Hello, Again

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve written on this little website. First, if you are still with me, I want to thank you for staying. It really means a lot to me.

Now I want to discuss with you the future of this site.

I don’t think I can make any promises but I am currently trying to make a conscious effort to write on here more. I really am. Even if I don’t write a ton, just know that this site isn’t going away anytime soon. For now I am focusing on just writing and not the marketing aspect of my blog. By marketing I mean social media. I honestly believe that at this point doing a lot of media stuff is going to distract me from my work and put to much pressure on me. Secondly, I would like to see this website take a more creative turn. I am going to attempt to do more creative writing, poetry, art etc. on here.

I am also working on a new project that I am really super excited about and will be announcing soon. My siblings and I are also probably going to revive and renew Folding Stars (or some other podcast), although it will probably be a monthly or bi-weekly podcast. I’m not going to put up a specific timeline, but know that it is in the works. (TBH it will probably be summer when we have time.)

Now I’m going to stop with the excuses and I am going to start to create real content.

I love you guys,

-Claire

Advertisements

I am so busy

Hello lovely people,

It’s a me Mario Claire. (Yes, I am that tired.)  I know, I know I haven’t posted in forever. I have a good reason I swear. One word, School. Lots and lots of school. Currently I have around 12 hours of work to do, so I have been off the face of the internet for around 2 weeks. No twitter, no insta, no podcasts, no blogging and minimal tumblr. I really do hope you’ll forgive me. I just have so much work. I figured I should probably tell you guys what is up. I really do hope to be back up in a couple of weeks.


Please forgive me.

-Claire

Inspiration

My inspiration comes usually late at night. Like right now when I’m writing a post at almost midnight. It comes at complete random. Sometimes I go weeks without inspiration and then it hits me in a wave and I go and create a lot.

This can sometimes be a problem. With blogs consistency is key. I could go for weeks without writing and then write three posts in a single day. This eventually leads me nowhere and is totally unfair to you.

So I need a way to make the flow on creativity consistent. For me the easiest to do that is to just go and start writing. I usually end up with something decent and more ideas than what I started with.

Let me tell you a story. I work in many different mediums. I particularly enjoy art. One time I was in art class during one of my creativity dry spells. Lets just say my teacher was not very happy that I hadn’t drawn anything in weeks. So I drew the first thing that came to my head. Ramen. Let me tell you that is one of my favorite art pieces I’ve ever done. It’s stylized and minimalistic and overall just awesome. The just do anything method worked very well.

This do anything even if it is horrible method usually works pretty well for me. The problem is I rarely ever use it. Why? For one sometimes I just don’t feel like creating. The second reason is procrastination. Usually tumblr. A third reason inaccessibility, I do not want to walk all the way across my room, dig through drawers to find my sketchbook, gather supplies, and clear a workspace. I am basically one of the laziest people alive. The final reason, time. I just don’t have time, I have school, the podcast, extracurriculars and a lot of other stuff to do, sometimes I just do not have the time to sketch or write.

So what can I do to find inspiration and create more. First clean workspace (room) and a central place for supplies so I don’t have to search for the stuff I need.Find more time. This usually consists of finishing my schoolwork early and creating after, instead of procrastinating on my work, or even using creation to procrastinate on the important things. Next, to stop procrastinating. I will sometimes use Tumblr or Pinterest to procrastinate. I could just be doing nothing, or claim that I am looking for inspiration. Sometimes inspiration becomes procrastination. That is why is usually never use the internet for inspiration. Usually when I am searching for inspiration I am just procrastinating. That is why the just do anything approach is what I typically use.

Inspiration has never been a straight line for me. For some people their family, friends, or pets are their inspiration. For others nature or their Pinterest boards. For me, inspiration just happens. There has never been a clear source and usually comes straight from my head. Maybe their is a place where my inspiration is coming from but I have not yet found it. The search must continue. Onward.


Thanks for reading and for all of your support. Sorry if this seems a little jumbled. How do you find inspiration? Comment down below.

 

-Claire

Sing Street

Do you love teenage angst and 80s throwbacks then you’re gonna love Sing Street. I mean look at that you can just feel the angst.

Unknown.jpeg

How to describe sing street. It’s an angsty Irish indie film about a bunch of teenagers who form a band after the lead singer says he is in a band to impress a model and asks her to be in their video. This crazy band they call sing street is inspired by Duran Duran, The Cure, Depeche Mode, etc., they call themselves futurists. It’s really about them discovering who they are with a dash of teenage rebellion. It also shows the struggles of living in Ireland in the eighties. It beautifully depicts the journey of this band of teenagers trying to find their place in the world.

What first drew me to the film was the music. I listen to 80s music all the time. It was what I grew up listening to. I own almost every Duran Duran Album ever published. Correction, my Mom owns almost every Duran Duran album ever. They are just in my room and I’m the only person who ever listens to them. That’s beside the point, the point is that I love that music. This film is a combination of actual songs from the eighties, like Rio by Duran Duran, and new music. The beauty of it is that the new music blends right in with the other music from the era. When I first listened to the music I was convinced it was actually from the eighties. Some of my favorite original songs from this film are The Riddle of the Model, Girls and ,of course, Brown Shoes.

