Fangirl Report: MAN OF THE WOODS Concert Review & Fashion Update

Back during #BLOGTOBER I did a post titled Fall Fashion: Concert Style where I showed my outfit inspiration for Justin Timberlake’s MAN OF THE WOODS tour.

album artwork

I was supposed to see him, back in October but he had to reschedule due to bruised vocal chords. So I just went recently on January 31st. Which just so happened to be Justin’s 38th Birthday so that was a fun treat! Not only did we get an amazing show, but we got to spend his birthday with him. This time we got to sing to him for a change. 😉

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My concert morning prep…

My best friend and I got there a little before the opening act ended so we got to hear him a bit. His name is Franceso Yates, and he was definitely good vibes. Not to mention his curls are cool and he was rocking this cool silver sparkly bomber jacket. 3 years ago he lent his vocals to SUGAR (2015), yes ya’ll probably know Suga Suga by Baby Bash and Frankie J (2003) but Yates makes it work too! His voice is damn good!

 

Set List

Filthy

Midnight Summer Jam

Lovestoned/I think she knows interlude

Sexyback

Man of the woods

Higher Higher

Senorita

Suit & Tie

My Love

Cry Me a River

Mirrors

*Happy Birthday Sing Along*

Drink You Away

Until The End Of Time

Morning Light

What Goes Around…Comes Around

Say Something

Montana

Summer Love

Rock Your Body

Supplies

Can’t Stop The Feeling

I felt like this concert has been quite a long time coming. In fact we just passed the year mark on of when MAN OF THE WOODS was released and when Justin performed the Superbowl Half time show. I had wanted to see JT a while back when he was first in the U.S., but I just couldn’t swing the date, and so when he came back I was on a mission to get tickets. So my best friend and I got t-shirts, I had my outfit all ready, and my nails strategically painted to match his album cover colors (as you can see in the Concert Style Blogtober post). But then it was rescheduled for January, so it was another 3 months added to the waiting game. Needless to say, because of all the holiday craziness, it went by quick. Of course the date landed on the COLDEST day of the year, my winter coat’s zipper broke just before I left the house, (so I had to wear a less warm coat but the one I actually bought for the concert to match my outfit lol) and my best friend was battling the start of a cold and her purse strap broke coming out of the Uber on the way into MSG. So we fought some stupid little inconveniences along the way, but it was COMPLETELY worth it! #CHEERSTOINSANLEYEXPENSIVEUBERSANDCABS It felt so good to be there in that arena with him. It’s been a while. It felt like it was all meant to be. I love you JT, you were worth the wait! 

JUSTIN WAS INCREDIBLE! His talent never ceases to amaze me. He came back from that vocal rest like a boss. He can still sing, dance, and own any stage! And he is extremely good at making it so that he can work the entire stage and say hi to all sides. Our seats were pretty good, probably the closest, I’ve seen him so far. Although for his stadium tour with Jay Z, we had really good seats too! One of these days I hope to meet him, maybe even swing some VIP tickets, but I just can’t fathom those prices. Besides I like the option of sitting occasionally! Lol. #GRANNY #BIGPURSEDONTCARE

Justin did all his usual hits, but played a good amount of his new stuff too. It’s cool how his songs are so different live, like you feel every instrument. I love how he did his work on the NI Maschine for “Say Something,” and he just kind of like created this whole unique sound. It was really cool to see. 

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The whole show was visually stunning. The fog rolling in, the grass coming up during certain scenes to add that woodsy feel. The lights, the screens that projected Justin for all to see, but at  times told a story through it’s stunning rain visuals during “Cry Me A River,” and trees and the sun shining during his Man Of The Woods songs. It was all so right. 

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There were so many highlights, so many moments where he joked with the crowd, so many great live versions of songs that never get old. That clap and sing along in Mirrors, never gets old. And Can’t Stop The Feeling was so amazing live and such a great, feel good song to end on. However, I think if I HAD to pick, my highlight had to be when he sang “Until the End of Time.” There was a campfire set up. A real fire pit, with wooden seats around it, as his dancers re-enacted a campfire scene as he played the soft sweet song. This song is one of my favorites live, because this is the cell phone song. The lights sway back and forth, and you try to hit his notes in the sing along part of the song. Such a moment. 

