#MusicMonday: Chayanne | Refugio De Amor

“Dance with Me” (1998) was the type of cheesy-romancey ballroom dance movie that I’m always a sucker for and this one had a great movie soundtrack. 🙂


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above.

Can’t Stop The Feeling #vacation #music

Like I said  in “All I Ask“, I’m answering questions I receive from time to time…this is question #4.

Dr. K.E. Garland, aka Kathy and I have a number of things in common, one of them being the love of vacationing. 

Kathy’s got a great book out, “The Unhappy Wife” that I would encourage you to get a copy of. Filled with many life lessons that also serve as “reminders” for others who have already dealt with similar challenges. The stories are more than read-worthy – they are group discussion-worthy.

Kathy asked me an easy but also hard question: What has been my favorite vacation?

If you follow my blog, you know that I love being anywhere near the ocean, preferably near the beach.

But I can’t say that I’ve had “a” favorite vacation.

I’ve had several “favorite” vacations for very different vacation-feeling-reasons like:

  • the time my cousins and I invited the cruise DJ to dinner with the sole purpose of supplying him with our playlists for the week. We had no shame and the poor guy didn’t stand a chance. We danced, laughed, and shut the cruise disco down each and every night;
  • my first solo vacation where I spent two weeks with a penthouse view of the ocean (a I’ll admit to using a smile), mainly bathing suits in my luggage and with “nothing” on my agenda. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, if I wanted to do it at all. No compromising and no competing interests. The simple pleasure of staying on the beach all day or in bed with the A/C cranked up watching Turner Classic movies and the Food Network because of the 40C degrees + outside…. It may sound boring to you but it was heaven to me;
  • “staycations” that get my “to-do” list handled – repairs, redecorating, trying out new recipes, going to the movies, hanging out at the bookstore or just puttering around in my own space is  “zen”. Again, boring for some but I’ve had some staycations that were more enjoyable than some “away” vacations .

Exotic destination vacations are great but a great vacation is really about the feeling you have inside and your state of mind.

What about you? What do you consider a great vacation?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Catching “Feels” #writerwednesday #writerslife #feels 

Photo credit: Tamara Álvarez via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Like I said  in “All I Ask“, I’m answering questions I receive from time to time…this is question #3.

In a comment a while back, a fellow blogger friend from the 2017 A to Z Challenge, Geraint from Penguin Ponderings, asked me where I get my “feels” from in my fiction. I invite you to check out Geraint’s blog for some great stories. He also posts some beautiful shots of wildlife on Instagram.

It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that question about “feels”. I know what it refers to but not being 100% certain of what the proper definition is, I turned to the trusty Urban Dictionary:

“Feels”:

  • Shortened version of ‘feeling’, generally a strong emotional response;
  • A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained;
  • A word used to describe something that is intensely emotional on a level somewhere between you feeling empty and you on the floor in a ball weeping uncontrollably.

Okay, so I would not categorize my writing by that last one but you get the point.

Like many others who write fiction, I get my “feels” by tapping into experiences and situations that have challenged me. Usually, I don’t have to dig that far.

I enjoy taking a scene to the basic underlying emotions that we all have, translating those feelings beyond words into “visuals” and having those scenes resonate enough to provoke a physical reaction…hopefully.

For me, a “feel” is successful if I find myself rewinding or rereading a certain part of a movie or book over and over again.

If I get the very same “pang” in my chest each and every time I reread or rewatch, that’s a “successful feel” for me, like that final fight scene of JLo’s movie “Enough” or Maya Angelou‘s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and her other autobiographical books.

Emotions are emotions:

  • that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know that you aren’t safe (“The Things Women Go Through“);
  • washing your hands clean of someone you used to love for good and finally meaning it (“Gone“) ;
  • allowing yourself to give into sweet temptation and not caring about the consequences (“Straight, No Chaser“); or
  • shutting yourself down to cope with the consequences of a bad situation (“Stronger“).

“Feels” are all about the good, the bad and the ugly of our emotions.

And what about you? How deep do you dig to get the “feels” for your writing?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

 

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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“Just The Two Of Us” #TravelTuesday #Fiction #bloggersblast

*inspired by a true event – updated with new content and photo 

“Looking Up” video©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“It’s just the two of us left in this entire world now,” Jeanne** told me about thirty seconds after introducing herself and her sister Cassie** to me on the beach. “And we are going to enjoy this trip like it’s our last one together.”

I quickly realized that her words were more literal than figurative…

It was still quite early in the morning but these sisters had already gone all out and splurged by renting chairs, an umbrella, and little table for the day. The older sister’s name was Jeanne and her younger sister was Cassie, both in their fifties. We had crossed paths countless times, smiling and saying “Another beautiful day” to each other on the beach, at the pool and in the lobby. Jeanne and Cassie were always cheerful and pumped up for another day in the beautiful sun.

Jeanne stood out from the other beach regulars because of the beautiful head scarves she wore. Today’s head scarf was sky blue with silver edging. From the fragile wisps of her hair escaping from underneath it, it was obvious that though an illness had managed to steal her hair, it had not robbed her of bubbly and friendly spirit. Cassie had the same energy but spirit was dulled by a hint of sadness.

“You know, I was just telling Cassie that the next time we saw you, we should introduce ourselves. Why waste time just saying hello when we can get to know each other? Life is just too short to waste, don’t you agree?”

I definitely agreed.

And we spent the next few hours chatting under their umbrella. 

**names changed

2017 update : I saw them from a distance this year on the beach and was happy that it was still just the two of them…

Still Just The Two of Them ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

Photos, video and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

 (originally posted on September 27, 2016)

 

 


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#MusicMonday: Juan Luis Guerra | Ojala Que Llueva Café

One of the “classicos”…I remember hearing this while in Cuba circa 1988 and getting the hotel DJ to make me a cassette of the “good stuff”, which included this one.

This song still gets people dancing and singing along to it today!

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above.

#TravelTuesday: I Wear My Sunglasses At Light

I’m guilty.

The only time I wear sunglasses is when I’m on the beach and my reasons have nothing to do with the glare of the sun, UV rays and eye protection. Wearing sunglasses has everything to do with people watching.

I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way like the guy in this post. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious, perfectly sneaky way to observe people’s interactions, body language and conversations that are within earshot. And no one is really the wiser if you do it the right way.

Sunglasses on, nose in book and ears wide open.

The kind of “observing” that gets your imagination going, leads you to make up stories about the people you see and try to decipher the relationships between them…the stuff begs questions like:

How is it that this mother and daughter have matching plastic surgery?

Mother and daughter with matching plastic surgery All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What secrets are these two lovers keeping from each other?

What secrets are they keeping from each other? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What’s the story behind this woman’s back tattoo?

Why did she get that tattoo? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Who was sipping on this coconut before they abandoned it?

Whose coconut was this and how did it get here? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Yes, I am guilty of wearing my sunglasses to seek out ideas when I’m on the beach.

But as a writer, YOU are guilty too.

Whether it’s on the beach, while sitting in a coffeeshop, at the hair salon or on the train…

I know that you do it too because as writers, we observe, ponder, imagine and create tales.

The question is, “Who’s watching you?”

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#MusicMonday: Bruno Mars | “24K Magic” in the Live Lounge #music #brunomars

If you don’t like Bruno, you and I may have issues being friends. 

I would love to know where he gets his song ideas/lyrics from.

Love the old school Morris Day and The Time vibe! And what’s in those cups?! 😉

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.