rip nanowrimo!

hello! as you can tell from my super clever and not at all cheesy and overdone title, i will be discussing the ups and downs (mostly downs) of my nanowrimo experience. for those of you who aren’t sure what that means (count yourself as lucky, please) nanowrimo stands for ‘national novel writing month’, which takes place throughout november.

upon hearing about nanowrimo, i knew it wouldn’t be super easy for me, but i also didn’t worry too much about it because hey, it’s the beginning of school, november is sooooo far away, right? wrong!! so, so very wrong. i genuinely think that if i had prepared myself better and started brainstorming immediately, i could have had a lot of fun with it, but november hit, and i found that my brain was utterly and absolutely empty. vacant. there were cobwebs.

i eventually got an idea that i thought i could possibly go with. i built this idea solely because i created two characters that i genuinely love and believe in. i was really stumped on what story i wanted to tell, and i scrapped several different plots before i realized that it doesn’t work that way for me because that isn’t how i myself read and consume other media. when i read/watch something, it isn’t normally the plot that interests me- it’s the characters. that’s when i decided that creating characters that i love would provide me with the opportunity to build a world around them that i could grow to love also.

the characters that i created and their dynamic is one that reflects the type of things i like to read. two childhood friends who both want to be more, but something is getting in the way. a loner who has experienced a tragic loss and his only friend in the world, learning to navigate life and love in their teen years.

has it been done before? certainly. will it continue to be done until the end of time? most likely. but since i was embarking on the already heavy task of writing a novel in a single month, i decided to write something that i never have before- a romance. when i thought about the kind of stories that i love, my mind immediately went to the couples in those stories. i’m a self-admitted hopeless romantic, but i’ve never personally explored the genre for fear of being…being… too sappy, i guess. the things that i typically write about are rather dark or solemn, and the idea of writing a conventional love story was somewhat foreign and intimidating. but i went with it, and i can’t say that i regret it.

so, emma, why have you written this blog about your own struggles with an assignment? no one wants to hear about it.

well, maybe not, but i want to talk about it anyway. although the experience wasn’t seamless for me, i’m genuinely grateful to be in an environment where my teacher believes in me enough to say, “write a novel in a month. i know you can do it.” because i certainly didn’t believe that i could. i got out of my comfort zone of unsettling short stories and wrote thousands of words about deep friendship and unrequited love, which wasn’t a breeze for me. it took a lot of brainstorming, playlist making, and favorite-tv-show-rewatching, but i did it, and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t kinda proud. a rare experience for me indeed.

’til next week, enjoy the mini playlist i created for my novel (if you dare) 🙂

novel mini playlist

near you always- jewel

some things last a long time- daniel johnston

iris- the goo goo dolls

american pie- don mclean

wouldn’t it be nice- the beach boys

my top 4 favorite selena songs

hi there! this week, i’ll be talking about the queen of tejano and one of my favorite artists of all time, selena quintanilla-perez! i absolutely adore all of her music, but for this blog, i’ll be listing my five favorite selena songs (in no particular order as usual). she is such an iconic singer, songwriter, and performer, and i highly encourage you to give her music a listen! selena has songs in both english and spanish, but her music speaks to the heart, regardless of the language it’s written in! so, without further ado, these are five of my favorite selena songs! 

no me queda mas

this is the song that made me fall madly in love with selena’s music. it has gorgeous lyrics that speak of unrequited love and loss, and it speaks to the listener so beautifully. even when i hadn’t read a translation of the lyrics, i could just feel the emotion and power in selena’s voice, and that was enough to make me see what an incredible artist she was, not only as a vocalist but as a performer. the song has a sense of both vulnerability and strength, melancholy and contentment. it’s a gorgeous ballad of a love that was never meant to be.

amor prohibido

amor prohibido is just one of those songs that makes me smile when i hear its opening beat. the lyrics speak of forbidden love, but selena’s soulful and playful voice makes it a fun song to listen to. it’s essentially a romeo and juliet story with a hopeful tone and ending, saying that it doesn’t matter what the world around them may think, these two people love each other, and that’s all that counts. i think selena is the perfect woman to tell this story, as she had a similar romance with her husband.