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The only downside was that I know I had seen an earlier version of a setlist that included “Let The Groove Get In” and “Flannel.” Two of which are my favorites. So I was a little bummed when he didn’t play them. “Soulmate” would have been cool, that song has become a favorite of mine too! But we did have a whole Birthday sing a long, so they probably had to take out a few songs to allow the time for that. I thought his Birthday show would have been like crazy! Like maybe a special guest, or something. I also thought he would do the whole fake out end and then come back out, but he didn’t. I’m so used to that! Lol. But when the lights come on you know it’s over. I guess I just wasn’t ready to leave.

You know what else I noticed, he didn’t have many breaks. He didn’t worry about changing outfits constantly either. He made a few changes, but they were super quick and kept in theme with his laid back woodsy vibe. He is the man of the woods, is he not? He didn’t talk too much with the crowd like I’ve seen him do in the past, didn’t really chat about the songs or give some heart felt speech about what the slow jams were about or why he wrote them. He used to do this a while back. Instead he let the music talk. Which I understood. He has 5 studio albums under his belt and only about a 2 hour slot to perform! He can’t do EVERYTHING! Even so, he is a true talent. A class act. He is so good. When I got home I mentioned how it’s a pain to go to a concert on a week day, and my mom said to me, “well this is it, right? I mean you can’t keep going to his concerts.”  And I said, “Um, what? Yes I can! And I will.”  I may be getting older, he may be getting older, but as he said before he took his shot before he performed “Drink You Away,” he “Ain’t done yet!” And as long as he’s singing, I’ll keep listening! Concerts can be transcendent. They can be such amazing experiences, especially when you are that much of a fan of the artist. Especially when you get to go with your best friend. I’ve grown up listening to Justin. So no, I’m not quitting  now. Looking out at that audience it was an incredible mix of men, women, of all ages, and even some little kids. I was proud to see how far he’s come and how many generations his music has touched. He may not have chatted constantly but he was very adorable when he thanked us for spending his birthday with him, “best birthday ever,” he said just before leaving the stage. So what it all comes down to, is that the concert was cool, classic, and absolutely amazing and we got to spend his Birthday with him, and that’s the coolest thing ever. Happy Birthday JT! 

What I Wore: 

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My Target JT T-shirt- Black tank underneath

^ tried to link, but I don’t see it available anymore 😦 

A Flannel because well the song and the woods! lol

Jeans

Tan Boots

I had on pretty simple jewelry- a brown snakeskin cuff, two gold thin rings, big gold hoops, a black tattoo choker, and two gold necklaces for a layered effect. I also painted my nails a natural brown from Essie called- “Clothing Optional.”

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I basically went for a chill, laid back, woodsy/90’s vibe. LOL. My makeup was subtle warm tans and blush tones, and my hair I kept simple in a low bun and some curls to frame my face.

20190131_212208 Flannel by JT

Right behind my left pocket
That is where you’ll feel my soul
It’s been with me many winters
It will keep you warm
Ooh, here’s my flannel
The character’s in the way you wear it (the way you wear it)
It takes your shape while you keep it on (all you gotta do is keep it on)
May we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm
And may we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm

Read the full lyrics HERE

Listen to the full song HERE

And yes I did treat myself to some concert souvenirs- a tee and a concert program. They were selling the t-shirt I couldn’t find anymore on his merch store website, so I was excited. At first I wasn’t going to buy anything because between the ticket and the cabs,  I was already spending so much $$$! But then I realized I have a concert tee from every show I’ve seen of his. And I’m a major graphic tee wearing girl, so I had to. So I picked this one (it has another image of him and man of the woods written on the back, with all the tour locations.) And I splurged on a program too, because I have never bought one of his programs before. So I figured I should own at least one. I mean I am a self- proclaimed JT fan girl, right? Hey I don’t do this often, you got to live a little, right? 😉 The t-shirt was $40. The program was $25, in case any other fangirls or boys are wondering about prices! 

Well there you have it, another JT Fangirl report from yours truly. 

Until next time.

*All images are my own except JT’s album art picture at the beginning of the post.*

-<3-

 

 

6 Years and Counting! Happy Birthaversary MLW!

January 8th, 2013.

A girl with a need to share stories that float in her brain, characters that have heartfelt discussions, poems, music/tv/movie reviews, fan girl stories, fashion, the list goes on. Today marks 6 years since I created Michelle Leigh Writes. It took years to work up the courage to publish my work online. Here I am 6 years later, keeping that little train rolling along. I am very proud of that fact.

