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Poetic Breathing

18 Nov

Trying to explain my anxiety (or depression) to others is a tall order.  Generally, my list of responses include: “Oh, we all get anxious!” (Uh-huh.) “I get nervous about going to the doctor, too.” (Is it a week-long obsession for you?) “Trust in the Lord!” (Who says I’m not?) “I totally understand!  One time in [insert year], I went through terrible anxiety.  Thankfully, the Lord delivered me from it [and He will deliver you, too.]” (Sometimes we all just carry around our own “thorns in the flesh.)

I know that most people want to relate to me and are only trying to encourage me.  I used to feel exactly the opposite—misunderstood and discouraged.  Then I met others who shared my struggle, who knew what it was truly like to lie in bed with a Bible as a way to chase away the demons, who understood that getting dressed and brushing my teeth is a major accomplishment some days, and who truly walked this path hand-in-hand with God.

Due to my recent health concerns, I’ve been feeling anxious.  While I am doing a much better job of seeking God in my trials, adrenalin still courses through my veins and my mind screams, “You’re not safe,” while my heart pounds in my ears.  So, the other day I wrote a poem about anxiety.  Sometimes a girl’s just gotta say it with poetry.

“The Panic Attack” by me

Right brain, left lobe

Bouncing to and fro

Never ceasing, never ending, never letting go

Nausea, adrenalin coursing through the veins

Breathe in, two-three

Out, three-four

Hold on, hold still, as the world spins

Heart pounding, hands shaking, sweat dripping

Breathe in, four-five

Out, five-six

Fighting, ripping, raging, screaming

Left brain, right lobe

Breathe in, breathe out

Fifteen minutes go by

Just keep counting

Just keep breathing

Just keep living

It will be over soon

In a reading of “The Panic Attack,” I will quicken my pace as I read to mimic how a panic attack grows and rages and then eventually ends (usually in fifteen minutes).  Unless I make a vlog, most of you will never see this reading, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

“Breathe In, Breathe Out” one of the tracks on Jason Gray’s latest album, A Way to See in the Dark, says that we breathe the name of God.  And I even found a video of Jason explaining the song and playing it (by the way, this is almost exactly what Jason said at his concert.  He would probably also want me to tell you that he sounds perfect on his albums, so you should buy one.  If you can’t afford it, you will have a chance win an autographed copy here in the next couple of weeks!)

Let me tell you how, “Yah (1, 2, 3) Weh (1, 2, 3)” can really help during a panic attack; it’s gasping a prayer to the One who can truly provide peace. 

Do you suffering from anxiety or panic attacks?  If so, what silly things have well-meaning people said to you?  What does a panic attack feel like to you?  Do you like Jason Gray’s song?  How can breathing the name of God help you when you are anxiety-ridden?

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Owl City talks about new single “Galaxies” from ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL releasing June 14

28 Apr

In this clip, Owl City’s Adam Young talks about his new song, “Galaxies,” which is ripping up the Christian radio charts.  His highly anticipated new album, All Things Bright and Beautiful will be released on June 14.   By the way, you can purchase the song “Galaxies” on iTunes right now (click here) which might be able to hold you over until the album’s full release in June.  After the video, you can read all about Owl City’s new album, including tour information!

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From The Media Collective–Owl City is back after a long cold winter with a new full-length studio album, All Things Bright And Beautiful,  due out June 14 Worldwide on Universal Republic. Produced by Owl City’s Adam Young and recorded at Sky Harbor Studios in Owatonna, MN, All Things Bright And Beautiful features twelve new songs and was mixed by Young along with Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig whose credits include Beck, Mary J. Blige, Green Day and John Mayer to name a few.

All Things Bright And Beautiful is the follow-up full-length studio album to Owl City’s platinum-selling debut Ocean Eyes. Released in July 2009, Ocean Eyes was certified platinum in just eight short months and earned Owl City a slew of critical acclaim (New York Times, Rolling Stone, People, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, etc.). Ocean Eyes’ sales were led by the runaway single “Fireflies” which is currently quadruple platinum in the US. “Fireflies” hit #1 on the Hot 100 twice and found its way to the #1 spot in 24 countries around the world – making this a huge International hit song and leading to several sold out worldwide tours – keeping Owl City on the road for over a year and a half.

About how music and his faith merge, Young says, “Music is something that is fused to who I am. It allows me to breathe deeply, it lets me feel, imagine, aspire and dream in the most beautiful ways imaginable. Music is something that I can’t imagine living without, and though it means more to me than the world itself, there is something that weighs significantly heavier on the scale of all things valuable and important in my life, that being my relationship with Jesus Christ.” Continuing he says, “I am an artist, that’s what I do. Creating art has been my dream since elementary school, it’s the only thing I’m good at and looking back on the years, I am left breathless, completely and utterly bereft of speech at how the Lord has chosen to use music in my life and what I do as Owl City.”