baila esta cumbia

baila esta cumbia!! this is a song that just lights up a room when it comes on. i remember singing and dancing in the car to it on summer nights with friends, singing it at karaoke, and learning to play a simplified version of it on the guitar. even i (a person who simply isn’t capable of dancing) cannot help but move when this song’s rhythm plays out and selena’s powerful voice fills the air. this song absolutely never fails to boost my serotonin levels and make me nostalgic for summer.

si una vez

this is one of the song’s where selena’s rasp and vulnerability is showcased beautifully. it feels mysterious and foreboding, while also having a fun, quirky rhythm that allows for a unique musical experience. it’s truly one of those songs you just can’t help but sing along to dramatically with a hairbrush. (is that just me? maybe, but oh well!)

 

well, blog world, no me queda mas for this week. ’til next time, enjoy this photo of the beautiful queen of tejano music enjoying a coca cola <3

 

Selena Quintanilla Exhibit At The National Museum of American History |  PEOPLE.com

 

 

 

 

ranking my favorite glee characters on how scared i’d be to meet them in a dark alley

hi there, blog space! i distinctly remember saying that i would return to normal content this week… but things don’t always go as planned. nanowrimo is absolutely crushing me, and i am counting the seconds until thanksgiving, so for now, enjoy my writer’s block alamode! this week, i’ll be ranking five of my favorite glee characters based on how scared i would be if i ran into them in a dark alley! keep in mind, though, this list is compiled of some of my random favorites. i don’t even have time to discuss how horrified i’d be if i met some other glee characters in an alley (looking at you, mr. shoe stir).

#5 mercedes jones

to start of with the one i would be least afraid of, we have the gorgeous and insanely talented miss mercedes jones! i adore mercedes! she is easily one of the most talented and driven characters on the show, and she’s absolutely so important for balancing out the show’s wackiness and relatability. if i saw her in a dark alley, i would probably offer her some tater tots and tell her she deserves more screen time!

how scared i would be of this character: 0/10

 

 

#4 Quinn fabray

quinn has been one of my favorite characters for as long as i can remember, and honestly, she doesn’t scare me nearly as much as some of the glee folks do. i would definitely be intimidated by her looks, but i wouldn’t fear for my safety or anything. i would probably just tell her to get back together with sam and dye her hair pink again, if i’m being honest.

how scared i would be of this character: 2/10

See the source image

 

#3 Burt hummel

y’alllll… i love burt so much. i’ve never been a huge kurt fan, but the elder hummel is such a kind, genuine character, and he means so much to me. if i met him in a dark alley, i might be a little startled at first, but once i got a good look at him, i wouldn’t be worried at all. i would probably just congratulate him on being the world’s greatest stepdad and listen to some john mellencamp with him.

how scared i would be of this character: 2/10

See the source image

#2 finn hudson

from the very first time i watched the show, i’ve been totally in love with cory monteith’s portrayal of finn hudson. like every other character on this utterly ridiculous show, he is FAR from perfect; but when it comes down to it, finn is an incredibly sweet guy just doing his best. however… if i saw this man in a dark alley… it would definitely freak me out. finn is so awkward, i can just picture him looming in the alley trying to say hello. pretty sure i would automatically assume he drove a white van.

how scared i would be of this character: 6.5/10

#1 sue sylvester

sue sylvester is easily one of the most iconic and memorable characters in recent history. she has made me laugh unreasonably hard over the years with her wicked wit. she’s undeniably evil, but i can’t help but root for her at times because at her core, sue feels deeply and loves fiercely. however, if i saw her in an alley, i would run. for. my. life. no question about it. she would probably just ridicule me as i attempted to escape her. also, i do feel that she’s inescapable. i couldn’t make it far from her, and even if i did, she would send becky or some of the cheerios after me in a heartbeat. meeting sue sylvester in a dark alley would likely be the end of me. but, honestly, that’s not a terrible way to go. and that’s how sue sees it.

how scared i would be of this character: 11/10

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dreams for sale!

howdy! happy belated halloween and merry christmas season! i have no idea what this blog is. it came from a place of writer’s block and bone-deep tiredness. please excuse the low quality and lack of sense!

