Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas!

 


Hope Born On Christmas Morn 
a poem for the season by Stacie Eirich 


I loved sending out Christmas cards to my worldwide fellow Stay-at-Homie singers this year! I added hand-written poems that I hope brought them joy in darkness, as singing and connecting in our choral community has brought to me throughout 2020. In a year that could have been silent and dismal, connecting and singing with the Stay at Home Choir, the Self-Isolation Choir, and the Chorus of Opera North have all been bright lights. I'm thankful for these opportunities to continue singing, and grateful to have so many new friends. 

From my home to yours, I wish you a๐ŸŽ„Merry Christmas! Yes, it is different this year - but we have so much to look forward to. We'll be together, stronger and brighter and more beautiful than we knew we could be in 2021. Hope was born on Christmas Day, and Joy will dawn with the New Year! 

Be safe and well this Christmas; may 2021 bring us together again. 

Listen...the angels are singing! ๐Ÿ˜‡๐ŸŽต -Stacie 


Friday, December 4, 2020

Joy Blooms

In a year of challenges, isolation and great sadness...I have also found joy. Yesterday evening, I joined The Stay at Home Choir, performers and artists across the globe to celebrate that joy, in Live with Carnegie Hall: Global Ode to Joy

A concert that was born from conductor Marin Alsop's idea to turn Beethoven's 250th birthday celebration into a global movement for joy amid a pandemic, it was truly an unforgettable experience that spoke, to me, of our uniquely human emotions, our ability to persevere, and our capacity for joy. 



What is joy to me? Joy is nature, joy is poetry, joy is song. Joy is connecting with others. 

What I never would've predicted, though, is how a pandemic and months of quarantine and social-distancing could also lead to joy. To real, meaningful connections and artistic creativity, beautiful memories, new friendships and an inspiring movement that I'm so grateful to have been a part of. 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's poetic words express how joy is more complex than happiness, how it can come from a place of pain and sorrow, a place deep within us that breaks open into joyful expression through strength, perseverance, and community. 

Joy, bright God-spark born of Ever
Daughter of fresh paradise—
Where you walked once now walk rancor,
Greed, suspicion, anger, fright.
Joy, the breeze off all that’s holy,
Pure with terror, wild as flame.
Make us brothers, give us comfort,
Bid us past such fear and hate.

*Excerpt from Tracy K. Smith's English adaption, Ode to Joy


From the first moment I heard Tracy speak the phrase 'Joy bright God spark born of Ever' - to the moments I was singing the text on Beethoven's glorious high Gs and As above the staff - I felt its power. I was empowered. I wanted not only to find joy but to understand and share it with the world. I needed to know that in a year when so many of us have suffered so greatly, we've also found pathways to healing, to overcoming, to seeking the joy that remains. 

And that's when I began to think of joy as Tracy described, as an active feeling with roots. Deep, tough roots that settle and breathe within us. Roots that can grow and burst forth, given the chance. Joy blooms within us, but we need to do the work to find and nurture it. 

How do we do this, though? It's a question that I've asked many times in these months of fear, doubt and uncertainty. There are days it has been hard to find even a hint of joy, days it seems buried underneath worries for my family and friends' health and safety, for job security amid cultural, political and economic upheaval in our world. 

But despite the days when fear roars loud, joy remains. Stronger than the fiercest lion, joy blooms. 

It blooms in the gray places where we least expect, breaking through our grief to bring overwhelming relief, exquisite beauty and childlike wonder. It is present in everything around us and within us, in what we create and who we are. It's in the small things, the everyday things, in the people and memories and moments we treasure.  

Joy is a human experience formed from that which brings us magnificent delight, a kind of exhilaration that radiates into and through our souls. To see someone experience joy is light magnified; to share joy with someone is to illuminate our own bliss. Joy binds us together with roots entwined. 

Let us feel it, let us heed it,
Let us seek its deepest kiss.
Let us live our brief lives mining
That which joy alone can give.