However, the thing is…this year was a bit slow on posting content. As I review this year’s post history I can see there weren’t very many. Inconsistency strikes again! And sadly, I ended up taking 2 months off completely during the months of June and July, (which I don’t think has ever happened in all my years of blogging.) I guess you can call it a summer hiatus. But it mostly was a mix of lack of inspiration/my blog account was having some issues. But when I think about it, those are excuses, if I really wanted to write and post, I would have figured out a way. But the more I didn’t, the more I got comfortable just not posting at all.

But then the fall came, and inspiration struck. Besides I knew I needed something to kick my butt into gear again. So I challenged myself to do #BLOGTOBER. And I did, I blogged for the entire month of October, it was a fun filled time of Fall goodness! Then November came and I decided to give #NaNoWriMo a shot. Writing 1,667 words a day for the entire month until you get to the goal of writing 50,000 words at the end, which equals the length of a book. And I DID THAT TOO! But then the holiday craziness kicked in and my posting slowed once again.

I took a look back at my posts for 2018. Let’s do a little bit of a run down shall we?

January 2018- 10 posts

February 2018- 5 posts

March 2018- 5 posts

April 2018- 2 posts

May 2018- 2 posts

June/July 2018- 0 posts

August 2018- 1 post

September 2018- 1 post

October 2018- 31 posts (#BLOGTOBER)

November 2018- 4 posts

December 2018- 1 post

Total Number of posts: 62

*****

Now some boring math- if I were to have been consistent with my 2x a week posting schedule…

2 posts per week

About 8 posts a month

12 months in a year x 8 posts a month = 96 posts in a year.

96-62= 34 posts under.

Sad face. 

No matter the amount, I’m still excited to be celebrating 6 years online. I think it’s a big accomplishment for the girl who stressed at just the idea of posting her work for others to see. Naturally,  I baked some treats to celebrate. #GEEK #NOSHAME #DELICIOUS

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For these mini brownie bites, I used a good ‘ole Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate brownie mix, the oil/eggs/water it required, and a package of hot chocolate and mixed it all together in a big bowl. I sprayed the pan with some cooking spray, then I put it in the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. After they cooled I removed them from the mini cupcake pan with a plastic knife and got to decorating. I used a bit of Nutella as frosting, added some festive sprinkles, and a mini marshmallow! They are so cute and taste DELICIOUS! 

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So needless to say I’m not super stoked about last year’s posting history. But life happens. Technical glitches happen. And time passes far too quickly. So I am not going to dwell on it all, and scold myself for it, because let’s be real, I do not need that kind of negativity in my life! Instead I will be trying to keep my schedule afloat and inspire new and interesting content, and bring you many new, fun short stories and writing projects. I have a lot I want to work on this year!   

On the Brightside! Even though my posting hasn’t been as consistent as I would have hoped, I did complete two major writing challenges for myself in 2018. And even though my #NaNo story wasn’t posted to MLW (because it’s a book I’m working on and will take time to finish and edit and all that) I did write a lot! Which is always the goal. I realized I don’t always have to write to post. I can just write and lengthen my art. Any writing is good. But I do plan on coming back, I always do! This blog is my special place. My safe place for the written word. So thank you. Thank you for reading!

Take a look at my past Celebratory posts:

2013- Hey there…and welcome ❤  – First post ever!

2014- “Secret” Society, “Resolutions”, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! + (My 1st VLOG)

2015- Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary?

2016- Dear 2016, + Happy 3rd Anniversary!

2017- Happy 4th!!!!!!!

2018- Cheers to 5 Years! Happy Birth-a-versary!

 

Follow me on Social Media!

(I have a lot of #NaNo updates on Insta!)

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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STAY TUNED!

And God Bless.

Happy 6th Birth-a-versary to my blog baby michelle leigh writes! 

 

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FUN FACT! On this day in POP power couple history, Justin & Britney debuted their Denim ensembles. Today makes 18 years! Haha. I never knew my Blog baby’s Birthaversary shared this special day! 😉 

 

*All photos (except the JT & Britney pic) are my own.

-<3-

 

 

 

 

2018 Highlights- Year in Review

This past year, I actually didn’t end up using a memory jar. It kind of became more of a flower vase and I forgot about it. But as usual, instagram and this blog were definitely helpful in my yearly reflection.

