From the time I was a little girl, I loved to read. I would read every book I could get my hands on and just want more. Even now, I make sure I make time to read every day. I remember going through my brother’s records. He seemed to have everything, mostly rock, which is a big part of why I listen to rock music to this day. Back then, I would write but get so immersed in perfection, that it wasn’t fun. Only recently have I gotten out of that habit. Now, I just write because it feeds my soul. No other way to say it. As a matter of fact, creativity in general feeds my soul. Whether it be art, music, or of course, literature, I find myself transported into the minds and emotions of those who create.

Admittedly, I know very little about art. Some people like Andy Warhol who are considered brilliant innovators, do very little for me. Sometimes, I’m not sure why it’s even art because I don’t see craft or skill in certain works. Campbell’s soup cans? That’s really art? However, when I do connect with a piece, I get a feeling in my heart that I can’t even describe. I imagine it’s part exhilaration and part admiration that another human being could create what I am seeing before me. I had this exact feeling when I saw Picasso’s “Three Musicians” painting in person for the first time. First of all, I didn’t realize just how big it is. It’s a small mural. I was so overcome that I had to sit and stare at it for a few minutes. I don’t think I’ve had that feeling since. Picasso fascinates me because he could create art across mediums. He sculpted and did ceramics. To this day, I marvel at his genius and continue to be awed by it.

Music overall, is another creative medium that pulls me in and retains me. I love different genres. I am a Prince fan until I die and for a few days after that. Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time. Frequently, I watch interviews with Robert Plant, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, and he talks about his various projects that are separate from his former band. I understand he’s moved on in his life and musically, but the impact that music has had on my life is astronomical. At this point, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin are almost blasé about how much impact their music has had around the world. Many of the songs are amazing just by the musicianship. But more than that, these songs play like a soundtrack to my life. “Over the Hills and Far Away” evokes memories of the only family trip we ever took. “Down by the Seaside” conjures memories of that same trip and my late brother. Countless songs inspire memories of him. “The Rain Song” and “Thank You” are two of the most timeless love ballads of all time. So many other genres of music and so many other songs inspire different emotions at different times. It’s all a confirmation and celebration of life.

Similarly, literature has resonated with me my entire life. I remember my oldest sister discussing books with siblings who were studying certain ones in school and being fascinated by different stories. She had an extensive library, and I remember at thirteen reading my first Shakespeare play, Much Ado about Nothing. Even at that age, I loved Beatrice and would laugh out loud at her taunts at Benedick. They were the anti-couple but the intelligence and strength of both characters have always stayed with me. This first reading instilled a love for Shakespeare which results in pilgrimages to Stratford-upon-Avon whenever I am in England. Authors like J.K. Rowling and J.R.R Tolkien are masters at crafting literary worlds. At one time, this reverence for the written word made me very selective about when I would write. I was constantly judging myself and inadvertently stifling my own creativity.

Now, I have learned to approach writing the same way I approach all creativity: with love. I have embarked on creating my own literary worlds. When I write, more and more, I just experience exhilaration and feed off of it. Creativity is the lifeblood in my veins. Creativity is the soul of life… Mine, at least.

Until next time… look behind and beyond the veil…