In support of the new album – All Things Bright And Beautiful – Owl City will be kicking off a headlining tour of the World in North America on June 13th at the historic Ryman Auditorium. For the most up-to-date information and tour dates, please visit www.owlcitymusic.com.

Tell me, who’s excited about All Things Bright And Beautiful?  What do you think about Adam Young’s boldness in talking about his Christian faith?  And does “Fireflies” still make you dance around in a giddy fashion?

Updated Review Policy and My Love Note to the FTC

10 Mar

Hear ye, hear ye!  I have updated parts of Backseat Writer’s Review Policy and added a bit of plain speak to my FTC Disclosure.  Read on, you know you want to…

REVIEW POLICY

Request for reviews/interview/marriage proposals can be sent to amy@backseatwriter.com.

Why, yes, I would love to review your album, book, movie, or product!  Due to time restraints, that book I’m eventually going to write, and my personal preferences, I may not be able to honor all requests for reviews, interviews, or Nigerians who want to wire me money.

Before you hit me up with your latest and greatest, please note that I will only accept music for review (and artist interviews) that is downloadable or send to me via snail mail.  Additionally, I will only accept books that are readable on Kindle or sent to me in hard copy format (again, in the mail).  My reasoning?  I need my music and reading material to be portable—to go with me where I need to go.  That’s how I live life and that’s how I review materials.  I cannot be chained to my computer listening to music or reading books.

Additionally, I retain the right to accept or reject all materials based on quality of content and whether or not I believe the materials fit in with the vision of Backseat Writer.  Usually I can tell whether or not something is a good fit by the press release and I will tell you so before you send materials, so feel free to send your queries to amy@backseatwriter.com.

I also added this to that terribly interesting FTC Disclosure or what I like to call “My Love Note to the FTC”…

I do not get paid to do reviews or interviews (though if anyone wants to hire me for freelance work, I’m listening.)  I do not accept money in exchange for posting press releases or endorsements.  All content is generated for the pure love and joy of writing!

Links included in posts are for informational purposes only and are never composed for the purpose of including advertising.

No record company, publisher, publicist, band, artist, hobbit, or gnome will ever influence the content, topics, or posts made in this Backseat Writer, though they may inspire a few!

Any time you want to review parts of my publications policies, you can click on the “About Backseat Writer” tab and read your little heart out.  It is slightly more interesting than watching paint peel.

Poetic Musings :: physical education by charlotte sublett

24 Sep

physical education

the music comes on…

it’s eminem.

i hate eminem…

but no one seems to care…

it’s not fair

that we have to run.

i’d like to win

but i look at the clock

and it’s only been 5, not 10.

i cringe again

at eminem

while he speaks of “losing yourself”

a place i think i’ve been.

my legs are sore,

my tendons torn,

the sweat runs down my face

but i can’t keep this pace.

i want to head for the door

but something keeps me;

that voice that is a teacher

calling from a bleacher

that i must suffer longer,

although everyone else is stronger.

as eminem dies

i die too.

on the floor

i’m soaked to the core

from the sweat

the liberation from doing more

as the thoughts run through my mind…

although angry and unkind…

what am i to do

if i’m not good enough for you?

by charlotte sublett

Poetry :: family tree by mary ellen krulick

12 Aug

family tree by mary ellen krulick

I stand next to my family tree
this is me, this is me
stepping out of the rain
into the shade of its leaves
some thick and some dying
some so alive they are sprouting

and I am emerging to notice the tree of another
but I see his face first
and kind eyes, kind eyes
the flowers between us
flourishing bright in the warmth of the sun

He takes a step forward
brushing the tall grass with his hands
and closer we will be
when we set ourselves free

[I find daisies and buttercups in my hands
and color in my cheeks]

Print copy of poem.

Power in Weakness & Exceptional Songwriters

7 Aug

What your $7 can do if you join the Mocha Club

I’ve had a fairly busy week with meetings and interviews and all friends popping over. Anyway, despite my pounding sinus headaches that make me want to rip out my cheeks and that nagging anxiety, I’ve managed to press on but only because of God’s power being made perfect in my weakness.

Yesterday I talked to a very energetic singer/songwriter named Amy Courts, who shares not only a fantastic first name with me but a love for Derek Webb and his music (and Harry Potter!) Refreshingly honest and lively, the interview was lively. We are definitely outgoing, kindred spirits. It was like talking to an old girlfriend about her life and her music and her dreams. By the way, she would beat me up (not really) if I didn’t mention that for a mere $7 a month, you can be a part of THE MOCHA CLUB, and if you sign up now you can get Amy’s latest album and a t-shirt FOR FREE! Free stuff and making a difference = good deal.