Here are my 2018 Highlights

(in no particular order)

Justin Timberlake released his new Album Man of the Woods and I bought tickets to see him in October. (However as you may know from my fangirl report the show was postponed due to bruised vocal chords. It was rescheduled for January 31st (his birthday) so let’s hope it sticks and I get to start my 2019 off with my fav babe!) He also released a summer single too- Soulmate. It’s fire!

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MLW turned 5 years old! This blog has been with me through so many ups and downs. I have taken month(s) long hiatus’ and have gone MIA many times, and I’m sure it will happen this year too. But I always come back! And it means a lot to me to have this outlet. To have “a safe place for the written word.” We also got our own domain this year-michelleleighwrites.com
happy 5th

I took up Jewelry Making in order to teach a class at work and I realized I do really enjoy it. For some one who loves accessories and loves jewelry, it’s cool to have pieces that I created myself. When people say that’s so pretty, I can say “Thanks, I made it!” I’m hoping this year to get my own Jewelry supplies and make a hobby out of it!

 

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We started many new family traditions, now that we have a 6th person at our  usual table of five. My baby niece turned one and she’s learning so many new things, it’s so amazing and so exciting to watch her grow. Holidays are sweeter now that she’s here and we were able to celebrate many of her first holidays this year too. And as usual so many other special family moments with our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I also got to take my mom to see Summer (the donna summer’s musical) and help out with a mother’s day photoshoot for my sister in law, my brother is a photographer and he wanted me to shoot some behind the scenes footage for him, so that he could make a montage video.) 

Jack & Elizabeth’s Wedding on When Calls The Heart. This show is so magical. (Except SPOILER ALERT the actor playing Jack decided to leave and so they had to kill off his character just shortly after the characters got married. So Elizabeth was left a pregnant window. It still breaks my heart so much. But I’ve been watching reruns on Netflix of earlier seasons of their courtship and I can’t help but love this show. It is so full of strength and hope and grace. And these women are fierce as they come.) Despite the heartache, the wedding was absolutely beautiful and when it comes to TV viewing parties and themes, I can be pretty “extra.” I learned to sew in order to make my own custom WCTH tee and had a cup of tea and some pie in honor of the special occasion. I still don’t have the Hallmark channel so I totally bugged my brother and watched at his house.  The show did the wedding right, they even had a invitation that you can rsvp to, pick your meal choice and request a song. Hallmark still has a full wedding album up too. Such beautiful pictures, Elizabeth looked gorgeous and their vows were breathtaking. 

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^In other tv related news (because you know me, I’m a TV fan girl) I fell in love with the show The Resident on FOX and the Netflix film- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (it’s getting a sequel!) 
To all the boys

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I had a lot good times with friends (fell in love with a new tea spot, tried hot pot for the first time, had a few brunch meals, tried frose, and braved karaoke, etc)-work friends, high school friends, old friends, new friends! Caught up with some middle school friends I haven’t seen in a while. We actually were able to get in two visits this year, so we are doing really well, considering we are all always so busy- one is a mom and one is always traveling, so I’m so happy we made it work! My best friend got married and I was one of her maid of honors, so we got to do all the things-the shower, the bachelorette party (which was epic thanks to me and my co maid of honor), the rehearsal, and the wedding. It was all magical! And they are a beautiful couple.

 

*NSYNC got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on “It’s Gonna Be May” Day (April 30th) and it was broadcasted live for all to watch. I totally did, and I may or may not have bought a few *NSYNC merch tees, they are being sold in stores like target, and spencer’s/hot topic, but also on *NSYNC’s official site! The guys were also on Ellen!

So I was kind of in fangirl heaven!

I hosted a 90’s theme Girls Night In for my best friend, as our own little bestie send off before her wedding. It was A BLAST. I love nostalgia and I LOVE the 90’s. Butterfly clips, chokers, and blue eyeshadow, OH MY! 😉 

90's party

My family participated in our first Alzheimer’s walk in honor of my Grandma who passed away in February of 2017. We all had t-shirts and it was a beautiful day, honoring someone we all really miss and love. We raised well over what our goal was! Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle who organized it all, and to all who donated. Our hearts are full! 

