An Exciting Announcement

Drumroll, please…! 

We are thrilled to announce that borrowed solace: the podcast will be coming to a listening platform near you this summer!  This is something that has been, and still is, in the works over here at borrowed solace.  We believe in creating a writing community and immersing ourselves in writing in any way that we can, so what better way to do that than through a podcast?

borrowed solace was founded on the idea of cultivating a moment of time out of our reader’s day-to-day lives to discover solace in writing and literature.  Most of us live hectic non-writing-focused lives and try to squeeze writing in here and there as we have space to do so.  We thought of starting a podcast as a way to make even more space for writing in your life.  With this podcast, our hope is that you are able to dwell in ideas, conversations, and stories centered on creativity while you go through the motions of the day-to-day.  This podcast will allow for moments of borrowed solace while you get ready in the morning, while you’re in the pickup line waiting for your kids to get out of school, or while you scurry about in the kitchen cooking dinner.  It will allow your mind to wander to writing during moments where you might otherwise be focusing on the day’s schedule, or while you work on your non-writing career, day in and day out.

Ultimately, we want this podcast to be for you!  We want you to have a role in this thing, too, because borrowed solace is all about creating a creative community.  From you, dear readers, submitters, writers, dreamers, we ask for your thoughts and questions.  Our goal is to come out with podcasts twice a month and to devote a few moments of each episode to answering your questions or focusing on topics that you care about while also sharing interviews with writers, artists, poets, and other editors.

To submit your thoughts to us, or let us know if you are interested in being featured on the podcast, we have added a brand new page to the journal’s website all about borrowed solace: the podcast. On it, there is information on how you can submit ideas to us.  No submission is off limits, but be forewarned that we may not answer everything that comes through to us on the podcast if it is something very narrow in scope or that we really aren’t knowledgeable about enough to answer. Please also submit your stories, poems, and nonfiction works to us if you are interested in having it read, or reading it yourself, on air!

We have already planted the seeds of a wonderful writing community here amongst our readers, editors, and contributors, and can’t wait to further water the borrowed solace garden with the addition of this podcast!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us. All podcast-related questions can be sent to podcast@borrowedsolace.com.

Weekly Round Up

What has been inspiring me this week? Well, the main thing is making some progress on an upcoming project for borrowed solace that is in the works (it’s a secret for now, but look for an exciting announcement coming your way next week!), but there have been some other tidbits of life that are inspiring me that I actually can talk about, too.

I go through phases where I read a lot, and phases where I don’t. Similarly, I go through phases with watching certain TV shows, and other phases where I haven’t watched anything in weeks. This seems to be how I roll for most things in my life — podcasts, crocheting, barre classes — you name it.

There’s only really one thing that I consistently come back to, and that’s music.

So this week I have some songs that are inspiring me (which probably isn’t surprising given that in my last weekly round up post I focused on music, too) as well as a few random one-offs from the list above.

The first thing that’s been feeding my creativity is a particular song by Ryn Weaver. I loved her first album when it came out, but since The Fool was released, Weaver has been on a bit of a hiatus. This song came out last year but I didn’t discover it until I watched the movie Someone Great on Netflix (which is worth a watch — not my favorite, but had a killer soundtrack and a good message if you can get through the sometimes clunky delivery) and it’s quickly become the newest song I play on repeat.

The song is called “Reasons Not to Die,” and I think the reason I love it so much is because it does something that I think all good art does to some extent — acknowledge that we’re all a little messed up, but that despite that, life is still worth living. It’s a good one — give it a listen and I can virtually promise you won’t be disappointed.

Another song that’s been on repeat for me this week is “scared” by Jeremy Zucker. I was introduced to this song via an Instagram story from one of my cousins and it is a song that hit me right in feels with how much it reinforces an idea that keeps showing up in my life lately (for more on that, you can read this blog post). It has a wonderful message, and also sounds really pretty, so that’s a win-win if you ask me!

Another thing that has inspired me (and shocked me) is something I binge-listened to this past week. I guess you could say that “The Dream” got me squarely back on the podcast train, although who knows if I’ll find another one that will capture my interest in quite the same way (spoiler alert — I did and have been listening to another podcast non stop for the past few days). I don’t want to give too much away, but this podcast is all about multi-level marketing companies (MLMs) and tells a lot of different stories about the people who ‘work’ for them as well as the history of these types of organizations. I found it sparking ideas in me about topics I might want to write about — whether creatively or to purely investigate whatever I find intriguing — and inspiring me with the way it kept everything so human focused and wove emotion and care into sometimes difficult topics and conversations. I think that’s something we all can take inspiration from in both writing and life.

So these are some of the things that have been inspiring me lately. I find that even when I don’t feel like writing or creating, life has a way of leading me towards inspiration that spurs me to do so anyway, and I think that is a beautiful thing — something worth writing about in and of itself!

All About the Writing Conference

This past weekend, our executive and poetry editors attended the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference (PPWC).  This was the third conference that we have had borrowed solace representatives at in some capacity, and it never ceases to provide a tantalizing learning and networking experience for whoever is in attendance.  This week on the blog, we thought we would recap what we learned — or, at least, recap what was the most instrumental thing each of us learned — during PPWC 2019, It Takes a Tribe.

