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Friday, May 17, 2013

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR AMANDA BALL/LEANN COSTON


Amanda Ball is a self-described musician, author, and filmmaker. Her mother calls her a professional juggler. Amanda grabs one project, works on it, then tosses it back into the air and grabs another project.  When not actively engaged in creative endeavors, she enjoys hot cars, cowboys, bass players, cooking, crocheting, photography, travel and things with motors. Her latest book is Famous...or not, written under her LeAnn Coston pen name. Learn more about Amanda at her Amanda Ball and LeAnn Coston websites and her blog. – AP

Living a creative life

I was listening to a speech once, when the speaker said: without art, life is nothing.

I hadn't thought of it that way. But, what would life be without the beauty of music, the entertainment of movies, the diversion of a book, without the expression of poetry, without the visual aesthetic of art?

What would life be with just work and the mechanics of life? A life without beauty would be no life indeed.

But, what is it to be the one chosen to bring the arts to life? When one is given a gift of talent, and uses that gift to connect to other people--in any way--that is an amazing achievement.

I live my life in pursuit of creativity. It started off in music. As soon as I could talk, I told people I wanted to be a "country western singer." It branched out from there, into learning many instruments, learning to sing, and it grew from there: songwriting, music business, publishing, producing, arranging, etc.

When I started college, I wanted to write. I tried and tried and tried. It took me ten years to figure out "how to pull a book out of a human," but when I was twenty-nine, I completed my first manuscript. When I was thirty-five, I was offered my first publishing contract.

Then, when I was thirty-six, out of the blue and with no warning, I was sitting with a dear friend in a bar, eating a blue cheese burger, and I announced that I had decided that I wanted to direct movies. I remember it vividly. It was in January, and the Sundance film festival was going on, and I wanted to be there so bad, I could taste it. The friend, Don, knows me pretty well. I expected him to laugh, thinking I was telling a joke. He didn't laugh. He seemed intrigued. He made some innocuous comment. I (thinking I was making a joke), popped off and said, "You wanna make movies with me?"

I got to the word 'movies', and didn't even finish the sentence, before he was nodding and said yes.

From that moment forward, it was full steam ahead. Any form of creativity, any time, anywhere.

I try to treat these gifts as reverent. To be one of the few, who has been chosen to bring art to the world...it's special.

I wish for you all joy, as you share your gifts and talents with the world.

Famous...or not
So, imagine this:

You’re sitting in your backyard, in middle-America, and you hear a noise. You look up. The Sexiest Man in the Universe hops over your privacy fence and runs across your yard. After a few seconds, about seven or eight paparazzi hop the fence and follow him. Now, that’s something you just don’t see everyday in Oklahoma.

As the commotion continues and dogs start barking, you can hear the chase going all through your neighbors’ yards. Finally, it quiets down again, and you look back at the magazine you were reading--the celebrity magazine showing the cover picture of the Sexiest Man in the Universe.

After a bit, you hear a noise, and Mr. Sexiest Man hops the fence--again! You realize he’s probably only eluding paparazzi, but part of you hopes he came around to see you just one more time. You nod at the open door to the lawn mower shed. He ducks inside. The paparazzi hop the fence again, but you tell them their prey has eluded them. With disgust, they walk down your driveway and leave.

So, with wry amusement, you walk across your own backyard to your lawnmower shed, where the Sexiest Man in the Universe happens to be hiding.

Even if this were the movies, meet-cutes don’t get any better than this.


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