I did BLOGTOBER– blogged the entire month of October! My fall was so full of all the Halloween, Pumpkin things!

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I participated in my first ever #NaNoWriMo– National Novel Writing Month (November) October and November were very busy for me, it made me really proud to be able to write so consistently and meet my goals. 

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I continued writing my short story series- Move that I started at the end of 2017, but still have to continue and finish it this year. I also started another short story series that has yet to be finished and posted- tentatively called Crazy Stalker Love. (STAY TUNED! for all of the stories to come!)
MOVE poster

Crazy Stalker Love Sneak Peek-

I had a list of over 60 great memories for this past year, so I guess it was a really good one. So I can’t complain. But in the interest of time, I chose a few. Thanks for the memories 2018, I am very blessed. I look forward to all the magic ahead in 2019.

Happy New Year friends!

May all your hopes and dreams come true!

Stay Tuned for much more content this year.

So many stories to tell!

-<3-

#BLOGTOBER Recap

I blogged for the entire month of November. I started off strong. I usually do, and I had some blogs lined up and ready to go. But as the month went on it did become more difficult to post regularly. However, I made it work, just like I did for BLOGMAS! 

Having done that last year definitely made me more sure of myself going into this year’s month long blog adventure. 

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BLOGTOBER

Sure, there were a few times that I lacked the inspiration,  and some posts were fillers. Sometimes I had to search for prompts online to help stir up an idea. It happens to the best of us. Sure, there were times that I was rushing to post something before midnight. I didn’t always get my social media posts up on time either, but they did go up regardless. But each blog post went up on time! All 31 of them. And I am super proud. I also was consistent in posting to my blog social accounts, which is always grueling, but I had a bit of a system and made it work. 

For the most part this challenge made me stronger. It made me create a bit of a writing routine, it made me more in touch with needing to make time for my writing and learning to be sure to make it a priority. It’s definitely a balancing act, but I am working on it. 

There were various times I was visiting family and had to excuse myself to get a post up, or I had something going on and had to jot down a post on my phone notes for later. It was crazy. But I did it. I knew I wanted to, and that I would make it to my 31 day mark. I had much more faith and certainty in myself this time, than I did last year during BLOGMAS. 

So with that being said, I am onto my next writing venture- NaNoWriMo [See: BLOGTOBER DAY 31] I definitely believe I have more confidence in taking on this journey because I just gained all this writing motivation and routine building from BLOGTOBER. Day 1 was actually really good! Stay Tuned for updates on that.

See you Monday- MLW has now returned to it’s regular Monday/Thursday schedule. 

 

And if you missed any of BLOGTOBER…check out the recap below! 

***BLOGTOBER 2018***

BLOGTOBER Day 1- An Update & Announcing #BLOGTOBER

BLOGTOBER Day 2- My 2018 Fall Bucket List

BLOGTOBER Day 3- My Fall 2018 TV Schedule

BLOGTOBER Day 4- Fall Haul- Treats, Teas, & Décor

BLOGTOBER Day 5- Where to find the best Halloween Movie Marathons

BLOGTOBER Day 6- Witchy Reboots…

BLOGTOBER Day 7- Where to find the best Halloween Movie Marathons Part 2

BLOGTOBER Day 8- It’s October again…

BLOGTOBER Day 9- Pumpkin Picking with the Family plus mini Fall Haul #2

BLOGTOBER Day 10- Stranger Things Themed Party

BLOGTOBER Day 11- MLW Halloween Themed Shorts Collection

BLOGTOBER Day 12- A Cheesy Fall Poem 😉

BLOGTOBER Day 13- A Fall Memory

BLOGTOBER Day 14- Fall Themed Gift Basket Idea

BLOGTOBER Day 15- Jewelry Making Tutorial- Memory Wire Bracelet

BLOGTOBER Day 16- TV Shows to Binge watch in the Fall Season that will give you a little spook…

BLOGTOBER Day 17- Some Recipes for the Fall Season

BLOGTOBER Day 18- Fall Mix [Middle School/High School Edition]

BLOGTOBER Day 19- The Jack-o-lantern

BLOGTOBER Day 20- Fall Smoothie Recipe

BLOGTOBER Day 21- On Halloween Night- A Poem

BLOGTOBER Day 22- Love Potion

BLOGTOBER Day 23- Fangirl Report: J.T. Edition (Who else?)

