difference toward my goals. Last year it was cutting out all the “extras” in my schedule that I could, to better manage my energy with a new taxing job on my plate.

This year, I’ve noticed I never have time for working on my dream job – because I never schedule it, I just use my free time for my dream. And ya know what? I don’t really have free time. Maybe you don’t either. Here’s the little change I’m making – I’m *scheduling* everything. I have a planner and I’m going to actually use it. I’m going to schedule my actual appointments, but I’m actually going to schedule my dream job, I’m going to schedule my blogging, and I’m also going to schedule my free time. Because I need that. And having that scheduled will take away my excuse of busyness.

Do you have any resolutions? Or do those terrify you? Maybe you’d like to make a small change to greatly change your life. Maybe that’s scheduling your free time. Or something else. But here’s the big question for your year: How are you going to make the YOU you want to be more tangible this year?

 

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Musings of a Creative

Letter to my 8th Grade Self

My dear blogger friend Maggie posted a letter to her 8th-grade self. And I couldn’t help but join the fun!

 
 
 
 

Dearest Beloved Amy Sauder, who I’ve been —-

Breathe. I know your heart is racing from the crazy adventure that’s just begun from this breaking of the time-space continuum. I’m not sure what the consequences will be, but I only hope they make the world a little brighter a little longer. Don’t quit dreaming, about mermaids and pirates and faeries and dragons and gypsies. You’re gonna need that large imagination. There is something more. I know you wonder. Keep reaching for more. You can have it.

You’re in for alot of surprises. You’re going to lose alot. Your closest friends. Your church. Your hope. Your faith. You’ll be trampled on and you’ll trample on others. It won’t be pretty. In fact I wish I could take it all back and tell you exactly who to have grace on and who to run away from. But let me say this – your heart is big and your hope is big – I know you’re trying to figure it out. I see you.

You’re beautiful. I know you don’t know that, but one day you will. And I hope you learn that a little sooner. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t shatter your beauty with the striving. You try so hard. It’s okay to rest. And there will be people you can open up to. People you’d never expect. In fact your best friends are the people you least suspect. I won’t even tell you who your best friend is now, because it’s the greatest surprise of all – but let me say, you know her now and are in for such an adventure together.

Keep writing. Keep playing school. You like both of those still and you’re actually pursuing them both as a career. Neither is what you think it is right now, but you’ll figure it out. And you’ll keep figuring it out.

If I could send you anything with this note, it’d be a fun hat. You need that right about now I think.

Want to know who you are now? You don’t have any pets (would you believe your mom does, though?!), but you have a mannequin. She’s quite fun, she’s your muse. You are still figuring yourself out, and that’s okay. You’re kinda old and still single and kinda okay with that. Weird, huh? Life has broken you. But you’re coming together again, piece by piece. You get through it…in all that you face in years to come, I want you to remember that you get through it. And the other side if beautiful. You’ll travel the world and you’ll travel your heart. You’ll trust too much and hope too much, and it’s so perfect I’m not going to take it away from you. Your tears are precious, you can let them out. You’ll find safe places. You’ll find safe arms. And best of all, you’ll find dangerous stories. Don’t be afraid.

 

—with love and hugs and wishes from Amy L Sauder, who you become

 

 

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for the Bookworms, for the Writers

What the L’s in a PenName?

To pen-name or not to pen-name – for any writer, that is the question.

There is a lot of factors that go into choosing between one’s own name or a pseudonym, and I thought I’d give you a brief sneak-peek at the process.

(Writers: Kristen Lamb has a post discouraging use of pen names in most situations. Rachelle Gardner has a post on problems to consider if using a pseudonym.)

So how’d I decide on mine, on keeping my own name, but adding the middle initial?

Step 1 – Default Setting

If you can’t find a really really good reason to use a pseudonym, you should be using your own name. That’s the default. I thought I might have good reasons until I read the blogposts mentioned above. (Writers: read those if considering a pseudonym.)

Step 2 – Google That Name

I googled myself. You know what comes up when I google “Amy Sauder”? Not me. “Amy Sauder – Peoria area photographer” shows up. That’s right, there’s an Amy Sauder, also in Peoria, also an artist, who has a perfectly legit photography business. Seriously, check her out.

With someone else topping the google charts, I can do one of the following:

  • compete for “Amy Sauder” space on google by creating alot of internet content with great Search-Engine Optimization
  • rely on readers to type “author” when googling me and photography clients to type “photographer” when googling her (a completely legitimate option that many choose, and it works)
  • find a different name so she has her google space and I have mine

Step 3 – Devil is in the Details

Sharing google space is not enough reason to choose a pen name.

With a pen name, everything is more complicated. Marketing is more complicated, because you lose the audience you already have with your own name. Paychecks and legal documents are complicated. Remembering the little details – like how easy/quick signing an autograph is with a chosen pen name – is complicated. I toyed around with pen names, sure. But it didn’t seem like a good option even still.

In order to avoid the sharing of google space and to avoid using a pen name, I tried my middle initial.

What happens when you google Amy L Sauder? Well now, you have a whole bunch of me, though not much popped up at all when I originally googled it. “Amy Sauder, photographer” still tops the google “Amy Sauder” charts – and I’m there too a little lower – but if you remember the L, I fill that space mostly.

Picture a Bookshelf

The final step, at least that I’m discussing at this point.

Imagine a bookshelf….where’s your book fall on the bookshelf? Usually books are ordered by genre and then by author’s last names.

In an ideal world, I don’t want my book crowded out and hidden next to the Stephen Kings or James Pattersons of the world. Can I see a place for my book under my name on the shelf? You bet I can! No overcrowding here.

And so, Amy L Sauder was born. And in the grand scheme of things, I think I might actually like it more than just Amy Sauder.

What’s In Your Name?

What about you? Do you have a pen name? Do you think you’d use a pen name? What are your thoughts, ideas, questions? Let me know in the comments!

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