would you care to buy a dream? believe me, i’ve had more than my share, and i’m perfectly happy to distribute them fairly amongst all those who would like one. may i interest you in a gut-wrenching sequence that jolts you awake so violently you can’t remember where you are? how about a feeling of falling so realistic that you have to catch your breath and wipe your tears when you inevitably wake? not sounding appealing to you? that’s understandable. dreams like these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. they certainly aren’t mine!

perhaps, you would prefer a dream in which the thing you want most, the thing you would die for is standing right in front of you. sounds lovely, right? it is! until you touch it, and it crumbles in your hands. but it was worth it, wasn’t it? to get to hold it, hold her or him one last time? i certainly hope so, because this dream is my most precious and expensive. only the strongest of the broken should venture to the part of themselves in which this dream can exist.

some people say that dreams are the deepest longings of our heart expressed subconsciously. personally, i hope that isn’t true. i hope that my heart isn’t so damaged as to wish for its own destruction. this actually leads me to another question! do you have any dreams you’d like to sell me? i’m always on the lookout for a new world to lose and find myself in. your dreams are surely more welcoming than mine. maybe if we trade, we can both sleep! wouldn’t that be nice!

is there music in your dreams? there’s music in mine. not really the good kind, though. it’s the music that you hear at the carnival and the hospital and the car late at night. real life music. i don’t like it very much. i think it’d be neat to have jazz music in my dreams, like the red room. nobody ever gets that reference, but that’s okay! i don’t expect people to automatically know the silly, unreasonable things that float around my brain. in fact, i’m glad they don’t. it’s probably a lot easier that way. sorry, back to what i was saying- would you care to buy a dream?

once again, i apologize for… whatever this was. Lord willing n the creek don’t rise, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming this time next week. in the meantime, enjoy these wise words from special agent dale cooper:

 

 

my top 3 rom-coms and why i love them

this week’s blog is one that i’ve been excited about for a while! i’m an absolute fanatic for movies of practically any kind, but today i’ll be discussing one of my favorite genres- romantic comedy! this is a genre that often gets a bad rep for being cheesy and unrealistic, but guess what?! it is cheesy and unrealistic, and that’s the beauty of it! a film doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or brilliant to be good. truly appreciating cinema, to me, is about watching what makes you feel something. even if that something is just butterflies and desperation. with all my needless introduction established, i give to you three of my favorite rom-coms (in no particular order, as i am to indecisive for all that) <3

PRETTY WOMAN written by j.f. lawton

i honestly don’t know how to describe what this movie means to me and how it has been there for me. when i’m sad for no good reason, i turn on pretty woman. when i’m angry at the world, i turn on pretty woman. when my standards aren’t feeling quite as high as usual, i turn on pretty woman, and i’m instantly reminded that my richard gere will come along someday. to me, this movie is a classic and one of the most beautiful love stories told in recent history. from the very first time i watched this movie, i knew i would never forget the joy and comfort it brought me, and that beautiful, nostalgic feeling returns each time i watch it. also, don’t even get me started on julia roberts and richard gere- gotta be two of the most gorgeous people on planet earth, particularly in this movie. the fashion, dialogue, and impossibly lovable characters make this a solid classic that stands the test of time. oh, and the soundtrack- 10/10. it must have been love will be stuck in your head for the next three to five business days after you watch this film!

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY written by nora ephron

this is a movie that i actually discovered during quarantine, after years of hearing that i would love it, and well… i absolutely did. this is one of the most realistic, endearing films i have ever seen, and it speaks to me in a way that no other film can. the story is simple- man meets woman, man irritates woman, man loves woman, man would die without woman, and woman feels the same. sounds pretty straightforward, but this movie is so much more than its romanticism would lead you to believe. when harry met sally is a story of love in every sense- friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the sort of love you wait a lifetime for before realizing it’s been right in front of you. the whole aesthetic of this film is so comforting. the outfits in this movie are absolutely incredible, and the music is spot-on. the casting of this movie could not be any more perfect- meg ryan’s warmth and wisdom paired with billy crystal’s wit and charm make for a match you can’t help but root for.