BLOGTOBER Day 24- Fall Fashion- Concert Style

BLOGTOBER Day 25- “Head Over Heels”- An Original Short Horror Script

BLOGTOBER Day 26- “Head Over Heels”- Commentary 

BLOGTOBER Day 27- Creating this year’s Pumpkin Character

BLOGTOBER Day 28- Purple/Green/Black Rocker Chic Witch Costume Idea

BLOGTOBER Day 29- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”- A Film Muse

BLOGTOBER Day 30- Fall 2018 Bucket List Update

BLOGTOBER Day 31- Exciting Announcement!

 

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-<3-

#BLOGTOBER Day 31- Exciting Announcement!

Day 31. I made it! I can’t believe I blogged everyday for a month! I feel so accomplished. I was due for this challenge, since I basically went on a 2 month hiatus over the summer. 

For today I intended on posting a Halloween themed short story. But I’m still in the mist of writing it, and it’s not super Halloween related so I figured rather than stress myself out all night trying to rush to finish it, I will just finish it when I can and post when it’s ready. My stories always end up being longer, than I ever anticipate. 

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However, as I mentioned in my Fall Bucket List-  I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What, you ask? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

It’s basically the month where writers challenge themselves to write about 2,000 words everyday for the entire month of November- clocking in at 50,000 words. Resulting in the idea that you will then have written the first draft of a novel in a month.

There is a whole community of writers who have been doing this for years. I am a newbie. I never even knew this was a thing. I’m not much of a reader, so I’m a bit reserved about writing a book. 

But I figured why the hell not? I love all different types of forms of writing and I’ve dabbled in many. Why not try a book? So often I doubt myself without actually giving myself the chance to fail or to learn something knew about myself. When you really break it down, I just love to tell stories. 

I wasn’t sure I could do BLOGMAS (Blog everyday for the entire month of December) last year, but I did it. Which gave me the courage to then conquer BLOGTOBER this year! And I was committed and here we are at Day 31! I learned about NaNoWriMo a few months ago, so I started to jot down a few ideas for a book. I have a pretty decent notebook full of charcters and plot points, dialogue lines, some research. I know I have along way to go, there is still some things I don’t know, but I just didn’t have time to really dive into planning, what with doing BLOGTOBER too. 

In hindsight, doing that is a bit of a bitter sweet notion at this point. Today, I am so relieved to be done, but I know tomorrow, I’m starting a whole new venture of writing everyday. However, BLOGTOBER was really good practice for that. I kind of started my own little writing routine, and now I’m excited to get into my new story for this book idea.

Granted I have my reservations, I know there are already a bunch of days that it will be difficult to write but, I’m just going to really give it my best go. I always identify with being a writer, but I don’t write as often as I should. So by accepting these challenges, I am willing myself to write. To be the writer, I want to be. To let people know, that, that is what I am. And to accept that as a part of my life. 

So often I let my writing slide, because I have other obligations. But I’m learning when to choose myself and my writing. I’m learning when I can let it slide and when I know I have to say no. I wrestle with the balance, but I will never be a writer if I don’t try. 

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to officially sign up with the NaNoWriMo site, so I decided I was going to just to this thing on my own, just for the first time. Then if I find I want to try again next year, then I will register and join the online community.

So here’s the plan- Tomorrow is Day 1. I plan to get up early and write for two hours, and hopefully clock my first 2,000 words in. I don’t really plan/plot out too much, when I write. I guess I’m a pantser in that sense, or a mix of both a plotter and a pantser.

I just started following this Author/YouTuber when I was doing some NaNoWriMo research, she explains the whole Pantser/Plotter thing really well in her How To Outline Your Book video. 

I will plan and construct a timeline, when I feel like things aren’t adding, up, time frames, and flashbacks. Things like that. That’s when I know I need to sus out some logistics and plan ahead. Other than I that I just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. 

So that’s what I’m going to do. NaNoWriMo here we come!

I’m coming for you November!

DISCLAIMER: Michelle Leigh Writes will return to it’s regular Monday & Thursday posting schedule. 

Happy Halloween Folks!

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And Cheers to a new writing adventure!
Wish me luck!

 

*NaNoWriMo images from the official site.

