Contemporary Expression

reBlog from Rules and Education Aren’t the Same
February 5, 2010, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Guest Blog Post, social media

you need a good team ....

I found this fascinating quote today:

What are you hoping to gain from participating in social media, or at least paying attention to it? What are you projecting will happen, based on your research or strategizing? What worries you and what are the potential risks? How do these goals trickle down to the people in your organization? Do they agree with you or not, and why? What’s the plan for execution?, Rules and Education Aren’t the Same, Jan 2010

You should read the whole article.


Without Art, Writing Would be Pretty Lame
January 29, 2010, 6:00 am
Filed under: Balance, Guest Blog Post, Living An Artful Life

This is a guest post from Matt Cheuvront and is part of the Guest Blog Grand Tour over at Life Without Pants. Want to learn more about Matt Cheuvront & see how far the rabbit hole goes? Subscribe to the Life Without Pants RSS feed & follow him on Twitter to keep in touch!

I am a true believer that inspiration can come in many different forms – in fact, it really hold no limits – anything and everything around you can provide you with a spark. A good song, a photograph, a line from a movie – I do everything I can to surround myself with these things – making an effort to live a more “artful” life that provides me with those “Aha!” moment of inspiration.

Since writers block is, well, a writers worst enemy – I thought I would present a few things that I do to find inspiration – things that get those creative juices flowing when all hope seems lost – the things I do RIGHT before I close the laptop and put away my Moleskine and call it a day – those moments of resurgence and creative clarity that can be found in the simplest of things. Here are three ways to live a more artful life and find inspiration in the world around you.

Get out of the house

Seriously, working from home can be extremely stifling to your creativity. There’s something about the Seinfeld reruns and comfy couch that inspires me to do nothing more than curl up with my dog and take a nap. This is all fine and well, don’t get me wrong, but when I’m trying to actually – you know – get things done, sitting around the house is the death of me…So get out, head to your local coffee shop, put yourself in an environment with limited distractions. There’s something about the atmosphere of a cozy coffee shop or comfy library chair that just works – there’s like a creative aura floating around that you can’t help but tune into. Changing up your environment can do wonders for inspiring new thoughts and ideas.

Browse Flickr

If you frequent my blog – you know that I am big on visualization – I couple simple and clean design with white space and bold images. Honestly, and this probably isn’t such a good thing from an efficiency standpoint, I probably spend more time looking for the “perfect” photo to go with at blog post than writing the post itself. But I find SO much inspiration in photography – even in the simplest things – I’m a very visual person and I understand that most blog readers connect with a “visual aid” to drive their attention through the rest of the post. Anytime I struggle with my writing, I browse around FlickR or other art websites (Wordboner is another great one) and find all the answers I’m looking for (and more).

Make killer playlists

Music is inspirational…but you already knew that. Every month I take a couple hours and I make a “playlist for the month” – The playlist usually reflects the season, my mood, new artists I’ve discovered, etc. And I use this playlist as the soundtrack for my life. Music is, hands down, the biggest source of inspiration for me. And there’s something to be said for that “perfect playlist”. You’ll find yourself struggling to find the right words and then that epic Arcade Fire song will kick in and all the sudden you’re ready to rock and roll. Devote a little time to putting together some monthly playlists of your own – and opt for the IPod over the TV in the background when you sit down to write.

This is only the tip of the iceberg – but hopefully will give you a little inspiration to get out there and find your own source of inspiration (have you been counting the number of times I’ve said “inspiration” in this post? Yeah, me neither). Think outside the box and never be afraid to use other mediums to inspire your own creativity.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you have a “routine” when you sit down to write?

reBlog from 7 Social Media Roles You Haven’t Considered
January 16, 2010, 11:55 am
Filed under: Guest Blog Post, marketing, social media

I found this fascinating quote today:

When you think of social media roles, chances are you think of a community manager or the oh-so-generic “social media manager”, which is usually some function of the marketing department managing strictly social media programs. But there are loads of other potential roles that can integrate or represent social media alongside other business, 7 Social Media Roles You Haven’t Considered, Jan 2010

You should read the whole article.