From Addey:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.”                      – Ecclesiastes 3:1

If there is one thing that I took away from PPWC this year it is that things take time.  I think we’ve all probably been told something similar, or used it as an excuse when we’re feeling blue, but it was so refreshing to hear all sorts of industry professionals and New York Times best selling authors expound on that fact.

Hard work and dedication pay off — at least, I’m hoping they do.

Writing, or editing, or agenting (is that a thing?) or literary journal-ing (that’s definitely not actually a thing) all seem to take a lot of turns around the sun to finally become anything fruitful.  I heard from some amazingly successful authors this past weekend on how they didn’t even quit their day job until (insert shockingly high number here) of books were published. There was even one New York Times best selling author who still was working her day job.  I listened as agents expounded on how remarkably naive they were when they first started in their career and now 10, 15, (insert shockingly high number here) years later they finally get what those well seasoned gurus at some of the first conferences they spoke at were talking about.

Sure, this thought could be seen as a bit distressing, but I have chosen to see it as a positive sentiment.  For me, this idea harkens back to the Bible in Ecclesiastes —“to every thing there is a season.” For any bright eyed new writer hoping to one day be a New York Times best selling author giving the keynote, rather than listening intently to it from the audience, I think this is encouraging.  Right now, you (and me) may be going through a season of sowing. We are working day in and day out, planting the seeds of our writing endeavors but not yet seeing the end result. One day, if we keep at it, and water those seeds with a lot of effort and even more persistence, I think we will come into a season of blossoming.  

For everything there is a season — for some, they are in that season where writing takes the back burner.  For others, they are in the season where hard work is starting to pay off, and for others, they are already in the season where they are starting to be invited to speak at conferences (those lucky few!)  What PPWC taught me is that everyone can go through each and every one of those seasons, but to get to that season of blossoming and prosperity, the harder seasons might just have to come first.

So I am going to keep plowing the fields of my writing and planting those seeds for as long as I need to, because I have faith that a greater season is coming — one where I can look back on today and see the serendipitous moments that led me to success.

From Nicole:

Learning even more about characters!

I know already that society has become more self indulgent, but now know that we writers, too, tend to become character indulged. People no longer want to read large paragraphs of scenery or world-building. Most editors and authors at the conference who were presenting or critiquing went straight for the connection to the main character. They wanted to know their name on the first line, then their description, in five words or less — who they are.

I am a YA fantasy writer and spend a lot of time building my cultures; different races and classes; the weather and atmosphere; the wars that scared the land; and how the world differs, or is similar to, Earth. But now, I’ve learned that instead of showing the readers this up front, those things must be woven later in the story. This truly amazed me. The story you are supposed to tell (write) is a series of events your characters comes to and overcomes to reach the final destination — this is what we all know. But even developing a scene is now centered on how primary and secondary characters should react, feel, internalize, voice their opinion, and act towards others in the story — this gives the reader more insight to connect with your story. It tells who the readers are supposed to love, hate, cry with, rant with, join the emotional train ride of when they fail or triumph, celebrate with when they win the guy or girl at the end, or seethe with anger when it all gets lost even though they were supposed to be the hero standing in glory.

What I really mean to say is that I learned how characters now come before anything else. They must be fully developed and evoke the reader to reader more.  They must set your character on a train track and let their engines be fueled with emotion….and they always come first.

Weekly Round Up

New on the borrowed solace blog: the weekly round up, a recapitulation of what is inspiring us, what the borrowed solace community has been up to, and what you can look for next from the journal.

This week has been a bit of a strange one here in Colorado.  We had near record breaking high temperatures to start of the week, a blizzard to see us through hump day, and more snow to come for the weekend.  Spring has sprung! Despite all of the chaos mother nature seems to be experiencing in this transitional time, we have been thriving (or trying to, at least).  There are some exciting new ways that borrowed solace will be branching out in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes open for more news from us!  In the meantime, here is what has been inspiring our creativity this week, we hope it might inspire you too!

I am currently getting readying for a writer’s conference, and getting some stories put together for critiques and reviews. One piece in particular, I have been working on since my last year of college two years ago. This piece has sort of haunted me in a way so that I can’t get it quite right; even though I have completed the 100th draft, though I feel a small step towards completion every time a draft is done. Slaying the words, adding new words–revision is definitely the hardest part of writing for me!

Nicole M.

As the daughter of a musician, music has always been a big part of my life.  My parents met because of music, so it’s no wonder I am consistently inspired by new sounds and lyrics.  As a poet (and poetry editor), music is a big part of my writing, too. Songs are poetry to music, after all, and I like to think that a beautifully written song is every bit as dazzling as the perfect marriage of words to the page.