I do not take credit for those or for the video used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 30- Fall 2018 Bucket List Update

Earlier in BLOGTOBER I posted my Fall 2018 Bucket List. [SEE HERE] I love fall, I love getting into the spirit of the season, and I love me a good to do/bucket list. 

sneak peek day 2

UPDATE!

So as Halloween rolls in. I wanted to check my progress on my trusty ole to do list.

There were 14  or so items on the list, and I was able to check off a good chunk of those this month!

Pumpkin Picking. CHECK

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Decorate for Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving. CHECK

My house is festive AF!
Pumpkin Carving. CHECK

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Buy pies, jams, ciders, and other fall drinks/treats. CHECK

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Trick or Treat with my niece…

After tomorrow…CHECK

Watch Hocus Pocus & Halloweentown. CHECK

Some things I added along the way- like watching tons of fun Halloween movies including House of Wax, and listening to spooky soundtracks like MJs Thriller on a loop.

Others like the JT concert was actually postponed til January- which hey is out of my control. But I am READY!

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I wasn’t able to get to the movies as I wished. But life gets busy, what can you do? I did buy a cheap copy of Halloween so maybe I’ll watch it tomorrow night.

I didn’t make it to Apple Fest again this year, because my family got super busy. But truth be told I was better off, since I ended spending quite a pretty penny at the little shop at the farm we went to for pumpkin picking.

Fall fashion has been a bit of a bust, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten a chance to swap out my summer clothes for my fall clothes. And because the weather has been so unpredictable I just never know. Let’s hope November is a bit more “fashionable. Lol.

My pumpkin party and wine & cheese party ideas didn’t happen this month but I’m hopeful for next. My best friend and I are trying to set up our pumpkin party. And to be honest, I’m dying to host a wine and cheese party myself! 

As for NaNoWriMo- I am still planning to do this, however it doesn’t start til Thursday so stay tuned for an update on that. November is going to be insane. But I am interested to see how this works. 

Fall isn’t over yet…November will be a time to conquer the rest…especially finding those Thanksgiving recipes and who knows maybe dye my hair purple? Haha. I know it costs a lot and it is a big commitment- I had my blue hair for ages. So when I do it, it has to be the right time. Stay tuned for that too!

Happy Fall All!

Did you get to check all the fall things off your bucket list? 

See you tomorrow for our final #BLOGTOBER POST! 

Working on a short story as we speak! The plan was to get half up today and the last half up tomorrow, but it’s taking longer to write than I expected. And it won’t be ready before midnight, so hang tight. Whether it’s done by tomorrow or night, I will still post it eventually.

 

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

#BLOGTOBER Day 29- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”- A Film Muse

As a huge Michael Jackson fan, I know that all of his videos are very detailed and tell a story. But the true leader of the pact has to be the iconic, nearly 14 minute long, short film- Thriller.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller- A Film Muse

Although I was not born until the 90’s, this video was always a big deal around Halloween, I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. And I try to make sure to watch and listen to Thriller every Halloween season. It just puts you in the spirit. 

MJ’s message at the beginning-

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I read that Michael had said this video offended people, which he never intended to, and that he would never want to do something like it again. But even so, the legacy of it lives on and on!

Color theme is pretty instant upon the reveal of the title- black and red- just like his iconic leather jacket. 

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a music video for the Michael Jackson song “Thriller” released on December 2, 1983. It was directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Jackson. It was MTV’s first world premiere video. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over nine million copies. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The track was also listed at number one on “The Top 10 Halloween Songs” by Billboard. 

Co-starring with Jackson was former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters (who had worked with the singer on his prior hit “Beat It”), and Jackson. Jackson contacted Landis after seeing his film An American Werewolf in London; make-up artist Rick Baker and composer Elmer Bernstein (who composed incidental music for the video) were also brought from the film to work on the video. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. “Thriller” was the third and final video for the Thriller album. The red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by Landis’ wife Deborah Landis to make him appear more “virile”. – All info Via Wikipedia.

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Summary [If you live under a rock and have never seen this masterpiece…Watch Before Reading the spoilers below!]

