Monday, June 27, 2011

The Music I Write To - Earth

I am the type of writer that needs music to write. Yes, if in a pinch, I can write without it, but I prefer not to. When I start a new project, I allow myself that first day to put a play list of songs together that I think will put me in the mood for that project. I see it as putting on nicer clothes to behave better. When you’re in tennis shoes and jeans you behave entirely different than in heels and stockings. Guys, you know what I’m talking about.

So I thought I would share with you what my playlist for Earth was. Mind you I would add songs as time went by; if I heard a song on the radio in the car and it got me thinking about the book I knew it needed to be added to my playlist. This works for the most part for me, but if I’m stuck and the songs just are doing it, I will turn on Pandora and set a station up to get the juices flowing again. But Earth was my first serious attempt at buckling down and getting the damn thing finished. Here’s what helped:

A Praise Chorus by Jimmy Eat World. I really love Jimmy Eat World. So many of their songs act like anthems that really get you moving. This song was the first in my playlist and is upbeat and the lyrics remind me of other songs like Crimson and Clover. There are a lot of emotions covered in the song, all of which got the rough draft of Shayna moving in my mind.

Crawl by Kings of Leon. Oh my God, Crawl. This song did not get enough play by radio stations. If you haven’t heard it, you have no idea what you’re missing. The best fucking lyric ever: “Your lips, unfold, shaken purple by the cold”. Ah-fucking-mazing. Go listen to it. Yes, it’s a political song, but goddamn it’s tasty.

Colossal by Wolfmother. Another underappreciated band. They are, and this song in particular is, very Early Days Led Zeppelin, which is of course my favorite band. And this is another anthem-like song. It speaks of magic and mother nature, obviously written for my book.

24 by Jem I actually found this song by watching an episode of So You Think You Can Dance. I know, I know. But this chick was auditioning with this song and it was just so amazing. The string orchestra mixed in with the dance beat. It was so perfect. And the lyrics, talking about only having twenty four hours to solve a problem of life or death? Yeah, this was the song that drove Shayna, running through the woods. All the questions leading up to the clarity of purpose, standing in your own way. Jem wrote this song for Shayna.

Blue Veins by The Raconteurs. Okay. Jack White rocks my socks and I am so sad The Raconteurs are no more. This song, right after 24 by Jem slowed everything way down. It brought me to the point of critical thinking. Looking around at a scene, seeing what Shayna saw, what Steven saw, what Jodi saw all in the same moment. Even the lyrics whispered the vague sweet nothings between Shayna and Jensen.

Judith by A Perfect Circle. Is there anyone more amazing than Maynard James Keenan? No. No there’s not. The fan girl inside of me will always love him and Tool, A Perfect Circle and Pucifer. I could just play all of his songs and they would all fit every single book I write. But Judith, Judith is special. You can even remove the lyrics and the melody would be enough. But Judith screamed Ian, Steven and Shayna for me. It’s a painfully beautiful song.

Serenity by Godsmack. Oh Sully. How do I love thee? And of course I had to have a song by Godsmack in here, Sully Erna being a devout Wiccan. How powerful is that? Just like Maynard, I can listen to every song Sully has ever sung over and over again, but Serenity is haunting and moving. Another song that slowed me down and made me listen to the emotions of my characters. This song gave voice to their confusion.

All Around Me by Flyleaf. Who doesn’t love a tiny chick with serious pipes on her? This is another love ballad for Shayna and Jensen and their strange, complicated relationship that hasn’t even happened yet.

I’ll Attack by 30 Seconds to Mars. Gotta love me some Jared Leto. My thirteen-year-old heart swoons thinking of Jordan Catalano. This song worked for me on the same level as 24 worked. Shayna’s confused, terrified emotions, worried she was making the wrong decision at every turn.

The Good Left Undone by Rise Against. This song spoke of magic and the earth. Its fast and frantic and puts words to so many of the character’s problems.

Swamped by Lacuna Coil. Another awesome chick with amazing pipes. I needed music from powerful women to give Shayna and Jodi a voice in my mind. Lacuna Coil is so different and original. The lead singer has such a powerful voice that she reaches inside of you and rattles your lungs. But what I liked about his song was that there were two voices, one female and one male. I loved the duality of the song. It reminded me of the duality in the Wiccan teachings. It just seemed to fit.

So those are the songs that got me through Earth. And that is the exact order they were played in, over and over and over again for about two months.


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