 

BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY written by richard curtis, andrew davies, and helen fielding

this is one of my childhood favorites! looking back, is it a little sad that my 11- year-old self related so strongly to bridget jones? sure, it is! does that change the fact that it’s true? no, it does not! this movie is unreasonably relatable and funny (to me at least). no matter how many times i watch this, i will always feel the same sense of peace and laughter that i felt as a kid, watching it when i had nothing else to do (which was a lot of the time). renee zellweger and colin firth contrast each other perfectly in this film, and as always, hugh grant makes a gorgeous but detestable half-antagonist. once again, the music used in this movie- goodies from start to finish. the older i get, the more of myself i see in this film- all i’m missing is my mark darcy, but then again, aren’t we all? i leave you to ponder this all-important inquiry ’til next week, dear reader.

 

dusty, definitely

i will never forget the first time i heard the mystical voice of miss dusty springfield. i was about thirteen and utterly obsessed with the newman ballad, “i think it’s going to rain today”. the lyrics spoke to me in a way i had never experienced before, and i was searching for a version in which the vocals matched up. this was when i discovered dusty. her cover of this song is one of the most intimate, emotional takes on another artist’s words that i have ever heard, and only dusty can achieve this level of mastery.

dusty had one of the most unique, striking voices i have ever heard. she was smoky and soulful, but tenderness and truth rolled from her lips like honey. each perfect note is absolutely mesmerizing, and when her sound cuts through the air, one can’t help but stop and listen. dusty drew inspiration from the beauties of her time, donning a bleached beehive and heavy makeup that accentuated her naturally gorgeous features. her elegance and flair made for a truly revolutionary woman and artist.

dusty had an incredibly fascinating personal life. to me, she is easily one of the most interesting, complex musicians of all time. naturally, she was far from perfect. dusty suffered from extreme mental illness and addiction, but ultimately, she will forever be known for the music she graced us with. her story is quite tragic in many ways, dealing with more heartbreak than most. however, her legacy continues to inspire many artists. though she isn’t particularly well-known in the u.s. today, she is known as one of the most influential female artists in british history, highly acclaimed by many. her history of advocacy and activism for animal and human rights is a fascinating contrast to her mysterious nature.

i highly recommend giving her music a listen, particularly if you are a fan of soulful music from the 60s. a few of my favorites are “i think it’s going to rain today” (obviously), “you don’t have to say you love me”, and “son of a preacher man”. below, i included the link to some articles that taught me more about this complex, troubled, talented woman, and i highly encourage you to check them out! learning about the life, love, and legacy of dusty springfield has been fascinating, and i will forever be inspired by her artistry.

to close, i’d like to include a beautiful quote about dusty’s magic as a performer. simon napier-bell told the observer, “There, standing on the staircase at Philips studio, singing into the stairwell, Dusty gave her greatest ever performance – perfection from first breath to last, as great as anything by Aretha Franklin or Sinatra or Pavarotti. Great singers can take mundane lyrics and fill them with their own meaning. This can help a listener’s own ill-defined feelings come clearly into focus. Vicki [Wickham] and I had thought our lyric was about avoiding emotional commitment. Dusty stood it on its head and made it a passionate lament of loneliness and love.”

Dusty Springfield – Wikipedia

How Dusty Springfield made a remarkable comeback – BBC Culture

 

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the genius casting of impeachment

from my early childhood, i have been utterly obsessed with true crime. typically, my interest lies in the investigation of murder and other such heinous crimes; but a case that has haunted my brain all my life is that of former president bill clinton- perhaps one of the greatest abusers of power in american history.

now, i could honestly go on and on for days about the lewinsky scandal, and i won’t subject anyone to that. for the sake of a dead horse, i will simply be discussing the gorgeous casting choices of the ryan murphy series based on the case- american crime story: impeachment. upon hearing that a series would be made about the case, i was equally excited and nervous. i knew it would be interesting and would bring light to different perspectives, but i feared that it would just be another cheap jab at a woman’s dignity. however, five episodes into the series, i can say that my fears were unfounded.