Bus Stop Ahead

We aren’t sure when — but soon the bus will stop here at Contemporary Expression for a guest blog from Matt Cheuvront on LIVING AN ARTFUL LIFE

I believe in the creative process of living life to its fullest .  Julie Cameron has a book called The Artist’s Way that many people in the creative class have found helpful.

The concept of Living An Artful Life from Contemporary Expression is this:

each person is a creative person that needs to embrace their ‘artist within’ to live life to its fullest.

The Five Senses of Hate
November 4, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Guest Blog Post, Poetry, The Art Files

We attended the TEP Foundation sponsored opening night of The Nashville Monologues last week.  Throughout the original work of Nashville stories, the author, and artistic director of  Rhubarb Theater Company that produced the work, carefully put place holders giving her description of  the five senses of  hate.  I found them all interesting and thought-provoking and I asked her to share them with you as my first guest blog post on Contemporary Expression.

If you read Nancy VanReece’s blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you care about people. You probably also care about Nashville and are interested in how the puzzle pieces of our city fit together. Maybe you’d even like to help them fit together better.  Below is an excerpt of my writing in the show. – Trish Crist
Please join us this Wednesday November 4 through Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m.  Info and reservations at 615-397-7820 or

tasteWhat Does Hate Taste Like?
What does hate taste like?
Like afternoon coffee that’s been on the burner since dawn?
Tangy tart like a blood orange?
Iron-rich…metal…like blood itself?
Does it sting like salt on a mouth sore?
Blister your lips like a raw chili chewed whole?
Not for me.
Hate is sweet.

hearWhat Does Hate Sound Like?
What does hate sound like?
Is it a screech—a growl—a jeer?
Is it the loudest roar you ever heard…or a whispered threat?
Is it emphatic?
Or off-hand?
Does it sound just like you?
Or foreign.
An interloper to the good world we have here.
Or is hate universal—a language we all use without need for translation.
How about you?
Do you speak hate?

lookWhat Does Hate Look Like?
What does hate look like?
Is it an eye roll?
A sneer?
A little gesture
A bigger gesture
A walk that says I’m a bad ass and don’t fuck with me
An attack ‘cause I don’t need this shit and I’m gonna take your ass down—who the fuck you think you are?
Nah, man.
I mean—I wish hate looked like that. As obvious as Dick Cheney. But it doesn’t.
Hate is invisible. Insipid. Tiny but powerful…a sneaky little ninja motherfucker. And it’s like he’s got this passkey that lets him in everywhere. Even when we think we’ve locked everything up tight and protected what matters and there’s no way he can get in and fuck with us…
I’m afraid he might be everywhere.

smellWhat Does Hate Smell Like?
What does hate smell like?
Jock pee on my dorm room door every Friday night for 4 years?
Definitely bodily.
Yeah. Hate smells like a dirty human, stale and rank from effort. A ripe armpit. A man’s tennis shoe worn years without socks.
Raw chicken packaging in the trash.
Milk that has bumped out the carton.
Hate is definitely organic.
It might be the only organic produce that’s cheap. It’s cheap. Free, I guess.
I mean, hate might cost us a lot in terms of humanity and government and emotions and souls and lawsuits and therapy and healthcare and vices—but it is cheap as shit.
And it smells like it.

feelWhat Does Hate Feel Like?
What does hate feel like?
Like cellophane glassifying in a cat’s stomach?
Bile in your mouth.
Pieces of vomit in your nose?
A hot face, a burnt heart
Sandpaper on a breast
Could hate ever feel good?
I don’t know
Does it feel the same to the recipient as it does to the…distributor?
Is hate the deep instant slash of a paper cut—a knee-jerk response…or an ulcer…that my actions somehow caused inside me?
Is hate cancer?

The Five Senses of Hate, from The Nashville Monologues (c) 2009 Trish Crist. Used By Permission.