Break it down…#FridayFeel

casual-chair-coffee-1842621 (1)Lunch breaks, fifteen-minute rest breaks, spare moments between errands–what do these things have in common?

Hint…this is a blog post about creativity and positivity and a big, huge #FridayFeel.

The answer: breaks are a chance to text your Muse, ping the creative spirit within you that was hiding behind Excel spreadsheets, calendar appointments and endless to-do lists.

But I’m busy, Eliza! (That’s you, talking to me, and I’m nodding in total agreement).

I know you’re busy. CRAZY busy. I also know your soul needs that rest break in a big way. I know fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot, but you’d be amazed at what you can get done in such a small space! Creativity does not mean sitting down and writing the greatest novel of your generation, or painting an epic mural or composing an entire sonata…it means engaging, just for a moment or two, in your ideas and dreams. This blog post? A ten-minute free-for-all where I let myself spill my thoughts onto the page then spent the last five minutes of that 15-minute respite editing/posting the piece.

beautiful-beauty-carefree-1458318 (1)The thing about not having a lot of time is that you don’t have the time to be critical. I have friends who do ten minutes of free writing, and solve entire plot problems in the process. I know folks who carry a lightweight sketchbook or tablet with them and just scribble away in the space between one errand and the next, sometimes story-boarding whole comics or getting line art done for a commission they’ve put off for far too long.

And making this a habit? It’s *that* much easier to, the next time you get a break, dive into a creative project with the confidence that it will lead to good things, and the joy of engaging with that part of yourself in the midst of your workaday world. It shows your Muse, your spirit, your subconscious mind that yes, I’m serious about taking time to create and reaping the benefits of authenticity and self-care!

What are some things that you could do in a lunch break’s span of time? I’d love to hear them in the comments and, as ever, happy creating! ❤

Found Family: Friday Feel

So, I’m closing in on a week of pre-release blogging, and I’m no less excited than when I first began. If anything, I even more can’t wait to share the world of Tanahr with you!

I was thinking about what I might want to say for a Friday Feel post and what immediately popped into my head (likely because of the consonance of so many f’s) was “found family.” Found family is a concept that I come to often in my writing and world building. When I think about my favorite narratives–video games, books, shows, movies, tabletop gaming even–there is usually an element of disparate people coming together in the midst of plot drama to support one another.

Sometimes the found family is at first a simple matter of convenience or happenstance–like two of my favorite TV shows, Cowboy Bebop and Firefly. In most Star Trek shows I’ve seen, Star Fleet personnel are often forced to bond as they journey into the depths of space, or carry out duty assignments far from their homes. Many characters in found family narratives do have family of their own that they love, or that for one reason or another they cannot be close to. Many others have nobody, but gravitate, willingly or otherwise, to those who can help them in their journeys, if only for a time. And then, there are those who stick together with their now found-but-forever-families.

valiant_heart_family (2)

Valiant Heart’s found family. ❤

I realized, in creating graphics and character lists for my Tanahr Tales series, that the concept of found family is the backbone of at least the first three narrative arcs. In Valiant Heart, Niamh and Jeron find each other in the course of duty and as they are drawn closer by the events that surround them, they not just find comfort in one another but in fellow soldiers, mages, and people they meet along the way. Many of them have families of their own but come together in the big, bustling city of Astra as a found-family of friends, lovers, mentors and even pseudo-parental figures.

What are your favorite found family narratives? There are so many out there, and I never get tired of them so feel free to share in the comments. Happy Friday, all, and thanks for reading!