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The Musings of Musician-Artist & Cancer Survivor - Erica Leigh.

Erica Leigh's Debut Album, entitled "Puzzle Heart", sounds like: Adele meets Ingrid Michaelson.

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Archive

Apr
17th
Thu
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The glass ceiling is dissolved - Meet my new car! Now. What to name her….???

The glass ceiling is dissolved - Meet my new car! Now. What to name her….???

Apr
7th
Mon
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I’m a big fan of old fashioned correspondence! #watercolor #postcard

I’m a big fan of old fashioned correspondence! #watercolor #postcard

Mar
23rd
Sun
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Men wore high heels and tights for almost 400 years before women ever did. Does this blow your mind? Blew mine. History can really be fascinating… Turns out we used to wear baggy clothing, but with the advent of steel plated armor, tighter clothing (including tights) were invented to be worn easily underneath. [Yes I made a meme]……Shortly after, the “tights look” was perceived as attractive, and men began wearing heels on their wooden-sole patten shoes in order to make their calves and asses look nicer! At the time, you couldn’t see women’s feet under their garments, so tights and heels were not worn… 400 years later - women began wearing heels in order to - get this - look more like men! WTF?! So when men look at women and wonder why they wear those clunky, tight garments, at least we can marvel at the rich masculine history that brought them into modern times! And women can now blame men for the invention of heels when our toes hurt!Okay. Class dismissed. Next week we will discuss the surprising origin of thong panties - they were actually sling shots! [Thanks to my seamstress roommate who enlightened me to all of this over hot cocoa this evening]

Men wore high heels and tights for almost 400 years before women ever did. Does this blow your mind? Blew mine. 

History can really be fascinating… Turns out we used to wear baggy clothing, but with the advent of steel plated armor, tighter clothing (including tights) were invented to be worn easily underneath. [Yes I made a meme]
……Shortly after, the “tights look” was perceived as attractive, and men began wearing heels on their wooden-sole patten shoes in order to make their calves and asses look nicer! At the time, you couldn’t see women’s feet under their garments, so tights and heels were not worn… 400 years later - women began wearing heels in order to - get this - look more like men! WTF?! 

So when men look at women and wonder why they wear those clunky, tight garments, at least we can marvel at the rich masculine history that brought them into modern times! And women can now blame men for the invention of heels when our toes hurt!

Okay. Class dismissed. Next week we will discuss the surprising origin of thong panties - they were actually sling shots! 

[Thanks to my seamstress roommate who enlightened me to all of this over hot cocoa this evening]

Mar
20th
Thu
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Sea Glass & Writer’s Block

Sea Glass

I’d like to think of myself as a fragment of jagged sea glass, not yet smooth or refined, tumbling around in the crashing ocean waves. Revolutions on repeat. Just when I find my footing, I’m ripped from the shore and tossed about in a sea of unknowns. Over and over again, it’s an endless dance, though sea glass is never worse for wear. It improves with time, experience & resistance - it’s a work in progress. So am I.

Lyrics

Lyrics are like sea glass, too. They need time, toiling around like debris until the unnecessary edges are sanded off, and what remains is polished to perfection - finally ready to be plucked up and kept for a pretty souvenir. Lyrics need to tumble off our tongue, and rest in our ears a few times before they are fully realized. 

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a chronic affliction of mine. I’m lucky if I can come up with a completed song, once every 6 months. Zap! - Through my mind like a sudden spark, an idea fires up and I have the impulse to sing it or write it down. No sooner does my pencil hit the paper - the idea barely formed - and that poor sucker’s seconds are already numbered. That ugly old judge in my head furrows his brow, hammers his mallet down hard and delivers the death sentence. Trial is over, I quickly turn my back and leave. I’m already forgetting the idea ever happened. It never stood a chance. I hear the judge’s voice echo behind me, “Who’s next?!?”

Who’s To Blame?

New ideas are never what they seem. They’re diamonds in the rough. Perhaps it’s their jagged nature that’s to blame. My discomfort with their crude appearance seems to be the reason why I trash them, and so many of my songs remain unfinished… That voice says: it’s not good enough.

But wait a minute. imagine if everybody who ever had a new idea gave up on it this quickly… We’d still be waiting for someone to invent the wheel.  Does the sculptor start with something that resembles a statue? Nuh, uh. Nope! Instead it’s a hunk of clay, whose primitive shape and texture inspire the creative muse! Sometimes creativity means creating a mess to get somewhere. 