Alli Rogers, a thoughtful, artistic singer/songwriter, was today’s interviewee. I got the idea that Alli wasn’t absolutely in her element being interviewed, that she would rather sit in her living room and write a song…and I liked that about her. As Alli told me the stories about how her songs came about, I was amazed…like a little girl sitting at the feet of a great storyteller. One song in particular, “Don’t Wash Your Hands of Me” hit me straight in the heart and brought tears to my eyes. I will definitely post more about this song in the next few days. She also has an amazing blog; check it out here.

Tomorrow I talk to Justin McRoberts, who is mad talented. I blogged about his song “Done Livin'” a few months ago (read post). I’m pretty psyched about the opportunity to chat with Mr. McRoberts as well. His blog is really, really good, too.

So, that’s a bit of what I’ve been up to this week and why I haven’t been my usual blogging self. Look for all these interviews and more on Backseat Writer.

Poetry :: I Dream

29 Jul

I DREAM by Mary Ellen Krulick

I dream of things that may never be.

I dream.

It’s not a smart thing, when you dream
the impossible.
the improbable.

You dive into the water
hope on your shoulders
You take a breath and jump!
straight down into the murky water
all belief inside of you proving that beauty is there
then.
you have spent all the oxygen trapped in your system and the carbon monoxide is ready to burst

finally.
come up for a breath of air

only to imagine what might still be there.

Print copy of poem.

Growing Something New

7 Mar


A big thanks to my garden spade for starring in this picture…and also for getting stuck in my leg last summer causing a puncture wound.

I realize I just threw a link on here to Backseat Writer without really explaining the passion or the story behind the site. I know that some of you come here for that very reason–to read stories.

It was in the ashes of something else that Backseat Writer was born (as was the poem “Phoenix Ashes”). I have been strangely silent about the battles going on in my life lately, partially to process and partially to maintain a professional focus. At the same time, I realize that my blog is the place where I can be real, encourage others, and improve on my writing. If I am not doing those things, why blog at all?

After a few months of lagging passion and waning joy, I began to examine my life from all angles. I realized that I couldn’t keep up with the demands and pressures I had put upon myself–something had to give or I would fall apart. After prayerfully considering my options, I knew what had to be done, even though it seemed completely illogical. While I followed God’s leading, things didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped or wished causing a time of deep emotional pain and recluse. Faithful confidantes and quiet times alone with God have been my escapes.

Through it all, God gave me a vision to do something new, to invest in my own skills, and try something out of my comfort zone. I told Him that I didn’t want to go it alone and I had other obligations. He told me that He would take care of everything and to follow Him. I obeyed. He took care of the “other obligations” by ripping them away from me and causing me to ask, “God, what are you doing? This is chaos! How can anything good come of this turmoil?” But He’s been urging me forward, though I question every step due to my own lack of faith.

Backseat Writer is a more professional version of my blog with articles on God (the Bible, Christian living, and so on), music (reviews and interviews, so close to my heart), counseling issues, culture (gotta put Hannah Montana in there somewhere), and the arts (photographic, visual arts, poetry). It’s a mixture of the things I love in a format where I can handle the volume and publishing. If something doesn’t get done, it’s my fault alone, which is a much easier burden to bear.

I’m trying to ignore the site statistics for now and just follow God through this scary new adventure. I humbly ask for your prayer and support as I do what God has called me to do. It’s never easy, and sometimes impractical, but it’s always worthwhile…in the end.

Poem: Phoenix Ashes

24 Feb

Here’s a poem I recently wrote. For those of you who don’t know, a phoenix is a mythic bird (also called a fire bird) that would burst into flames in death, and then was reborn as a chick in the ashes.

My yesterdays were burned by Phoenix fire

Yet in the death’s ash, embers of hope remain

New dreams given birth in despair

Covered with ash, I mourn what was

To remember what will be no more

Then like the Phoenix I’ll rise

With renewed passion glowing red, yellow, orange

Ash will give way to flame

Like the Phoenix I’ll soar again

A Note to International Readers

12 Jan

Since I installed this special contraption on my blog, I’ve been able to see where some of y’all reside. It’s been amazing to how many of you are from other countries like Australia and Great Britain, and even Thailand, Venezuela, Japan, and dozens of other countries. I feel honored that you would take the time to visit my blog, but I would love for you to post here. Tell me about your country, your life, and what’s going on with you. (Oh, and if you are in the U.S., I would love for you to do the same!) I am fascinated by people, experiences, and other places. Please, please, please leave a comment.

Also, to my Christian brothers and sisters out there, especially in the trenches of counseling or youth ministry. Please leave comments. I would love to connect with you as well. The blogosphere has great potential for us to come together as a world and discover interesting things about each other. Let’s get to know one another.

Oh, and if you want me to blog about something specific or have a question, feel free to ask (you can see some of my favorite topics over in the “categories” bar). I’m always looking for fresh content. Obviously, inappropriate questions and content will be ignored. So, keep it clean, kids!

You can even shoot me an e-mail at this address: AmyIsMyFriend@aim.com.  Or shoot me an IM via AIM at AmyIsMyFriend.

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