Tag Archives: Christen Lien

Liebster Nomination, and embarassingly personal stuff

Check it out! Margit Sage of Ominous Whimsy nominated me for a Liebster Award!  Liebe really IST für alle da!https://i0.wp.com/margitsage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/liebster-blog-award-2.png

Rules:
1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them. (Done)
2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator. (See below)
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers. (See below)
4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer. (down further below)
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them. (Message delivered)

ONE:  What is the soundtrack to a great writing day for you?
RAMMSTEIN
.  At least right now. Ask me again in a few weeks and it may be showtunes, The Duhks, Qntal, Christen Lien; who knows.

TWO:  Is there a song that embodies your favorite character (or poem) that you’ve written? If so, what is it?
Almost all my characters have theme songs. Music helps us set the tone. For one of my toughest, hardest characters, Sirenia’s “Save Me From Myself” jumped out immediately. The song is so mournful, it reminded me of all the impossible choices she made and decisions she refuses to second-guess. She amasses political and martial power because she’s hurting; and no amount of armor will ever be able to make her feel safe again.

THREE: Do you know exactly what each of your characters looks like? Or do you just have some vague notion (or none at all)? Does your visual conception of characters change over time?
Some characters are as clear as day — right down to their cheekbones and the smell of their sweat. Other characters are more vague, as though they’re two blocks away. I have a file of image references, but connect more strongly to their personality than their appearance.

FOUR: Why do you write?
Because I have to.

FIVE: How does your writing begin? With a visual, a concept, or something else entirely?
It always feels like addiction in the beginning. Sometimes it’s a piece of music. Sometimes it’s visual, like a key on a bracelet. Unbearable emotion is another source. If I can’t talk about it — or talking isn’t enough — I apply those feelings in a completely different context and let them unravel there.

SIX: When you write, where are you? What are you surrounded with/by?
I am in the story. I am in the character. Whoever is talking and thinking — whoever the narration focuses on — I am in their soul and their heart, feeling around. If they laugh, I laugh. If they cry, I cry.

SEVEN: What author do you wish every writer you talk to had previously read?
Joe Abercrombie. Or Paulo Coelho. Or both — I love a hard-ass with a soul.

EIGHT: What are your writing goals this year?
Snag an agent for my fantasy novel, finish the steam book, and finish the antichrist book.

NINE: What advice would you like to share with your blog readers right now?
That thing you want to do, you can do it. Seriously. Even if you’re scared.

TEN: What is the reaction you’re most hoping for from your readers? What reaction would put a giant grin on your face?
I want them to feel. I want them to relate. I want them to step outside themselves for just a moment and realize how much more is possible — and then I want them to pass it on.

On a more superficial level, I want to see them dress up as my characters for a packed reading at the Castro Theater. That would be such a great party.

~

Now you, RD, Yvone, TomCarry, Susan, Shana, Bob, Michelle, Kira Lyn, and Drew must answer the following ten questions:

  1. What’s the harshest piece of criticism you’ve grown from?
  2. If you had to be without one of your five senses, which would it be and why?
  3. What material is hard for you to write, and how do you tackle it (emotional rawness, erotica, gore, etc)?
  4. What did you have in mind when you started blogging, and how did your blog deviate from your original idea?
  5. What’s the strangest compliment you’ve ever received?
  6. What question do you wish people would ask you, and how would you answer?
  7. How do you deal with an unhealthy obsession (if you don’t have obsessions, I suspect you’re fibbing — but go ahead and give advice for ‘your friend’ who does)?
  8. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, and what would be the first step toward accomplishing that goal?
  9. What makes you a great friend?
  10. What does your personal paradise look, sound, and smell like?

The world is not obligated to care.”
– David Drake, from Shared Worlds Exhibit

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”
– Eden Ahbez

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Review: Christen Lien and a Water Droplet’s Lifetime

ImageSeptember 8th was a rough Sunday. I had been coping poorly with some bad news, and didn’t feel like getting out of bed, much less dolling up for Soundwave’s Impressions on Water at the Legion of Honor. I’m really glad I did.

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Photo Credit Josiah Raison Cain

The walk up the driveway was meditative, stepping over fallen pine needles and watching the fog roll in great clouds over the headlands, cliffs, and the ocean below. Two sentinels on horseback, El Cid and Joan of Arc, stood frozen in stone in front of the gates. Rodin’s “Thinker” sat atop a pedestal within the courtyard, surrounded by columns, and roofed by open sky. In a place like that, it’s not so much that you don’t know where you are, but you don’t know when you are.

In these timeless surroundings, veiled by Pacific fog that lingered well into the afternoon, Christen Lien’s viola told the life story of a water molecule.

This was her second time participating in the Soundwave festival, which brought her to my attention last year. Lien plays viola, and what makes her unique was the way she layers her own music on top of itself until she becomes a one-woman orchestra. Her preludes form rhythms, each new movement forms melodies and harmonies—weaving strand after strand together into a tapestry of sound. Lien records every section live, making each performance present and unrepeatable.

The water molecule in Lien’s music was a brand new one, going through the water cycle for the first time. Its journey began in the ocean until it evaporated and became a cloud. It traveled through the sky, high up above the world; until it grew heavy and dark, plummeting back down toward the earth far from its birthplace in the ocean. It landed safely in a stream, where it recovered from its long fall. Stronger and braver, it joined a river and rushed back toward the ocean with new understanding from its experiences.

It was easy to visualize this confusing, magical journey there on the coast, surrounded by fog as ships’ horns blared in the distance. At the very end—the moment when the raging river collided and merged with the ocean—our applause transformed into crashing waves, and our whistling cheers became seagulls’ cries. Lien’s music brought us out of ourselves and into the cycle surrounding us.

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Photo Credit Skoi Sirius

She filled the space, and we were outside.

This blog seeks to find the interplay of creativity and martial philosophy, and Lien is one musician who embodies both. You can see more of Christen Lien’s work on her Website and Facebook page. Her music also features in the film Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth.

She was kind enough to submit the quotes for today’s entry.

To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke

The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.
— Bruce Lee

These Are The People I Want In My Life

I found this beautiful poem through a friendship with a musician with a beautiful soul. I would not have met her if I didn’t know writers with beautiful souls. Beautiful souls are true, and shine bright, whether they glow with compassion or writhe in their own torment. For me, beauty lies solely in entelechy.

The Invitation
by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can  disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.