True Culprit

MY critical mindset is the real offender here.  If songs are tiny seedlings in need of tender care, then my condemning thoughts are weeds that entangle and suffocate.  New ideas are so fragile - careful, or you might squeeze the life out of them!  

All works of art have to begin at a rudimentary level.  Take them on a journey - Find out what they need to survive. Shape and reshape them until they assume a more sophisticated form.

The Flow

When I’m in a rare state of creative flow, I’m as fluid and flexible as water - I allow my ideas to pass through my mind like a current. I’m compassionate and curious as my creation takes shape. I’m blissed-out in this writer’s high, and I never want the feeling to leave me. I wish every time I sat down at the piano, guitar or easel, my work was this effortless!

The cheerleading squad in my head says “Go team, Go!” and begs, “Do it again!” As if it was that easy to pull another victory on command. But in the match against writer’s block, there’s no such thing as home court advantage. You are your own worst opponent. With a team of critics, you can out-play every single clever move your imagination makes. 

Let’s Bring This Home

My main point?  Get out of the way of your ideas.  Bench your desire for everything to be perfect.  Start with something dull, confusing, cliché, or uncomfortable, and work at it for a while.

A teacher once told me a good exercise is to free write on any subject you choose, but without erasing, pausing, crossing out, or second guessing… Try it daily and observe how that judge’s furrowed brow softens, and you relax and settle into the flow.  

If I am like sea glass, and songwriting is like sea glass, then perhaps I can apply this same patient effort towards my self.  Maybe I can say yes to more opportunities, impulses, ideas, instead of immediately shutting them down.  I wonder what ideas, or talents, or parts of ourselves we frighten into submission, saying we’re not good enough. 

Thanks for reading! Leave me some feedback, please - I’d love to hear your personal experiences on this topic!

Those last two paintings are my originals, based on themes of creativity and self expression. Hope you like!

-Erica Leigh

Mar
19th
Wed
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Okay, fine. Yes. Since you asked…  I do have socks that match my album. Whatever! #puzzleheart

Okay, fine. Yes. Since you asked… I do have socks that match my album. Whatever! #puzzleheart

Mar
15th
Sat
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Would you just look at my fabulous grandmother?! She was a model in her day. My mother, as a sweet young girl in the background, looking on! Today, us three gals had a blast at a #winetasting together! #nashobavalleywinery #tbt (at Nashoba Valley Winery)

Would you just look at my fabulous grandmother?! She was a model in her day. My mother, as a sweet young girl in the background, looking on! Today, us three gals had a blast at a #winetasting together! #nashobavalleywinery #tbt (at Nashoba Valley Winery)

Mar
12th
Wed
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I’m standing in the coolest museum exhibit! Birds landing on cleverly-tuned electric guitars and basses, that create beautiful improvised music!  (at Peabody Essex Museum (PEM))

I’m standing in the coolest museum exhibit! Birds landing on cleverly-tuned electric guitars and basses, that create beautiful improvised music! (at Peabody Essex Museum (PEM))

Feb
22nd
Sat
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My roommates & I use the whiteboard in our kitchen to communicate important information. #WhiteboardArt #cartoon #doodle #wizardofoz #communicationiskey

My roommates & I use the whiteboard in our kitchen to communicate important information. #WhiteboardArt #cartoon #doodle #wizardofoz #communicationiskey

Feb
19th
Wed
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Broke into a sweat performing for the kids today, due to the enormous “school-vacation-crowd”… Had they been a little older, crowd surfing would have been an option, I am sure. Lots of dancing and singing filled my morning - these kids know how to bust a move like no ones business! #littlegroove #musicandmovement  (at Childrens Museum)

Broke into a sweat performing for the kids today, due to the enormous “school-vacation-crowd”… Had they been a little older, crowd surfing would have been an option, I am sure. Lots of dancing and singing filled my morning - these kids know how to bust a move like no ones business! #littlegroove #musicandmovement (at Childrens Museum)

Feb
14th
Fri
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When I’m making music in class with my little #toddlers, it’s the best way to witness authentic #Love on #ValentinesDay …they are so overflowing with joy and appreciation for how music makes them feel. I learn a lot from these little tykes! #misserica #shakeyourmaraca #littlegroove

When I’m making music in class with my little #toddlers, it’s the best way to witness authentic #Love on #ValentinesDay …they are so overflowing with joy and appreciation for how music makes them feel. I learn a lot from these little tykes! #misserica #shakeyourmaraca #littlegroove