In all honesty, though, I adore this film. It’s a story about a bunch of nerds who form a band to impress a girl, with an A+ soundtrack. Seriously I am listening to the soundtrack right now. Also the sass in the film. I find this film hilarious and thought provoking. It makes you question societal norms, like why can’t guys wear makeup. Also, it’s produced by the Irish Film Board. Yeah, that’s right the people who made the documentary about pubs. Liam says if it’s by them it must be good. The reviews are also super good it has a 97% rating on rotten tomato and 5 stars on iTunes. So far, the reviews are heavily in its favor.

images.jpeg

I totally recommend this film. Just give it a try. You’ll love it.


Have you seen any awesome indie films I should check out? Leave your recommendations in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

-Claire

The Effects of Music

Music. Something I am convinced has existed since the beginning of time. Why do we love it so much? Because it takes us somewhere else. It tells a story and conveys emotion.

My favorite music to listen to when I’m feeling stressed, angry, confused, upset or I just really need to concentrate are The How to Train Your Dragon Soundtracks. Why them because it brings me somewhere else.

When I first saw the How to Train Your Dragon Movies, I fell in love. I was so mystified with that little Island called Berk. I loved the idea of having a dragon. A best friend who was always there for me, having the ability to fly, the ability to be free. I felt like I was stuck in the boring life that I was living and Berk was something so much greater. Whenever I feel stressed or scared or worried I go back and I watch the movies. They calm me down, they bring me somewhere else that is so much better than here. I  never feel so grounded. It’s ironic, right?

Then one day I decided to look up the soundtrack.  Then I discovered that the music amplified the effect the movie had on me. Something about that score makes me feel at peace. I could close my eyes and imagine that I was living in a little Viking village or flying high on the back of a dragon. I could imagine that I was somewhere without all the hate in the world. I could imagine a place where I belonged.

I love all types of music, Big Band Music, Musical Soundtracks, 80’s pop, Classic Rock, the weird emo music my sister listens to. Anything but country.

To me, good music is music that inflicts emotion. The music that makes me feel safe. The music that reminds me of home. The music that pumps me up. The music that plays in my dad’s car. The music that brings me somewhere else.


Do you have music that brings you somewhere else? Comment down below. Now I’ve gotta go and rewatch How to Train Your Dragon. If you are also obsessed with HTTYD drop a comment below we can obsess together. 😉 Thanks for reading.

-Claire

 

Podcasting

Podcasting

As some of you may or may not know I have recently started podcasting. This is my reflection on the process thus far, and some advice for people interested in podcasting.

Now you may be saying, “Claire so far you have only actually published one podcast.” You’re right, I have only published one episode. I have recorded over 10 episodes just figuring out how to do it right and have done a lot of testing. I have put a lot of time into working on figuring out to podcast and I think my advice is still pretty accurate. This post is also about how we do it and my experiences with podcasting.

First, let’s start by saying how much I love podcasting. At first, I was a little bit hesitant, but when we actually started, I loved it. This is probably because of how much I love to talk. There is nothing I love more than an intelligent conversation. Now, with the podcast I have the ability to have a conversation about the things I am passionate about and about what is going on in the world. There is nothing like it. It is now one of my favorite mediums.

I have currently done around four episodes of Folding Stars (we didn’t upload two and one is being released on Friday) and I have already learned so much. I am now proficient in Garageband and know my way around iTunes and Soundcloud like the back of my hand. I have also learned a lot about audio and recording. These technical skills are very useful in the real world, especially if I want to go into technical theater or film. I also get to learn a lot about politics and pop culture through the research and discussion for the podcast. I learn something new every single time I record.

I put a tremendous amount of effort into this podcast. I do all the recording, editing, uploading and run most of the social media. This podcast is like my child and I take a lot of pride in it. I remember when I submitted the podcast to iTunes, I was super nervous. A person from Apple had to listen to my podcast and decide if it could go on the iTunes store or not. I was super nervous. I was texting my friend and freaking out, she thought it was adorable how much I was worrying about my podcast. Then I checked the status of the podcast and found that it was now on the iTunes store. I have never been more happy or excited in my life. I can’t really explain the feeling. It was a mix of happiness, pride, and relief. I know I’ve never felt that way about something before. MY work is on Apple Podcasts. Now people can listen to it and join us in the conversation. That is super exciting to me. My advice to you find something that makes you feel like that.

Now lets get technical. What do we use to record? The short answer my Dad’s old recording equipment. My dad used to run a recording studio so we use his old recording equipment. Now this is extremely impractical for most people. I would recommend just a good USB microphone and a pop filter. The only reason we use all this  equipment was because we already owned it. Honestly, you could probably get the same audio quality from a USB microphone. It would also be a lot easier to store and setup. Sarah’s room looks like a recording studio 24/7. We have a lot of trouble with our equipment (as beginners) and the only reason we are able to use this stuff is because we have our dad around for troubleshooting. If you aren’t ready to buy equipment just yet try using the onboard mics on your laptop or a gaming headset you already own. The onboard mics are surprisingly good on macs. We actually recorded a couple of episodes using them that were never released. Even if you have the best audio quality you won’t get anywhere without good content. Content is king, so don’t worry too much about the audio quality, but also make sure your audio quality doesn’t totally suck.