first of all, i’d like to talk about the positively genius casting of beanie feldstein as monica lewinsky. i feel that monica is likely a difficult woman to portray as an actress because of the pictures so recklessly painted of her by the media. however, beanie allows you to see monica as she was and is- human. she talks about heartache and diets and sales at macy’s. she is more than the tabloids of the late 90s would have you think, and beanie makes this abundantly clear with her masterful subtlety and sweetness. you see monica in yourself and yourself in her, which is very different from most other portrayals of her that i’ve seen (i’m looking at you, saturday night live).

the casting, in my opinion, is wonderful all around. sarah paulson plays linda tripp seamlessly, evoking a conflict between pity, relatability, and unlikability.  at first, i had my doubts about billy eichner being cast, but he makes an incredible drudge and truly steals the few scenes he’s in. cobie smulders is an absolutely uncanny ann coulter, bringing a chill to my spine each time i experience her stone cold grimace and icy wit. annaleigh ashford is a sad, endearing paula jones. judith light captures susan carpenter-mcmillan’s calculated goodness brilliantly. so far, we’ve only seen glimpses of edie falco as hillary clinton, but i cannot wait to see her impeccable acting as such a complex character. the makeup artists and stylists on this show all deserve raises for transforming these actors into these infamous icons of the 1990s. i’ve even seen people compare pictures from real life with stills from the show, and the attention to detail is incomparable and greatly appreciated by viewers like me, who tend to do extra research on the subject matter.

as with all of my blogs, this is a bit self-indulgent, and i completely understand why someone would be uninterested in dissecting something that happened so long ago. however, if you have any interest in true crime cases involving the abuse of power, feminism, and trial by media, this is absolutely something for you. there’s a ton out there about this scandal, and if you find the right resources, it can be super informative and interesting. below, i listed a couple articles that i enjoyed reading and found helpful in my personal research. i hope that if you have any interest in this case, you’ll take a look at these and gain something from them 🙂

Monica Lewinsky – Dress, Bill Clinton & Now – HISTORY

President Clinton’s Answers to Judiciary Committee’s 81 Questions | AustralianPolitics.com

These Are the Sexual-Assault Allegations Against Bill Clinton (businessinsider.com)

 

roots and branches

hi, blog world. seeing as how we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well, i think i can be candid with you in this post. i… am not doing so great; and that’s ok! i mean, it’s not, but it’s also not anything to concern yourself with. lately, i’ve just felt a few steps behind in life. i’m always tired, my skin is a mess, and my hair is oftentimes less than perfect, to say the least. then, to top it all off- i miss my home so badly. it feels like i have no reason to- i mean i go home every two weeks, right? still, though, i keep finding myself listening to the songs i’d blast in the car with friends, watching the movies i’d watch to go to sleep as a kid, and wearing the clothes that used to be my favorites, despite my desire for a new sense of style. a new beginning. my heart just can’t seem to catch up with my mind right now.

mentally, i’m at the lake. i’m sitting at the window, taking orders from some beach bum with an attitude while my friend complains about the ice cream machine’s lack of reliability. i’m struggling to calculate the amount of change i’m supposed to be giving to the Padgett boy, and my boss’s boss is questioning me about the missing pool floats. i miss the laughter, the sun, even the nosy front desk ladies. i miss my job.

mentally, i’m in starkville. i’m leaving the movie theatre with my friends, trying to decide if we should go to umi or strange brew first. we don’t deliberate for long, though- we have all the time in the world. we ride through the cotton district, blasting whatever song we pretend to love ironically. after an ivy roll and an iced blondie, we hop into the civic and head home to dream about cowbells, studio apartments, and freedom.

mentally, i’m at home. i’m in the living room with my family, watching catfish and debating over whether james the model from los angeles is real or not. the cat and dog are snoring in the chair across from us on the blanket we just washed. we’ve all taken our designated spots, and i’m in the chair with the cat scratches on the back, sipping a pepsi and dozing off occasionally. i’m home.

now, don’t get me wrong, blog world- i love msa. i’m so grateful for this opportunity. i’ve met some amazing people and done some amazing things; but i’d be lying if i said i didn’t miss my north star. my hometown. i know that this is just something that’ll take a little time, and i’ll probably be over it in a week. right now, though, i just needed to pour my heart out a little. i hope you don’t mind too much, blog world. ’til next time.