I hope you find and share joy this December, that you seek out its power and let it bloom. I will continue to sing, to write, to nurture and love my family and to connect with my friends across the globe. Thank you for visiting my blog, and coming along for my creative journeys. Be safe & well. -๐Ÿ’—Stacie


*Live with Carnegie Hall: Global Ode to Joy is now available to watch in replay on YouTube at the link above. Learn more about this global movement to spread joy and how you can share your joy @ https://www.globalodetojoy.com/


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Beautiful, Breathtaking Mess: A Writer In-Progress, NaNoWriMo 2020

 



"When the writing gets hard, or when it all feels like too much, remember why you write, and that there is value in what you’re doing. Stories matter. Your story matters." 

-NaNoWriMo 2020 Pep Talk, Alexis Daria  

November is National Novel Writing Month, a month when writers around the world commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in the space of one month. I've participated since 2016, and in that space of time, I've completed 4 novellas (3 of them are now published) and drafted the bones for 5 others. 

But NaNoWriMo isn't really about word count for me. In fact, in five years of prepping, attending write-ins, soaking in advice from authors and experts - and doing the actual work of writing - I've never reached 50,000 words in any story. 

Some writers might argue that this means I've never "won" NaNoWriMo. But I disagree. 

I win by showing up. I win by knowing my story matters, and by feeling the value of what I'm doing. 

My first NaNoWriMo I completed about 20,000 words on a children's story that would go on to become my first published novella. It's the shortest novella project, but also the most important one, I've ever completed. It was the story I'd had in my head since my early twenties, the story I'd begun writing in a coffee shop when I was 25, and didn't work on again until a decade later. Essentially, it's the story that made me a not only a writer, but a published author - cementing my commitment to a writing life. 

To say that it was important is an understatement. It was essential to the life I want to live; finishing it, revising it and later, publishing it - was when I turned dreams into reality and wishes into books.  

It was when I realized that my story mattered, that I could write - and that I was brave enough to share it with the world. 

Now, don't get me wrong - I've always been a writer. I began keeping a journal and writing poems when I was in junior high; I wrote short stories and acted out my own little plays for years before that - and I devoured books of all kinds, particularly stories in fantastical worlds with young, dreamy girl protagonists. 

But despite all these things, I didn't believe I could be a Writer. The kind whose books actually gets put on the shelves, the kind who has (gasp) an editor or could perhaps get an agent (sigh) or even (faint) an audience of real readers! 

The kind who starts a story and finishes it (at whatever word count - 15k or 50k or anything in-between), plus a stack of creative ideas for the next. 

But guess what? 

I am.

NaNoWriMo has changed me from a writer who dreamt of one day seeing her story in print, to a Writer who finished said story plus two more in the same series. 

***

As I write this, we are officially through the first half of November. There are perhaps hundreds of writers out there who are celebrating their "win" of 50,000 words already. But there are many more, I'm betting, who are in the doldrums, bemoaning what happened to get them so behind, so off-course, so distracted that they've only accomplished a few thousand words or a few chapters. 

Suddenly the story that had seemed so shiny and new and full of possibility on November 1st is looking old, dusty and worn on the 15th...so many ideas discarded and no inspiration, it seems, on the horizon. 

This is the point when so many writers, including myself, consider giving up. After all, finding the time and space to write is hard...and the writing itself? Even harder. 

When this happens, I look for inspiration in other places and things, particularly those that I love. Music, nature, my favorite books/authors/quotes/photos. This is also when I look for NaNo Pep Talks or pick up a journal and a pen and try a random prompt. Getting away from my computer is often the best way to find a new inlet to my story, or even begin to create ideas for the next one...eventually, spurring me to come back to my NaNo story with something unplanned - a new character or twist that I hadn't originally outlined. 

In other words, just keep writing - no matter how messy and unorganized and completely unlike what you thought it would be. Just keep writing until you finish that ugly first draft. 

It's your story, and it's a glorious, beautiful, breathtaking mess (see the above quote from Charlie Jane Anders, which is so much truth)! 

But most of all, it's written. 

And that's always a "win" in my books. 

Brew the coffee, feed the cat - & keep on writing, NaNos. November isn't over yet. 

#bewriting -Stacie 

Thank you for stopping by my blog. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo 2020 and want to connect at www.nanowrimo.org - send me a writer buddy invite! To read chapters from my WIP, follow this link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/210223574-the-legends-of-aloria

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Singing through the Storms

Summer is swiftly giving way to fall, and in a year of storms, music and verses have given me solace and hope. At the times I have been too overwhelmed to write this year, the poetry of song has carried me. So today I'm happy to share with you the creative works and supportive people that have lifted me through seasons of uncertainty. 

They are the voices and songs of The Stay at Home Choir, a global community of singers formed in quarantine to help musicians continue their craft through lockdown. Open to amateur, student, professional and retired singers alike, ranging from beginners to experts - SAHC has grown into a family of thousands who have formed friendships across the globe while creating beautiful music. 

I've been a member of the choir since April, and my SAHC experiences with singers, musicians, and composers around the world have raised me from darkness to light, doubt to hope - and brought words back to my pen when it had fallen silent. To founders Tori Longdon & Jamie Wright, and the hard-working SAHC crew, I am forever thankful - your loving community of singers and the uplifting experiences you've provided has been water for the soul in a time of drought. 

***

The Stay at Home Choir presents O Radiant Dawn from The Strathclyde Motets by James MacMillan with The Sixteen, Premiered June 27 2020.


Morning Splendor

A poem inspired during rehearsals for Sir James Macmillan's 'O Radiant Dawn'

by Stacie Eirich 

How glorious the sun breaks over the horizon, 
Resplendent in wonder, golden rays bright, 
Heralding the day, rapturous delight!

How splendid the light beams across the sky, 
Bursting in song, many voices aligning, 
Singing as one, joyously shining!

How harmonious the morning flows into afternoon, 
Drifting in legato lines, peaceful phrases - blissful tranquility, 
Connecting and rising together through music - magnificent serenity.

***

The Stay at Home Choir and Classic FM present the digital premiere of a mass singalong of Sir Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace, which premiered 20 years ago at Classic FM Live at London's Royal Albert Hall to mark the new millennium, Premiered Sept. 6, 2020.


Song for a New Day

A poem written in quarantine, during rehearsals with The Stay at Home Choir

by Stacie Eirich 

On the cusp of morn, we wait silently 
for light to break forth, birdsong to announce 
the start of a new day, a new dawn 
when we will wake, rise - 
travel this vast world, experience it anew 
hug our friends, kiss our families 
sink our toes in the sand, share meals and return 
to life - perhaps a little differently 
than before.

On the cusp of morn, we begin to sing 
for May to herald a new beginning 
the start of a new day, a new dawn 
a fresh page, brimming with possibility 
overflowing with hope, abundant with love - 
this vast world, alive with a new energy 
calling us to care for each other
care for our earth
care for a universe
filled with so much wonder
so much joy 
so much yet to astound us 
in each new day.

***

I hope you've enjoyed these songs and verses, that they were a bit of sunshine in a grey hour. If you'd like to hear more beautiful music from The Stay at Home Choir, click here: SAHC YouTube Channel or here if you'd like to sing with us: SAHC Website

Thank you for visiting my Author Blog today! May you be safe & well, and may you always keep creating.❤ -Stacie 


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June Announcement: New Poems Published!

Dear Readers, 

I'm happy to announce that a few of my newest poems can be found in The Auroras & Blossoms NaPoWriMo Anthology, 2020 Edition! Available June 23, 2020 -  this is a digital publication that features uplifting verses from poets worldwide. See the description & click on the link below to start reading today. 

Thank you for your continuing support of my poetry, stories and novellas, and for visiting my Author Blog. Have a wonderful day; be safe & well. 

-Stacie 





Welcome to a collection of stunning and moving inspirational poetry written throughout National Poetry Writing Month in April 2020.
Come on a journey with us as we explore the works of many diverse and talented poets who each know how to write uplifting words to stimulate our senses and make us feel better about ourselves.
Contributors to The Auroras & Blossoms NaPoWriMo Anthology: 2020 Edition include: Donna Allard, Chandni Asnani, Maria L. Berg, Jamie Brian, Jimena Cerda, Jaewon Chang, Ravichandra Chittampalli, Sandra Christensen, Mimi DiFrancesca, Fiona D’Silva, Kate Duff, Judy Dykstra-Brown, Amanda M. Eifert, Stacie Eirich, David Ellis, Michael Erickson, Deveree Extein, Jack M. Freedman, Alicia Grimshaw, Jenny Hayut, Patrick Jennings, Liam Kennedy, Ting Lam, Rose Loving, Cendrine Marrouat, Michele Mekel, Ally Nellmapius, William Reynolds, Madhumita Sarangi, Anna Schoenbach, Julie A. Sellers, Jonathan Shipley, Dorian J. Sinnott, Krupali Trivedi, Angela van Son, Michele Vecchitto, Penny Wilkes, Gemma Wiseman.
Release date: June 23, 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sunshine & Starlight




Soon after my last blog-post in March, life turned upside down with the onset of a worldwide pandemic. My family has been lucky; we are safe, well - and navigating our days at home as best we can.

A typical day for us includes morning cleanup & chores, reading, homeschooling, and plenty of time spent outdoors on sunny days. We, like many other families, have cleaned out our closets, baked and played board games, and taken bike rides together. We've made crafts and talked to friends and cousins over Zoom, built Legos and watched movies together.

In seven weeks, we've done more together than in many months time.

Have we also yelled, cried and had moments where we needed to be alone in our bedrooms, or to go on a solo bike ride? Absolutely! And I think that's OK.

What matters is we are making it through; we are able to find the sunshine in each day, and still look up at the stars each night.

We are safe, we are well - and we are in this together. 

Throughout April, I wrote a-poem-a-day as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month, and to find the beauty in each day spent at home. You can read the entire 30-poem collection for free on Wattpad; it is an inspirational collection that I hope will uplift readers.


My work-in-progress for May is a historical fiction story set in 19th century Paris that I began writing in February for Wattpad's Open Novella Contest. Unfortunately, although my story made it through to the third round, I did not submit it for the finals. Poetry was what my heart needed for April, and so I have no regrets! The story will still get written, just on my own, slower timeline.

May you & your families be safe & well. Thank you for visiting my Author Blog; wishing you a day filled with sunshine & stars! ๐Ÿ˜Š -Stacie 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Return of Spring



Spring is, without a doubt, my most favorite season of the year. A time of blossoms and light - cool,  refreshing rains and fresh greenery - nature has a way of finding itself at the forefront of my writing in springtime. In fact, I wrote and published an entire book of poetry on the subject in 2016.

This spring, I'm busy writing several prose works-in-progress, including one for the Open Novella Contest III on Wattpad. But I can't ever stay away from poetry for long, especially during the season that I find most inspiring for verse. So I'll be participating in National Poetry Month in April again this year, writing a new series of poems while reading and supporting other poets.

Another exciting thing I'm doing this season is serving as an Engagement Ambassador, which will include supporting Wattpad writers through active, positive participation on official Wattpad profiles, within its forums and the Wattpad community-at-large. This includes, for example, anything from vetting official reading lists to judging contests to creation of new content for Wattpad profiles. I look forward to connecting with writers from all over the world and helping new writers flourish as they navigate Wattpad!

Offline, I'll be celebrating my birthday along with my daughter's birthday, attending numerous spring activities for my children and seasonal festivals, and preparing for the end of the school term in May. For me, this means organizing my time so that writing is prioritized before breaking from it for a different summer schedule in June & July.

I hope that you are making time to enjoy the spring sunshine, a good book and time with the ones you love. Wishing you a beautiful spring; thank you for visiting my Author Blog. ๐Ÿ˜€ -Stacie


Thursday, January 2, 2020

A New Year & A New Novel


Happy 2020 Readers! I'm starting the New Year off with a New Novel. A fantasy with action, magic & romance - it's the story I've been wanting to write for a long time. 

Is adding it to my other works-in-progress a bit crazy? Probably. But in order to follow my passion of a 'writing life' - I'm not going to limit my creative ideas. 

In other words, I'm saying yes to the Muse! And embracing the phrase "Just Write It." 

Thank you for visiting my Author Blog! I hope you'll continue to follow my writing journeys in 2020. Happy New Year! :-) -Stacie

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