Second Star Stories
When I travel, I find I am at my happiest. My mind is off the every day stresses and processing new cultures, food, smells, sights, and sounds. I feel unburdened and open. I feel small but in the best way because I remember the world is so big and beautiful and there is so much more than car payments and alarm clocks.On this particular trip to Europe with my family, I took time to think about what I truly want to do. While I haven't come up with the exact answer, I know I want to tell stories, good stories. Stories that stay with you. I want to do that with our production company, Pretty Beard, and I want to write them in blogs, novels, whatever comes to mind.So, I came up with an experiment.Instagram is probably my favorite social media tool. I love taking photos and editing them. I am fascinated with hashtags and how they work. I love that, for the most part, it is filled with gorgeous moments captured by people from all around the world. I mean, it has a dark side too, don't get me wrong. I'm looking at you Instagram models and 'beauty product reviewers'. But there is a lot of good and a lot less insanity than Facebook or Twitter most days.My brother's girlfriend told me that she created a private Instagram for herself. My coworker also told me she had a few Instagrams including one just for photos she was proud of. I loved this idea and connected to this other thought that had come to me. I had taken so many photos in Europe, I knew I wanted to share them but didn't want to overload my personal feed. I also knew I wanted to write more fiction, more fairy tales that I love so deeply. I combined the two and came up with Second Star Stories.Second Star Stories is named after Neverland (second star to the right, straight on til morning). If you know me at all, you know that makes sense as Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories and fuels my soul. The way Barrie wrote, and what he created from something so simple as a boy who did not want to grow up, is truly pure magic, and I love his other plays as well, aside from Peter, and flock to them as I do Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter when I need some comfort.At first, I was going to do them for myself. My plan was to post my pictures and write a story that came to mind when I was looking at them. They wouldn't be long stories; just a paragraph or so, inspired by my own photo. But then my hashtag obsession came into to play and I thought "Screw it" and started experimented tagging the stories. I researched writing hashtags along with travel ones and then basic everyday tags that people use. I absolutely adore looking at ones such as #ihavethisthingwithfloors. Or doors, ceilings, or walls. The tiny moments of beauty people find astound me and I wanted to share my own.I am not tagging to get likes or explode onto the Instagram scene. I am so curious of which ones work and which ones don't, for sure, but I mostly just want to share stories because I like writing them. If people read them, that's bangarang. If people just like the photo, that's also awesome. If it grows into something more than just a writing exercise I am doing for myself, I'd be proud I took the risk of opening my thoughts and words to the masses. If nothing happens, I know I am happy reading what I wrote every day.I knew I was heading back to a dark place. I was thirsty for something creative. I haven't been in a play in far too long and we haven't focused on Pretty Beard films in a minute. I love writing blogs but they don't always come to me like little stories do. In the week I have been doing this, I have been floored by how many tales my brain can come up with just from a photograph I took. It's gotten me excited about writing and hopeful someday I come up with something truly special. Being that my biggest inspirations are people like Walt Disney and Jim Henson, I aspire to write something that sticks to your heart and in your brain and you come back to on days when you're sick in bed and need a hand to hold.I can't not give credit where credit is due. One of the biggest inspirations for this came from my beloved Amanda Palmer, sent to me by the best of the best, Matt Woods. She wrote about The Dark Crystal. She was watching it with friends and their collective children. She wrote about how watching it, she thought "God, I will never make anything like that" because of how fucking amazing it is. Then she realizes she is thankful it is exists to inspire and she sees how she has made amazing things, even if they are tiny bits of amazing. I know she has inspired me deeply with her book and music and words. My favorite line of it is as follows:
"And i think that maybe all of the things that i've done on the patreon since ash was born are just some kind of weird warm-up exercise for the real things that i'm actually supposed to make
and then i stare at my hands because it makes me freak out a little"
I don't know if this is a warm up or just another thing I will do for a few months and then forget about. I do know every day I have written one, I disappear for a minute into another world and my brain is excited and words flow through me like water. Maybe it was walking in Kensington Gardens again a few weeks ago, the wind in the trees sounding like music and looking around me, feeling what Barrie felt when he strolled it daily with Porthos. I wanted to find something to inspire me daily. So, let's see how it goes.If you are interested (thanks to those who already have and yes, I have liked my own Instagram posts), you can follow me @secondstarstories on Instagram.