Inspiring Music I Love + Blog Survey

There’s so much pop music circulating the globe that has a catchy tune that makes everyone love it, but stupid and often even offensive lyrics. It’s really difficult to find music that you love, that has meaningful and inspiring lyrics. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my absolute favourite songs and artists for you all to enjoy.

High Dive Heart

This is an amazing duo that have beautiful voices and songs with lyrics that make you think. They’re very topical and very inspiring. I really recommend that you listen to the words of these songs. Many of them are really upbeat and can cheer you up with their incredible melodies even in your darkest hours. Oh, and did I mention that they are my absolute favourite singers right now???

Here are a selection of brilliant songs by High Dive Heart:

 

Next up is…….

Chained To The Rhythm by Katy Perry Ft. Skip Marley

I actually wrote a whole post about this song, its lyrics are so thought-provoking. It caught my eye (or should I say ear!) because of how different it is to so many other pop songs.

 

Rockabye by Clean Bandit 

This song is a refresher from the romantic love that a lot of songs are about. Instead it talks of a stronger and even more beautiful love – the bond between a mother and her son.

Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Wake Me Up by Avicii

Now, I’ve also created a blog survey for y’all. Click here to take it! Thanks!

What songs inspire you? Have you taken the survey?

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My ‘Write Christmas’ Entry: Coffee At Christmas

Amazing bloggers CharisClara and Abby are hosting The Write Christmas Contest, a fun contest to keep you writing during the manic month of December.  Yay!

My entry is about homelessness during the holiday season, a major issue that most of us don’t even think about. I also had the extra challenge of weaving three prompts into my story of maximum 800 words. Here are the prompts I used:

And now for my entry –

COFFEE AT CHRISTMAS

I traced the familiar constellations of freckles on my face in the shop window, my grey eyes hiding shyly from myself behind their lashes, my cold fingers examining the contours of my face and the dry pinkness of my lips. I shivered and wrapped my bony, threadbare grey sweater clothed arms round my chest, searching in myself for a reason to go on. I didn’t look all that good. I saw tiredness, hunger and a large helping of grime in my reflection, but I didn’t care. What’s the point in looking good when people just ignore you anyway? Winter on the streets is tough, especially at Christmas.

Behind me, the lights twinkled, entwined around trees lining the roads. The shops buzzed with activity. People exuded joy and laughter and they walked down the street to the rhythm of Jingle Bells. I sat on the ground and leant back against the wall, hugging my knees and closing my eyes.

“Hey!”

I sat up sharply, automatically crawling into a defense position, bracing myself for the inevitable kick or volley of verbal insults I knew would come. I waited for a few seconds, muscles tensed, but nothing happened. Slowly I raised my head. A man crouched in front of me, his expression far from threatening. His eyes were soft and smiling. In his gloved hand he held a coffee. He looked at me and then down at the brimming paper cup. Wordlessly, he held it out.

I blinked. “I-I…”

He put it down by my feet and walked away. I stared down at the whirlpooling cup, soft steam rising into cold air. It hypnotised me and yet I couldn’t bring myself to drink it, so gripped was I with shock at this unfamiliar kindness.

I looked up. The man was walking down the pavement towards me, an identical cup of coffee in his hand. I allowed a small, slow smile to spread across my face. He had more of an O Christmas Tree stride, I decided with satisfaction.

He sat down next to me, leaning back against the wall and raising his cup in a sort of silent toast. I raised mine in solidarity and, though I didn’t know what he was toasting, in my own mind I was thanking him for his simple act of kindness that meant so much.

He didn’t look at me or talk, just quietly sipped his hot drink and watched the people on the other side of the road. However, I felt his presence enormously. He didn’t feel like a stranger, more like an old friend. Only when, after a few moments, I picked up my cup and took a long gulp, did he turn his head in my direction and give a quick nod.

As I drank, filling my belly with the warm and flowing liquid, I wondered about his life. Many questions flooded into my mind, all of which I was too afraid to ask for answers to.

We both drained the dregs at exactly the same moment, setting our cups down on the pavement in syncrony. A little laugh escaped my lips. He smiled, speaking for the first time.

“I had a sister just like you.”

I kept quiet, just replaying his voice over and over in my mind. It sounded heavenly to me, the voice of an angel.

“She died when I was ten, but, as I got older, I imagined her growing up with me. Right now, I can see her looking just like you. The same auburn hair, freckles, smile.” He shrugged. “It sounds stupid, I know.”

I wanted to tell him that I was sorry, but no words came out. They never did.  So instead I just smiled. He seemed to understand.