 

 

 

enjoy this picture of stevie nicks and miss piggy <3

track by track: blue

howdy, y’all! i’m back with a new installment of my album series, and this one focuses on joni mitchell’s breathtaking record, blue.

#1 all i want

at its core, this song is a gorgeous anthem for the lonely and the longing. it’s a quiet, honest plea for something greater, something beyond the mundane. joni sings of wanting to feel alive and make others feel alive too, and there are few things more relatable than that. the song also has a gorgeous sense of warmth and protectiveness that envelops you as you listen, and i’d highly recommend this one for a muggy december day.

my favorite line: i wanna knit you a sweater, i wanna write you a love letter, i wanna make you feel better

#2 my old man

my old man, for me, is a song about a woman’s dedication to her partner in life as well as in love. it describes the man in a gentle, loving way that acknowledges the woman’s adoration for him. another detail of the song is that the people in it have a relationship so strong that marriage isn’t even needed to bind it, which i think is an interesting, necessary facet of their dynamic.

my favorite line: he’s a singer in the park, he’s a walker in the rain, he’s a dancer in the dark

#3 little green

little green is one of the best storytelling songs i’ve ever heard. joni tells the true story of giving up her daughter for adoption with tenderheartedness, charm, and whimsy. this song has inspired much of my own work and means a great deal to me.

my favorite line: call her green and the winters cannot fade her, call her green for the children who’ve made her

#4 carey

i think that my favorite thing about this song is that, in all honesty, i have no clue what it’s about. it speaks of travel and sets up scenes so vivid that each gentle chord brings forth the smell of the salty summer air. i actually have never looked up the origins and meaning of this song (a rare occurrence for me) because i like the ambiguity of simply feeling the song rather than knowing it.

my favorite line: my fingernails are filthy, i’ve got beach tar on my feet, and i miss my clean white linen and my fancy french cologne

#5 blue

perhaps the most fitting and beautiful title track ever, blue is a cry for help and a battle chant all at once. it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs of all time, and i cannot say enough about how much it means to me and how brilliant it truly is. joni’s vocal performance is flawless and pairs so beautifully with her lyricism here.

my favorite line: ink on a pen, underneath the skin, an empty space to fill in

#6 california

this song is essentially a simple and adoring love letter to the state of california. it details why the writer considers the state to be home and what makes it such a unique, beloved place. it’s a travel song that talks about visiting many places and seeing many things, but it always returns to it’s beacon- california.

my favorite lyrics: and i might have stayed on with him there, but my heart cried out for you, california

#7 this flight tonight

this song is like a parting gift to someone you don’t know anymore. it gives beautiful memories of a love lost and reconciles with a new beginning as the narrator takes flight. memories present themselves in a gloomy, nostalgic fashion as stars, both familiar and new.

my favorite line: it wasn’t the one that you gave to me that night down south between the trailers, not the early one that you can wish upon, not the northern one that guides the sailors

#8 river

another personal favorite of mine, river is a haunting ballad that feels both specific to its narrator and easily relatable to its listener. for me, the song captures depression, specifically seasonal depression, in an incredibly accurate way; but that doesn’t make the song itself depressing. i believe that this is a song filled with hope and honesty- both of which i often need.

my favorite line: i’m so hard to handle, i’m selfish and i’m sad

#9 a case of you

another unconventional love song, a case of you reminds me of trying to walk around in someone else’s mind and stumbling. it’s sort of like two people who can’t seem to get enough of each other, despite being opposites in nearly every way. one of the reasons i love this song so much is that it makes me think of one of my favorite tv couples- but that’s a story for another blog.

my favorite line: i am a lonely painter, i live in a box of paints, i’m frightened by the devil, and i’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid

#10 the last time i saw richard

i relate to this song on so many levels, and i’m not sure if that should make me sad, concerned, or both- but i won’t worry about that right this minute. it’s about wanting love so much that you shut down the very idea of having it for fear of it being unreachable. i honestly don’t know how to coherently express the mastery of joni’s lyricism here (and always), so this is the part where i give y’all perhaps the best advice you will get this week- listen to this album. please. you won’t regret it; and if you do, as joni would say, “i wish i had a river i could skate away on” because that’s pretty embarrassing for me. anyway, ’til next time 🙂