Most people use audacity to record because they have more control. But honestly it confuses me, so we just use Garageband or, gasp, the QuickTime player recorder. They get the job done so we don’t really care. Pro tip when recording, make sure you are using your external mics when recording or else it may record using your onboard mics. This has happened to us and we have had to re-record episodes because of it.

Editing. The struggle is real. Mostly because we mess up ALL THE TIME. It is also my job. Luckily, I actually enjoy editing a lot. The key to any podcast or movie is editing. You can erase all your mistakes. Garageband (or your editing software of choice) will become your best friend. Only sometimes are we able to get through without mistakes and you can also add sound effects later. If you have a mac I would recommend GarageBand because it is free and I am cheap.

Uploading. This took me forever to figure out. We use Soundcloud. Basically, what you’ve got to do is make an RSS feed. You could also make a website instead but we use Soundcloud because it is easy. If you are using Soundcloud, when you upload make sure you go to the preferences and make sure it is added to your RSS feed. The Soundcloud Creators guide is VERY helpful with this whole process and they can explain it a lot better than me. Now that you have your RSS feed and you have made sure your podcast fits iTunes’ specifications submit it here. Then wait. Apple should send you an email saying it was approved. I never got mine so check back at podcasts connect occasionally. Now bookmark podcasts connect, this is where you monitor your podcast at and update the podcast on the store. Yay you now have a podcast.

Now some advice. Start a twitter for your podcast. This way you can interact with your listeners and tell them when your podcast is coming out. Stay consistent, when you have a podcast figure out how long your podcast is gonna be and when you will upload it. For example, our Folding Stars is uploaded every Friday and is always around thirty minutes. Find a topic you are interested in, you need to talk about it a lot so you need to be passionate about it and you need to know what you are talking about. On Folding Stars we do a lot of research, especially on political topics. Don’t give up. If you are consistent and interesting there will be people who listen. Have fun. If you aren’t enjoying it don’t do it.

Wow, this suddenly turned into Podcasting 101. Even though I am pretty new to podcasts. I feel like this is pretty solid advice. I just don’t want you to be completely lost on your podcasting journey because at first it can be a little daunting. I’m sorry if you aren’t interested in learning how to Podcast. My hand slipped.

Overall I have had a really great experience podcasting. According to the 1K+ words in this post it is something I have become really passionate about.

Now to everyone, interested in podcasting or not. Find something that makes you feel excited. I can’t really explain the feeling but something that makes you feel like I do about podcasting. If you find something like that your life will be 1000x better.

Now if you are interested, please, do me a favor. Go to the Folding Stars Podcast on iTunes and have a listen. Then leave a review and/or a rating. The Folding Stars Team and I would really appreciate it.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so what would you like to hear us talk about on Folding Stars?

-Claire

The Three Sides of Claire

In the real world people know me as me. Here online things are a little different. Online I have three sides. The first side is my personal side. This is my personal instagram, twitter, etc. The side that people from work and school see and interact with me on. The second side I like to call my tumblr side. This side is my tumblr blogs, the side I interact with the people of the internet. These people know me by what I am truly interested in. Tumblr is a place where I can be myself. I can rant about politics, reblog funny vines, and interact with people more like me.  The tumblr side and the personal side never cross streams except with very close friends and my sister.

Now there is a third side. This side is the blog and podcast side. This place is the middle ground. Here I have the same freedom as the tumblr side but there is more chance this will be discovered by the personal side.

Now some people have just one side. All their social media and online content reflects themselves and their real lives. For example Casey Neistat, everyone knows Casey as Casey Neistat and people on his personal side can see and interact with his online side and the other way around. This is typical with celebrities, popular content creators, and vloggers.

Now smaller content creators, for example smaller youtube channels more focused on privacy have two sides online and personal. They do this to keep their viewers from finding their personal side. They want to have a place to interact strictly with family and friends. Which is understandable.

I keep my sides separate  for a much different reason. I don’t want the personal side to find the online side. Why? Because highschoolers can be very cruel people. I don’t want them finding it because they will eventually take over. Most people on the personal side aren’t very close friends and to be honest I don’t want them judging my online side. There once was a girl at my school she had a youtube channel. The people at school found it and made fun of  her for it so she eventually just took it down. I do not want that to happen to me.

Also, typically in the real world I am an avoid confrontation type of person and people finding this blog would ruin that and I would be forced to talk to people about it. Not that I am embarrassed by this blog or don’t like talking to people about it. It is that people that I know in the real world are not the people I want to talk about it with.

Eventually the sides will start to blend together, but not until I am confident enough to let the people outside in.

Just because I keep the sides separate doesn’t mean I am fake on any side of the internet. It is just the part of me that I choose to show online or in the real world.


Do you have multiple sides on the internet? Comment Below.  Thanks for reading.

-Claire