In the 1950s, Michael Jackson and a young woman (Ola Ray) run out of gas while driving in a wooded area. They walk into the forest and Michael asks her to be his girlfriend. She accepts. Jackson warns her that he is “not like other guys”, transforms into a werewolf, and attacks her.  In a modern-day movie theater, Michael and his girlfriend are watching the previous scene as part of horror film, Thriller. She leaves early, disturbed by the violence. As they walk in the street, Michael teases her by performing the verses of “Thriller”. In a graveyard, undead rise from their graves as Vincent Price narrates. The couple are surrounded and Michael becomes a zombie. He and the zombies dance to “Thriller”. Michael and the zombies chase his girlfriend into an abandoned house. She screams and wakes up, realizing it was a nightmare. Michael embraces her, but turns to the camera and grins, revealing his werewolf eyes. – Via Wikipedia

This video has everything. It has great music (that chorus! how can you NOT sing along), a killer dance break, a cool concept with a movie within a movie, dancing zombies, a werewolf transformation, young love, and that Vincent Price epic cackle at the end that will always give me chills…I mean what more can you ask for?

I love how they got the 50’s charcters to dress the part- the poodle skirt/letterman jacket/ and him asking her to go steady by giving her his ring. Then we see the 80’s inspired fashion in the current timeline. I love the red and blue hues in Jackson and Ray’s wardrobe. Blue hues are often used in horror. They match the spooky night sky and rolling fog, as they walk through the dewy streets while he serenades her. That whole sequence is probably my favorite because it’s cute and playful like something you’d see in a romantic comedy, and then shit gets real in a minute. Excuse the language. 😉 Jackson’s character is funny and a jokester, but when he turns, he turns! And instantly you feel like your worst nightmares are coming true…like your starring in a horror movie yourself. 

It has all the markings of a horror film, the carefully placed “scary movie” suspense music/sound effects, creatures closing in creating that claustrophobic feeling (those closeup shots are so good- they make you feel like you are right there in the film). And let’s not forget the overly dramatic actress, screaming. Ah- a true ode to horror. It is mentioned in the wiki research that they had specific horror films they used as inspiration through the creation of the short film- naming films like Phantom of the Opera, Night of the Living Night, and I Was A Teenage Werewolf. 

That toe touch!

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I love how you have to suspend reality and just trust the storyline. There is a bit of a confusion, because we are basically watching a movie within a movie. The way that this is set up is brilliant. You get a mini intro, a fake out, then cue the song’s intro as we pan onto the theatre sign, as the story continues. That shot of the movie theatre was done with a crane, I saw in the behind the scenes. Epic!

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#INCEPTION

So in the beginning we see a young couple walking through the woods and then the guy turns into a werewolf, but it ends up being a movie Michael and his girl are watching. Are we to believe that the whole rest of the short film is the real deal? When Michael turns into a zombie and busts a move, only to later chase his girlfriend into an old house and be revealed as his regular self again, telling her, “What’s the problem? Come on, I’ll take you home,” like everything is fine. Did you see that lighting change/setting change though? #MovieMagic Making us think that the movie scared the wits out of her and is making her think all of these creepy creatures are real and chasing her. But then we get that turn back of Michael revealing his werewolf eyes accompanied by Vincent Price’s Laugh and you see that suspending reality is a beautiful thing and you just watched a masterpiece. 

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I love that ending, even if it confuses me. Haha. I guess it wasn’t all in her head. 

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Don’t get me wrong, there are some cheesy moments here and there. But like I teach my kids in my film class, these graphics were groundbreaking for that time in film and video. We grow and we get better. And effects improve through the years, but you have to start somewhere. And this was an EPIC start! Paved the way.

This video is iconic and still to this day inspires other artists to push the boundaries of music television and storytelling. 

 

Behind the Scenes of Michael’s Werewolf & Zombie transformations, etc.

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Cue the shot of the moon…so good!

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For more BTS information watch the hour long Documentary-

The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

THRILLER LYRICS

READ MORE INFO ABOUT THE THRILLER VIDEO 

FYI Jackson did venture into horror again, in his 1996 musical short film- GHOSTS (running 39 minutes). This too was granted a documentary- The Making Of. Although I can’t find concrete info as to how it was released in the US, I remember watching this on tv with my family when I was a kid. I feel like it was a big Halloween special. It is so creepy, but so damn good. I can’t find the full version on YouTube but I linked a shorter version. This is a whole other Film Muse in the making, maybe next Halloween. 😀 

I’ll never understand how he could make a dance break scary?

Hats off, Michael. May you rest in peace. 

 

*I do not take credit for any images/gifs/music/lyrics/videos/BTS footage used.*

-<3-