 

track by track: pieces of you part 2

#8 adrian

adrian is a haunting, ineffably gorgeous song that perfectly showcases jewel’s incredible gift for storytelling. it tells the tale of a young man who is disabled in a canoe accident and chronicles the shallow reactions of those around him. because adrian is unable to speak, the lyrics allow you to see the world through his eyes without being able to do anything about it. the song also tells about a young girl named mary who loved adrian despite his disability. i always find myself feeling so devastated at the bleakness of the story. there is no happy ending, no heroes. just a broken boy and a girl who doesn’t know how to put him back together.

my favorite line: he looked so fragile, he looked so small, and she wondered why he was still alive at all

#9 i’m sensitive

because i love this album so much, i feel that i have to be as honest as possible about each song; it pains me to say that i just don’t like this song that much. it isn’t a bad song by any means, it just doesn’t align with the quality of the other tracks for me. i have to be in a very particular mood to listen to this one, and it doesn’t happen super often. i still think that it’s clever and has some gorgeous lyrics, and i do enjoy it occasionally- it’s just not a personal favorite.

my favorite line: and i was thinking that it might do some good if we robbed the cynics and took all their food

#10 you were meant for me

this. song. i genuinely cannot describe how much this song means to me. it’s the one that introduced me to jewel, and i fell so madly in love with her art thanks to this magical tune. the song’s lyrics are… for lack of a better word… silly. in the absolute greatest way possible. she sings about pancakes and brushing her teeth and somehow makes it this beautiful, emotional experience. the song is widely regarded as a breakup anthem, but its meaning has always held something different for me. jewel essentially walks you through her day during a difficult time. it’s monotonous and sad, but there is an undeniable sense of hope that finds you in this track. jewel once said that the song is actually about dealing with anxiety and taking inventory of the little things you do throughout the day and practicing mindfulness, which is what i relate the song to. this is easily one of my favorite songs of all time, and i am so grateful to have stumbled across it when i did.

my favorite line: dreams last so long, even after you’re gone, and i know that you love me and soon you will see you were meant for me, and i was meant for you

#11 don’t

this is another one of my favorites. this song’s gorgeous, simple guitar never fails to draw me in, and jewel’s vocals are beyond stellar on this track; and i haven’t even gotten started on the beautiful lyrics. this song paints a bewitching, melancholy picture of lost love. the song is essentially a plea from someone to stop doing the things they once loved so much because they want to be able to let go. it’s an excellent ballad for the relinquishment of tenderness.

my favorite line: don’t walk too close, don’t breathe so soft, don’t talk so sweet, don’t sing

#12 daddy

daddy is a harsh, gritty song with little tenderness to offer. it takes a cold look at the relationship between a woman and her father, and she details exactly how she feels about him- bitter, cheated, and angry. this is an outpouring of the very purest form of rage, and jewel’s vocal delivery matches her lyrical mastery and intention incredibly well. this is a song that i immediately had to know the background behind, because fortunately, i don’t relate to it. jewel wrote this about a time she went over to a friend’s house and saw how poorly her father treated her.

my favorite line: i’m gonna make you just as vulnerable as i was, daddy, what’s that say about me?

#13 angel standing by

this song immediately stands out because of its unique sound. it’s simultaneously acoustic and ethereal. there are very few lyrics, and i would say for good reason. this piece feels more like an experience than a song. the song is basically like a message from a guardian angel, and its words are comforting, warm, and pure.

my favorite line: you’re never nothing less than beautiful, so don’t you worry, i’m your angel standing by

#14 amen

i think that amen is an excellent provider of closure with which to end this album. it’s a gorgeous piece of poetry about the uncertainty of this life that translates perfectly into a siren song for the ages. the poem begins with references to motherhood and nature and ends with references to God and the broken world we live in.

my favorite line: where are my angels? where’s my golden one? where’s my hope now that my heroes have gone?

speaking about this piece of music that i love and admire so much has been amazing for me, and i can’t wait to begin my next album! i know i tend to ramble on in these blogs sometimes, and i guess that’s just my way; but as the ever-wise jewel would say, “what we call human nature in actuality is human habit.”