“She loved this street.” he ran his fingers over the ragged ridges of my rumpled, mouldy blanket. “You see that coffee shop over there?” he pointed to a cosy looking cafe lit up by flickering lights.

“I see it.” I told him.

“Well, she’d sit in there every day, pretty much. Writing. Scribbling everything down. Thoughts, feelings, ideas, plans, dreams. She could express them all, through words. That’s something I never could do.”

“Me neither.” I said. You, um, fancy another coffee?”

He looked at me in surprise.

“Let’s go.” I took his hand and led him across the street. He didn’t relent as we dodged the cars, nor as I pushed open the door to the cafe and felt the welcoming embrace of the warmth from inside. A voice brought the man back from his memories.

We both looked across at the barrister who had spoken. With an awkward chuckle he pointed at the mistletoe above our heads. We both smiled, but the man spoke first. “Oh no, it would be like kissing a sister.”

So there you go! What did you guys think?

Words That Burn + Poems About Identity And Two Big Announcements!

As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.

So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.

However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that.  Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*

Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously

Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.

I Come From by Gracie Chick

I come from words springing from emptiness,

I come from the pages of a book, 

I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,

I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire

I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship. 

I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.

I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change, 

I come from tears and discontentment, 

I come from dreaming big

I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith. 

I come from wanting more than black and white

I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,

or writes.

I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.

Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……

Where do you come from???

Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!

And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at graciechick29@gmail.com

Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine.  Hoping to see lots of interest in this!

What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…

Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extracts From My Journal + The Best Of 2017 Blog Awards Have Arrived Again (Yay!!!)

30th November 2017

It’s a proven scientific fact that any energy that keeps getting larger and larger will eventually explode. For example, friction will  eventually burst into flames. Well, there’s friction in my mind right now.

My Mum called it emotional turmoil, my Dad called it being lost, but I think friction is a good word at the moment. I’ve already burst into flames a few times, the energy always seems to die down, simmer quietly for a little while and then begin to build up until, you guessed it, I explode again with emotion again. Most of the time I don’t even know what causes all of these feelings. 

I need to look towards my future, focus on the positives that lie ahead and stop clinging onto the negatives of the here and the now. Being sad and discontent never made anyone’s life better, I’ve got to take action. 

2nd December 2017

Today I went to see Wonder at the cinema. As the scenes from my favourite book flashed past my eyes, I immersed myself in the story, rediscovering the powerful themes that run through it. Many of them are relevant to my life right now – being different, going to school, fitting in, standing out, real friendships, finding your place in this world, staying true to who you are. 

In all of the characters that I’ve known and loved for so long, I suddenly saw myself. When I read the book (and I must have read it 100 times, no kidding) I am an observer in Auggie, Via, Miranda, Jack Will, Julian, Summer, Justin and everyone else’s lives. However, watching the movie made me see their story in a different light. I felt like I was there, I was part of it.

I was Via, struggling with friendships. I was Miranda, just trying to fit in with the crowd, wanting to be liked. I was Summer, trying to be a good friend and Jack Will, trying but not always succeeding.There are no words for how much I loved this movie and how much of an impact it had on me. 
4th December 2017

I went to my teen yoga class today. Although I’m not flexible enough to do half of the poses I still love it. It’s amazing for relaxation, concentration, exercise and the releasing of stress. 

My yoga teacher, Luna, says that in yoga thoughts are like clouds, we let them drift by without holding onto them. You go into your body and just observe your mind. It makes you less anxious and stressed plus it helps you concentrate on your thoughts and make more sense of them. This was great for me, for someone who’s brain is especially active and often anxious, it helped me chill out and bring things into perspective. </

In other news from the life of Gracie Chick, my prize for when I cam runner-up in a poetry competition arrived. I received a certificate and a small bundle of writing supplies (a notepad, two pencils, one pen and a bookmark). Exciting! 🙂 


I’ve also been really into cooking with foraged goodies. This time of year is brilliant for wild food and I’ve been making the most of the abundance of it on the farm where I live. 

</I made this delicious lunch for my family, it’s a chickweed and lettuce salad with a berry vinegar dressing and crumbled parmesan on toast. It was SO good. 

</A yummy snack of roasted burdock root chips sprinkled with sesame seeds. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life at the moment. I felt like doing an update and I wanted to be honest.<Now, I have an exciting announcement to make ~ Megan is hosting the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! By taking the survey now, you can vote for all the amazing blogs and posts out there that you’ve particularly loved. So, what are you waiting for? Go VOTE!

What’s going on in your life at the moment? Don’t be afraid of honesty, I often am and it never makes you feel better when you bottle it up. You can send me an email if you feel like talking. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh, and will you vote in the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards?