Saturday, April 23, 2016

Storytelling & Content Reinvented with Movie-Style Soundtracks ("Gifts": Top Reading In 4 Categories)



#1 Spiritual Category
#1 Spiritual Short Story Category
Top 5 Romance Short Story Category
Top 10 Romance Category

Revised Story, New Soundtrack, 
New Book Cover & Reviews!

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"Gifts a profound lesson about the importance of knowing when to graciously accept someone's kind gestures. This short story is a tightly interwoven package of dialogue and narration that pulls you into it intellectually to fully understand the silent emotional energy being transmitted between the two main characters."
Joey Pinkney, Award-winning Author & Book Reviewer

"A beautiful short story."
—Priyanka Seth, Editor, Star Scribes

"Love the new cover! :-)"
Chazz Hill-Hayr, Director of Audio, Booktrack

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What is a Booktrack?

A Booktrack is an eBook with a synchronized movie-style soundtrack. It's a new way to experience creative storytelling, essays, and other formats utilizing the integration of text, music, ambient and special effect sounds to reinvent reading and engage people into a unique experience with content. Do it yourself or hire someone familiar with the Booktrack Studio to create your story or other content.

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GIFTS has received over 800 engagements/reads.
Imagine the possibilities for your projects.

Description: A potential new relationship turns tense when some unfortunate words are spoken on a first date. 



Instructions for Reading: 
  • 1) Press the PLAY button on the eBook cover. 
  • 2) Click the arrow on the right side of the page to turn the pages.  
  • 3) Use the (-) and (+) symbols on the bottom of the page to slow down or speed up the soundtrack to synchronize better with how fast or slow you read.  
  • 4) Use the Audio icon to lower the soundtrack (or MUTE the sound if you prefer to read it the traditional way). 
  • 4) You can experiment with the other symbols on the bottom of the page.  
SHARE the direct link to "Gifts" that can be read at the Booktrack website (plus other books): http://tinyurl.com/zt9lz6o.

"Gifts" will become available to purchase in the future so read it for free now (plus other books using the Booktrack studio platform).

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Creator's Corner: Religion, Spirituality -- Contrasting, Trending

The Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content, for usage in arts & entertainment, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

Image: Bernie Sanders, Credit: Reuters

Article & Source: Americans Skeptical Of God But Believe Heaven Is Real, Somehow (vocativ.com)
Somewhere along my life's journey, I received a strong message that stuck in my gut for a very long time: "Do not discuss religion or politics in mixed company (or in any social or business settings) because you are asking for trouble." I was taught that discussing these topics will create great conflict that will destroy friendships and potentially make me a persona non grata in professional circles that can lead to isolation, and perhaps even dismissal (though that reason would never be cited as the true reason).

Yes, I have seen the damage in other people's lives; but not in my own. Sure, conversations have become heated, but I always took the approach that we can agree to disagree because--well, there are so many other things that I often like about people with whom I have a difference of belief or opinion. I learned to value the whole person, and not divorce myself from relationships because of a strong contrast. My oldest friend is a Republican (and always has been). Another dear friend is an atheist.

It's pointless and useless for us to judge one another and not tolerate our differences. Perhaps, our relationships would be rather dull and bland without the spice.

Rebellion Meets Divinity (Andrew Saunders)

Article & Source: Top Designers On The Next Decade's Visual Trends (marketingmagazine.co.uk)
Conflict and Contrast Are Creative Goldmines

As an artist, I was taught to value conflict and contrast as vital creative tools: contrast in colors, contrast in textures, contrast in lighting, contrast in perspective, contrast in camera angles, contrast in point-of-view, and contrast in characters to create the conflicts necessary for telling an engaging story. Conflict and contrast are CREATIVE tools and principles. Conflict and contrast is TRENDING (I'm screaming because I'm so excited, and because it's trending in novel ways in our current politics too. These former taboos are trending: religion and politics).

Actually, spirituality and mindfulness is trending (and spiritual practices include religions), and it's viewed as a creative trend in this and the next decade (see Creator's Corner on Sacred Geometry); yet, the content in the articles cited that inspired this Creator's Corner are examples of even more contrast and contradiction. One includes research citing that Millennials are disengaging from religion and spirituality. Another cites that Americans do not believe in God, but somehow believe that Heaven is real. The third article might seem like an oxymoron: it explores the concept and practice of Imaginative Conservatism.

I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we all pay attention. The content then engages us for short or long periods of time depending on our interests, desires, emotions, and needs.

Image: S.L. Frank

Article & Source: The Imaginative Conservatism of S.L. Frank (theimaginativeconservative.org)
Creative Suggestions

1) Become students of conflict and contrast from a creative arts perspective (Although this article is geared toward children becoming arts students, we adults can become students again for our own growth and sustainability now and in the future). Learn as much as we can about the use and value of conflict and contrast. Watching films and television with an eye for identifying their use in these mediums (and their success or failure from which we can learn lessons) can only help to shake off our antiquated negative attachments to them. Immersing ourselves in them helps to shape-shift our relationship from enemies to allies.

2) Share what we discover as part of our content offerings, or use these new allies in content strategy, content marketing, marketing strategy, songwriting, storytelling, or even to become more comfortable in our own psyches and skins with their value to attract, reach, impact and inspire others as creative professionals, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, content curators, coaches, mentors, etc. through the variety of communications and media we use as calling cards and other enduring connection platforms in our careers or missions.

3) Read content sources in the April 20, 2016 edition of the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine that include elements of conflict and contrast through color, dance, innovation, and challenging preconceived or learned concepts that inhibit our creativity.

May you discover more creative ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry Symbols: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie






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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine: April 6, 2016 (Published Weekly)


Image Credit: Ideas.Ted.Com

TOP STORIES

1. 15 Tips For Brainstorming Interesting Content
"I like to get together with all the guys I work with and have a fun brainstorming session where we come up with ideas to grow our brand online. We each have to come prepared with 3-5 ideas . . ." (Read More)

2. Why Your Next Breakthrough Won't Happen At Your Desk

3. 11 Creative Living Tips (Elizabeth Gilbert)

4. Top Designer's On The Next Decade's Visual Trends

5. Creativity & Spirituality: How Soul & Art Are Connected

6. Healthy Relocation Tips For Entrepreneurs

6. Creator's Corner: Here Comes Play-Doh

Plus Much More Content!


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    Creator's Corner: Here Comes Play-Doh

    Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity.

    Interest in creativity and spirituality as content, for usage in arts & entertainment, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

    Recently, I learned that Play-Doh was created as the result of a fortunate accident. It was invented in the 1930s by Noah McVicker, who mixed together flour, water, salt, boric acid and mineral oil, and marketed the concoction through his family's soap company as wallpaper cleaner. Chances are that Noah never dreamed that his invention would be used as a creative tool by children (of all ages) and become induced into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998!

    1) Video Source: PlayDoh Angry Birds Stella Gale Dahlia Poppy Luca Willow (Rainbow Ideas via YouTube)

                         

    2) Video Source: Mistakes Were Made On Purpose: Brent Knoph at TEDxSacramento (Tedx Talks via YouTube)

                         

    Use Play-Doh as visual or audio content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose. Bring out the child within and play with Play-Doh (or any other modeling resource) to discover it's creative possibilities as part of content, content strategy or content marketing.

    Brent says to plan to make mistakes. My mentor, Red Burns (who was the creator and chair of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University from 1982-2010), taught me that there are no mistakes--there are only learning opportunities and ways to exploit them as potential solutions to creative problems. We students became masters at creating, and playing with interactive applications and technologies as tools to serve needs, wants, requirements, desires and dreams. We imagined so many possibilities and made many of them realities that are being used in the world today.

    Certainly it's easy to see that Play-Doh can be used as content to attract and communicate with children in your particular business, project or service, but what about with adults? Many of us are familiar with Play-Doh because we played with it ourselves, or purchased it for our kids.

    Image Credit: SUPERDivertilandia

    We have both creative and emotional attachments (conscious or subconscious) to it. It can be used as content for a book cover, album cover; lyrics in a song, or other audio format; magazine, advertisement, presentation, short film, trailer, promotional video, card decks, or in some other content capacity. 

    We can use a modeling resource to create visual forms of any kind (Rainbow Ideas used birds), including typography, abstract forms, and sigil symbols. The Play-Doh color palette is vivid and bright, so human figures can be sculpted or molded that helps to get a message across without creating conflict around the cultural or diversity challenges many of us face in our relationships today (unless our content is intended to create conflict for a useful purpose). Make my face magenta please.

    Play-Doh. Imagine the creative possibilities.

    May you discover more creative ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona and Sacred Geometry Symbols: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

    Dare to shine and love this life.

    Valerie






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    Monday, March 28, 2016

    The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine: March 27, 2016 (Published Weekly)



    TOP STORIES

    1. How To Inject Creativity Into Your Social Media Strategy
    "Recruiters are having to behave more and more like marketers these days,and with digital marketing becoming ever more visual how can they ensure that they stay ahead of the trend? I've had a chat . . ." (Read More)

    2. The 5 Most Dangerous Creativity Killers

    3. Feeling Like Nothing Is Happening? Perhaps Spiritual Timing Is Off

    4. 9 Ways Senior Leaders Sabotage Innovation (Creative Leadership)

    5. Sacred Geometry Symbols Part of Top 4 Creative Trends

    6. 9 Ways To Become More Creative In The Next 10 Minutes

    7. Americans Skeptical of God But Think Heaven Is Real, Somehow

    Plus Much More Content!


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      Sunday, March 27, 2016

      Creator's Corner: Sacred Geometry Symbols: One of Top Four Creative Trends 2016


      The Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful to you in a professional or personal capacity.

      Creativity and spirituality as content for usage in arts & entertainment, or as elements of lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

      1) Article & Source: How To Inject Creativity Into Your Social Media Strategy: Top Four Creative Trends 2016 (theundercoverrecruiter.com)

      Image Credit: Unknown
      2) Article & Source: Are You In A Creative Void? Spiritual Timing Could Be The Cause Of Your Frustration (healing.about.com)

      Image Credit: Gazimal / Getty Images
      The ancients believed that astronomical phenomena were connected to terrestrial events. ~ from "Star of Bethlehem", Wikipedia
       
      Use sigils as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ) for business, a project, service, or personal wellness. There are so many sigil forms to discover.  

      Sigils are sacred geometry symbol forms that the ancients considered to be the marks of angels, deities, and other powerful entities; they are archetype conduits that merge science, creativity and spirituality. They used specific formulas to create them for specific purposes, and this practice continues today for healing, growth, and change purposes.

      Sigils can be created and placed in specific formations on paper, on fabric, in art, in space, in the ground, and placed on the floor for a person to lie within that can serve as a portal, a gateway.

      Here's one creative use example: Imagine the possibilities for how these forms can be creatively used as visual content in a video for travel by having a person sit within a formation that transports them to a particular place (in space or time), or in their own mind/consciousness or spirit.  


      Image Copyright: Vladimir
      OUR ALPHABET has its roots as energetic communication symbols that can be re-purposed today as sigils in support of creative pursuits. Many fine artists and visual communicators already know the significance of historical studies concerning lettering/typography, as well as healers and shaman who use sigils through study of sacred symbols and how the ancients used them. The creative possibilities for using sigils are only limited to one's imagination and creative intention.

       
       STAR SIGILS (My Personal Calculations & Creations)

      Imagine when looking up at the stars shining so bright that they always have a counterpart on earth.

      Book Project Star Sigil
      Imagine that every person has a constellation--a sacred geometry symbol that represents them: that people's lives are reflected in a mini-universe of stars that includes, not only their names, but all the people who are in their circle; the names of the places they have been employed, their projects--their past, present and future--all in a dynamic cosmic blueprint.

      Imagine that these star sigils tell unique stories of which the content is star light energy in space.

      Name Star Sigil

      Imagine the creative solution not being about trying hard, working hard, thinking hard, or struggling but about aligning to or harmonizing with our sacred geometry forms.

      Discover more creative ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine archives, and previous The Creator's Corner columns: Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona.

      Dare to shine and enjoy living.

      Valerie



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      Friday, March 25, 2016

      The Creator's Corner (Card Decks and The Mystic or Visionary Persona)

      The Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful to you in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content, for usage in arts & entertainment, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

      Article & Source: This Lisa Frank Tarot Deck Will Bring Out Your Fifth-Grade Inner Mystic: In your future, I see lots of . . . rainbow bears holding some sort of concert (huffingtonpost.com)

      Credit: Ariel Hart, Illustrator & Social Media Maven
      Have a seat. Let's take a close look at the cards. I see two creative ideas in your future for you to manifest using the content in this article for your business, project, service, and/or spiritual wellness.

      1) Create a card deck as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose. The Lisa Frank Tarot Deck is so eye-catching with it's rainbow color-palette and the use of animals that focus on the child within us. It's also very feminine in tone and energy. Of course, your deck will have it's own special, unique character, attitude, colors and design, responsive to your audience, clients, customers, fans, or personal needs (healing, growth, change).

      2) Use the persona of the Mystic or Visionary as copy and/or visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, or otherwise engage people in an interactive or passive format. Are you certain about what you can provide or share? Are you confident in your voice as a leader? Do you have the knowledge, talent, skills, heart, or soul to deliver on your promise or vision? What story can you tell about the future behavior, attitudes, feelings, status, environment, concerns, etc. of your audience, clients, customers, fans through the solutions you have to offer through what you create, produce or provide?

      May you discover more creative ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona.

      Dare to shine and love this life.

      Valerie






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      Thursday, March 24, 2016

      "Leaning In" (Short Stories Idea for Content)

      Image Credit: MeteoWeb
      We were at the lagoon: the one that is known for its magical healing properties--the one spelled with a capital L--the one that is Negra because of the dark water that represents the Void where all answers and solutions reside.

      I almost didn't make it to the mid-line of the mountain where Laguna Negra makes her home, grounded between two large stone formations looking like the face of the Incan ancestors from whom the legends about her were passed on from generation-to-generation.

      Anemia choked my chest, and the breath became strange and stranger to me as we made the climb to reach her sacred space of tears that flowed from the heavens down the mountain into her liquid womb to fill her up: the largest cup for the seeker.

      I was so breathless that the best I could do was to lay down my burdened body over a flat rock and lean my face in as close as I could, darkness regarding darkness.

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      You can also LISTEN to the reading of the story (1:18 minutes)

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      Use short stories and short films to add value to your content. This is a creative option useful to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, self-publishers, authors, and others in the creative, content and marketing arenas who need fresh stories for projects, products and services (text, audio, video, or consider this innovative interactive format).

      A story like Leaning In has application potential for travel, environment, personal growth and wellness (e.g. mental illness support, non-smoking support), a product (something rising out of the darkness of the lagoon), vision (can't see the wonderful world in the water until putting on eyeglasses or in contacts)--so many possibilities.

      Existing stories can be purchased or optioned for use through contacting the owners (just like producers, production companies & studios in the entertainment industry), or you can come up with your own stories to add value to your content, then write them yourself or hire a ghostwriter. You might also consider getting the usage rights to an excerpt from a fiction or nonfiction novel or short story that you can adapt for your own creative vision.

      Note: Leaning In was written while participating in a writer's group with about 11 participants in Northern, NJ. A number of  writing prompts were provided, "leaning in" was one of them, and we all had fifteen minutes to write a story using that prompt.

      Monday, March 21, 2016

      Creativity & Spirituality Magazine: March 21, 2016 (Published Weekly)



      TOP STORIES

      1. Creative Courage
      "Creative Courage is a term loosely thrown around in today's new world of startups, entrepreneurial mindsets, and new age millenials. Just this week, I came across a thread asking, 'What does creative courage mean to you?' . . ." (Read More)

      2. In the Spotlight: 5 Inspirational Leaders To Follow

      3. Being: The Source of Creativity

      4. Tarot Deck Brings Out Your Inner 5th-Grade Mystic

      5. Painting Your Life: Using Art To Become A Creator

      6. Drawings Show Truth Of What We've Done To Mother Earth

      7. 9 Sacred Ways To Walk In  Beauty

      Plus Much More Content!


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      Sunday, March 6, 2016

      The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine: March 6, 2016 (Published Weekly)


      TOP STORIES

      1. How Wayne Dyer's 10 Spiritual Principals Can Change Your Life
      "Wayne Dyer was an American philosopher, self-help author and motivational speaker. The first book I ever read of Dyer's was one lent to me called Your Erroneous Zones, one of the best-selling books . . ." (Read More)

      2. Top Designers Share Their Secrets To Beating Creative Blocks

      3. Mental Health Woes Are Rife In the Arts

      4. Writing The Spiritual Life

      5. For A More Creative Brain, Travel

      6. Top Sites Playing & Sharing Heal Child Abuse Music Project

      7. Why I Made The Decision To Give ALL My Fans My Personal Number

      Plus Much More Content!



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