This week, I have discovered a new duo that I have been listening to nonstop, Ward Thomas.  This duo is a sister (twins!) country group from England, and I stumbled on their music a while ago and didn’t listed for whatever reason, then somehow came back to them again this week.  I’ve basically been listening to both their albums (there’s a third that isn’t available to me in the US unfortunately) for the past several days, and while their use of instrumentation and their luscious harmonies are what got me at first, I found myself sitting in my living room listening to their voices as I read along to the lyrics last night and feeling so enraptured by what the songs were saying.

Some of my favorites are “No Filter” which has a fantastic pre-chorus: “I reposition my hands, my hair, my cheek so you might listen to me.  I’ve been conditioned to win a piece of the war you started.” “Little Girl Sorrow” which personifies feelings with the best literary masters, and “This Too Shall Pass” which is so simplistic it makes me want to cry (listen to this one if you are in your twenties and struggling with making sense of your life).

Music always inspires me, and this week it’s been Ward Thomas.  Give them a listen — I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Addey

Issue 2.2: Corruption

Corruption is our fall theme for the upcoming journal; and as we all know, it is about complexity. Corruption can be defined many ways: To participate in a bribe or action that is morally wrong; something that can turn a world upside down; an abuse of power; and dishonesty of those in control of that power, leaving questions of who we should trust to uphold integrity and transparency.

But corruption goes beyond even these things, it is a process by which a simple word or well-known expression is changed from its original use and is abused or manipulated into something that it’s not. Corruption is power that rots relationships, it is the gaps between the haves and have-nots, the never ending struggle for happiness, to belong, to gain what you want with an underhanded action.

Stories like the classical Macbeth show the reader a nobleman who kills for power to gain the throne, who lies to keep his wits about him.  Or another classic, Animal Farm, by George Orwell, shows how power can persuade a single person to abandon their ethics. Everything human can become undone.

Then there is Batman in Gotham, a compassionate yet calculating man set out to unravel the corruption of city officials and police who are ruled by mobs and gangsters.  They all serve a corrupted purpose instead of the greater good, while this superhero strives to follow in his parents footsteps, to rid criminality from the hearts of normally good-hearted people.

For issue 2.2, each editor is looking for this:

Art: I want to see a story in a photo, what has corrupted nature, the world, and people. I want to see who in this world, or what in this world, was made a villain by surroundings, culture, and society.

Poetry: As always, I’m looking for contradictions.  For the clumsy poems that say biting things about conniving people; for slimy topics explained with buttery soft language; for tall tales about ordinary people caught in the throws of corruption.

Nonfiction: In real lives, every day, we are forced with choices to make. Some of these situations put us in difficult positions, especially when we do what we must. I want to see how corruption influences the lives of the everyday person and am excited to see the outcome of what happens when people are put in those positions.

Fiction: Corruption depends on the world, the rules and moralities of its people, and how the conflict is solved. With this, and the general term of corruption, I want to bask in each piece—and let its corruption find me.

Three Days!

Or two and a half at this point, but who’s counting (okay, we are!) borrowed solace issue 2.1 will be coming out this Friday.

We are in the midst of some gorgeous sunny weather here in Colorado but by the time the journal comes out on the 29th, the weather is supposed to take a wintry turn. We hope that in the midst of potentially dreary whether our journal will be a source of sunshine in your day. That idea is what borrowed solace is all about. As the name implies, we intend for the journal to be a moment out of your day (or week, or year, or whatever method of tracking time you personally employ) where you can escape into a landscape of serenity and peace.

For this coming spring edition, we hope that peaceful moment is in the spring grass of your mind’s eye, letting the sunshine soak into your face and feeling the sweet spring breeze as it brushes against bare skin.

So in the midst of a blizzard, or a downpour, or even if the days where you are reflect the current season perfectly, we are excited for you to welcome spring into your heart with borrowed solace 2.1.

It’s Right Around the Corner!

Release day is coming up soon – in fact, it’s right around the corner. We are so excited for you to see the final version of borrowed solace 2.1! It’s shaping up to be a breathtaking issue, complete with moments that will make you gasp and turns of phrase that will make you sing.

Keep an eye out for an update on just when you can expect to see issue 2.1 grace our website later this week. We can’t wait for you to see it!

An Update on Spring borrowed solace

The editors have been hard at work over the last couple of months on borrowed solace 2.1! We have been dreaming of spring in the midst of blizzards and polar vortexes, and creating a journal full of amiable sun rays and balmy breezes.

The journey to get here has been quite a trek, but it has been a rewarding one. The spring journal holds a special place in all of our hearts because it’s always about new beginnings – it’s the first journal of the year and one that reeks of promise.

One of the reasons that I am so enthused about the spring journal is that it is our un-themed edition. While our themed editions are always enticing to put together, the un-themed journals are secretly my favorite (I guess it’s not a secret anymore!)

The thing I love about writing is that it has no bounds – writing can be used as a fabulous tool, but unlike a literal tool, it has many purposes. The un-themed journals take full advantage of the boundlessness of the written word. It truly allows for experimentation and the beauty that comes from the unexpected.

So, as you, dear reader, eagerly anticipate spring borrowed solace, prepare yourself to be surprised, delighted, and otherwise galvanized. For writing, and spring borrowed solace, are about just those things!